Unfortunately, I'm getting this out after PG County hosted a public hearing on the plan, but written comments are being accepted until the 14th.
Written comments may be submitted until November 14, 2012, to the Clerk of the County Council, County Administration Building, Room 2170, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772.
The Centrail Branch Avenue Corridor Revitalization Sector Plan looks at the economic, land use, and transportation relationships between the communities to the west of Joint Base Andrews and along the Branch Avenue corridor. The plan will examine opportunities for redevelopment, transportation improvements, and strategic public investments that can promote economic development and better connectivity within the plan area.
Since transportation improvements are one of the few areas called out, it's good to see that it does include quite a bit about bikes and cycling, including bike lanes, cycle-tracks, trails and bike parking. This all makes sense since one of the goals of the plan is to reduce reliance on cars - and enhancing and expanding the bicycle network is part of achieving that goal. T
The plan notes the area's current environment and how unwelcoming it is to cyclists.
The area’s bicycling infrastructure is equally lacking. At present there are no dedicated bikeways on major roads within the corridor, making it very difficult to navigate the area by bicycle. The area also lacks infrastructure, such as proper signage and bicycle parking facilities, which would make cycling safer and more enjoyable. Furthermore, connections are lacking between existing trails or bikeways and other transportation options, including the Branch Avenue Metro Station. As a result, the area, especially primary streets and commercial areas, has become highly auto-oriented. County policy promotes the importance of pedestrian streetscapes and bicycle-friendly communities. In order to achieve these goals, efforts should be made to implement sidewalk and bikeway connectivity, particularly to key destinations.
Despite this, they have already seen an increase in bike commuting as more Andrews employees have starting livinng in the plan area and biking to work.
The plan calls attention to existing plans to improve the trails network.
Within the sector plan, the Master Plan and Sectional Map Amendment for the Henson Creek-South Potomac Planning Area recommends trails along the Henson Creek and Tinkers Creek stream valleys. These trails will link to other trails or sidewalks and connect to key destination points. However, these trails are in different stages of development.
The plan calles for
- bike lanes and cycletracks on Command Lane, Camp Springs Avenue, Allentown Road, Beech Road, Mike Shapiro Drive, Clinton Street, Morris Avenue,Yochelson Place, St. Barnabas Road, Woodyard Road and all new roads
- sidepaths along Surratts Road, Allentown Road, Schultz Road, Woody Terrace, Stuart Lane, St. Barnabas Road, several new roads and connecting the proposed development on the west side of Branch Avenue, north of Woodyard Road, to the trail network to the south
- Hard surface trails
- on Woodyard Bridge and Camp Springs Bridge,
- at Southern Maryland Hospital,
- along Clinton Lewis Spring in Coventry Way
- from Allentown Road to just south of the Beltway, parallel to Branch Avenue
- Connecting the Pea Hill Branch to the larger proposed trail system just north of the Woodyard Road area.
- Connecting Suitland Road to the pedestrian network to the west that connects to the Branch Avenue Metro area.
All of which makes for an ambitious proposal.
Still, it's never too early to start thinking about bikesharing in the area. Even if that is just centered around the Metro station.