GO Item 3
June 13,2011
Worksession
MEMORANDUM
June 9,2011
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
10
Roadside
Worksession:
Bill 12-11, Ethics - Gifts
Solicitation
County Employees
Bill 12-11, Ethics Gifts - County Employees - Roadside Solicitation, sponsored by
Councilmember Andrews, Council President Ervin, and Councilmember Rice, was introduced on
April 5, 2011. A public hearing was held on May 3.
Bill 12-11 would amend the County Ethics law to prohibit a County employee from
standing in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind
from the occupant of a vehicle during official work hours.
Background
The County Ethics Law, §19A-16, generally prohibits a County employee from soliciting
a gift to the employee or another person or organization during official work hours or while
wearing an official County uniform. However, the Ethics Law contains an exception to this
general prohibition to permit an employee to solicit charitable donations during official work
hours or while identifiable as a County employee if the charity drive is approved by the County
Executive. One example of an "approved" charity drive for County employees is the annual
"Fill the Boot" campaign where Montgomery County Fire and Rescue employees solicit
donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during official work hours while
wearing County issued uniforms. A copy of Executive Order No. 277-07 approving this
charitable campaign is attached at ©6-7. During this campaign, County fire fighters routinely
solicit donations from the drivers of motor vehicles while standing on roadway intersections and
median dividers.
The County has limited authority to regulate roadside solicitation due to State law
preemption. The Maryland Vehicle Law applies generally throughout the State. The Maryland
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Transportation Code, TR §25-101.l
1
preempts all County legislation on any subject covered by
the Maryland Vehicle Law unless expressly permitted by a public general law . Any County law
that is inconsistent or identical to a provision of the Maryland Vehicle Law is preempted.
Therefore, the County does not have the authority to enact a law either permitting or prohibiting
the solicitation of money or donations on any part of a roadway, median divider, or intersection.
Two provisions of the Maryland Vehicle Law regulate the conduct of pedestrians in
roadways. First, TR §21-507(a) prohibits standing in a roadway to "solicit a ride, employment,
or business from the occupant of any vehicle" except for the occupant of a disabled vehicle who
seeks help from another vehicle. A "roadway" is defined as "that part of a highway that is
improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, other than a shoulder." TR § 11-151.
The Attorney General has interpreted this statute broadly to include the solicitation of donations
due to the public safety purpose of the statute. See 93 Op. Atty Gen. Md. 31 (2008).
Second, in Montgomery County only, a minor must not stand in "a roadway, median
divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle."
TR §507(g). This subsection is enforceable in the County by issuing a warning to a minor.
Unless specified otherwise, a violation of the Maryland Vehicle Law is a misdemeanor. TR §27­
101.
However, the General Assembly has banned roadside solicitation in other counties. TR
§21-507(c) prohibits a person from standing on a roadway, median divider, or intersection to
solicit money or donations from the occupant of a vehicle in Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford,
and Washington Counties. TR §21-507(d), (e), and (i) prohibit a person from standing in a
"highway" to solicit money or donations from the occupant of a vehicle in Prince George's,
Anne Arundel, and Howard Counties. "Highway" is defined as broader than roadway, and
includes shoulders, median dividers, bicycle and walking paths, and other property in and near
the roadway.
These limits on roadside solicitation in neighboring counties were enacted to protect both
pedestrians and motorists and to permit the free flow of traffic. Although the County does not
currently have the authority to enact a general ban on roadside solicitation,2 the County does
have the authority to limit roadside solicitation by County employees during official work hours.
The County has a special duty to provide for a safe workplace for its employees under both State
and Federal occupational safety and health laws. Although a County employee has not yet
suffered an injury while soliciting donations during official work hours, fire fighters have
recently suffered injuries in other states while participating in a roadside solicitation charity
drive. Newspaper reports of an accident in 2009 and another in 2010 are at ©9-10.
Bill 12-11 would prohibit a County employee from standing in a roadway, median
divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle
during official work hours. Councilmember Andrews explained the purpose of this Bill in a
memorandum attached at ©8.
It
is important to note that this Bill would not eliminate the
MCFRS employee "Fill the Boot" campaign for Muscular Dystrophy. Fire personnel could still
to the Md. Transportation Code are stated throughout as "TR."
2
A State Bill that would have authorized the Council to enact a local law regulating roadside solicitation was
withdrawn by its sponsor during the 20 II legislative session.
1
References
2
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solicit donations during work hours
3
at approved parking lots or other public spaces away from
roadways. Under current law, a County employee can en¥age in roadside solicitation when not
at work as long as the employee does not violate State law. The Bill would not change this.
Public Hearing
There were 10 speakers at the public hearing on May 3, 2011. County Fire Chief Richie
Bowers, testifying on behalf of the Executive (© 14-15), John Sparks, President of the IAFF
Local 1664 (©16-17), Stephanie Goldklang, Executive Director of the Maryland-DC Office for
MDA (©IS-21), Samantha Wilson, Misty Brown and her daughter Abby, and Allen Latt all
opposed the Bill arguing that it would reduce local collections for MDA by County fire fighters.
Dan Wilhelm, testifying on behalf of the Greater Colesville citizens Association and the
Montgomery County Civic Federation (©22), Eileen Finnegan, testifying on behalf of the
Hillandale Citizens Association (©23), Erwin Mack, testifying on behalf of the County
Pedestrian Traffic
&
Safety Committee (©24), and Ellen Tenenbaum (©25-26), all supported the
Bill arguing that roadside solicitation is dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers.
Issues
1. How would the
Bill
affect the "Fill the Boot" campaign for MDA?
All of the testimony at the public hearing opposing the Bill centered on the annual "Fill
the Boot" campaign to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The opponents
argued that the Bill would virtually end the annual fund raising campaign and thereby hurt the
people who are served by this charitable organization. Although the Bill would prevent the Fire
Chief from authorizing fire fighters to solicit funds while standing on a roadside median divider,
intersection, or roadway
while at work,
the Bill would not prevent these fire fighters from "filling
the boot"
on their own time
or while standing in other locations
on County time.
The Bill would
require the fire fighters to modify their campaign, but it would not prevent fire fighters from
voluntarily raising money for MDA. Many worthy charities, including MDA, raise funds
without roadside solicitation.
MDA argued that the "Fill the Boot" campaign in other local Counties received
significantly less contributions after roadside solicitation was banned in the County. We have no
reason to doubt the accuracy of these statements, but entering into a roadway to solicit funds for
any purpose is already prohibited by State law in Montgomery County. As the photographs of
the 2010 "Fill the Boot" campaign show, fire fighters routinely enter into the roadway to collect
money.
It
is unlikely that any organization can conduct a roadside solicitation campaign without
any of its volunteers ever entering into the roadway. The Bill would end the County's
sponsorship of this type of charity campaign by its employees.
A charitable campaign during official work hours must be approved by the Executive.
4
Photographs of County fire fighters during the September 2010 "Fill the Boot" campaign indicate that some may
have violated State law by entering into the roadway to solicit contributions. See photos attached at ©1l-13.
3
F:\LAW\BILLS\1112 Ethics - Roadside Solicitation\GO Memo. Doc
3
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2. Should the Bill be enacted?
MDA is a worthy charity. The contributions received from the "Fill the Boot" campaign
provide assistance to people in need. However, the County to sponsor the campaign in its
current form conflicts with the County's need to safeguard pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic in
the County. Permitting County employees to enter into a median strip, intersection, or roadway
to solicit funds for charity is dangerous for these employees, other pedestrians, and occupants of
motor vehicles. On May 5,2011, the County Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee
(PTSAC) approved a motion supporting Bill 12-11. See the minutes of the May 5 PTSAC
meeting at ©30-31.
Council staff recommendation:
approve the Bill as introduced.
This packet contains:
Bill 12-11
Legislative Request Report
Executive Order No. 277-07
Councilmember Andrews Memo dated March 31,2011
Newspaper Reports of Roadside Solicitation Accidents
Photos of County Fire Fighters
Public Hearing Testimony
Fire Chief Bowers
John Sparks
Stephanie Goldklang
Daniel Wilhelm
Eileen Finnegan
Erwin Mack
Ellen Tenenbaum
PTSAC Meeting Minutes May 5,2011
Circle
#
1
5
6
8
9
11
14
16
18
22
23
24
25
27
4
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Bill No.
