Friends of White Flint has spent the past few weeks learning and thinking about Montrose Parkway East. Executive Director Amy Ginsburg attended the recent hearing and participated in a helpful meeting with MCDOT. She also gathered opinions from our board, our members, and residents of the White Flint area. After sorting through the advantages and disadvantages of this road, Friends of White Flint has come to the conclusion that the proposed Montrose Parkway East has many virtues, but it also has one large problem — the interchange at Parklawn and Montrose Parkway.
The SPUI interchange at Montrose Parkway and Parklawn is over-engineered and will discourage walking and biking. In fact, it would make walking and biking a dicey proposition at best, and there is the very real possibility that walking and biking through that intersection will actually be dangerous. An example of a SPUI interchange is the Falls Road/270 interchange — it’s hard to imagine walking or biking comfortably and safely at that intersection, isn’t it?
We like that we will now have a safe overpass over the railroad checks, and we realize that Montgomery County does need more east-west roads. We like, too, that both Montrose Parkway and Parklawn Drive will have a ten-foot mixed use path on one side of each road and a five-foot sidewalk on the opposite side of each road.
But building pedestrian-friendly roads and spaces must be a top priority in the Pike District. Walkability is a central tenet of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan and something we must protect.
To ensure a walkable, vibrant, live-work-play community, we ask you to send by 6 pm on Thursday, August 13 the following email (or even better, something similar in your own words) to:
Gaila.Lescinskiene@montgomerycountymd.gov (Please cc or bcc: email@example.com)
Dear Montgomery County Department of Transportation:
While generally I support the construction of Montrose Parkway East to facilitate east-west crossings in Montgomery County and am pleased that there will be an overpass over the railroad tracks to increase safety, I am opposed to the SPUI interchange at Parklawn and Montrose Road. It is an over-engineered intersection that makes it dangerous and difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to utilize the intersection.
It is imperative that the interchange be changed to an at-grade intersection to encourage walkability, fulfill the goals of the White Flint Sector Plan, and ensure pedestrian and bicycle safety. I strongly urge SHA and MCDOT to change the design of the intersection at Parklawn and Montrose Parkway to make it pedestrian and bicycle-friendly by building an at-grade intersection.