ACTION ALERT: Letters Needed for Construction Funding

Letter of Support for BUILD Grant to SHA FINAL

Ga Ave

We have made progress and are so close to getting the funding for the Georgia Ave improvements to go from plan to reality.

The State is committing to providing funding. The County has also agreed to provide some cost-share. On our request, the State is considering filing a grant for federal funding. Georgia Ave is one of two projects being considered. But SHA wants to make sure that the improvements have broad support from the community.

Please take a minute to send a letter to SHA Administrator Greg Slater to encourage him to file the grant and implement the road improvements. Below is a rendering of what Georgia Ave could look like. Just imagine how much better it can be!

A sample letter is available at the link above. Feel free to modify this or write your own letter. If you use the sample letter please make sure to personalize it with you name and address and why the improvements are important to you. PLEASE send a copy of your email or letter to us at FixGeorgiaAve@gmail.com and to the elected officials at the bottom of the letter.

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.

First Friday Neighbor Night March

1st Friday_ March 1_ Meleket

Friends and Neighbors,
Please join us this Friday, March 1, at Meleket (1907 Seminary Road) from 5:00 – 7:30 pm for the Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills’ First Friday Neighbor Night.
We were at Meleket in early November and enjoyed great food and Ethiopian dancing. They were lovely hosts so please come out and support a vibrant local business that supports our community! 
There will updates on our progress to #FixGeorgiaAvenue as well as food and drink specials. Kids are welcome. Free parking in Lot 12 across from Sniders.
We hope to see you this Friday!

Georgia Avenue & Montgomery Hills: How to Get from a 1955 Suburban Design to a 2020 Neighborhood Complete Street

Please join the Transportation, Energy, and Environment (TREE) Committee of the Silver Spring Citizen’s Advisory Board (SSCAB) for a presentation and discussionIMG_2968 RESIZED (1)With Greg Slater, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Katie Mencarini, Senior Planner, Montgomery County Planning Department, and Gary Erenrich, Special Assistant to the Director, Montgomery County DOT

Monday, January 28th 7:00 pm

Silver Spring Civic Building

Georgia Ave serves as a gateway to downtown Silver Spring, and the section between the Beltway and 16th Street is one of the most highly-traveled, congested, and unsafe corridors in Maryland. SHA’s Purpose and Need Study reports crashes of all types occur at rates significantly higher than the statewide average for those crash types on similar roads. The current design of the roadway and intersections is both unsafe and unwelcoming to pedestrians and bicyclists, and therefore even with two nearby Metro Stations (Forest Glen and Silver Spring) few dare to walk or bike. The volume of vehicles, minimal pedestrian or bicycle safety measures, lack of greenery, hodgepodge of traffic signage, and overhead clutter make the area ugly and unwelcoming leading to stagnation of the neighborhood retail area and making it hard for businesses to thrive and for redevelopment to occur.

SHA, and Montgomery County Planning, and MCDOT have been working on a redesign of Georgia Ave that would create a pedestrian-scaled streetscape with improved sidewalks, a tree-lined median, and dedicated bike facilities. Efforts to improve traffic flow are also being studied, but within the context of prioritizing safety for all modes. Please come out and hear from Administrator Slater and Senior Planner Mencarini as they present interim- and long-term proposed roadway improvements and discuss the estimated timeline for implementation.

We hope you can join us.

December First Friday Neighbor Night

Tired of winter already and want to escape to more tropical climes?

Ever wonder what “mofongo” means? 

Pleased to see some pedestrian-friendly action taking place on Dale Drive and want to have a celebratory drink with the crew who’s behind it? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions (and even if you didn’t), please join Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hill’s second First Friday Neighbor Night this Friday, December 7, from 5-7:30 pm at La Casa del Mofongo (9441 Georgia Ave).

Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills will have information about what is happening with Georgia Avenue – including an update on the Planning Department’s preliminary recommendations that will be presented to the public on Tuesday, December 4 (and then to the Planning Board on Thursday, December 6). We will also be able to share our sense of the timing for the study’s conclusion (the expectation is that SHA will announce their preferred alternative by the end of the year). So … lots going on that could affect our neighborhoods & quality of life!

There won’t be presentations – this is just a fun opportunity to connect with neighbors, learn about work to #FixGeorgiaAve, have a beer (and some mofongo), and support a local business. Kids are welcome. We hope to see you there!