County DOT Seeking Comments on Dale Drive Pedestrian Proposals

The county’s Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on preliminary proposals developed for of the Dale Drive Pedestrian Facility Improvement Project.

The department presented several concepts and their potential impacts on the area, which covers the stretch of Dale Drive from Georgia Avenue to Colesville Road, during a Feb. 12 meeting.

That presentation was part of on an ongoing number of meetings and discussions that have taken place among stakeholders, including the Dale Drive Safety Coalition, neighboring civic associations and county officials, since planning began last August.

The DOT also reviewed the results of a community survey taken last fall.

The survey included two audiences: Dale Drive residents only, and a larger community group.

Seventy-nine people from Dale Drive responded. Of those, 65 percent said sidewalks were the most important improvement needed; 55 percent said lowering speeds, and four percent said a bike facility was the most important, with a shared use path preferred by 47 percent of respondents.

Of the larger community group, 379 people responded; 79 percent do not live on Dale Drive.

Seventy-four percent of those respondents named sidewalks as the most important need for Dale Drive. Forty percent said lowering speeds and 17 percent chose a bike facility as the most important need (50 percent named a shared use path as the preferred facility).

Planners presented several alternatives for sidewalks/paths of different sizes, located on either the north or the south side of the street. All of the alternatives would affect the current shoulders and use additional right-of-way property (which is 60-70 feet wide along Dale Drive).

In addition, planners have developed three alternatives for reconfiguring the intersection of Dale Drive and Columbia Boulevard:

The department is accepting comments by postal mail and email, and has created an online survey to collect responses. The DOT is seeking comments by March 31.

The department expects to initiate the final design for the project in 2020, if funding is available.

Walking groups nearly forced into traffic by the poor condition of the Dale Drive shoulders and lack of sidewalks. Photo by Evan Wentworth.

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