……I invite Kraut to walk down Norfolk Ave on a sunny day to observe the park in use and to investigate the motives of the petitioners. While seated at a picnic table shaded by tulip poplars and cottonwood trees, he can observe groups of young children playing safely, teenagers and young adults using the basketball courts, residents walking dogs, parents and grandparents wheeling infants on the path, elderly persons sitting quietly, and passersby stopping for a few minutes to rest in the shade and listen to the birds singing….I am sure he will find that surrounding residents feel as I do: The park is a quiet, safe place for residents to recreate and enjoy the outdoors primarily BECAUSE Norfolk Avenue does not connect with Battery Lane!”
Paul then goes on to ask a few questions:
“1) Kronenburg suggests a need for greater access to Battery Lane. But access to what? Between Woodmont and Old Georgetown, Battery Lane is lined with apartments–the residents of these apartments are the pedestrians, bicyclists, and recreators who oppose the road.
2) According to Kronenburg, the recommendations include expanding the park to the east if the low-rise office building and Sherwin Williams are redeveloped or sold. Is that a promise? Where’s the guarantee? What will that “redevelopment” entail? another highrise? What will this expanded park look like in the shadow of another high-rise? We have a park filled with mature trees now. Let’s not lose that.
3) Kronenburg says that the plans are to make Norfolk more cyclist friendly. I cycle up and down Norfolk everyday. Norfolk Avenue is wide; it has stops signs and traffic lights that slow the traffic. In my view, it’s the safest road in Bethesda.
4) Kronenburg argues for “a more pronounced bicycle link” between Woodmont triangle and Battery Lane Park. What does that mean? We’re talking about a few hundred yards. Wouldn’t a few strategically placed signs suffice? Let’s do that tomorrow.
5) Finally, Kronenburg mentions a walking path. Norfolk has sidewalks already. They seem pretty functional to me. Is the plan to do away with sidewalks so that pedestrians are walking in the street or sharing a bicycle lane?
Kronenburg and Kraut miss the point. We have a park now that is cut off from automobile traffic. It’s a safe, well-used treasure that improves the quality of life for residents and provides habitat for plants, birds, and other wildlife.”