Archives January 2021

Vision Zero Conference Jan 23

2020 was marked by another unfortunate milestone with 18 pedestrians and cyclists killed in traffic incidents in Montgomery County. It is clear that the county and state must do more to make walking and biking safer in all of our communities. 

Join Montgomery County Councilmember At-Large Evan Glass and Congressman Anthony Brown Saturday, January 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a virtual Vision Zero conference to discuss road safety, the county’s efforts to implement Vision Zero and how residents can best advocate for safer streets. The event is co-sponsored by the MCCPTA, CASA de Maryland, Washington Area Bicyclists Association, Action Committee for Transit, Sierra Club Montgomery County, and the Coalition for Smarter Growth.   

These traffic fatalities are preventable, and we as a county must do more to make our streets and roads safer for all.

Use this link to RSVP: bit.ly/visionzero-townhall

A letter in support of increased MARC train service

Below is a letter that Friends of White Flint signed, with many others, to support a veto override of MARC Bill HB 1236

Speaker Jones, President Ferguson, and Minority Leaders Kipke and Simonaire:

Please accept the attached letter from a diverse group of elected leaders, municipalities, and business, labor, smart growth, and  environmental organizations urging your support to override the veto for HB 1236, a bill that would begin to implement the MARC Cornerstone Plan through three initiatives of statewide importance, including:

  • a plan to pilot an extension of MARC trains beyond Union Station to L’Enfant Plaza, Crystal City and Alexandria;
  • a plan to close the commuter rail gap between Perryville, Maryland and Newark, Delaware—opening job opportunities for residents in Cecil and Harford counties; and
  • a concept plan to connect the Penn Line and the Camden Line to enhance these lines’ resiliency and improve operations and maintenance.

On behalf of all the signatories below, we thank you for your leadership and support of this request.

Angela D. Alsobrooks, County Executive, Prince George’s County

Ryan Dorsey, Councilmember, Baltimore City

Marc Elrich, County Executive, Montgomery County

Andrew Friedson, Councilmember, Montgomery County

Dannielle M. Glaros, Councilmember, Prince George’s County

Evan Glass, Councilmember, Montgomery County

Tom Hucker, Councilmember, Montgomery County

Nick J. Mosby, Council President, Baltimore City

Steuart Pittman, Jr., County Executive, Anne Arundel County

Hans Reimer, Councilmember, Montgomery County

Brandon M. Scott, Mayor, Baltimore City

Patrick L. Wojahn, Mayor, City of College Park

2030 Group

Baltimore-DC Metro Building Trades Council

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen – District of Columbia (BLET-DC)

City of College Park

Coalition for Smarter Growth

Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore

Friends of White Flint

Greater Washington Partnership

JBG SMITH

Maryland Sierra Club

Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO

Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

National Landing Business Improvement District

Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce

Rail Passengers Association

SMART-TD Maryland

Town of Riverdale Park

 

 

Want to serve on the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee?

County Executive Marc Elrich is seeking applicants to fill five vacancies on the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee, for one member representing a business that employs fewer than 25 employees, two representatives of commercial property owners in the Sector Plan Area, and two residents in the Sector Plan Area. One small business owner, one commercial property owner, and one resident in the Sector are eligible to apply for reappointment.

The Sector Plan Area is comprised of the following streets: Citadel Avenue, Executive Boulevard (5900 block), Hoya Street, Maple Avenue, Marinelli Lane, McGrath Boulevard, Nebel Street (11500-12292), Nicholson Court, Nicholson Lane, Old Georgetown Road (11565-11999), Randolph Road (5500 block), Rockville Pike (11120-12000), Security Lane, and Woodglen Drive. For specific questions regarding the Sector Plan Area boundaries, please contact Derrick Harrigan at (240) 777-8210.

The 14-member committee includes two members nominated by the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce; three members who represent (commercial) property owners in the Sector Plan Area; two members who represent businesses that employ fewer than 25 employees; two members who represent residential communities in the Sector Plan area; one member who represents a residential community in or outside of the Sector Plan area; one member of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board; and three ex officio, non-voting members who represent the County Executive, County Council, and North Bethesda Transportation Management District.

