Archives November 2015

Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 the Montgomery County Planning Board approved the 21-member Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group, which will advise Planning Staff as the Master Plan develops. The group consists of 13 members from cycling and other organizations, and eight community members who applied to be part of the effort.

  • Joe Allen, Resident of Gaithersburg

  • Jeffry Arevalo, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

  • Kristin Blackmon, Bethesda Transportation Solutions & Bethesda Urban Partnership

  • Jack Cochrane, Montgomery Bicycle Advocates

  • Denise Cohen, Potomac Pedalers

  • Stacy Cook, Resident of Bethesda

  • Paul Daisey, Resident of Colesville

  • Peggy Dennis, Montgomery County Civic Federation

  • Alison Dewey, Resident of North Bethesda

  • Darrel Drobnich, Pedestrian Bicycle Traffic Safety Advisory Committee

  • Jay Elvolve, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board

  • Janice Freeman, African American Chamber of Commerce

  • Joe Fritsch, Resident of Olney

  • Peter Gray, Washington Area Bicyclist Association

  • Richard Hoye, Action Committee for Transit

  • Renato Mendoza, CASA de Maryland

  • Shawn Punga, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts

  • Geri Rosenberg, Resident of Silver Spring

  • Phil Shapiro, Resident of Kemp Mill

  • Deborah Turton, Resident of Damascus

  • Jim Young, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

You can read the draft master bicycle plan for the Pike District/White Flint area here.

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At Paladar, they think it’s best to give and receive. You may have heard that for the remainder of the year, they’re rewarding your gift-giving choices by offering a $10 voucher to enjoy in January and February 2016 for every $50 you purchase in Paladar gift cards.

With Black Friday kicking off the holiday shopping season, they’re feeling extra generous and wanted spread some holiday cheer: From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, they’ll kickback $20 to you for every $50 you spend in gift cards. Holiday gift cards can be purchased in the restaurant or online.

County Will Move Forward With Rapid Transit without Transit Authority

Ike Leggett announced that Montgomery County will move forward with planning, building, and operating one or two bus rapid transit corridors, despite his decision to at least temporarily ditch plans for an independent Transit Authority to build and operate the system.

In a press release, he said “Expanding our transit reach is critically important to creating 100,000 new jobs in White Oak, around Shady Grove, in White Flint and Wheaton. I still believe that, ultimately, we will need an entity that can that raise the resources needed. However, in the here and now, I have instructed my Department of Transportation, while continuing its work with the State on Bus Rapid Transit, to explore less-expensive alternatives that we could pilot on one or two routes.”

According to Bethesda Beat, the County Executive hopes to get a recommendation from MCDOT for the first one or two routes that would “at least be considered in the budget cycle that would come out next spring,” though he didn’t specify which corridors country transportation planners are considering or how the system would be paid for.

The Washington Post reported that Leggett hopes that if opponents see the bus lanes in limited operation, they might be more inclined to support a transit authority.

Of course, Friends of White Flint will be working with all of you to advocate for Route 355 being one of the first one or two routes that would be in that spring budget cycle.

Help Wanted — Are You the Right Person for This Job?

The White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee has a job opening for a Manager.  All the information is below:

Manager, White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee

The White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee (“WFDAC”) seeks a highly talented candidate to serve as its part-time Manager. The WFDAC was established in 2012 to advise County departments on public services, coordinate community activities and promote business interests, and advise the County Council and County Executive on an urban district, all within the White Flint Sector Plan area. The WFDAC currently leads the local community effort to establish an improvement district in the Pike District – a 2-mile corridor centered on Rockville Pike and the White Flint Metro Station. This is a new position. The Manager will work with and under the guidance of the WFDAC and report to the Director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

The position will manage multiple administrative, marketing, and communications tasks including – but not limited to – event planning, marketing and branding strategy, and business planning. The ideal candidate must excel at events management, writing, community relations, and attention to detail. Meeting deadlines and a strong relationship with the Executive Committee of the WFDAC is essential for success. The Managder will attend meetings as requires in performance of the duties.

Flexible work schedule – approximately 10 hours/week, on average. Compensation – $40/hour.

• Manage a work plan established by the Executive Committee.

• Provide support to the four other working groups in the WFDAC (Communications, Strategic Planning, Operations, and Streetscape, Signage and Connectivity Committees).

• Oversee events and marketing initiatives that promote the Pike District and its restaurants, shops and arts and entertainment organizations.

• Manage logistics and planning for small to large-scale events and community festivals.

• Help develop a scope, budget, and business plan for improvement district services.

• Set, manage, and advance multiple priorities at one time. (Herd cats. Move the ball.)

• Write, edit and proofread website (www.PikeDistrict.org), newsletter articles, and social media.

• Minimum 5 to 7 years in marketing, communications, and public relations, or similar experience, is required.

• Management experience preferred.

• Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.

• Ability to work on several projects simultaneously.

• Strong interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills.

• A high degree of responsibility, initiative and professionalism.

Email a letter of interest and resume to Ken Hartman at ken.hartman@montgomerycountymd.gov before December 4, 2015.

You can also click here for the job announcement.

It’s your last chance until spring!

Pike Central Farmers Market

Last Pike Central Farm Market of the Season

Saturday, November 21 is the last day that Pike Central Farm Market will be open for the 2015 season.  The market will re-open in April 2016. Thank you for your patronage, it’s been a great year in Rockville! Their market vendors have everything you need to make your Thanksgiving meal complete – turkey, sides, desserts and everything in between.

Thanksgiving Market

Join Central Farm Market for their annual Thanksgiving Market on Tuesday, November 24! The market will take place from 10am-2pm at our Pike Central location. Their vendors will have lots of special items that you can pick up for the holidays. Click here to see what’s available!
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Don’t forget — White Flint 2 Sector Plan Meeting Tomorrow Night

Please join the Montgomery County Planning Department staff on Wednesday, November 18 for the fourth community meeting for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan.  The focus of the meeting will be on transportation and connectivity.  Staff will present an overview of connectivity suggestions that were made by attendees at the last meeting on Oct. 14.  Staff will also provide an update on transportation projects underway and/or proposed within the area, an overview of land use transportation modeling, and discuss the possible strategies for White Flint 2 that were used in the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan.  There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Location:              Rocking Horse Road Center, All Purpose Room, 4910 Macon Rd, Rockville

Date:                     Wednesday, November 18

Time:                     6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Updates and past meeting information can be found at the project webpage.

 

Walkable Streets = Safe Streets

Greater Greater Washington said in a piece last week, “downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Rockville are where it’s easiest to walk around in Montgomery County. They are also where drivers are least likely to kill someone on foot.”

A map of ten years of fatal traffic accidents from Metrocosm

A map of ten years of fatal traffic accidents in North Bethesda from Metrocosm

A new interactive map by Metrocosm clearly proves that pedestrian deaths center on high-speed suburban arteries, not the smart urban, walkable streets we want in the Pike District.  According to the GGW article,  “street corners are close together, stores front directly on the sidewalk, and speed limits are reduced.” That is what reduces pedestrians fatalities.

Yet another piece of evidence that supports the vision of a Pike District filled with narrow lanes, slower traffic, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and paths.

Goodbye Church, Hello Townhouses

Montrose Baptist Church on Randolph Road, which is part of the White Flint 2 Sector Plan area, will be be redeveloped into 130 town homes assuming Montgomery County approve its rezoning request. According to Bethesda Magazine, the Montrose Baptist Church’s rezoning case will go before the Montgomery County Planning Board next week and is set for a Dec. 11 hearing in front of a county hearing examiner.

M-NCPPC has recommended approving the rezoning of this land from single-family homes to townhouses, saying”it furthers the land use goals of the 1992 North Bethesda/Garrett Park Master Plan. The proposed development would serve as an appropriate transition between single-family detached houses and more intense uses, and it would increase the diversity of housing types in the surrounding area.”

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Bethesda Magazine wrote”according to Montgomery County Public Schools, the proposed town home project is projected to house 23 students who attend Viers Mill Elementary School, eight middle school students for the area’s Middle School Magnet Consortium and 13 high school students for the Downcounty Consortium made up of five different high schools.

“The amount of rush hour vehicle trips made to and from the town homes would be significantly less than what the school sees now, according to a traffic analysis performed by a consultant for the school and reviewed by the Planning Department.”

Curious about What Happened at the Implementation and Downtown Advisory Committee Meetings?

Here’s what you missed:
White Flint Implementation Committee Meeting November 9
  • Saul Centers Phase 1 went to DRC.  It’s fundamentally in good shape with a few issues to fix
  • Pike & Rose Phase II recently submitted Phase 2b amendments with small modifications, mostly concerning the streetscape.
  • There’s a White Flint 2 Sector Plan meeting November 18 at 6:30 pm concerning transportation.  The meeting is at Rocking Horse Center
  • Chad Salganik said “the October 19th Transportation Open House was one of the best county presentations he’s seen. It was very comprehensive.”
  • The Western Workaround could being as early as summer 2016.
  • The County had a good meeting with SHA, asking them to narrow lanes to 10′ so we can have separated bike lanes, lower curb heights from 8″ to 6″, and reduce speed limit to 25 mph.
  • There was a presentation on the Master Bikeways Project.
White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee Meeting November 10
The committee is posting a new job, a part-time manager to manage multiple administrative, marketing, and communication tasks. To learn more, contact ken.hartman@montgomerycountymd.gov.
  • The medians along Rockville Pike were cleaned up.
  • Pepco has acquired the old Sport and Health property on a Nebel St. for a substation.
  • TMD is surveying businesses and residents about their commuting and transportation options.
  • Chapman Avenue in the paving stage.
  • There were various committee updates and discussion of a fall event.