March 24, 2023

Message from the County Executive

Dear Friends,

I want to recognize the first day of Ramadan and the start of the Persian New Year this week as well as the first day of Spring. For everyone celebrating or just looking forward to warmer weather I hope the new season brings you good health and happiness.

Over the last week, there has been a lot of discussion and media attention on the $6.8 billion operating budget that I sent to the Council last week. This budget is about choosing to maintain services and the social safety net that we created during the pandemic, while also providing record funding for education, affordable housing, public safety and combatting climate change.

Much of the attention has been focused on the proposed 10 cent property tax that would be used only for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

The 10-cent property tax increase is in response to MCPS’ request for $300 million in additional funding over last year’s budget . While this funding request is an increase over last year’s funding, the vast majority of this funding is needed to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and other essential staff as well as address the increase in special education enrollment. If this were a programs-only budget that wasn’t focused on retaining teachers and keeping salaries competitive, I would have looked at their request very differently. But the fact is they need money. We have teachers leaving the profession, and we’re losing the ability to compete with surrounding jurisdictions. Our schools are suffering as a result. As the President of the Montgomery County Educational Association (MCEA), Jennifer Martin has pointed out, more than 1,100 teachers left MCPS last year and hundreds of positions remain unfilled. Teachers are leaving the classroom for better pay, less demanding and more respected work. The impact is larger classes and fewer people to meet the needs of students. The teachers still in the schools are burning out as they work to cover the vacant positions and the increased needs. The risk of teacher burnout rises with each unfilled job.

Pia Morrison, president of SEIU Local 500, which represents the paraeducators in the classrooms as well as the security staff, bus drivers and other essential school staff also talked about the problems with vacancies and low pay. She explained that when substitute positions for teachers are not filled, the support staff have to step in and on average 40 – 50 percent of those substitute positions are not being filled. That means that many of the students who need the one-on-one support go without the additional academic supporty they need, and special education students miss out on interventions that address their learning needs. Additionally, because MCPS support staff are less than full-time staff, she explained they routinely have to supplement their income with other jobs in order to support their own families, making it more difficult for them to help the students.

The measures of student performance are concerning. According to the results of the 2022 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) test, only 31 percent of MCPS students scored proficient in math, and 53 percent scored proficient in English.

We have great schools, but we cannot afford to let them decline. In real dollars – adjusted for inflation - we are spending less per pupil than we did before. Our funding peaked 13 years ago – we’re spending $3,000 per pupil less than we did in 2010.

People want to live and work in our county in great part because of the high quality of our schools. We cannot disinvest in our schools – we need to invest in the schools and staff and that means additional resources.

My proposal to increase our investment is about our future—our children. We owe them the best we have to offer and the additional 10 cents that I am asking is an important step to make Montgomery County a leader in education once again, and this money is for education only. Teachers and other educational professionals are at the core of what we need to give our children the best education possible. We get the best when we invest in the people that are working with our kids every day.

On April 11, the County Council will begin public hearings on the budget. Information on how to testify is here. The Council will review my proposed budget and a final budget will be passed in May.

Like education systems across the nation, Montgomery County is dealing with the challenges that isolation and virtual learning wrought on students, but how we deal with it is up to us. Montgomery County's reputation as the best school system in Maryland won't survive on perception alone. It takes support and that's what my budget proposal offers.

98% increase in Antisemitic Semitic Incidents in Maryland

This week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published their annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents. Nationally, antisemitic incidents in 2022 surged to the highest levels ever recorded, with a total of 3,697 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism reported to ADL. This represents an increase of 36 percent compared to 2021 – also a record setting year – an average of more than ten incidents per day.

Maryland saw a 98 percent increase in antisemitic incidents as 109 were reported in 2022, a 98 percent increase from the 55 incidents in 2021, and a 132 percent increase from the 47 incidents reported in 2020. Sadly, Maryland registered with the 10th highest number of antisemitic incidents reported in the country for 2022.

This week, I joined a panel discussion about combatting antisemitism with the Montgomery County Committee Against Hate/Violence. I expressed my frustration that antisemitism still exists in our society, let alone is worsening.

