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 […]

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
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 […]

Sep 232013
 
Marinelli Road bike lane project

Montgomery County DOT is proposing to add bike lanes to Marinelli Road in North Bethesda.  The bike lanes would be added between Executive Blvd. and Rt. 355 and would be at least 5 feet wide.  Adding bike lanes would be accomplished by narrowing the existing travel lanes to as little as 10 feet (sometimes called a “lane diet”) as follows (click on photo to zoom): MoBike requested this improvement after reviewing the White Flint Sector Plan, a template for the massive redevelopment occurring the White Flint sector.  The plan calls for far too few bike lanes on streets in the White Flint sector, including Marinelli Road.   Ironically it’s much easier to add bike lanes to an existing street in […]

 Posted by at 11:51 am on Sep 23, 2013  Comments Off on Marinelli Road bike lane project
Jun 132013
 
White Flint plan falls short for bikes

[Updated June 19th to reflect additional research] Montgomery County is in the process of redeveloping the White Flint area, a 430-acre planning division located a few miles south of Rockville.  Under the White Flint Sector Plan, the area will be transformed from a hodge-podge of strip malls, commercial buildings and parking lots into a walkable mixed use community centered around the White Flint Metro station.  The plan’s vision is in part: …transforming an auto-oriented suburban development pattern into an urban center of residences and businesses where people walk to work, shops and transit. Offices and plazas are full of workers during the day. At night and on weekends people attend the theater, visit galleries, and eat out… Rockville Pike will […]

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
Oct 112012
 

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen has asked the Maryland Department of Transportation to make changes to various state roads to better support bike sharing, which is coming to the county soon. Her letter is here.  She specifically requests bike lanes on Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring: [To support bikesharing] I encourage MDOT to implement wherever feasible these improvements endorsed by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association: Buffered bike lanes–where sufficient space exists, provide buffered space between the bicycle travel space and vehicular travel space (or the “door zone” of the vehicle); Non-buffered bike lanes—where space is available, provide a bike lane with a minimum width of five feet, in keeping with national engineering standards; Shared use markings […]

 Posted by at 11:19 am on Oct 11, 2012  Comments Off on Councilmember Floreen asks for bike lanes on state roads
Sep 012012
 
Trail Typology

Years ago, American planners decided to divide bikeways into three types: Class I: Off-road paths  (aka bike paths, shared use paths, or multi-use paths) Class II: On-road bike lanes Class III: Shared roadways This categorization implied that off-road paths were superior to bike lanes, and that bike lanes were superior to roads without bike lanes.  Maybe that was the thinking at the time.  But it’s well accepted now that shared use paths carry risks of their own and are not suitable for all cyclists at all times.    So in Montgomery County planners now use the terms “shared use path”, “bike lanes”, and “signed shared roadway” (SSR), respectively.   The terms Class I, II, and III aren’t inaccurate, just out of common […]