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Berliner Wants To Limit Sidewalk Closures

A new proposal in the county could make it easier for walkers to use sidewalks in the county.picture of road construction cones

Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist.1) wants to limit the amount of time a sidewalk is off limits to pedestrians when it is part of a construction site.

“If you are forcing people to walk where they are not comfortable than by definition it is an increase risk to pedestrians,” Berliner told MyMCMedia Tuesday. “When I joined the council I said can you imagine them closing the sidewalks in New York City when they are building? You don’t see them doing it there and you don’t have to do it here.”

To limit that risk, Berliner wants to limit the amount of sidewalk closures granted to construction companies and force companies to post when the sidewalk will reopen if it is closed and who to contact if it is not reopened on time. Permits that allow an obstruction in public right-of-way will be required to post informational signs. These signs will be intended to inform pedestrians about the obstruction and contact information.

Berliner said he believes that in some cases the sidewalks are being closed by construction companies and used as storage for materials used on site.

“It comes at a price to our community,” Berliner said. “I have dealt with it in Bethesda but other folks across the county are also dealing with it.”

A public meeting on the bill is scheduled for Feb. 10.

Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.

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