Sunday, September 30, 2012

Montgomery County proposing changes to RideOn/Metrobus routes

Montgomery County is proposing changes to six RideOn bus routes and the elimination of one Metrobus route. According to the notice distributed by the County, the changes are "to serve areas that have been recently developed and to eliminate sections of routes that are under performing."

The routes that are proposed to be impacted include the following:

Route 38
The route will be restructured to split at White Flint Station, creating two separate routes. Route 38 East will serve a new area in Connecticut Estates. Route 38 West will serve a new residential and business development, Park Potomac. The two routes will share the same end location at White Flint Station.

Route 47
Will serve a new residential and business development, Park Potomac.

Route 52
Route will be restructured to add more frequency, serve a new subdivision in Olney, but eliminate service along Headwaters Drive and reduce service on Olney Sandy Spring Road (MD108) between Prince Phillip Drive and Georgia Avenue.

Route 53
Will be restructured to improve on time performance and serve the ICC Park and Ride Lot. Eliminates service in the reverse direction of the rush hour from Olney to Shady Grove Metro

Route 58
Serves a new medical facility, Kaiser Permanente, along Watkins Mill Road. Provides improved connections with other Ride On routes.

Route 98
Extend the route to Kingsview Park and Ride Lot from Germantown Transit Center via Cinnamon Woods community during the peak hour and the SoccerPlex on weekends. Serves new Father Hurley Blvd extended. Adds new midday and Sunday service. Eliminates Seabreeze Court and service on Wisteria.

Route Z2 – Saturday
Will be discontinued. This service with low ridership duplicates existing service on Metrobus C8 and Z8

Comments to the proposed changes must be received no later than Monday, October 1. Comments can be sent to:

Division of Transit Services
Ride On Public Forum
101 Monroe Street, 5th floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850
(240) 777-5801 (fax)

For more information, click here.

Treeless in Rockville: Dawson's Market gets off to a rough start

Yesterday, Dawson's Market celebrated its grand opening at Rockville Town Center. The long-awaited grocery store, the first under the "Dawson's" brand to be opened by Richmond, VA-based Ellwood Thompsons, prides itself on, according to its website, "a commitment to local and organic foods." That commitment is, according to Dawson's, "an extension of who we are and how we live. As a whole, we’re made up of people constantly searching for the best local products, tending to our gardens, recycling, composting, advocating, volunteering, riding our bikes, sampling chocolates and spirits, playing outdoors, and well…having fun."


That concern for the environment does not, apparently, extend to being kind to trees that might be blocking its sign. That, apparently, is no fun at all.

Rockville Patch reported earlier this week of the uproar created when Federal Realty Trust, which owns and operates the commercial parts  of the Town Center development, acquiesced to a request from Dawson's to remove four trees along N. Washington Street that were apparently blocking views of one of Dawson's signs. The trees lined a sidewalk that ran alongside a parking lot directly behind the store. (Patch has before and after photos of the street.)

Putting aside the illegality of the tree-cutting (The Gazette notes that the request to approve the removal of the trees had not been approved by the City, but questions remain as to whether verbal approval had been given), the disconnect between FRT's actions, Dawson's public statements, and the attempt to brand the Town Center as a pedestrian-focused "urban environment" are striking.

Simply put, cutting down trees in order to create an unobstructed view of a parking lot is not how environmentally focused businesses behave, and it's not the actions of a entity seeking to create a neighborhood that is truly pedestrian-friendly. Rather, it's a throwback to the suburban developments of yore that featured seas of parking lots and only token greenery, and thus created rather unwelcoming pedestrian environments.

Arboreal missteps notwithstanding, the opening of Dawson's constitutes the filling of a major hole in the Rockville Town Center commercial make-up: a grocery store. The store will provide 15,000 square feet of local and organic produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods and baked goods.

Dawson's Facebook page has a number of photos of the store and its grand opening celebration from yesterday. Here's hoping their "commitment to the community" becomes a bit more focused as the store becomes more ingrained in the Rockville community.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome to North Flintville

Hello, Montgomery County! Or, at least, our little slice of it. Welcome to North FlintVille, a new home on the Interwebs for all things North Bethesda/White Flint/Rockville.

Some of you may know me and my wife from our previous lives as the bloggers behind 14th & You, which covered the trappings of life in DC's Logan Circle neighborhood and which we maintained for approximately four years. When we moved up to Montgomery County just over a year ago, I decided to take a hiatus from blogging. Both because I was just getting worn out, and because I wasn't certain whether I would want to take the time and effort to launch a new blog on our new neighborhood. I wasn't really certain whether I would "connect" with our new home in a way that would make me care enough to hop onto the the computer a couple of times a week and share my thoughts about it. And for awhile, that's how things went.

But slowly, I began to start paying a bit closer attention to where we lived. I noticed things that I liked, and things that I thought could be better. I noticed lots of change going on as well: not just the new mega-developments springing up like dandelions around the White Flint Metro station, but the day-to-day stuff as well. The new restaurant that opens up, the established chain that shuts down, the new sidewalk in front of the Metro station (yay!) and the continued lack of a bike path of any kind along Rockville Pike (not yay). It began with a few off-hand comments to Mrs. North FlintVille, morphed into a couple of stray posts on our old internet home, and now has come to the creation of a new internet home where we can share news and pontifications about our corner of suburbia.

To the extent that we can, we'll aim to share news and information about our neighborhood: what's coming, what's going, what's good, what's bad. But also, from time to time, just some general thoughts about life in the 20852. I hope that we'll get a chance to connect with and meet the same kind of people--neighbors, friends, business owners, local officials--whom we were able to meet via our old blog. And I hope that some of our DC friends will check in from time to time on life beyond the District border. You'll find that we are, all in all, a pretty welcoming bunch.

Finally, I also want to draw your attention to our blog roll on the right side of the page, which includes links to some other MoCo-focused blogs that you might find interesting. Hopefully, we'll be able to add a bit to the conversation.

For questions, comments, ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave us comments, or shoot us a note at Here's looking forward to some fun times ahead.

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