What Would You Improve in Wheaton in 2013?

If you could make a New Year's resolution for Wheaton, what would it be?

As millions of Americans make New Year's resolutions to improve their lives, what could we do right here in Wheaton to make it an even better place to live?

Some suggestions that have been brought up at meetings in Wheaton throughout the year:

  • improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety
  • making Wheaton a more walkable place
  • improving storefront appearances in Wheaton's commercial district
  • adding more green space to Wheaton

What is on your Wheaton wish list? What is one thing you would improve in 2013?

Tell us in the comment section below or blog about why you love living here!

David S. Paglin January 02, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Esther & Patch---greenspace increase: good idea. Also--more govt recognition and support for grassroots stream watchers likle Friends of Sligo Creek and Neighbors of Northwest Branch--and continued Outdoor Ed programs in Middle Schools. HNY! David Paglin
David S. Paglin January 02, 2013 at 01:15 PM
AND continued success and growth for Wheaton Patch!
Esther French (Editor) January 02, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Thanks, David!
macadoodle January 02, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Driving through Wheaton is a nightmare partly due to traffic congestion and it won't get any better with the addition of the new Costco. Visually, it's a sorry, shabby, third-world-looking place. Many stores have gone out of business or are hanging on. Lack of parking for those who might want to shop. Area is scary after dark. Grassy areas and green space? You mean like Detroit? Right now, Wheaton is a fairly ugly conglomeration of strip malls. It would take millions to revitalize the area, funds not available in this time of economic crisis. Unfortunately, the PROGs ruling the County will find a way to squeeze out the funds from the already beleaguered taxpayers. Sorry to be so negative but you asked for opinions.
AntonFisher January 02, 2013 at 06:29 PM
1. Demolish the Ambassador 2. Remove Wheaton triangle surface parking and replace it with underground parking and street level shops, open space, and condos/office on the upper levels. 3. Remove/Renovate all strip malls and bring into them something inviting. 4. Close all check cashing stores. 5. Attract diverse population, Wheaton has become a concentration of low income, minority area. 6. Attract mainstream shops and restaurants. 7. Integrate the mall into downtown. 8. Block Costco from building a gas station. 9. Attract several high density developments (Above metro bus lot, in place of strip malls, Wheaton triangle)
De January 02, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Remove strip malls along Georgua Avenue.
Commentous January 02, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Generally, see Anton's comments.
Avocado January 03, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I totally agree with the 4 points in the patch article. An improved environment for pedestrians and bicyclists will make us all happier and healthier. It will also encourage diversity of income levels since people with money want to live places where they can walk and bike to the metro, good restaurants (we have lots of those) & grocery stores. Integrating the mall into the rest of Wheaton would certainly help too! It is like an island very hard to get to by foot or bike.
L.J. January 06, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Block Costco's Gas Station!!!
vinniegambini January 07, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Build the gas station and they will come!! You all forget there was a gas station where Wendy's now sits. There does need to be some uniformity in the shops along Georgia Avenue but that takes time and money. Wheaton was going to be the ugly step child but with events like Taste of Wheaton will turn things around.
Commentous January 07, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Please don't cite the Taste of Wheaton as an indicator of Wheaton's ascension. Though I hope things will turn around in Wheaton, the restaurants--especially the small ones that supposedly are the heart of Wheaton's culinary experience--used to participate in the Taste of Wheaton at a MUCH better rate. It's a shame that while everyone likes to talk about the need for the community to support small restaurants, when the Taste comes, the small restaurants don't support it. For the record, here's the total list of restaurants who offered food samples in 2012, according to the wheatonmd website: "Moby Dick Sushi, Hollywood East Cafe, Marchone's Italian Deli, Los Cobanos, Green Plate Catering, The Limerick Pub, Saigonese Restaurant, Ming Tree, Little Caesars Pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, Ledo Pizza, and Ihop." So we had fewer than 10 independent establishments. Regardless whether they're chains or not, businesses that find a way to support the Taste are more likely to get my $ simply because--all things being equal--it means something to me to see these restaurants support the community. A last note--some restaurants don't have the finances to do the Taste or may have had things going on this past year. I can't say that they didn't want to participate. I only know that the current participation rate of independent restaurants is abysmal and that the Taste has been declining because of it.
L.J. January 08, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Vinnie....there are about 8 gas stations in the area. Wouldn't this space be better served with pedestrian accessible shops and restaurants. Have you taken the time to look at where the space is? It is just feet away from a local swimming pool, homes, and an elementary school for children with special needs. I hardly think a Mega Gas Station is the solution for Wheaton Maryland. Who will come? People in their idling cars polluting our community?
Tom Termini January 09, 2013 at 01:56 AM
How about integration with the county's transportation plans? The county could utilize the bus lane connecting Rockville to Wheaton (on Viers Mill), make Wheaton a biking mecca (where is our bike share station?) or address problems learned from the Silver Spring transport effort http://washingtonexaminer.com/transit-group-questions-future-of-silver-spring-center/article/2517958#.UOzNn47WZ20
TaL January 09, 2013 at 04:14 AM
L.J.- Does that mean if we defeat the gas station we can instead put in roads with sidewalks to connect the mail ring road with the Kensington Heights neighborhood streets to increase connectivity and through pedestrian traffic? Because that would be great!
AntonFisher January 09, 2013 at 09:43 PM
TaL - That would be a great idea. That will make the area more connected and walkable.
Leah Haygood January 13, 2013 at 05:51 PM
There are a lot of great ideas here, starting with the Patch's list. And there are reasons for optimism -- several new developments planned, including the conversion of Parking Lot 13 (triangle lot) to county offices/mixed use and open community space. It's also true that the old car-oriented suburbs are suffering as young people and boomers alike move to urban areas that are walkable/bikable/transit friendly. We can be that, too! We have the transit and now have the sector plan that will allow redevelopment in the downtown area. We also have outstanding environmental and recreation assets with Wheaton Regional Park Brookside Gardens and Sligo Creek Park. And now for some shameless self-promotion -- local non-profit GreenWheaton (http://greenwheaton.org/) is promoting all of these things in a bid to make Wheaton visibly green and a model sustainable community. Join us, like us on Facebook, sign up for our newsletter! Together we can transform Wheaton iinto the community we want it to be.
Anonymous January 14, 2013 at 03:25 PM
While I am sure this is not a high priority, I hope Wheaton will get another gym/fitness facility in the near future. LA Fitness leaves a lot to be desired. They need some competition.
Danila Sheveiko January 14, 2013 at 06:50 PM
If permitted, the Costco gas station, projected to be the busiest in the County, will emit enough pollutants to put the kibosh on improving Wheaton's environment. Just from the idling alone, according to my personal back-of-the-envelope estimate, the busiest gas station in the County will produce so much carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter, that it will take at least 1,500 full-grown oak trees to offset or, alternatively, a green roof on every single building in Wheaton - roughly 200 acres of the 484 in the Wheaton Sector Plan. Instead of improving Wheaton's environment now, it will take generations to mitigate Costco's plan. For more details, please see www.stopcostcogas.org
TaL January 15, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Why dont you just let them build twice the pumps which would cut the idling in half?


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