Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wheaton Costco is Good for the Mall So Far!

Wheaton Costco, April 10, 2013.
I saw this encouraging article shared on Just Up The Pike's Facebook page: "Wheaton Costco adds life to shopping mall: Nearby businesses see added traffic, sales."

I can confirm this by personal experience. This past Sunday I went to see the new Costco and was shocked by the number of people in the store and by the number walking around inside the mall near the store's entrance! There were too many people for the space so everyone had to walk slowly and inch around the giant shopping carts strewn about.  The general mood was festive and energized.

The article states that "Customer traffic at the mall has generally increased following Costco’s arrival, said Ken Buckner, the mall’s marketing director, though he said he could not divulge the exact numbers" and 12 new leases were signed at the mall after the Costco lease was finalized.

Inside the Costco, I was pleasantly surprised by the skylights that appear in the ceiling.  They let in lots of sunlight on the sunny day I was there, making the inside of the store seem airy and bright.  The skylights are spaced evenly in between the normal electric lights on the ceiling.  This photo gives a hint of the natural light inside.

I was also intrigued by the extensive Kosher selections available.  Large signs indicated sections of Kosher foods -- I noticed them in the bakery, cheese, and frozen section, although there could also be more.  In looking into this I found this piece on the Wheaton Patch with background about how this came to be -- the story involves a Kemp Mill resident's years-long effort.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pedestrian Stings Planned for Wheaton!

I saw today on Wheaton Patch (Plainclothes Police to Conduct 'Pedestrian Sting' Series) that the Montgomery County police will be doing stings soon to improve safety!

This was mentioned on this blog last month by Ken Silverman from Nancy Navarro's office and I'm delighted to read that it will be happening soon.

In other news, the Wheaton Redevelopment website where Montgomery County is asking the public "What are your ideas and priorities for a redeveloped Wheaton?" is going strong with 23 more days left. It has had 232 views and has 6 suggestions open for "liking" and comments!  Go there and add your ideas!!  It is easy!

5/10/13 UPDATE: Great Greater Washington reports today that the ticketing operation is going well. They report: "The police ticketed 72 violators in 2½ hours—one every two minutes—at a single crosswalk on Veirs Mill Road..." Officers found that "When you get out of the squad car and join the thousands who cross Veirs Mill every day (it's among the county's busiest bus corridors), you suddenly learn that "it's kind of scary."

I completely agree with the piece's (Pedestrian "sting" finds frequent driver lawlessness) recommendation that officers regularly and routinely walk on streets all over Montgomery County to prevent this sort of driver abuse of police inattention.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ideas for Wheaton Redevelopment Sought by County

Today there's a post by the Montgomery County Government on Facebook saying:
What are your ideas and priorities for a redeveloped Wheaton? Share them on engage Montgomery.
It looks like MoCo has taken a page from the Metro playbook (with their very similar Momentum suggestion website) and has decided to broadly ask the public for suggestions. Good idea! 

The page says we should use it to "Suggest, share and second ideas to help make Montgomery County, Maryland an even better place to live, work, and do business. Your posts will be reviewed to help shape decision making across the County."  Add your suggestions here and link them from the comments so we can support them!

Let's make some suggestions about making Wheaton more pleasantly walkable, bike friendly, and dense! I'd like it to be like Dupont Circle (also a lot of traffic going through it, but a great place to walk around/dine/shop/hang out anyways!

Maybe my first suggestion will be a plaza with a fountain in the middle of it and plenty of seating on the site of the current Veterans Urban Park.  Its uninviting lifelessness grates on me every time I pass.
Screenshot of Engage Montgomery Wheaton site 5/1/13