Let’s think a moment, shall we? What is it that White Flint really needs? What doesn’t it have enough of that we should expect government agencies to provide for us without our even asking?
I thought about this as I was driving southbound on Rockville Pike early on Sunday morning. This, by the way, is one of the weekends to avoid the intersection of Rockville Pike and Montrose/Randolph Road; SHA is opening the new Montrose Parkway underpass this week, and traffic is an absolute MESS. More so than usual.
But it’s Sunday morning, still early. We’re coming from a lazy, French breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants: Mosaic Cafe, in the Shops at Congressional Village, just across the street from Congressional Plaza. (Chef grew up in France dreaming about breakfasts, and his specialty is waffles, but the food overall is inventive and well-cooked. Just an excellent local restaurant.) And we figure we’ll chance traffic to check out the new bridge over the Montrose Parkway underpass.
It’s a nice bridge, with brickwork and black ironwork. Very much like the new bridge over the railroad tracks on Nicholson. Narrow sidewalk on the side.
But before you get to the new bridge (going southbound), you pass the triangle of land owned by the State Highway Administration. For decades it’s laid fallow, with some plants growing on it. Just wasted space between the merge lane from Old Old Georgetown Road west onto Montrose Rd.
What would YOU do with that land? A park? Landscaping? Hmm, what does White Flint really need?
White Flint needs more surface parking.
After all, we only have hundreds of acres covered with grey asphalt, baking in the summer and mounded over with ice in the winter. Surface parking lots that border major streets like Rockville Pike, backing stores and other facilities away from the Pike. It’s those parking lots that give White Flint its distinctive character, sort of like every suburban strip mall-lined highway in America. It’s like they force people into cars, even thinking about walking across those parking lots.
So we look at this triangle of prime space, where land is at a premium. And see that, lo and behold, it is being finished, with brand new curbs, and glossy black asphalt as a . . . [wait for it] . . . surface parking lot.
And not even a big one. Maybe ten, twelve spaces, with lots of turns and twists; it’s not marked yet so you can’t tell.
So, there you have it. With all the work to do in White Flint, we now can look forward to a nice, new parking lot. Not connected to anything. Just what we need.