Pepco Trail Ribbon Cutting

Pepco Trail Ribbon Cutting


Good morning, folks. We’ll kick this
off here now. I want to take an opportunity to welcome you all. My name
is Marshall Murphy. I’m the vice president for communications for Pepco
Holdings. And thank you all for being here today I’m really, at the start of the
fall season, a lovely fall morning, and we’re here to do the sort of the
official opening and celebration of the Pepco trail. We’ve got a great event planned
here for today. We have a number of folks who have joined us to give some comments
and some remarks on the trail. And a number of the folks standing behind me
were absolutely critical in working to make this trail a reality. So very, very
pleased to have our honored guests here today. Once we wrap up this this short
set of remarks and any questions that folks in the audience and members of the
media have, we’d like to invite everyone here to join us. If you’ve brought a bike,
fantastic. If you’d rather walk, fantastic. The goal here is to have everyone
participate and enjoy the trail for what it’s here for
so again thank you for being here and joining us I’m going to kick this off by
introducing Dave Velazquez who is our CEO of Pepco Holdings an avid biker avid
outdoor enthusiast and here with us today to make a few remarks good morning
to everybody I’m so glad to see so many folks out today I thank want to thank
Ike Leggett for his partnership on this project his commitment and leadership in
our community over his three terms as Montgomery County Executive to Craig
Rice and to Casey Anderson for your very very important support that was critical
to this project to Mike Riley Dave McGill all your staffs at Montgomery
County Parks and the Mid Atlantic off-road enthusiast
thank you for your partnership and your collaboration as special thanks to
Shaggy Mian assistant manager of Seneca Creek State Park and Dan Hudson who’s
the trail manager the Maryland Park Service again for your support in making
this project possible I’d also like to thank a few of our pH I
and Pepco employees who were integral to this effort sandy Fisher Jaclyn Cantler
Sheena Molly Richard Steig as well you know at Pepco and impeccable holdings
our job is to deliver safe reliable affordable energy to our customers
well we also have a larger mission that we take very very seriously and that’s
to strengthen to energize and to empower our communities our companies role we
firmly believe goes beyond our daily Duty whether we’re engineers line
workers customer service reps electricians or more our responsibility
is much broader it means getting back to our neighbors and to our communities
where we live and we work our tasks we see is to invest in these communities
and in people as places and central to all these commitments is upholding our
core value of sustainability which includes promoting ecological diversity
and creating open space for our customers so that they can appreciate
their surroundings developing and building trails along our transmission
corridors are just one of the innovative ways we are keeping our promises to the
families and households of Montgomery County so partnering with Montgomery
parks and the mid-atlantic off-road enthusiasts we are proud to help provide
a healthy and green friendly source of recreation to our communities together
today we are offering residents of six mile multi-use trail connecting the
muddy branch stream valley to South Germantown recreational park where
everyone can enjoy nature engage in healthy exercise and take full advantage
of the outdoor spaces that fill our County this is part of the legacy that
we at prep go and all helped to leave across all of Montgomery County so thank
you again for all your help and support making this possible thanks very much Dave now I have the
pleasure of introducing the Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett who is with
us here today as well to say a few words first let me apologize for my address
today in the fact that I’m not riding bicycles I recently had surgery and so
councilman Craig rice is going to ride not only for me but himself as well he
doesn’t hold it up the former council member Dave Scull will pick up the slack
I was really delighted to be here this morning it is a lie for a number of
reasons because it reflects a collaboration a partnership with a
number of entities that have been central to this, but make no mistake about
this this comes as a result of the approval of the merger I supported that
merger too strongly for every ride every one it provided a even a greater
foundation in support for Pepco, Exelon on it was more reliability a strong
identity and greatest sense of connectivity cooperation given a
challenge that we face for a number of you
our mission around well the challenges that we would have a strong organization
to make services much more available for the residents of Montgomery County and
secondly if you look at the individual benefits that are provided for our
County this is one example of that but it is not the only example there are a
number of projects and a number of resources that we have as a result of
this merger good for company good for our residents and we see here today
ample demonstrations that you’ve heard all about the trail you know what do you
provide in terms of this connectivity but is again a continuation of what you
had in Montgomery County for a number of years and we continue to expand and
we’re able to do so today with resources and in partnership Pepco then I think
we’ll continue to spin through the whole county we are better for it as a
community and we’re a better for it because it fits so well with so many
things in our parks and our environment Flex in Montgomery County other thing
