Monday, October 19, 2009

White Flint Sector Plan Before County Council

The county council will hear testimony on the plans for the North Bethesda urban area on Tuesday 10/20 and on Thursday 10/22 starting at 7:30 pm. The council is accepting written testimony and comments from the public, either submitted at the hearings or emailed to the council. The council president is Phil Andrews,, and our district member is Roger Berliner, You can also write our progressive at-large council members, and The hearings are in the County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850. Some concepts that are important in this conversation are: 1. It is vital that increased density come to this area with enhanced transit opportunities. That could include subsidies for transit use, restrictions on parking in the urban area (particularly for the new residents and workers who will occupy the urban center), a shuttle on a frequent schedule that will circulate in the district, covered "smart" bus shelters, new MARC stations and more frequent Red Line service 2. The Park-and-Ride lot that is being built at the intersection of Montrose Road and Rockville Pike is IN THE WRONG LOCATION! We should not be encouraging car trips into our urban center to pick up shuttles to take the riders to another urban center. The planning board was unanimously opposed to the location of this parking lot at this site, but the county and state are building it anyway. It should be moved to a location next to I-270, which is where the traffic is coming from. 3. There are currently no plans for an elementary school or a library in the White Flint Sector Plan area. This is absurd, considering the numbers of new residents projected for this area. Currently, a school site is being considered nearby, but it is in a location that will take park space from a local neighborhood and is out of the planning area. An ideal location is where the current county bus depot is located off Nicholson Lane. 4. Wall Park, next to the Aquatic Center, must be protected, and the local citizens must be consulted if any changes are proposed. Please contact the council to let the members know what your critical issues are.

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