These requests were just a few of the comments captured by a graphic artist during the second community meeting for the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan. Community residents and stakeholders were invited to the March 29 session to brainstorm the opportunities and constraints within neighborhoods along Veirs Mill Road, from Wheaton to Rockville.
Separated into small groups, the participants discussed the positive and negative aspects of their neighborhoods. They cited the need for future improvements, ranging from bus shelters to improved maintenance of sidewalks and roads.
Representatives from each group then shared highlights of their discussions with the larger audience. As they spoke, their feedback was recorded in words and pictures by graphic artist Lucinda Levine of Crowley & Co. in Annandale, VA. Comments included the following:
- Property tax dollars should result in improved maintenance of roadways and medians, as well as neighborhood community facilities.
- More directional signs and parking facilities are needed to enhance access to parks, open spaces and trails within the neighborhoods.
- Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, including additional sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, are needed to improve safety and walkability.
- Community diversity and proximity to ethnic restaurants were identified as advantages in the neighborhood, although residents expressed a desire for more specialty stores and restaurants.
- The Holiday Park Senior Center – Montgomery County’s largest such facility — was acknowledged as a valuable amenity for classes, games, dancing and community gatherings, but the participants emphasized that similar facilities and activities for community youth are needed.
Levine’s graphic recording served many purposes, from an innovative means to record the community dialogue to establishing the guiding principles for the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan. It engaged the meeting participants as they identified their ideas and concerns, confirmed that their feedback was clearly understood and served as a visual summary of the community meeting.
The Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan area includes a diverse community, with nearly 70 percent of the population speaking a language other than English at home. Capturing a visual summary of the meeting dialogue provides an opportunity to share the conversation with a larger population, regardless of language.
Building on the graphic recording, the Planning Department is now distributing a questionnaire, available in English and Spanish, to receive feedback from the larger community on the features that should be preserved, enhanced or transformed within the Veirs Mill Road neighborhoods. In addition to the questionnaire, comments in any language are welcome on the Veirs Mill Corridor Plan Feedback Map.