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Three ways to build in Forest Glen without creating more traffic

As new homes, offices, and shops sprout around the region's Metro stations, Forest Glen has remained a holdout due to neighborhood resistance to new construction. But that may change as WMATA seeks someone to build there.


Metro wants to redevelop this parking lot. All photos by the author.

Last month, the agency put out a call for development proposals at Forest Glen, in addition to West Hyattsville and Largo Town Center in Prince George's County and Braddock Road in Alexandria. WMATA owns 8 acres at Forest Glen, most of which is a parking lot, and developers have already expressed interest in building there.

Forest Glen should be a prime development site. While it's on the busy Red Line, it's one of Metro's least-used stations. It's adjacent to the Capital Beltway and one stop in each direction from Silver Spring's and Wheaton's booming downtowns. Holy Cross Hospital, one of Montgomery County's largest employers with over 2,900 workers, is a few blocks away. But since Forest Glen opened in 1990, not much has happened.

On one side of the Metro station is a townhouse development that's about 10 years old, while across the street are 7 new single-family homes. The land the parking lot sits on is valuable, and it's likely that WMATA will get proposals to build apartments there because the land is so valuable. But zoning only allows single-family homes there, the result of a 1996 plan from Montgomery County that recommends preserving the area's "single-family character," due to neighbor concerns about traffic.


Townhouses next to the Forest Glen parking lot.

As a result, whoever tries to build at Forest Glen will have to get a rezoning, which neighbors will certainly fight. It's true that there's a lot of traffic in Forest Glen: the Beltway is one block away, while the adjacent intersection of Georgia Avenue and Forest Glen Road is one of Montgomery County's busiest. While traffic is always likely to be bad in Forest Glen, though by taking advantage of the Metro station, there are ways to bring more people and amenities to the area without putting more cars on the road.

Make it easier to reach Metro without a car

Today, two-thirds of the drivers who park at Forest Glen come from less than two miles away, suggesting that people don't feel safe walking or biking in the area. There's a pedestrian bridge over the Beltway that connects to the Montgomery Hills shopping area, a half-mile away, but residents have also fought for a tunnel under Georgia Avenue so they won't have to cross the 6-lane state highway.

Montgomery County transportation officials have explored building a tunnel beneath Georgia, which is estimated to cost up to $17.9 million. But county planners note that a tunnel may not be worth it because there aren't a lot of people to use it.

And crossing Georgia Avenue is only a small part of the experience of walking in the larger neighborhood. Today, the sidewalks on Forest Glen Road and Georgia Avenue are narrow and right next to the road, which is both unpleasant and unsafe. WMATA has asked developers applying to build at Forest Glen to propose ways to improve pedestrian access as well, and they may want to start with wider sidewalks with a landscaping buffer to make walking much more attractive. Investing in bike lanes would also be a good idea.

Provide things to walk to

Another way to reduce car trips is by providing daily needs within a short walk or bike ride. The Montgomery Hills shopping district, with a grocery store, pharmacy, and other useful shops, is a half-mile away from the Metro. But it may also make sense to put some small-scale retail at the station itself, like a dry cleaner, coffeeshop or convenience store, which will mainly draw people from the Metro station and areas within walking or biking distance. Some people will drive, but not as many as there would be with larger stores.

Putting shops at the Metro might also encourage workers at Holy Cross to take transit instead of driving, since they'll be able to run errands on their way to and from work. Encouraging this crowd to take transit is important, since hospitals are busy all day and all week, meaning they generate a lot of demand for transit, making it practical to run more buses and trains, which is great for everyone else.

Provide less parking

Whatever gets built at the Metro will have to include parking, not only for commuters, but for residents as well. While Montgomery County's new zoning code requires fewer parking spaces, each apartment still has to have at least one parking space. Even small shops will have to have their own parking. The more parking there is, the more likely residents are to bring cars, which of course means more traffic.

Thus, the key is to give future residents and customers incentives to not drive. The new zoning code does allow developers to "unbundle" parking spaces from apartments and sell or rent them separately. Those who choose not to bring cars will then get to pay less for housing. The code also requires carsharing spaces in new apartment buildings, so residents will still have access to a car even if they don't have their own. If Montgomery County ever decides to expand Capital Bikeshare, the developer could pay for a station here.

