Oct 112012

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen has asked the Maryland Department of Transportation to make changes to various state roads to better support bike sharing, which is coming to the county soon. Her letter is here.  She specifically requests bike lanes on Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring:

[To support bikesharing] I encourage MDOT to implement wherever feasible these improvements endorsed by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association:

  • Buffered bike lanes–where sufficient space exists, provide buffered space between the bicycle travel space and vehicular travel space (or the “door zone” of the vehicle);
  • Non-buffered bike lanes—where space is available, provide a bike lane with a minimum width of five feet, in keeping with national engineering standards;
  • Shared use markings (sharrows)—where special constraints make the provision of dedicated space for bicycling impossible, provide sharrows to indicate the likelihood of bicyclists present and to show safe riding location within the lane;
  • Conflict zone markings—where conflicts between modes are anticipated (i.e. where motor vehicles must turn across bike facilities) use green lanes to bring greater attention to the likelihood of cyclists, the bike facility and the potential for conflict.

Specifically, I ask you to consider placing bike lanes on Georgia Avenue from Spring Street to 13th Street and on the east side of Colesville Road from East-West Highway north to Georgia Avenue.

Bike lanes might be possible there due to an excess of lane width on these streets as they’re configured currently.

Then Nancy asks for bike lanes or markings on several state roads to be resurfaced next year.   Here’s her list, with my partial commentary in italics:

Additionally, I hope you will consider bicycle safety and install bike lanes and appropriate markings where feasible in these resurfacing projects scheduled for FY13.

MD 28 (Key West Avenue) – Hurley Avenue to South Adams Street – Too narrow (and called W. Montgomery Ave, not Key West).

MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) – Emory Lane to Old Baltimore Road

MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) – Connecticut Avenue to International Drive – Too narrow

MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) – DC Line to Colesville Road

MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) – Glenallan Avenue to Connecticut Avenue

MD 185 (Connecticut Avenue) – Warner Street to Georgia Avenue – Too narrow

MD 185 (Connecticut Avenue) – DC Line to East-West Highway – Too narrow

MD 193 (University Boulevard) – Arcola Avenue to Colesville Road

MD 320 (Piney Branch Road) – DC Line to University Boulevard

MD 355 (Wisconsin Avenue) – DC Line to Bradley Boulevard – Too narrow, but it’s getting a new sidewalk

MD 355 (Hungerford Drive) – Mannakee Street to King Farm Boulevard

MD 355 (Rockville Pike) – Cedar Croft Drive to Strathmore Avenue – Too narrow

MD 355 (Rockville Pike) – Nicholson Lane to Old Georgetown Road – This is in the county master plan, so it might be feasible

MD 355 (Wisconsin Avenue) – Montgomery Avenue to Jones Bridge Road – Too narrow

MD 410 (Ethan Allan Avenue) – Park Avenue to New Hampshire Avenue – Some of this is called Philadelphia Ave

MD 586 (Veirs Mill Road) – Andrew Street to University Boulevard

Conventional or buffered bike lanes will never fit on most of these roads unless they start removing lanes.  Cycle tracks might not be doable either due to existing sidewalks or terrain.  This appears to be just a list of every road being resurfaced in particular parts of the county. For many of these roads, MoBike has identified alternate routes to be signed as bike routes.

See WashCycle for some good reader comments about this list.  Let me know if you have more comments on feasibility.

In any case, the state now has a policy of reviewing resurfacing projects to see if lanes can be narrowed (to 11′ wide) in order to create bikeable shoulders.  The state followed this policy on Strathmore Avenue (MD 547) west of Garrett Park, resulting in usable shoulders on the south side of the street.

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