Residents of six neighborhoods along the Georgia Avenue corridor have joined together to plan the first Montgomery Hills Street Fest, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 29 from 3-7 p.m.
In addition to entertainment, food from area restaurant and food trucks, and games, the festival was created “to generate support for fixing the unsafe, congested seven-lane roadway, improving pedestrian access, and enhancing the retail environment” in the area, organizers said.
“We created the Montgomery Hills Neighborhood Street Fest to showcase the richness of our area—musical and artistic talent, entrepreneurs, community organizations—and build unified support for an area that’s long been neglected,” said North Woodside resident Heather Lair, a lead organizer, in a press release. “We want our opinions to be heard. Our area has so much to gain if we can traverse Georgia Avenue safely and create a welcoming place for business where people will want to gather.”
“For nearly 20 years, state and county planners have studied potential improvements to this area, with nothing to show for that effort,” said Michelle Desiderio, cofounder of the Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills, a neighborhood advocacy group. “After years of dithering, a real solution is at hand: Alternative 5B, developed by the State Highway Administration for the Maryland 97 Planning Study. This will improve safety for all users, create a sense of identity for the corridor and surrounding neighborhoods, and help small, local businesses thrive.”
In addition to the activities, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-District 8) and Councilmember Tom Hucker (D-District 5) and other elected officials and candidates are expected to join the gathering to hear locals’ opinions on why funding the redesign of Georgia Ave should be a top priority. Raskin and Hucker are scheduled to speak between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Desiderio emphasizes that funding is a necessity to ensure change.
“Our elected officials must understand the need to fully fund Alternative 5B in the FY2019 budget,” she said. “Doing nothing is not an option.”
Activities at the street festival will include an open-art studio, face painters, carnival games, and exhibits from local artisans.
In addition to North Woodside, participating neighborhoods are Linden, Woodside, Woodside Forest, Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills.
Map courtesy Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills.