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Metro managers say Grosvenor turnbacks will continue through the end of the year

metro logoWASHINGTON — Maryland’s representatives on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board questioned a decision by the system’s chief operating officer to present three options for eliminating some of the Red Line’s rush hour trains that terminate at Grosvenor-Strathmore Station.

On March 8, Chief Operating Officer Joseph Leader briefed the board’s Safety and Service Delivery Committee on WMATA management plans to eliminate what officials call the Grosvenor turnback, as well as options to partially eliminate train turnbacks or to do nothing and leave the system as it is. He added that the Grosvenor turnback will continue until December because WMATA still needs to hire and train additional train operators solicit public feedback and complete a study required by Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to determine whether any change would have a discriminatory impact, though he noted the change will not require a public hearing.

The three options Leader described include completely eliminating the turnback so that all 15 Red Line trains per hour traveling outbound from Silver Spring or Glenmont will go all the way to Shady Grove, partially eliminating it so that 12 trains in that direction per hour would service Shady Grove, and doing nothing, leaving the status quo of seven or eight trips per hour.

But Prince George’s County’s WMATA board member, Malcolm Augustine, said he was not happy that Leader presented three options.

“The board resolution stipulated that the turnback would be discontinued,” Augustine said. “That’s it.”

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County pushes development

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ROCKVILLE — The County Council unanimously approved the Grosvenor-Strathmore Area Minor Master Plan Tuesday in the latest of a series of steps to encourage development around Metro stations.

The plan will allow for more commercial and residential development around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station on MD-355 in North Bethesda to focus the County’s demand for more housing around mass transit.

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Council works toward Grosvenor-Strathmore Master Plan

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1200px Grosvenor strathmoreGrosvenor-Strathmore Metro station.  COURTESY PHOTOThe Montgomery County Council discussed height increases to the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Area Minor Master Plan in a work session Tuesday.

Grosvenor-Strathmore Master Plan would allow for increased development around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro stop in North Bethesda. The council made no final decision on Tuesday during their work session, instead focusing on proposed height changes that planner increased to allow for more development.

“It’s always challenging when we try to maximize the potential at a Metro station because those who have lived there for some time worry that there may be disruption in their lifestyle or their view-shed or the landscape they’ve become accustomed to,” said Council member George Leventhal (D-at large). “But it’s also very important that we do look ahead to a future where we maximize the number of people who live at mass-transit in the hope that we do not foster sprawl or develop our Ag-reserve.”

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Shutdown of four Red Line Metro stations Labor Day weekend

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Trains to follow Sunday schedule on Labor Day

metro logoMetro riders must board shuttles on part of the Red Line through Monday to allow for the continuation of a waterproofing pilot program to reduce leaks in tunnels and for maintenance work, spokesperson Ron Holzer said.

Holzer said the shutdown is scheduled for Sept. 2 through 4 and Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.

Buses replace trains between Twinbrook and Friendship Heights stations through closing Monday, officials said in a news release. White Flint, Grosvenor-Strathmore, Medical Center and Bethesda stations will be closed through Monday.

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Pop ups popping up at Grosvenor Metro stop

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xPop up Shops at Metro 1Pop-up shopping at Grovesnor Metro in Bethesda. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER Commuters at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro stop aren’t rushing to their cars at the end of the day quite as quickly as they normally do. Between now and the end of June, the area between the parking lot and the entrance to the Red Line train is home to pop-up stores selling food, clothing and flowers on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

What started as an idea to demonstrate to commuters how they plan to redevelop the station area in a few years, Fivesquares Development in Washington, D.C., took a retired 4,000-series Metro car and cut it up into numerous pieces, which currently serve as home to the popup stores, which opened May 17.

“We wanted to bring life to the plaza,” said Ron Kaplan, principal at Fivesquares.

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