all of you responsible most importantly our Department of Transportation now
rusty and his team help them well department parks and all the others who
have worked so well to get us to this point today this is a partnership
partnership that I think a team provide benefits for many many years from the
residents of a double camera congratulations Thank You executive
Leggett and none of the pleasure of introducing Montgomery County Councilman
Craig Rice it was also to my right thank you very much and welcome to district 2
this is a beautiful day and a great opportunity a great opportunity to
recognize that when corporations partner with government great things can happen
for our community this is a shining example of that you heard the county
executive talk about the merger and what that means and we as elected government
are supposed to ensure that when these kinds of things happen
that our residents can reap the benefits not just through reliable service and
through making sure that rates can be moderated but also in terms of community
amenities you know we pride ourselves here in Montgomery County on being
innovative and this certainly is just that you know to be able to figure out
that well what can we do with this land that’s underneath of these power lines
well let’s get people out and enjoy the outdoors let’s get people out of their
homes and sitting on their sofas and exercise you know when we talk about
making sure that Montgomery County is a County that’s a healthy one and promotes
healthy lifestyles it’s providing opportunities for folks like this you
know we’re blessed to have things like our parks in our South Germantown
recreational park and soccer plaques that are there this just provides and
builds on that another opportunity for folks to really enjoy all that
Montgomery County has to offer and so I I’m just really appreciative of the
partnership a Pepco the stewardship of our Parks Department and the leadership
of folks who had a vision and understood how important this would be through our
community and I live at the end of this trail and I look forward to being able
to bring my girls and my wife out we’re gonna ride this trail a lot this is what
it’s all about it’s about real life and real people being able to understand and
really seize the benefits of something like this and so it’s an exciting day
for us it really is but it’s an indication I think of more to come when
it comes to Montgomery County doing all that it can to make Montgomery County
one of the best places to live work and play so thank you to all of you for your
great leadership thanks councilman rice I thanks also for the reminder about the
importance of healthy living and being outdoors and such something that I need
to remember a bit myself next I’d like to welcome Casey Anderson
the chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board to the podium for some
remarks as well we have won the national recreation parks association gold medal
for having the best large parks in the country six times that’s more than any
other parsa’s in the country and we believe that we are the best park system in
the country well you know what that is not good being the best is not good
enough I think about Bill Belichick’s I really hate the Patriots but I think you
have to you have to admire what they’ve accomplished you have to think about
what you can learn from even the people that drive you crazy in life even the
people that you’re not necessarily really wild about how they succeeded and
I think when Bill Belichick wins another suit ball do you think he comes into the
office next day and says we’re all good we just want to serve all we can just
relax let’s put our feet up on the desk not worry about no Bill Belichick is
thinking about the combine it’s thinking about free agency he’s thinking about
the draft just thinking about how they’re gonna get better because if
you’re not thinking about how you’re gonna get better you’re probably getting
worse and so I want to thank all of our Park
staff for embracing the challenge of building not just a good enough trail
system not just a great trail system but we want the best trail system in the
entire country could you guys raise your hands all you guys who are out there
building people also I saw a couple of volunteers out here I saw Bonnie Val I
saw Joe fridge I saw Dave Scull is here everybody who’s out here could you all
raise your hands to volunteer very absolutely right to thank all the folks
in at pepto exelon and all of our political leaders who’ve given us the
resource to do this but without the volunteers and without the staff people
who don’t get to come in to podium know this could ever happen and thank you for
humoring me thank you for tolerating me when I’m pushing you to get better and
never accepting great as good enough and that’s what
we’ve got here we’re getting better and better in every single day this is a
great example thank you for all of your work Casey thanks for your remarks and
as a individual that was born and raised in Massachusetts I always appreciate
good thoughts about coach and those Patriots next I’d like to to ask Michael
Riley director of our Montgomery County Parks organization to come forward and
make a few remarks Mike Thank You Casey for your comments I felt for a minute
like I was an i annual performance reviews right there
you’re doing great but it’s not quite good enough trying so we quite often we
do surveys for what people want to see in the parks and what always comes out
on the top four trends of most years and most wanted is our trails trails serve
so many benefits they serve a recreational benefit they serve a
transportation benefit and on the area of human health and wellness they
provide venue for physical activity and exercise and then for mental wealth and
