Archives June 2021

Our testimony to County Council on Thrive Montgomery 2050

Good evening. I’m Amy Ginsburg, Executive Director of Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit devoted to transforming the Pike District/North Bethesda area into a walkable, transit-oriented, thriving community.

If you think that sounds like the goal of the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan, you’re right. Much of the Thrive Montgomery plan matches the goals of the two White Flint Sector plans, and we applaud its focus on sustainable growth, development, and urbanism.

We agree wholeheartedly that the major objective of this plan is to ensure a vibrant, strong and competitive economy by attracting and maintaining major employers, enhancing our federal campuses, supporting small businesses and innovation, and attracting and retaining a high-quality, diverse workforce.  It is essential to recognize that attracting high-quality jobs to areas like the Pike District is the key to transforming North Bethesda and other areas of the county.

We also support its emphasis on achieving vision zero, developing a robust network for walking and biking, and utilizing parks as gathering spaces for social connection. As Thrive Montgomery proposes, planning for people, not cars, is the key to redeveloping the Pike District. Being able to easily walk or bike to meet most daily needs creates dynamic centers that contain many different types of housing and high-quality jobs as well as the shops, restaurants, parks, and other amenities that are vital to a community like the Pike District.

We support the Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan because it matches the goals of the White Flint sector plans – creating diverse living spaces, enhancing social interaction, and attracting the high-quality jobs which are the foundation of a thriving community.

Planning Board approves 144 new housing units on Montrose!

Yesterday the Planning Board approved the plans for the Wilgus property located at Montrose Parkway and Towne Road to build 107 townhouse units, including 34 stacked two-over-two multi-family units and 15% MPDUs. They will also build stormwater management, a landscape buffer, five new roads, a .75 acre central park and a .21 western park.. They also will make a school and park contribution as a public benefit. 12.62-acres will be developed for this phase out of a total of 16.64 acres.

The Planning Board previously approved the Preliminary Plan on October 15, 2020 and the Sketch Plan
on August 1, 2019.

New Restaurants Almost Ready at Pike & Rose

From the MoCo Show

Sports & Social

Sports & Social is best known for offering the “ultimate sports fan experience” — they typically have a large wall of tv displays so fans can watch many games at the same time. Per a press release, the Pike & Rose location will offer an 18 foot LED display.

In addition to being a place where patrons can enjoy watching games, Sports & Social will offer a scratch menu plus cocktails, other interactive games (their Atlanta location offers skeeball, table tennis, shuffle puck, air hockey and a golf simulator), special event days, live music, and more!

Sports & Social is replacing Del Frisco’s, which closed back in 2019. They plan to open this upcoming Fall.


The founders of Cava, Cava Mezze, and Julii are bringing their newest concept to Pike & Rose and they’re currently working hard to try to open in September (a couple photos of the progress can be seen below). Melina will open in the 909 Rose office building across from REI. According to Chef D, the inspiration behind Melina is the desire to share traditional Greek recipes and techniques, but with a creative spin.  Moshovitis also explained that after years in the restaurant industry, he has seen how Greek cooking has evolved and he wanted a new opportunity to showcase modern Greek cuisine. 

The team decided on Pike & Rose because “that neighborhood is awesome.”  The team has had a great experience with Julii in that area, and they love how the Pike & Rose community embraces interesting and unique concepts.

Chef D and the rest of the team cannot wait to share what they’ve been working on when they open and they want everyone to know that “everything we’ve done has really come straight from the heart.”

Not Your Mother’s Bagel

Call Your Mother plans to take over the space formerly occupied by Lucky, which shut its doors in November. They’re currently aiming for a summer opening. Call Your Mother currently has three DC locations as well as a trolley location in Bethesda. In addition, you can find their bagels at four different farmers markets throughout the DMV.

’20 is Plenty’ comes to the streets around NoBe Market

County Executive Marc Elrich, County, Council President Tom Hucker, and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Evan Glass participated in kick-off ceremonies near Woodglen Drive for the pilot ’20 is Plenty’ program.

“As we continue to reopen, traffic will increase, which will lead to more cars on the road and pedestrians crossing streets,” said County Executive Elrich. “This is why we must focus on increasing safety measures throughout Montgomery County communities so that we reduce the number of fatalities. In 2019, Montgomery County saw 1,200 speed-induced crashes resulting in 32 lives lost, which is far too many. The 20 is Plenty effort is designed to engage residents and save more lives.”

Over the last few years, the 20 is Plenty campaign has set new normal speed behaviors internationally in nations including Canada, Sweden, Scotland and the United Kingdom. Nationally, Montgomery County will be joining approximately six other locations, primarily on the West Coast, which have lowered speed limits to 20 mph on select streets.

