Over the past month or so, Friends of White Flint has worked hard to gather community and stakeholder input on the renaming of the White Flint metro station. More than 60 resident and business community members shared their thoughts during an online meeting hosted by County Executive Marc Elrich, District 1 Councilmember Andrew Friedson, and The Greater Bethesda Chamber, and Friends of White Flint. The Friends of White Flint board also met and thoughtfully discussed the issue. Below you will find our official position on the renaming of the White Flint metro station, but for those of you who just want to know the bottom line, we believe the name of the metro station should be North Bethesda to reflect the community’s preference, history, and redevelopment plans.
Dear County Executive Elrich and Councilmember Friedson:
Friends of White Flint wants to first thank you for the time and effort you’ve devoted to renaming the White Flint metro station. From sponsoring a public meeting to working with stakeholders, you have both shown much-appreciated leadership on this initiative.
County Executive Elrich, Councilmember Friedson, Friends of White Flint, and the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce held a public meeting to gather community input on the name of the metro station on March 31. More than sixty residents and business owners attended this meeting, and there was a robust discussion. While at the start of the meeting, participants were evenly divided between keeping the White Flint name and changing the name, by the end, there was consensus that the name ought to include “North Bethesda.” While some believed ‘Pike District’ or ‘White Flint’ should be included in the name after ‘North Bethesda’, there was genuine consensus that the name should lead with ‘North Bethesda’.
Following the public meeting, the Friends of White Flint board of directors met on April 22nd to discuss the name of the metro station. As you know, the board is composed equally of property owners, businesses, and residents in the White Flint 1 and 2 Sector Plan areas. After a lengthy discussion, the Friends of White Flint board voted to recommend support for the name ‘North Bethesda’.
Friends of White Flint believes ‘North Bethesda’ should be the name for a variety of reasons, as outlined below:
- North Bethesda is the name for which there is consensus. Even residents, business, and property owners who wanted a different name are willing to accept and support the name North Bethesda. Community consensus among residents, property owners, and businesses is rare and remarkable, and we want to support and respect that consensus.
- Naming the station North Bethesda does not preclude the use of other names in the area, such as continuing to brand the Pike District as the urban center of North Bethesda. Pike District of North Bethesda, White Flint of North Bethesda, Pike & Rose of North Bethesda, Rose Village of North Bethesda, etc., are all possible when the station is named North Bethesda.
- North Bethesda builds on the national visibility and prestige of Bethesda, making it easier to attract businesses, retailers, residents, and financing to our community. Both Visit Montgomery and MCEDC believe North Bethesda ought to be the name of the metro station and have offered to support the change.
- Many residents and businesses already use the name North Bethesda. In fact, the census tract for our area is called North Bethesda. Because this name is widely used, and has been for many years, there is a compelling logic to naming the station North Bethesda.
The name North Bethesda both builds on the great history of our community and portends a grand future for our neighborhood. We ask the county to request that WMATA changes the name of the station to North Bethesda.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Amy Ginsburg, Executive Director