Archives September 2019

Subdivision Staging Policy Workshop October 7

Subdivision Staging Policy Community Workshop, October 7 from 7pm to 9pm at 1 Veterans Plaza Silver Spring, MD 20910

The Subdivision Staging Policy is the tool by which the County ensures its essential public facilities, particularly schools and transportation systems, keep pace with development. It tests the County’s infrastructure for adequacy based on projected capacity, growth, and future development.

As part of the Subdivision Staging Policy 2020 update, Montgomery Planning staff invites community members to attend a Community Workshop to be held at 7:00 pm on Monday, October 7.  The workshop will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building and will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the schools and transportation components of the Subdivision Staging Policy.  Please be sure to RSVP to help ensure adequate space.

Fascinating Facts in the White Flint Monitoring Report

The Planning Board discussed the 2019 Biennial Master Plan White Flint Monitoring Report yesterday, and I encourage you to at least give it a glance as it’s chock-full of info about the White Flint/Pike District area. Just in case you don’t have a half-hour to read this report, here are a few highlights. We’ll post more in the coming days.

Western Workaround The White Flint Western Workaround (Phase 1) is complete. This project includes the construction of realigned Executive Boulevard (future Grand Park Avenue) and Banneker Street (Main/Market Street) on the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center property.

Capital Bikeshare In 2018, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) installed several Capital Bikeshare stations in the plan area, including a bikeshare station at the White Flint Metro Station and another along the North Bethesda Trolley Trail at Woodglen Drive and Executive Boulevard.

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Improvements The MCDOT has continued to implement new bikeways in the plan area, including along Executive Boulevard, between Nicholson Lane and Woodglen Drive, and along Marinelli Road, between Rockville Pike (MD 355) and Nebel Street. These bikeways will be implemented in fall 2019. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will be addressing pedestrian and bicyclist safety issues along Rockville Pike (MD 355), including at Marinelli Road and Nicholson Lane with the installation of highly visible crosswalks. The MDOT SHA is also exploring the reconfiguration of the intersection of Old Georgetown Road (MD 187) and MD 355 to remove dedicated slip lanes.

White Flint Metro Station Northern Entrance In 2018, the County Council approved $3.5 million for preliminary planning and engineering for a new northern entrance to the White Flint Metro Station. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is currently conducting a feasibility study for the northern entrance.

White Flint 2 Sector Plan The Approved and Adopted 2018 White Flint 2 Sector Plan expanded the development capacities associated with the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan by adding 1,800 residential units and 750,000 square feet of non-residential development to the first two phases of the recommended staging plan in the 2010 Sector Plan.

Development Moratorium Based on the 2019 annual schools test, the Walter Johnson Cluster has been placed in a development moratorium since the cluster is at 129 percent. Any high school cluster that is above 120 percent of capacity is placed into a moratorium. The Planning Board cannot approve any new residential subdivisions in the Walter Johnson cluster.

Learn about the proposed I-270 monorail, in case you couldn’t attend last night’s community meeting

Bob Eisenger discussed the proposed I-270 monorail at last night’s community meeting then answered numerous questions. All in all, it was quite illuminating. If you weren’t there (or just want a refresher), please visit these links: The High Road Foundation advocates for monorail within Montgomery County, Maryland and across the United States to support the goals of conservation, traffic congestion relief, economic development and to advance the emerging technology of Autonomous Vehicles.

A short video that explains the proposed monorail.

Good news about the re-opening of Hank Dietle’s

From Washingtonian Magazine

In a recent Facebook post, Thomas Bowes, who wrote that he handled booking at Dietle’s for three years prior to the fire, announced that he has signed a 10-year lease on the space and is restarting the renovation effort. “It could take us several months to get the space back to normal, and we will try to make it better in many ways,” he wrote. Through a representative, Bowes and his partners declined to comment beyond what he wrote online. In late July, a new entity, Hank Dietle’s, LLC, was registered, with Bowes listed as the resident agent. Washingtonian was unable to reach Huniak for comment.

Music is likely to be a big focus. Longtime 9:30 Club booker Lisa White—who more recently has steered bookings at the Wharf’s Pearl Street Warehouse—will be involved. At the moment, all she is able to say, she wrote in an email, is that “something good is going to happen, as soon as we can make it happen.”

Planning Board Transportation Priority List Reflects the Importance of the White Flint area

Here is the staff memo for the Planning Board’s Capital Improvements Program Priorities – Transportation and School Facilities. The Planning Board will discuss these priorities on Thursday.

Below is a list of the school and transportation projects that affect the White Flint/Pike District area. We’re thrilled that Woodward is the top school project — it is the key to lifting the current moratorium. 

We;re also delighted that so many White Flint/Pike District projects make the top ten of the transportation projects — BRT, the other road network improvements, and the White Flint Metro North entrance.  We might quibble over putting the north metro entrance higher in the list … and higher than the Forest Glen metro stop north entrance … but considering the large expanse of our county and its many needs, but getting three of the top ten projects for our area is a testament to our advocacy efforts and the potential of our area to become all that is envisioned.

Note that the City of Rockville to Friendship Heights Breezeway that is mentioned in various segments throughout the priority list will also be a positive bikeway addition to our neighborhood.

Busy Fall Season for Pike & Rose

From Store Reporter

It’s a busy season ahead for Pike & Rose, with three big openings in the next three months. 

West Elm, offering modern furniture and home decor, will arrive the week of Sept. 30th. 

Sunday Morning Bakehouse, the first brick-and-mortar store for the popular farm market vendor, will debut in the next few weeks.

And The Block, a new Asian food hall, will open its doors in November with a whole new assortment of quick-serve eateries and snack spots. 

Another Pedestrian Safety Addition to the Pike District!

Thanks to community activism from Action Committee for Transit, Friends of White Flint, and Councilmember Andrew Friedson, we received word Friday from MCDOT Traffic Engineering that they will be converting the existing flashers at the Bethesda Trolley Trail crossing of Tuckerman Lane to a full pedestrian hybrid beacon that includes a solid red light signal phase. The signal is in design now and MCDOT expects it to be up and operational by the end of the year.

We only wish it did not require a tragedy and death for our community to receive this essential pedestrian improvement.

Great News! SHA comes through with pedestrian improvements for the Pike District!!

Thank you SHA (and MCDOT) for these promised pedestrian safety improvements! We’re very excited to seeing them implemented. (And we’re excited about Friends of White Flint’s advocacy having a positive impact on our community!)

  • The work to install continental crosswalks along Route 355 has been included on a list of prioritized locations that will be handled by our maintenance staff’s pavement marking contractor and will be completed this fall, schedule permitting.
  •  MDOT SHA Office of Traffic and Safety (OOTS) recently approved a project to install the south crosswalk with ADA facilities at MD 355 and Nicholson Lane. As the next step, the project will be moving forward to the design phase.
  • Approval for a “No Turn on Red” on eastbound Marinelli Road at MD 355 and at southbound MD 355 at Marinelli Road remains pending at this time. Based upon recent discussions with MDOT SHA OOTS, a final decision is anticipated before week’s end. We will share that decision with you immediately upon availability.