Our Community’s Letter to WMATA about the Proposed Service Reduction at White Flint Metro Station

Our Community’s Letter to WMATA about the Proposed Service Reduction at White Flint Metro Station

November 17, 2016

Honorable Jack Evans, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Paul Wiedefeld, General Manager
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Mr. Evans and Mr. Wiedefeld:

The White Flint/Pike District area in North Bethesda, Maryland is transforming into a walkable, transit-oriented community, a vibrant neighborhood of residents of all ages, unique shops and restaurants, and large and small businesses. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in this area by dozens of property owners and by Montgomery County, and significant additional investment is planned over the next twenty years.

As residents, property owners, government employees, and businesses, we are strong supporters of Metro. We use Metro to get to jobs, homes, and entertainment, and we believe Metro is an indispensable part of our community. It is because we believe in Metro that we are convinced that service cutbacks as described in WMATA’s proposed budget would be extraordinarily damaging to not just the White Flint/Pike District area but also the entire metropolitan area. Quite simply, headways at the WMATA White Flint Station must remain every six minutes during peak times, and headways must be far more frequent than the proposed fifteen minutes during nonpeak hours. Diminished service during both peak and non-peak times would decimate the White Flint/Pike District area.

A central tenet of the Pike District/White Flint redevelopment is easy access to transit, primarily Metrorail. In fact, the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan has a non-auto driver mode share (NADMS) requirement of 51% for residents and 50% for employees, which can’t be achieved without Metro. More than a million square feet of office space, 6,000 residential units, two hotels, and approximately one and a half million square feet of retail space are in the pipeline to be built over the next few years in the Pike District. That is on top of thousands of homes and jobs that already exist in the White Flint area. Of course, WMATA, as the owner of a significant joint development property at the White Flint Metro Station, has an economic stake in White Flint as well. Both future and current development is dependent upon frequent, reliable metro service at the White Flint station during both peak and non-peak hours.

The transit-oriented development of the Pike District obviously requires frequent, reliable transit. Metro enables workers to reach their jobs at the North Bethesda Marriott, NRC, and dozens of other offices and businesses. It is the reason thousands of people will choose to lease the new apartments being built at Pike and Rose, the Gables, North Bethesda Center, East Village, and Saul Centers and is reflected in the Pike District property values. It is an essential amenity that attracts businesses to the Pike District and is the foundation of the Pike District economy.

We the undersigned are sympathetic to Metro’s budget woes, but we believe that dedicated funding is the solution, not drastic service cutbacks that could all too easily launch both a Metro death spiral and a subsequent Pike District death spiral. We look forward to working with you to find sources for dedicated funding because we adamantly oppose any service reductions to the White Flint Metro station. Thank you, and we hope to meet with you soon to discuss our concerns.

Sincerely,

Action for Community Transit
All Eyes on Rockville
B.F. Saul
Chesapeake Public Strategies
Coalition for Smarter Growth
Combined Properties
Communities for Transit
East Village/North Bethesda Gateway
Federal Realty Investment Trust
Friends of White Flint
The Forum Condominiums
Gables Residential
The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce
Georgetown Village Condominium
Greater Farmland Civic Association
JBG
Klinedinst Management
LCOR
Lerner Enterprises
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
Montouri Property, LLC
North Bethesda Center
North Bethesda Market
North Bethesda Marriott Hotel and Conference Center
Pike and Rose
Old Georgetown Village Condominiums
Old Georgetown Village Townhomes
Quantum Companies
Promark
Randolph Civic Association
Saul Centers West
SnyderCohn
Maryland State Delegate Marc Korman
TDG/SILVEROCK Realty
The Tower Companies
Visit Montgomery
White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee
White Flint Mall
White Flint Station Condominiums
Willco
The Wisconsin Condominiums

Amy Ginsburg

Website:

5 comments

Arline Pacht

Thank you for forwarding the above letter. As a frequent user of Metro , I depend on accessing the White Flint station which is accessible by foot for older residents in the neighborhood by virtue of a tunnel that provides security in crossing Wisconsin Avenue. I suggest that those who are considering closing the White Flint station tour the surrounding area to see the enormous growth of high rise apartment buildings whose occupants both young and old use the Metro frequently and thus relieve excessive use of auto traffic on Wisconsin Ave to reach Washington D.C. There are a number of other stations on the red line used far less frequently than the White Flint station and, therefore, I question the wisdom of the decision to impose severe limitations on use of the the White Flint station.

Jeffrey M. Frost

Any reduction of service to the White Flint station would just be a temporary bandaid and would be detrimental to Metro’s financing in the Iongoing run and hurt the community that is being considered for thei near and long term.

Kristen Doherty

Thank you for putting this letter about White Flint Metro Station and the neighborhood. I have to use public transportation because i don’t drive. I use it to go to work, get home and everywhere i need to travel. I am a resident of Strathmore Court at White Flint . Many of the residents at Strathmore court apartments use white Flint metro too for a various reasons. It seems you keep forgetting the residents at Strathmore court at White Flint . The residents want to keep informed of any changes such as the metro station and other projects around our community. Please add our community to the list of apartment communities. Thank you.

Pearl Vogel

I live in the Wisconsin condo building on Nicholson Lane and purchased my unit recently primarily because of its easy access to reliable public transportation. It makes no sense to curtail service at the White Flint station at the same time as the county is a) trying to reduce automobile traffic, and b) has substantially increased apartment density for new buildings in the immediate area. This would adversely impact many senior citizens and others who reside in the area and also have a negative impact on property values and rentals.

ELISA JINA MOON

I LIVE IN WHITE FLINT METRO . I MOVED HERE BECAUSE OF ITS LOCATION TO THE METRO, BUSES, AND COMMUNITY-SHOPPING,RESTERATUUNTS, GOVERNMENT.
I ALSO HAVE A DISABILITY THAT HINDERS MY ABILITY TO DRIVE.
THE METRO IS ALREADY CUTTING THE TRAINS AT MIDNIGHT, AND SINGLE TRACKING, WHICH IS A PROBLEM.
PLEASE DO NOT ALSO TAKE AWAY WHITE FLINT METRO SERVICE.THIS AREA IS DEVELOPING AS OTHERS, SAY TO BE MORE WALKING AND LESS DRIVING

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