Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Chevy Chase to Meet Bethesda


Great news for those who shop at Tiffany's and Jimmy Choo, then have to hoof it all the way up Wisconsin Avenue with their bags of goods to catch the bus: they will soon have it much easier. The Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) has secured funding to design (but not build) a sidewalk to fill in the gap on Wisconsin Avenue from Chevy Chase to Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda, says Kellie Boulware, Spokesperson for MSHA. The new sidewalk will fill in the eastern side of the street.

MSHA will begin design in the next couple weeks, which will include working with the county, Chevy Chase Village and Chevy Chase Country Club, whose western boundary the sidewalk will traverse. "This is long overdue since it connects two shopping districts and makes it easier for people who rely on bus service and public transportation," said Boulware. Four bus stops rest on the unpaved stretch. The western side has long had a narrow sidewalk, and is broken by cross streets.

MSHA has alloted $10,000 for this phase of the project. Though design is slated for completion in the spring, funding for the construction of the sidewalk has not yet been secured. The news has reignited the debate over whether it is architects - or engineers - that design sidewalks.

Washington, D.C. real estate development news

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is a sidewalk necessary on the east side? There are no houses, just a country club. Anyone walking from FH to Bethesda cam cross the street twice. Anyone using a bus stop there can go across to west side and proceed on foot to places there—no need to cross again unless you plan to hop fence into country club.

Anonymous said...

thank god.

tsarchitect on Mar 27, 2011, 10:02:00 PM said...

I know, right!

Why do we need three travel lanes on the west side either? Nobody is taking left turns against traffic, so why do we need to pay maintenance for a second inside lane?

Unless they were planning to break through the fence with their car...

Anonymous said...

Why not a shuttle bus to Bethesda Row instead? Construction of this sidewalk will disrupt traffic further on an already compromised stretch of road connecting Chevy Chase to Bethesda.

Surely the management company, the up-market vendors at both The Collection at Chevy Chase and Bethesda Row can all afford to pitch in and sponsor a shuttle bus to Bradley Boulevard.

Think Hamptons Jitney on a small scale.

Anonymous said...

I've done this walk often with my kids and I don't understand why this is necessary. The best thing than could be done for pedestrians would be to require the Town of Somerset, Village of Drummond, and the homeowners on the western side of Wisconsin Ave to clear the snow and keep the curb cuts accessible in the winter.

This isn't the best use of taxpayers dollars at a time when the state is in the red.

Chevy Chase DC resident said...

For that matter, why do the citizens of Chevy Chase Maryland get to wall off their community from any traffic traveling from Wisconsin to Connecticut Avenues between Western Ave. and Bradley Blvd? What if the District decided that the only route through Chevy Chase DC was either Military Road or Western Avenue? Any why are trucks prohibited on Connecticut Avenue south of the Beltway, despite the fact that it is a state road? Montgomery County is only too happy to pocket the tax revenue from the high-end regional-serving retail and the high density buildings, but all the rest of us bear disproportionate traffic burdens because of the privileged set in Chevy Chase MD. These are the folks who pressured the County to force Chevy Chase Land to cut hundreds of parking spaces from their redevelopment of Chevy Chase Center, and wouldn't allow a road to go through the parking lot area for traffic to go south/west from Western Avenue directly to Wisconsin, which would have relieved considerable pressure on the overtaxed intersection of Wisconsin and Western, and made it much more pedestrian-friendly. There will probably be howls over even allowing the hoi polloi to walk on a sidewalk along Wisconsin next to their neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

If you're shopping at Jimmy's or Tiffany's I doubt you'll be shlepping it down that stretch. But if you are, they already have a sidewalk. There are sooo many other locations that people are litterally dying to get one. Let's be smart about how we spend our dollars!

Anonymous said...

I've tried to use the sidewalk to go from Chevy Chase DC to Bethesda many times... this is a necessary upgrade to the area.

It's also important for residents and visitors to the area who want to use the bus, because there are no safe ways to cross from the bus stops on the East side of Wisconsin. With a sidewalk, people can walk to a safe crosswalk.

Anonymous said...

A complete and utter waste of taxper dollars. Why do we need a second sidewalk? We don't. Why pay to design it if you do not have the money to build it? That is simply absurd. The fact of the matter is we need to be looking for ways to do with what we have, cut out the waste we do not need and learn to spend less.

Anonymous said...

Why is the state involved in building a sidewalk in front of the town's country club anyway? If this isn't something that fits into the local township's domain then I don't know what does. Absurd.

Anonymous said...

Um, maybe because there are other ways to travel than driving. The sidewalk will permit me and my young son to ride our bikes from the DC line to Trader Joes, or wherever in Bethesda, in a manner that won't kill us. Try doing that on the 3 lane speedway currently in place or on the west side sidewalk, with turning vehicles and curb cuts. I will back down from this request when posters are willing to devote the far right lanes both north and south to a bike lane rather than a travel lane. Crickets ...

Right on with the design and installation of the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

Huh? You're not even allowed to ride your bike on the prospective sidewalk. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and streets are for bikes. Pretty simple stuff so try and stop breaking the law and terrorizing pedestrians.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:53

The state is building it because the street is a state Highway, and the sidewalk area is within the state highway right-of-way. Furthermore, the east side of the street (and the country club) is not located in any of the various Chevy Chase towns.

 

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