Monday, August 28, 2006

Driving Directions to Pedestrian Bridge

Thanks to an anonymous reader for forwarding me this ironic/sad announcement from the Montgomery County government regarding the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge:

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan cordially invites you to a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge. The event will be held on Wednesday, August 30 at 12:15 p.m. at the north end of the bridge off Forest Glen Road and Georgia Avenue. The new pedestrian and bikeway bridge spans three I-495 interchanges and provides greatly improved pedestrian safety and access to transit.

Directions: From I-495, take Georgia Avenue north and take an immediate left (west) onto Forest Glen Road. Forest Glen has a median, so make a U-turn at the first opportunity. Turn right onto Coleridge Drive. Event parking is available on Coleridge Drive or Ellis Street. Montgomery County Police will not enforce permit parking restrictions during the event.
OK, so you are dedicating a bridge that is supposed to promote alternative means of transportation to cars, yet you don't even bother to mention in the directions that the event is being held a block away from the Forest Glen Metro station?! Instead, they simply provide driving and parking directions. I'm sure 0% of the attending "dignitaries" ride Metro, anyway.

What they really need to do is pick that bridge up, move it north one block, and rotate it 90 degrees so that it spans Georgia Avenue. It would make life a lot less hairy for quite a few commuters in that area. When an intersection is so bad they make a website about it, you know something needs to change. What if someone was killed crossing Georgia to attend the ceremony? That would make things move a little faster, I bet.



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your sense of irony is duly noted. But I don't see why you always trash that bridge. When my wife and I moved to the area we were all set to buy a house behind the woodside deli -- until we tried walking to the metro under the beltway. That walk, crossing two on ramps and two off ramps is death. Try it at rush hour in the winter when its dark. I'd much rather cross Georgia at a light, or go over Niagra Falls in lawn and leaf bag.

Sligo said...

I haven't trashed it... I just referenced an article on an external site about it in my earlier post. In general I think its good, but $7.7 million is a lot to spend on it. I just wish there was some more attention paid to safety at some other intersections, such as Georgia and Colesville. There are hundreds (thousands?) of people who risk their life to cross there each day.

Rfustero said...

You are absoutely right about Georgia and Colesville, and I agree that 7.7 million is a lot of money(I heard that the actual cost was 10 million).

But I used to walk down to Sniders and shop and it was dangerous. The bridge could have been built with less money, but they wanted to make it look fancy and I believe that added to the cost.

The County says there is no money for a tunnel that is to run under Georgia Ave( from one side of Forest Glenn to the other), but in a 4 billion dollar budget- I am sure they could have found the money.

What I would like to see in downtown Silver Spring, is a monorail encircling the areas from the Metro, up Colesville to City Place, a few more stops and then down Wayne and back to the Metro. It would be expensive, but with all the tax breaks given to Discovery and the AFI I am sure we could encourage them to donate some cash.

Gary said...

I'm happy to trash it. It's a lovely bridge. Assuming that the bridge is maintained in this condition, its present value (cost + future maintenance) is over $8M. Invested (or not borrowed, more precisely), that could almost fund in perpetuity a dedicated van service to drive people back & forth from metro to Mont. Hills shopping center.

Or put another way, if 100 people cross that bridge every day (that's one every 5-10 minutes, 12 hours a day) for twenty years, the cost per crossing is close to $11. We could buy them all cab rides and save in the bargain. And I'd venture the 100-crossers estimate is generous, which means the price-per-cross is probably even higher.

Sligo said...

Maybe we can get a congressional earmark for a bridge across Georgia. Too bad we don't have Ted Stevens as our Senator.

Nate said...

I, for one, want to hear more about this monorail plan . . .

Run as 'the Monorail Candidate' for County Executive and you'll at least have all the Simpsons fans in the electorate behind you, rfustero!

therov said...

My fantasy is NOT to have a pedestrian tunnel under Georgia, but instead tunnels that dump Beltway traffic directly to the exits. The street-level roads would allow local traffic to flow more smoothly, while the Beltway people can get to the entrance ramps without having to deal with people turning on/off Georgia.

But I'm not an engineer nor an elected official with billions to throw around, so maybe I'm completely wrong.

Twoste said...

If Doug Duncan didn't plan it, then it just doesn't seem to work, does it?

Robin Ficker said...

I would like to investigate the possibility of drop off zones on the Beltway so that Metro riders could be let off on the new pedestrial bridge without the droppoff cars having to leave the Beltway.

Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Wow, how sad that they distributed driving directions to a pedestrian bridge.