Rockville’s Planning Commission will hold its final public hearing on a proposal to drastically transform a portion of Rockville Pike at the city’s southern border, a pedestrian unfriendly stretch clogged with car traffic and old-school strip malls.
The public hearing on the final draft of the Rockville Pike Plan is set for 7 p.m. at Rockville City Hall. Written testimony will be accepted until close-of-business on Friday, May 31.
The Pike Plan addresses the nearly 400 acres in the two miles between Richard Montgomery Drive and the southern city limits, just north of Bou Avenue. The commission wants public input on the draft and on changing land use laws in order to implement the plan.
- Adding low-speed access roads and pedestrian crossings
- More parks and open spaces
- More side streets
- Buildings that are closer to sidewalks
- Smaller, more “walkable” blocks
- De-emphasizing parking as a “predominant land use”
The Planning Commission will use the feedback to revise the draft before sending it on to the mayor and Council—which is also expected to hold public hearings and work sessions on the plan.
Rockville's Pike Plan draft is available at the city's website.
Background: What the Plan is Trying to Fix
In 2007 the city hired ACP Visioning and Planning to develop a new plan for Rockville Pike, the city’s main thoroughfare.
The draft plan could be thought of as a set of design goals for how people experience Rockville Pike, Jerry Callenstein, Planning Commission chairman told The Gazette in February.
Rockville Pike has horrible traffic because it serves as both a regional “highway” and as a local road. Not only is it bad for those travelling north and south, it’s just as hard to cross the Pike from east or west, according to the plan.
Also, the landscape along the Pike is dominated by parking lots, which buffer strip malls from the road. The narrow sidewalks, which the plan described as being “too close” to the road, are uninviting for people on foot or on bike.
For more information on the plan visit www.rockvillemd.gov/rockvillespike or contact Cindy Kebba in the Community Planning and Development Services department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-314-8233. Chief of Long Range Planning and Redevelopment David Levy is also available to answer questions email@example.com or 240-314-8272.