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New “Flush” Signal Timing Plan Also Developed After Meeting With
City of Annapolis to Address Forest Drive Traffic During Detour Situations
Annapolis, Maryland (October 28, 2014) – Anne Arundel County’s $251,000 interactive traffic control upgrades and new signal timing plans will go online this month to improve traffic flow efficiencies for motorists traveling to and from the congested Annapolis Neck corridor. The traffic signal upgrades and supporting software were supported by a $161,000 Baltimore Regional Transportation Board grant and implemented by the Department of Public Works to reduce congestion on Forest Drive.
“This corridor has been congested frequently for years – I know because I travel it daily,” said County Executive Laura Neuman. “The expense of increasing capacity along Forest Drive prompted the county to consider alternative ways to improve traffic flow, and doing so through the use of technology is exciting.”
The Adaptive Control Software (ACS) Lite technology will interact with recently upgraded traffic signal controllers at 12 Forest Drive intersections to continuously reallocate green light signal time based on real-time traffic volume data captured from remote monitors. The county anticipates results similar to the ACS Lite system implemented on Riva Road, which showed an 8 percent reduction in travel time and 26 percent reduction in total delay.
The DPW Bureau of Highways Traffic Engineering Division developed the new “flush” timing plans after meeting with City of Annapolis officials to address efforts to better re-direct Forest Drive traffic to and from detour routes. When new timing plans are activated, the appropriate side street traffic signals, timed to move traffic along Forest Drive, are reprogrammed to “flush” motorists around the closure. When the incident is cleared, the system will revert back to the normal timing plan.
“While these new plans will not eliminate congestion, I am pleased that we were able to collaborate with the City of Annapolis for more efficient use of our detour routes,” County Executive Neuman stated.
“This is a positive and fortunate outcome to a very unfortunate situation that resulted in major traffic gridlock back in March,” Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides said. “I am grateful to Anne Arundel County for their willingness to meet right away to discuss the traffic load on Annapolis roads, specifically on Forest Drive, and find alternatives for our residents.”
"Forest Drive is the main artery to many of our communities and I am proud to have worked with county Public Works staff to pursue efforts to improve and enhance traffic flow through this congested corridor,” said County Councilman Chris Trumbauer. “State-of-the-art signal optimization will help improve traffic flow, and the ability to ‘flush’ traffic in the event of an emergency is an important public safety upgrade for our residents."
Reductions will include daily parking fees, annual and lifetime permits
Annapolis, Maryland (October 27, 2014) — Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman today announced that effective November 1 citizens who visit the county’s four major parks will enjoy a 50 percent reduction in parking fees and permits.
“One of this administration’s top priorities has been finding ways we can reduce the financial burden on our citizens, and I am pleased that we have found another way to do so by reducing park fees,” said County Executive Neuman. “We are very fortunate that the county recently has experienced increased economic development, affording us an opportunity to cut fees in a way that has the greatest impact on all citizens."
Visitors to Quiet Waters, Downs, Fort Smallwood and Kinder Farm parks will pay only $3 for daily parking fees (previously $6) as well as handicapped parking. Parking for veterans and members of the military will remain free. Additionally, annual and lifetime senior parking permits will be available for sale for $20 (previously $40). Daily bus permits will remain $30.
“We have wonderful parks here in the county that significantly improve the quality of life for our citizens, and by reducing these fees we are ensuring that the county’s natural resources and the new boat ramp to be built at Fort Smallwood Park are more accessible to everyone,” County Executive Neuman stated.
Improvements between Reece and Disney roads to include sidewalks, bicycle facilities and a multi-use trail
Annapolis, Maryland (October 27, 2014) — Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman today joined Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, Representatives Ruppersberger and Sarbanes, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Jim Smith and state and local leaders for the announcement of a $10 million federal grant awarded for the widening of Maryland 175 at Fort Meade.
“Maryland 175 has been one of this administration’s top transportation priorities, and I am pleased that this grant provides for improvements that will not only alleviate congestion but also make travel safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and all users,” said County Executive Laura Neuman. “I would like to thank Senators Mikulski and Cardin for their tireless advocacy in securing this funding, as well as Representatives Ruppersberger and Sarbanes, MDOT Secretary Jim Smith, and our state and local leaders who were instrumental in making this grant possible.”
The improvements planned for the Fort Meade Multimodal Accessibility Project include widening MD 175 between Reece and Disney roads from two undivided lanes to six divided lanes, as well as the addition of sidewalks, on-road bicycle facilities and a multi-use hiker-biker trail.
Awarded by the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program, the $10 million grant will be matched by $30 million in Maryland state and federal formula funding.
