Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Open forum: Parts of downtown Silver Spring not pedestrian-friendly

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I am a longtime resident of Silver Spring and have been very impressed with the redevelopment of the downtown area on Ellsworth Drive.

I wonder, however, why a walkway from Ellsworth Drive to Colesville Road was not built into the plan. At present, pedestrians must walk up the hill on Fenton (difficult with a stroller and for the elderly and disabled, go through the maze of City Place (same problems), or walk to Georgia Avenue to get to the theater on Colesville. This lack of direct access to Colesville diminishes business on Colesville.

The vibrant atmosphere on Ellsworth is nowhere to be seen on Colesville unless the theater is having a special showing. If the plan is to put a concert venue in the old J.C. Penney building, then it would seem wise to devise some sort of pedestrian access to Colesville from Ellsworth that is both convenient and easy to negotiate — perhaps an overhead walkway with elevators.

Lori Landsburg, Silver Spring