Jack Cochrane

Aug 142017
 
Suburban Hospital Expansion – What about bikes?

Suburban Hospital in Bethesda is undergoing a large expansion, doubling the size of its footprint.  The expansion should allow the hospital to provide more care to the community.  I’m grateful for the hospital’s presence, since members of my family have received excellent care there. But the expansion removed a block of Lincoln Street that provided an important bike connection between Old Georgetown Road and Grant Street.  Grant St. is a major north-south bike route one block west of (and parallel to) Old Georgetown Rd.  Old Georgetown is the site of the Bethesda Trolley Trail, which is implemented as a sidepath on the east side of the road.  The National Institutes of Health, a major destination for cyclists, is located on […]

Mar 222016
 
Bikes in the 2017-2022 Capital Budget

Wow, it’s been more than ten years since I started poring over bike budgets.  I still remember analyzing the 2005-2010 budget.   That’s so long ago that some of the projects in that budget are actually complete! (but many aren’t).  It’s so long ago that two-way cycle tracks were still called bike paths. Seriously, the County Executive’s recommended 2017-2022 Capital Budget (technically the “FY17 Recommended Capital Budget and FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program”) is a solid improvement over budgets from ten years years ago.  Support for bicycling has never been stronger in the county, thanks to growth in ridership and attitudinal shifts in county government.  But the county still has a long way to go. The capital budget covers six years but […]

 Posted by at 3:14 pm on Mar 22, 2016  Comments Off on Bikes in the 2017-2022 Capital Budget
Apr 222015
 
Fishers Lane trail update

According to Monte Fisher’s website, the Fishers Lane trail in the Twinbrook area is moving forward.  This came from M-NCPPC in March 2015: JBG received bids from contractors on this project. Parks staff met with JBG representatives and went over the bids together two weeks ago. We agreed on the implementation strategy and JBG is working with the low bidder to clarify certain bid items. Hopefully they can finalize the contract soon. In the meantime, JBG and the Commission need to enter into an agreement to build the trail. We hope the construction can start this summer to take full advantage of the prime grading/construction season. The developer JBG has been supportive and proactive on this project.  While the company […]

 Posted by at 11:03 pm on Apr 22, 2015  Comments Off on Fishers Lane trail update
Apr 222015
 
A new Pike District logo

As I described earlier, developers have chosen the name “Pike District” for the White Flint/Montrose/Twinbrook corridor along Rockville Pike.   The name makes me think of traffic congestion, but I realize it’s hard to come up with alternatives.  The developers include Federal Realty and JBG, among the most progressive supporters of smart growth and bicycling.  So I won’t hold the name against them.  They should be applauded for involving the public in the naming process. The developers crafted a logo for the Pike District, shown below.  It’s rather clever, really… But for me, the name “Pike District” conjures up an image of bumper-to-bumper traffic, strip malls and car dealerships.  Parts of Rockville Pike (beyond the Pike District) will continue to […]

Apr 012015
 
Bradley Blvd. project design presented

Montgomery County DOT convened a public workshop on the Bradley Boulevard Improvements project on March 23, 2015.   The open-house style workshop allowed people to view project plans, ask questions, and make comments to DOT staff. Project Details The project would improve the segment of Bradley Blvd from Wilson Lane to Glenbrook Road , including the Wilson Lane intersection: The project would convert Bradley into a “dual bikeway” having both bike lanes and an 8′ shared use path.  But it’s not just a bikeway project.  It would make major drainage improvements and add an additional sidewalk, representing a significant share of the cost.  For additional information, see the MCDOT official project description. The completed cross section would include: 5′ wide […]

Mar 302015
 

The Carl Henn Millennium Trail along East Gude Drive is a notably unsafe and unappealing section of that well-used trail.  But it would be much improved if the county could convert it into a legitimate two-way cycle track with a separate sidewalk (like on Woodglen Drive in White Flint).  More realistically, it could be reconfigured as a sort of pseudo-cycle track that permits pedestrian use. Two problems contribute to the lack of safety on the Millennium Trail between Rockville Pike and Norbeck Road: Lack of a safety buffer or barrier between the trail and the street Many busy driveway crossings, often in very close proximity to each other As shown here, there simply isn’t enough separation between the trail and […]

Feb 052015
 
White Flint/Twinbrook area renamed after a congested artery

Developers looking to rebrand the White Flint area with a memorable new name decided to call it the “Pike District”.  Say what? (April 23, 2015 update: The Pike District now has a logo, discussed here). The White Flint area, up to and including the area around Twinbrook Metro, is being transformed into into a walkable, transit-oriented urban center offering a thriving mix of retail and housing.  I don’t understand why anyone would want to rename it after a congested six-lane arterial road.   To me the “Pike” – Rockville Pike – conjures up visions of endless strip malls, intolerable traffic and anti-pedestrian conditions, an image we should be trying to get away from.  Cyclists avoid the road and pedestrians fear it.  […]

Jan 132015
 
Woodmont Ave bikeway options north of Old Georgetown Road

Montgomery County is looking to construct a cycle track (aka protected bike lanes) on Woodmont Avenue between Old Georgetown Road and Bethesda Ave.  The project would allow cyclists to ride either north or south on Woodmont in some combination of cycle tracks and conventional bike lanes.  See this detailed analysis of the various options.  Much of Woodmont is a one-way street, so any facility allowing northbound travel would be a definite improvement, protected or otherwise. A key question is what will the rest of Woodmont Ave look like?  What bike accommodations will it get?  I’m referring to the half-mile long stretch of Woodmont Ave from Old Georgetown Road to Battery Lane, which is a two way street.  The future design […]

Jan 112015
 
Woodmont Ave cycle track options

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is considering construction of a cycle track, also known as protected bike lanes, on Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda.  The project would require removal of one lane (often used for parking) between Old Georgetown Road and Hampden Lane.  The county is suggesting a two-way cycle track on the west side of Woodmont, but this might not be the best option. On a two-way street, one-way cycle tracks are superior to two-way cycle tracks because they make for much simpler intersections and avoid putting cyclists on the “wrong” side of the street (going the wrong direction for the side of the street they’re on, catching drivers by surprise).  On a one-way street, a two-way cycle track […]

 Posted by at 12:21 am on Jan 11, 2015  Comments Off on Woodmont Ave cycle track options
Jan 102015
 
MoBike position on cycle tracks

Statement by MoBike (Montgomery Bicycle Advocates) on cycle tracks: Cycle tracks, sometimes called separated or protected bike lanes, are one of the most promising new bike facility types to be implemented in the U.S. in recent years. Because cycle tracks physically separate cyclists from car traffic, they appeal to the “interested but concerned” category of bicyclists who would ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing so. The societal benefits of getting more people using their bikes for transportation, as well as the prospect of fewer deaths and injuries, make it worthwhile to provide cycle tracks in many contexts.  However, they are not completely without drawbacks, as noted below, so their suitability should be determined on a street-by-street basis.  […]