Have you seen the Wikipedia entry for Maryland Route 355? It’s thorough and comprehensive, but I defy you to stay awake, or to take the Alternate Sides follow-up reading comprehension quiz. (Quick: What was the daily traffic count at the intersection with Comus Road between Clarksburg and Hyattstown in 2007? Bonus question: What’s the speed limit when the pike crosses Maryland Route 27 past Germantown and narrows into a two-lane undivided road?)

Yes, there’s a welcome bit of history included, and the equivalent Wisconsin Avenue entry at least has a little travelogue, as in: “This part of Rockville Pike is home to many strip malls, as well as White Flint Mall, and is notorious for its traffic congestion…” But where’s the narrative, the local color, the sales at furniture stores, the infinitesimal number of Phos?

Alternate Sides will take this on, a few miles at a time. We don’t have any particular agenda, and we’re open to all suggestions and ideas.

Because it’s August, however, and this blogger has, in the last six weeks, put some 3,500 miles on the car and is not at her most coherent, for we’re just setting this premise up. Keep an eye out for our next installment which will begin in Georgetown, underneath the Whitehurst Freeway, at the intersection of Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and will stretch north to the newly renovated “Social Safeway,” where the likes of Laurence Tribe apparently get stuck in elevators.

For now we’ll leave you hanging with another loosely-related quiz. Can you guess: A. What piece of furniture this is meant to be? B. From which store, with a branch on Rockville Pike, it was acquired. C. Whether this blogger, after many hours and with the help of her daughter’s friend, ever achieved assembly success?