Friday, October 27, 2006

Seven Locks manhattanization plan continues?

It looks like the Montgomery county bureaucracy is pressing ahead to manhattanize the area between Rockville and River Road.

Recently the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT) held a meeting at The Heights School for public comments on a proposed widening of Seven Locks Road between Wootton Parkway and Bradley Boulevard.

The plan is called the "Seven Locks Road Sidewalk & Bikeway Facility Planning, Phase I Study." Officially, the initiative is to add sidewalks and bike paths along the east and west lanes of Seven Locks Road from Wootton Parkway in Rockville to Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda.

But citizens at the meeting feared that the plan is really a ruse to clear out the easements on either side of Seven Locks and turn the road into a four-lane highway.

They noted that the southern terminus of the project is Seven Locks Elementary School (SLES), and wondered aloud why the project would not logically extend the remaining 1.4 miles to River Road.

"It's because the county doesn't want to rile up the Seven Locks community just yet," said one participant of the event.

Some taxpayers noted the artwork that DPWT developed to illustrate the form. Captioned, "Step Into The Plan Ahead," the artwork features a humanoid figure between two two-lane roads, surrounded by metropolis-style high-rise buildings.

The project manager is Aruna K. Miller. Tel: 240-777-7194. Fax: 240-777-7277. Email: