Category Archives: Local Government

Why is Metro Slow Between Bethesda and Friendship Heights?

Earlier this week I was getting pretty frustrated with the slow speed of the metro between Bethesda and Friendship Heights — we were inching along at a painfully slow pace. I was also irritated by the fact that there was no announcement made on my train to let passengers know what was happening. Now, it seems that (a) we have some answers and (b) the problem is being addressed.  Please see this metro press release for more details:

Bethesda North AKA White Flint Will See Revamp

Some really good news just up the road from our community — Montgomery County Council has approved plans that, if well implemented, will see White Flint look a lot more like Bethesda down town and a lot less like the strip mall neighborhood it currently resembles. Our friends at GGW have the details here and have been on top of the story.

As you know, here at Bethesda Actually, we are delighted at the possible development of the White Flint area. Firstlyit should create a really nice neighboring area for folks in Bethesda to visit and secondly, if businesses are creative the tandum of Bethesda and a “new” White Flint should be more attractive to shoppers and those looking to play and work who live in the District and the surrounding area — that would be good for the local economy and signal that people really do vote with their pocket books when it comes to smart growth.

I just hope they keep Bertucci’s at White Flint — I like that place 🙂

Maryland Legislative Branch and Bethesda

A few weeks ago an avid Bethesda Actually reader noted that one of our local representatives was conducting a phone town hall meeting to discuss a couple of topical matters. It got me thinking that (1) this was a fine idea (2) we really should know more about our local representatives. I think we can all agree that being informed and engaged with our local reps is a good way to ensure that our community grows stronger in the months and years ahead.

So, here at Bethesda Actually we are going to start digging into matters of local representation and trying to begin a dialogue with some of the folks working on our behalf. Now, don’t worry if you are not familiar with local government — prior to writing this article I would not be able to name all of our representatives and I suspect that I am not alone!

But if you are interested in this topic consider this a brief introduction and the start of a longer conversation:

Opening the Door to Taller Buildings in Bethesda?


This is a big deal folks — Montgomery County Council has just endorsed major revisions to its zoning laws. According to various reports, the MCC has taken steps that some are describing as a key stage in efforts to revise the zoning laws in our area.

The new proposed laws are being described quite differently with some people suggesting that they will positively impact efforts to move White Flint and Rockville Pike away from their strip mall feel towards a Bethesda type layout with mixed commercial, residential and green space in tighter areas. Other folks feel that these proposed zoning changes are really problematic because they include things like an increase in the allowed height of buildings — some of these critics fear that the White Flint and Pike area will look more like Rosslyn (pictured above) and your more typical American city than Bethesda.

While the laws may be designed with areas other than Bethesda in mind, I’m quite concerned that they could lead to an increase in height of buildings here. Our community is really well designed now and I’d be concerned if builders had the option to build as high as 300 feet.

The WP has some good details on the initial process here. You can be sure that here at Bethesda Actually we will be digging into this issue and reporting back to you in the weeks and months ahead.

Let us know what you think — would you be for or against laws that would allow the construction of buildings of 300 feet in the Bethesda area (our current highest buildings are about 200 feet according to the WashPost).

Bethesda Delegate Addresses Traffic Accident/ Crash Issue

Our friends at GGW do a nice job of detailing the story but the bottom line is that our Maryland State Delegate, Bill Bronrott, is working with a colleague to have the word “accident” replaced by the word “crash” in the state laws. This may seem like a small thing but David Alpert makes a good case for this bill and similar legislation. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Fire Hydrants May Need to be Re-cleared

fire hydrant

We noticed this fire hydrant and others like it as we trudged around town yesterday.  It’s great that residents have been keeping them clear of snow throughout the blizzards, especially after Montgomery County officials urged action to ensure they remain accessible should the need arise.  Looking out the window at the moment, it looks like we’re going to have to get our shovels out again…

Shovel Out Fire Hydrants! Montgomery County Officials Urge Action

With another snow storm about to hit us we wanted to bring this important safety request to your attention. We saw this statement from Montgomery County and felt we should pass it on — please read it all the way through and if you have any questions or concerns reach out to the County or local emergency services.

Montgomery County Officials Urge Residents to Shovel Out Fire Hydrants

Montgomery County officials are urging residents to clear snow away from fire hydrants so that they are visible from the road and accessible to firefighters in the event of emergency.

Residents are also reminded to exercise caution when shoveling snow. Shovel snow into the yard rather than the street, to facilitate plowing. Cold weather puts an extra strain on the body. Individuals with heart disease or high blood pressure should follow their doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of deaths during winter.

Property owners are responsible for clearing their public sidewalks, driveways and entrances within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. All residents are strongly encouraged to be good neighbors by clearing the sidewalks in front of their homes, as well as assisting those who may not be physically able to do so.