IN “EXPANDING METROrail: Where Does It Go From Here?” (11/25), Mark Jenkins mentions the difficulty of creating pedestrian-friendly environments around Metrorail stations. I can testify from personal experience that improving the pedestrian infrastructure is not easy.
Residents of the Bradley Hills neighborhood where I live have to walk along Glenbrook Road to reach the Bethesda Metro station. Glenbrook is a narrow, winding road that is extremely dangerous for pedestrians. The Montgomery County government agrees that a sidewalk is badly needed along Glenbrook, both for safety and access, but they put it on hold. Why? Because their misguided policy favors the wishes of a handful of property owners, not the hundreds of users of a proposed sidewalk.
Some people will do anything in their power to block the installation of sidewalks, simply because they want to use the public land abutting their property as their own private yard. A couple of selfish individuals can cut entire neighborhoods off from safe access to Metro, and force those people into their cars. Of course, you can hear them complain that “those commuters” are driving by their houses.