Friday, August 26, 2011

benches, bike racks installed outside fillmore music hall

Fillmore Sign
Passing by the Fillmore yesterday, I was shocked to see the new music venue's latest addition. It's not the recently-completed neon sign, the line of box offices along Colesville Road, or even the life-sized equalizer bars I first proposed in 2007.

There are benches and bike racks on the sidewalk:

Fillmore Benches
How thoughtful! In fact, I'm surprised they even appeared on a state highway like Colesville Road, given that Maryland highway planners seem reluctant to accommodate anyone other than drivers in downtown Silver Spring. (The county Department of Transportation isn't much better, unfortunately.) The benches will be a benefit to everyone, from concertgoers waiting for a show to senior citizens looking for a place to rest.

They also make the sidewalk a much friendlier place, suggesting to passersby that they're allowed to actually sit here and enjoy the scenery instead of being forced to move on. (Some might argue the benches will attract homeless people, but given that line of reasoning, we might as well not have anything in the public realm.)

I'm personally excited about the bike racks. After all, if we're trying to draw hip, young kids to the Fillmore, we should assume that some of them will come by bicycle. Not to mention that it's pretty hard to find bike racks in downtown Silver Spring. Living in the District this summer, I would bike up from Petworth to Silver Spring and get frustrated by how few accommodations for bicyclists there are here, whether it's racks or useable bike lanes.

The Fillmore isn't even open yet, but already it feels like it's been here forever. Having an empty department store for thirty years can do that to you, I guess. Now, how about that office and hotel development behind the Fillmore we were promised?

Fillmore Sidewalk

1 comment:

jag2923 said...

A decent median down Colesville, at least for this one block, would make quite the difference both ascetically as well as practically. Sure would be nice if the state could actually look at the situation with a 21st century perspective.