Ellsworth Drive Needs to Be Re-Opened to Pedestrians

Guest Post by Dan Reed

This is Ellsworth Drive in Downtown Silver Spring a year ago, and below, Ellsworth today.

Ellsworth Drive in 2019, pre-COVID and open to pedestrians.

As the county embraces open streets everywhere else, I’m disappointed to see one of the first pedestrian spaces here—and one of the premier public spaces in the region—given over to cars. Coming there on a Friday night, usually the busiest time in downtown Silver Spring, really hit home how much is missing here.

Ellsworth Drive in 2020.

I’ve been told that this is what “businesses and the community prefer.” I can’t believe that—not when I see the pictures of open streets in Bethesda and Takoma Park.

At a time when Montgomery County should be holding up Ellsworth of an example of what to do right, it’s doing the opposite. We can do better than this, and I hope we can fix it by getting the cars off and reopening this street for people.

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