And the developer could offer some sort of discount or incentive for Holy Cross employees to live there, allowing hospital workers to live a short walk from their jobs.

No matter the approach, there are a lot of ways to build in Forest Glen without creating additional traffic. A creative approach can do wonders for the area's profile and elevate the quality of life for residents there.

A planner and architect by training, Dan Reed also writes his own blog, Just Up the Pike, and serves as the Land Use Chair for the Action Committee for Transit. He lives in downtown Silver Spring. 

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There needs to be a left turn LANE at Georgia Avenue and Forest Glen Road. There is always a dangerous backup there because of people turning left from the otherwise straight-through lane. I don't know how many accidents are a result, but it causes dangerous situations DAILY. They could look to Dennis Road for a proper design. It has a turn lane. It works - for those businesses on Dennis Road. It's absurd to require for getting to Holy Cross.
Someone years ago put the turns for Holy Cross Hospital at Dennis Road, requiring people, ambulances, etc. most hours going to the Emergency Room to drive a mile and a half through heavily pedestrian-used Sligo park over speed bumps, which if you got someone in a delicate condition, isn't good to do. Add that it requires the time of an extra mile and a half out of the way at <25mph for no reason other than somebody affluent and powerful living off Forest Glen don't like ambulances going through their street.
In other words - Add the turn. If that means there isn't that parking lot or that space for buildings, so be it, but add the turn.
When Forest Glen inevitably develops, a pedestrian tunnel or bridge would be advisable for their safety. I have heard they're going to put a tunnel down at Georgia and Seminary, which I applaud. Those are cheap but people otherwise die. It took years for that action to start coming about, so PLEASE anyone involved in Forest Glen development start the pedestrian bridge or tunnel plans going now.

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 10:48 am • linkreport

"two-thirds of the drivers who park at Forest Glen come from less than two miles away, suggesting that people don't feel safe walking or biking in the area."

Or they are lazy and don't like walking or biking.

by charlie on Apr 14, 2014 10:59 am • linkreport

Has there ever been discussion about rezoning all the land between the Hospital and the Metro Station?

https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207994879598287792047.0004f70200f3767c7b456&msa=0&ll=39.014957,-77.039394&spn=0.006177,0.013078

Seems Logical

by mcs on Apr 14, 2014 11:13 am • linkreport

I live 1/2 mile from the Forest Glen Metro station, to the northeast (so the other side of Georgia).

I first want to rebut the presumption that neighborhood residents will fight development at FG Metro. Sure, there will be opposition, particularly from residents who have lived here for 20+ years. But those residents are declining in numbers.

I've lived here over a decade, and I've discussed development at FG Metro with several dozen neighbors over the years. Nearly everyone -- everyone -- that I've talked to about this is STARVED for development at FG Metro. We want this. We want retail there. Heck, I bet we could raise enough money to open our own coffee shop / dry cleaner / beer & wine store at the Metro.

It is a mistake to think of the neighborhoods near Forest Glen Metro as 1980s-focused "suburbs" with suburban-mindset residents. There has been a massive influx of young families over the last decade. So many that the local elementary school swelled to 200% capacity, and a brand new elementary school had to be constructed near the Metro station(opened last year).

Many if not most of these people moved from urban areas, and do not consider themselves "suburban". We chose the area as a compromise among superb schools, convenience to Metro and DC, and affordability. Our lots are small and the streets NE of the metro are fully sidewalked. Most houses have no driveways. We're a front porch, walking community. What we lack is retail to walk to. Bring it!

by Ted Martin on Apr 14, 2014 11:21 am • linkreport

I live half a mile from the metro and have walked from 1.5 miles away. This is not a very walkable area. Georgia Ave is chaos with those switching changing lanes. Just last year, they finally put a sidewalk in at the train tracks just 1 mile away and around to the bridge across 495, so people feel safe going to the park from Forest Glen Rd. Capitol View Rd. is a death trap, with those turns and no sidewalks. The forest paths are not friendly at night.

