Coalition for Smarter Growth Weighs in on County Priorities
A letter received by a Friend of White Flint (reprinted including HTML code; we do not endorse or recommend using the links directly; please use caution):
High tech jobs are an important goal for Montgomery County, but where we put those jobs is important too. County officials are considering two vastly different development proposals – one for massive expansion of the Life Sciences Center in Gaithersburg and the other a centrally located transit-oriented development at White Flint Metro.
Good Idea, Wrong Location
Massive expansion of the Life Sciences Center, located almost as far out as Dulles Airport in Virginia, would increase traffic, energy use, water and air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. The location has poor transit connections and is far from existing business districts.
Trying to commute here from the populous eastern and southern parts of the county would require multiple bus transfers or a long drive. Full build-out of the plan may occur before the proposed Corridor Cities Transitway could be built, and funding for the CCT isn’t even guaranteed. Instead, we should focus jobs at our existing Metro stations.
|White Flint can become a vibrant, walkable place improving housing and transportation choices.
White Flint: Efficient, Convenient, Sustainable
Instead of adding new jobs in hard-to-reach locations, how about locating them right at existing transit stations? We care about the environment and the most sustainable solution is to create walkable, transit-oriented communities that reduce driving, energy use, and climate changing emissions. The White Flint Metro Station is a convenient location for jobs and homes, and walkable designs can reuse acres of parking lots while improving conditions along Rockville Pike.
Ask the County to Support an Energy Efficient, Sustainable Future
Send an email today to let our elected officials know you oppose massive expansion of the Life Sciences Center, which would be a step back from saving the Bay, addressing climate change, and reducing traffic. Urge the county to create a great plan for the White Flint Metro Station and to focus new growth near existing transit stations.
Creating a Vision for White Flint
The good news is that Montgomery County is currently updating the plan for the White Flint Metro station to become the vibrant, walkable center for North Bethesda. The White Flint Sector Plan meets county goals of providing jobs, homes, and transportation choices through redevelopment of Metro stations into mixed use communities. The plan is in progress and continued input from the public will ensure we get the best result possible.
The vision for White Flint includes: new parks and green space, an improved local street network, a vibrant mix of uses, more housing choices, and good pedestrian/bicyclist access. The plan also calls for the redesign of Rockville Pike into a grand boulevard. These approaches will help moderate the traffic on the Pike by conveniently locating jobs and housing and increasing options to use transit, walk and bike. You can read more on the Montgomery County Planning Department website.
Montgomery County has a strong commitment to smart growth and should uphold this vision by placing a priority on Metro station communities and improving existing commercial corridors like Rockville Pike. Massive expansion of the Life Sciences Center would directly undermine these county efforts. With a good plan for the future of White Flint and its other Metro stations, the county can remain a leader in sustainable transportation, energy and climate solutions, offering residents more transportation and housing choices.
Coalition For Smarter Growth
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