Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fence to keep Metro Patrons from Safeway, Lack of Snow Removal, and Ava Wheaton Planned Construction

It has been quite a while since I wrote a post.  I think about things to write quite often as moving around Wheaton, but have been busy and not able to write them down and upload the photos.  This blogging experience has given me a new admiration and respect for journalists.  It is hard to keep writing about a topic. 

One things that struck me tonight is an apparent fence that is being built in the vegetation median down the center of the street.  The issue is that the Metro station entrance/exit is directly across Reedie Drive from an entrance to the new Safeway grocery store.  So naturally people take the most direct route, walking across the street.

Instead of building a crosswalk there for the citizens walking across the street, the county or the state or someone is apparently building a fence.  I just hope the fence is pleasant to look at, because the trees and ornamental grasses that are planted there are pleasant and lots of people wait at the bus stop outside the Metro station.  They are entitled to a nice view and convenient route to their destinations.  Why does urban planning often go against logic the way I see it?
View down Reedie Drive from Georgia Ave intersection, showing the new black fence posts.
View of the Safeway entrance and the fencing company truck.

View of the nearest crosswalk at the corner downhill.
The following photos show Wheaton's unshoveled sidewalks after the last snowstorm. These two were taken February 18, well after the original storm.  The snow had been completely cleared from the street but was still covering the sidewalk in many places.

I wish the police would ticket these people who don't clear their sidewalks.  This is alongside a parcel that will be redeveloped soon, so apparently the owners aren't concerned about the safety of those who live nearby now.
Snowcovered sidewalk on Georgia Ave north of Blueridge Ave.
This stretch of sidewalk goes very close to the road and a big area of grass is isolated with chainlink fence for no apparent reason alongside.  I wish this fence would be removed so people and animals can use that grass.  Why is a big empty area fenced off??  And why didn't whoever owns it clear the sidewalk alongside?  I hope they were ticketed.
Snowy sidewalk a little bit farther north on Georgia Ave.
Here is the development application notice for Ava Wheaton, the large apartment building that someone wants to build at Georgia Ave and Blueridge Ave, next to the unshoveled sidewalk. Here's a story from October about that development.  It will be designed to attract millennials by consisting of smaller than normal apartment sizes and seeing like nice places to live without including high end appliances. This keeps the cost lower.  It will be in a nice location, near Wheaton's restaurants and only about a block from the library.
Development Application Notice for Ava Wheaton

For sale sign for big parking lot next to the proposed Ava Wheaton - This sign is gone as of 2/27/14.
I have more photos to share but these are the most recent. 


  1. As to presenting Wheaton as a "nice location" for millenials. this proves otherwise. Millenials who live near metro don't want fences to allow speeding cars to clip pedestrians. Millenials won't tolerate the urban blight that pockets Wheaton, that this is worsening. Millenials don't consider Wheaton restaurants "nice." Silver Spring took a decade to bring in millenials. Wheaton needs to burn down and start over in many of these blighted areas.

  2. I agree about things like that fence repelling millennials. We need more crosswalks mid-block to improve life for people who like to (or need to) walk. And I agree the cars need to move slower.

    Wheaton's restaurants are great though and I know millennials who love to eat at them. Wheaton has a great variety of authentic ethnic food and the prices are much better than DC or downtown Silver Spring. Anyone who has eaten at Ruan Thai, Full Kee, or Pho Hiep Ho can't say anything bad about our restaurants.

    I think we don't need to "burn down" but just make some urban planning changes.

  3. If all the new apartments fill up (big if I know) then the area should get pretty exciting in the next year or so. And as a new resident to the area, the food options are awesome and cheap which I think millenials will love.

  4. Avocado - I'm so with you on the crosswalks. Honestly, if the County would simply repaint the three main crosswalk areas (and I've asked for this and more lighting in the past due to being hit twice - IN THE "Crosswalk") on Reedie (@ Georgia, @ Fern, & @ Amherst) we might have a little more foot traffic drawn to it. No need for tacky fencing (which I saw someone climb through this morning. If the drivers are going to disregard us either way, I'm going to continue to not cross in an (otherwise unmarked) crosswalk, and go when I can. But I'd prefer to go at the crosswalk, if it was brighter.

  5. Well, the fence across Reedie Drive is up now and it is made of wire. I have seen people crossing the street by foot and ducking between the wires. The fence just inconveniences them and makes it more likely that they might accidentally fall into traffic while crossing the street. I always walk up to Georgia and Reedie and cross there, which is obviously the street designers' intention.

    It would be most convenient if a pedestrian tunnel was built under Reedie Drive from the metro station exit area to the Safeway parking garage. That would be nice. The second best option would probably be a crosswalk from the on-street metro exit/bus stop area to the Safeway entrance visible directly across Reedie Drive.

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