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 […]

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 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 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 […]

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 […]

Jan 182014
 

County Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Hans Riemer have introduced a council bill to change county road standards in urban areas to better serve pedestrians and bicyclists.  Bill 33-13 seeks to 1) reduce car speeds, thereby making pedestrians and bicyclists safer, 2) stipulate certain road features to improve pedestrian safety and access, especially at crosswalks, and 3) better accommodate new technology including bike sharing.  Roger Berliner briefly summarizes the bill here. Whenever roads are rebuilt or in some cases resurfaced, engineers can choose from a toolkit of improvements designed to make urban areas safer for biking and walking.  The tools include everything from curb extensions (aka bulbouts or neckdowns) that make crosswalks shorter to HAWK beacons that blink when a pedestrian […]

Apr 232013
 

WTOP radio aired a news story last week that made an astonishingly incorrect statement about bicycling laws in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.: D.C., Maryland and Virginia law states bicyclists can ride the center of the travel lane only if they’re going the speed limit. Even worse, it attributed this assertion (with respect to Maryland) to the Montgomery County Police Department and said bike advocates are wrong on the point. “Cyclists can’t necessarily always go as fast as traffic, but the law does give cyclists the right to use the road,” says [WABA Executive Director Shane] Farthing.  But Montgomery County Police Lt. Bob McCullough, deputy director of the traffic division, says that’s not the case.  Slow-moving bikes need to move to […]

Mar 262013
 
Could this work on Arlington Road?

According to FABB, the road diet on Lawyers Road in Reston was a success for cyclists and made the road slower and safer for everyone.   VDOT took a road that had two through-lanes in each direction and converted it to a three lane configuration with bike lanes.  The road now has one through-lane in each direction, a two-way left-turn lane (TWLTL) in the middle, and bike lanes.  Would this make life better for cyclists on Montgomery County roads like Arlington Road in Bethesda or Redland Road in Rockville? MoBike and WABA have already requested the same 4-to-3 lane conversion with bike lanes on Arlington Road north of Bradley Blvd in Bethesda. It’s an important road for cyclists because it serves […]

 Posted by at 6:19 pm on Mar 26, 2013  Comments Off on Could this work on Arlington Road?