I also expressed my determination to speak out against anti-semitism at every opportunity. We know and understand that while the acts are targeting our Jewish community, they impact all our religious and minority communities. An attack on one faith community in Montgomery County is an attack on us all, and we stand together to embrace our diversity and celebrate our Jewish community.

For us to combat these incidents, we need everyone to report any of incident of hate that they may witness. We must also continue to unite, partner and collaborate. Jews are not facing acts of hatred alone. Many other religious and minority communities also have also dealt with hate-based incidents in our County recently.

And most importantly, we must educate to eradicate hate. We need to do more in our schools and our homes. We need to intentionally teach and talk about antisemitism and the history of oppression for the Jewish people and for other marginalized groups.

The numbers released by the ADL should be a cause of concern for everyone. We must do better. As a leader against antisemitism, I stand with my local Jewish community as an ally and commit to providing support, showing solidarity, and building a foundation for greater understanding and mutual respect for all.

Nearing the End of Current Maryland Legislative Session

This week was Crossover Day for Maryland state lawmakers. Legislation that has not been passed by one house and sent to the other by Crossover Day will not move forward this year. The last day of session is just three weeks away on April 10. I have been visiting the legislature regularly since the beginning of the session, and I have testified on a number of bills, including efforts by Maryland Health Care For All! to give access to health insurance to many more Marylanders, including low-income households (SB 26/HB 111), young adults (SB 601/HB 814), and immigrants (SB 365/HB 588), and to help the state continue to develop strategies to bring down the cost of expensive prescription drugs (HB 200 & HB 202/ SB 202/HB 279).

With a new governor and his administration in place I have seen bipartisan support for many of his and other measures this session. I hope that collaboration continues, and we finish this legislative session strong for the people of Montgomery County and the people of Maryland.

Business Trip to Taiwan

As you read this, I am on a plane heading to Taiwan for an international trip representing Montgomery County at the Smart City Summit & Expo.

Our focus of this trip is economic development. I’ll be joined by the Board Chair of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, the Chair of the Montgomery County Council’s Economic Committee, the County’s Chief Information Officer, and several business leaders representing our technology start-up community.

This trip is a wonderful opportunity for us to let others know that Montgomery County is a great place to live and do business.

Additionally, Taiwanese leaders want to hear about much we’ve accomplished with our Climate Action Plan. We’re also meeting with leaders from Taipei Medical University & National Taiwan University which host top-ranked Artificial Intelligence programs and I will be telling them about our exciting project in the North Bethesda the University of Maryland – Institute for Health Computing. We also will be meeting with dozens of Taiwanese business leaders who have expressed interest in potentially opening an East Coast office or lab or partnering with Montgomery County companies.

This is the first international economic trade mission that I will be taking since being County Executive. I am excited to promote this County and find potential opportunities and partnerships.

Tree Planting Milestone

Creating a greener County has been of my goals since becoming County Executive, but I know the effort to improve the environment began before that.

Earlier this month the Tree Montgomery program planted its 10,000th tree.

To mark the milestone, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection staff celebrated a tremendously successful 9 years of the program with their tree planting contractor D. A. Dunlevy at the Lake Marion Community Center in Montgomery Village.

Shade trees help our environment in many ways. They are important to wildlife and the process of pollination. Trees soak up water runoff reducing the risk of flash flooding. They are also welcome on our County's many playgrounds, parking lots, and school yards. These beautiful trees also help us save energy in homes, offices, and schools.

I encourage everyone to visit the Tree Montgomery website to learn more about nominating somewhere in the County a tree should be added.

Community Health Update

This week we have very little to share about COVID-19 and as they say no news is good news. Our community level status remains ‘low.’ Our rate of infection is as low as we’ve seen in it in a calendar year and our hospitalization metrics have also come down significantly.

I encourage everyone to stay up to date with their bivalent booster shots—those are the ones that came out last September. If you haven’t gotten one since then make your appointment. The County is still taking appointments and is handling vaccine and booster clinics weekly. Montgomery County md dot gov slash covid 19 is still a resource to find vaccine appointments and stay up to date on the virus.

This Saturday our Department of Health and Human Services will partner with Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery Goes Purple to hold another event aimed at educating the public on the dangers of fentanyl and preventing drug overdoses.

Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville will host the forum, starting at 9 a.m. It will feature English and Spanish breakout sessions to help answer as many community questions as possible. Topics for the morning include starting substance use conversations, healthy boundaries vs. “Tough Love,” emergency response, and safety at home and at school. To attend in person or watch via live stream please follow this link to register.

As always, my appreciation for all of you,

Marc Elrich
County Executive

March 21, 2023

County Executive Elrich to Hold Six ‘Community Conversations’ to Talk About Long-term Priorities and the Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Improvements Budget

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will hold six “community conversations” at sites around the County in April and May to talk about long-term priorities and how he will address the Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget. The first event will be from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, at the White Oak Community Recreation Center in Silver Spring.

Five of the community conversations will be in-person events. On May 1, the community conversation will be a virtual only event.

A capital budget plan that states how much money is needed for major construction projects and for purchase and maintenance of the assets. It also determines the amount of time that will be used for the planning and design of the project. The CIP refers to items such as land, buildings, equipment and other investments in the County.

The capital budget addresses planning for long-term major projects. It differs from the County operating budget, which funds spending needs for a one-year period.

The community conversation events will address how the County Government will make decisions on major projects such as the construction of public schools, building swimming pools, transportation improvements, improvements to sidewalks, improvements to local parks, building parking garages and establishing childcare centers.

The schedule and sites for the FY25 Capital Budget community conversations:
  • Wednesday, April 12. 7-8:30 p.m. In-person event. Conversation for the Eastern County. White Oak Community Recreation Center. 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring.
  • Monday, April 17. 7-8:30 p.m. In-person event. Conversation for Silver Spring Region. Silver Spring Civic Building (Spring Room). 1 Veterans Pl., Silver Spring.
  • Wednesday, April 19. 7-8:30 p.m. In-person event. Conversation for Bethesda-Chevy Chase Region. Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (East-West Room). 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda.
  • Monday, April 24. 7-8:30 p.m. In-person event. Conversation for the UpCounty Region. Sidney Kramer UpCounty Regional Services, 12900 Middlebrook Rd, Suite 1000, Germantown.
  • Wednesday, April 26. 7-8:30 p.m. In-person event. Conversation for the Mid-County Region. Wheaton Community Recreation Center. 11701 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring,
  • Monday, May 1. 7-8:30 p.m. Virtual event. Details to be announced.

Traffic Data on Little Falls Parkway Pilot Project to be Presented to Planning Board on Thursday, March 30, with Public Hearing to Follow Presentation

Information, including traffic data and a recommendation, related to the Little Falls Parkway pilot project, will be presented by Montgomery Parks to the County Planning Board at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. After the briefing, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the project.

Details on how to sign up to testify, provide advance testimony and the procedures for testifying are outlined on the Planning Board “Sign Up to Testify” webpage. The deadline to sign up to testify or submit written testimony is noon on Wednesday, March 29.

The Little Falls Parkway pilot project was initiated in June 2022 to address concerns with cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods associated with the weekend closures of Little Falls Parkway for the Open Parkways Program, while retaining space for recreation on the parkway. Traffic counts were conducted on Little Falls Parkway between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue during May, July, September and December of 2022

The in-person presentation and following public hearing will take place at the Wheaton Headquarters of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission headquarters at 2425 Reedie Dr. in Wheaton.

The presentation and public hearing also can be viewed online via Microsoft Teams.

The public may testify in person or online during the Planning Board hearing.

After the public hearing, the Planning Board will conduct a work session and consider action on the staff recommendation on April 13. The time will be posted on the Planning Board agenda closer to the date of the meeting.

The Little Falls Parkway pilot project currently provides an open parkway for pedestrians and bicyclists for two of the four lanes between Arlington Road and Dorset Avenue. This section was previously part of Montgomery Parks’ Open Parkways program between River Road and Arlington Road (1.3 miles).

