Winter 2007-08

Parkwood Resident's Association

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Next Meeting:
Monday, January 7, 2008 at 7:30
Kensington Parkwood Elementary School

We have invited Thomas Pogue, Community Relations Manager for the Montgomery County Department of Public Works and Transportation. This will give us an opportunity to discuss our recent experiences with the street paving, the curb repairs, the permit parking issue, and traffic.

It’s 2008 Dues Paying Time: Did You Get a Pink Slip?

The number of PRA members who pay dues annually remains at about 150 from year to year, even though the number of listserve members (open to all residents regardless of whether they pay dues) has risen to over 400. How do we get more residents to support the important work of PRA? One suggestion has been to attach envelopes to the newsletters. Four volunteers (Tamara Stuckey, Gerald Sharp, Lara Akinbami, and John Low) have attached envelopes and pink membership forms to one-half of the December newsletters to call attention to our annual dues, while the other half of newsletters will include the usual membership form but no envelope. The form includes a question to indicate if the household sending in dues was also a PRA member in 2007. By tabulating these forms and envelopes, we will be able to determine if providing envelopes increases the number of dues paying households. PRA thanks these volunteers for their work and contributions to this effort. Envelopes, pink paper, and staples were donated by the volunteers, and address labels were obtained from Kitty Stone, PRA membership chairman, with no cost to the PRA. And, as always, our deepest thanks to Patrice Mills Markle and all the volunteers who deliver the newsletter to all 900 homes in Parkwood, even in winter.

Results of Parking Permit Petition Public Hearing:

We have received the following notice from Department of Public Works and Transportation informing us that the east side of Saul Road between Franklin and Oldfield has been approved for residential parking permits, as nine out of 12 households in this block supported the permits. Approximately 65 comments were submitted to DPWT at the hearing. Given the controversy over creating an enlarged "ultimate area" that would have made most of Parkwood eligible for permit parking, if the majority of households within a given block so petitioned, DPWT is limiting this approval to this single block of Saul Road. For the full public hearing report, please see the PRA website at www.parkwoodresidents.org.

As part of the public hearing procedure it is our department's duty to inform all who contributed testimony, both written and verbal, of the results from the September 20th public hearing on the possible creation of a new residential permit parking area in the Parkwood Neighborhood. .. In summary, the County Executive approved the creation of a residential permit parking area for the east side of Saul Road between Franklin Street and Oldfield Drive. This decision will take effect on January 16th, 2008; however, it is unlikely that the "Permit Parking Only, 8 AM - 4 PM, School Days" signs will be posted at that time. The installation of the signs is hard to predict as it will depend on the completion of the administrative implementation requirements and the sign installation schedule.

After the signs are installed, only residents on the east side of Saul Road between Franklin Street and Oldfield Drive who have purchased permits will be able to park on this block during the restricted period. Residents of this block are eligible, not required, to purchase permits. Violators of this restriction (anyone without a permit, including residents of that block without permits) are subject to a $40 fine.

If additional residents within the Parkwood Neighborhood wish to have permit parking installed on their block, this will require the procedures set by Executive Regulation 44-90, which includes another public hearing, to be followed. If you have any question, please contact me by email or by phone at 240-777-6000.

Joe Pospisil
Program Specialist II
DPWT Division of Operations
Traffic Engineering and Operations Section
phone 240-777-6000
fax 240-777-2080
email Joseph.Pospisil@montgomerycountymd.gov

President’s Message:

The chief of the 2nd Police District, Cdr. Hamill, and community policing coordinator, Denise Gill, attended the Town of Kensington Council meeting on Nov 19th to discuss residents' concerns about car break-ins in the Kensington area. The mayor had invited residents from surrounding neighborhoods to attend, and I am sharing with you what was presented because it should be of interest to all of us. The chief distributed an area map identifying automobile larcenies within the Kensington area; you can view the map on the PRA website at www.parkwoodresidents.org. It is apparent that car break-ins are widespread. The police emphasized that these are purely crimes of opportunity, mostly by youths. They are not violent, are not armed, and not members of gangs. They check for unlocked cars and take whatever they can find. Because they are youths, they cannot be identified by public records and are hard to prosecute. Many of them have extensive records, the police know who they are, many have been arrested multiple times, and they commit additional break-ins while out on bond awaiting trial. This unfortunate state of affairs is not the result of poor police work but of poor laws, and these youths know the chances of actually being prosecuted for misdemeanor theft are slim. When someone observed that there were more incidents in Parkwood than in Chevy Chase View, the reply was that these youths operate "in their comfort zone", suggesting some may actually live in our neighborhood. The take home lesson is clear from the statistics. LOCK YOUR CAR. Of 108 thefts from cars in Kensington since Sept 1, 90 were from UNLOCKED CARS!!! It is especially important not to leave anything that might tempt a break-in even in a locked car, especially during the upcoming holidays when many of us go shopping for gifts. If you remove a portable GPS unit from the dashboard, do not leave it in the car because a suction cup mark on your windshield will be a giveaway that a GPS unit may be there. If all of us lock our cars at all times, we can make it clear that Parkwood is not a neighborhood worth scouting for opportunities to steal.