The project will not only improve access at two major gates for the 56,000 men and women who live and work at Fort Meade, but also benefit all citizens who travel in and through West County as it facilitates ease of travel to and from businesses and recreational activities in communities neighboring Fort Meade. It will also benefit the community through the creation of construction jobs.
Annapolis, Maryland (October 24, 2014) - The Anne Arundel County Minority Business Enterprise Committee, under the Office of Central Services, is partnering with the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce to host a Partners in Diversity business mixer from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12, at The Prime Rib restaurant at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover.
The mixer will provide opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses to meet new MBE Committee members, the new Diversity Officer at Anne Arundel Community College, members of WAACCC’s new Diversity Committee, county staff, elected officials and others. Additionally, it will help local firms establish “peer” contacts with other businesses in the region and enable women business owners to learn more about the Women President’s Educational Organization (WPEO).
The Partners in Diversity business mixer will kick off the chamber’s new partnership with the county’s MBE Committee. “The MBE Committee has a long history of promoting the interests of Anne Arundel County minority- and women-owned businesses. In addition to pressing for more county contract opportunities, we have helped firms get contracts with private-sector firms. Just knowing that we are here as advocates for these firms changes the way public and private agencies view our constituents,” said William Bush, MBE Committee Chairman.
The Office of Central Services has recently signed on as a corporate/community partner with the Women President’s Educational Organization (WPEO), an affiliate of the Women Business Enterprise National Council, which is a nationally recognized certification agency. WPEO Executive Director Sandra Eberhard will be available to discuss benefits of WPEO membership at the mixer.
There is no cost to attend. For more information, contact Joanne Jackson, Office of Central Services, at email@example.com or 410-222-7620.
County and City health and public safety agencies, health care providers collaborate to ensure preparedness
Annapolis, Maryland (October 23, 2014) — As the Ebola virus disease outbreak continues in West Africa, Anne Arundel County and Annapolis City health and public safety agencies and hospitals are collaborating to reinforce existing plans and procedures to assess, investigate and manage any suspected or confirmed cases and their contacts. There are no cases of Ebola virus in Anne Arundel County and the risk of Ebola to county residents is low.
“Constant communication and collaboration between our county agencies and community partners are vital to ensuring the health and safety of our citizens,” said County Executive Laura Neuman. “Anne Arundel County has taken steps, including reviewing emergency public health plans, enhancing 911 screening, and augmenting communication protocols to be ready for any suspected cases in the county."
"I am glad to see the Health Department's proactive approach to deal with any possible implications related to the Ebola virus," Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides said. "The Annapolis Office of Emergency Management is in constant contact with the Health Department and I am confident we are being advised on all updates regarding the virus and its potential to threaten our residents."
The county departments of Health and Emergency Medical Services and local health care providers are continually receiving updates about the situation as well as guidance on prevention and infection control measures from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The County Department of Health will assist with active post-arrival monitoring of travelers in Anne Arundel County whose travel originated in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. The Department also collaborates with County and City of Annapolis agencies and Anne Arundel County Public Schools to provide health information and recommendations.
“The situation with Ebola disease is continually evolving, and our staff are staying abreast of developments and updates as they occur,” said acting Anne Arundel County Health Officer Jinlene Chan, M.D., M.P.H. “Our public health workers regularly conduct extensive investigations of reportable diseases to not only determine potential contacts of an infected person and the degree of contact, but also to provide appropriate treatment and prevention guidance.”
Fire Department personnel are also taking additional measures including participating in daily department-wide video briefings, updating existing infection control procedures and the department’s Incident Action Plan, and completing patient assessments that include questions about out-of-country travel for patients presenting with fever. "The Fire Department is in frequent contact with the county Health Department and our allied health partners. Our medical first responders are briefed daily with any changes in guidance for patient care, precautions and any new information," Fire Chief Michael E. Cox, Jr. stated.
Ebola virus disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from a person who is sick with Ebola, objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus, or infected animals. Ebola is not transmitted through air, water or food (except native bush meat). Symptoms may include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Any person suspected of having Ebola who arrives at a hospital or other health care facility in Anne Arundel County must be reported immediately to the Department of Health at 410-222-7256. Staff is available 24/7 to provide guidance to health care providers, help track cases and coordinate further management with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Department of Health urges county and City of Annapolis hospitals, physician offices, urgent care clinics, retail pharmacy clinics and other health care providers to be vigilant about asking for travel history from patients who present to them for care.
More information about Ebola disease symptoms and prevention is available at www.aahealth.org under Hot Topics.
Media Contact: Elin Jones
Public Information Officer, Anne Arundel County Department of Health