Save the date for the 2nd annual Montgomery Hills Street Fest. The Fest is Saturday, September 21st from 3-7 pm.
It was frustrating and disappointing to hear that the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) decided to not file for a federal BUILD grant to help fund the Georgia Ave improvements. But we still have an opportunity to convince State and County officials that the Georgia Ave improvements are worthy of funding. This makes the Straat Fest this year even more important!
Residents from the neighborhoods adjoining Montgomery Hills, the geographic area surrounding Georgia Avenue from 16th Street to Forest Glen Road, will gather on Sat., Sept. 21, 2019, at the 2nd Annual Montgomery Hills Street Fest, to generate support for fixing the unsafe, congested seven-lane roadway, improving pedestrian access, and enhancing the retail environment. More than one dozen elected officials, including Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), State Delegates from District 18 and 20, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Councilmember Tom Hucker, are expected to join the gathering to hear locals’ opinions on why funding the redesign of Georgia Ave. should be a top priority. Attendees will also experience all Montgomery Hills has to offer, including food from area establishments, beer from our local breweries, and a variety of entertainment including carnival games (from local PTAs), and neighborhood bands.
We will post updates here in the upcoming weeks – or you can follow the Fest on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/544233966342615.
We can’t wait to see you there!
Is there anyone that believes that Georgia Ave should not be made safer, more walkable, bikeable, greener, and more beautiful? If so, we have not met them.
Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills have spent months talking to residents, businesses, individuals, civic associations, schools, churches, and local organizations. While their reasons for support varies, their support is unanimous. Almost without exception, they have been LOUD and CLEAR: #FixGeorgiaAve.
Residents want a roadway that doesn’t divide the neighborhoods, is safe to drive or walk, and is more attractive. Public and private schools within the study area say that the road is dangerous to students and they support the road improvements. Local businesses struggle to gain resident customers because the volume of commuter traffic obstructs them from walking or biking. Businesses in downtown Silver Spring certainly want a better gateway to the business district. Even commuters would like to see a more safe and functional road to their home.
United we stand in support of a safer and improved Georgia Ave. SHA has the right plan, the State and County just need the will to find and allocate the necessary funding.
Edge Commercial Real Estate
Ghar E Kebeb
La Casa del Monfongo restaurant
Sniders Super Foods
Forest Estates Community Association
Linden Civic Association
North Woodside Civic Association
Woodside Civic Association
Woodside Forest Civic Association
Woodside Park Civic Association
Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills
League of Women Voters of Montgomery County
Montgomery Housing Partnership
Sierra Club MD
Maryland State Elected Officials
Senator Jeff Waldstreicher (District 18)
Delegate Jared Solomon (District 18)
Delegate Al Carr (District 18)
Delegate Emily Shetty (District 18)
Senator Will Smith (District 20)
Delegate Lorig Charkoudian (District 20)
Delegate David Moon (District 20)
Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins (District 20)
County Elected Officials
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich
Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro
District 5 Councilmember Tom Hucker
At-Large Councilmember Hans Riemer
At-Large Councilmember Evan Glass
At-Large Councilmember Gabe Albornoz
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org so they can help secure the funding to make the plans a reality.
Join us at the Woodside Deli on Friday, February 1st from 5-7:30 pm.
We’ll be there from 5-7:30 pm. Warm up with some friends & neighbors. Learn about efforts to #FixGeorgiaAve. Support a local business. Have a beer (they sell beer and wine!)
Hope to see you there!
Please join the Transportation, Energy, and Environment (TREE) Committee of the Silver Spring Citizen’s Advisory Board (SSCAB) for a presentation and discussionWith 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.
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!
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and its 6,500 members and the thousands of people that support improving options for safe and convenient biking, sent SHA Administrator Slater a letter to support complete funding for the Georgia Ave improvements.
You can read the entire letter here: WABA Letter of Support_MD97 Montgomery Hills_Oct 2018