“I’m hopeful that this program will be the beginning of a much larger push to slow speeds and save lives,” said Council President Hucker. “We are committed to improving safety on our roadways and taking sensible, repeated steps to meet our Vision Zero goals.”

MCDOT Director Chris Conklin said: “Speed is a major factor in serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways. The 20 is Plenty approach is intended to encourage lower speeds in areas where motor vehicles mix with pedestrians and cyclists. Lower speed limits and additional signage is intended to make drivers aware of the need to drive slowly and cautiously in these areas and on streets surrounding the designated 20 is Plenty locations.”

During its 2021 session, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 562, sponsored by the Montgomery County House Delegation. The bill authorizes Montgomery County and its municipalities to decrease the maximum speed limit to not less than 15 miles per hour on highways, but only after performing an engineering and traffic investigation.

“20 is Plenty is an important way to build awareness about the dangers of driving at dangerous speeds,” said Councilmember Friedson. “Together with physical changes to the roadway that slow down drivers, this initiative can help make our roadways safe for all users—pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.”

Streets included in the pilot program are designated in the Montgomery County Road Code as Urban Roads. The five pilot roadways include:

Century Boulevard – Germantown
Executive Boulevard – North Bethesda
Greenwood Avenue – Long Branch
Pinnacle Drive – Germantown
Woodglen Drive – North Bethesda

The program results will be used to determine how, where and if the program should be expanded. ​

The pilot program falls under the County adopted Vision Zero action plan to eliminate serious and fatal collisions on County roadways for vehicle occupants, pedestrians and bicyclists by 2030.

“Slower speeds provide a safety buffer by shortening stopping distances and lessening the impact of crashes,” said Director Conklin. “When crash impact speeds rise from 20 to 30 miles per hour, the risk of fatality to a pedestrian increases eight-fold. Safety is at the center of all of our work. We are constantly asking ourselves what can be done to better protect the public and this pilot program falls in alignment with these values.”

Shake Shack Replacing Arbys

From Washington Business Journal

Shake Shack is taking over the recently shuttered Arby’s at 11710 Rockville Pike, immediately south of Pike & Rose and north of the White Flint Metro station, according to plans obtained from Construction Journal. Per the plans, submitted by Boston architecture firm Bergmeyer, the 2,073-square-foot restaurant will offer 54 seats inside and another 24 seats outside on a remodeled patio. Like Arby’s, there will be a drive-thru.

The Rockville Pike parcel, sitting on roughly two-thirds of an acre, is owned by Montrose Associates, care of Chevy Chase-based Polinger Co., according to public records. The property has a 2021 assessed value of $1.9 million — the land is nearly three times as valuable as the existing building.

Want to learn more about Thrive Montgomery 2050?

The next meeting of the Coalition for Smarter Growth Montgomery for All will be Thursday, June 24th from 7:00-8:00pm. They’ll be joined by District 1 Councilmember Andrew Friedson, who will be talking about Thrive Montgomery 2050. He’s a member of the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee, which will be leading the council’s review of Thrive. This is a chance to hear this thoughts and ask him questions! Register here to receive the Zoom information.

Josiah Henson Museum Public Programs

The Josiah Henson Museum opened their doors to the public on April 23rd, and they have over 400 visitors in the midst of capacity restrictions and limited days of operation (Friday – Sunday).  They are thrilled to announce that they have two public programs to celebrate and commemorate the birthday of Reverend Henson this June.

Josiah Henson, Celebrating His Legacy – Tuesday, June 15th  at 6pm

This free pre-recorded virtual program, presented by the new Josiah Henson Museum and Park, celebrates Reverend Josiah Henson’s birthday with performances by the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices and a panel discussion, “Josiah Henson, Celebrating His Legacy.” The panel consists of select national museum leaders, educators, and historians, and Shirl Spicer, Countywide Museum Manager, Montgomery Parks, moderates. To Register

Josiah Henson Museum and Park – Freedom Well Chalk Walk   Saturday June 19th, 12pm – 4pm   


Join our “Freedom Well Chalk Walk” an in-person celebration of the Reverend Josiah Henson’s birthday week and Juneteenth. When asked, “How do you plan to use your freedom?” Henson answered, “I will use my freedom well.”

Learn about Reverend Henson’s journey to freedom through an interactive chalk walk on the park grounds. Draw your own images on the Freedom Mural and take home a seed stick station.

NO ONSITE PARKING AVAILABLE – Parking is available at The Shriver Aquatic Center at Wall Local Park located at 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852.