12 -11
Concerning: Ethics - Gifts - County
Employees - Roadside Solicitation
Revised: March 30, 2011 Draft No. _2_
Introduced:
April 5, 2011
Expires:
October 5, 2012
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: -!...!N""'on""'e<--_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Councilmember Andrews, Council President Ervin, and Councilmember Rice
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
prohibit a County employee from standing in a roadway, median divider, or
intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle
during official work hours; and
generally amending the ethics law concerning the solicitation of gifts by County
employees.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 19A, Ethics
Section 19A-16, Soliciting or Accepting Gifts
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unqffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No. 12-11
1
Sec. 1.
19A-16.
(a)
Section 19A-16 is amended as follows:
2
3
Soliciting or accepting gifts.
A public employee must not solicit a gift to the employee or another
person or organization:
(l)
from any business or person who:
(A)
is registered or must register as a lobbyist;
4
5
6
7
(B) does business with the County agency with which the
public employee is affiliated; or
(C)
is, or owns or operates a business that is, regulated by the
8
9
10
11
County agency with which the public employee is
affiliated;
(2)
during official work hours, or at a County agency, or from any
other public employee who is supervised directly or indirectly by
the public employee;
(3) while wearing all or part of an official uniform of a County
agency, or while otherwise identifiable as a public employee;
(4) for the employee's own benefit, unless the Ethics Commission
approves the solicitation; or
(5)
with the intent of affecting or offering to affect any action by
County agency.
(b) However, a public employee may solicit a gift:
(l)
from public employees during official work hours, or at a County
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
agency, for a charitable drive that is approved by the County
Executive or (for public employees of the legislative branch) the
President of the Council, when the solicitation is part of the
public employee's official duties;
25
26
&
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BILL NO. 12-11
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
(2)
from any person to a charitable organization, as defined in the
state law regulating public charities, or a municipality, if the
public employee does not solicit gifts primarily from those
persons who do business with or are regulated by the county
agency with which the public employee is affiliated, or from
other employees who are supervised directly or indirectly by the
public employee;
(3)
from any person, during official work hours, while identifiable as
a public employee, or at a County agency, for the benefit of a
County agency or a nonprofit organization formally cooperating
on a program with a County agency if the solicitation is
authorized by the County Executive or (for public employees of
the legislative branch) the President of the Council in an order
printed in the County Register that designates:
(A)
(B)
the public employee authorized to solicit the gift;
the purpose for which the gift is sought;
the manner in which the gift may be solicited;
the persons or class of persons from whom gifts may be
solicited; and
(C)
(D)
(E)
(4)
the type of gifts that may be solicited;
while wearing all or part of a uniform of the corporation, to a
nonprofit fire or rescue corporation of which the public employee
is a member; or
(5)
from any person to a charitable organization, as defined in the
state law regUlating public charities, while identifiable as an
elected official, if the employee lists in a supplement to each
(j)
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BILL
No.
12-11
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
annual financial disclosure statement each organization to which
the employee solicited a contribution during that year.
This subsection does not permit
£!
public employee, during official work
hours.. to stand in
£!
roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit
money or donations of any kind from the occupant of
£!
vehicle.
*
Approved:
*
*
60
Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
Date
61
62
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
63
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
64
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 12-11
Ethics
-
Gifts
-
County Employees
-
Roadside Solicitation
DESCRIPTION:
To amend the County Ethics law to prohibit a County employee from
standing in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit
money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle
during official work hours.
The County has a special duty to provide for a safe workplace for its
employees under both State and Federal occupational safety and
health laws. Roadside solicitation is dangerous, and permitting
County employees to do this during official work hours undermines
the County's efforts to increase pedestrian and traffic safety.
To protect both pedestrians and motorists and to permit the free flow
of traffic.
Police Department
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
Roadside solicitation is banned in Prince George's, Howard, Anne
Arundel, and Frederick Counties.
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney, 240-777-7895
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENAL TIES:
Under Ethics Law
f:\law\bills\ 1112 ethics - roadside solicitation\legislative request report. doc
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MONTGO~RYCOUNTY
EXECUTIVE ORDER
Subje~
Offices ..r the
C(li;in~ lt~ef;'qt:ive
.. 101
M()nl'(>e
.
Str-~t
Rpdmlle,
Maryland 20850
.
EXecutive Order No.
'477-=07
Snbject
S~frr.t
l!;ff~ti:ve Da~
Employee
Solicitation
Waiv~
OriginatiJ:tg
Departiltent
Fire I;Uld
ResG:lle
Service
Department
NQ.
8/23/07 .;
SOLICltAttQN OF curtS ..
MUSCULAR 1?YSTR,O:PBY
ASSOCIATION
PgrsUfUlt
to
§
19A~16(b)(3)
of the
MOIitgomery
COl,W.ty
Public
Ethics
Law, the
County Executive
authorizes
the
Fire
Chief
to
designate employees
assigned
to
Montgom.ery
COl,mty
Fir\'? and
Rescue
Servic~
to
solicit
gifts
for the benefit
of
the'
Muscular DysttophyAssoclf¢tQn Qv:1DA) as part
oHts
"Pass The Boot"
campai~
in acco!Qance
with
the
rl;:q~~m¢nts estabIi~~
by
'thi$
Executive
Order.
Employees authorized to solicit
gifts
Any
~ployee
designated
by
the Fire
Chiefmay
~onta~
.
potential
donors
directly.
.
.
~
:PlJrpose
of
the Gifts
The putpose ofthe
~
is
to
$\lppot1; NfOA,
a.
SOl(c)(3)
~.extm1pt
crumtable
organization dedicated
to
conquering
nt;¢omuscular
diseases
that
<¢rectmore
than
a.
nrillion
AmericaI!S.
'
.
~nerorSollcRaQon
i'hlt,
Fire Chief.
or the Fire Chie:fs de$ignee,
must
authorize all
soIici~ons.
A
public
emp10yee
autb.c;>rized to
solici~
a
giff
undet
this
Qrdllit may :participate
in
presentations, copd1).ct
gt::n~~ soli~itations
through itJ.ailings, participate
in
media activities. or
1i1~~t petson~y
with
potential donors .
.An
authorized publie
ero.ployee
:may
soli~it
gifts during officllU wotk
holtt~
whill?
id~tifiabl~
ij$
1'\
public
employee,
but mwot not
solicit
any
indiVidual or
entity
that
h~
a contr&<::t
with
Montgom~
Cotmty Fite
and
Resvue
Service
QI
any
other County agency
with
which
the'employee
is
~!:!.ted.
S~u:rce
of Gifts
Desigp!!ted emplQyees
may
solicit
gifts
troll:!. any
indiVidua1
at
entity, inclu.d.ing
~sociations.
bpsinesses,
cotporations. foundations,
s~tviee otg~ons.
chanibets of COm:t11etce.
cOlll.lD.1,lflity
groups,
teligil)~
organizations.
andoth~
government
agencies.
Types
of
Gifts
. Gifts
may
in~lude
monetary
CQIitcibutions;
goods
~d
servi<>es. techni¢a1
assistance.
tnUning
sPaGe~
t
~ture
or
~uipm~t
cost
,'.
=
"
,
.--..,......--~~-
'I
__
--'"'"~
_ _
...,.......J
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MONTGOMERY
COUNTY
EXECUTIVE
ORDER
Snbj~ct
E~ect.ttiv~
Offices of
the
C~1Jnty
Exec;utiVe -101
MI).litoe
Street •
Ro~kville, Maryl~d
20850
Order No.
Subject
Svffix
Employee
Solicita,tioli
W~ver
i77~07
OrlgiIi.;ltiilg
Dep3rtmellt
Fire
and
Rescue Service
Manner of Acceptance
o~
Gifts
.
.
Effective
l>~te
8/2.3/.07
Unless the
4onot makes
~
written reqiJ¢;st
tM-t
there
no
Pllblic
acknowl~g~me1it
of
the gift; the Fire
Chief
may
publicly
acknowl~ge
each
gift
by
placin~
a notice
in
the
Montgom.ery CoUnty
Register indicating
the
gift"donated,
the
identity
of
the
donor, the identitY of
the
r~ipient
of
the
gift.
and
t1ie
purpose
for which
the
gift
will
be used. The Fire Chief may
iS$'\l,e
a
press
release,
if
deSir~.
