Friedson Takes Walking Tour of Downtown Bethesda
New council member wanted to determine the most pressing needs of the community
New Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson was joined by 20 government officials, business leaders and other community stakeholders Wednesday morning for a listening tour, with the goal of determining the most immediate quality-of-life issues facing Bethesda’s central business district.
Among the officials on the tour were county Transportation Director Al Roshdieh, Planning Department Director Gwen Wright, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman and Jeff Burton, the deputy executive director of the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
It was the third day on the job for Friedson, a Bethesda resident. At various points throughout the morning, he stopped to take note of intersections with inadequate pedestrian crosswalks and chatted with group members about upcoming business plans for the area such as the opening of the new Marriott headquarters in 2022.
Asked by Bethesda Beat about his short-term goals for the downtown area, Friedson said pedestrian safety was a priority.
“There is a comprehensive list of broad changes we could make in this urban environment, particularly when it comes to making things safer for pedestrians and bikers and safe, convenient, high quality mobility access,” he said.
Friedson said bicycle and pedestrian safety, along with mitigating the impacts of construction in downtown Bethesda, are two of the main concerns he wanted to address during the tour. He said it was important that he meet with all of the key stakeholders while touring the community in order to ensure everyone was on the same page.
“I wanted to make sure we were eliminating silos and weren’t working at cross purposes and could bring people together to resolve these quality of life issues,” he said.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org