Creek & Bridge (Silver Spring, MD)
MCEO NO.47-07: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION – Valley Brook Drive Pedestrian Path – CIP No. 508000. A public hearing was held February 27, 2007, in the EOB Lobby Level Auditorium, 101 Monroe St. in Rockville, Maryland, to consider a proposal to provide safe pedestrian travel on Outlot A, Block 1, Springbrook Estates, an abandoned unimproved public right-of-way along Valley Brook Drive from Valley Brook Court to 101 Valley Brook Drive, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. The project provides an asphalt sidewalk and a pedestrian bridge. The sidewalk will be 5’ wide and will conform to ADA requirements. The total length of the sidewalk is 540 linear feet. The pedestrian bridge over the stream will be approximately 8’ wide and 40’ long. Valley Brook Drive has a 60’ width public right-of-way. There is approximately 20’ of available public right-of-way on this abandoned portion. Estimated cost of the proposed improvement and estimated funding allocations are as follows: Construction costs - $156,000.00; Administrative and construction inspection costs - $62,000.00; total estimated cost of the project, including engineering site improvements and construction – $218,000.00 Effective Date: 2/6/07.
Looks like completion of the public easement is near. Lovely little park down in there. I wandered for a half hour or so last week trying to take pictures of lichen, mushrooms, ferns, etc. in the growing dusk.
Thing is, this newly-improved public easement is along a road that leads to a gated residence: 101 Valley Brook Drive. The owner came by in his Lexus as I was headed down the hill into the park, and then was (coincidentally?) driving back to his house from his mailbox as I was coming back out.
He was none to happy to see me with a camera, asked me a bunch of belligerent questions out his SUV window about whether I was from around here, what my name was, whether I was taking pictures of the public easement stakes. Um, huh? Icing on the cake: He took my picture out his car window!
The gray-haired man in the black SUV doth protest too much, methinks.
Although I'm getting inured to catching flak for taking pics, it seems a bit suspicious to be accosted over public surveyor's stakes, esp. when it turns out that the owner is likely to employ surveyors of his own.
Anyway, there's plenty of beauty down in the park. I highly recommend a visit! If you plan on bringing a camera, keep an eye out for the neighbor with the "hands-on humanistic approach to architecture".