The Greening of a Suburban Downtown
It is now one of the region's most walkable suburban downtowns, served also by one of the region's most popular bicycle trails, multiple bus lines (including a downtown Circulator) and soon, I fervently hope, the long-delayed Purple Line light rail system intended to link Bethesda with other suburbs to the east. While some of the downtown's architecture is a bit undistinguished and not sufficiently relatable at the human scale, there are important exceptions including what in my opinion is the country's very best example - and certainly one of its most successful and popular examples - of a mixed-use, walkable retrofit of what was previously a very run-down, automobile-oriented suburban strip. (See photo immediately above.) Over 10,000 residents live within the downtown planning boundary.