Walking along Georgia is like a highway (exhaust, etc). Going north towards Wheaton isn't great, going south is autobody shops and so on, until halfway to Silver Spring. Walking in the neighborhoods nearby, often there are no sidewalks on the northwest. The best walking neighborhoods are across Georgia, east towards the hospital.
Southwest, under the bridge, isn't terrible, but the shopping center and fire station are the nearest sections.
Going towards Brookville, it becomes industrial quickly, before reaching the park. In short, the two mile radius isn't really a sensible watershed for walking/biking commuters in many cases.

The 7 single family homes are a disaster. What was needed on that large site, which used to be a multifamily conversion, was a large mixed use development, similar to the new buildings in Wheaton, with perfect access to the metro. At least townhomes again. McMansions are no improvement.

by BenK on Apr 14, 2014 11:25 am • linkreport

The tunnel was proposed to cost 10 million in 2005, what would it cost now? (And they should put that long-needed lane in first, obviously) Though oddly, people seem willing to throw half millions at wasteful transit projects, they balk at little direct fixes that cost a few million. But I don't think that's all that's needed.
charlie, someone not wanting to cross a hazardous intersection doesn't require their being lazy. Maybe they would do it if it was safe.
OF course it's made hazardous often because there isn't a left turn lane and people stuck behind who are going straight often try jumping to the right lane to get around unpredictably stopped cars. Again, look at Dennis/Georgia street design. Perhaps for less than 10 million they can fix the road design? They should - even if it costs more, TBH.
They should still put in a tunnel or bridge, though, because if someone's got physical disabilities, crossing Georgia holds too much risks.

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 11:26 am • linkreport

@charlie: I know many people who live within easy distance to FG Metro but who drive and park there or are driven and picked up. It's not laziness, it's the Georgia Ave / Forest Glen intersection. Residents to the northeast must cross 13 (13!) wide lanes of incredibly hostile auto traffic. 26 lanes round-trip!

A station entrance on the NE corner (this is both the Planning Board's and MCDOT's preferred alternative -- many millions have already been spent on planning and engineering) will boost ridership a great deal. By residents living to the NE (there are a lot of them), and by Holy Cross Hospital staff.

Not only will the new station erase those 13 lane crossings each way. It'll bring the station significantly closer. The existing entrances are not at the intersection, they are quite a ways west. The station is almost directly underneath Georgia Ave, so crossing those 13 lanes, walking a ways west, descending down to the tunnel, then backtracking west -- all that will be eliminated.

Now we just need the state to fund the new entrance or, hopefully, a developer will pitch in when the parking lot is developed.

by Ted Martin on Apr 14, 2014 11:29 am • linkreport

" Georgia Ave is chaos with those switching changing lanes. "
Yep, those turning left at Forest Glen & Georgia should have a turn lane, so people aren't switching out who are needing to go straight.
mcs I don't know the details about the rezoning, but I think having those living in that purple zone letting Emergency patients and vehicles using the street instead of winding around Sligo Park always been logical. Bring it on.

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 11:32 am • linkreport

Ted Martin - that's fascinating. If somebody could just exit Metro on the other side, problem solved. Nice

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 11:36 am • linkreport

SHA is working on left turn lanes at the Forest Glen / Georgia Ave intersection, by the way. Our neighborhood (the the NE of the intersection) has fought for many, many years for pedestrian improvements there, and we've made about as much progress as is possible given the existing right of way.

SHA is studying/planning improvements for the GA Ave corridor from Forest Glen south to 16th (so through the commercial area). Info here: http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/ProjectInformation.aspx?projectno=MO2241115
Full funding and eventual construction is sill a long way off, but at least it's inching forward.

I've attended several stakeholder meetings with SHA on this project. All of the proposed alternatives include a slight widening of Georgia Ave at Forest Glen to accommodate left turn lanes and a pedestrian refuge / median.

The alternatives so far also include a grass buffer between the sidewalk and roadway for this whole stretch, and bike lanes. Unfortunately the study doesn't extend north of the Georgia Ave/Forest Glen intersection, so between Forest Glen and Wheaton will remain those stupid wide curbs that pass for sidewalks, unfortunately.

by Ted Martin on Apr 14, 2014 11:39 am • linkreport

Good article Dan.

