The new pedestrian and bicyclist pathway in front of the Montgomery County Planning Department headquarters in Silver Spring Credit: Planning Department

Updated at 10:20 a.m. – Montgomery County planners said they witnessed too many dangerous situations involving drivers, bikers and pedestrians in the large parking lot and entry road just outside their Silver Spring headquarters.

So last year, planners began a project to etch out a pedestrian and bicyclist path through the area. Fifty gallons of paint later, the mostly bright purple walkway was finished last week, providing what planners hope is a safe and attractive connection between the department’s offices, Silver Spring’s central business district and the nearby Woodside Park neighborhood.

“It’s an improvised, quick and inexpensive solution to improve the daily routes of people not only from our offices but from the neighborhood,” said urban designer Margaret Rifkin, who led the project. “We hope some of those who visit our building will be inspired to buy some paint and create similar paths on their own parking lots.” 

The Planning Department’s headquarters, which includes offices for planners and the auditorium used for Planning Board hearings, occupies the corner of Georgia Avenue and Spring Street on the northern edge of Silver Spring’s central business district. The project will cost a total of $2,500 for the paint and a set of posts yet to be installed, according to a Planning Department spokesperson.

Via Montgomery County Planning Department

An access road between the planning building and the Sheraton Silver Spring hotel leads to a county parking lot. Those who park in the lot or who cut through the lot from the north side of Spring Street must negotiate the area, which didn’t have a crosswalk before.

Planners painted a purple crosswalk with green and orange and white edges where the access road and parking lot converge. They also continued the purple path along the northeast edge of the Planning Department building toward Spring Street.

Planners said purple was chosen because it’s highly visible and complements the brick and greenery of Royce Hanson Urban Park, the small park also just outside the Planning Department building.