Planners Ask For Thoughts On One-Way Streets, Closed Streets and Neighborhoods

Map asks which one-way streets should be made into two-way streets Map asks which streets should be closed to traffic and reserved for pedestrians Population density map of 22-34-year-olds in downtown Bethesda

The community input portion of the Bethesda Downtown Plan continued last week with new questions about the neighborhoods of downtown Bethesda, which one-way roads should be two-way and which streets could be closed for pedestrian use only.

County planners introduced the three topics in map form, based on some of the most frequent feedback they’ve been getting about what a future downtown Bethesda should look like.

Participants put colored stickers on the one-way roads they felt should go both ways. Unsurprisingly, Woodmont Avenue south of Old Georgetown Road and East-West Highway at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School were two popular spots for that change.

Many used the map to show their support for making Bethesda Avenue a pedestrian only street. It’s a seemingly far-fetched notion, but did serve to show planners where residents of Bethesda focus most of their attention when it comes to walking and shopping.

Another map showed the population density of those aged 22-34, a group that’s been a focus of Montgomery County, developers and the Planning Department.

By far the highest density millennial area was along Battery Lane, home to a number of low-rise apartment and condominium buildings. Other popular millennial areas were along Bradley Boulevard and northeast of the downtown’s “Metro Core.”

The Bethesda Downtown Plan will likely provide new zoning and new guidelines for the development and land use of the downtown area. Planners will host another workshop on Saturday, May 17, though the topics presented last week provide a glimpse of what the department is studying.

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