Mar 222016
 
Bikes in the 2017-2022 Capital Budget

Wow, it’s been more than ten years since I started poring over bike budgets.  I still remember analyzing the 2005-2010 budget.   That’s so long ago that some of the projects in that budget are actually complete! (but many aren’t).  It’s so long ago that two-way cycle tracks were still called bike paths. Seriously, the County Executive’s recommended 2017-2022 Capital Budget (technically the “FY17 Recommended Capital Budget and FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program”) is a solid improvement over budgets from ten years years ago.  Support for bicycling has never been stronger in the county, thanks to growth in ridership and attitudinal shifts in county government.  But the county still has a long way to go. The capital budget covers six years but […]

 Posted by at 3:14 pm on Mar 22, 2016  Comments Off on Bikes in the 2017-2022 Capital Budget
Apr 222015
 
Fishers Lane trail update

According to Monte Fisher’s website, the Fishers Lane trail in the Twinbrook area is moving forward.  This came from M-NCPPC in March 2015: JBG received bids from contractors on this project. Parks staff met with JBG representatives and went over the bids together two weeks ago. We agreed on the implementation strategy and JBG is working with the low bidder to clarify certain bid items. Hopefully they can finalize the contract soon. In the meantime, JBG and the Commission need to enter into an agreement to build the trail. We hope the construction can start this summer to take full advantage of the prime grading/construction season. The developer JBG has been supportive and proactive on this project.  While the company […]

 Posted by at 11:03 pm on Apr 22, 2015  Comments Off on Fishers Lane trail update
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 […]

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 […]

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 272014
 
Fishers Lane Trail Arrangement Approved

Good news…  An arrangement to fund and build the Fishers Lane Trail, which will connect Fishers Lane to the Rock Creek Trail near Rockville, has been approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board. Fishers Lane (the road) in turn connects to Twinbrook Metro and is relatively bikeable (in the roadway).  While ultimate construction of the trail depends on funding that has not been allocated, the major issues that jeopardized the trail appear to have been largely resolved.  The superb web page created by Monte Fisher (no relation) covers the trail project and its recent history. The main issues facing the trail were: The originally intended alignment became impossible due to a new plan to put Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on […]

 Posted by at 9:09 am on Jan 27, 2014  Comments Off on Fishers Lane Trail Arrangement Approved
Jan 152014
 
Pepco responds on power line trail issue

Trail advocates have recently been pushing the county to study the idea of building hiker-biker trails in the rights-of-way of major Pepco power lines.  These strips of land can be ideal sites for trails because they are generally free of development and forest cover, consist of many miles of continuous straight segments, and cut directly from community to community to create excellent connections. Montgomery County’s Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee  (PBTSAC) has commissioned a working group of public officials and stakeholders to explore the issue.  The PBTSAC may then make a recommendation to the County Executive and/or County Council.  The working group met with Pepco and presented its findings to the PBTSAC last week. To sum it up, […]

 Posted by at 9:04 am on Jan 15, 2014  Comments Off on Pepco responds on power line trail issue
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
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 […]

Apr 222013
 

There’s a great line about bike trails in the Washington Post article this weekend about high demand for close-in homes of elderly homeowners… …The prospective buyers weren’t interested in the ­three-bedroom, 1,092-square-foot ­house, which Cloud and her husband purchased for $5,000 in the 1940s. They wanted her lot, which sits next to a bike trail on a street within walking distance of the Metro and great public schools. Who knew!  Trails that NIMBYs fight against are actually good for property values.  When advocates were pushing for the Matthew Henson Trail in Aspen Hill, I collected real estate listings in Bethesda touting proximity to the Capital Crescent Trail, and there were many.

 Posted by at 10:34 am on Apr 22, 2013  Comments Off on Bike trails, higher sales