Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Wheaton is a suburb in Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside the beltway. Its downtown has the worst of everything -- it is densely built up with masses of ugly concrete, but even though there is a Metro station one can't walk anywhere and there is no life on the streets. It has neither suburban pleasantness nor urban bustle. Under the O'Malley administration Maryland has a long-range plan to turn places like Wheaton and Rockville into livable, high-density urban areas, supporting private development with tax breaks and subsidies. WMATA, which operates the Metro and owns a lot of land around the stations, has a similar program to partner with private developers and promote mixed-use construction around its stations. Now the second major renewal project has been announced for the area around the Wheaton Metro.

The existence of ghastly concrete jungles and vast surface parking lots in the midst of pleasant suburbs is a crime of poor planning and stupid development. In America there are millions of people looking for a more urban living experience, where they walk to clubs and restaurants, and high-density suburban spots like Wheaton should be redesigned to accommodate them.


retgroclk said...

You can walk to many places in Wheaton--just don't buy a lot of stuff.

It would be impractical to carry everything.

If you take the Metro to Wheaton, you can walk about 1/4 mile to the Target, but if you have to buy something and have to go to Giant for groceries, you can not put your Target purchases anywhere as you did not drive- so now you have to carry your Target purchases and your groceries and walk about 1/4 mile to the Metro-they no longer allow buses at the Plaza. Now
your hands are full and you are easy pickings for a thief , or total collapse as you struggle with your purchases and the weather and the cars.

Bob Fustero

Anonymous said...

John: You are so late to the party, it's already over. This is what people were writing about Wheaton 10 years ago, albeit not with such an uncontrollably negative outlook as most. Many people walk around Wheaton, but perhaps they just don't look like you. At this point, the news is not that Wheaton has many ugly buildings, but that its redevelopment is under way. Take your disgusting, and apparently xenophobic behind and please leave the State of Maryland.