UPDATE: The effective date for the Residential Parking Permits is November 1st. For all residents of South Silver Spring who utilize the county garages at Kennet Street or in the Galaxy, I wanted to let you know that EFFECTIVE October 1st you will be able to purchase a $95 parking permit. However these permits will […]
Last week the following call for comments was sent to several civic groups through out the Silver Spring area. “Lease of a Portion of Public Parking Garage 9 in the Silver Spring Parking Lot District Montgomery County proposes to lease a substantial portion of certain property known as Public Parking Garage 9, located at 8040 Kennett Street in […]
Recently, parking has been on the mind of many of the residents in the South Silver Spring neighborhood. We have witnessed the opening of a new parking garage under the Galaxy development, SSSNA hosted a meeting on increased parking fees at county garages, and news came out this week that the county plans to lease […]
As residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties continue waiting for the Purple Line, people living in the District are also waiting for their streetcar system (though the District is much further along with their project). And as we continue planning for the future, recognizing that traffic knows no jurisdictional boundaries, Montgomery Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans […]
It has been a fact of life in our neighborhood over the last few years that major construction resulted in the closure of many sidewalks, making pedestrian travel ever more dangerous. Many of us chose to live in this community expressly because it is a walkable neighborhood that is close to public transportation and businesses. […]
6 tips for creating good places
Below is an a piece from Project for Public Spaces, a great resource for neighborhood building. I thought folks in our neighborhood, would enjoy what they have to say. Do folks have thoughts on what’s written below? How are we doing? What do we need? Leave your comments! Also, one way you can help ‘shape’ our neighborhood is by completing our survey: http://survey.southsilverspring.org/index.php?sid=76849
Through the years PPS has learned a number of key lessons about what sets apart a great neighborhood from a mediocre one, which are distilled into The Great Neighborhood Book. The key is having a number of good places within the neighborhood where people can go to relax, have fun, and see one another. These are the basic principles of what we call Placemaking, which are outlined below:
- Good places promote sociability
These are the spots where you run into people you know, where you take friends and family when you want to show them the neighborhood. These places become the heart and soul of the neighborhood because they offer people many different reasons to go there.
- Good places have lots of things to do
The places people love most are the ones where they can pursue a variety of activities. Without opportunities to do something more than sit and look around, the experience you have in that place is “thin” — there is nothing to keep you there for any length of time.
- Good places are comfortable and attractive
They beckon you to come visit. Flowers, comfortable benches with a nice view, and attractive lighting all make you feel this is a place you want to come to often. In contrast, a place that lacks these kind of amenities often feels unwelcoming and a bit threatening. It may actually be unsafe or just feel unsafe, but either way no one wants to be there.
- Good places are accessible
These places are clearly identifiable from a distance, easy to enter when you get closer, and it is simple to understand how you use them. A space that is not accessible will be end up empty, forlorn and often dilapidated.
- Good places capitalize on the Power of 10
Think of the 10 most important places in your neighborhood. It could be the main shopping street, a park, playground, an interesting shop, a library, post office etc. Zoom in and think about one of these places and try to write down ten fun or useful things you can do there. For example at the post office, you can mail a letter or pick up your mail. At post offices which are truly good places, you can catch up on the community gossip, scan a bulletin board full of local happenings, and sit outside on a bench and open your mail. That makes it easy to chat with neighbors or just peoplewatch. If there is a coffee shop or vending cart nearby, you can even get a drink and sit and enjoy the passing scene. The Power of 10 is the simple but important idea that the more things there are to do in a place, the more beloved and central that place will become in your neighborhood.
- Good places are inspired by the people who live there
The big question is, of course, how do you begin to create the good places that every neighborhood craves? What process can you use to build spots where people want to hang out? Long experience has shown us that bottom-up rather than top-down strategies to create or revitalize public spaces work best. This approach is based on the simple idea that the people who live in a neighborhood are the world’s experts on that particular place. Any project to improve things should be guided by the community’s wisdom, not the dictates of professional disciplines. This is the most important lesson about making great neighborhoods we have learned in 30 years of work.
Church Street in Burlington, Vermont hums with social activity.
ALL KENNETT STREET
PARKING GARAGE NEIGHBORING
Limits of Work Area
RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES
Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs will begin construction on the extended
South Silver Spring pedestrian pathway, Link III-A.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Hours of Construction will be from
7a.m. until 4 p.m.
The Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to repeal the parking meter rules for nights and weekends. Congratulations to everyone who emailed, called and signed petitions to the Council to express outrage at the rule change.
Here is Councilwoman Valerie Ervin’s statement:
July 31, 2007
Thank you for contacting my office advocating for a repeal of night-time and weekend paid parking hours in Silver Spring, Wheaton, and Bethesda. I want you to know that I acted on your concerns, sponsored a resolution to repeal these hours, and worked with my colleagues to unanimously repeal night-time and weekend paid parking hours. The Council passed a resolution today which means that the paid parking hours in the County’s Parking Lot Districts will remain unchanged.
I have asked the Transportation and Environment Committee to have a worksession about how the County manages the Parking Lot Districts this fall. In my opinion, each Parking Lot District has different needs which should be evaluated comprehensively.
I hope that this change will have a positive impact on the residents and businesses located in District 5 and throughout the County. I appreciate hearing your concerns. Your views are important to me and help me in my deliberations on matters that affect County residents.
Last night I went to Rockville and told the Montgomery County Council that the parking meter rule change was a harmful policy to the residents of South Silver Spring. I am confident that our coordinated efforts have had a real impact: the parking rule will be rescinded. The Council officially votes on the measure next week.
Many from our community presented testimony, discussing the different problems with the plan: Brenda Smoak of Alchemy discussed the impact on artists and small businesses; John Landis of Crisfield and the South Silver Spring Merchants Association talked about the business community; Jackie Greenbaum of Jackie’s (and resident of 8045 Newell) discussed the impact on small restaurants; and Marcie Stickle of the Silver Spring Historical Society talked about independent businesses. Because of their participation, I kept my testimony focused on the impact the parking change would have on the residents of South Silver Spring. Below is my testimony:
Council president Praisner and all council members,
My name is Evan Glass and I am president of the South Silver Spring Neighborhood Association.
Nearly 4,000 people live in South Silver Spring.
Residents of our community and the entire Central Business District must pay $85 a month if they wish to obtain a monthly parking pass for parking on the street or in a county garage.
Homeowners in South Silver Spring and the entire Central Business District must pay .14 cents per $100 of their assessment for the simple privilege of living in a parking lot district.
In 2007 alone, the residents of three buildings in South Silver Spring–Eastern Village Co-housing, the Aurora and 8045 Newell Street — paid more than $117-thousand dollars toward the parking lot district tax.
So not only does everyone pay that much in obligatory taxes for parking, some people pay $85 for parking passes, and now others among us are being told to contribute more to the parking fund by feeding the meter on weeknights until 10 pm and all day on Saturdays.
This is a terrible and unjust policy.
Aside from the harmful impact on small businesses; aside from raising the costs for talented individuals to work and live in our arts and
entertainment district; and aside from the inequity created by having free parking at other garages, the regulation currently on the books will have a negative affect on the more than 8-thousand residents of the CBD.
Imagine having to interrupt your family dinner six nights a week to feed the meter at 7 or 8 pm.
Is that necessary? I don’t personally believe so and neither do the residents in my community whom I represent.
Silver Spring – and particularly the South Silver Spring and Fenton Village neighborhoods – is still undergoing a dramatic renaissance. We need you to protect our best interests as we undergo this sensitive period of growth.
More than 950 housing units are under construction in the CBD, with many more in the planning stages. More residents are moving in – and thankfully more are using public transportation – like I did by taking the metro here. But we should not take these residents, my neighbors, for granted.
We pay for parking passes, pay for parking lot district taxes and now you want us to pay until 10 pm.
This parking regulation is unfair and harmful, and I urge you to overturn it.
About 100 people swung by Gateway’s Heliport Gallery Friday night to help select the 15 pieces that will hang on the Kennett Street Garage ArtWall. The pieces were created by local artist Tom Block (www.tomblock.com), and are a part of his ‘Cousins’ series. The series was conceived to echo the highest aspects of the Silver Spring community by combining an elegant, Eastern-inspired visual with sayings from wisdom masters from a variety of ethnicities, religions, geographic regions and time periods.
At the event, community members were issued ballots to choose 13 winners from among the 78 final images created by Tom. Each saying to be included on the Art Wall was represented by 6 different text/image panels, which were exhibited flat, in clear plastic sleeves, on tables around the outside of the gallery. And the winning selections are: