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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Sep 222013
 

The Montgomery County Parks Department is seeking public comments on  its new Rock Creek Trail Signage Plan and Trail Signage Design Manual.  Comments must be submitted to the Parks Dept. by September 30th.  The Rock Creek Trail Signage Plan identifies a comprehensive set of signs to be posted along the Rock Creek Trail.  The accompanying Trail Signage Design Manual will be used as a standard for future hard surface trail signage projects.   To submit comments or ask questions, contact Lucas Bonney, Project Manager, at Lucas.Bonney@MontgomeryParks.org or 301-495-2572. According to the Parks Department, the effort is 50% complete, and… Community comments on the proposed signage types are being solicited during the month of September 2013 in anticipation of briefing the Montgomery County Planning Board on the status of the project […]

 Posted by at 4:43 pm on Sep 22, 2013  Comments Off on Trail sign plan (Rock Creek, etc.) comments requested by Sept. 30
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
Feb 082013
 
Bethesda route to be signed

Montgomery County DOT has finished mapping out where bike route signs will go on its upper Bethesda route.  Much of the work was just identifying the route.  The county is officially calling it the “Montgomery Mall to Downtown Bethesda route”.  They’ve already completed the design task for two other signed routes, running along the Georgia Ave. corridor and Rt. 29 corridor respectively, and signs are expected to go up this summer. These routes will likely get route numbers if the county adopts a bike route numbering system. Below is the list of turns, or see the map. Start at Bethesda Avenue/ Woodmont Avenue intersection (a block west of the Capital Crescent Trail) Head west on Bethesda Ave R on Clarendon […]

Nov 032012
 
Bike route signs: a matter of format

Montgomery County is preparing to post bike route signs along some long new bike routes like this one parallel to Georgia Avenue.  The county’s Bicycle Action Group (MCBAG) is weighing in on the routes, sign placement and sign format.  The routes will typically be 5 to 8 miles long. Please look at the wayfinding sign formats here on NACTO’s excellent website.   It shows what other jurisdictions have done. Based on signs the county has already installed, we (MCBAG) are recommending the following basic format where each sign has up to three panels per post. Top Panel: Just a bike symbol and the words “BIKE ROUTE” Middle Panel: Big arrow(s) pointing along the main route.  This panel is omitted if […]

Oct 212012
 
What is the best Georgia Avenue corridor bike route?

What is the best way to bike in the Georgia Avenue corridor from the Matthew Henson Trail crossing to Forest Glen Road?  As with the proposed Rt. 29 corridor route, Montgomery County DOT is planning to post bike route signs along the best Georgia Avenue corridor route and is asking the cycling community for input.  The goal is to sign a network of routes criss-crossing the county.  The only route they’ve signed so far runs from Potomac to Colesville via Tuckerman Lane and Plyers Mill Road among other streets.  Cyclists following the routes are expected to be comfortable riding on secondary streets or roads with shoulders or wide lanes. The county proposes two Georgia Avenue corridor routes, one connecting to […]

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