Archive for January, 2010

Last Chance to Help Save Community Ride On Bus 36!

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The West Bradley Citizens’ Association has asked the County government to keep Ride On Bus 36 since that was the overwhelming choice of those who responded to our recent alert about the proposed elimination of this service. On behalf of WBCA, Board president Sandy Vogelgesang has called relevant County offices and sent letters and emails to the County Department of Transportation, the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center and Roger Berliner, who is our County Council representative and a member of the Council committee dealing with transportation issues. See below for response from Mr. Berliner.

As Mr. Berliner’s letter reflects, this budget decision will boil down to making some tough choices. One key factor in this local election year will be public opinion. Thus, those of you who have not already sent a communication and feel strongly on this issue, do so NOW since the deadline for written comments is 5 PM tomorrow, Jan. 29. Given the timing, send an email. You should include your name, address, and phone number; your position on the Ride On issue; and the reason for your position. Most neighbors have stressed such factors as the need to keep our community’s only public transportation link to the Metro; the environmental importance of having an alternative to driving cars; and the range of our citizens served by the bus, from students to seniors. Best bet is to send one email to Mr. Berliner with a copy to MCDOT as follows:


Finally, although the deadline for signing up to speak at the public forum has passed, you can still attend the forum on Monday, Feb. 1, noted in the letter below.


Dear Sandy:

Thank you for your email regarding the proposed service changes and potential reductions to the Ride On bus service. I have taken the liberty of sharing your message with the County Executive, who has proposed this reduction. You and other members of the public have an opportunity to make your views known at a public forum that has been scheduled for February 1 at 6:30 pm at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville. More information is available at:

Like you, I am opposed to reducing Ride On bus service. I believe bus service is a core government function, particularly for those people that have no alternative. But beyond the equities, transit is essential to our quality of life which is most threatened by unacceptable congestion on our roads. If we are ever to get people out of their cars in larger numbers, and gain the environmental and other benefits associated with fewer vehicle miles traveled, it will be because we have a first class transit system. Reducing Ride is flatly inconsistent with those goals. Having said that, I recognize that significant cuts in government services will be required if we are to balance our budget in this difficult economic time. That means that other difficult choices will have to be made as to where to find the approximately $1 million in savings that would have been achieved by reducing Ride On can come from. That is what I am working on now.

I can not predict how my colleagues will vote on this issue, but know that I am doing what I can to restore these dollars and the Ride-On services so important to you and to our community.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Roger Berliner
Councilmember, District 1

January 9, 2010 update

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF LOCAL RIDE-ON BUS SERVICE:  Montgomery County officials say that, in order to help close the large budget gap, they are considering cuts in bus service, including the weekday service of Route 36 that connects our community to the downtown Bethesda Metro station. A public forum will be held to address this and other proposed cuts in service on Monday, February 1, starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending after the last speaker at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, Terrace Level, located at 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, Maryland. In the case of inclement weather, the public forum will be held on Tuesday,  February 2.

 The WBCA Board would like to know your views and whether you would like our association to take a formal position on this issue.  Please email your opinion to Sandy Vogelgesang (  In addition, if you feel strongly about this issue, do sign up to speak at the public forum on or before January 25 by furnishing your name, home address, telephone number, and email address to the Division of Transit Services, Ride On Public Forum, 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850.  Comments can be written, faxed or emailed to the Division of Transit services by COB, January 29, at the address just noted or faxed to 240-777-5801 or emailed to  Individuals who sign up to speak must bring two printed copies of their testimony for the record. 

POLICE ALERT ON CONTINUING DAYTIME BURGLARIES:  Detectives from the Montgomery County Police 1st District Investigative Section continue to investigate recent daytime residential burglaries that have occurred in the Potomac and Darnestown areas and that appear to be related.  Most of the burglaries have occurred on weekdays during the daylight hours.  In all of the burglaries, force was used to gain entry into the house either through a window or a door.  In each burglary, jewelry has been the target of the suspect(s). 

Residents are reminded to lock their doors and windows and make sure that their garage doors are secure when they are not at home.  Residents are also asked to notify their neighbors, and encouraged to have a caretaker stop by the house when they are away for extended periods of time.  In addition, residents are encouraged to use timers on their lights, radios, and televisions, and to hold their mail and news subscriptions while they are away.  The police ask that all residents report any and all alarm calls immediately when alerted of alarm activations at their residence.  Officers will immediately be dispatched to check the residence.

Report suspicious activity, vehicles, and individuals promptly to the police by calling the non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.  A detailed description of the suspicious person or vehicle is extremely helpful.  Descriptors may include race, gender, clothing-type, and hair color.  Obtaining the vehicle’s color, make, model, tag number, and direction of travel will also assist responding officers.   

Anyone who may have information about these residential burglaries and/or the involved suspect(s) is asked to call the 1st District Investigative Section at 240-773-6084. 

COUNTY MEETING ON SENIOR FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES:  The monthly meeting of the Montgomery County Civic Association – the umbrella organization of civic associations to which WBCA belongs – will focus on what several nearby neighborhoods are doing to help seniors and others continue to live in their homes and enjoy more community support.  The meeting will be held on Monday, January 11, 7:45-10:00 PM at the County Council Office Building (first floor auditorium) at 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville.  Free parking in adjacent County garage.   The one-hour  program will start about 8:00 PM and will be followed by question period and reports on other County issues.  All citizens of WBCA welcome!  For more information, see