Wednesday, June 17, 2015

For pedestrians, Bethesda Ave. gets worse before it gets better (Photos)

Sure, the future will supposedly hold a safer, friendlier walking and crosswalk experience for pedestrians on Bethesda Avenue. But for the moment, crossing Bethesda Avenue by Barnes and Noble can turn anyone into Chevy Chase doing his Gerald Ford impersonation.

If you've crossed there recently, you've noticed that the street was torn up, and a lumpy surface left behind. Pedestrians doing the right thing - watching for cars in the many possible directions they might lunge toward you from - can easily trip on the severely uneven surface. I have tripped there myself, but have been able to catch myself before falling so far. If someone falls there, Montgomery County (a.k.a. you, the taxpayer) could have a lawsuit on their hands.

There aren't even any signs to warn pedestrians of the lumpy pavement ahead. And that's before getting to the fact that the uneven surface of the current crosswalk is non-compliant with disability standards.

Meanwhile, the sidewalk across Woodmont Avenue is now entirely closed at Bethesda Avenue to the north (near where Rita's Crepes used to be set up) for reconfiguration.

For now, as they used to say in the Carmen Sandiego game, "All I can tell you is to watch your step."






24 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is treacherous indeed. But seeing a sign wouldn't do much since you can see the torn up road just as easily. It's like a sign for a bump instead of fixing the bump. It'll be nice and new for sure soon. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

I cross through that intersection frequently on my bike, and it's a little scary. It's wide with strange angles, and very difficult to see every possible hazard.

Anonymous said...

7:31 AM Agreed. There is hesitation among drivers about what direction folks are going when driving through that intersection. The roads don't line up easily. Pedestrians abound as well and don't follow the lights, so the best advice is to drive slowly through there.

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine the mess which will occur when they put in that horrible TD bank.

Anonymous said...

Robert, please write about the sidewalk situation on the other side of Woodmont between lot 31 and Wisconsin. Construction on one side, Audi dealer on the other with cars often blocking "sidewalk". Same with Leland on the other side of Wisconsin, in front of Beer Wine & Co

Anonymous said...

Living in a world where roads and sidewalks are periodically replaced or resurfaced? Say it ain't so!

Robert Dyer said...

11:06: It's so, but usually they don't tell people to walk on an uneven surface where they could fall and be a legal liability. And which is also noncompliant for wheelchair users.

Steve D. said...

The sidewalk situation is certainly important, but also distressing is the horrifically bad condition of many of the road surfaces in the downtown Bethesda area. For example Elm Street near the intersection with Woodmont is a pockmarked mess. This is damaging for drivers, dangerous for cyclists, and an eyesore for everyone. It is hard to understand why such a wealthy area is content with third world road conditions.

Anonymous said...

Bethesdans are not that clumsy or helpless. Why does Dyer have such contempt for his imagined constituents?

Robert Dyer said...

1:01: You don't have to be a klutz to trip at this crosswalk. You're not likely to have a career as a legal liability consultant. Are you that unconcerned about violating the ADA standards, as well? It sounds like you are the one with contempt for your fellow citizen.

G. Money said...

Steve D., you've clearly never driven on a third world road.

Not to say that the paving in Bethesda couldn't be better.

Anonymous said...

Most of the roads, particularly on the north side of downtown are in good shape. Arlington Road is bad for its entire length. The southern ends of Glenbrook and Clarendon are really bad, along with several streets south of Bradley and east of Arlington, and the half-block of Montgomery Avenue between Wisconsin Avenue and the Police station.

Anonymous said...

Bethesda Avenue where Nest Cafe, EuroMotorcars are located is terrible. Total moon cratered.

Anonymous said...

It's not a coincidence that Bethesda deteriorates sharply as you approach Westbard.

Anonymous said...

Any time I've reported an area needing potholes filled (either to 311 for the county or to the state's DOT, depending on the road) it's always been addressed within 24 hours. I'm not sure why people complain in the comments section here instead of just telling the appropriate people about it. They're eager to address issues, once they know about them. The state repaved an entire 12'x12' chunk of road that I reported on E-W the other day. It's honestly the most responsive govt agency I've ever encountered.

Anonymous said...

Legal liability? Are you joking, Dyer? I've literally never seen - in any jurisdiction - pedestrian signage put up warning that a street is in the process of being resurfaced. Besides, if the contractors were negligent (no, your pics don't show anything dangerous or negligent) that'd be on their head, anyways. That's why they carry insurance. Quit pretending taxpayers would be shelling out anything.

And how can you claim the road isn't ADA compliant? What's not ADA compliant? The contractor even put in a temp asphalt patch to bridge the 1" gap at the sidewalk ramp.

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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

State Highway still hasn't responded to multiple resident's concerns about the crosswalks on Bradley.

So, reporting stuff to agencies are no guarantee of response. Dyer's reporting can help us elevate our concerns.

Anonymous said...

5:18am Was that your greatest hits of bad insults?
At least come up with a few new ones. Mix it up.

Steve D. said...

"Anonymous G. Money said...
Steve D., you've clearly never driven on a third world road.

4:20 PM"

While it is true I was not behind the wheel, I have taken taxis in places like Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Lima, Peru and the ride was much smoother than the typical drive across Bethesda.

On the other hand, people seem to drive in Peru like there is no speed limit, but that is a separate issue.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of pansy nanny-state beta-male bullsh#$t. People-- handicapped or not-- can look and see what faces them as they approach and cross a street on their very own, no signage necessary. If they think it's unsafe they go around, go somewhere else, or just be careful. You're such a baby sometimes, Dyer.

Robert Dyer said...

11:57/5:55: These comments are why it is really in the public interest for you to reveal your identity. If you made these sorts of comments with your name attached publicly, you would likely be fired from your job. Let's hope you are just an operative for the MoCo political machine, and not someone actually in a position of power in the county, with these type of flippant remarks about the disabled.

Denying access, or telling someone to "go somewhere else" than the direction they intended to go, is not a 2015 standard for disability access. That's why we have an ADA, as weak as it is. Because of people like you, unless you are just trolling with these crazy remarks.

Anonymous said...

Suggesting that someone step around an uneven area of pavement is not "denying access" or "telling someone to 'go somewhere else'", you insane drama queen.