helmets they provide a venue to access nature and be in the great outdoors I
recently had the pleasure actually earlier this week of speaking at the
50th anniversary of the Rails to Trails movement which was fostered our own
capital Crescent Trail that will run from Silver Spring down to down to DC
and that trail we have electronic powers on and our peak month for trail use on
that particular trail of 75,000 users per month now I can’t say we’ll get that
here but I just want to mention that to show you the popularity of our trail
system and another thing I when I spoke at that event I read a lot of stats
about trails but I thought of something interesting I one of the real estate ads
and I googled capital Crescent Trail and it was amazing to me how many people
and they list selling was probably the most valuable asset the lever owned
their home list proximate to capital Crescent Trail or proximate to Rock
Creek Trail which shows how much people understand the intrinsic value that
comes with being next to these great assets so I just want to finish with
thanking a bunch of people particularly Moore who’s gonna help us with
maintenance of this trail mid-atlantic off-road enthusiasts I want to thank the
Dave Dave McGill and Dave Scull for being grassroots grassroots advocates
that got this off the ground I absolutely need to thank Pepco
particularly Jerry Pasternak who I work closely with through all this this was a
quote from my staff last night as I was preparing that pepco went above and
beyond in this project in all aspects so I really need to thank them for that and
then one of my biggest shoutouts is for Montgomery County Department of
Transportation this trail six miles crosses roads and ten locations county
roads or state roads there’s a big effort going on in Montgomery County
that I know the county executive and councilmember Rice are big supporters up
called vision zero to make sure that wherever we have the interaction of
pedestrians Motor Vehicles and bicyclists that everybody is safe and no
one gets hurt and that’s a huge effort for us and DOT took the lead for us
making sure that these crossings have best practices and our safe in all
aspects and I’ll also give a shout out to State Highway Administration because
they worked closely with DDOT on those crossings and then for my staff whenever
I have a big project that’s really important to me I go to one of my two
deputies and say please take the reins in this case it was meet your pedaling
meet reduce raise your hand I know you know all their conversations were quite and then certainly last but not least my
trail crew the folks out here will actually built this let me start with
their fearless leader Bob Turnball seventy miles of our natural surface
trail he’s the guy in his crew Jake Krieger Bob Berman annalee glass Stephen
Moxley in Austin elegant thank you very much guys thank you Michael and last but
certainly not least today we want to welcome Dave McGill who is the advocacy
director for the mid-atlantic off-road enthusiasts or more as was just
referenced a moment ago to the podium for some thoughts as well as I had a
chance to speak at the groundbreaking I’m gonna give the mic briefly to my
partner at MORE Dave Scull thank you I was the lawyer pro bono for the trail
user groups four years ago petition Pepco and the Public Service Commission
to let us put trails on power lines it wasn’t all that easy to sell this isn’t
what you do in merger cases they said fortunately Park and Planning step forward
shortly thereafter with a letter saying we think it’s a great idea we’ve been
thinking about it and here’s a map with our priority routes and guess which one
was their top priority where we’re standing us in the county council
unanimously and approving bargain plantings position so now the leaders of
the jurisdiction with the largest part of Pepco’s Maryland service area where
any support we were and the chance to show the commissioners
pictures of people happily hiking biking galloping and running on Fairfax
County’s powerline trails and I think that this is probably seller and then
the county executive and Pepco included trails in their proposed compromise the
merger case it looked like everything was going our way until we got a barrage
of interrogatories from the Maryland Attorney General demanding all sorts of
information including how is it you motivate volunteers to come out and do
all this work no problem we sent them the recipe for Bonnie Belle’s trail work
cookies which there’s a tray and I guess they cooked up a batch and we’re
completely satisfied because we never heard from them again thus we come to
this happy day which we’ve been australe users have been working on for a long
time and we’re deeply grateful for all the support at the time merger order was
approved when the time came to actually do it
Pepco threw themselves into this chore as a really good neighbor they did all
the engineering for the Tayyab trail this is a happy day but something’s
missing there were supposed to be two trails one
unpaved and one paved now all we need is for Council District
two to come up with a few million dollars to put the other half of the
project in place and and our joy will be complete
so we have had wonderful support from everybody and I don’t think anybody
expected it to come out this well well what we have now is a packet of mission
orders agreements between the various agencies that I think we can use to
expand trails on power lines elsewhere in Maryland and probably elsewhere in
the country so we thank you all thank you well thank you I want to thank all the
speakers for for joining us here today providing some thoughts about just yet
the magnitude of what we’re discussing here

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