I think the whole area around Forest Glen Metro should have improved pedestrian and bicycle access. The sharrows and bike lanes along Forest Glen Road east of Georgia Avenue are a start, but a lot more needs to be done to make all road users feel welcome. Georgia Avenue is 8 lanes wide at the intersection with Forest Glen Road, and it only has a 4 foot wide concrete median. It is probably the best example of a traffic sewer that there is.

As your post said, the area north f the Beltway around the station is also starved for retail. It would be nice to see that professional building on the northeast corner of the intersection converted into some kind of low-rise (4 or 5 stories so it doesn't dwarf the surrounding homes) mixed use retail/housing like there is in College Park along Route 1. But before that can happen, the area will need to be more pedestrian and bike friendly. I hope MCDOT and the SHA work together on this, because this area has a ton of potential.

by Sean on Apr 14, 2014 11:39 am • linkreport

"SHA is working on left turn lanes at the Forest Glen / Georgia Ave intersection, by the way. "
Ted Martin - you just made my day!

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 11:40 am • linkreport

Sean I would like things more pedestrian and bike friendly, but I think some not living in the area don't realize Georgia Ave is basically a highway. It is not a minor, secondary road for traffic flow.

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 11:47 am • linkreport

Has there ever been discussion about rezoning all the land between the Hospital and the Metro Station?
https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207994879598287792047.0004f70200f3767c7b456&msa=0&ll=39.014957,-77.039394&spn=0.006177,0.013078

Seems Logical

Logically everything between forest glenn road and the beltway would be seriously upzoned. Perhaps Woodland and Myrtle would serve as buffers.

by Richard on Apr 14, 2014 11:53 am • linkreport

When will MoCo realize these otherwise ripe-for-redevelopment areas will never succeed as long as there are highways bisecting them??? I live in Wheaton, and I am excited about all the new apartment buildings going up. But Wheaton will never be "urban" until the county demands that SHA reduce speed limits on state highways (as is already called for in the Wheaton Sector Plan) and insists that marked, signalized crosswalks with pedestrian islands are installed on every block.

Forest Glen suffers from the same issue. All this talk of putting a pedestrian tunnel under Georgia Avenue is just an expensive way to avoid the real problem, which is the county being too scared to force the SHA to actually make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

by wheaton on Apr 14, 2014 12:09 pm • linkreport

I love walkable everything, but trying to throttle Georgia, Rockville Pike, etc - is misguided and unhelpful. Manhattan is urban, almost defines it, and there are high traffic, relatively high speed, broad avenues up and down the whole island. The problem isn't Georgia Ave bisecting Wheaton, but the huge parking lots and rapid change to diffuse single family homes.

by BenK on Apr 14, 2014 12:16 pm • linkreport

due to neighbor concerns about traffic.
Seriously? People choose to live adjacent to the Beltway and along one of the region's busiest N-S corridors and have the gall to complain about more traffic? They need to get over themselves and the pols need to stop pandering to them.

by dcmike on Apr 14, 2014 12:17 pm • linkreport

BenK, Georgia Avenue is significantly wider than any Manhattan avenue, and has much higher vehicle speeds. Those things matter.

by SandyK on Apr 14, 2014 12:38 pm • linkreport

"All this talk of putting a pedestrian tunnel under Georgia Avenue is just an expensive way to avoid the real problem, which is the county being too scared to force the SHA to actually make the area more pedestrian-friendly."

I agree, SHA can (and must) do much, much better at accommodating pedestrians and bikes. Hopefully they're learning. I've been pleasantly encouraged that they are from the Georgia Ave. study meetings I've attended (though actual construction resulting from those meetings are many years away.)

But I have to push back on the comment that "putting a pedestrian tunnel" under Georgia is a way to avoid the problem. The planned (but not funded) project is not a "pedestrian tunnel". It's a Metro entrance. As planned, it will look exactly like the Metro entrance on the west side of Georgia (picture here: http://moworldphotos.com/imagesssdp/forestglen_metro.jpg).

It will look like any Metro entrance because it will be a Metro entrance. For some reason MCDOT (who conducted the multi-million dollar study/engineering) and the Planning Board and SHA call it a "passageway". I've asked them if they don't use "Metro entrance" because they're not Metro, and they've said correct. But look at the study/plans -- this will not be a "tunnel" the way that word suggests. It will be a "tunnel" only in the sense that the west-side Metro entrance technically is a tunnel (though people don't usually think of it as one). Because it will be a Metro entrance, designed to Metro's specifications, and to be operated and maintained by Metro, just like any other entrance.