The Committee advises County departments on public services in the White Flint Sector Plan Area; and coordinates community activities that promote and advance business interests, and a sense of place, community, maintenance, and walkability within the Area. The Committee provides an annual report to the County Executive and County Council.

Members serve three-year terms without compensation but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for in-person meetings attended. The Board currently meets virtually by video- and teleconference monthly the first Wednesday of the month at 8:00 am. When in-person meetings resume in the future, the Board will meet in North Bethesda near the White Flint Metro Station.

Applicants of diverse, backgrounds, professions, genders, geography, abilities, ethnicities, and ages are encouraged to apply. Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time. Members must complete training on the Maryland Open Meetings Act and basic parliamentary procedure. The County Executive’s appointments are subject to confirmation by the County Council. Applications will be forwarded to the Council for confirmation and may be made public as part of the confirmation process. The deadline for application is January 27, 2021To apply please click “Apply for Position” to complete the online form and provide a cover letter and resume (in one document).

BUN’D UP at The Block

A new take on steamed buns has come to the Pike & Rose neighborhood! Bun’d Up, a popular food pop-up known for their Korean twist on the original Taiwanese “gua bao,” opened at The Block this past Thursday!

Place your carryout orders on their website here

967 Rose Ave, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 7pm

If you can handle the Korean spice🇰🇷🌶, our pork belly bun will satisfy your taste buds.😋 Pork belly and pineapple🍍 kimchi topped of with scallions and our cilantro lime sauce. Comment below if you are down for some Asian fusion👇🏼

Another Covid Update for 20852

Below is a compilation of Covid charts for our area. As they used to say on Hill Street Blues (a cop TV show from long ago, for the under 40 crowd), “be careful out there.”

Courtesy of Delegate Marc Korman
From the New York Times
From Montgomery County Coronavirus Dashboard
From the Montgomery County Coronavirus Dashboard

National Capital Region Vaccine Information from the Maryland Vaccine Dashboard (Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s)

Count of Vaccinated: 37,067

Proportion of Population Vaccinated: 1.55%

How Central Farm Markets Thrived in 2020

With help from Montgomery County, Councilmember Andrew Friedson, Governor Larry Hogan, and Federal Realty, Central Farm Markets and its Pike Central Farm Market at Pike & Rose thrived in 2020, despite the pandemic.

Mitch Berliner, owner and founder of the fifteen-year-old Central Farm Market said that other jurisdictions, such as Virginia, closed farmers markets, but Maryland and Montgomery County realized that farmers markets were essential to maintain the local food chain and keep local farmers farming.

Mitch Berliner

“Bottom line, I’m super proud of how we handled the pandemic,” said Mitch. “We put in our own protocols before there were protocols. We enforced mask-wearing before the county did, and our patrons were extremely cooperative. As soon as we opened Pike Central in April and in our Bethesda market, we installed signs reminding people to social distance, eliminated sampling, and had one entrance/one exit to control the number of people shopping at the market. We also added prepared food ranging from Asian to vegan to Ethiopian, helping chefs and restaurants to stay afloat.”

Pike Central also offered contactless pickup and began a “farm-to-fridge” program. With volunteer help from ProFish, they’ve made thousands of deliveries since April.

Because the number of food insecure residents in Montgomery County has doubled during the pandemic, co-owner and founder Debbie Moser and Mitch made a $25,000 challenge gift to Manna Food Center, which farm market patrons generously matched. They also send produce to Manna weekly.

“I didn’t sign up for this as my retirement project; it’s not as much fun during Covid,” laughed Mitch, “but I absolutely love, love, love doing the markets.”

The Pike Central market returns to Pike & Rose April 24, but you can shop at their Sunday Bethesda Central Farm Market all year round.

The American Legion Bridge

Yes, I know that the American Legion Bridge isn’t in the Pike District, but I bet it affects the residents and businesses in the White Flint area in an array of ways — from making it home to attend your kid’s piano recital to leasing office space to debating in which neighborhood you’ll buy your first home to wondering if your Virginia friends will accept your Thursday at 6 pm dinner party invite. (All pre-Covid, of course.)

