It contains a number of mature evergreens, pines and cypress trees which the county's Department of Parks says are blocking sight lines. "This leads to a perception of an unsafe condition, and thus inhibits some from freely using the park, especially in the evening," their report to planners states. The report recommends removing or significantly pruning those trees.
It's an interesting issue, because one of the community complaints about the Bethesda Downtown sector plan has been the lack of significant park spaces that are not simply hardscaped plazas or pocket parks. One would think mature trees would be of value at this site. All of the trees currently also serve as a noise buffer and air quality contributor for the residential neighborhood directly behind the park. It's unclear what extensive use this park would have after dark under the current proposal, and its nighttime use is necessarily limited by its proximity to residential Edgemoor anyway. So it would seem like a crime and policing issue more than the fault of the trees.
|Tree removal plan|
with red Xs to show
those to be removed
(click to enlarge)
|"The Rockery" will lead|
from Arlington Road's
sidewalk into the park
There is an error in the report's history of downtown Bethesda. The report claims the arrival of the railroad had spurred growth in downtown Bethesda by 1894. But the railroad actually didn't reach Bethesda for another 15 years after that.
Images via Montgomery County Planning Department