Here We Go Again: White Flint, North Bethesda Or Something Else?

View of North Bethesda/White Flint from the Strathmore MansionThe impassioned debate on what to call the area around the White Flint Metro station continues, this time spurred by a post from Washington Post sports blogger Dan Steinberg about Wizards player Drew Gooden.

Gooden lives just south of the White Flint Metro in North Bethesda, or White Flint or Rockville. He claimed it as Bethesda. We’re not sure. Steinberg’s piece goes on to discuss Gooden’s favorite places to eat. (Gooden claimed he was treated to a free meal at ritzy Woodmont Grill, even before his heroic 12-point, 13-rebound performance in Game 1 of the team’s ongoing playoff series.)

It’s an old question. But now, with the area primed to transform into its own downtown district, it could be more important than ever to come up with one name for branding, marketing and placemaking purposes.

With that in mind, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman put together an online poll: What should this place be called?

Hartman, County Executive Isiah Leggett’s main staff person overseeing county government services in western Montgomery County, is also leading the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee. One of his main projects there is a website — similar to Bethesda Urban Partnership’s site for downtown Bethesda — that would categorize restaurants, events, places to live and anything else going on in the area.

And yes, real estate agents and developers have something to do with the area’s gradual shift from “Rockville” to “North Bethesda.”

But consider that the City of Rockville’s southern limit is north of Montrose Parkway and that county planners have used North Bethesda since the 1970′s. North Bethesda has been a census designated place since at least as far back as 1980.

The debate now seems more geared toward a discussion of North Bethesda vs. White Flint, something even the area’s major developers aren’t in 100 percent agreement on.

In the poll, Hartman did include “South Rockville” as an option.


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