Monday, April 13, 2009

The Other Columbia

You gotta feel for this guy, but I can surely relate to his travails.

In theory, it should be easy for me to walk from my office to Ken Ulman’s office. The temporary county offices are right across the street on Dobbin Road from my office. In practice, it is a far from pedestrian friendly experience. As I’ve written before, Dobbin Road, a major commercial area, has no sidewalks. It also has no crosswalks.

Maybe this is because the businesses on Dobbin Road also have no representation on the Columbia Association Board of Directors. Like many commercial areas in Columbia, the businesses pay the CPRA assessment but have no one to represent them because they are not located in a village.

If these areas got half the attention that Symphony Woods is getting from CA, I’d bet we’d have sidewalks.


PZGURU said...

Maybe the County should rezone the whole area and redevelope it with high density high rises, high rise office buildings, and a plethora of urban, vibrant attractions and THEN it would be worthwhile to add sidewalks and crosswalks?

Sort of like the rationale behind Columbia Town Center redevelopment, eh?

The Gonzo Journalist said...

Awesome work WB! I was lacing up my shoes getting ready to go out and report on the lack of sidewalks. But I stopped to check my analytics and other blogs first. You got to it first!

Hopefully I can expand on your ideas.

Anonymous said...

Gonzo blog project, you are just nauseating. That level of kissing up makes predecessor hostility now look dignified by comparison.

give it a freakin rest, at least until people aren't trying to digest dinner.

The Gonzo Journalist said...

What's for dinner?

Anonymous said...

"In theory, it should be easy for me to walk from my office to Ken Ulman’s office."

In practice, it IS easy to walk the route you describe. I've never had any trouble walking or biking to destinations along or across Dobbin Road, other than some slow moving cars at times hindering my cycling progress.

"As I’ve written before, Dobbin Road, a major commercial area, has no sidewalks. It also has no crosswalks."

That is simply untrue on multiple counts. Dobbin Road has two crosswalks, as well as sidewalks along some portions of it. And while your photo shows a street with no sidewalk next to it, the street in the foreground of your photo is NOT Dobbin Road, but rather the entrance drive into one of the private office complexes along it.

Yet, Columbia's path system connects with that very office complex's parking lot (and a crosswalk across that parking lot, too, right up to a building's sidewalk) just 75 yards to the north of your photo, and provides easy short walks via those paths to Sewell's Orchard and both Owen Brown and Long Reach villages.

So, if you're lamenting the fact that Dobbin Road, which is actually a County-owned road, itself doesn't have a sidewalk along its entirety or crosswalks everywhere you wish, your beef lies with the County, not CA.

You, like every other person who lives in, does business in, or visits Howard County can certainly contact County officials to request upgrades to county facilities, including roads, as you see fit. Or to request additional APFO requirements that would require developers to include and fund these facets when they're building similar office complexes along County roads.

Was this post less about genuine concern for improved accessibility and more about trying to find some timely criticisms to toss at CA Board incumbents shortly prior to the CA election? If so, calling attention to the CA Board's continued attention to Symphony Woods fate via this inaccurate post only seems to bolster their credibility and lessen yours.

Tom said...

Businesses in Oakland Mills have as much right as any resident to bring this issue forward to either the Oakland Mills Board, CA Board or their local HC Council Member. (I believe at this point the property is County responsibility (County roadway), but I am not sure.) As soon as they do the issue could be addressed. To date no one has. It is business' own fault if they don't get represented. They need to speak up and become part of the solution.