Jack Cochrane

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.  […]

Nov 302014
 

The Montgomery County Council just passed Bill 33-13 entitled Urban Road Standards and Pedestrian Safety Improvements. The bill makes modest changes to the county’s road design standards to make our streets better and safer places for bicyclists and pedestrians.  It does this primarily by calling for measures to reduce motor vehicle speeds.  County road standards are codified in laws and regulations known collectively as the Road Code. The enacted bill updates relevant portions of the Road Code, either by changing the law directly or directing the County Executive to modify relevant regulations. Here’s the executive summary of the bill’s stipulations. Through lanes and turn lanes on urban roads must be no wider than 10′ unless next to parking or a […]

 Posted by at 12:56 pm on Nov 30, 2014  Comments Off on Safer road standards adopted by the county
Nov 112014
 
Bike route signs: how do you list destinations?

Montgomery County is putting considerable effort into signing new bike routes in the county.  They’ve signed four continuous road routes so far: Tuckerman-Plyers Mill-Dennis Ave,  Bethesda/Fernwood Rd,  Georgia Ave Corridor, and Rt 29 Corridor.  More are yet to come! Question:  Which of the following four destination formats do you like best for county signs?  The county has used all of these formats lately.  They vary in the number of destinations per panel, total width, text flow and use of the word “miles”.  Overlook the fact that one is a hiker-biker trail sign and one lacks a big arrow.  Image scale is adjusted so you can compare sizes. To start off with, the county defines a base sign configuration consisting of […]

Nov 042014
 
PSA: why the heck don't cyclists stay right?

Wouldn’t it be great to air a public service announcement saying why cyclists don’t stay right all the time?  After all, this blog can’t reach everyone.  How’s this? [Sound of driving] MAN: Hey, there’s a bicyclist.  Why is he riding so far to the left?  Shouldn’t he move over? WOMAN: Not if he wants to be safe.  There are a lot of cars parked along the street.  Cyclists should always stay well away from parked cars because a driver might suddenly open his door. MAN: Even if there’s a bike lane? WOMAN: You bet.  A cyclist might also leave the bike lane to avoid leaves or broken glass or potholes or to get ready to turn left. MAN: I get […]

Nov 012014
 
Woodglen Drive gets Montgomery County's first cycle track

Woodglen Drive in North Bethesda now features Montgomery County’s first cycle track.  The county Department of Transportation deserves kudos for its willingness to support this type of facility.  The implementation is not without its shortcomings, but growing pains are to be expected as the county begins implementing cycle tracks, also known as protected bike lanes.  Moreover, the cycle track is not 100% complete (it will be by the end of November hopefully).  The primary problems seem to be intersection design and the proximity of parking to the cycle track, creating the potential for cyclists to collide with suddenly opened car doors.  Moving forward, there are steps the county can take to improve this facility and to create better cycle tracks […]

Feb 242014
 

Five County Council members have signed on to a letter by Roger Berliner asking for a cost estimate of clearing snow on the Capital Crescent Trail, with an eye towards covering it in the county operating budget this year.  This is something cyclists have been requesting for years, but the requests (like bikes in the snow) never got much traction.   The letter is directed to county DOT and the Parks Department, though the latter department owns the trail. Also, Councilmember Hans Riemer has asked DOT to draft a plan for better snow removal from sidewalks.  Forcing pedestrians to walk in the street because plows have dumped snow onto sidewalks is unacceptable.  A local pedestrian was killed in recent years doing […]

Feb 202014
 
Rockville Bikeway Plan available for public comment

The draft 2014 Rockville Bikeway Master Plan is ready for public comment!  For details, visit the plan update site or directly view the draft plan and map at these links: Draft 2014 Bikeway Master Plan Draft 2014 Bikeway Recommendations Map You can comment on the plan in person at a public hearing to be held on Wed. April 9th at 7 pm in the Mayor and Council Chambers, City Hall, 111 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD, 20850.  You can sign up to speak by calling 240-314-8200.   Individual speakers get 3 minutes; those representing organizations get 5 minutes.  Or you may provide written comments via email, via this form, or via regular mail (to bike coordinator Kevin Belanger, 111 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, […]

 Posted by at 9:23 am on Feb 20, 2014  Comments Off on Rockville Bikeway Plan available for public comment
Feb 082014
 
Maryland's New Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan

The Maryland Department of Transportation just issued its new Twenty-Year Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  According to MDOT: The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan establishes a 20-year vision to support cycling and walking as modes of transportation in Maryland. The Plan provides guidance and investment strategies to support cycling and walking, both on-road and off-road, as part of Maryland’s multimodal transportation network. It’s not the kind of plan that stipulates which streets will get bike lanes and where paths will be built.  Instead the plan describes the current state of affairs, identifies objectives, lays out strategies and discusses implementation.  It presents a lot of useful facts as well. The plan was released January 15, 2014.

 Posted by at 3:19 am on Feb 8, 2014  Comments Off on Maryland’s New Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan