Monday, July 31, 2006

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- Does anyone pay attention to the signs at the entrances to the Strosniders/Whole Foods parking lot that read "patrons only"? The signs claim that violators will be towed, yet churchgoers park there all weekend long. Has anyone ever actually been towed? I seriously doubt it. I was personally responsible for creating a hole in the ozone layer over Silver Spring Saturday after circling endlessly looking for a spot. A great number of the parking spaces were occupied by guests of a wedding being held at the church next door.

- Silver Spring will be getting its first Five Guys (Washingtonian's "Best Burger") soon. It will be located in the shopping plaza currently under construction near the intersection of 29 and Tech Road. Kind of an annoying location, at least for me. Why not put it in downtown Silver Spring?

- Some of the Falkland Chase apartments on East West Hwy. are to be demolished to make way for high rise apartments and a supermarket. Let's hope that its a Wegmans, at least. (via Silver Spring Scene)


urbannomad said...

From my front window/balcony I have a nice view of the whole foods parking lot. And YES, believe me they tow people like crazy. At night I can see the tow trucks from my couch and they tow people all night long. The weekends are especially bad. They sit and wait there by those two office buildings under renovation off spring street(also the other less used entrance to the parking lot) though they don't sit very long before getting someone. Always make me feel bad for some poor suckers.

Sligo said...

I don't feel sorry for them... heck, I'll call in some tips if I get the parking space once they are towed.

Twoste said...

Here's a question: If you're towed my municipal services in Silver Spring, where do they take your car? Where is the impound lot?
I always wonder about that where ever I live.

Sligo said...

I had my car towed once from behind a high-rise apartment on 16th and it ended up over in that industrial area off Seminary Rd by the train tracks. Here's an approximate location.

WashingtonGardener said...

I'm a LONG-time St, Michael's parishioner - (btw, we are celebrating our 75th anniverary of the church in Sept - you are all welcome to join us and learn its history and integral part of the downtown SS community) - I WALK to church each week, but I'm certianly aware of the parking lot hassle - as I'm almost hit each time I try to cross the entrance on the SIDEWALK.
Please do NOT confuse regualr church-goers with wedding guests or guests at other private events helf at the church. They are all informed of the parking riles - do they pass it on to their guests, maybe.
St Mike parishioners are fully aware of the towing risks. Those who drive park in the St Mike school lot across the street or the nearby garages - there are also a few slots in the Rectory's private driveway for the handicapped who need access to the ramp entrance. You may also notice a few vans ferrying older residents from Spring Lake and other downtown senior housing to the church - great service IMHO.
My other gripe is people who think that church-goers are not ALSO shopping center patrons - believe me a large percentage go straight before/after church to Whole Foods, Chipotle, and the adjacent shops. Going to church and being a store customer are not mutually exclusive categories!

Silver Springer said...

Five Guys is overrated.

Sligo said...

Perhaps, but at least it will be an option now. Downtown will be getting a Fuddrucker's which isn't very good, IMO and seems to be pretty expensive for what you get.

Anonymous said...

Actually I am always nervous about being towed when I park there. My assumption is I am a legal "patron" when I'm using Whole Foods or Strosnider's or the dry cleaners or Hollywood Video or Baja Fresh, obviously for less than 2 hours. Is that right? How do they know who to tow?

thecourtyard said...

Now, now, Downtown Silver Spring can't have everything. You'll come up to East County to eat at Five Guys and like it, thank you.

perrik said...

The new Five Guys is joining Moe's Southwestern Grill, TGIFridays, IHOP, and some pizza place in an under-construction strip mall. (at least that's the most recent occupant list I've seen) It is just a short hop up the road from the new FDA complex in White Oak, and a stone's throw from the new MVA facility (and emissions testing center). I don't know if we're getting any new retail in there, or if it's all restaurants.

thecourtyard said...

There will be a couple of clothing shops in there, too, along with a Chevy Chase Bank (you can see it right at the corner of Tech Road and Prosperity) and a hotel (at Tech and Broadbirch).

It's called the Westech Village Corner, for those willing to Google, and I think the idea is something akin to the new Burnt Mills shopping center.

Sligo said...

Sounds better than Burnt Mills, although its hard to top CalTor.

Rfustero said...

Maybe they can put a chee burger chee burger in silvr spring- and a wegmans would be great- I usually go to the one in Sterling and it is a fantastic store

NotYourBroom said...

I was once in a cooking class at Whole Foods which lasted 2 hours and the police came in warning that our cars would be towed in we didn't move them. And we actually were legal patrons of Whole Foods!

Angst On The Outskirts said...

A few weeks ago, around 2100hrs, I was coming out of WH and some guy was walking right in front of me with several bags of groceries.

He gets to his car to see it being towed and goes apeshit. He was yelling that he went in, ate dinner, got a smoothie, then shopped.

They towed his car anyway.

Anonymous said...

We must bring Wegmans to Silver Spring; however, I recall reading an article that Giant and Safeway adjusted zoning to block big box stores like Wegmans. That is unfortunate, because the quality of service and food at Wegmans would clobber Giant and Safeway stores COMBINED. Can someone find that article about Montgomery County blocking Wegmans with its zoning laws? I just Googled it and cannot find it.

Rfustero said...

I read the same article about collusion between Giant and Safeway preventing Wegmans.

It may have worked in Montgomery County, but I understand there is a Wegmans in Prince Georges County.

