The working draft of the Lyttonsville Sector Plan was presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board last Thursday, and if carried out it would make getting around the area by bike much safer and more pleasant.
Part of the area in the sector plan, the portion west of 16th Street and east of Rosemary Hills Drive and the Spring Center shopping center on 16th Street is currently a Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority area (BPPA). But the plan calls for the BPPA to be expanded to include the entire Sector Plan area to support the future Purple Line stations and anticipated increase in pedestrian activity within the area.
The area is bisected by the future Capital Crescent Trail and much of the bicycle/pedestrian planning is oriented to better utilizing it, while supporting the improvements identified in the 2010 Purple Line Plan. In addition, the plan calls for improving the one part of the trail from the 2010 plan that is below AASHTO's minimum standards. That is the section between Michigan Avenue and Lanier Drive, where the trail will have a functional width of only 6 feet. The plan notes that the county should evaluate options for widening the trail at this location, including converting Michigan Avenue and Talbot Avenue to a one-way street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Lanier Drive.
The plan calls for several protected bikeways/road diets.
Spring Street would be extended from 16th Street to East-West Highway as a one-way street, with protected bike lanes on each side, allowing cyclists to travel in both directions.
16th Street would undergo a road diet from East-West Highway to 2nd Street, from 6 lanes to 4, with the extra space going to wider sidewalks, green buffers and an 8-foot wide bi-directional protected bikeway.
A two-way, protected bikeway on Lyttonsville Place between Brookeville Road and Lyttonsville Road is called for because it will likely serve as a key connection between the trail and the Purple Line station. One lane of traffic will be removed to make this possible.
Lyttonsvilel Road from East-West Highway to Lyttonsville Place will be have it's lanes narrowed to create room for buffered bike lanes, though for some interim period it will just have bike lanes.
Meanwhile Stewart Avenue, which is currently the eastern terminus of the off-road portion of the Georgetown Branch Trail will be broken into two and rebuilt so that it no longer includes an at-grade crossing of the future trail and purple line.
On Brookeville Road north of Lyttonsville Pl., the plan calls for a shared roadway due to the unavailability of space, but notes that "future study of this area should evaluate the potential for new separated bicycle facilities."
Not shown on the map above is a shaded hard surface park trail within a new Urban Greenway Park along the western edge of what is currently Summit Hill (when that is redeveloped). It would connect to a planned natural surface trail on parkland south of East-West Highway. The linear park would also feature a daylighted Fenwick Branch stream.
In addition to bikeways, the plan recommends looking at protected intersections, expanding bike parking, and installing Capital Bikeshare stations.
The inclusion of so many high-quality bike facilities, when coupled with similar facilities in recent plans for White Flint and Westbard, points toward a very positive trend in Montgomery County planning.