The purpose of the I-495/American Legion Bridge Transit/TDM Study is to identify a range of current and future multimodal solutions that can be implemented to reduce congestion, improve trip reliability and regional connections, and enhance existing and planned multimodal mobility and connectivity.

The agencies involved in this project are seeking public input on the Draft recommendations for multimodal improvements along the corridor.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) will hold a Virtual Public Meeting for the I-495 American Legion Bridge Transit and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Study on January 12 at 7pm. Draft recommendations will be presented to the public for information and input. Register here for the meeting.

In addition to providing comments at the public meeting, the public may provide public comment in other ways through February 1.

  • Completing the Online Form
  • Leaving a voicemail: (703) 253-3324
  • Mailing Address: DRPT Attn: Ciara Williams. 1725 Duke Street, Suite 675. Alexandria, VA 22314



Watch the Washington Football Team Playoff Game at the Drive-In Theater on Executive Blvd at the Willco Drive-In Theater

From the MoCo Show

DC Party Box will be holding a watch party for this Saturday’s Washington Football Team vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers playoff game.

The game will be played on their big screen at the Willco Drive In Theater located at 6011 Executive Blvd in North Bethesda. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids and are available at DCPartybox.com. The gates open at 7:45PM and game time is at 8:15PM.

For more information contact:202-922-6696 or info@dcpartybox.com

Encouraging expanded MARC train service

Below is the draft letter regarding HB 1236, Del Solomon’s MARC expansion bill that Friends of White Flint has agreed to sign. We hope that MARC expansion would enable a “one-seat ride” from Garrett Park/Rockville to NoVa.

Dear Speaker Jones, President Ferguson, and Minority Leaders Kipke and Simonaire:

The undersigned elected officials, businesses, business organizations, labor unions, and advocates urge your support to override the veto for HB 1236, a bipartisan bill passed by the General Assembly that can be a key piece to our recovery in the near-term and for generations to come.

HB 1236 will enhance the economic competitiveness of the State of Maryland, deepen access to labor pools for employers and affordable housing options for residents, and reduce congestion on our clogged roadway network. This bill will begin to implement the MARC Cornerstone Plan through three initiatives of statewide importance, including: (1) a plan to pilot an extension of MARC trains beyond Union Station to L’Enfant Plaza, Crystal City and Alexandria; (2) a plan to close the gap between Perryville, Maryland and Newark, Delaware—opening job opportunities for residents in Cecil and Harford counties in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania; and (3) a concept plan to connect the Penn Line and the Camden Line to enhance these lines’ resiliency and improve operations and maintenance.  

We appreciate Maryland’s current fiscal challenges, but we strongly believe the pilots and studies in HB 1236 will generate returns on investments that far exceed the relatively small upfront investment and will position the region to emerge from the pandemic, and future economic recessions, even stronger. Therefore, we urge your favorable support of this important piece of legislation.

Sincerely,

Future of the office market, Part 2: Which of Montgomery County’s office districts are best positioned to win the region’s post-COVID office space race?

A Third Place blog from the Planning Department offers three possible scenarios for the post-Covid world of office space. It appears the Pike District ought to be rooting for the hub and spoke office model.

Scenario 1: The regional center best withstands an overall drop in office demand while the decline of suburban office parks accelerates. Submarkets in Montgomery County that would benefit: None, but Bethesda is likely the least negatively affected.

Scenario 2: Firms adopt the ‘Hub & Spoke’ office model Submarkets in Montgomery County that would benefit: urban submarkets (Bethesda, Silver Spring and portions of North Bethesda) It is likely that firms pursuing this strategy will want some level of urban amenities for these satellite locations. Within Montgomery County, office submarkets that offer transit access and elements of the urban amenities enjoyed downtown but with closer proximity to suburban workers—such as Bethesda, Silver Spring and the Pike District—might see increased demand. More suburban submarkets like Germantown, Gaithersburg, or Rockville, which are dominated by office parks with fewer amenities, might continue to struggle.

Scenario 3: The revival of the suburban office park Submarkets in Montgomery County that would benefit: suburban markets (Germantown, Gaithersburg or northern Rockville).