Here are the highlights from this week’s White Flint Implementation and Downtown Advisory Committee meetings.
White Flint Implementation Committee Meeting, Monday, May 11
1) Gables Pike District received approval for their preliminary and site plans.
2) Goddard School received approval for a pre-school on Edson Lane that will educate 165 children.
3) On Monday, May 18, DOT is holding a meeting at 7pm at the Kennedy Shriver Swim Center to discuss Nebel Street Bikeway Alternatives.
4) Construction on the Chapman Road extension has started.
5) The intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Hoya Street (which will now be called Town Road) is 70% designed and will be presented at an upcoming Implementation Committee meeting.
6) In June, the Maryland State Highway Administration and Maryland Transit Administration in cooperation with MCDOT will host two workshops to gain community input on options for rapid transit on Route 355. They hope that the best concepts will be studied in detail by Summer 2015 with a final recommendation and report in the summer of 2016.
The Corridor Advisory Committees (CACs) are providing public input to this Corridor Planning Study and are meeting regularly. Meetings are open to the public. The next MD 355 South CAC meeting will be held June 4 at 6:30 at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.
White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee Meeting, Tuesday, May 12
1) Gary Erenrich, Acting Deputy Director of MCDOT, gave a presentation about their application for a TIGER 7 Federal Grant. They are asking for funds to cover 80% of the $21 million cost to create an innovative, high-frequency, high-speed, limited-stop bus service from Grosvenor metro to LakeForest Mall along Route 355. The all-electric buses will run every 10 minutes during peak times and every 15 minutes during non-peak periods seven days a week, 17 to 19 hours each day. One interesting feature of this bus line will be the ability to control traffic signals to ensure reliability. There will be ten stations along this route, each with improved bus shelters and real-time information about transit options. MCDOT estimates this ‘Ride On Plus’ system will generate 2,000 additional riders daily.
The county has also proposed ten bike share stations in the White Flint area to feed into this bus line, but five of them require private sector funding commitments. Each station has a capital cost of about $60,000. The county will cover operational costs for all ten bike share stations.
2) The committee is in the beginning stages of planning an iconic Pike District event for Fall 2016.
3) The Downtown Advisory Committee received state approval to begin landscaping on Route 355. Everyone should be able to see this beautiful landscaping blooming in the next few weeks.
4) The benefits of placing wayfinding signs around the Pike District was favorably discussed. They also showed this informative two-minute video. (Not to brag, but Friends of White Flint brought this idea to the Committee’s attention.)
5) The website www.pikedistrict.org is starting to get lots of traffic. (If you haven’t checked it out, you should!)