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
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 […]

Apr 252013

The Cedar Street bike lane in Silver Spring is a contraflow bike lane.  My question: Is it safe to ride the wrong direction in this one-way bike lane? View Larger Map A cyclist I rode with last week did exactly that.  A contraflow bike lane is one that provides for cyclists riding against the flow of car traffic on a one-way street. If you’re riding in the same direction as cars, you’re supposed to use the travel lane.  If you’re riding against the flow, you’re supposed to use the bike lane. But the cyclist I was with, unfamiliar with the contraflow concept, rode the wrong way in the one-way bike lane despite the directional arrows painted there.  I urged her […]

Feb 182013
Montgomery County Sierra Club's excellent bike statement

The Montgomery County Sierra Club has just published a superb bike statement outlining changes needed to support biking in the county.  A printable version (as of Jan. 28 2013) is here. These are the six points made in the 5-page statement (my paraphrasing): Make a complete network: The statement recommends connecting bike lanes to major destinations and completing facilities such as the Bethesda Trolley Trail, Capital Crescent Trail, ICC Trail and routes parallel to arterials like Georgia Ave. Be context-appropriate: It recommends providing a context-appropriate variety of facilities such as bike lanes, sharrows, cycle tracks, bicycle boulevards and grade-separated trails. Provide comfort: It recommends providing multiple route options, wayfinding signs, secure bike parking, meeting plazas and good trail maintenance. Safety: […]

 Posted by at 11:41 am on Feb 18, 2013  Comments Off on Montgomery County Sierra Club’s excellent bike statement
Oct 182012
WABA and MoBike's recommendations to support BikeShare

WABA and MoBike just presented their list of recommendations of needed bike improvements in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Friendship Heights to help BikeShare fulfill its tremendous promise in Montgomery County.   The improvements are designed to encourage people to use bikes as transportation.  They include bike lanes, intersection changes, road diets (lane or parking removal), sharrows (shared lane markings) and off-road paths.  Bike lanes may be positioned next to traffic (traditional bike lanes) or separated from traffic (buffered bike lanes or cycle tracks). Sharrows are a way to make existing travel lanes more hospitable to bikes, and are often accompanied by “Bikes May Use Full Lane” signs.  The recommendations also include finishing key transportation trails that have been left […]

 Posted by at 1:37 pm on Oct 18, 2012  Comments Off on WABA and MoBike’s recommendations to support BikeShare
Jul 172012

The July meeting of MCBAG is this Thursday July 19th at 7 pm in Rockville.  The location rotates between Gaithersburg and Rockville.  This one’s in Rockville. Agenda is here.   Projects that will be discussed: Capital Crescent Trail surface project on Bethesda Avenue (Woodmont Avenue to Wisconsin Avenue).  Presented by M-NCPPC ‘s David Anspacher and Neil Braunstein. Executive Blvd shoulders in North Bethesda Woodglen Drive/Edson Lane issues in North Bethesda Clopper Road shared use path in Germantown Germantown bike rack at Germantown Transit Center MEETING DETAILS: Rockville MCBAG meetings are in the tall Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Enter from the lower level entrance off Monroe Street.  Ring the buzzer to the left of the door and tell them […]

 Posted by at 2:30 pm on Jul 17, 2012  Comments Off on MCBAG Meeting July 19th – Capital Crescent Trail, North Bethesda, Germantown, etc.
Apr 172012
Development putting Capital Crescent Trail on Bethesda Ave is approved

The Montgomery County Planning Board just approved a revised plan for the Woodmont East development in Bethesda, including the design of the Capital Crescent Trail on Bethesda Avenue.  The developer JBG was revising its development plans anyway (to incorporate more property), but changes were also needed to incorporate the trail into the Bethesda Ave streetscape, since the trail has essentially been kicked out of the tunnel. The trail will be a two-way cycletrack along the north side of Bethesda Ave from Woodmont Ave to Wisconsin Ave.   The new development will include a hotel on the north side of Bethesda Ave, so people entering the hotel will have to walk or drive across the trail.  No doubt many will stop […]

Feb 292012
Finding money to build the CCT tunnel

Environmental consultant Steve Offutt proposes a solution for building the Capital Crescent Trail tunnel under Wisconsin Ave  that would save money by replacing the Air Rights and Apex buildings with more valuable buildings now rather than when the buildings reach their typical lifespan.  The solution relies on the engineering assumption that the buildings could be replaced less expensively during Purple Line construction rather than after the Purple Line is already in place.  The two buildings sit on top of the existing tunnel (hence air rights) and are the main reason it would cost $51 million to keep the trail in the tunnel with the rail line.  Mr. Offutt”s solution presumes that newer, bigger (taller) buildings with more direct Metro access […]

Nov 192011
Another trail crossing idea

Planners are trying to figure out how to connect the Capital Crescent Trail (on a trestle) to the Rock Creek Trail 40 feet below. Here’s my solution: Thank you Photoshop.  Actually the Planning Board recommends a switchback ramp system at a cost of $1.4M.   I’ve labeled it “switchback chosen” on this planning diagram.  “A new option” is my own (inferior) path idea, which adds about 1/3 mile for CCT users coming from the west.   Not shown is another option, putting a path along Jones Mill Road from the CCT south to the park. Jack Cochrane Chair, MoBike  

Nov 182011
Planning Board issues Purple Line recommendations

Today’s Washington Post article with photos about the county Planning Board’s recommendations on the Purple Line… The Post article: The Montgomery County Planning Board asked Maryland transit officials Thursday to consider moving a Bethesda station for a future Purple Line to try to better accommodate a popular biking and running trail in a tunnel beneath Wisconsin Avenue. Board members said the state’s latest estimate that it would cost $40.5 million to rebuild the trail inside the tunnel would make it too expensive. However, they said they didn’t want to pursue a far less expensive plan to rebuild the trail along local streets through crowded downtown Bethesda unless they had exhausted other possibilities for keeping it in the tunnel. The board asked […]

 Posted by at 12:11 pm on Nov 18, 2011  Comments Off on Planning Board issues Purple Line recommendations