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Kick Off Meeting November 2014

The focus is on LISTENING! Slides from brief presentations by Planning Director Gwen Wright and Planning Board Chair, Francoise Carrier are here. The handout provided at the meeting is here.

Audio from their presentations can be heard below:


Meeting Attendee Group Presentations beginning with the third presentation..due to a glitch.

See Notes about What You Said at the Public Meetings

See the scribe’s notes from the large newsprint tablets where we recorded your comments at the Kick-Off and Drop-In Meetings in November. Also see the written comments that some of you provided individually in response our questions. (Remember those “question” sheets we also had available for you to use?)

Perspectives from the Woodmont Triangle Action Group from the Kick Off Meeting

The Woodmont Triangle Action Group (WTAG) decided to put together their own thoughts on Bethesda’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (known as a “SWOT” analysis), to contribute to discussions on the update of the plan. Take a look at their good work and if you would like to comment, scroll down to the end of the page. There is a box where you can write your comments – and where we can respond.


Perspectives on Bethesda in Anticipation of an Update to the Bethesda Sector Plan
October 11, 2013, Draft
Bethesda Strengths Bethesda Weaknesses
  • Pedestrian Friendly
  • Montgomery County’s “Downtown”
  • Montgomery County’s economic engine
  • Good for foodies; diverse restaurants
  • Diverse
  • Safe
  • Walkable
  • Sense of community
  • Access to transit
  • Good location
  • Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP)
  • Bikeable/Bikeshare
  • Presence of High School
  • BCC Rescue Squad
  • Churches
  • Arts/entertainment options
  • Engaged Community
  • Metro
  • Diversity of housing options
  • Country clubs
  • Capital Crescent Trail
  • Fractured land ownership
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Traffic
  • Fractured land ownership
  • Poor lighting
  • Urban noise: construction, traffic, nightlife
  • Constrained geographic area
  • Limited green space
  • No recreation center
  • Limited youth activities
  • Cost of living/affordability
  • Post office
  • High retail rent
  • Business regulations/business climate
  • Bethesda Metro plaza/Metro
  • One-way streets
  • Urban canyons (limited sunlight)
  • Above ground power lines
Bethesda Opportunities Bethesda Threats
  • Traffic calming
  • Engaged community
  • More integration with NIH/Walter Reed
  • Better sidewalks
  • Homogeneous streetscape
  • Enhanced lighting
  • Commercial/Residential development
  • Youth appeal
  • New residents
  • Independent retailers
  • Healthcare facilities/businesses
  • Bikeshare
  • Metro
  • More entertainment options
  • Homelessness
  • Other communities (e.g., DC, Arlington)
  • Increased taxes
  • Renter/owner tension
  • Perception of limited parking
  • Traffic
  • Cost of living
  • Construction
  • Demographics (old)
  • BUP funding
  • Limited power grid
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Access to downtown
  • Aggressive ticketing for parking
  • Limited school capacity
  • Pedestrian connectivity

How can you participate?

In addition to outreach events, beginning November 4, you can schedule a time to meet with staff in our offices in Silver Spring, in Bethesda, or at your own group’s meeting. To schedule a time, contact us! We will regularly update the following list to let you know with whom we’ve been meeting.


Twitter: @bethesdaplanner

Elza Hisel-McCoy, Assoc. AIA, LEED-AP, Project Manager 301 495 2115
Questions and to arrange a Meeting with Bethesda Planners

Margaret K. Rifkin, AICP, RLA, Outreach 301 495 4583
Public Meetings & Outreach Activities, Website & Social Media Content

Matt Folden, Transportation 301 495 4538

Tina Schneider, Environment 301 495 2101

John Marcolin, RLA, CNU, LEED-AP, Urban Design 301 495 4547

Last Updated: July 1, 2022