.
The
Fire Chief
ml,lSt notify
the
Office
of
the County
Ex¢cutivfj ofthe fund$
collecte4
fot
the
Iv.IDA Fill
the Boot C!llllpaign. The Fire
Chief
InaY fulfill this
r~ql)irement
1;>y
submitting
a req1,lest for
placemept
of a
notice
in
the
Montgomery
County Rt?gister as
01ltlin~
above.
~s Exe~ve
Order is issued, npderthe
A111hority
of
§
19A~16(b)(3)
ofllie Montgomery
COUIity
Public
Ethics
Law
and
Ethics CoIIimission waiver dated
April,
6, 1990.
Approved:
lsiah
Recommended
by:
Thom~
Carr, Frre . e
~
Montgomery County Fire
and Rescl).e
Servic~
Date
(j)
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March 31,2011
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Councilmembers
Councilmember Phil Andrews
p~
L::)
'"
J
v v - - - ­
- - - ­
rA
. -
-
Prohibiting roadway solicitation by County employees on County time
Bill 12-11, drafted at my request, and co-sponsored by Council President Ervin and
Councilmember Rice, would amend the County's Ethics Code to prohibit County
employees from soliciting donations in roadways while on County time. This measure
would stop County employees from endangering themselves and drivers, pedestrians and
bicyclists while on County time.
It
is inherently and needlessly dangerous for individuals to enter highways to solicit
contributions from drivers.
In
Sante Fe Springs, California in 2010, and in Waxahacie,
Texas in 2009, firefighters conducting "Fill the Boot" campaigns were struck by vehicles
(see attached articles). As a result, the local fire chief in Texas suspended the roadway
campaign. Allowing County employees to solicit in roadways on County time as is
done now -- is not only dangerous; it undermines the County's efforts and credibility in
promoting pedestrian and traffic safety. If County employees continue to solicit in
roadways, it is only a matter of time before an employee is injured or killed by a vehicle.
This bill is what the Council can do at this time to reduce the chances of that happening.
Until the Council obtains authority from the General Assembly to prohibit roadway
solicitation altogether, the Council cannot prohibit County employees from soliciting in
roadways on their own time.
Except with regard to roadways, the bill would not change the current law that allows the
County Executive or the County Council to authorize County employees to solicit for
charity on County time.
(j)
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05/07/2010
Calif. firefighter struck, injured
by
car during fundraiser
The 53-year-old firefighter was listed in serious but stable condition
By Bethania Palma Markus
The Whittier Daily News
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. , A firefighter was injured while collecting money for a nonprofit organization
Thursday morning.
The firefighter was at Valley View Avenue and Alondra Boulevard collecting money from passing drivers for
the department's annual "Fill the Boot" fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association when he crossed
lanes and was struck by a small pickup truck at about 9:45 a.m., said Whittier police Officer Mike
Dekowski.
Dekowski said the 53-year-old firefighter was taken by ambulance to UCI Medical Center and was listed in
serious but stable condition.
"He's conscious and talking," Dekowski said.
Fire Department officials wouldn't release his name, citing medical privacy laws.
Santa Fe Springs firefighters were at that intersection and Telegraph and Carmenita roads Tuesday and
Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for the yearly fundraiser, officials said.
The department has been participating in the yearly drive for seven years, said Janet Ortiz, department
spokeswoman.
"We're going to work with the Whittier police and look at the results of the investigation and we'll
re-evaluate how or if we'll do it in the future," Ortiz said.
The firefighter was struck while walking in an eastbound lane of Alondra Boulevard, Dekowski said. The
light had just turned green and he was trying to get to the sidewalk.
The driver stopped after the collision and the incident is being considered an accident, Dekowski said.
"Technically (the driver) had the right of way. He was not at fault," Dekowski said. "Chances are (the
firefighter) didn't see the truck and the truck never saw him coming."
East and westbound lanes on Alondra Boulevard were closed following the accident, Dekowski said. The
eastbound side was closed for about four hours.
Carroll Wills, communications director for the California Professional Firefighters Association, said
firefighters nationwide ask drivers and pedestrians yearly to fill their boots and donate the collected money
to the MDA or burn foundations, he said.
The International Association of Firefighters sponsors the Muscular Dystrophy Association and firefighters
have been participating in "Fill the Boot" for about a half century, he said.
"In my memory this is the first time I've seen a situation where someone was injured while conducting a
, Fill the Boot' drive," he said. "They're typically conducted extremely safely."
Copyright 2010 MediaNews Group, Inc. and
Los Angeles Newspaper Group, Inc.
LexisNexis'
(j)
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-
Texas-fire.com - http://www.texas-fire.com -
Waxahacie FF Struck
by
Vehicle During Fill the Boot: Chief
Suspends Campaign
Posted By Fookie On April 24, 2009
@
19:37 In Metroplex
I
No Comments
A passing vehicle struck a Waxahachie firefighter near the intersection of Marvin and Ferris
avenues at about 3:27 p.m. Thursday. The firefighter was working with three others during the
department's annual Fill the Boot campaign benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The
fireman, Marcus
L.
Brown, 32, was transported by ground ambulance to Baylor University
Medical Center in Dallas, where he was treated and released.
According to the accident report, a 2006 Lincoln Mark LT pickup driven by Charlie
L.
Smith, 49,
of Waxahachie was turning left from Cow Path Alley. Smith told police that, as he turned left,
another vehicle stopped in front of him, causing him to turn into the inside lane.
Smith told police Brown was standing in the roadway and stepped in front of him as he
completed his turn, according to the report, which indicates several witnesses to the accident.
The fire department had just started its three-day benefit fundraiser campaign at 10 a.m.
Thursday.
Fill
the Boot has been held in the city for more than 20 years. During last year's
campaign, members raised a little more than $14,000 from public contributions and had a goal
of $15,000 for this year's drive.
Crews of three to four firefighters had rotated throughout the day at the intersections of Marvin
and Ferris avenues and at Indian Drive and
u.s.
Highway 77, collecting donations in a large
boot.
"Typically, this has been a fundraiser that firefighters from around the country have done to
benefit MDA," said campaign coordinator Capt. Don Alexander in an interview with the Daily
Light prior to the accident. "The public has been really generous in the past and so far this year
- and that is what really surprises a lot of the young guys who do this because they don't
expect it."
Responding to the accident scene were additional personnel from the Waxahachie Fire
Department along with the Waxahachie Police Department and East Texas EMS.
Fire Chief David Hudgins said that, due to the aCCident, the Fill the Boot campaign is suspended
until further review for safety considerations.
"We have done this drive for years and never have had a problem or an accident until today," he
said. "Now, with traffic the way it is, we will have to re-evaluate it.
"We will be contacting several businesses in the area to do the campaign in front of their stores
in the future," he said. "We will no longer work on the streets."
By ANDREW BRANCA
Daily Light staff writer
[l}
Article printed from Texas-Fire.com:
http://www.texas-fire.com
URL to article:
http://www.texas-fire.com/2009/04/waxahacie-ff-struck-by-vehide­
during-fill-the-boot-chief-suspends-campaign/
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Photos of Montgomery County Firefighters
Fill the Boot, September 2010
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Bill 12-11
Ethics - Gifts - County Employees - Roadside Solicitation
.
Public Hearing - May 3, 2011
Testimony of Montgomery County Fire Chief Richie Bowers
Good afternoon. My name is Richie Bowers and I am the Montgomery County
Fire Chief. I am testifying in opposition to Bill 12-11 on behalf of County
Executive Isiah Leggett. This bill will negatively impact some of our most
vulnerable residents that have Muscular Dystrophy -- and is not needed to
maintain public safety.
Bill 12-11 would prohibit County firefighters and paramedics from collecting
donations at intersections and roadways during our annual "Fill the Boot" effort.
That WOUld, in turn, significantly reduce the funds collected by my personnel to
support the Maryland Office of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
Funds collected by our on-duty and off-duty Montgomery County firefighters and·
paramedics have exceeded $200,000 during each of the last several years.