Kira Lueders
President

Traffic Study Results:

At the request of the Parkwood Residents Association (PRA), seven speed studies were conducted in the neighborhood during April and May to assess the need for traffic calming measures. Engineering measures, such as constructing speed bumps, require that criteria be met for high traffic volume and excessive speed. Four sections of roadway met traffic volume criteria but none met the speed criteria, although sections on Parkwood Drive came very close.

While engineering interventions have been ruled out at present, there are options for further action if the neighborhood wishes to pursue traffic calming. Mr. Tracy Wroe, a traffic engineer from the Division of Operations, Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT), has visited the neighborhood and is preparing a report of recommendations. A preview of these include:

  1. DPWT will assess the intersection of Saul Road and Franklin Street--heavily traveled by vehicles and pedestrians during school hours—for curb extensions. These would visually narrow the intersection and encourage drivers to reduce their speeds. Issues such as rainwater runoff and street parking must be considered.
  2. Crosswalks that have been obliterated by roadway resurfacing should be replaced. These have been completed for some intersections, but not all (notably Parkwood Drive and Saul Road). The school is responsible for marking crosswalks across the entrances to the school parking lots.
  3. There is no speed limit sign on the north end of Parkwood Drive after entering the neighborhood from Knowles Avenue. Sign placement is being considered.
  4. Residents can request a SMART unit (Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailer) that displays vehicle speed as drivers pass to increase awareness of speeds in areas of concern. Residents can call 240.777.6000 to request this unit.
  5. Because a couple sections of roadway came very close to the criteria for engineering measures, these could be studied again in the future to reassess speed and volume.

Also significant, but outside the direct jurisdiction of the Divisions of Operations, is sidewalk placement. Mr. Wroe noted that sidewalks are missing in key areas and inquired if the neighborhood has pursued sidewalk installation, particularly along Franklin Street between Edgefield Road and Beach Drive in pursuit of greater pedestrian safety. He mentioned that for certain size roadways, a section of the roadway can be converted into sidewalk rather than using residential property. The PRA could inquire whether the section of Franklin Street between Parkwood Drive and Beach Drive meets criteria.

Once the full report is available from DPWT, it will be posted on the PRA website. At that time, the PRA could discuss if and how to proceed, including inviting Mr. Wroe to a future PRA meeting to discuss his recommendations. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

Lara Akinbami
(301) 896-0222
tojohnlara@hotmail.com

WSSC Bi-County Water Tunnel Update:

Tom Robertson and Bill Zwack have ably represented PRA on the WSSC Bi-County Water Tunnel Advisory Committee. You may recall that this Committee was formed to advise and consult on WSSC decisions regarding a new underground tunnel designed to increase the supply of water from the Potomac to growing areas in eastern Montgomery and in Prince George’s County. An earlier proposal called for this tunnel to bore under the Parkwood neighborhood, which is no longer being considered. The following is a report by Tom Robertson from a meeting held on November 29, 2007:

Staff from the WSSC held a meeting of their Citizens Advisory Committee to update residents association representatives on the status of the planned bi-county water tunnel that is proposed to be built between Tuckerman Lane/ I-270 and Stoneybrook Drive/Beach Drive connecting existing water lines. The alignment of the water tunnel is under Rock Creek Park and along I-270. The tunnel will be constructed using a tunnel boring machine and located between 90 and 280 feet below the ground surface. Actual construction access to the tunnel will be at each end. Construction is expected to start in July, 2008 and be finished by July, 2012. No impacts are shown for Parkwood. A previously proposed access shaft at Beach Drive and Grosvenor Lane is no longer part of the project. There will be a corrosion control facility at Cedar Lane and Beach Drive on the Connecticut Ave side. It will be the size of a traffic signal control box on the surface. WSSC staff wants to meet individually with the several involved communities in the next few months for information sharing.
Board of Elections Seeks Election Judges:

