Write the Planning Board to Support SHA Alternative 5B for Georgia Ave

MD North, Star 1927-09-17 p 9

Once again it is time for the residents surrounding Georgia Ave from 16th Street to Forest Glen Road to support the recommendations of Alternative 5B in the MD 97 Georgia Ave Study.

On page 26 of the Forest Glen/Montgomery Hills Sector Plan PUBLIC HEARING DRAFT (dated APRIL 2019) Planning Staff recommendations support the design elements in SHA’s Alternative 5B. We remain solidly in support of the modified Alternative 5B design elements and affirm our strong support for these recommendations.

Please consider sending letters of support via e-mail to MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org, faxed to Chair Casey Anderson at 301-495-1320, or addressed to: Casey Anderson, Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. Comments must be received by May 29, 2019.

Over 900 residents signed a petition urging SHA to proceed promptly with Alternative 5B. This level and unanimity of support for a SHA project is unprecedented. You can see the signatures along with residents’ support here – or sign for yourself: http://chng.it/K7BhnrXFxM

Over the past year or so we have been working to do everything possible to make sure that the modified Alternative 5B is formally selected by the SHA Administrator, that plans are completed, and that construction and the necessary right-of-way acquisition is fully funded.

The problems of Georgia Ave between 16th Street and Forest Glen Road have long plagued the neighborhoods and the boulevard solution is not new. In 1927 planners proposed the “boulevarding of Georgia Ave” (See ad above from the [Washington, D.C.] Evening Star, September 17, 1927, page 9, courtesy of WPCA resident Bob Oshel)

Forward forty years, and in the late 1970s, frustrated with the problems created by Georgia Ave, residents drafted their own master plan to fix Georgia Ave.  Consequently, a boulevard design for Georgia Ave was proposed by Planning in the 1978 North Silver Spring Sector Plan, recommended again in the 1996 Forest Glen Master Plan,  reaffirmed in the 2000 North and West Silver Spring Master Plan, and cemented in the 2008 Georgia Ave Study: An Urban Design Framework.

We hope that after 40 years of waiting the current plan will finally remake Georgia Ave into a corridor that connects and enlivens, rather than divides and blights.

Please send in your comments to Chairperson Anderson. It would help to copy Councilmember Tom Hucker via councilmember.Hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov and County Executive Marc Elrich via marc.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov so they can help secure the funding to make the plans a reality.

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