I enjoyed Mr. Edens' write up in the paper, "In the street," on June 18. I specifically enjoyed reading about the pedestrian-free zones in Europe and other American cities.
I recently spent six months in Munich on business and I too enjoyed the traffic-free downtown — it was a pleasure to behold and experience. Mr. Edens also touted the reduction on carbon dioxide emissions as a bonus.
However, one important detail was missed in his article. All those cities have an incredible bicycling community/culture with bicycle lanes everywhere including out of the suburbs into the city. Talk about reduction in CO2.
Here in Frederick, we have all kinds of suburban communities (suburban to Frederick city) including Clover Hill, Amber Meadows, North Crossing, Cannon Bluff, Tuscarora Creek, Meadowbrooke, Whittier, and many more that have zero safe access capability to downtown via bicycle. It’s preposterous that we’re actually backwards to our European counterparts.
One cannot ride from any of these neighborhoods safely into town, let alone to the grocery store (even closer to home). We spent a huge sum of money to build a tunnel under the Rosemont Avenue on-ramp to U.S. 15, which is great for downtown residents, but does absolutely nothing for those surrounding the city which are actually considered (except Clover Hill) part of the city since the city annexed all those parcels years ago.
There is a great rail right-of-way that runs from Frederick city to Thurmont which runs right through Whittier. You would think we would have made that a rail trail long ago, but alas, no one has even considered it as far as I know.
Our bicycle lanes in Frederick consist of some lines and arrows in the middle of the street (see 7th Street, Rosemont Ave.) and a little bike path in the northwest part of the city proper. If we really want to get folks downtown and drop our carbon footprint, we need capable bike paths for those of us outside the city to get safely into the city. It’s common sense!
With all this building going on out here near Yellow Springs, why aren’t the creation of bicycle lanes being required/prioritized by the city/county from the developers as part of the APFO (Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance)? Frederick wants to be a grown-up town and fight climate change at the same time. It’s time to start designing it as such.