Friendship Heights Urban Design Study Released by Montgomery Planning

Courtesy Montgomery Planning

The Montgomery County Planning Department briefed the Montgomery County Planning Board March 7 on its Friendship Heights Urban Design Study, which analyzed how people experience the existing open spaces and the pedestrian and transit networks in the Friendship Heights community. The study identifies strengths and challenges of the existing public realm as reflected by an urban design analysis and a months-long community engagement process.

“The responses we received from the community and a variety of stakeholders made it clear that residents and visitors enjoy Friendship Heights’ urban-in-suburban feel and its convenient, walkable and Metro-friendly location,” said project lead Atara Margolies. “But there is also a recognition that the area hasn’t met its full potential as many would like to see more active and vibrant gathering spaces and increased amenities.” Read the draft Friendship Heights Urban Design Study .

Summary of Findings and Next Steps: The study area includes the 113-acre downtown of Friendship Heights and extends into the surrounding communities including Chevy Chase Village, the Town of Somerset, and the Brookdale neighborhood.  The study identifies community assets like proximity to transit, walkability, access to green spaces, and the established, if struggling, commercial corridor. However, further study is needed regarding opportunities to improve pedestrian safety and improved connectivity between the downtown, surrounding communities, and the many community parks and open spaces.

For more information on the study and ways to stay connected with Friendship Heights planning news and updates, please visit the Friendship Heights Urban Design Study website. Hard copies of the study will soon be available at the information counter on the second floor of Montgomery Planning’s headquarters at 2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902. Planning staff also will send the final report to the County Council and offer to brief Councilmembers.

Courtesy of Montgomery Planning

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