Monday, June 14, 2010


On Saturday morning Kathleen and I headed to the Farmer's Market. We stopped at Safeway on the way to get some water. When we left we walked across the front of the store to the County parking lot on Bonifant St. It is faster this way than walking around the entire building.

The lot is connected to the Safeway , or is it? Here are photos showing that there is a serious trip hazard here. This begs the question - If Safeway has a designated entrance for people in wheelchairs, do they need to make sure there is access from this direction as well? What about the County? Don't they have to make certain that access to their lot is available for everyone, not just people who can negotiate this location? I think so.

You can't tell what abilities or disabilities an individual will bring to a particular location. For this reason, the County and private business owners should strive to make all passages and entrances accessible for everyone. Seemingly insignificant locations like this add-up, and leave pedestrians wondering where the next obstacle will pop-up.


  1. I live right by there and always thought of that lot as an illegal cut through that I wasn't supposed to use! My worry would be that the response to something like this would be to just fence it off so no one could go through. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not.

    Btw, I've been reading for a few weeks. I live in the area and don't own a car. I'm not blind but I do agree that we need better pedestrian access in this town. I thought of this blog when I was walking to the library along Colesville the other day and a woman had her car up to the street coming out of a driveway so she could turn as soon as there was an opening. Of course, being Colesville, cars were rushing by and there was no way I felt safe going into the street to get around her. Thankfully she backed up once she saw me looking confused and wanting to cross.

  2. That, in a nutshell, is why Safety can't be the only focus. The goals is safe access. The more people walk, the safer things will get. I have read that more pedestrians in a particular area will make that area safer for pedestrians, in general. More pedestrians alter the behavior of drivers. They usually pay more attention, and do a better job of obeying the laws and lights if there are more pedestrians about.

    I have noticed that more drivers back-up when they realize they are blocking a crosswalk or driveway, and it becomes apparent that they are going to be there for a while. Not all, but some more. I think this is directly attributable to the fact that over recent years the number of pedestrians in Downtown Silver Spring has exploded. There is safety in numbers. More pedestrians actually alter drivers behavior.

    In the 21st Century I hope that government will be about the business of removing barriers, not erecting them - not even in the name of safety.

  3. on the Safeway walk-thru - that is a pet peeve of mine - as I never have been able to use that sidwalks- every single driver pulls up til their tire hits the sidewalk and their while front end hangs over it - on the other side of the walk is a chain link fence that is hit in by cars from the OTHER side - so you are literally stuck between a rock and a hard place if you try to SQUEEZE thru - which only a 5 yr old might attempt.