These donated funds directly serve children and adults with Muscular Dystrophy
who live in the County.
If Bill 12-11 is enacted, the reduced collections from our Fill the Boot effort will
directly impact:
1. access to clinics for diagnosis and care;
2. the number of children attending summer camps;
3. assistance to purchase medical equipment such as wheelchairs, leg
braces and communication devices;
4. professional and public health education for those affected by Muscular
Dystrophy;
5. support groups for individuals dealing with Muscular Dystrophy; and
6. research about the disease.
Bill 12-11 would also prohibit special roadside collection events such as the Fill
the Boot effort that was conducted by County firefighters and paramedics after 9­
11-01 to support the family members of the 343 firefighters and paramedics that
lost their lives at the Twin Towers; If our County experienced a line of duty
death, Bill 12-11 would prohibit us from having a special Fill the Boot event for
thatfamily.
Montgomery County firefighters and paramedics have not experienced a single
incident or injury during a Fill the Boot campaign. My personnel are trained
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public safety officers, who have extensive experience working on roadways and
highways, They conduct their Fill the Boot program with every safety precaution.
This is very different from panhandlers, newspaper sellers, youth groups or other
inexperienced individuals who are more likely to solicit funds in unsafe ways at
busy intersections.
As Fire Chief, I instituted a number of safety measures for the Fill the Boot
activity. Firefighters are required to wear safety vests, use appropriate signage
about the event, and appoint an intersection Captain to watch traffic signals while
firefighters and paramedics collect from stopped vehicles when the traffic signal
is red.
As you know, the County Executive previously requested that the State enact
enabling legislation to authorize the County to establish a permit system for
roadside solicitation. A permit system that applies to anyone engaged in
roadside solicitation, not just County employees, is the best option for addressing
public safety concerns relating to this type of activity.
I urge you to curb Bill 12-11 and continue to support our children and adults with
Muscular Dystrophy. Roadside solicitation by Montgomery County firefighters
and paramedics is critical to our successful Fill the Boot campaign. Thank you.
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Montgornery COl,lnty Career
FireFighters Ass'n., Inc.
LOCAL 1664
May 3, 2011
Public Hearing- Bill 12-11
Ethics - Gifts - County Employees Roadside Solicitation
~
John J. Sparks, President
Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association
Good afternoon. :;VIy name is John Sparks, and I am the President of the Montgomery County
Career Fire Fighters Association, International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1664. On
behalf of Local 1664, I am here to testify against Bill 12-11.
For more than half a century around the United States, and for more than 25 years here in
Montgomery County, fire fighters, paramedics and Ey!Ts have enthusiastically and safely
conducted the Fill the Boot campaign to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
What started as a good will gesture in one northeastern city has become a formal bond between
MDA and the IAFF across the country. Fire fighters nationwide consider it part of their mission
to raise money for MDA through Fill the Boot. The IAFF has emerged as the single largest
sponsor of the MDA.
Fill the Boot also offers an opportunity for career and volunteer fire fighters to work together for
a worthy charitable cause.
It
fosters better relationships between career and volunteer personnel.
As I noted a moment ago, Fill the Boot has been conducted safely for 56 years. In the 25 years
of Fill the Boot in Montgomery County, there has not been a single reported accident or injury
attributable to the campaign.
This is not a surprise because we are trained, public safety officers who have extensive
experience working on roadways, often under extreme hazardous conditions.
\Ve conduct our Fill the Boot program with every safety precaution, including unifonns and/or
safety vests and extensive signage. We have intersection captains in charge of watching traffic
signals and communicating with fire fighters collecting there. We collect from stopped vehicles
when the traffic signal is red. And our efforts are preceded by a media campaign to alert the
public that
Fill
Boot campaign will soon be underway.
932 Hungerford Drive, Suite 33A. Rockvilie, MD 20850·1713 • Telephone (301) 762·6611 • FAX (301) 762-7390 • Website: 'Nww,iafflocaI1664,com
,!),-,t'iJ'''-'
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Safety is important to us. That is what we do. Bill 12-11, however, isn't needed for our safety.
And in exchange for virtually no benefit, it will do significant harm.
This bill will cost the local MDA office nearly 20 percent of its budget - money that is
desperately needed to serve kids and adults in Montgomery County who suffer from terminal
neuromuscular diseases.
And make no mistake -- there's no viable alternative to our roadside efforts. Specifically, I'd
like to address the suggestion that has been made to us that we can conduct a successful Fill the
Boot campaign in front of shopping centers. First, IAFF experience nationally demonstrates that
the drop off in contributions can be 75-80 percent when Fill the Boot is moved to shopping
centers. Anne Arundel County's experience is even worse they experienced a 97 percent drop
off when a roadside solicitation ban went into effect.
Second, it's difficult - and becoming more difficult - to coordinate with landlords and tenants at
shopping centers to get permission for sustained charitable efforts. Some companies bar all
solicitations in front of their premises. And just last Christmas season we saw Giant
supermarkets severely restricting the Salvation Army's presence in front of its stores.
More important, Fill the Boot is a "brand" that has been nurtured and developed nationally for
over 50 years.
It
represents a national fundraising effort associated by the public with MDA, just
as Jerry Lewis and the Labor Day Telethon are associated with MDA. Just as "The Susan G.
Komen Walk for the Cure" is a national fundraising effort associated with fighting breast cancer
and the "Heart Walk" is a national fundraising effort associated with fighting heart disease and
strokes.
You cannot simply throw out these brands, replace them with new fundraising techniques, and
expect them to be nearly as successful in raising money for these worthy, charitable causes ­
especially in these challenging times when corporate sponsorships and philanthropic giving are
down significantly.
Lastly, let me point out that the traditional Fill the Boot campaign has widespread public support.
People willingly donate their nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars to help fill the fire fighters'
boots.
It
takes lots of those small donations to reach $250,000, and each of those donations can
be viewed as the public's way of showing its support of the program.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify, and I will be happy to answer any questions you may
have.
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Testimony of
Stephanie Goldklang
Executive Director, MDA
MDIDC
On Bill 12-11
• Good afternoon. My name is Stephanie Goldklang and I am the
Executive Director of the local office of the Muscular Dystrophy
Association.
• You each have a Power Point presentation that explains our
concerns about this bill and the serious impacts it will necessarily
have on some of the most vulnerable residents of the county. I
won't go through the entire presentation but I will simply highlight
some key points.
• My office serves Montgomery County children and adults who are
affected by muscular dystrophy, a term that designates a group of
hereditary muscle-destroying disorders which vary in inheritance
pattern, age of onset, initial muscles attacked, and rate of
progression - none of which can be stopped or reversed.
• In
the past 10 years, approximately 600 Montgomery County
children and adults with muscular dystrophy have been served by
my office, and currently we are providing services to
approximately 270 Montgomery County residents.
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• Our services cover a variety of critical needs:
• Visits to clinics staffed by interdisciplinary teams of top
health professionals at Children's National Medical Center,
Georgetown University Hospital and Johns Hopkins
University Outpatient Center;
• A weeklong overnight summer camp for kids with
neuromuscular diseases, where activities are geared to
campers' abilities and include swimming, horseback riding,
fishing, dancing, boating, arts and crafts, and more - "a slice
of heaven," as Mattie Stepanek used to call it;
• Assistance with the purchase and repair of durable medical
equipment such as wheelchairs, leg braces, and
communication devices;
• Support groups that provide emotional and practical support
for individuals and families affected by neuromuscular
diseases;
• Grants to clinics and professionals to cover research and
other services; and
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• Most of all, we offer hope that one day we will find a cure for
these terrible diseases.
• We do all this with funds we raise ourselves. Our office is entirely
self-supporting and receives no funds from the National MDA
Office, no government funds, no United Way funds, and no fees
from those it serves.
• And we do this in a fundraising environment that already is
difficult and challenging, with corporate sponsorships on the
decline.
• As we have done for more than 25 years, we rely heavily on the
Montgomery County Fill the Boot campaign, which now raises
nearly 20% of our total annual budget.
• We know this bill isn't directed at us. We know you all support
what we do.
• But the consequences of this bill fall squarely on us.
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• . There is no way we can replace Fill the Boot revenue that would
be lost if this bill passes. There is no viable alternative to raising
this amount of money, this amount of our budget.
