Saturday, May 30, 2015

Why I don't use Ride On route 19

This past week, I started a summer internship in DC.  My commute involves taking a bus to the Silver Spring Metro from my home in Woodmoor and then taking the train downtown to the office.  On Wednesday, I decided to try the Ride On 19.  I normally ride the Z lines on Colesville Road whenever I need to get to Silver Spring, since they have much lower headways and are more direct than the 19.  However, the walk to the nearest 19 stop on University is about .45 miles closer to my house than the nearest Z stop over on Colesville, so I figured I'd try the 19 this morning.

I arrived at the stop at Williamsburg and University next to the fire station at 8:29, six minutes before the scheduled arrival time of 8:35.  I've heard from friends who are regular Ride On patrons that routes 8 and 19 often run early, so I arrived a few minutes beforehand in anticipation of this.  I sat down at the stop and checked the Transit app on my phone to see if the bus was close by.  The app originally said the 19 would arrive in 5 minutes, and the icon on the map showed the bus at Dennis and University.  It appeared that the bus would show up on time.    

Around 8:40, I began to get suspicious.  It had been 10 minutes, and the app kept refreshing the time to say that the bus was 2 or 3 minutes away, and the bus icon on the map hadn't moved from University and Dennis.  My only guess as to the cause was that the bus was delayed in traffic approaching the intersection.  At 8:45, a C4 scheduled to arrive after the 19 passed by the stop, meaning the 19 couldn't have been stuck in traffic west of Four Corners, or it would have arrived before the C4.  Around this time, the bus icon on the map mysteriously disappeared and the "minutes until arrival" showed null, as if the bus had already passed... but it hadn't.  

The 19 seen on University Boulevard last summer.  Photo by the author.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Local Business: The Studio Grooming Salon

This past Tuesday I visited The Studio Grooming Salon, a new business here in Four Corners.  Opened in January of this year, The Studio is a grooming salon that caters to all kinds of dogs, focusing on those needing specialty service due to anxiety or illness.  I spoke with the owner of The Studio, Sarah Watkins, about how she grew her business from an at-home grooming operation to an independent dog salon with two locations (one here in Four Corners, and one in Middleburg, VA).

The Studio Grooming Salon is located at 10124 Colesville Road, across from the Woodmoor Shopping Center.  Photo by the author

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The "Wishmaker's House"

While doing some historical research a few weeks ago, I found this neat old ad for a home here in Four Corners.  On September 27th 1940, this advertisement for the "Wishmaker's House" appeared in The Washington Post.  The advertised home is located in Indian Spring Village, a new subdivision along Old Bladensburg Road in Four Corners, and the listed address is "1 Williambsurg Drive".  If the subdvsion name and address seem odd to some folks, that is because the name "Indian Spring Village has all but fallen out of use and the address "1 Willimabsurg Drive" no longer exists, but this home certainly does.    

Advertisement for the Wishmaker's House in Indian Spring Village.  Image from "Silver Spring, Maryland: residential development of a Washington suburb, 1920-1955", which is a research thesis dating to the 1990's by Stephanie Ann Sechrist. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bicycle Master Plan update is an opportunity for Four Corners

Tomorrow is national Bike To Work Day, and as part of the festivities, Planning Board Chairman Casey Anderson will be attending an event to speak about the county's upcoming Bicycle Master Plan update.  The county last updated its bike plan in 2005 with the Countywide Bikeways Functional Master Plan.  The official process of updating the bike plan will begin on July 1st of this year, and it will focus on evaluating new facilities such as buffered bike lanes, bike boulevards, and secure bicycle storage facilities.

Montgomery Planning will begin work on the Bicycle Master Plan on July 1st.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cherry Tree & Lexington

The intersection of Cherry Tree Lane and Lexington Drive in Woodmoor is a quiet intersection deep in the neighborhood, but for some reason, part of it is designed like a highway on-ramp.

The sweeping right turn from southbound Cherry Tree to eastbound Lexington.  
Photo by the author.

The portion of the intersection that provides the right turn movement from Lexington to Cherry Tree has its own one-way "ramp" for drivers heading up Lexington towards Woodmoor Drive.  For lack of a better term, I will refer to this piece of roadway as the "ramp" for the purposes of this post.  Short ramps like this are normally used on arterial highways to allow drivers to make turns at high speeds so that they can safely merge fast moving traffic.  But these are both residential streets, and there is no need for an acceleration zone.

So why does this exist?  There may not be a good reason why, but the neighborhood would be better off if this ramp were removed.  Here are three reasons why we should try to get rid of this strange piece of road.

The ramp can be used by traffic going one-way only, just like Beltway access ramps.
Photo by the author.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Summer is Around the Corner(s)

It's almost summertime, which means more blog posts from us here at Around the Corners.

I've been quite busy during the past month with school.  As a junior in college, it is difficult to balance regular blogging with academics and social life.  However, my summer break starts next week, and the summertime is when I have ample opportunity to write quality blog posts with regularity.

The Woodmoor Shopping Center last July.  Photo by the author.

Here is a preview of what we'll be covering this coming summer and beyond: