Per Montgomery County: https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=22663
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) this week began expansion of its dockless bikeshare program by making “e-bikes” available in North Bethesda and its surrounding area. The County had previously implemented a pilot dockless bikeshare program in Silver Spring and Takoma Park.
The pilot program had been in operation for about one year when the County decided to explore expansion of it. During the pilot period, adjustments to the program were made based on public input that greatly reduced the number of reported early concerns.
Town hall meetings were held in October and November to seek resident input on the feasibility of expanding the program. The bikes available in the expansion area will be operated by LimeBike. They will be pedal-assist, electric “e-bikes.” The County also has been studying a program to include e-scooters. That concept remains under consideration.
The expanded area will generally range from Seven Locks Road on the west, Montrose Road on the north, Veirs Mill Road on the east and Beach Drive on the south. More information about the expanded program, including a map of the service areas, is available at the Montgomery BikeShare website.
Representatives from two companies made presentations at the recent public meetings before LimeBike was chosen to start operation in the expanded area. The company was required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Montgomery County that spells out operational and performance requirements.
Dockless electric bikes are not allowed to operate on Montgomery County park trails and are not permitted to end trips or park in Montgomery villages and towns that do not opt into the expanded program. Those interested in using the GPS-enabled vehicles can register through a smartphone app that then allows users to locate, unlock and lock the bikes and scooters, and pay for rides. Riders must obey bicycle laws and are encouraged to wear helmets and reflective items.
The evaluation of the initial phase of the pilot program found that it was quite successful in providing short, point-to-point trips. Riders took a total of about 18,000 trips over a six-month period using bikes from the two companies maintaining operations in the pilot area. Most trips were conducted within the pilot area boundaries, though about 15 percent of trips ended in areas of the County outside the pilot area. Incidents of improper parking of the bikes reduced over time as the companies improved their “in-app” communications and users became more familiar with the rules. During a six-week observation period, bikes were found to generally be in good operating condition, without significant incidences of missing parts. During that period, most bikes observed were parked appropriately, while seven percent were parked in a way that caused an obstruction.
The report on the evaluation of the first year of the pilot dockless Bikeshare program is available at https://tinyurl.com/y8zmd8sq.
Just a few weeks after a report came out touting a decrease in complaints about the dockless bikes in Silver Spring, Twitter user @MuseSeeking has sent us screen shots of the maps from three of the four dockless bikeshare companies operating in the area (we were also able to obtain the map from Spin).
Below you’ll see screenshots from LimeBike, Mobike, Ofo, and Spin that show a dramatically decreased amount of bikes in the Silver Spring area.
On April 26th, Bethesda Beat reported that “the county granted these four companies permits to place as many as 600 dockless bikes in an area that includes Downtown Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and surrounding suburban communities.”
Where have all the dockless bikes in Silver Spring gone?
Two homes in Takoma Park were struck by lightning during the severe weather that passed through the area last night.
One home was on the 7200 block of Holly Avenue and the other was on the 900 block of Larch Avenue.
Two families have been displaced, but there were no injuries to the residents.
Photos of the homes, courtesy of MCFRSPIO Pete Piringer, can be seen below.
Maryland State Delegate, David Moon (Takoma Park), filed a bill earlier this month that would allow voters to legalize recreational marijuana in the state of Maryland.
His proposal to let voters decide the fate of cannabis legalization would put the issue on the November 2018 ballot. If he fails to make it happen this session, the next opportunity would be the November 2020 ballot.
“Due to the ongoing debate about medical marijuana licensing in Maryland, I would say the odds of advancing a legalization referendum are under 50% right now.” Moon told me. He does, however, feel confident that voters would approve legalization if it was to make it on the ballot.
Looking at the $247 million in revenue that was made in Colorado last year, Moon would like to see a good chunk of the money go towards funding mitigation efforts for the years of damage from what he believes has been a failed “War on Drugs.” That would mean substance abuse funding, re-entry services for drug offenders, mental health resources, and efforts targeted at communities that took the brunt of the drug war enforcement. He knows that others will want the bigger chunk to go to schools and deficit reduction, so he’s hoping for a healthy balance in how a rare new revenue source can be used.
The bill specifically states that legalization would not alter an employer's right to set their own policies on marijuana use, so this would not legally eliminate testing for marijuana use if an employer chooses to do so.
Even though marijuana has been decriminalized, he finds much of the policing approach to marijuana ridiculous. Moon mentioned that “in Montgomery County, black residents were three times more likely than white residents to be charged with a marijuana offense -- despite similar rates of use.”
He believes his biggest opposition will come from conservative Republican lawmakers, but many of them are privately beginning to come to him and admit they personally support legalization.
Moon seems confident that it is only a matter matter of time before recreational use of marijuana is legalized in the state of Maryland.
