Archives April 2020

Vision Zero Update — Improvements Coming to the Pike District

This morning, the County gave an update to the North Bethesda Transportation Management District on Vision Zero. We’re happy to share some of the best parts of the presentation here, and you can get the entire presentation here. Visit Montgomery County’s Vision Zero Website for more info.

We’re delighted that there are some plans to make the area around the White Flint metro station and the intersection of Old Georgetown and Rockville Pike safer for pedestrians.

Covid-19 Updates

Courtesy of Delegate Marc Korman, here are the latest Covid-19 statistics for the Pike District, or at least most of it.

According to the Maryland Coronavirus Dashboard: COVID-19 Statistics in Maryland

Number of confirmed cases: 19,487 (Up 906 cases from previous day)
Number of negative test results: 85,489    
Number of confirmed deaths: 858 (Up 31 from previous day)
Number of probable deaths: 87
Currently hospitalized: 1,513 (Up 50 from the previous day)
Acute care: 978
Intensive care: 535
Ever hospitalized: 4,101
Released from isolation: 1,263

COUNTY
Montgomery
CASES
3,843
DEATHS
(190)

Save the Date: FOWF Virtual Meeting May 19

Now that the White Flint 2010 Sector Plan is ten years old, the Montgomery County Planning Department is revisiting the recommendations from the sector plan by initiating the Advancing the Pike District study. The goals of the study are to:

  • Provide an up-to-date Progress Snapshot: Summarize development patterns and trends to date, and identify challenges inhibiting development around the Metro Station area. Highlight successful planning and development practices and lessons learned since the Sector Plan’s adoption.
  • Implement Vision Zero in White Flint’s Core: Integrate Vision Zero concepts and principles to reduce conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians and create a safe environment for all modes of transportation around the Metro Station area.
  • Position the White Flint Metro Station for success:. Create an urban design framework and common vision that maximizes the Metro site’s potential, advances county goals, and enhances access alternatives to the Metro Station.
  • Create an identity for the Pike District through Placemaking: Host a community placemaking event in coordination with the Better Block Foundation and the Pike District rebranding campaign.

This project is intended to spark further implementation by identifying short-term opportunities for success that can be implemented within the next 2-5 years to further the development of the White Flint area, as well as move forward the sector plan.

The Planning Department and Friends of White Flint will hold a virtual meeting Tuesday, May 19 at 7 pm to discuss and get community feedback on the Advancing the Pike District project so save the date!

Pike Central Farm Market at Pike & Rose Opens This Saturday!

The PIKE Central Farm Market is opening this weekend. Please pre-order from your favorite market vendors and review the market’s main page for contactless pick-up options, and market safety guidance. Masks are required for vendors and shoppers. https://www.centralfarmmarkets.com/preorders-at-pike-cfm/

Saturday at 9 AM – 1:30 PM

Pike & Rose 11810 Grand Park Avenue, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852

A news roundup

Local Covid-19 Statistics

Courtesy of Delegate Marc Korman

4,800+ businesses, nonprofits apply for county COVID-19 emergency grants 

More than 4,800 small businesses and nonprofits had applied for emergency grants from Montgomery County‘s $20 million Public Health Emergency Grant Program. The county expects money will begin to go out to approved applicants towards the end of this week. The County Council is scheduled to vote tomorrow to add $5 million to the fund.
At a press conference on Friday, Governor Larry Hogan said that out of $9.3 million in a state Layoff Aversion Fund to help avoid job cuts at small businesses, $8 million had been distributed. He also reported that a $50 million grant fund for businesses and nonprofits had received more than 20,200 applications, and that a $75 million loan fund had received more than 9,100 applications. Both funds have stopped taking applications. More.

Walter Johnson ranked sixth best high school in Maryland and No. 344 in the country

Five Montgomery County High Schools are ranked among the top 10 public schools in the state according to a report released Monday. U.S. News and World Report ranked Poolesville High School as the best school in Maryland and 90th best school in the country.

Walt Whitman in Bethesda follows Poolesville as second best in the state and No. 105 in the country. Wootton High School in Rockville was ranked third best in the state and No. 128 in the country. Churchill High School in Potomac ranked fourth in the state and No. 133 in the country. Walter Johnson in Bethesda ranked sixth in the state and No. 344 in the country. Bethesda-Chevy Chase ranked No. 13 in the state and No. 567 nationally, while Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville ranked No. 14 in the state and No. 604 in the country. Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg ranked No. 20 in the state and No. 807 nationally.

No letter grades for fourth marking period 

Montgomery County Public Schools MCPS) said on its website yesterday that it won’t assign letter grades for the fourth marking period. However, grades for the third marking period, which ended on Friday, will be given using the traditional grading system. Report cards will be mailed home starting April 27. The last day of the school year is June 15. Currently, the state has closed all public school buildings through May 15. Today, April 20, was the first day of the next phase of the MCPS online learning plan. Read details about this and more on the MCPS website.