• Make no mistake -- without that money, we will have no choice
but to drastically reduce and in some cases eliminate the critical
services we provide.
• As you balance the pros and cons of this bill, as you weigh the
positive and negative consequences, we just hope that you fully
appreciate the disastrous impacts passage of this bill will have on
some of our most vulnerable residents.
• Thank you, and I an1 happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Montgomery County Civic Federation
&
Greater Colesville Citizens Association
Montgomery County Council
Council President Ervin
Council Office Building
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Re Bill 12-11 Roadside Solicitation(Support)
Dear Councilmember:
-I
am
Dan Wilhelm, President ofthe Greater Colesville Citizens Association (GCCA) and Vice President
and Legislation Chair for the Montgomery County Civic Federation (MCCF).
I
am speaking for both
groups.
GCCA and MCCF have been active in trying to get legislation passed to stop the unsafe practice of
people soliciting for donations from occupants of vehicles. As you know,
it
is currently illegal for those
requesting donations to walk out into the street. That however does not stop them.
I
rarely see people
confining their soliciting activities to the curb or median and that applies also to the county firemen
during their fill-the-boot campaign. That is why we support Bil112-11 as a step in the right direction.
The sole purpose of the bill is safety - safety for those county employees collecting donations and safety
for motorists.
The fire union argues that the bill will stop them from conducting their fill-the-boot campaign. That is
false. They will still be able to ask for donations at many other locations.
I
suggest they solicit in
shopping centers, just like other groups do.
The fire union also argues that their members remain out of the street. That again is false. Let me give you
my personal experience where
I
came very close to having an accident,-both with another vehicle and
with a fireman.
I
was on my way home from work traveling the beltway and exited north onto US29. At
the intersection with University Blvd., where the lanes are divided, many firemen were conducting their
"fill the boot" campaign. They had fire equipment parked on both sides of the four-lane road at that point,
partially blocking both the left and right lanes. This backed up traffic onto the beltway, which slowed
traffic down even more than normal. Once
I
finally reached the intersection with University, the driver of
the vehicle directly in front of me (in the third lane from the right) unexpectedly slammed on his breaks
so he could make a donation.
I
swerved and barely avoided striking the vehicle. A fireman was walking
toward. the stopping vehicle and
I
barely avoided hitting him. The fireman was well into the second lane
off the curb.
Both GCCA and MCCF urge the Council to pass Bill 12-11 as a means to protect public and county fire
employee safety.
Sincerely,
J
May 3, 2011
{)a/V\
Vl!
tW1v"\
Daniel
L.
Wilhelm
GCCA President
MCCF VP and Legislation Chair
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Hillandale Citizens Association
Testimony in Support of Montgomery County Bill 12-11
Before Montgomery County Council, May 3, 2011
The Executive Committee ofthe Hillandale Citizens Association believes that ending the practice of
Montgomery County employees soliciting from occupants of vehicles while "on the clock" is an important
step forward in promoting roadway safety. We are not quibbling with allowing paid employees to
appropriately solicit for selected charities as their schedules permit, but we do desire for employees to do so
safely, AND do so without causing harm to another County priority - pedestrian safety.
Distracted drivers and brazen or anxious solicitors are a dangerous mix for our intersections. The
County has the responsibility to not contribute to these conditions by encouraging "on the clock" employees
to participate in this activity. The County is responsible for worker safety. Given that the County is self­
insured, ending this practice is common sense.
The tradition of "fill the boot" for Muscular Dystrophy is a many-decades-old endeavor for our career
firefighters. The event provides competition between our fire stations and nationally between union locals.
Collecting while "on the clock" is relatively new for Montgomery County. Prior to being granted this
privilege, the highest amount that Local 1664 raised was
$
74 k in 2004. But since being "on the clock," the
sums increased to
$
254 k in 2009; with
$
216 k tallied last year. These much larger totals are the direct
result of a bigger presence with full shifts at our intersections courtesy of County residents. We congratulate
the firefighters on their success, and ask them to please continue their work for MDA in a safer manner
beginning with Labor Day weekend 2011.
Beyond the inherent safety risks, there are additional consequences of our "on the clock" employees
collecting from occupants of vehicles:
• Many large groups are now imitating the behavior of swarming intersections to solicit donations.
We've seen several different church groups on New Hampshire Avenue at Powder Mill Road and at
Lockwood Drive. These groups are "just like the firefighters" including wearing safety vests as they
walk between lanes of cars.
• Our paid employees are essentially undermining the County's pedestrian safety program by being on
medians and walking through traffic. These actions add to the public's lack of recognition of how
pedestrians should behave and lessen the respect that drivers should pay to individuals in harms way.
We need to make pedestrians and drivers more responsible for their respective roles on the roads, not
encourage employees to engage in questionable behavior.
• Just like other roadside panhandlers, our paid employees do not follow the state law and do enter the
roadway to collect. The temptation of getting money in hand is just too overpowering to stay on a
median. Firefighters enter the roadway with each red light cycle approaching drivers in all lanes of
traffic. Having our police officers respond to these infractions by "on the clock" employees is not a
reasonable solution to the public safety problem created with this activity.
The Executive Committee of the Hillandale Citizens Association thanks Councilmembers Andrews and
Rice along with Council President Ervin, our District Councilmember, for sponsoring Bill 12-11. We ask
that all Councilmembers join with them to support improving the safety of our roadways and keeping
employees safe. Please vote to pass Bill 12-11.
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7
PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC
&
SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITIEE
2 May 2011
To the Honorable Members of the Montgomery County Council:
ElWin Mack
Chair
Delegate Bill Bronrott
Vice Chair
It
is with a sense of regret that
I
must urge you to "prohibit a County employee from
standing in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any
kind from the occupant of a vehicle during official work hoUIS_"
Regret, because I'm aware of the good cause addressed by the Montgomery County Fire
and Rescue employees on behalf ofthe Muscular Dystrophy Association.
At the same time
I
have the most serious concern about anyone standing inion the median
or other portions ofthe roadways normally used by vehicles, because of the distraction
caused by such persons, potentially leading
up
to harm being done to either the pedestrian
and/or the driver of any vehicle as the result of that distraction.
Why? Because
I
have had the most unfortunate memory of actually hitting a pedestrian
who used improper means to cross the roadway and that memory will never go away.
RaminAssa
Justin Clarke
James D'Andrea
Doris Depaz
Valerie Ervin­
Councilmember
Steve Friedman
Kenneth Hartman
Arthur Holmes, Jr.
U.
James Humphries
Alan MigdaJl
Colleen Mitchell
Peter Moe
Alyce Ortuzar
Richard Romer
Jack Strausman
STAFF
Jeff Dunckel
Roselle Paquette
I
primarily represent the Crossroads, the major intersection ofNew Hampshire Avenue and
University Boulevard, which is in both Montgomery and Prince George's County, where
pedestrian accidents were so repetitive that the intersection was for many years known as
the third most dangerous intersection in the State of Maryland. Even now, after
Montgomery County, Prince George's County and the Maryland State Highway
Administration spent $7,000,000 in making that intersection more safe for pedestrians and
drivers, we have had deaths and injuries.
The roadway and or the median is no place for pedestrians to solicit or sell items, it is to
facilitate and expedite vehicular traffic.
The Montgomery County Pedestrian, Traffic and Safety Advisory Committee, (PTSAC)
which
I
Chair, was asked too late to consider the action being discussed in the Maryland
General Assembly, but this Montgomery County action
is
on our
agenda
for consideration
on May 5,2011.
Please help those who find worthy causes and wish to solicit funds for those, find less
intrusive places to do so.
Thank you.
Erwin
H.
Mack
Chair, PTSAC
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Testimony in Favor of Bill 12-11 before the Montgomery County Council
Ellen Tenenbaum, County Resident and Motorist
May 3, 2011
My name is Ellen Tenenbaum, and I've been a county resident living in Derwood since
1984. My husband and I have 3 children, who were raised in Montgomery County
public schools and sports. I work at Westat, a survey research firm here in the county.
I'm also a classical pianist, giving concerts all over the area, in churches, the public
libraries, community centers, and for charitable causes. So as you can guess, I drive quite
a bit. This citizen knows about traffic safety from a road's eye view!