You can follow the bill here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1264&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2018RS
Dan Reed, of www.justupthepike.com, tweeted that CapitalCity Cheesecake In Takoma Park would be re-branding.
Their website states that they’ll be closed in the month of February for renovations and that they will be re-branding when they return.
No word yet on what the bakery/café will be re-branding to.
Montgomery College sent an alert warning of an “Armed person at [insert name] Campus.” at 1:03PM today. The message also stated “Go to nearest room and lock door NOW! If off campus, STAY AWAY.” leading to a chaotic 7 minutes until the following message was sent.
Montgomery College followed up the message with an e-mail at 3:14pm. The e-mail, found below, states that the message was sent by human error. Montgomery College is working to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
The Olney Chick-fil-A is officially opening on December 7th, according to their Facebook page.
Tree lighting ceremonies will take place at Pike & Rose (4pm-7pm) and Rio Washingtonian (6:30pm-8pm) on November 17th. Rockville Town Square will hold theirs on November 18th (5pm-8pm).
Damascus, Northwest, Paint Branch, and Quince Orchard High Schools will be playing in the regional football finals on Friday (NW and QO will be playing each other).
We have launched our Instagram page (TheMoCoShow). Make sure to follow us cover MoCo from every angle.
Tom & Ray’s will be returning to Damascus in February of 2018 in the Safeway Shopping Center, according to their Facebook page.
Seoul Food, one of the best gas station food spots in MoCo, is making the move from Wheaton to Takoma Park.
Former Rockville Mayor, Rose Krasnow, will run for County Exec. She would be first woman to hold the post if elected.
&Pizza co-founder, Steve Salis, has acquired all five Ted’s Bulletin locations. He plans to “freshen up” the brand. Currently there’s one in Gaithersburg and I’ve heard a rumor of one coming to Downtown Silver Spring.
Alex Ovechkin credited MoCo chain Mamma Lucia’s for his hot start.
The Baked Bear is coming to Pike & Rose this Spring. They make their own brownies, cookies, and ice cream and specialize in creating ice cream sandwiches.
Potomac restaurant, Amici Miei, is moving from Potomac Woods Plaza to Rockville Town Center. It’ll close the current location after Thanksgiving and open in Rockville early this winter.
Signs that read “It’s Ok To Be White” were found on about 10 doors outside of Blair High School earlier this month.
A new fast-casual restaurant called Gyroland is coming to Rockville. They’ll open very soon, but no exact date yet.
www.facebook.com/gyrolandRockville for more info.
Download the Mamma Lucia App and get 10% off your first OR next order: Mamma Lucia by ChowNow https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mamma-lucia/id1248934999?mt=8
In the next couple years I plan on purchasing my next home in Montgomery County. We are looking everywhere...but if you’ve ever lived in Montgomery County, you already know that the cost of living is amongst the highest in the country. Median home prices in the county range from the mid 200s in Montgomery Village to over 1 million dollars in Chevy Chase.
Since I'm a huge fan of lists, I wanted to create an accurate list of the "best" places to buy in MoCo. In order to make this list accurate I asked local realtor, Jonathan Fox, to help me break down the county's "best" areas and include a few up and coming areas that he thinks are due for a dramatic increase in price over the coming years. Here's what he had to say:
So as a long time realtor and resident of Montgomery County I am often asked where the “best” opportunities and areas to buy houses are located, and what our future real estate markets in MoCo will ultimately look like. In this piece I will do my best to break it down for you.
I can prove with data that there are 4 metrics which tend to drive local home prices in MoCo - schools, metro access, distance to DC, and proximity to retail (pretty much in that order). For this article’s purpose we will define “best” as being most desirable FOR THE PRICE, so most expensive will not necessarily mean an automatic winner. With that in mind, here we go!
Overall Olney is affordable with the median home price around $455k. The town center is located 8 miles from Glenmont metro, 2.5 miles from the ICC Georgia Ave exit, and boasts an ample amount of local restaurants and shopping. Olney is a popular spot for homebuyers to search that are seeking an affordable a suburban life plus people seem to stay put and remain satisfied after moving to the area.
(The MoCoShow opinion: I like Olney...but everyone that goes to Olney never leaves and they always want you to come to them. When you start your night in Olney, there's no going anywhere else! 😂)
Also commonly referred to as “horse country”, Dickerson is located in the county’s northern agricultural preserve and is home to some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. Rolling hills, farmland, and the famous Sugarloaf Mountain are all a part of Dickerson. Fun fact - you likely cannot build a new home on less than 5 acres in Dickerson (due to MoCo’s agricultural preserve laws) so homebuyers seeking land and privacy (without moving too far away from retail and mass transit) absolutely love Dickerson!
(The MoCoShow opinion: Can't do it. I'm sure it's a great area, but I need things to be around. This might be perfect for some people, but nothing I can ever do.)
#5) Gaithersburg Planned Communities: Downtown Crown /Kentlands /Parklands
Sorry about having to do a catch-all there, but it’s tough to separate the 3 highly successful planned-communities in 20878 because each have their strengths and unprecedented successes. Here’s the deal...Gaithersburg took a chance in the early to mid 90s by developing the Kentlands, which at that time was one of the first planned communities in the county, and have since perfected the model with the Downtown Crown and Parklands. When Kentlands was constructed a lot of people did not see the value is self-sufficient “crammed communities” way out in the suburbs, but with the rise of urbanism and a new found appetite for “walkability”, planned communities in Gaithersburg have become a hub for homebuyers and businesses. They (mostly) each offer their own school system, shopping, community events, and unique housing styles to fit most budgets! Since Gaithersburg pioneered this national trend to today, Kentlands, Crown, and Parklands still remains at the top of many buyer's lists.
(The MoCoShow Opinion: I have lived in the Kentlands [loved it] and live across the street from Crown [love it], but I can't afford a single family home in either place [hate it]. Parklands is more affordable, but there's really nothing there yet...don't know if I want to wait to see if this will be more Kentlands or King Farm, which is a nice area with almost nothing there.)
#4) City of Takoma Park
Located directly outside Washington, D.C. Takoma Park is MoCo’s most “interesting” communities due to very liberal laws (16 year olds can vote in local elections), city ordinances (do not try to cut down a tree for starters), and eclectic array of historical 1900s housing. The median home price is $510k making it overall affordable, and the city has walking access to cool local shops, a metro stop, plus has its own police force & city government. If lots of green space, strong local laws, and an intense sense of community is important to you, TP is your spot!
(The MoCoShow Opinion: Takoma Park is probably in my top 3 places I have spent the least amount of time in. I simply don't know too much about the area, but based on what I'm seeing above...it seems pretty cool.)
#3) North Rockville (20850)
Rockville (much like Silver Spring) is a massive city in the county and comprised of multiple zip codes spanning tens of miles and though each part of Rockville has its distinct qualities, north Rockville leads the pack! Starting with schools, Richard Montgomery High School is amongst the county’s best plus North Rockville has an award-winning community college (Harvard on the Pike) as well. From history to housing, retail to restaurants, North Rockville has you covered. The Rockville Town Center/ Courthouse area gives the region excellent dining and nightlife options while also providing thousands of employment opportunities for local residents! From a real estate standpoint, there is likely housing in North Rockville to match almost any budget, which is great! I cannot say enough great things about this area and it's only getting better!
(The MoCoShow Opinion: I love this part of Rockville. I'm always looking at homes over in the area behind the town center, but rarely can I find one I afford. Maybe one day!)
If it wasn’t for all of the rush hour traffic on Connecticut Avenue and a new(ish) Chipotle on the corner of Knowles Ave you might forget it is 2017 after spending a few hours in the town of Kensington. Anchored by a historic district and LONG time retail shops (shoutout to Continental Subs & Pizza) Kensington has largely remained unchanged throughout the last 60 years. With the best rated schools in the county, unbelievable community pride and continuity, tons of local parks and Rock Creek Park, plus easy proximity to Bethesda and DC, Kensington has remained one of the county’s most desirable and sought after neighborhoods. Housing is none too cheap but on average is still much less than other closer in communities like Chevy Chase and Cabin John.
(The MoCoShow Opinion: I like Kensington because it's minutes away from Bethesda, D.C., Rockville, and right off the highway which allows you to get upcounty in 15 minutes without traffic).
#1) Downtown Bethesda
Okay, I get it - Bethesda as a whole rocks, but unfortunately Bethesda is comprised of 5 different zip codes (not including “North” Bethesda 20852 which until recently has always been Rockville...sigh) so I had to isolate one specific part which is why I chose downtown. Downtown Bethesda has best best of everything - schools, retail, proximity to DC, and metro access so naturally it had to top our list! Here’s the only drawback...the housing is outrageously expensive! But after all, shouldn’t it be given the fact you literally cannot ask for anything more from an area? Whether you are in your 20s and looking to check out nightlife, growing a family and want the BEST schools and neighborhoods for your kids, or downsizing and want a walkable lifestyle, downtown Bethesda is perfect for you! Plus downtown Bethesda is home to some of our region’s largest employers so there’s a significant chance you won’t need to commute very far if you already live in DTB. This had to be my #1 pick because it scored 10 - 10 in every category!
(The MoCoShow Opinion: If I worked in the city, this would be a great spot for me, but I don't. I know I loved the area when I was a little younger too, as a lot of MoCo "nightlife" is in Bethesda.)
Up and coming areas: In short, here are the few areas I believe are due for an above average increase in median home prices based on a number of factors. Have specific questions? Email me and I’ll elaborate!
-Darnestown: For someone looking for land and community, this area is due for a renaissance!
- Anything near the Pike in Rockville (20852, 20851 specifically): Just look at Rockville’s 10 year plan with Park and Planning. You’re welcome.
-Wheaton/Glenmont area: So much development around metro stops these days are destined to change the look and feel of these two areas.
-Montgomery Village: As affordable housing opportunities become harder to find, affordable areas (MV is our area’s cheapest on average) stand to gain the most ROI over the short term.
There you have it - my top 7 picks from a realtor’s perspective plus a few top up and coming picks.
Jonathan Fox - Realtor with Compass - awarded "Top Agent" in 2017 by the Washingtonian Magazine, Washington Post contributor, and published author with over 11 years experience!
Governor Hogan was in Gaithersburg yesterday as construction on the $97.71 million Watkins Mill project began. Could this bring exit 12 to I-270?
One of our Twitter followers informed us of a rumor swirling around Olney about the possibility of Sakura closing and being replaced with an IHOP. For what it's worth, I called Sakura last night and the manager told me that this is not true.
K-Mart and Payless in the Kentlands will both close by the end of this summer.
Actress Maia Campbell, famous for her role in the 90s sitcom 'In The House,' has been in the news for a video that has recently made it's rounds showing her having an apparent relapse. We wish the Takoma Park native the best in her fight against addiction.
Montgomery County Council President, Roger Berliner, recently said that a 'Second Crossing' (another bridge across the Potomac) is a "zombie that needs to die" according to NBC4's Adam Tuss.
Former NBA All-Star, Steve Francis, recently played basketball with police officers and local children in Takoma Park for his youth foundation.
King-Size recliners coming soon to Regal Cinemas Majestic in Downtown Silver Spring.
Popular Bethesda restaurant, Grapeseed, will close permanently in a couple weeks.
Prime sunflower season at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville is next weekend (July 22-23), but can also be viewed this weekend. If you've ever seen those pictures of people in giant fields of sunflowers, there's a good chance they're here.
Josh Hart made it official with the Lakers last week. He attended Wheaton for a year, was born and raised in SIlver Spring, and his mom still works in Rockville at Woodmont Country Club.
Juliet Lee, a salon owner from Germantown, won 4th place at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th.
Montgomery County parking rates are set to rise 👎🏼
Damascus was not allowed to paint their Hornet mascot on the side of their water tower due to Georgia Tech protecting the trademark of their own mascot, Buzz the yellow jacket.
Bonjour Waffles, a food truck in Downtown Silver Spring, has opened on the corner of Georgia and Colesville.
22 MoCo high schools will combine for a $1.5 million security upgrade this summer after concerns during the previous school year.
Rockville will get a Cava Grill and more in the space where Timpano was recently torn down.
This edition of 'News Around MoCo' is brought to you by Double P Contractors. For over 25 years Dimitri and company have been providing professional painting services for homes in the DMV. Call (301)254-0106 and get your estimate today!
News Around MoCo, 5/8/17 Edition
Staples on Georgia Avenue has closed permanently (Silver Spring).
After 41 years, Seneca Valley held the last sporting event at the stadium last Thursday (Germantown).
The five most challenging schools in Maryland are located in Montgomery County, according to the Washington Post's list of most challenging schools in the nation. Full list available here:(www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/high-school-challenge-2017/
Brio Tuscan Grille, located on the corner of Rockville Pike and Executive Blvd. (North Bethesda) has closed permanently.
The brand new Spring/Summer 2017 menu has rolled out at Cava Mezze locations (Olney/Rockville).
Peruvian Chicken and Grill will be opening soon in Damascus.
The creators of Serial (including host Sarah Koenig) will be at Strathmore on May 11th (North Bethesda).
Le Madeleine in Silver Spring has closed permanently.
The principal of Kensington Parkwood Elementary School that set up a "smash space" for teacher will step down following this school year (Kensington).
Class 520 (Thai ice cream) has opened a second MoCo location in Bethesda.
Takoma Beverage Co. (coffee, beer, cocktails, and wine) will open in Takoma Park this month or next.
MoCo liquor stores used to card people that "looked under 35." Starting July 1st, everyone will be carded.
Pie 360, Coal Fire's quick pizza experiment, has closed after just 5 months off of Twinbrook Parkway (Rockville).
The MoCo Council voted unanimously to pass a bill that would fine owners of abandoned homes to avoid eyesores that attract crime and reduce property value (per WTOP).
MoCo Police will be visiting MCPS schools to enforce cell phone and seat belt laws in and around the schools (parking lots, drop-off/pick-up loops, etc.).
This edition of "News Around MoCo" was brought to you by Empowering You. Providing counseling for adults and teens needing support with anxiety, depression, or disordered eating.