So the long-fought-for east-side Metro entrance is not intended as a substitute for at-grade pedestrian/bike improvements.

by Ted Martin on Apr 14, 2014 12:45 pm • linkreport

Well said, dcmike

by tom on Apr 14, 2014 12:47 pm • linkreport

Georgia Avenue is dangerous - I crossed it daily for four months and it was scary. A tunnel is not the answer - it will just encourage crime. What they have to do is get people to slow down and stop running the Forest Glen/Georgia Avenue light - there is literally some sort of crash at that corner at least once a month. If you take more parking away from the metro you will increase the number of people who use Forest Estates as a parking lot. Don't we already have enough of that. The uncontrollable growth of Holy Cross is troubling - and in the 13 years we've been here it's been unbelievable. The hospital and the County should encourage more people who work there to live within walking distance. Finally, the single family homes in this area that have been turned into rental apartments are numerous. The County should either enforce its policies or change them. That also adds to the traffic and the parking problems.

by Aimee on Apr 14, 2014 12:50 pm • linkreport

Manhattan is urban, almost defines it, and there are high traffic, relatively high speed, broad avenues up and down the whole island.

I'm pretty sure the speed limit everywhere in Manhattan (except for the limited access highways like the FDR) is 30mph.

by Falls Church on Apr 14, 2014 1:06 pm • linkreport

@ Aimee: The east-side Metro entrance will not encourage crime any more than the existing west-side Metro entrance attracts crime. (So not at all, basically.) See my post above. The "tunnel" is a Metro entrance that will look exactly like the existing west-side entrance (only it will be quite a bit shorter). It will be lighted the same way, will close at night when Metro closes, and will be operated by Metro just like every other Metro entrance in the system. There is no basis for believing it will "encourage crime".

by Ted Martin on Apr 14, 2014 1:12 pm • linkreport

Dennis Ave and Georgia involves almost the same everything, with less accidents and more pedestrians willing to cross. But it has a left turn where it needs to be.

Slower, but still stupid design doesn't solve highway problems.

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 1:16 pm • linkreport

@asffa: Agreed. As an occasional jogger in the area, I've found that left turning drivers are a real danger. I've had close calls where I'm in the crosswalk along Georgia, and the left turners don't check the crosswalk before trying to turn. With a left turn signal, we won't have left turners and pedestrians going at the same time.

@Ted Martin: Thanks for keeping up on the plans in the area, and thanks for the good news!

by jmarcusse on Apr 14, 2014 1:18 pm • linkreport

We recently moved to Forest Estates, north east of Forest Glen. It's an affordable, convenient and pleasant neighborhood. With caution, we walk to and from the Metro, and often discuss how the experience could be improved and how much untapped potential exists at and near the station. Widened sidewalks, enhanced striping, fresh landscaping, uniform signage, a LONGER time for pedestrians to cross Georgia, strict and consistent traffic control with clear notice to drivers that this is a PEDESTRIAN zone, maybe the tunnel I keep hearing about, are ways to improve both safety and aesthetics. Retail/mixed use at the station would be wonderful! Imagine the potential for the whole crossroads, including the office building & vacant lot on the northeast corner. It would have to be done thoughtfully and creatively, but we could watch an urban village emerge that would make our community complete. Many residents, especially new arrivals, don't see this area as suburban anymore. We need to encourage county planners to match our vision.

by Anne on Apr 14, 2014 1:19 pm • linkreport

SandyK and many people don't have cars or drive in Manhattan - paying fines for double parking if you do is just considered part of the expense of living there, 500$ a month parking means you have a company discount at the garage, public transit runs all night, etc.
Manhattan isn't Maryland, making comparisons ridiculous.

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 1:22 pm • linkreport

I want to echo Ted Martin's comment about the neighborhood not "necessarily" fighting this. Forest Estates subdivision residents have talked out loud about not taking a NIMBY approach to development that creates more mass transit efficiency at Forest Glen. But the concept of putting more cars (and new residents will come with at least one, if not two cars) onto the overwhelmed Georgia Ave/Forest Glen intersection is a hard pill to swallow. Major improvements to the pedestrian environment and the management of auto traffic have to come either BEFORE or simultaneous with such development. Otherwise, only Metro and the developers will benefit.

by Doug Goldenberg-Hart on Apr 14, 2014 1:23 pm • linkreport

Aimee do people use Forest Estates as a parking lot?

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 1:35 pm • linkreport

Doug Goldenberg People who oppose a left turn lane at Georgia and Forest Glen, when the Hospital is on said road are the worst kind of NIMBY. So I'm glad that sense is being seen about that, hopefully said improvement will be soon. That will help with traffic congestion, lower accidents, make it safer for pedestrians, and potentially save lives of some going to the hospital.
As for reducing car numbers - It's a highway, and major route of transportation for much of the area, with an increasing number of people. You can't move to those apartments and then wish for less cars.

by asffa on Apr 14, 2014 1:41 pm • linkreport

I was thinking time savings, charlie.

by selxic on Apr 14, 2014 5:11 pm • linkreport

I drive to metro because of knee and back problems. I cannot walk the several blocks to the bus, never mind the station. The hours worked at the hospital do not work with the hours metro runs.
Enough with the idea we do not need cars. The county ex came to Forest Estates for a talk & he came in a really big SUV!He could have taken the red line from Rockville to Forest Glen and walked into our neighborhood. If I wanted to live in a city and be carless I would have moved to DC.

by Reg on Apr 14, 2014 5:11 pm • linkreport

I think a mile is probably the reasonable outer limit for most people to walk with frequency. I'm a big walker and if its much farther I would find another way to get around for a daily commuter each way. So you really need bike infrastructure once you are talking 1+ miles I think although there should really be ped infrastructure everywhere people live outside of rural zones. I always thought that parcel on the other side of Georgia would be the perfect place for some community sensitive mixed use TOD and if you could incorporate a station entrance and a public space that was sufficiently shielded from traffic it could be a great boost for the station.

by BTA on Apr 14, 2014 5:42 pm • linkreport

The hours worked at the hospital do not work with the hours metro runs.

Hopefully one day the metro will run 24/7

by Richard on Apr 14, 2014 6:15 pm • linkreport

It would help to get Ride-on bus service back through nearby areas. It would cut down on drivers

by Nancy on Apr 14, 2014 7:15 pm • linkreport

It seems like the development here calls for a more nuanced plan that picks up on Forest Glen's beautiful village atmosphere. Between Wheaton and Silver Spring, I don't think we need another cluster of 20 story towers, but by all means, full speed ahead!

by Thayer-D on Apr 14, 2014 7:45 pm • linkreport

Least used? Then why is the lot always full?? How about NOT cramming more overpriced housing down our throats? Sounds like another gambit for the big developers to make even more money and try to sugar coat it as "in the public interest." No thanks.

by Paul on Apr 15, 2014 12:12 am • linkreport

As a newer resident to the Forest Glen area that takes metro on a daily basis I am all for some type of mixed use around the station. Being able to pick up small essentials from a convenience store right after work would be fantastic! I often get home and then need to jump into my car for a quick ride to the market/liquor store/ etc.

Tunnel/ metro entrance from the NE corner of Georgia Ave and Forest Glen is the best news that I've heard since moving to the area. It would shave minutes off of most walks from that side of the station and encourage more metro use.

Thank you GGW for the article!!

by Jon on Apr 15, 2014 2:57 am • linkreport

Paul, obviously by least used they are referring to station ridership numbers, if you needed it stated more simply: Forest Glen has some 2-3000 riders a day making it the least used station on the entire Red Line.

by BTA on Apr 15, 2014 9:03 am • linkreport

I regularly walk and sometimes bike the 1.2 mile route from my house to the Forest Glen station. I also drive there and take the Ride On.
It doesn't seem like anyone has comprehensively taken a look at the bike and walk experience of getting to Forest Glen. A new entrance on the east side of Georgia would help tremendously. But some relatively easy fixes would make the experience much more logical and attractive:
-Add curb cuts for bikes to access the "bike" entrance from the road on the northwest corner. Otherwise bikers need to either jump a very high curb or compete with pedestrians for limited sidewalk space (along with signal boxes and poles).
-Widen the sidewalk to the southwest pedestrian entrance. The south west entrance has an extremely narrow sidewalk that is often impinged by overgrown vegetation. A tremendous amount of space is taken up by unkempt landscaping while pedestrians and bikes trying to access the Metro entrance are forced onto a narrow strip right along Forest Glen Rd. This is Metro property, so it should be really easy to simply re-landscape it to add a wide walkway, or to work with SHA to widen the narrow sidewalk along Forest Glen. While they are at it, they should add additional bike racks to that entrance. It's great that they added them at all (for a while you just needed to lock your bike to the fence), but there is not enough capacity.
-Complete the sidewalks along Forest Glen Rd. Less than 3/4 of a mile from the station to the east along Forest Glen, the sidewalk suddenly disappears (well, it turns south down a hill to meet the Sligo Creek Bike Path). Pedestrians are forced to walk on the shoulder of the road for a bit until the sidewalk picks back up again on the other side of the road. As a pedestrian, this area is very scary, especially in low light conditions and in winter when the shoulder is covered in snow. And as a walker it would be really great to have sidewalks on both sides of Forest Glen all the way to Four Corners, but that seems too much to ask for!
-Speaking of snow, keep crosswalks at the station clear of snow! Snowplows end up leaving big banks of snow at the corner of Forest Glen and Georgia, which pedestrians have to climb over to access the station. It was a bit better this year. Back in Snowmaggedon, the snowbank was never removed, requiring pedestrians to climb for many weeks to get to the station from the Georgia Ave crosswalk. This is ridiculous!
-Improve the little pathway to access Sligo Creek Parkway (and the bikepath) from Godwin Drive. Like many bikers, I don't ride on the north side of Forest Glen Rd. because it is too dangerous. So to access the station I cut through the Forest Estates neighborhood. There's this little pathway that pedestrians and bikers use to connect Four Corners and Forest Estates neighborhoods. The asphalt is crumbling and almost non-exitant and it really needs repair.

by Four Corners Resident on Apr 16, 2014 9:10 am • linkreport

"Add curb cuts for bikes to access the "bike" entrance from the road on the northwest corner."
Curb cuts are good. I would hope that with the road & tunnel additions and redesign it'd be a more streamlined plan.
Making all Forest Glen have sidewalks until it reaches the park path, fixing the way to the park is smart, too.

by asffa on Apr 16, 2014 10:36 am • linkreport

Seriously? I am a resident of Forest Glen (west of Georgia) and there's a LOT of residential density in that area already: Condos right next to the station, 2 apartment complexes within 1-2 blocks up Georgia, a SFH and townhouse development across the street from the Metro station (west side), older housing on the west side/perimeter of the Beltway, and let's not forget those SEVEN NEW SFHs that some "genius" crammed on a lot that previously had one large, old home. The east side of Georgia has lots of SFHs, and let's not forget, a HOSPITAL. You have lots of new apartments being built in Wheaton and lots of new apartments being built in DTSS. So, where is all of this demand for new housing coming from, especially when we ALL know that the housing prices (apartment or SFH or TH) will be sky-high unaffordable. This plan is only to line the pockets of Metro and the developer. And we do not need another building in the Forest Glen area without the state fixing the down right life-threatening intersection that is Georgia Avenue and Forest Glen Road first.

I'm all for having a Metro entrance on the EAST side of Georgia, however. That would help EVERYBODY. More housing on an 8 acre parking lot (which is always full, M-F, no later than 8:30 am) of land, however, would not. Let's not forget that you have PLENTY of retail at Wheaton and Montgomery Hills. I'd rather see revitalization of the strip malls at Montgomery Hills first. That would benefit the WHOLE AREA.

by Forest Glen Resident on Apr 24, 2014 2:30 pm • linkreport

I live in the neighborhood adjacent to the Forest Glen Metro station and I agree with Ted Martin that many neighbors (myself included) in the surrounding area would welcome mixed use development to the Forest Glen station. I don't think its true that "neighbors will certainly fight" it. Most of the neighbors I know would love to have retail at the Metro station that they can walk and bike to.

by Tom Jelen on May 2, 2014 10:34 pm • linkreport

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