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
Feb 072014
 
Share the Budget with Bikes!

On January 15th, County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended 2015 Capital Budget and 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), aka the 2015-2020 Capital Budget.  It identifies capital project funding over the six year period starting with Fiscal year 2015 (which begins July 1, 2014).   The first two years of the budget, 2015 and 2016, are the ones to watch.  The other four years are “out-years” which represent intentions or best guesses but may change significantly.  The capital budget is re-crafted every two years.  It is amended during the other years or any other time as needed.  “Capital” projects essentially involve building, creating or designing things – as opposed to operating and maintaining things which is the purview of the Operating […]

 Posted by at 3:35 am on Feb 7, 2014  Comments Off on Share the Budget with Bikes!
Feb 282013
 

These two bills were rejected by the Maryland House Environmental Matters Committee, which means they’re effectively dead for this year: House Bill 445, which would have removed the “narrow highway” exception to Maryland’s three-foot safe passing statute enacted in 2010 (interpreted by some to mean that drivers don’t have to give three feet if it would mean crossing the centerline).  See the CycleMoco discussion of this bill here. House Bill 160, which would have legalized riding bikes on sidewalks in localities with no local laws on the subject. Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard counties and Baltimore city all have local laws. Some jurisdictions, including Gaithersburg, have local laws prohibiting sidewalk riding and this bill wouldn’t change that. Jim Titus provides details […]

 Posted by at 11:30 pm on Feb 28, 2013  Comments Off on Maryland bills changing three-foot law & sidewalk law defeated in House of Delegates
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 252012
 
Clear map of the Wisconsin Ave. "Green Mile" path

Here is an overview map of the planned “Green Mile” sidewalk/sidepath along Rt. 355 (Wisconsin Ave.) in Chevy Chase.  This isn’t a redesign since the most recent CycleMoco post, just a clearer map showing the different sections.  Click to enlarge. Here are the basics: Magenta on the map represent a 5′ – 5.5′ wide path with no buffer separating the path from the street (besides the curb). Yellow on the map represent an 8′ wide path with no buffer. Teal on the map represents a 5.5′ – 6′ wide path that’s elevated from street level, with a fence or wall between the path and the street. The exact cross-sections are shown in this schematic diagram.  A full description of the […]

 Posted by at 12:46 am on Sep 25, 2012  Comments Off on Clear map of the Wisconsin Ave. “Green Mile” path
Aug 282012
 
"Bikes May Use Full Lane" signs going up in Maryland

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is now installing “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” (BMUFL) signs around Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Maryland SHA’s written guidance for use of these signs is in this three page document.  That document leaves a lot of gaps, but SHA’s traffic and safety director supplied more depth in an interview with Jim Titus of WABA.  For more from Jim, see his post on Greater Greater Washington. SHA’s primary guidance states that BMUFL signs may be used on roads where the usable space for the cyclist in the right lane is 13 feet or narrower.  Usable means, for example, that gutters don’t count as part of the 13 feet (gutters are typically 12-16 inches wide).  […]

Jul 262012
 

Maryland just announced that the following Montgomery County projects will be funded under the state’s bikeways program for 2013: Clopper Road sidepath closing gaps in Germantown ($100,000) River Road sidepath west of Potomac. Grant funding contingent on ROW acquisition by Montgomery County ($100,000) Woodglen Drive bike lanes and sidepath in White Flint ($100,000) .  From Edson Lane to Nicholson Lane.  Sidepath will be a segment of the Bethesda Trolley Trail.  The southbound bike lane will be sharrows instead. The state also identified a Gaithersburg project as a grant recipient, described here by the Gaithersburg planning director: The Maryland Department of Transportation has approved $16,000 in reimbursable grant funding for the Assessment of the Gaithersburg Bicycle Loop along I-270, which will explore […]

 Posted by at 7:37 pm on Jul 26, 2012  Comments Off on Maryland announces bikeway grant winners
Jul 162012
 

From Courtland Milloy’s column in the Washington Post today: Well look who’s back: the Fenty brigade, led by true believers of former D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty. Among them are my nemeses — whom I have referred to before as myopic twitsbecause of their inability to see that dog parks, bike paths and cupcake parlors do not make a “world-class city.” So yet another pundit or politician has trivialized bike facilities (he probably means bike lanes) by lumping them in with the most frivolous-sounding improvements he could think of.  Such tripe is usually reserved for Republicans.  This is from a Heritage Foundation article: [States’] limited resources are diverted from urgent infrastructure projects to so-called enhancements, such as flower plantings, bicycle and […]

 Posted by at 10:30 am on Jul 16, 2012  Comments Off on Bike paths and cupcake parlors
Jun 292012
 

Dan Reid wrote this informative post in Greater Greater Washington about the ICC trail, with a special focus on the recently built Rt. 29 segment.  That mile-long segment, which runs along 29 from Fairland Road to Briggs Chaney Road, is a great trail though it has limited east-west value (notwithstanding it’s designation as part of the ICC trail) and will probably get no recreational use in any direction. Google Maps doesn’t show the trail on its trail overlay yet, but here’s the alignment.

 Posted by at 6:13 pm on Jun 29, 2012  Comments Off on Rt. 29 trail and other ICC trail tidbits
Jun 292012
 

On Friday, Congress will did vote on a “compromise” transportation reauthorization bill that would does drastically cut funds provided to local jurisdictions for bike and pedestrian projects.  I assume regret to say that the bill will did pass. According to America Bikes: Congress will vote on a new transportation bill that reverses years of progress on biking and walking policy and cuts by 60 to 70 percent funding for local safety projects such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes. There’s more from that synopsis here.  Here is their detailed analysis. Prior years’ transportation bills always included funding for “transportation enhancements”.  That’s funding provided by the federal government to the states who in turn are required to award it to local […]

 Posted by at 2:42 am on Jun 29, 2012  Comments Off on New federal transportation bill slashes biking and walking funds