Thank you for allowing me to testify in favor of Bill 12-11:
1. As a Montgomery County citizen who drives; and
2. As a citizen who greatly respects the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue
employees and their very substantial charitable efforts.
1.
Let me address the first role first - as a citizen who drives. I'm driving in my car,
approaching a red light and encountering a roadside solicitor standing in the median
coming up to other cars. In the course of approximately one minute, here is my thought
process now:
Vh-oh. What's this?
This is very distracting and not safe. Look, he's right there in traffic. He could get
killed!
Vh-oh, I'm trapped.
Who is this? What do they want?
I don't know if this is a legitimate organization.
Do they want money just for muscular dystrophy or for themselves too?
I don't know enough. I can't think.
Boy, they've got me feeling guilty.
Is the light about to change?
I hate this.
OK I'm rummaging down here for my wallet while my eyes are darting around trying to
pay attention to traffic. My utmost concern has got to be traffic safety! But it's not!
This is getting me stressed.
What bills do I have? Only a couple of tens.
What about coins?
The light changed!
Oh here's a fistful of quarters, dimes, whatever!
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2. This deplorable thought process leads me to address my second role - as a citizen
who greatly respects the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue employees and
their very substantial charitable efforts. It is a great organization that deserves to
be regarded intelligently. With safer, more engaging fund-raising strategies, this
fine organization can be a role model. It can succeed in its charitable fund-raising
goals in a way that draws in the community, so that we citizens can understand its
efforts clearly. It will achieve its fund-raising goals safely - that is, consistent
with its own central mission of keeping us safe.
In summary, the fact is that roadside solicitation
• makes people feel trapped, stressed, guilty, and unable to think clearly;
• contributes to distracted driving; and
• is an immediate threat to our citizens' public safety and well-being, by threatening
the safety of the solicitor, the driver, and others on the road.
Ellen Tenenbaum
6
Titonka Court
Derwood, MD 20855
301-793-1863
ellentenenbaum88@gmail.com
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MINUTES FOR MAY 5, 2011
MEETING OF THE PEDESTRIAN AND TRAFFIC SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Members Present: Erwin Mack, Chair; Colleen Mitchell, Vice Chair; David Anspacher, MNCPPC; Captain
Thomas Didone, MCPD; Steve Friedman; Arthur Holmes, MCDOT; Alan Migdall; Alyce Ortuzar; Reemberto
Rodriguez, Silver Spring RSC; Richard Romer representing Councilmember Ervin; David Sharp; Ramin Assa via
phone; Jack Strausman; Peter Moe, MSHA;
Members Absent: Darrel Drobnich; John Britton, Municipal League; James D'Andrea, MCPS;
County Staff: Jeff Dunckel, Pedestrian Safety Coordinator, Will Haynes; MCDOT-DTEO; Nadji Kirby, MCDOT­
SRTS;
Guests: Councilmember Phil Andrews; Richard Hoye; John Wetmore
1.
Committee Business
Erwin Mack, Chair, called the meeting order at 7:02 pm. Ramin Assa was connected to the meeting via phone, as
he was away on a business meeting. The first order of business was approval of the minutes from the March 3,
2011 meeting.
MOTION: A motion was made by a committee member and seconded to accept the minutes as presented.
The March Minutes were approved unanimously, without further discussion.
As John Britton was unable to attend tonight's meeting, Jeff Dunckel introduced Matthew Folden, the City of
Rockville's newly designated Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Coordinator. Folden thanked the committee for
inviting him. He has been a transportation planner in Rockville for the last three years. This new position is an
enhancement of his previous position, now responsible for coordinating all the different pedestrian and bicycle
programs being implemented in Rockville by different agencies. Folden should be considered the point-person for
anyone having questions about pedestrian or bicycle programs in Rockville. Rebecca Torme will still be
responsible for site plan reviews and land use planning issues.
MOTION: Peter Moe moved that a letter be sent to the City of Rockville, congratulating them on taking
such an important step as designating and hiring an individual to serve as a Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
Coordinator. Alan Migdall seconded the motion. The letter will be addressed to the Mayor. The motion
passed unanimously.
The floor was opened for up to 10 minutes of comments from visitors. John Wetmore, producer of the Perils for
Pedestrians cable TV show, commended the recent efforts of the County to plan and build a hikerlbiker pathway on
Bradley Boulevard, between Wilson and Goldsboro. Wetmore expressed his support of the County's effort while
recognizing that there was some significant opposition from local residents. He asked that the County do what was
right, and build the hikerlbiker pathway. David Anspacher (MNCPPC) stated the plan would be before the
Planning Board in July, if others wished to express their support of the project. Wetmore also expressed surprise
that the debate seems to have taken on a very anti-bicyclist tone from some of the opposition. Steve Friedman
commented that Bradley was already a very heavily trafficked route for cyclists.
Dunckel announced that the contracts for the education activities, planned for the High Incidence Areas (HIA's)
had been executed, kick-off meetings had occurred, and that pedestrian surveying and plans for education activities
in the next two HIAs (Wisconsin Avenue and Four Comers) were underway. Because the school at Four Comers
(Blair High School) generates a high volume of pedestrians, Four Comers will be addressed first in order to have
education activities underway by the next school year; pedestrian safety education is anticipated to be a big part of
the effort at the Four Comers HIA.
Action: Dunckel stated a presentation by MCDOT staff to the PTSAC on plans for education in the HIAs
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will be made at the July meeting.
Due to Ramin Assa needing to end his phone participation by 8:00 pm, his Subcommittee topic of the Sidewalks­
Pedestrian Network Assessment was addressed next:
6. Subcommittee Reports, Updates, and Recommendations:
Sidewalks-Pedestrian Network Assessment Subcommittee
-
Alan Migdall presented the report submitted by Ramin
Assa. Migdall summarized for the group that what was being proposed in the report was an inventory of
deficiencies in the pedestrian network for future remediation, as described in the original Pedestrian Safety
Initiative, Strategy 2. The idea being proposed is to do this on a small scale as a pilot for future application on a
broader scale. The pilot locations (two locations) are yet to be identified. Assa reviewed what work had been done
the last two months: numerous meetings were held. The ideas for constructing a network-assessment have been
determined and are included in the report. The Subcommittee would like to have the PTSAC endorsement of
recommending to MCDOT two pilot locations to conduct the assessment, as described in the report. Mack asked if
a vote on the action could be deferred until the July meeting. Assa indicated he would hope to get the PTSAC
support for proceeding with the pilot assessment as described in his report. Dunckel clarified that this proposal was
first made by the PTSAC back in November. The description of the assessment had now been laid out in Assa' s
report - pick two locations using the criteria described in the report. The hope tonight is to get some support, input
and feedback from the committee on a number of issues: good locations for a pilot; does the committee support this
effort; what concerns might the committee have about this assessment; are there specific areas and characteristics
the PTSAC would suggest be included in selecting a pilot location. Assa clarified that a limited area was being
sought, perhaps Y2 square mile area - - with a supportive local neighborhood association that may help conduct the
surveys. Mack asked to defer final action until July 7.
MOTION: Alan MigdaU moved that thePTSAC endorse the concept of a sidewalk-pedestrian network
assessment, as described in the report, and that actual locations be recommended at the meeting in July.
Existing tools and existing databases for these locations (by the State and/or others) will be included in the
evaluation. The motion was seconded by Ramin Assa. The motion passed unanimously.
In
discussion, Alyce Ortuzar reiterated her request that MSHA provide a presentation on what they are doing in the
Ashton-Sandy Springs area in terms of connecting the non-contiguous sidewalks in that area - - what the State is
doing may provide insights into how we can proceed with this project. Peter Moe responded that this issue was
being discussed at MSHA, and that the process should look at models that had already been completed: how to
collect information, what information to collect, how to incorporate the information into a model: all these things
need to be considered for this pilot. The subcommittee should help sort out these issues for the final
recommendation. Moe asked about the criteria of selecting a location that is about to have other sidewalk­
pedestrian network and capital improvements constructed - - why would we prioritize an area that is about to have
major changes in its infrastructure. Migdall explained his perception: this was to address areas that were about to
be under construction, so that the improvements constructed would actually address the needed connectivity
improvements, and where construction would already be occurring would be places where additional needed
construction could be identified. Moe: the data from the survey should inform the design of the planned projects.