The Open Parkways program launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis to provide more outdoor space for recreation and exercise by closing portions of three parkways to vehicles on weekends. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of visitors have used the Open Parkways.

The other two Open Parkways, Sligo Creek Parkway and Beach Drive, will not be affected by the Little Falls Parkway pilot program.

Learn more about the program at pilot project online.

Spring Cleaning of Public Parking Garages in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton to Begin on Monday, April 10

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) on Monday, April 10, will begin its semi-annual interior washdown to degrease and clean 21 County-owned parking garages in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. The spring cleanings will start with the Bethesda garages and are scheduled to conclude with the Silver Spring garages on Saturday, June 3. Cleanings will be done on nights and weekends.

Some garages will experience partial closures during the cleanings, including select entrance/exit areas and ramps. The full schedule of garage cleanings can be viewed here.

MCDOT performs spring and fall washdowns to keep garages clean and help keep grease, oil and debris out of local waterways. Regular cleanings prevent deterioration from prolonged exposure to salt, sand, oils, gas, dirt, pollen and leaves.

MCDOT contractors will do their best to perform work around garage traffic and parked vehicles and to post signs notifying customers of anticipated impacts to access.

For more information about parking in the County, visit

Residents Asked to Participate in Survey on How to Expand and Improve Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Will Offer Webinars on April 13-14

Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is asking residents to participate in a survey on how the County could expand and improve charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs). As part of the initiative, DEP will hold webinars on Thursday, April 13, and Friday, April 14, to share details about the planning process and collect more input.

Beginning in 2023, significant funding will be available from Maryland and the Federal government for local governments and private property owners to install EV charging. To take advantage of this opportunity and accelerate the transition to EV ownership, DEP is developing a plan to expand the availability of EV charging throughout the community.

The survey, which will be open through May 15, is available at Montgomery County Community EV Charging Survey (

To join the April 13 webinar, which will start at 7 p.m., go to Meeting Registration - Zoom. To join the April 14 webinar, which will start at noon, go to Meeting Registration - Zoom.

DEP also has created the Charge Montgomery Story Map interactive tool to explore where EV charging is currently located, where EVs are registered and the factors that will drive new charging infrastructure.

“The County’s Climate Action Plan has a goal to transition to 100 percent zero emissions by 2035 and having residents, government operations and businesses transition to EVs is an important part of the plan,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “An important part of having people move to EVs is having charging station access. We are working to create opportunities to build charging stations, but we need to know how residents think we can help. Completing this survey will help in determining the decisions that will be made as we move forward.”

EVs charged in Montgomery County on Pepco’s electric grid reduce emissions by 70-75 percent, demonstrating that switching to an EV is one of the biggest ways to reduce the County’s carbon footprint.

The market for electric vehicles is growing rapidly, with plug-in vehicles making up more than 12 percent of newly registered vehicles in 2022. There are currently about 600 EV charging plugs in the County, including 100 “Fast Charging” plugs. However, more charging infrastructure is needed to meet the current demand and allow more residents to feel confident making the transition to electric vehicles. To overcome “range anxiety”—a fear of running out of battery—drivers need to know that they can easily charge their vehicle nearby to where they live, work and visit regularly.

Many new EV charging stations installed by the private sector will be located based on existing EV ownership patterns. However, the County’s Climate Action Plan aims to ensure that EV charging is distributed equitably across the County. This means proactively finding sites in the County’s Equity Focus Areas.

For more information on DEP’s actions in the move to EVs, go to

Holly Jamesen Carr of U.S. Department of Energy and Inside Climate News Journalist Aman Azhar Will Speak at 2023 Montgomery County Energy Summit on March 28-29

Holly Jamesen Carr of U.S. Department of Energy and Inside Climate News Journalist Aman Azhar Will Speak at 2023 Montgomery County Energy Summit on March 28-29

Holly Jamesen Carr, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, DOE Building Technologies Office, and journalist Aman Azhar of Inside Climate News and will be among the speakers at the 10th Annual Montgomery County Energy Summit on Tuesday, March 28, and Wednesday, March 29 at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The summit will focus on preparing the commercial building community for compliance with energy benchmarking, building energy performance standards and emerging building codes.

