Improving the Trolley Trail

MCDOT is working on a project to improve the Trolley Trail. The goals are:

  • Explore alignment alternatives to expand the Bethesda Trolley Trail (BTT) and develop a wayfinding plan to connect to regional trails and neighborhoods.
  • Evaluate existing and proposed off-road and on-road bicycle facilities between Edson Ln and Woodglen Dr to Twinbrook Metro station.
  • Identify gaps in the overall bicycle network in North Bethesda.
  • Engage major stakeholders and community members to gather feedback

Read the full report by clicking here.

The next steps are:

  • Review Relevant Previous Plan & Studies (May 2022)
  • Existing Conditions Analysis (May 2022)
  • First Public Meeting (July 2022)

Bike to Work Day is Friday

Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20, 2022. Enjoy nearly 100 pit stops in DC, MD, and VA for this FREE event for a healthy way to start your day. The North Bethesda pit stop is at Pike & Rose. Friends of White Flint will be there — stop by to say hello.

Here is the list of all the Montgomery County pit stops:

Bethesda – Downtown

FDA White Oak

Friendship Heights

Gaithersburg – Kentlands

Gaithersburg – Olde Towne Plaza (Afternoon)

Silver Spring – Downtown at Veterans Plaza

National Institutes of Health Bldg 1

Naval Support Activity Bethesda

North Bethesda at Pike & Rose

Rockville Fallsgrove Village Center

Rockville Town Square

Takoma Park – Downtown/Old Takoma

Takoma Park – Sligo Creek Trail

The first 15,000 who register and attend at a pit stop by bike will receive a FREE T-shirt. Free giveaways, food, and beverages, while supplies last.

RCA MusicFest 2022 this Saturday, May 7

Please join us this Saturday for our annual MusicFest event at the Civic Green!

WHERE: The RCA Civic Green @ Randolph Hills Shopping Center map
WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 5pm-8pm
RSVP to the Facebook Event

Featuring Musical Performances by:

  • Keeping Time (blues, jazz, pop)
  • Eric Wisotzky (acoustic rock)
  • The Toodletown Three (vintage country and rock & roll)
  • Mark Nensel (acoustic rock)
  • Warped Vinyl (80s and 90s rock)

Featuring Local Vendors:

Terrible news to share

Former Friends of White Flint board member Eric Grosse died last week. He was walking on the Trolley Trail and crossing Tuckerman Lane when the driver of an SUV hit and killed him.

Eric was always the first to volunteer and was incredibly dedicated to making his community more walkable, more vibrant, and more liveable.

Eric was an important part of Friends of White Flint and our community, and he will be deeply missed.

You can read more about the crash in this news article and read his obituary here.

Why Smart Growth Communities are Best for the Environment (in honor of Earth Day)

From the US EPA

Here are a few reasons why Smart Growth Communities (like the Pike District) are so good at protecting our environment:

  • They conserve resources by reinvesting in existing infrastructure and rehabilitating historic buildings.
  • By designing neighborhoods that have homes near shops, offices, schools, houses of worship, parks, and other amenities, communities give residents and visitors the option of walking, bicycling, taking public transportation, or driving as they go about their business.
  • A range of different housing types makes it possible for senior citizens to stay in their neighborhoods as they age, young people to afford their first home, and families at all stages in between to find a safe, attractive home they can afford.
  • Through smart growth approaches that enhance neighborhoods and involve residents in development decisions, these communities are creating vibrant places to live, work, and play.
  • The high quality of life makes these communities economically competitive, creates business opportunities, and strengthens the local tax base.

Development guided by smart growth principles can minimize air and water pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage cleanup and reuse of contaminated properties, and preserve natural lands. Where and how we develop directly affects natural areas and wildlife habitat and replaces natural cover with impervious surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. Development patterns and practices also indirectly affect environmental quality since they influence how easily people can get around.

Smart growth practices can lessen the environmental impacts of development with techniques that include encouraging compact development, reducing impervious surfaces, safeguarding environmentally sensitive areas, mixing land uses (e.g., homes, offices, and shops), promoting public transit, and improving pedestrian and bicycle amenities.

