Jun 132013
 
White Flint plan falls short for bikes

[Updated June 19th to reflect additional research] Montgomery County is in the process of redeveloping the White Flint area, a 430-acre planning division located a few miles south of Rockville.  Under the White Flint Sector Plan, the area will be transformed from a hodge-podge of strip malls, commercial buildings and parking lots into a walkable mixed use community centered around the White Flint Metro station.  The plan’s vision is in part: …transforming an auto-oriented suburban development pattern into an urban center of residences and businesses where people walk to work, shops and transit. Offices and plazas are full of workers during the day. At night and on weekends people attend the theater, visit galleries, and eat out… Rockville Pike will […]

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
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
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 012012
 
Trail Typology

Years ago, American planners decided to divide bikeways into three types: Class I: Off-road paths  (aka bike paths, shared use paths, or multi-use paths) Class II: On-road bike lanes Class III: Shared roadways This categorization implied that off-road paths were superior to bike lanes, and that bike lanes were superior to roads without bike lanes.  Maybe that was the thinking at the time.  But it’s well accepted now that shared use paths carry risks of their own and are not suitable for all cyclists at all times.    So in Montgomery County planners now use the terms “shared use path”, “bike lanes”, and “signed shared roadway” (SSR), respectively.   The terms Class I, II, and III aren’t inaccurate, just out of common […]