Archives November 2011

Bike Sharing in White Flint? McDoT Forum Nov. 29

Bike sharing is a new concept similar to Zip-Car and other automobile-sharing programs. You rent a bike for a period of time from a public location and return it when you’re done. Red bike sharing sites are popping up across the Washington area.

In Montgomery County, bike sharing programs are envisioned in Rockville and Shady Grove. The new White Flint, with its increased bicycle-friendly mobility structure, would also be a good place for bike sharing.

Now the Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation is soliciting comments on new bike sharing locations. Here’s their announcement:

Bikesharing Locations: Your Input Needed

 The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) invites public input on bikesharing locations and opportunities in the area of the county stretching from the D.C. line to the Beltway along the Metrorail Red Line including, Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, & Wheaton on the East Leg, and Friendship Heights, Bethesda, and Medical Center along the West Leg.

 Public Forum: Please attend a public open house on Tuesday, November 29, from 6:00pm–8:30pm, to provide your comments on the County’s grant application to the Maryland Department of Transportation to obtain funding for this bikesharing initiative. The event will take place in the lobby auditorium of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street in Rockville, a short walk from the Metrorail Red Line’s Rockville station.

 What to Expect: The meeting will consist of a short presentation on bikesharing and an open house to solicit input on locations for bikesharing stations in that area.

 Background: This effort is part of a larger MCDOT initiative to institute bikesharing throughout Montgomery County to increase options for non-automobile travel.

 Questions: Email mcdot.CommuterServices@montgomerycountymd.gov.

 McDoT, with its “auto is king” mentality, has long been a thorn in the side of New Urbanism activists, putting, for example, nearly-useless surface parking lots in White Flint when there are lots of other possibilities. http://blog.friendsofwhiteflint.org/2010/04/28/from-the-people-who-brought-you-more-surface-parking-in-white-flint/

It’s good to see McDoT waking up to alternatives to the car.

Barnaby Zall

$6,666.67 per page White Flint Amenities Wish List Report is now Available

In June, the Montgomery County Department of General Services held two meetings to receive public input on the location and exact description of the public amenities proposed in the White Flint Sector Plan. http://blog.friendsofwhiteflint.org/2011/05/23/white-flint-charettes-june-1-16/. The charettes followed months of controversy about the consulting contract, and especially the cost. http://blog.friendsofwhiteflint.org/2011/04/12/do-you-know-who-youre-hiring-april-11-meeting-of-white-flint-implementation-committee/, http://blog.friendsofwhiteflint.org/2011/04/13/diane-schwartz-jones-responds-to-concerns-about-public-amenities-charette-process/.

The consulting contract was for $100,000. The report was finally released today, and can be found at:

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/DGS/DBDC/RegionalProjectPages/BethesdaProjects/Resources/WF-Final-Report.pdf.

The report is brief, with 15 pages and lots of tables in the appendices, but essentially boils down to a list of features requested by residents, with some comments by the county agencies and property owners who will have to build and maintain the amenities. Notably, the “wish list” of features in the tables in the appendices are not coordinated with the property owners’ development plans; for example, the residents asked for “children’s sailing ponds,” which last night’s White Flint Mall presentation showed would likely already be available in the “Piazza” portion of the 43.5 acre site.

Still, there are some interesting suggestions in the report.

Barnaby Zall

White Flint Implementation Committee Meeting Nov 14

From Nkosi Yearwood, chief planner for White Flint:

The November meeting of the White Flint Implementation Advisory is scheduled for Monday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Wall Local Park (5900 Executive Blvd). The proposed sketch plan for White Flint Mall is the main agenda item.

Nkosi Yearwood (c) chairing April 11 WFIC meeting, with (from left) Mike Coveyou of the County Executive's Office, Jacob Sesker of the Planning Department and Dave Freishtat, Co-Chair of WFIC (and FoWF Board Member)

Barnaby Zall