For more information on the environmental effects of development and the benefits of smart growth, see Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions between Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality (2nd edition).

light rail train in a station with people

Air Quality

Compact communities with a mix of uses and transportation options make it easy for people to choose to walk, bicycle, or take public transit instead of driving. People who choose to drive generally can drive shorter distances. Less travel by motor vehicles can reduce air pollution by smog-forming emissions and other pollutants.

Climate Change

new colorful multifamily housing along a street

Transportation options and land use patterns that reduce air pollution also cut the emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Using energy-efficient, green building techniques can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. Smart growth strategies can also help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Water Quality

plants in a rain garden next to a sidewalk

Compact development and open space preservation can help protect water quality by reducing the amount of paved surfaces and by allowing natural lands to filter rainwater and runoff before it reaches drinking-water supplies. Green infrastructure techniques, which mimic natural processes to capture, hold, absorb, and filter stormwater, can be incorporated into streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and buildings.

Open Space Conservation

dirt path leading through the woods

Preserving natural lands and encouraging growth in existing communities protects farmland, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, and natural water filtration that ensures clean drinking water.

The final candidates in District 4 (and elsewhere in the county)

Now that the filing deadline has passed, in District 4, the new county council district that includes North Bethesda, here are the final candidates:

County Council District 4 (North Bethesda, Kensington, Silver Spring, Takoma Park)

  • Al Carr (D)
  • Amy Ginsburg (D)
  • Troy Murtha (D)
  • Kate Stewart (D)
  • John Zittrauer (D)
  • Cheryl Riley (R)

Learn more from Bethesda Beat

The election date has also been finalized for July 19. Early Voting will be held July 7 to July 14

If you’re going to be on vacation in July, request for a vote-by-mail ballot by Tuesday, July 12 by visiting https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov

Ready to run Pikes’ Peek?

April 24 @ 7:50 am – 10:00 am

Pike’s Peek is one of Montgomery County Road Runners Club’s premier racing events. The 10k race, known as a PR Course, has runners starting at the Shady Grove Metro Station and finishing on Rose Avenue just south of Montrose Road.   Celebrate at the finish area with food, family activities, music & exhibits at the Post-Race Festival hosted by Pike & Rose!    The race starts promptly at 7:50 AM.

See the race website for complete information, to register, or to volunteer!

A fascinating, informative article about the housing shortage in Montgomery County

From DCist

“In the D.C. region, where local governments are struggling to address a severe housing shortage that is driving up prices, elected officials are under growing pressure to push back against civically engaged homeowners who mobilize against new housing construction.

Montgomery County, an affluent D.C. suburb that has experienced transformative growth and demographic change in the last 30 years, exemplifies how hard that can be.

“We have this system where local governments are the gatekeepers for new housing production,” says Jenny Schuetz, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who examines the national housing shortage in her book Fixer-Upper: How to Repair America’s Broken Housing Systems. “Local governments, in turn, have outsourced a lot of their authority to existing residents, so existing homeowners in particular have essentially veto power over proposals to build new housing.”

Right now, homeowners are challenging hundreds of apartments and townhomes that developers have applied to build in Montgomery County, including more than 180 homes for lower-income residents. The citizen activists, most of whom have hired lawyers, contend that the new housing will clog traffic, harm the environment, block views, create construction noise, or have other negative effects on their quality of life. At least one dispute has been elevated to court.

Homeowners are simultaneously fighting a proposed long-term plan for the county that would encourage more housing near jobs and transit. Resistance to the plan, called Thrive Montgomery 2050, is loud and persistent. County council members — most of whom are either up for re-election or running for other elected offices this year — have responded by holding additional hearings and delaying a vote on the plan by several months.

Officials say there are multiple reasons for lagging home construction, including the pandemic, sky-high land values, costly labor and materials, onerous regulations, and inflexible zoning. But homeowners who protest development are part of the problem.”

Read the rest of the article here.