The Board of Elections has started its 2008 Election Judge Recruitment Program. Election judges perform a vital and valuable civic service to their community. The need for Election Judges for the upcoming Presidential Primary to be held February 12, 2008 is considerable. For the 2008 election cycle that includes the Primary and the November 4, 2008 General Election, the Board of Elections predicts that nearly 4,000 poll workers will be needed to staff polling places. Poll workers must be registered voters who are comfortable with technology, above the age of 17 and capable of working 16 hours. Being a poll worker involves one 3-hour training class, pre-election set up on the Monday evening before Election Day, and work from 6:00 am until polls close at 8:00 pm. The Board particularly needs voters registered as Republican, not affiliated, and those who are bi-lingual. Those interested can download an application at www.777vote.org or they can call 240-777-8533 to request that an application be mailed to them.

Age in Place:

Most adults over the age of 65 know what it means to "age in place". They want their houses to remain their homes throughout their lives, and they want to live safely, independently, and comfortably. Montgomery County encourages seniors to age in place and provides some support directly, but also has staff members who direct residents to other providers. The Senior Health Promotion program provides monthly newsletter articles which can be obtained by calling 240-777-1350 or e-mailing shawn.brennan@montgomerycountymd.gov. The County Aging and Disability Services at 240-777-3000 provides information on adult protective services, in-home care, health and mental health, respite care, support for family caregivers, food/nutrition, financial assistance, and transportation.

Have a New Neighbor?

The PRA is looking for ways to reach out to newcomers in the neighborhood. A PRA welcome packet has been developed and Welcome Committee Chair Kathy Byars and PRA Block Captains have been diligently passing our packets out. If you would like to welcome a new neighbor or have Kathy or one of her volunteers drop off a packet, please contact her at (301)530-9441 or to send an email to: kathybyars@mris.com.

Neighbors Share Information via the PRA Listserv
This e-mail group, more than 400 members strong, is open to all residents of Parkwood, and a great way to share information, such as home improvement contractors or petty vandalism affecting our neighborhood. To subscribe, send a blank message to: parkwoodresidents-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will receive a confirmation message when you are subscribed. Do not write anything in the subject or body of the message. It will not be seen by anyone and you will not get a response. This listserv can save the PRA funds and make Parkwood a safer place to live! Sign on to the list serve and get your neighbor to as well!

Parkwood Resident's Association Officers:

President: Kira Leuders, kklarl@yahoo.com, 10112 Wildwood Road, Kensington, Md 20895
Vice President/Newsletter Editor: Maryann Dillon, (301) 493-5140 or dillem12@verizon.net,
Secretary: Brenda Marshall, (301) 530-0053,
Treasurer: Paula Flicker, (301)897-3869, pftoo@mindspring.com
PRA Website Address: http://www.parkwoodresidents.org, Webmaster: Peter Mansbach, pmansbach@aol.com

Time to Pay Your 2008 PRA Membership Dues!

We now have over 400 households signed up for our free Listserv… but only 150 paid members of PRA! Yet all households, whether members or not, receive this newsletter free during the year, and all are invited to join the listserv at no charge. Further, your PRA officers and members are hard at work protecting your interests and advocating for Parkwood. Please support our efforts for a modest $10 a year. Those funds are used to defray costs, pay for beautification efforts, support the newsletter, and much more. Please consider joining for 2008!


2008 Membership/Renewal Application – Annual Dues per household: $10

Please mail or deliver your 2008 PRA membership renewal dues to: Kitty Stone, 4313 Clearbrook Lane, Kensington, MD 20895. Please make check payable to: Parkwood Residents Association and print your information below:

Name:_______________________________________________________________________________

Address:_____________________________________________ City:___________________Zip:_______

Phone Numbers:(daytime)___________________________evening________________________________

Email:_______________________________________________________________________________

Were you a member of PRA in 2007?   (check one)   __ yes   __ no

Enclosed:

____   $10 membership dues

____   $____ donation to Beautification Committee (optional)






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