Archives March 2015

See, people will ride Bus Rapid Transit

Route 355

If Friends of White Flint had a nickel for every time we’ve heard “People will never ride Bus Rapid Transit,” we’d never have to fundraise again. But fortunately for the White Flint area, the facts contradict this belief.

In Alexandria, ridership of their Metroway Bus Rapid Transit is consistently 15 to 20 percent higher than projections for initial ridership, even with the recent cold weather.

According to a U.S. Department of Transportation reportBRT systems are extremely effective in increasing transit ridership levels. In Las Vegas, the MAX system is responsible for at least a 35 to 40% increase in ridership along its corridor of operation.  The Boston based MBTA  route experienced a whopping 66% increase in ridership by switching their limited routes to BRT lines.  In Los Angeles, 32 % of their Rapid Transit System trips came directly from new transit travel, indicating that their services attract a large number of “choice” riders.

All this means there is no reason to think that a Rapid Transit System along Route 355 wouldn’t be equally successful in the Pike District.

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Like Us on Facebook – Win Tickets to Amp

Like us on Facebook

We have 386 friends on Facebook, but we know Friends of White Flint actually has a lot more friends out there. Help us reach 500 friends on Facebook. Each week, until we reach 500, we’ll randomly draw a name from all the folks who liked us that week to win free tickets to a show at AMP by Strathmore.

To kick things off, this week, we’re going to randomly draw the names of five new Facebook friends to receive a pair of tickets to Donal Fox at AMP by Strathmore. So please, like Friends of White Flint on Facebook, and encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and fellow cubicle-dwellers to like us, too.



Pike District would be perfect for Marriott’s New Headquarters

Bethesda Now published yesterday a wonderful article about Friends of White Flint’s plan to entice Marriott International to move to the Pike District.

As we discussed at our Community Meeting March 25, for the White Flint area to be a successful live-work-play community, there must be a vibrant “work” sector. Residences alone are not enough to sustain the retail, restaurants, and entertainment options we want in the Pike District. Marriott International has stated they are looking for a walkable, transit-friendly location; well, that is the perfect description for the Pike District.  As Saul Centers Senior Vice President Brian Downie said,”This might be the single best thing that could be done to really kick off White Flint and turn it into what we’d like to see it be.”

And if you missed our summary of the Community Meeting, you can read it here. (If you don’t receive our weekly e-blast, be sure to sign up so you don’t miss any news about the White Flint area)


Are you going tomorrow?

Here’s the agenda for tomorrow’s community meeting. We very much hope you’ll be there! The meeting will be held Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 at Federal Realty, 1626 E Jefferson St., Rockville, MD
7:00    Call to order (Amy Ginsburg)
7:05     Minutes (Amber Tedesco)
7:10    Financial Report (Amy Ginsburg)
7:15    Executive Director Report (Amy Ginsburg)
7:20    Updates from property owners on what’s going on and what’s going up in the White Flint/Pike District. (Property Owners)
7:35    What should we call ourselves in light of the selection of the name “Pike District” for the area covered by the White Flint Sector Plan? (Discussion facilitated by Amy Ginsburg)
7:50    What can we do to position the Pike District as the best option for the relocated Marriott headquarters? (Discussion facilitated by Amy Ginsburg)
8:05    Presentation by M-NCPPC on Wall Park (M-NCPPC Staff)
8:15    Brainstorming session to unearth ideas for what we can do to make Wall Park attractive and useful now (Discussion facilitated by Amy Ginsburg)
8:45    Adjourn

Protected bike lanes — a winning proposition

Woodglen bike lane
The advantages of protected bike lanes are many. Rather than bicyclists and drivers maneuvering and fighting for space, each has its own safe space for their preferred mode of travel, according to a recent study.
  • Across six cities, the study found a rise of ridership between 21% and 171% after the lanes were installed.
  • Ten percent of cyclists said they would have used another form of transportation before the lanes were built.
  • Some 43% of residents said the lanes improve the desirability of their neighborhood, compared to 14% who said it detracted from desirability.
  • Nineteen percent of cyclists and 20% of residents were more likely to visits stores with the new bike lanes installed.
  • More than half of residents said traffic had become more predictable as a result of the bike lanes.
The Pike District already has a protected bike lane on Woodglen Drive by North Bethesda Market. How many more people would ride their bikes rather than drive their cars if they had safe lanes in which to pedal? Imagine the reduced traffic, healthier lifestyles, and increased fun if protected bike lanes were the norm.

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Unfortunate news

Yes, we’re sad to report there are white flakes and cold rain drifting down from grey skies on the first day of spring, but we’re even sadder to report that on Monday night the Rockville Mayor and Council voted 3-2 in favor of widening Rockville Pike to 252 feet.  They took this action even though there was very strong opposition by the community. We join many others who are disappointed in this outcome because it contradicts the vision in the White Flint Sector Plan for a pedestrian friendly and walkable community. Not to mention we are not looking forward to what will no doubt become a renown traffic back-up on the Pike around Montrose Road as all those lanes merge and fade away as Route 355 reaches the Pike District.  If you want to read all the details, click here.

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Add your voice to the conversation!

March 25

Please attend the Friends of White Flint Community Meeting on Wednesday, March 25th at 7:00 pm at Federal Realty, 1626 E. Jefferson Street, Rockville.  We look forward to seeing you, hearing your ideas, and discussing issues important to the Pike District.

On the agenda:

  • Update from property owners on what’s going on and what’s going up in the Pike District.

  • Who should be considered a member/supporter of Friends of White Flint?

  • What should we call ourselves in light of the selection of the name “Pike District” for the area covered by the White Flint Sector Plan?

  • A presentation by M-NCPPC about activating Wall Park this summer and a brainstorming session to unearth your ideas for what we can do to make Wall Park attractive and useful now.