All posts by Amy Ginsburg

A Vision Zero Toolkit

The Planning Department has developed a Vision Zero Community Toolkit.

Montgomery Planning’s Vision Zero Community Toolkit is a resource intended to help community members understand and advocate for specific types of road safety designs to reduce crashes involving motor vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. It consists of over 40 design treatments and outlines how each treatment can address road safety challenges in different contexts throughout Montgomery County. The Vision Zero Community Toolkit will help users identify which design strategies are best suited for the specific safety challenges of their neighborhood. Certain treatments are aimed at reducing vehicle speeds, while others may provide safer crossings for bicyclists and pedestrians. Because not all treatments are suited for all roadway types, this toolkit highlights which ones are most effective in a given context.

Some tools we particularly thought would enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety include:

  • Advanced Stop Lines (page 12)
  • Bike Boxes (page 20)
  • Buffered Bike Lanes (page 22)
  • Corner Radius Reduction (page 28)
  • Crossing Islands (page 30)
  • Curb Extensions/Bulb Outs (age 32)
  • High Visibility Crosswalks (page 40)
  • Leading Pedestrian and Bicycle Intervals (page 42)
  • Lighting (page 44)
  • Off-Street Trails (page 54)
  • Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (page 58)
  • Protected Intersections (page 64)
  • Raised Crossing (page 68)
  • Road Diets and Lane Width Reductions (page 74)
  • Separated Bike Lanes (page 80)
  • Shared Streets (page 82)
  • Sidepaths (page 86)
  • Tree Buffer (page 92)

Sports bar coming to Pike & Rose

From Bethesda Beat

Sports & Social, a national chain of bars and restaurants with interactive games, will open at 11800 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose retail development this fall, landlord Federal Realty Investment Trust announced Monday.

The Pike & Rose location will be 7,692 square feet and will feature an 18-foot LED display where customers can watch multiple games at once. Sports & Social will feature “interactive social games” and a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio. There will also be live music and special event some days, the press release stated. The menu will include made-from-scratch items and curated cocktails.

Sports & Social’s Pike & Rose location will be its second in Maryland. Another is opening at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Arundel Mills this spring. No exact opening date was given for either location.

A Bethesda Beat article featuring our community meeting

From Bethesda Beat

Elrich seeks developer to build White Flint life sciences, tech campus

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich envisions a mix of bioscience companies, startups, technology companies and a university presence near the White Flint Metro station. But first, he needs to find a lead developer, he said.

Elrich described what he has in mind to more than 100 people who attended a virtual meeting Thursday night. The nonprofit organization Friends of White Flint, which advocates for the White Flint/Pike District, hosted the forum.

Elrich said the county has entered a memorandum of understanding with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to develop land adjacent to the Metro station.

Elrich said the area is “perfectly positioned” for growth in life sciences and technology due to the site being close to federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as its accessibility due to proximity to Metro’s Red Line and the Beltway.

“We’ve got the land. We’ve got the transportation. We’ve got the industry … and I’m willing to drive purpose-driven development,” he said.

Elrich said a focus on the life sciences and computing industries will help with job growth, which has been lacking in recent years compared to the Northern Virginia suburbs.

“In Montgomery County, we’ve been in a 10-year stall where virtually no jobs are coming to the county. And if you don’t have jobs, you’re not gonna get any housing built,” he said. “There aren’t people demanding housing. … And so, if we’re gonna get both of those things unstuck, we need to do something deliberate.”

Elrich said he is concerned about the net loss of private business in the county, as well as the fact that fewer people age 25 to 44 are choosing to live here.

“None of these are a good trajectory to be on,” he said.

Elrich said the aim is to ensure businesses that offer high-paying jobs come to the corridor.

“I do not need more minimum-wage jobs in Montgomery County. That is not gonna foster a lot of economic growth. It’s not gonna foster people who have the incomes who can live in the apartments that will be built,” he said.

When asked about potential tenants for the area, Elrich said he first needs to send a proposal to a developer. He said he is not sure of the timeline for getting a developer, but said it could potentially happen in six months.

“Unfortunately, I don’t control markets, but everybody tells me there’s interest. And I’m not talking about people I know casually. I mean, developers have said flat out there’s an interest in being here. So that to me is encouraging,” he said.

