Dec 232011
ICC Trail along Needwood Road - five years if we're lucky

The ICC Trail is supposed to follow along Needwood Road, as shown below (click for larger map).  Needwood Road is the westernmost pink line and connects Shady Grove Metro station to the ICC (and then to Muncaster Mill Road).  Only a short section of the Needwood Road path exists at this time. Here is a citizen request sent to MCDOT in July: The new ICC bike trail is complete from Emory [Lane] to Needwood [Road]. There is no trail from Needwood to the Shady Grove metro stop. Is something in the works for a bike trail from Needwood to the Shady Grove metro stop? I would utilize this everyday and would stop driving my car if this was available. This […]

Dec 232011
What's with those edge posts? (road hazard #11)

Have you ever noticed the short gray posts installed along some county roads?  They’re meant to deter drivers from leaving off the road so their cars won’t create ruts and run over features like stormwater management swales.  Swales can be damaged if drivers drive or park on them.  The posts are used on “open section” roads, i.e. roads with no curbs. County policy calls for the posts to be located 12 inches beyond the edge of the pavement (although in practice distance varies considerably).  Well, MoBike’s crack research team used sophisticated instruments (a mountain bike, measuring wheel and cheap camera) to determine that anything less than 24 inches reduces the space available to bicyclists and creates a collision hazard.  Cyclists […]

Dec 142011
Three foot law jersey

You can buy it here: Maybe the relevant law in the Maryland Code should be printed on the back in fine print: Transportation § 21-1209 (a): (2) When overtaking a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter, pass safely at a distance of not less than 3 feet, unless, at the time: (i) The bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter rider fails to operate the vehicle in conformance with § 21-1205(a) of this subtitle (“Riding to right side of roadway”) or § 21-1205.1(b) of this subtitle (“Roadway with bike lane or shoulder paved to smooth surface”); (ii) A passing clearance of less than 3 feet is caused solely by the bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter rider failing to maintain a steady course; or […]

Dec 092011
Woodmont Avenue striping (nightmare at Elm Street)

A few years ago Montgomery County added bike lanes to Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda.  Some cyclists opposed the change while some others said they felt they could finally ride on Woodmont.  The bike lanes pretty much fail between Elm Street and Bethesda Avenue (by Barnes and Noble, Cosi’s, etc.) because of parking and loading activities next to the bike lanes, as shown below.  But I think a lot of riders ignore the bike lanes there and just ride in the travel lane.  Cars go very slow in that block.  I find the bike lanes elsewhere on Woodmont to be generally usable except for. . .  the nightmare at Elm Street (and Hampden Lane). The right hook. The block between Hampden […]

Dec 092011
Kensington Sector Plan moving forward

The county’s Kensington and Vicinity Sector Plan is moving forward.  Right now it’s under review by the County Council PHED committee.  The plan determines how the Kensington area will develop in the future, including housing, parks, roads, bikeways and other features.  This shouldn’t be confused with the Town of Kensington‘s own plans (but they should be in sync). The sector plan takes the approach that bicyclists can be served by local roads without any bike lanes or bike paths.  MoBike expressed support for this approach early on.  This is the very opposite of Clarksburg.  Many of Kensington’s street are calm enough to allow bicyclists to act as vehicles without feeling like cars are queueing up behind them.  There isn’t much […]