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Panel Proposes Plan to Make Montgomery More Hip

How can Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville and other places in Montgomery County be made more hip?

Panel Proposes Plan to Make Montgomery More Hip
Montgomery County often has been accused of being a bit bland once the sun goes down.

In the words of one participant in a county nightlife survey, the county is a "boring bowl of porridge," Council Member Hans Riemer reported in an email newsletter sent out last month.

But, maybe we won't be porridge forever.

A 21-member group has been working for the past six months to come up with policy suggestions to make Montgomery County's nightlife more exciting, The Washington Post reported. The panel's 33 proposals, scheduled to be finalized at a meeting on Monday evening, "will let a thousand food trucks, brew pubs and live music venues bloom," The Post stated.

The proposals include plans for a "late-night bus service, police patrols and safe ride programs for over-served bar patrons," an altered ratio between sales of food and drink in restaurants (currently, that ratio is set at 50-50, which the panel says is not practical) and "urban noise districts," in which noise can be a little louder than elsewhere at night, The Post reported.

>>>Read more about the panel's proposals on The Post 's website.

About 2,000 people participated in the nightlife survey. The most common places of residence for the participants were Silver Spring (24 percent), Bethesda (15 percent) and Rockville (12 percent). Forty-eight percent were 50 years of age or older, and 23 percent identified themselves as single, according to Riemer's website.

Nearly half (47 percent) of participants said the nightlife options in the county were "okay," while 39 percent said they were "not very good." Only 10 percent said the nightlife options were "good." And, 58 percent of participants said that the fact that most grocery stores in the county do not sell beer and wine was "a problem that needs to be fixed," Riemer's website reported.

>>>Read more about the survey results on Riemer's website.

What do you think? Is there room for improvement in the county's nightlife? Should it be improved? If so, what do you think needs to be done to make the place more hip when the sun goes down? Tell us in the comments.

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