See Plans for Bethesda’s New Sidewalk Next Wednesday

The Maryland State Highway Administration is moving forward with a new sidewalk and crosswalk proposal for Wisconsin Avenue’s “green mile.” This is the partially sidewalk-less, crosswalk-less road that connects Bethesda to Friendship Heights, where bicyclist and pedestrian safety has been an issue for years due to lack of decent infrastructure. Many spoke up in support of this project at a meeting about a year ago, and now you have the chance to see the results of that action. On Wed., Feb. 19, the SHA will be presenting its final project plans and construction schedule for Wisconsin Avenue. Attend to learn about the timeline and thank the SHA for accommodating bikes and pedestrians. Meeting Details Wed., Feb. 19, 7:00 p.m. Chevy Chase Village Hall 5906 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, Md. 20815 Google Bike Directions As a refresher, SHA’s plans call for the installation of a $1.2 million six-foot-wide sidewalk along 0.7 miles of the east side of Wisconsin Avenue, which borders the golf course at Chevy Chase Club. Despite there being three bus stops between Grafton Street and Bradley Lane, there is currently no sidewalk along this stretch of the road. It is a hazard for anyone with limited mobility, and unpleasant for all pedestrians hoping to walk this section of the busy, six-lane Wisconsin Ave. The new sidewalk will address these concerns and provide a respite for less confident bicyclists who do not feel safe commuting on the street. Read the coverage from the Bethesda Now blog in 2013.  SHA’s plans also include several crosswalks, equipped with pedestrian-activated flashing lights over the road, to be built across Wisconsin Ave. to further improve biking and pedestrian safety. A summary of this specific piece of the project can be seen here. Thank you to everyone who has spoken up in support of this issue over the years. Any additional relevant information about the meeting will be posted here. The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is the leading voice for bicycling in the region. WABA members and supporters enable us to advocate for better conditions for bicycling. Join today or make a tax-deductible donation to ensure that we can continue to represent you.

Your support is needed for a sidewalk on Wisconsin Avenue

Tell the Maryland SHA to build a sidewalk on Wisconsin Avenue between Friendship Heights and Bethesda on Jan. 28th.

Do you live in Friendship Heights or Bethesda, near Wisconsin Avenue? The Maryland State Highway Administration has proposed a six-foot-wide sidewalk along the east side of Wisconsin Ave., which connects the north end of Friendship Heights with the south end of Bethesda. This sidewalk would stretch .7 miles alongside a six-lane road with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. While too narrow to be considered a shared-use path, the sidewalk would provide a safe place for pedestrians to access the three bus stops on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue. In addition, bicyclists who do not feel comfortable riding on the road could carefully use the sidewalk. With Capital Bikeshare expanding in both Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, a safe place to ride along Wisconsin Ave. is especially important. The Little Falls Watershed Association is actively organizing to oppose this sidewalk, which could cost $1.5 million. There will be an informational meeting on Jan. 28 at 7:30 to discuss the project. Maryland state engineers will present the latest plans for the sidewalk, and members of Montgomery County Council have been invited to attend. Please attend this informational meeting to support building a safe route for pedestrians and bicyclists. It is on Jan. 28 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Somerset Town Hall, 4510 Cumberland Ave., Chevy Chase, Md. We’ll update you here on any needs for subsequent action.