As a formr employee of Giant I agree with the customer service it is really bad-.

C. P. Zilliacus said...

> - Silver Spring will be getting
> its first Five Guys
> (Washingtonian's "Best
> Burger") soon. It will be
> located in the shopping
> plaza currently under
> construction near the
> intersection of 29 and Tech
> Road. Kind of an annoying
> location, at least for me. Why
> not put it in downtown
> Silver Spring?

Gunnar, I have enjoyed the Five
Guys burgers for many years
in Northern Virginia (where
the chain started) and am
pleased to see them coming
to Montgomery County.

Regarding location - I don't
believe that there's any reason
why Five Guys cannot located
further south along U.S. 29 -
BUT - the Fairland Master Plan
Area of Montgomery County (roughly
both sides of U.S. 29 from the
Paint Branch bridge north to Howard
County) has been remarkably under-served in the eating establishment department, in
large part thanks to the state
ABC laws that apply in
Montgomery County, and have made
it impossible for a chain of
eating establishments to have
more than once ABC license in
the county. That meant that
chains that serve alcohol
have located in the I-270
Corridor, and noplace near
U.S. 29. We literally had to
get state law changed in order to
lure some of these establishments
to the eastern part of the county.
Now I know that
Five Guys does not normally
serve alcohol, but some of
the neighbors of Five Guys going
in that center do.

And this center is also part
of the process of recovering
from the catastrophic impacts
of the terribly misguided 1981
Eastern Montgomery County
Master Plan (which covered
Fairland, White Oak and
Cloverly and was superceded
in 1997) - that plan was
about increasing mass
transit ridership,
affordable housing and
protecting the brown trout
in the Paint Branch - and
little else, including
traffic congestion and quality
of life.

barnes said...

On the towing issue, the guys will either chalk the tire treads or put a post-it note on the tires at regular intervals. Once they make another orbit, they'll just check where they left markers and if a marker is still there, the car gets towed.

thecourtyard said...

Yes, Wegmans is illegal in Montgomery County, but I was told the legislation was designed to prevent Wal-Mart from moving in. Might just be a rumor, though.

As for Mr. Zilliacus: well, you can see the kind of people I get to live with Up The Pike. Since when has encouraging affordable housing, transit ridership and protecting water quality been disastrous?

C. P. Zilliacus said...

> As for Mr. Zilliacus: well, you
> can see the kind of people I get
> to live with Up The Pike. Since
> when has encouraging
> affordable housing,
> transit ridership and
> protecting water quality
> been disastrous?

Since the 1981 Eastern County
Master Plan, with its central
(and naive and now-discredited)
theme of "a concept of
transit servicability" was

Ever been on U.S. 29
(as in Columbia Pike) in the
A.M. rush hour?

Fortunately, even the Montgomery
County Council agreed with East
County communities when the 1997
master plans were adopted,
for they contain explicit
references to not repeating
the many planning mistakes
associated with the "concept
of transit serviceability."

thecourtyard said...

I go to work in Bethesda every day, Mr. Zilliacus. And I ride the bus, which I have to run across Route 29 to catch. Let's go back to transit serviceability, unless you want me to get hit one of these days.

The traffic is bad. There are a lot of people living here. I think anyone would see that as a good reason for improved transit in the Route 29 corridor.

But, of course, let us not forget: this post was about Five Guys pizza parlor. How about that?

I'm The Decider said...

You haven't lived 'til you've been towed from the Whole Foods lot. Believe me, it happens--often. In fact, I've heard the towing company received a police citation for "storing" towed cars from the WF lot in the neighborhood between Spring St. and Dale Dr. The problem was, they had so many cars to tow from Whole Foods, that the towing company didn't have enough time and manpower to take violators' cars all the back to the depot. So, they deposited the cars quickly on nearby streets, and doubled back to get more...

Anonymous said...

Visited the Wegmann's in Fairfax last night. here. What a place! We absolutely need this and I could see ways that the sprawling building out there could be adapted to an urban format (e.g., stack the wine shop and non-food sections over or under the conventional grocery, with deck parking above or below).

However -- local civic assns. almost certainly will fight Wegmann's on basis of (1) loss of "historically significant" Falklands (even a part of it), (2) traffic (3) "threat" to viability of Whole Foods and particularly Sniders (no one will care about Safeway/Giant, but many feel Snider's deserves protection from competition).

All it takes is a few months of protests and legal threats to drive away a great business prospect like Wegmann's. Our community has proven it's up to the challenge!

thecourtyard said...

There are four grocery stores within a mile of Downtown Silver Spring. What do we need Wegmans for? Or are we too lazy to drive to the Wegmans in Largo in two years? I think they need it a lot more than we do.

Anonymous said...

I had my car towed from the Whole Foods lot a few months ago, it was 11 pm (after the stores were closed) and my car was towed to a lot off of Gude Drive in Rockville. So yeah, it happens....

Donatony said...

I love Wegmans (one of the few things I do like about my hometown of Rochester, NY), but there's no way in hell it will fit on 16th St. They'd have to knock out all of Falkland Chase & Lenox Park to make room for Weggies.

I heart the Wedgemans, because no other grocery store around here even comes close. Don't get me started on Giant...ugh!

Jason said...

I think this is the article about Doug Duncan being the puppet of UFCW, Giant, and Safeway, but it seems pretty close.

Why hasn't Leggett decided to roll back the regulations? Big box stores only would help MoCo's $ale$ tax revenue$.

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