by Jason Tomassini | Staff Writer | Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Members of the Montgomery County Council searched for compromises Tuesday to appease both sides of a long and divisive debate over a proposed pedestrian bridge that would connect the Wayne Avenue Garage to a planned Silver Spring Library that would be located across the street from the garage.
The bridge would allow disabled people and the elderly to access the library without crossing Wayne at the intersection of Fenton Street. But to construct a bridge, the Silver Spring Urban Renewal Plan drafted in 1999 would have to be amended by the council. The plan prohibits a bridge over Wayne because it would take away pedestrian traffic that nearby businesses rely on.
If a bridge were not built, architects could consider an option that would expand the library from six stories to seven to accommodate street-level parking for the disabled, said David Dise, director of the county's Department of General Services. That plan would add $3.5 million to the project.