I feel like a Magic 8-Ball: All signs and indications point to the Rockville Freeway being built after half a century of delay!
Herman, set the Wayback Machine to the developments of the last few weeks. First it was announced that an additional 2,000,000 square feet of development was being added to the White Flint sector plan.
Then came great news for loyal Walmart shoppers who don't live near the fantastic Milestone shopping center in Germantown: Walmart is coming to Aspen Hill! Of course, that Walmart site is one-and-a-half blocks from the planned interchange of the Rockville Freeway with Connecticut Avenue.
Now, even better news! Walmart is coming to Rockville Pike just south of the Rockville city limits (and right near equally-great Target)! The company has struck a deal with developer JBG to replace part of the shopping center currently holding TGI Fridays, M&T Bank and Jared jewelers. Unfortunately, this second Walmart site will displace some small businesses, unlike the Aspen Hill property. I am definitely concerned about that, but beyond that the announcement of Walmart coming to Rockville Pike is all positive.
I enjoy shopping at Milestone, but with all the talk about driving less, doesn't it make sense to have popular stores like Walmart closer to residents downcounty? Hopefully, they will build a store in Bethesda in the future.
Of course, traffic is a concern as it is in Aspen Hill. Again, the Rockville Freeway is part of the answer. I am hopeful that this second store will help Walmart to get behind the Rockville Freeway, whether it is by making a contribution to the funding for it, or simply by providing a public show of support for the highway. The Rockville Facility right-of-way (currently known as the Montrose Parkway) is only a few blocks south of the proposed Rockville Walmart site.
Walmart is an influential company, and their support of the Rockville Freeway would not only help get it constructed, but would also provide traffic congestion relief to both of their new Walmart locations in Montgomery County.