Category Archives: Local Government

Congratulations Jamie Raskin

State Senator, and Washington College of Law Professor, Jamie Raskin will be the Democratic Party nominee for the MD 8th Congressional district which includes Bethesda. Obviously we are non-partisan here at Bethesda Actually but wanted to pass on the news and congratulate Raskin on winning a high profile race.

Feel free to share any thoughts on the voting experience here in Bethesda via email.

Cheers!

Battery Park Update

Folks,

There will be another hearing (later in Feb) on the proposed road through Battery Park – will get the details posted asap!

bethesda actually snow pic 5

Sad News

A local daycare teacher died yesterday after being hit by a bus at the Battery Lane/ Old Georgetown Road intersection.

We knew the lady – she was kind, positive and caring.

If anything constructive can come out of this latest pedestrian tragedy, perhaps our elected officials could finally come up with a serious plan to enhance pedestrian safety.

 

Reflections on the Planning Process

Hi folks, just wanted to pop in and share a couple of thoughts about the County planning process and how it impacts our little town of Bethesda.

First, and most significantly, our little town is growing up (literally!) very fast. If you walk from Battery Lane in Old Bethesda to Barnes and Nobles in New Bethesda you will see 6-7 new apartment buildings that have either just been completed or are about to be completed. Each building means new, and more residents, more density of people and traffic and likely more, and new services, drawn to this emerging group. Each Bethesda resident will have their own take on this growth but it is real and (second point coming up) it is continuing! At the planning session last week it was interesting to see how the bulk of the time seemed to be spent with developers pushing for more density or trying to ensure the proposed increases would be set in stone. The number of large apartment buildings that have been proposed and that developers are advocating for, is astonishing.

Third, the new housing stock is high end and expensive. The MPDU rental program does not work effectively and people making decent money are being priced out of Bethesda – it is remarkable that young professionals making $40-50K can barely find housing that meets their needs.

Moving away from housing it is also worth noting that there is a lack of imagination at the county level when it comes to greening the community and making it more livable. That is a surprise for a place as progressive as Bethesda but a point worth noting.

The last point regarding the planning meeting is that it is crucial that the citizenry engage much more than they are currently doing. There are still opportunities to influence the Bethesda plan and if we don’t want to wake up and look like Northern Virginia the time to engage is now.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts below – these are important discussions that need to be had in public.

 

Over 450 Residents Signed Petitions Against Road in Battery Park

There was a really big push against the road – which was wonderful to see. A few nice quotes here.

One of the most eloquent speakers was Paul Hanos who stated:

“Who benefits from this? Not the people that live around here…Not the folks who are living in Bethesda and using the park.”

Update on Proposed Road Through Battery Park

As you know the County is looking to put a road through Battery Park. The community is rallying to urge them to reconsider and the story is picking up press attention. The online petition has topped a 100 signatures and various groups from day care center (parents and staff), cross fit athletes, dog walking club members etc. are all registering their disapproval with the plan.

The road is not needed to connect the community with the rest of Bethesda as there are bike and foot paths to do so.

Further, the damage to one of the few places in Bethesda where kids can run free would be immense.

The County leadership needs to think long and hard – is this really the best use of tax payer dollars?

Should Bethesda’s Parking Garages Charge at the Weekend?

An interesting argument is kicking off regarding the cost of parking in Bethesda. It seems that the parking authority in charge of Bethesda garages is losing money, in part because of capital intensive projects and in part due to not charging in garages at the weekend.

This all leads to an interesting question – if you drive into Bethesda at the weekend and park for free in one of the free garages, would you change your behavior if you had to pay? Would you walk? Take the free shuttle? Bike? Drive to the Mall?

Let us know!

Some Changes in Content at Bethesda Actually

Friends,

I went to a very interesting meeting earlier this week given by the head of the Friends of White Flint. It got into a lot of details about the new development – matters that will certainly impact our community. Further more, it is also clear that parts of this project are likely to incorporate the “Bethesda North” tag and that we may see, over time, an expansion of what we consider Bethesda including this northern section. SO, here at Bethesda Actually we are going to try and cover bits of the Bethesda North development and will make sure that it is tagged as such.
Cheers!

Bethesda Film Festival Cont.

Now that the outdoor film festival is over for another Summer I wanted to ask you, our loyal readers, to weigh in on two questions. First, out of the films you saw at the festival this summer, which one was your favorite (and why!). Second, what films would you like to see at the festival next summer — now on this second  question remember that the films have to be family friendly and probably cannot be among the most recent films released in the main line cinemas. My take is that the “best” film this summer was “Life of Pi” – because it was quite different to the norm and, crucially, worked really well for an audience that seem to range from 7 to over 70 years old. With regards to films for next year, I would like to see the following:

1. Star Wars: Episode 4 A New Hope – this has always been a fun film (I was 5 when I first watched it)and with the new film due out the following year it could be a good time to show this one.

2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: another fun film from a good few years ago (this was the first film my sister saw in the cinema). This one is really good fun and again well suited to a mixed age crowd. What do you think of these picks? Any ideas of your own? Feel free to leave a comment or drop us an email. Cheers!

Bethesda Outdoor Movies!

Bethesda Outdoor Movies!

 

 

 

 

 

Capital Bike Share Coming to Bethesda

Good morning friends! Wanted to touch base and talk to you about a story that was on NPR yesterday. Good news, it referenced the expansion of Capital Bike Share into Montgomery County and specifically referenced the fact that we will have new bike station(s) in Bethesda! Now, many of us, including my better half have been suggesting specific station stops on the Capital Bike Share site, and I suspect there is still time to do so.

The challenge that was raised in the story was that the County needs to do much more to get the area ready for Capital Bike Share by investing more in dedicated bike lanes. This is a really important point and one that fans of biking should bring up with their elected representatives at the local, state and federal level.

More info on this as it comes in – cheers!