Assa agreed, reminding Moe that the purpose of this proposal was to do a pilot, so the needs of one limited area
could be assessed and whether this assessment would be useful to the engineers designing and building
improvements in these areas. If so, then this could be expanded into larger geographical areas.
2.) Discussion of WMCCAB Meetinl! and Follow Up Letter
Mack began the discussion with an explanation that he had not received in the mail the letter from the Western
Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board (WMCCAB), though it was addressed correctly to his home. He
recently discovered this, and just received a copy of the letter yesterday. This did not afford much time to review and
consider the issues being raised in the letter, prior to tonight's PTSAC meeting. There were also no guests from the
WMCCAB at tonight's meting - so not sure how to sort out the issues raised in the letter. Mack did note that items
one and two spoke to the need to be able to track issues and concerns reported to the 311 system, and other agencies
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outside of the County organization.
Migdall explained his experience, and how 311 is not currently tracking reported items, other than whether they have
been assigned to the appropriate agency. Rich Romer concurred that the tracking of reported problems is something
the County Council would like to see the system do; it is the goal they are moving towards. Art Holmes commented
that this issue has also come up at CountyStat reviews; the CAO is aware of the problem. Leslie Hamm is the
Director of the 311 system. Mack suggested that items one and two from the letter be directed to Leslie Hamm. Moe
described the MSHA CCMS system, where the State assigns a tracking number to complaints they get. The two
systems are not linked, and probably never will be. But perhaps the County staff that reports the issue to the State
could record the CCMS number, and report that back to the reporting citizen.
Dunckel noted that item two was not a 311 system, as these reports are not routed through 311. Romer suggested
forwarding the web-based resource issue up to the Public Information Office, since they are responsible for both 311
and the web pages.
MOTION:
The
committee member moved that the items that related to the Couuty's call center and website
(item number one and two) be forwarded to the Public Information Office for resolution. The motion passed
unanimously.
Item three, utility poles and fire hydrants obstructing the sidewalk and the lack of coordination, was discussed. Moe
recalled that the issue was more about lack of feedback to the community, and that coordination was occurring but
without the community's knowledge. Ortuzar suggested that people who actually walk and bike these facilities need
to be consulted. Jack Strausman cited the complications of dealing with constrained Rights-of-ways, and property
owners sometimes unwilling to cooperate with easements to allow clearance of utility pole installations. Friedman
suggested that the issue was less about coordination between the agencies, but about coordination of communication
back to the folks with concerns about their pathways. A better system to communicate - - other than slapping
something up on a website - - may be needed. And it is more than just feedback - -it is disseminating information
past those who may attend meetings - - to the larger community. Reemberto Rodriguez thought we should be
creating a culture that says: we will not impede sidewalks with utility poles or fire hydrants. Holmes pointed at that
access is a function of time; ADA didn't exist 50 years ago. Now we are going back to fix things. We are working
with MSHA and the US Dept. of Justice to prevent future problems using the permitting process but that does not
fix yesterday'S problems. Moe recalled that the feedback to the community on these ongoing issues was what was
discussed at the January meeting as being needed. David Sharp asked how citizens report problems; 311 is the venue
to use.
Ramin Assa noted that items four and five restate the citizens' desire to have their voices and concerns heard - - that
improving communications is the key to addressing the concerns expressed in the letter. Where problems are
observed, the citizens need to be heard and explained what the situation is. Colleen Mitchell pointed out that while
communication is important, doing projects correctly - - addressing the concerns of the citizens and building things as
requested - - is really more important. Feedback and communication may be important, but being responsive with the
solutions to citizen identified problems is more important.
Art Holmes asked that if anyone sees something dumb being done, to let him know about it personally - - that he
wants to know about it. But 311 is the system the County is employing to be more responsive to the citizens.
Mack asked if the letter should be sent to all department heads; Holmes thought that would be appropriate. Romer
commented that the letter has already been distributed to the Council and the Executive, so there was really no need
for the PTSAC to take additional action.
Holmes stated that MCDOT would take the letter, research the issues raised, and report back to the PTSAC on what
actions have been taken and what responses have been prepared. This will be provided to the PTSAC before the July
meeting. Moe pointed out that item 4 indicates an interest and willingness to work with the PTSAC on identifying
pilot areas for the Sidewalk-Pedestrian Network Assessment, as proposed earlier by Migdall and Assa. Moe
requested that Migdall and Assa reach out to the WMCCAB and obtain their participation in selecting a pilot study
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area (in the Western Montgomery County.)
Action: Mack requested that all Department Heads receive a copy of the WMCAAB letter and that MCDOT
report back to the PTSAC at the next meeting on what was done in response to these issues.
4.)
Councilmember
Andrews' Legislation - Permitting of PanhandlingIRoadside Solicitation
Mack introduced Councilmember Phil Andrews, explaining that he had invited Councilmember Andrews in response
to Andrew's request that Mack speak at the introduction of the Legislation, Bill 12-11, on Roadside Solicitation. This
was following last month's PTSAC discussion of State legislation on the issue being considered in the Annapolis
Legislature.
Andrews stated his support of the pedestrian safety issue, commending the PTSAC for their efforts on this issue that
is of such importance to Montgomery County. Andrews passed out the legislation he introduced, along with
photographs of County Fire Fighters conducting the "Fill the Boot," Campaign where fire fighters walk into the street
to collect contributions for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Andrews supports raising money for this cause, but
questions whether this is the correct way to do it.
It
puts fire fighters at risk in the roadway- - in California and
Texas, fire fighters were recently struck by vehicles while doing this activity. The bill introduced by Andrews, was
also sponsored by Council members Ervin and Rice. It is trying to do at the County level what we can do; efforts to
pass similar legislation limiting roadside solicitation at the State level failed this year. The County can not yet
prohibit solicitation in a median or in traffic. But what this bill does is prevent County employees from doing
solicitation in the roadway during County work hours; this is an effort to keep our County employees from engaging
in dangerous pedestrian behaviors on County-time, on behalf of fundraising. The bill is opposed by the County
Executive, the County fire fighters, and the Chief of Fire and Rescue Services. Andrews pointed out this current
practice sets a bad example, and is inconsistent with our efforts to teach and enforce safe pedestrian behaviors.
Andrews seeks the support of the PTSAC for this County legislation: it is important that the County Council knows
what the PTSAC thinks of this legislation.
It
is scheduled for committee hearings in June, and is expected to go to
full Council after that.
Upon being questioned, Cpt. Tom Didone expressed the opinion that traffic is not a safe place to be walking or
standing, and should be discouraged. Steve Friedman noted that if fire fighters were hurt in traffic while on the job,
this could be a workers compensation case that would affect insurance rates for all County employees. This activity
is also observed at some of the busiest and most conflicted traffic intersections - - because that is where the money is.
Peter Moe asked for a nod of heads that whatever the issue for pedestrian safety, that the PTSAC fully acknowledges,
appreciates, and supports the fme work of the County's fire fighters both paid and volunteer. There was consensus
from the committee on this acknowledgment.
Richard Hoye, a guest, was invited to speak to the issue. He is a retired professional fire fighter who has participated
in the "Fill the Boot," campaign in the past. His issue was that this legislation targeted just one group of roadway
users, and that roads were in fact for all user groups. This legislation is targeted at the vulnerable user of the public
space; the users posing the threat (the vehicles) are the ones that should be regulated. Hoye feels heavily congested
intersections are safer because of the congestion, with cars traveling at slower speeds. Putting people in the roadways
is contributing to traffic safety as it slows traffic, stated Hoye. Alyce Ortuzar disagreed, stating people and cars do
not belong in the same space.
Andrews pointed out that current State law does prohibit going into the roadway for any reason other than being with
a disabled vehicle. Fire fighters are currently breaking the law with the "Fill the Boot" campaign. That puts our
police in a tough situation of not enforcing state law. Andrew clarified that his legislation was proposed to end this
conflict - - at least for County employees while they are working for the County.
Colleen Mitchell pointed out that fire fighters are the models of the community for children; having them walking in
the street when we are trying teach the children that they shouldn't be jaywalking sends a conflicting message. Jay
walking is one of our most serious pedestrian safety problems. Allowing fire fighters to walk in the street sets a bad
example, she stated.
