Metro Name Change Meeting Recap on the Media

From Montgomery Community Media: MEETING ENDS WITH CONSENSUS TO CHANGE NAME OF WHITE FLINT METRO STATION

During the hour-long virtual discussion on whether to change the name of the White Flint Metro Station, the approximately 60 people in attendance went from expressing a fairly even split to reaching a consensus to change the station’s name to something that included the two words – North Bethesda, according to Friends of White Flint Executive Director Amy Ginsburg.

“When I was growing up, this area really didn’t have an identity. I think the fact that we are trying to create an identity is a really good thing,” she said.

When the discussion started, half the participants saw no need to change the name while the other half said they didn’t feel White Flint reflected the community now that the White Flint Mall has been demolished, she said, adding that the conversation throughout the meeting was interesting and civil. Participants ranged from college students to someone who has lived in the area for 50 years and also included small business and property owners.

During the meeting, “Most people thought White Flint meant the mall, but the mall is not there,” Ginsburg noted. Soon, several people changed their preference, opting for North Bethesda-White Flint or North Bethesda-Pike District.

Councilmember Andrew Friedson told MyMCM that he received “good feedback” at the meeting. He noted that his objective “has always been to facilitate consensus around a name change to help advance our broader placemaking and economic development vision for the area. “I think it’s a good time to make a change,” he added.

Executive Marc Elrich also favored changing the name, opting to have one that reflected the future of the area and its biotech companies, according to Ginsburg.

Friedson explained that the next step is to weigh the options and then to speak with the county executive staff. If the county decides it wants to change the station name, it must then make a request to Washington Metropolitan Area Authority Transit. The county will seek state funding to help offset the cost, he said.

The March 31 meeting was sponsored by Friends of White Flint, Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, Elrich and Friedson

From WTOP: Montgomery Co. leaders, residents discuss White Flint station name change

Should the name of the White Flint Metro station be changed? Montgomery County, Maryland, community leaders met virtually with residents Wednesday night to discuss the possibility.

Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the group Friends of White Flint, hosted the virtual meeting.

Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson pointed out that Metro is open to the name change, and the cost would be mitigated due to several factors, including potential access to state funding to help.

Much of the meeting was devoted to residents’ thoughts and comments on the potential name change.

Adam supported a name change for the station, saying, “It can only help.” The goal, he said, is to drive business to the area.

Chris, who has been working with Montgomery County to promote the term “Pike District,” hoped that name catches on. She likened it to names of Business Improvement Districts like NoMa, Golden Triangle and Southwest Waterfront.

Heidi liked the North Bethesda name.

“What I like about North Bethesda is that it is a geolocation,” she said, “so it does immediately say to people, ‘Wherever I’m going is north of Bethesda.’”

Steve called North Bethesda the most parsimonious name, given that the designation is already on Google Maps and Redfin, and he added: “The census, itself, recognizes it.” So, he said North Bethesda makes more sense than Pike District.

Ginsburg suggested the combination “North Bethesda-Pike District” would work. She said it “better fits the area as the county and stakeholders are working to redevelop and rebrand our area.”

WMATA said there’s a June deadline to decide on a name change. There will likely be more discussion before a decision is made.

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.

Metro Proposes Closing Grosvenor Station in 2022

Metro is proposing to close Grosvenor/Strathmore Metro Station in 2022 as part of cost saving measures due to budget issues. It is meant to be a temporary measure, but we think it’s a bad idea to close this station even temporarily. They have launched a survey to get feedback on various budget-cutting proposals, including closing Grosvenor/Strathmore station and running trains less frequently.

Please take a few moments to fill out Metro’s survey and make your voice heard, https://www.wmata.com/initiatives/budget/index.cfm

Please also send a message to Metro’s board at  boardofdirectors@wmata.com  BEFORE close of business on Tuesday, March 16. Tell the board members about the negative impact of the closure of the Grosvenor-Strathmore station. And remember, a concise message is more effective than a long, wordy one.

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

 

 

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



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,