According to scanner traffic, an unidentified commercial vehicle was near a batch of Montgomery County speed cameras in the 5800 block of Grosvenor Lane. A case of vandalism, a common incident when it comes to the county’s nearly 75 fixed pole cameras, was suspected.
In this case, an officer responded to the scene and noticed no sign of vandalism, said Officer Janelle Smith, a police spokeswoman. She said she didn’t know why a piece at the base of the camera was missing and the wiring was exposed.
She did say that acts of vandalism to county speed cameras occur a few times a month, ranging from graffiti to more destructive acts.
“The program makes every effort possible to reduce the risk of vandalism and aggressively works to catch individuals who are at fault so they may be prosecuted and pay for their destructive behavior,” Smith said.
In June, a Howard County man took out his frustration over a number of speed camera citations by using a slingshot to fire marbles at a mobile camera unit.
A nearby homeowner walking by the Grosvenor Lane cameras on Tuesday said he saw the police stop to check the cameras and easily deduced why.
The cameras “flash every night,” he said. “They get a lot of people.”
As many in the United States marked the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks this morning, the Montgomery County Council observed a moment of silence.
Students and faculty at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda wore commemorative buttons. Flags around the area, including the one in the middle of a busy lunch crowd at Bethesda’s Veteran’s Park, flew at half-mast.
The significance of the events of Sept. 11 was still evident.
“Eleven years ago today, our country experienced the worst attack in our history. We lost over 3,000 men, women, and children to a senseless act of terror that changed our lives forever. Today, we remember those lives lost on that bright fall morning and all those who have given their lives in defense of our nation,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) in a prepared statement.
The rest of Van Hollen’s statement follows:
In the aftermath of those terrible attacks, our nation demonstrated the very best of the American spirit. We stood together as one country and rallied together to meet a common challenge. Much has changed since the 9/11 attacks, but our values remain the same.
As we mark this anniversary, we remember those we lost, honor the countless acts of heroism we saw that day, and recommit ourselves to the sense of unity that makes our nation great. American is a nation dedicated to freedom, and in the face of adversity we stand together.
The introduction of a pair of measures to help Montgomery County jump into the Capital Bikeshare program spurred discussion at Tuesday’s council meeting of the need to ensure bicycle safety, especially in the congested downcounty areas of Bethesda, Friendships Heights and Medical Center.
The county is hoping to build 29 bikeshare stations in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Silver Spring by next spring, with the hope of capitalizing on the popularity of the program in Washington, D.C., Arlington, Va., and Alexandria, Va.
“We’re looking at a cultural shift here in Montgomery County,” said Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda). “It will take some time, but we will get the infrastructure in place.”
Berliner spoke of a recent trip to Portland, Ore., where up to six percent of commuters bike to work, the highest rate in the country. Berliner and Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) co-sponsored a bill that would make it possible for the county to use a special developer tax to fund the bikeshare docking stations.
In May, the county estimated the total cost of the downcounty bikeshare system would cost $2.15 million. The county received a $1 million state grant and a $250,000 bond. Berliner said the Chevy Chase Land Company, a private developer, has pledged $120,000 to the project.
Councilmembers Phil Andrews, Marc Elrich, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer added their support for the bill and a zoning text amendment that would make it easier to get site approval to build a station.
Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At large) said the county must take an active approach to paving roads and painting markings to ensure bicyclists’ safety before the bikeshare system is launched.
“By doing this, we are encouraging more and more bicyclists out there,” Floreen said, “and I query whether they are really safe.”
Both bills will go to a public hearing on Oct. 23. It’s unclear whether the special tax measure would close the apparent funding gap.
The 23rd annual Taste of Bethesda is Saturday, Oct. 6 and yesterday, the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) released the full list of 55 participating restaurants and entertainers.
The food options will include 10 restaurants that are new to the event, which organizers claim attracts more than 45,000 people to Norfolk, Fairmont, St. Elmo, Cordell and Del Ray Avenues in one of Bethesda’s signature festivals.
New restaurants include a number that are new to the area (Luke’s Lobster, The Majestic Bar and Grille) and even one that hasn’t yet opened (Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club).
The full list of restaurants and bands is after the jump.
Instead, it opted for a series of mini-walks in smaller communities, including in Bethesda, where homeless prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares will host a Help the Homeless Walk on Oct. 14 at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School outdoor track.
“It’s supposed to put the focus on the local level so more things are being done and more steps are being taken right here in our community,” said Bethesda Cares Executive Director Susan Kirk.
The Help the Homeless program raises money to support organizations like Bethesda Cares, which provides eviction prevention, a meal program, clothing closet, and psychological services to homeless and working poor people in Bethesda and Montgomery County from its facility at 7728 Woodmont Ave.
Bethesda Cares is hoping to raise $500 in donations through registration fees for the event, which begins at 1 p.m. Participants can register up to 12:15 p.m. on the day of the Walk.
Kirk said there were 71 homeless people in the Bethesda area at last count. Bethesda Cares conducts its own outreach surveys a few times throughout the year to determine how many homeless people are in Bethesda and to connect those people, some of whom are medically vulnerable, with services.
They also rely on more than 500 volunteers.
“Our name certainly holds true. We get great support from the Chamber of Commerce, the BUP, the Regional Services Center, the schools,” Kirk said. “So I think people do get it and realize that all of us together are making an impact.”
To register for the event, visit the Bethesda Community Walk website.
Flickr photo by OFA-MD
Tommy Joe’s Owner Plans Rooftop Woodmont Triangle Restaurant — Alan Poho, owner of the popular Tommy Joe’s bar and eatery (4714 Montgomery Lane), revealed plans for a 6,200-square-foot, two-floor restaurant at the yet-to-be-redeveloped building at the corner of Cordell and Norfolk Avenues. [Bethesda Magazine]
Golf Club Says Service Entrance Would Have Little Traffic Impact — An attorney representing the Chevy Chase Club said a proposed service driveway to the country club on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue across from Davidson Drive wouldn’t result in significant traffic issues along Chevy Chase’s “Green Mile.” [Chevy Chase Patch]
County Council to Hear From Accessory Apartment Foes Tonight — The County Council’s public hearing on a zoning bill to ease restrictions on accessory apartments is tonight. It’s expected to draw a number of people against the current proposal because of concerns about overcrowding, traffic and enforcement. [The Gazette]
Flickr photo by pikeplacegameworks