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Erwin Mack made an impassioned personal statement of his experience of striking a pedestrian who was jay walking.
He expressed his support of the fIre fIghters and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, but stated he felt there had to
be a safer way to raise the funds for this worthy cause. He read the bill's provisions to the PTSAC.
MOTION: Jack Straus man moved that the PTSAC support Bill 12-11, prohibiting a County employee from
standing in a. roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind from the
occupant of a vehicle during official work hours. Alyce Ortuzar seconded the motion. The motion passed with
10 yeas, two abstentions, and one opposed based on procedural grounds.
Migdall expressed concern that there was nobody at the meeting to express the other side, such as the Chief of Fire
and Rescue Services or the County Executive's OffIce. Several members expressed the opinion that both sides of the
issue had been discussed.
3.) MCPD Plans for Increased Enforcement
Spring has arrived and so has enforcement, proclaimed Cpt. Tom Didone. MCPD has been working with High
Incidence Areas; this spring we are trying something called corridor enforcement. This is a culmination of the other
enforcement actions that have been underway this spring (Street Smart). Taking a stretch of roadway that links in a
couple ofHIAs, a targeted, enhanced enforcement effort has been launched, called "Operation Safe Street." All
illegal traffIc and pedestrians actions many contributing to unsafe pedestrian situations - - are being ticketed in this
zone - - this raises general awareness. These enforcement waves will be continued on a smaller scale throughout the
year. TraffIc squads are being asked to get together once a month and do some enforcement in HIAs and Safe Routes
to School locations - -or high traffIcked corridor, doing enforcement with zero tolerance. This will be rotated
throughout the County using a team approach. The last couple of years, MCPD has been handing out flyers and
increasing awareness, now they will be doing enforcement. The police are going to stop giving awareness, and start
giving citations.
Historically, OffIcers have been reluctant to give tickets to pedestrians. This is a change of culture for police - a
work in progress. In the fIrst day (May 4,) police made:
400 Contacts/Stops were made
156 Citations were issued - to both drivers and pedestrians (mostly drivers)
Speed cameras continue to be a key component to slowing traffIc down and increasing pedestrian safety. Slowing
down vehicles give drivers several more seconds to avoid a collision, increases the compliance rate of drivers
stopping for pedestrians, and if pedestrians are hit, they are less severely injured.
The fIrst quarter pedestrian collision statistics are in: the County pedestrian collisions are down from last year's fIrst
quarter. Early analysis reveals:
72% are occurring on the street
28% are in parking lots
60% drivers at fault
40% pedestrians at fault
65% occur between 6:00 aml6:00 pm
35% occur between 6:00 pml6:00 am
Didone described the two pedestrian fatalities to date (as end of April.) All pedestrian related accidents report are
now coming directly to Didone so that he can monitor what is happening.
.
Alyce Ortuzar expressed concern about the lack of crosswalks and signalized pedestrian crossing opportunities for
large stretches of roadway - such as Georgia Avenue. She wants police to show some discretion when pedestrians
have to jaywalk because there is no opportunity to use a crosswalk or signal. Peter Moe cited the States's Strategic
Highway Safety Plan, now under development for the State to address these system-wide issues for improving both
pedestrian safety and pedestrian mobility: two sides of the same coin. Providing for safe mid-block crossings is one
issue being addressed. Moe noted that the effort is using Montgomery County as a model for action across the State
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Dunckel and Didone are part of the work group developing this strategic plan. Friedman cited the recent example of
the new mid-block crosswalk on Bethesda Avenue that has greatly improved safety where people were naturally
crossing at the parking garage. Friedman commented that literally overnight, the situation changed from hazardous to
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safe with the addition ofthe crosswalk at the mid-block. Wetmore asked about unmarked crosswalks at sections of
road without crosswalks - - wasn't it legal to cross there? Moe and Didone replied that the realistic interpretation of
the law was that pedestrians at mid-block are only jaywalking if they impede the path of vehicles. Pedestrians are to
cross at either a marked or unmarked crosswalk (intersections without crosswalks) stated Didone.
5.) Update on FY 12 Budget for Pedestrian Safety Initiative
As Bill Selby was
ill
and unable to attend, Jeff Dunckel directed the committee's attention to the County Executive
recommended budget for FYl2 in the meeting packet. The budget for FY12 will be discussed at the next meeting,
in July, at which point the County will have determined what the actual budget will be for FYI2. Dunckel noted
that many of the ideas and issues discussed with AI Roshdieh at the September and November meetings were
reflected in the recommended budget now before the CounciL Mack noted that the budget at just over $3 million,
was $2 million less than two years ago. Romer announced that the full Council would be taking up the pedestrian
safety budget on Tuesday, May 10. Romer asked whether the State's supplemental budget allocation had been
added to the pedestrian safety budget under the amendment. Holmes responded that MCDOT was fighting to add
more money into pedestrian safety, such as for pedestrian signal timing modifications. Didone noted that a need he
has observed is for the increased maintenance of crosswalks - which are starting to disappear on the street; he
encouraged the committee to support additional funding to MCDOT to reinstate the maintenance of crosswalks.
6. Subcommittee Reports, Updates, and Recommendations:
Ramin Assa already discussed the Assessment being developed by the
Sidewalks-Pedestrian Network
Subcommittee.
Bicycle Access and Safety Subcommittee:
Steve Friedman described the recent work of a work group that is planning
a Ride-along for June, where County leaders, policy makers, and decision makers will be hosted by the bicycle
advocacy community for a bike ride along some of the County's facilities, to raise awareness of some of the issues
confronting bicyclists. Friedman expects about 30 riders to participate. Initially, the plan is to start in North
Bethesda, travel past the BRAC facilities, and end up in Silver Spring at the Civic Center - traveling on a variety of
different bicycle facilities. Dunckel noted, that while Rodriguez had not yet been approached and did not yet know
about the plans, Rodriguez had volunteered to host the follow-up debrief at the Silver Spring Civic Center, where the
ride will conclude.
The Montgomery Civic Association is organizing a Montgomery Bicycle Conference on the morning of Saturday,
May 14. Bike to Work Day is scheduled for Friday, May 20. Information and registration is on the Washington Area
Bicycle Association (WABA) website. Freidman expects good participation with pit stops allover the region.
7. New Business/Committee Comments
- PTSAC Membership Selection Committee: Erwin Mack described the upcoming selection of new members, as
some of the committees previous member's terms expire on July 31. Friedman and Mitchell have volunteered to
serve on a Selection Committee. If anyone else is interested in serving on the Selection Committee, let Dunckel
know.
- Change in Leadership: Erwin Mack announced that his term of office is over as of the end of July, having served
two terms on the committee. Mack has made an inquiry as to whether an exception can be made to the two term
limit in the PTSAC legislation that would allow him to serve a third term, and perhaps continue serving as its Chair.
He has considered serving the PTSAC as an incredible honor and would like to continue to serve. Mack has been
told that exceptions are sometimes made; he is considering applying for a third term, and will decide soon. Ortuzar
expressed her hope that Mack would reapply for a third term. Dunckel thanked Erwin for having stepped up to
plate three years ago, when the Committee needed a new leader, and having nurtured the Committee into a very
collegial, constructive, productive group that is benefiting not only MCDOT, the Council and the Executive, but
the entire population of Montgomery County.
Dunckel announced that, given the looming change ofleadership issue, MCDOT is seeking nominations for the
next Chair of the committee. Any Committee member may nominate another member, or themselves, by sending
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him an email with the nomination, and an explanation of why they would be a good Chair, and a resume or
statement of qualifications to be Chair. MCDOT will evaluate these nominations and recommend to the County
Executive who should be appointed as the next Chair. The legislation clearly states that the County Executive
appoints the Chair of the committee. The solicitation for new members will go out in about a week, with a one­
month window for candidates to apply.
The following members are eligible for reappointment to another term, and should send a letter and resume to
Dunckel:
Valerie Ervin
James D'Andrea
Alan Migdall
David Sharp
Jack Strausman
8. Adjourn
The meeting adjourned at 9:35 pm
- Next Schednled Meeting Date: July 7, 2011
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