Oct 112011

The 1994 county master plan for Clarksburg  called for many bikeways in rapidly growing Clarksburg.  Check out the plan map .  But almost all of the bike routes called for by the plan for east of Rt. 355 in Clarksburg were shared use paths next to roads.  None of the roads, including brand new roads, were to have wide lanes or bike lanes.  That makes Clarksburg pretty unaccommodating to cyclists wanting to go more than 10 mph, avoid collisions with turning cars, or avoid dogs and small children (or children and small dogs?) for their sake if not for yours.   I guess planners had different views then.  There were comments like this:

Emphasize bike paths which are separated from streets and roads:  The recommended rights-of-way for arterial roads and highways in Clarksburg are intended to be wide enough to allow space for separate bike lanes.

Wow, they confused the term “bike path” with “bike lane”.  They actually mean bike path (the correct term is “shared use path”).

At least they’re consistent.  Having only shared use paths means bicyclists who prefer paths never have to ride in the road.  It serves one set of bicyclists very well, albeit with lots of hidden dangers.  But it leaves lots of other cyclists (those who don’t like to take the lane, anyway) in the cold.  MoBike has tried to steer the county towards safe bikeable roads as well as paths.

Jack Cochrane

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