The Silver Spring Civic Building is located at 1 Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring.

Online registration for the summit is open through the morning of Friday, March 24. Advance registration is strongly recommended. Limited day-of tickets will be available at the event. To review the full agenda and register for the Energy Summit, visit

Montgomery County Chief Administrative Officer Richard Madaleno also will speak at the summit, which will explore requirements and opportunities in areas of commercial building compliance. The event also will provide hands-on learning opportunities and case studies from commercial and multifamily buildings. There will be building audit demonstrations, education sessions, hands-on Q&A and technical assistance, an “Innovation Alley” showcasing products and services and a networking reception.

“Montgomery County’s strategic plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035 will take real action by all of us—government, business, nonprofits and individuals,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “The Energy Summit, now in its 10th year, is an excellent example of how we are successfully bringing the public and private sectors together to develop a path forward to increase building energy performance boost economic opportunities, create jobs in Montgomery County and meet our ambitious climate action goals.”

On March 28, Adriana Hochberg, acting director of the County Department of Environmental Protection, will deliver opening remarks, followed by John Hattery, deputy director of Workforce Services for WorkSource Montgomery.

On March 29, the summit’s lineup of morning plenary speakers will include:
  • Richard Madaleno, Montgomery County chief administrative officer
  • Vicky Wan, acting deputy director, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection
  • John Hattery, deputy director of Workforce Services for WorkSource Montgomery
Following the March 29 morning plenary speakers, Energy Summit attendees will enjoy a keynote panel discussion on unpacking the local and regional landscape of building energy and climate policies. The panelists will include:
  • Mark Stewart, climate change program manager, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • Rabbiah Sabbakhan, director, Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services
  • Stan Edwards, chief, Energy Climate Compliance Division, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection
The moderator of the panel discussion will be Cliff Majersik, senior advisor of policy and programs for the Institute for Market Transformation.

The event will conclude with a panel that will tie the themes and educational content of the summit and address the current and future incentives and programs to help building owners with improving building energy performance and reducing emissions. The members of that panel will include:
  • Holly Jamesen Carr, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, DOE Building Technologies Office
  • Tom Deyo, CEO, Montgomery County Green Bank
  • Pepco representative, to be determined
The moderator of that panel will be Aman Azhar, a reporter for Inside Climate News.

The summit also will have an in-person Innovation Alley featuring energy-related products and services. This year, exhibitors will be displaying innovative products and services available to the commercial and multifamily business sector that will aid in building energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrification, building decarbonization, healthy buildings and zero-emission vehicles.

Noted Authors Will Be Featured in Montgomery County Public Libraries Upcoming Virtual Talk Series, Including Pam Jenoff on Tuesday, March 28

Noted authors will be featured in March and April in the continuing free Virtual Talk Series presented by Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL). The series hosts best-selling, award-winning and highly acclaimed authors from around the world. The next talk, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28, will have Pam Jenoff of New York Times. She is the author of the Orphan’s Tale and The Lost Girls of Paris.

The featured writers in the series will cover a wide range of fiction and nonfiction genres. The series includes the opportunity to ask the authors questions. Registration is required to join each talk.

A complete list of events is available on the Virtual Author Talks site on the MCPL website.

Upcoming speakers for the Virtual Author Talks for March and April include:
  • Tuesday, March 28. 7 p.m. Pam Jenoff. New York Times best-selling author of the Orphan’s Tale and The Lost Girls of Paris. Register at
  • Tuesday, April 4. 7 p.m. Kate Keaton. Best-selling cartoonist of Hark! A Vagrant! and Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands. Register at
  • Thursday, April 27. 8 p.m. William Kent Krueger. No. 1 best-selling author of more than 20 books including This Tender Land and Lightning Strike. Register at
All Virtual Author Talks are recorded. For more information, access to registration or to view past Virtual Author Talks, visit Montgomery County Public Libraries Virtual Author Talks.

