Friday, April 8, 2011
This afternoon I went for lunch with Jeff and Ramin, who are working on an assessment tool that the County can use to improve pedestrian access and connectivity . It was a really interesting meeting, where I learned some more details of how MCDOT plans to develop this tool over the next few months. I hope to be involved throughout the process. I will report when I know more.
What I really wanted to show you are the photos i took on the way there.
This is adjacent to the intersection of Sligo Avenue and Fenton St. This location is an office building that used to feature an Eagle Bank. The bank closed years ago.
As mentioned in earlier posts (Snar'd One!,Five Days Later) this location contains a number of risk factors - including a narrow passage, landscaping issues, a utility pole, and heavy traffic - both pedestrian and motor vehicle. The bushes here have long been a restriction, if not an obstacle. It is good that they are being removed, but this vehicle is park in a way that forces pedestrians to step into the street, AND, it restricts a drivers view of the pedestrian to boot. VERY DANGEROUS.
No one was with the vehicle. it was lunch time, and I would not be surprised if the owner of the truck was having lunch somewhere - oblivious to the extremely dangerous situation he had set-up with his careless action.
These photos were taken at the site of the future Silver Spring Library. The sidewalk has been blocked along the north side of Bonifant, from the corner of Fenton to the row of older buildings that house Thai Duram and some other shops. There is no obvious danger here, but it is another location closed to pedestrians for extended periods of time.
Given the location of this blockage, you can expect pedestrians who are headed eastward to walk in the street to get by - no matter what you do to pursuade them to do otherwise.The only way to prevent this is to provide a separate place for pedestrians to walk through this location without crossing over. Temporary pedestrian facilities may not be appropriate for every location, but I believe that most very-urban sites (like this one) need them. In the light of day it may be difficult to imagine that anything is wrong with the way this site has been handled, but what about late at night? In the rain?
In any case, a person in a wheelchair will have to cross to get by here. In order to do this safely, they would have to backtrack to Georgia Avenue - several hundred feet away.