Explore Montgomery County from home   

From virtual events to online activities, there are a variety of ways to discover Montgomery County from the comfort of your own home via the internet. You and your family can go on a farm tour, participate in musical jam sessions, see art exhibits, visit a lockhouse, hear lectures, learn about nature and try fun new activities. Visit MoCo at Home to learn more.

Western Workaround Construction Continues Despite the Pandemic

The folks at MCDOT gave Friends of White Flint an update to the Western Workaround project, and we want to pass along the info to you.

The big news as that Executive Boulevard will be closing around mid-May. The closed part will extend from Old Georgetown Road to the Conference Center/M & T Bank. (See the green circle below.)

Project Milestones and Schedule Update
 Substantial Completion – November 2022
 Permanent Closure of Executive Blvd – Mid May 2020
 Grand Park Ave – May 2020 to April 2021
 Towne Rd – April 2021 to November 2022
 Old Georgetown – May 2020 to November 2022
 Storm Drain on Old Georgetown – May 2020 to October 2021
 Pepco conduit construction – May 2020 to July 2021
 Pepco underground and overhead relocation – Summer/Fall 2021
 Verizon underground and overhead relocation – Ongoing through December 2021

MCDOT will keep updating the website as work proceeds. During Grand Park Avenue construction, the Gables parking lot will remain open with vehicular and pedestrian access. Power outages will be coordinated by Pepco with customers – both residents and businesses.

The County is focused on minimizing impacts to the Conference Center. Phase 1B work in front of the conference Center is scheduled to start in Fall 2020; the county is working with the contractor to advance the work as much as possible, hopefully in summer 2020. The goal is to complete the construction of Grand Park Ave from Old Georgetown Rd to Marinelli Rd by Spring 2021. Before the closure of Executive Blvd, detour signs will be installed directing vehicular traffic to the Conference Center from Montrose Pkwy and Rockville Pike.

You can see a complete map by clicking here: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/whiteflint/Resources/Files/pAERIAL_WFWest%20(reduced).pdf

Public Hearing: Proposed Grosvenor Station Parking Modifications — Tonight

Metro is seeking feedback on proposed modifications to the parking garage addition previously approved at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail Station. Learn more about this proposal, review the Environmental Evaluation, and ask the project team a question at https://www.wmata.com/initiatives/plans/grosvenor-garage-modifications.cfm

You are invited to attend a public hearing by telephone on Monday, April 20 between 6:30-8:30 p.m. by calling 202-962-1901 or TTY 202-962-2033. Individuals will be provided up to five minutes to provide recorded testimony by voicemail. All testimony will be transcribed and submitted into the public record.

You can also provide your comments online at https://grosvenorpublicinput.questionpro.com by 5 p.m. Friday, May 1

Bike and Walk on Beach Drive

Remember — Little Falls Parkway (from Mass Ave to Arlington Road) and Beach Drive (from Knowles Ave to Connecticut) from Friday at 9 a.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m. will be closed to automobile traffic and open them to walkers, runners, bikers and scooters! (Friends of White Flint advocated for the opening of Beach Drive to pedestrian and bikes, and we’re delighted that Beach Drive will open for recreation during this pandemic.)

Thrive Montgomery 2050

As we work on surviving 2020, the Planning Department is working on thriving in 2050 as it updates the Montgomery County general plan. Tomorrow, the Planning Board will meet to discuss the broad goals of the plan, which you can find in the Thrive Montgomery Issues Report. You can also read the Planning Department’s Staff Memo for tomorrow’s meeting.

Today, Friends of White Flint is sending its letter of support of these goals.

Dear Chairman Anderson:

Because the Friends of White Flint vision for the White Flint/Pike District area fits quite well with the broad initial vision for the Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan, Friends of White Flint agrees that the Montgomery County of 2050 should:

  • be more connected
  • focus on multi-modal transit
  • prioritize housing near transit
  • emphasize complete communities so that people can easily and safely walk to stores, offices, parks, and other amenities,
  • have sufficient affordable housing
  • prioritize a culture of sustainability
  • ensure a robust and resilient economy sustained by a diverse base of industries and workers 

The residents, businesses, and property owners of Friends of White Flint look forward to working with the Planning Board and Planning Staff to create a general plan that will move us toward achieving these goals.

Sincerely,

Amy Ginsburg, Executive Director

Great News! Beach Drive Will Be Closed to Cars and Open for Peds and Bikes Friday – Sunday

Excited to announce that Montgomery Parks will be closing Little Falls Parkway (from Mass Ave to Arlington Road) and Beach Drive (from Knowles Ave to Connecticut) from Friday at 9 a.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m. to automobile traffic and opening them to walkers, runners, bikers and scooters! (Friends of White Flint advocated for the opening of Beach Drive to pedestrian and bikes, and we’re delighted that Beach Drive will open.)