Sunday, July 18, 2010

North Bethesda buildout politics & funding

It may be possible to obtain federal matching funds to develop the public infrastructure for the sector plan. It is critical that the Rockville Pike boulevard "complete street" design, as planned, be completed in as early a phase as possible to promote further development along rational, staged lines and to create a sense of place for North Bethesda. In order for this to happen, all of the political powers must include the creation of a new, improved Rockville Pike and North Bethesda as a priority. The plan, as approved, is a major step forward in the cooperation of public, private, and community sectors and could serve as a model for other emerging urban areas nationwide.

Currently, many of our local, state, and national leaders are on board to push this project for federal funding. On board are councilmembers Elrich and Berliner (I haven't confirmed with others, but suspect that Trachtenberg and Andrews are also proponents). Other local leaders in the City of Rockville are intrigued and would want to tie in with Rockville Town Center. On the state level, our delegates, Frick and Lee, state Senator Frosh, and Governor O'Malley are enthusiastic. Senators Cardin and Mikulski will also fight for the funding. However, Executive Leggett seems to be focusing on the Shady Grove Science Center and the Corridor Cities Transitway, leaving this important economic and social engine unattended. If you agree, please call or write Ike Leggett to let him know that we want his attention and backing for this project and the possibility of applying for and receiving federal funding.

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