May 282012
Strathmore improvements needed

Various gaps need to be filled in on the bike route along Rt. 355 between Tuckerman Lane and Strathmore Ave, and on Strathmore Ave (MD 547) between Rt. 355 and Kenilworth Ave.  The gaps consist of either unsuitable sidewalk or marginal shoulder.  Here I discuss the gaps and how to fix them.  The route serves Metro and is part of a much longer bike route, a 12-mile signed route from Potomac to White Oak.  Most of that longer route is on-road, but some consists of off-road paths. Skip to the bottom of this post for a summary of what must be fixed. For the first 200 feet north of the Rt. 355/Tuckerman Lane intersection (i.e. Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro), the route is just a […]

 Posted by at 7:01 pm on May 28, 2012  Comments Off on Strathmore improvements needed
Apr 262012
Dealing with curb bumpouts

Curb extensions or “bumpouts” are a common method of calming traffic and shortening the street crossing distance for pedestrians.  The idea is that narrowing the roadway slows traffic by reducing the maximum safe speed as perceived by drivers.  Center islands serve a similar purpose. Unfortunately bumpouts often obstruct the space to the right of the travel lanes that’s used by bicyclists.  It forces cyclists to wait for traffic before passing the obstruction.  Even worse, drivers may misjudge the distance or the width and try to beat a cyclist to the bumpout when it’s not safe to do so.  This seems especially likely when the shoulder narrows gradually instead of suddenly.  I was almost run off the road on Arcola Avenue […]

Mar 122012

Local bike advocate Steve Friedman wrote the following piece for this blog about aggressive driving on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda and his recent experience with the Montgomery County Police Department.  Steve is a member of the Montgomery County Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, which meets monthly and reports to the County Executive.  In fact he’s the designated bike representative on the committee. From Steve: As a regular bike commuter, I have spent time seeking out the safest yet fastest route to use on my daily ride between my home in Chevy Chase and my office on Executive Blvd.  My usual route is to take Bradley to Seven Locks Rd to Tuckerman Lane and cut through a neighborhood street […]

 Posted by at 4:16 pm on Mar 12, 2012  Comments Off on Bradley Blvd hazards, aggression and police enforcement
Nov 172011
Bradley Boulevard Maintenance Issues

Bradley Boulevard (MD 191) is used by many cyclists riding into downtown Bethesda from the west.  East of Seven Locks Road it has semi-decent shoulders for the most part, even if they sometimes dwindle to almost nothing.  Unfortunately the shoulders can be plagued with maintenance problems.  I sent the following list of needed fixes to the State Highway Administration to address.  (Thanks Steve Friedman for the photos!) WESTBOUND There is a stretch of gravel or other loose material  in the shoulder just west of Burning Tree Rd heading westbound. I think it’s been there quite awhile. There is vegetation blocking the shoulder between Burdette Rd and Oak Forest Lane, heading westbound EASTBOUND (SOUTHBOUND) There is a bad patch job near […]