Elrich said three universities “expressed interest” in being partners for the project, but he did not say which ones. He said he is getting ready to talk with representatives with one of the universities for the fourth time.

Asked about the future held for the former White Flint Mall site, Elrich first said, somewhat lightly, “you’ll have to talk to Alan Gottlieb,” referring to the chief operating officer of Lerner Enterprises, an owner of the former mall site.

Elrich then added more seriously that he doesn’t see Gottlieb “sitting on the sidelines.”

“I’m sure that he’s talking to people who’ve been talking to people and is aware that there is a growing interest in life sciences for that area. And he is rather uniquely positioned in the sense that he has a boatload of land that he can configure,” Elrich said.

Slides from County Executive Marc Elrich’s Presentation at Last Night’s Meeting

County Executive Marc Elrich shared his exciting vision and plans for a bioscience and quantum computing center located at the White Flint metro station.

The county has signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with WMATA to develop the empty parcel right by White Flint metro station into a campus that reflects Montgomery County’s strength as the epicenter of life sciences and coronavirus research. Mr. Elrich noted that he’s been in serious conversations with multiple universities to be partners in this project, as well as with the governor, who is supportive of this project. They hope to build this campus quickly, within a few years.

To refresh your memory, this is the grassy site that sits between Rockville Pike, Old Georgetown Road, Harris Teeter, and Marinelli Road.

Below are some of the slides that the County Executive shared last night at our online community meeting. You can see the entire slide deck here.

Join Marc Elrich at the FOWF Community Meeting Thursday night

Join Friends of White Flint for a fascinating presentation by County Executive Marc Elrich on his plans for an innovative biosciences campus at the White Flint metro station. The online meeting will be held Thursday, March 11, 7:00 pm. Register for the meeting by clicking here.

See and share the invitation at: http://www.whiteflint.org/wpx/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FOWF-Community-Meeting-March-11-4-1.pdf

More than 120 people have already registered. Don’t miss out — register today!

Got questions about the upcoming Old Georgetown Road and Executive Blvd. intersection closure?

MCDOT is holding an online meeting to discuss the upcoming road closure and detour plans for pedestrian/bicyclist and vehicular traffic for the Old Georgetown Rd and Executive Blvd. intersection closing. The online meeting will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 4PM – 5PM.

Please see the link below for the public meeting. This event is open to the public, and MCDOT will be taking questions via chat. https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetupjoin/19%3ameeting_NGVkZWJlNjQtNTFiOS00ZjVhLWIwZDUtZGYzNTczYmI1ZDAx%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%226e01b1f9-b1e5-4073-ac97-778069a0ad64%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%227abcc5b3-2e3c-43ad-a074-86c4c1b0b1c7%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d

Read more about the closure here.

Ariana Kelly’s Fabulous Vaccination Update

Delegate Arian Kelly has a fabulous update on vaccination data in the state and county. Did you know:

  • This week, Maryland is up to 15.8% of our population vaccinated, and Montgomery County is above that average at 16.3%. In great news, 40% of Marylanders 65 and over are now vaccinated.
  • In the New York Times ranking of states based on the percentage of population vaccinated with at least one dose, we are ranked 31st out of 50 states.
  • State data reveals that while Latinos make up 11% of the Maryland population, they have received only 4% of the vaccine.
  • If you are trying to get an appointment at a State mass vaccination site, make sure to sign up for text alerts by texting “MDReady” to 898-211.
  • This week the Montgomery County Health Department sent invitations to everyone 75 and over who has pre-registered with the county. If you pre-registered and did not receive an invitation, check your junk mail! If you still have no invite, you should email c19vaccination@montgomerycountymd.gov or call 240.777.2982 and answer “yes” three times (MoCo resident, over 65, need assistance with the form). The agent will prioritize you for an appointment.
  • According to state data (as of March 2nd), the percentage of Montgomery County seniors vaccinated varies by age: 85+ = 58% vaccinated; 75-84 = 68% vaccinated, and 65-74 =33% vaccinated.
  • 17% of Montgomery County women are vaccinated. 11.5% of Montgomery County men are vaccinated