Security Concerns: Commander Darryl McSwain (Montgomery County District 1 Station) has just sent the following message to local civic associations:

The Potomac region has experienced a recent spike in daytime burglaries in which jewelry has been targeted. There is a possibility that eight (8) of the burglaries are related. The Rockville Investigative Section is actively following up on each case. Other law enforcement resources are being utilized to address the problem. Community members are asked to report any suspicious persons and/or vehicles to the non-emergency number at (301) 279-8000. Doors and windows should be locked before leaving your home, even if you only anticipate being away for a short period of time. In addition, it is recommended that you give the impression that the home is always occupied by utilizing timers on lights, the television, or a radio. For any other concerns related to personal safety, feel free to contact 1st District Community Services Officer Michael Prather by e-mail (Michael.Prather@montgomerycountymd.gov) or phone at (240) 773-6077. In the meantime, please rest assured that all appropriate resources will continue to be devoted to this trend.

In addition to this increase in daytime burglaries, several community residents have reported incidents of suspicious behavior involving strangers who have tried to coax elementary and middle school children into their cars. Although these incidents have not/not occurred in the WBCA area, the reported increase in such incidents nearby reminds us all to be vigilant in behalf of our children. Thanks to those who reported this problem to us! Do be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and report it to the police immediately at the number noted above.

Seven Locks Road Sidewalk and Bikeway Project: Several WBCA residents attended the latest Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) meeting on this project, December 2. The proposed project will provide pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Seven Locks Road from Montrose Road to Bradley Boulevard, linking up with the asphalt path from Bradley to River Road. The improvements are to include inter alia: two 11-foot wide travel lanes plus 5-foot wide bike on-road lanes along both sides of Seven Locks Road, an 8-foot off-road shared use bike path on the west side of Seven Locks Road, and a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the east side of Seven Locks Road. The project is in Facility Planning Phase II during which MCDOT will collect data; develop concept plans; obtain public input; and develop 35% design plans, a cost estimate, and project schedule. This phase is scheduled for completion in winter 2011. WBCA has registered support for a proposed walkway-bikeway as long as it does not open the door for widening Seven Locks Road and it is coordinated with plans for the new Seven Locks Elementary School that is to open in January 2012. We have also questioned the need to build walkway-bikeway on both sides of Seven Locks Road. For more information, download the latest MCDOT newsletter at:
and choose Seven Locks Road Sidewalk (Montrose Road-Bradley Blvd.) from the projects list. The entire newsletter with maps of the project can be shown from the Project Documents window.

Continuing Deer Saga: Thanks to all of you who sent messages to the Montgomery County Department of Parks! Mary Bradford, Director of Parks, has responded to this outpouring of concern as well as the letter sent in behalf of our entire community. Although Director Bradford says that major budget problems are limiting a great deal of what the Parks Department wants to do, she writes that “our wildlife staff will determine the need for deer population management in Cabin John Regional Park and seek appropriate funding when it becomes available.” As part of this effort she writes that she will ask her wildlife staff “that an assessment of the deer population and its impacts be completed along with a recommended strategy and cost analysis for any potential management.” To help assure that the Parks Department remains apprised of our concerns, those who have not yet communicated to Bill Hamilton (deer management) should do so via email to bill.hamilton@montgomeryparks.org.

Discussion listservs: For those who want to participate in discussion listservs (more informal forum for sharing news and views than the regular WBCA announcemtn listser), contact J.J. MacNab at jj@deathandtaxes.com. You can sign up for either or both of the listservs – one for east of Seven Locks Road and one for west of Seven Locks Road. It’s a great way to share tips on good repair services, garage or charity sales, lost pets – you name it!

Happy Holidays! Most important, to everyone in the community — best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy season!

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