Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Committee testifies in support of White Flint projects

The following testimony was provided to the County Council on February 5, 2014, regarding the proposed Fiscal Year 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program.

Good afternoon, President Rice and Councilmembers. My name is Francine Waters and I am presenting this testimony as Chair of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee.

The White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee was established by this Council to advise County departments on public services in the White Flint Sector Plan area and coordinate activities that: promote and assist in advancing business and residential interests; help to create a sense of community; and enhance public safety within White Flint.

The members of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee endorse the following priorities for the FY2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and the White Flint Metro Sector Plan area.

• Timely construction of transportation infrastructure improvements which are critical to the transformation envisioned for White Flint, specifically: White Flint District East: Transportation (CIP No. 501204), White Flint District West: Transportation (CIP No. 501116), and White Flint Traffic Analysis and Mitigation (CIP No. 501202).

• Completing Chapman Avenue Extended (CIP No. 500719) which is vital for traffic and pedestrian circulation.

• We also believe the CIP must include projects for the improvement of White Flint’s streetscape and pedestrian and bicycle access as is done in Bethesda and Silver Spring. We also ask that streets in White Flint be evaluated for adequate lighting and included in the Streetlight Enhancements-CBD/Town Center project (CIP No. 500512).

• We support the relocation of Fire Station #23 and believe the project should include a police substation, and offices for regional service center and any staff responsible for managing the area (as part of an Urban District or other entity).

• In order to realize the vision of the White Flint Sector Plan, adequate recreational facilities must be provided to fill existing gaps in services and serve new residents. We recommend that the County include in facility planning and ultimately establish stand-alone projects for recommended public facilities including the future satellite regional services center, express library, and civic green.

• Finally, we endorse the co-location of public facilities wherever possible in White Flint, and specifically endorse developing the North Bethesda Recreation Center (CIP No. 72100) as an addition to the Kennedy-Shriver Aquatics Center.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts concerning the CIP as it relates to White Flint.