Montgomery Parks to Hold Special Events in March for All Ages and Interests

Montgomery Parks is hosting a busy lineup of special events and programs in March, including a variety of hikes and birdwatching.

March events in Montgomery Parks will include:
  • Introduction to Landscape Design: Session II. Saturday, March 25. 10 a.m.-noon. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. Learn the fundamentals of landscape design to create functional, enjoyable and beautiful outdoor spaces. Each session will focus on different concepts. Class is offered virtually as a live, online webinar though the Zoom platform with audience Q & A. After registering, a link will be emailed 24 hours prior to the live webinar. A recording of the lecture will be sent to registrants to access online for up to 30 days. Registration required. Ages 18 and older. $12 (per session).
  • Pysanka Egg Dyeing Class. Friday, March 31. 11 a.m.-noon. Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville. Learn the art of Pysanky, the meanings and powers of pysanky symbols in Slavic culture and create your own pysanka egg. Ages 14 and older. Registration required. $10.
  • Spring Fire Night. Friday, March 31. 6-8 p.m. Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. Night campfire with campfire snacks, friends, neighbors and a park naturalist. Ages 6 and older. Registration required. $7.
Montgomery Parks is a co-sponsor of the following event:
For more information on spring events, visit Montgomery Parks Program Guide. Go to the Montgomery Parks event calendar to view a complete list of special events and programming and to learn how to sign up using ActiveMontgomery.

‘How to Dance at an Indian Wedding’ Bhangra Bollywood Dance Event with Sapan Dance Institute Will Be Stepping Up in Silver Spring on Friday, March 31

For many people, attending an Indian wedding is quite an experience in almost every way. Just trying to keep up with the dancing is something special—and so much fun. For those who want to know more about “How to Dance at an Indian Wedding,” the SAPAN Institute will lead a festive class of Bhangra Bollywood-style dance as part of the Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. Around the World Bazaar from 7-8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

The Around the World Bazaar will fill the Silver Spring Civic Building with a variety of events from 5-10 p.m. on March 31.

The South Asian Performing Arts Network and Institute (SAPAN Institute) is a nonprofit performing arts company based in Washington, D.C.

All ages and abilities welcome to the free event, but it is suggested to reserve a spot in the program in advance. To do that, send an email to

This program is being presented in collaboration with Olney Theatre, which is presenting A Nice Indian Boy through April 9.

Submissions Being Accepted from High School Students for ‘Heads Up, Phones Down’ Teen Video Contest Through March 31

Montgomery County teens have an opportunity to win some great prizes by producing peer videos promoting the importance of focusing on their surroundings, instead of their phones, while driving and walking. The County Department of Transportation’s “Heads Up, Phones Down” high school video contest will be accepting entries of 30-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs) through March 31.

County public and private high school students are eligible to submit contest videos. Entries can be submitted individually or from a group of up to four students. Videos can be submitted in English or Spanish.

“As a former teacher, I know that peer-to-peer messaging is influential and resonates with other teens,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “It’s important for our young people to help each other make good decisions and habits regarding vehicle and pedestrian safety. These messages and efforts can help eliminate distracted driving and support our County Vision Zero goals.”

Submissions will be grouped by individual projects and group projects. Individual entries can win an Apple Mac Book Air, an Apple Watch or tripod. Winning group submissions will split an $800 grand prize, $400 second prize and $200 third prize, with a Visa gift card for each member.

Students can submit their entries on the online entry form here. Students may also qualify for up to five Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for successfully completing an entry.

“We know that, nationally, young drivers, ages 15-19, have the highest number of fatal crashes due to distracted driving,” said County Department of Transportation Director Chris Conklin. “With 95 percent of teenagers having access to a smartphone, we hope this contest will serve as a reminder of the importance of avoiding distracted driving.”

Winning contestants will be visited by MCDOT staff and will have their videos posted on MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School website on Friday, April 14.

Visit the contest website for more information at

Send contest-related questions to