Jack Cochrane

Jul 032018
 
Bike Master Plan - Where are the shoulders?

The new draft of the Montgomery County Bicycle Master Plan is about to go before the County Council.  Please let the Council know you support the plan and tell them how it can be improved.   Express your support at the hearing or in writing by July 10th.   The draft plan is an excellent template for the future, representing a paradigm shift towards “low stress” bikeways like protected bike lanes (cycle tracks), shared use paths, and bicycle boulevards.  The proposed network of low stress bikeways will attract more people who want to bike but are afraid of riding too close to cars.  This will increase the number of people out there on bikes. BUT WHERE ARE THE SHOULDERS? It’s […]

Jul 022018
 
Support the new county Bicycle Master Plan!

The County Council is now soliciting public comments on the new draft Bicycle Master Plan, which will chart the future of biking in the county for years to come.  The plan includes a main document and appendices (see the “Download” links on that page).  See also the handy map of planned bikeways on that page. The Council will make changes to the plan in response to comments they receive.  So it’s important to weigh in now!   The public hearing will be on Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 pm at the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD, third-floor hearing room).  Sign up online to testify or call 240-777-7803 by 10 am on July 10.  The Council will begin deliberations […]

Nov 282017
 
Green bike crossings - solid, stripes or polka dots?

Not long ago, there were no protected bike lanes (aka cycle tracks) in Montgomery County, but now there are three, with more are on the way.  As a result, county bikeway designers are faced with many decisions they never had to make before. How should PBLs be separated from the street?  How can cyclists make left turns?  And so on. One question that I find especially important is this: What should protected bike lane crossings look like? I’m referring to the green areas where a protected bike lane crosses a street or driveway.  There’s a growing push across the country for what I call the “floating bars” design, which resembles a ladder consisting only of rungs.  This is very similar […]

 Posted by at 12:40 am on Nov 28, 2017  Comments Off on Green bike crossings – solid, stripes or polka dots?
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 […]

 Posted by at 2:08 pm on Aug 14, 2017  Comments Off on Suburban Hospital Expansion – What about bikes?
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.  […]