Monday, June 01, 2015
White Flint 2 Sector Plan process starts June 17 with public meeting @Pike_District
Of course, the White Flint area is no longer branded as White Flint, so it is somewhat mystifying as to why the planning process is still using the older terminology. It is now known as the Pike District.
One can imagine the potential for a Pike & Rose 2 diagonally across from the existing one, for example. Or perhaps an entirely different concept for the redevelopment of that Montrose Crossing shopping center, which Federal Realty owns.
But the area contains much more land than that. The White Flint 2 website suggests some topics that will be debated during the process. I'd suggest you monitor one they don't mention directly - the ongoing attempt to "dumb down" the original Montrose Parkway plan (which, in itself, was a major dumbing down of the Rockville Freeway concept for that right-of-way). That drive may be hidden under the innocuous heading of "What transportation policies should be introduced or amended?" (emphasis mine).
There have been efforts afoot to slowly turn portions of the parkway, originally intended to keep cross-county traffic moving through White Flint and other areas, into an urban street. That appeals to developers of course, but it would be a traffic disaster for those of us who actually live and drive in the county.
A grade-separated Montrose Parkway is essential for the success of the Pike District. The parkway eventually will need to be extended to Connecticut Avenue, Georgia Avenue and out to the ICC near Indian Head Country Club. Dumbing it down would have catastrophic impacts on our countywide transportation system for decades to come. And in fact, the MD 355/Montrose Parkway interchange could be decked over to enable seamless development above it along Rockville Pike, connecting the two phases of White Flint. Dumping pass-through traffic into the local, urban street grid of the Pike District would be a major blunder, and a threat to pedestrian safety.
You can RSVP for the June 17 meeting on the White Flint 2 website.