Planning Board Sends the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan to the County Council for Consideration

December 13, 2018

Veirs Mill Corridor Plan Logo

Planning Board approves recommendations for improved connectivity, multimodal safety and enhanced communities along Veirs Mill Road from Wheaton to Rockville on December 13

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, approved the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan on Thursday, December 13 and voted to transmit the plan to the Montgomery County Council and County Executive for consideration. The planning recommendations, developed by the Montgomery County Planning Department, address land use and zoning; urban design; transportation; parks, trails and open spaces; sustainability and community facilities within an area along Veirs Mill Road that extends from Wheaton to Rockville.

One of the chief goals of the plan is to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit users and motorists within the Veirs Mill Road corridor, in accordance with Montgomery County’s Vision Zero policy, which aims to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries by 2030.

“This is our first plan to address Montgomery County’s Vision Zero policy with recommendations for improving safety for all road users along one of the busiest roads in the county,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “In addition to influencing the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan, the Vision Zero policy will play a significant role in developing future plans and studies.”

View the Planning Board Draft of the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan.

In addition to identifying recommendations for advancing the Vision Zero policy, the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan is innovative in its public engagement of hard-to-reach audiences, including ethnically and racially diverse residents, millennials and non-English speakers.

“We developed a variety of outreach tools to engage the community in the planning process,” says lead planner Jessica McVary. “These tools included digital feedback maps, direct engagement with residents, commuters and community organizations, and a graphic artist’s recording of ideas and images from residents. This public outreach influenced the vision of the plan, from a land use focus to an emphasis on safety, connectivity and multimodal access within the Veirs Mill corridor.”

This successful outreach campaign was recognized in October 2018 with the Harold Foster Award for Distinction in Community Outreach and Engagement from the National-Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association.

The public will have a chance to provide comments about the master plan during a soon-to-be scheduled public hearing at the County Council.

About the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan

The Montgomery County Planning Department, under the guidance of the Montgomery County Planning Board and Montgomery County Council, initiated the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan in January 2017. In developing the plan, staff received feedback from the community and reviewed current land uses and existing conditions in order to make recommendations for improvements in the area.

The Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan extends approximately four miles, from the City of Rockville to the Wheaton Central Business District and Vicinity Sector Plan boundary. The plan boundaries roughly correspond to a ¼-mile area around each of the bus rapid transit (BRT) stations identified in the 2013 Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan.

The Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan includes the following strategies:

  • Guide future land uses along the Veirs Mill Road corridor from Wheaton to Rockville.
  • Improve the compatibility between the land uses adjacent to Veirs Mill Road and the future bus rapid transit corridor.
  • Improve pedestrian and bicycle accessibility, connectivity and safety within the plan area.
  • Redevelop at strategic locations to provide more walkable, neighborhood-serving development.
  • Implement a comprehensive streetscape design and opportunities for placemaking within the corridor.

The Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan complements the Veirs Mill Road BRT Study recently completed by the Maryland State Highway Administration in coordination with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. This transit study evaluated alternatives for BRT service along Veirs Mill Road between Wheaton and Rockville, originally recommended as part of the 2013 Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan.

For more information, contact lead planner Jessica McVary at Jessica.McVary@montgomeryplanning.org.