Montgomery Co. leaders, residents discuss White Flint station name change

Should the name of the White Flint Metro station be changed? Montgomery County, Maryland, community leaders met virtually with residents Wednesday night to discuss the possibility.

Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the group Friends of White Flint, hosted the virtual meeting.

Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson pointed out that Metro is open to the name change, and the cost would be mitigated due to several factors, including potential access to state funding to help.

Much of the meeting was devoted to residents’ thoughts and comments on the potential name change.

Adam supported a name change for the station, saying, “It can only help.” The goal, he said, is to drive business to the area.

Chris, who has been working with Montgomery County to promote the term “Pike District,” hoped that name catches on. She likened it to names of Business Improvement Districts like NoMa, Golden Triangle and Southwest Waterfront.

Heidi liked the North Bethesda name.

“What I like about North Bethesda is that it is a geolocation,” she said, “so it does immediately say to people, ‘Wherever I’m going is north of Bethesda.'”

Steve called North Bethesda the most parsimonious name, given that the designation is already on Google Maps and Redfin, and he added: “The census, itself, recognizes it.” So, he said North Bethesda makes more sense than Pike District.

Ginsburg suggested the combination “North Bethesda-Pike District” would work. She said it “better fits the area as the county and stakeholders are working to redevelop and rebrand our area.”

But not everyone is in favor of renaming the station. Paula Bienenfeld, a former member of the White Flint Sector Plan Advisory Group, said in an email that she isn’t happy about money she says is in the Capital Budget for a project she calls a “rebranding that would only benefit the real estate developers.”

WMATA said there’s a June deadline to decide on a name change. There will likely be more discussion before a decision is made.

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