What is the best way to bike in the Georgia Avenue corridor from the Matthew Henson Trail crossing to Forest Glen Road? As with the proposed Rt. 29 corridor route, Montgomery County DOT is planning to post bike route signs along the best Georgia Avenue corridor route and is asking the cycling community for input. The goal is to sign a network of routes criss-crossing the county. The only route they’ve signed so far runs from Potomac to Colesville via Tuckerman Lane and Plyers Mill Road among other streets. Cyclists following the routes are expected to be comfortable riding on secondary streets or roads with shoulders or wide lanes.
The county proposes two Georgia Avenue corridor routes, one connecting to Forest Glen Road west of Georgia (at Forest Glen Metro) and one connecting to Forest Glen Road east of Georgia. Below is the west side route with one major modification. I removed the shortcut through Wheaton Plaza to avoid the treacherous mall entrance at Reedie Drive, and instead shunted cyclists to the other side of Georgia (on Amherst), which adds one major traffic light. See the map here which is easier than reading all this.
- South on Georgia Avenue (either sidewalk)
- R on Niles Street
- L on Holdridge Road
- L on Urbana Drive
- R on Flack Street
- L on Judson Road
- R on short off-road path near Georgia Ave
- R on Randolph Rd (south side sidewalk)
- L on Grandview Avenue (ignore one-way when coming back)
- L on Reedie Drive
- R on Amherst Ave
- R on Plyers Mill Road
- L on Hutting Place
- R on Haywood Drive
- L on Darrow Street
- R on Gardiner Avenue
- L on Kimball Place
- R on Darcy Forest Drive
- Arrive at Forest Glen Road at the Forest Glen Metro station
This route “features” a wrong-way section of Grandview Avenue, a bad sidewalk on Randolph Road, and an 8-turn labyrinth south of Plyers Mill Road. DOT is only adding signs, not making any improvements like bike lanes.
As for DOT’s proposed route on the east side of Georgia Avenue, it’s a bit tricky at Woodland Drive which doesn’t connect to Medical Park Drive. To get to downtown Silver Spring you’re probably better off taking the western route above and crossing I-495 on the bike/ped bridge on the west side of Georgia. Alternatively you could use the Sligo Creek Trail (or parkway) instead of Woodland Drive to get to Forest Glen Road and Silver Spring, as shown here. But that’s a little longer than DOT’s proposed route in terms of distance to Silver Spring.
So here’s the east side Georgia corridor route proposed by DOT (starting at Plyers Mill Road; north of there it’s the same as the west side route). See the map to avoid reading all this:
- L from Amherst Avenue onto Plyers Mill Road
- R on Bucknell Drive
- Jog L on Evans Parkway
- Continue onto Medical Park Drive
- L on Woodland Drive (doesn’t connect; use Georgia Avenue sidewalk? TBD)
- Straight on path through General Getty Neighborhood Park
- Continue straight on Woodland Drive
- Arrive at Forest Glen Road east of Georgia Avenue
Here’s another twist. From the Matthew Henson Trail to Reedie Drive (the northern part of the corridor route), there’s an alternative route that lies further to the west near Connecticut Avenue. It avoids sidewalks and one-way streets and only adds about a half mile, but it misses the Glenmont Metro station and couldn’t really be called a Georgia corridor route. It may eventually be part of a Connecticut corridor bikeway.
Provide input via the comments section here, or send it to me. (Your first comment is moderated. After that you may comment freely).