Ok, so those who’ve been down Silver Spring’s Ellsworth Drive in Downtown Silver Spring feel like they’re in Downtown Disney, but the takeaway here is that this is Maryland’s first successful pedestrian-only district (on weekends) in decades.
Ellsworth is the lone pedestrian-only street in the 22-acre mixed-use Downtown Silver Spring redevelopment, including 440,000 s.f. of retail. It’s more of a suburban shopping mall with its large-scale national retailers, but it does have a triangular plaza (left of photo above and in map) with a multitude of outdoor dining options amid a smattering of local, independent restaurants. In fact, the buzz is that as chains leave town in the weakened economy, they’re being replaced by local independents.