Fenton Street Village is a commercial area of approximately 35 acres located along the eastern edge of the Silver Spring CBD. The Fenton Street Village Pedestrian Linkages project extends the Silver Spring streetscape standard to Fenton Street Village. The extended pedestrian network ensures safe pedestrian connections from the public parking facilities located in the interior of each city block to the businesses on Georgia Avenue, Fenton Street and the side streets. The objective is to overcome the inconvenience, to organize and better integrate vehicular and pedestrian access throughout the area, and to improve links to the redevelopment project on the north and the residential neighborhoods on the east and south.
The first project segment was constructed in 2004. The segments include Fenton Street from Bonifant Street to Philadelphia Avenue (east and west side), Bonifant Street from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street; Thayer Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue (Phase III and IV) (Silver Spring Avenue to Philadelphia Avenue) and (Phase I and II) (south of Wayne Avenue to Silver Spring Avenue).
In March 2009, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) conducted a Pedestrian Road Safety Audit (PRSA) along Georgia Avenue between Spring Street and Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring. This stretch of Georgia Avenue was identified as one of Montgomery County’s High Incidence Areas for pedestrian collisions, based on data from five consecutive years. This audit is the basis for many of the intersection improvements and sidewalk upgrades planned or underway on Georgia Avenue, as part of Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) and Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) projects.
Major elements of the streetscape for the Fenton Village Pedestrian Linkages project along the east side of Georgia Avenue from Silver Spring to Philadelphia Avenues (Phases III and IV) include replacement of portions of existing sidewalk, driveways and adjoining curb and gutter. Additional improvements will include the installation of brick pavers, architectural pedestrian lighting, wiring and connections, removal of existing trees, installation of new trees and other landscape plantings.
This project is located in the State of Maryland right-of-way. One of the challenges working in older communities is to design streetscape improvements which meet current American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. ADA regulations require a 2% cross slope is maintained for a 5’ minimum width accessible route. The approved engineering design includes a 7” maximum height transitional curb 6’-4” from the existing street curb where necessary. It is necessary in some areas to create a 4”-7” transitional curb at tree pit or planted areas. Slopes from the building to the transitional curb will be at a 2%, with an average sidewalk width of 10+ feet. Grades between the transitional curb and existing street curb (the 6’-4”area) will absorb the elevation differences and not exceed a maximum 5% slope.
This area will accommodate existing streetlights and new trees. The new trees are planted with amended soil panels. These panels will promote the long-term health of the trees.
Some areas will not require a transitional curb and the grades will be at 2% for the entire width of the sidewalk (from building to street curb) with a flush band for design continuity.
The final segment of the Fenton Street Village Pedestrian Linkages Project is Georgia Avenue from the plaza at Wayne Avenue to Silver Spring Avenue. Bids were received on December 6, 2012. The project is currently under construction with completion in late fall 2013.