As promised, here are the Friends of White Flint’s thoughts on the City of Rockville’s plan to widen Route 355 north of the city border to 252 feet wide. Essentially, the City of Rockville wants to transform a two-mile section of Route 355 into a 252-foot wide boulevard, with 12 car lanes, sidewalks, on-street parking, BRT, and multiple bikeways. (Read about their plan here.)
As you know, the Pike District/White Flint area is transforming into a walkable, transit-friendly, live-work-play community. As you also know, boundaries are artificial, and to residents, shoppers, and office workers, there is no boundary between the area of Route 355 in the Pike District and the portion that falls under City of Rockville jurisdiction. They view it as one continuous community.
Everyone who has an interest in creating a vibrant community that fosters growth and livability must act in concert. We must work together to ensure that the Pike becomes a road that unites the east and west sides of Route 355 and unites the areas north and south of Montrose Road.
None of us wants the Pike to become a vast plain of asphalt that separates rather than connects. The City’s proposal to widen Route 355 to 252 feet is dramatically different than the plan for Route 355 south of Montrose Road where it will be 181 feet wide. A traffic and safety problem of that magnitude will greatly diminish the communities and businesses north of Montrose as well as those in the Pike District.
“We want walkable streets and easy access to transit” is the cry heard from businesses and residents. Widening Route 355 to 252 feet will dramatically impede not only the appearance of walkability but also the actual ability to walk across and along Rockville Pike. It is logical to assume that if there is sufficient room to include broad sidewalks, bike paths, bus rapid transit lanes, and car lanes on a 181-foot-wide Route 355 as it passes through the Pike District, there is sufficient room for all of those essential components north of Montrose Road.
The Friends of White Flint very much hopes that the City of Rockville will choose walkability, consistency, and stability and not widen Route 355 to 252 feet.
Reimaagine Twinbrook is not affiliated with Friends, but we believe it’s worth sharing with you their campaign to stop the madness of widening Rockville Pike to 252 feet. Through Reimagine Twinbrook, you can:
Send a Letter to the Mayor and City Council: http://reimaginetwinbrook. com/support/
Sign their new petition: http://tinyurl.com/ Reject252RockvillePike