MoCo Mojo: Is Montgomery County Too 'Fuddy Duddy?'
Is there a generation gap in Montgomery County?
We have a test for you. Do you call it Montgomery County? Or do you call it MoCo?
The answer may tell us something about the different generations in our county.
In Montgomery County, seniors are the fastest-growing age group, according to the county’s Division of Aging and Disability Services.
The number of seniors in Montgomery County, the state’s largest, increased 130 percent from 1980 to 2010, the agency said. That number is expected to increase an additional 65 percent from 2000 to 2020.
The way the blog just up the pike put it, Baby Boomers arrived and "found life so good here that they never left."
According to county planning officials, the county has 15 percent fewer adults between 15 and 24 than in 2000 and 17 percent fewer 25-to-34-year-olds.
As one of the most highly educated places in the nation, MoCo, as all the kids seem to call it, thinks of itself as enlightened. It's also got a high level of average income, good schools and is culturally rich.
But home prices are high in a state known for high taxes, and so is cost of living. That may make this county a challenge for young people as well as for retirees.
What do you think? Do we need more young people?
If you visited Potomac Day on Saturday, you saw plenty of the very young—those who will be ready to make a decision about whether to stay in Montgomery County in 20 years or so. Patch was there. Were you? Upload photos here and share the link with friends.
One quality-of-life element that everyone in the county can agree needs improvement is the volume of traffic. It used to be that you could at least count on an open road or two while taking the kids to playgroup in the middle of the day. No more.
County BRAC coordinator Phil Alperson told the planning board that a study found that construction around the campus of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has not had a significant traffic impact on that area of Rockville Pike.
He added, though, that the study couldn’t derive accurate traffic readings because throroughfares near the base are so clogged with cars. “In my view, post-BRAC traffic counts do not reflect the true nature of current traffic around the Medical Center,” Alperson said. “Traffic right now is dramatically worse than it was before.”
NIH, which employs more than 20,000 people in Bethesda, is about to add more employees to its Rockville Pike campus. In order to do that, county officials say NIH needs to reduce its radio of parking spaces to workers under the theory that such a move will force more commuters to take mass transit or carpool.
Planning Board Commissioner Casey Anderson got tough on the issue last week, saying NIH hasn't moved fast enough.
“The idea that you can’t achieve these kind of mode share goals in a place that’s right on top of a Metro, I’m trying to push back in no unequivocal terms and say, ‘I don’t buy that,’” Anderson said.
NIH officials said they encourage alternative means of transportation, but defended the need for parking for employees, some of whom live far away and may not be able to afford to live closer to campus.
“I live in Prince George’s county and there’s no way I can get here unless I drive,” said Ricardo Herring, director of NIH division of facilities planning. “No way.”
Tentative proposals for downcounty bikeshare locations call for four docks in Friendship Heights and 11 in Bethesda, including at the Friendship Heights, Bethesda and Medical Center Metro stations. The system is aimed at offering a low-cost alternative transportation method in the most congested portions of the county.
The proposed sites require more study and all may not be feasible, according to Sandy Brecher of Montgomery County's Department of Transportation. “We are concerned about safety and how bike stations will be sited relative to heavily trafficked pedestrian areas and streets,” Brecher said.
Have you heard of PostSecret, an ongoing community art project in which people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard? Founder Frank Warren, a Germantown resident, is seeking financial backers for a web-to-stage adaptation of the sometimes startling and often moving public confessions, The Gazette reports.
What's exactly in a "healthy" vending machine? In the "2BU" vending machine recently unveiled in the Montgomery County executive office building in Rockville, pop chips and mineral water replace Doritos and Pepsi.
Although Montgomery County has the lowest obesity rate in Maryland at 16.8 percent, it is "not immune from the obesity epidemic,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. The machine will be available to county workers and visitors. It will display not only food, but also nutritional information.