Earlier this month, the Montgomery County Planning Board approved the draft version of the county's 370-page long Bicycle Master Plan and they set the date for a public hearing on the plan for January 25th (a week later then planning department recommended).
The plan aims to make Montgomery County a world-class bicycling community. It sets the stage for a cultural shift, encouraging people of all ages and bicycling abilities to meet their daily needs by bicycle – in a safe, comfortable and accessible manner throughout the county.
View the Bicycle Master Plan Public Hearing Draft.
The community is invited to sign up to testify about the Bicycle Master Plan at the public hearing. Sign up to testify online https://montgomeryplanningboard.org/meetings/signup-to-testify/sign-testify-form/ beginning on January 15.
The public is also invited to submit comments about the Bicycle Master Plan via email to email@example.com. These comments will become part of the public testimony and public record for the Plan.
Learn more about the plan’s Proposed Bicycle Network map.
Without combing through it too much it seems to be an excellent bike plan with a lot in it, but that is rarely the issue. The issue is usually mustering the money, political will and dedication to make the plan a reality. So, we'll see.
Montgomery County is enormous and I'm certainly not familiar with enough of it to say whether or not he map is complete - but it appears to be appropriately ambitious. [It doesn't fix a major problem with the county - which is that the line dividing it from PG County is in the wrong place (New Hampshire Ave to the Beltway to I-95 would make more sense)]] There are some lengthy new trails in the west of the county, a bike crossing on the American Legion Bridge, a widened Bethesda Trolley Trail and over 500 miles of planned bike facilities. But looking at how it connects to DC, I'm a little disappointed with the number of connections on the west side of DC. There's not, for example, a trail along the old Cabin John Trolley (though there are 3 parallel facilities, so that's not such a missed opportunity). Nor are there connections to the Pinehurst or Beech parkways, which I think would make natural, future connections to DC, especially if a trail were continued along Fenwick Branch. I assume that where the plan connects to DC they conversed with DDOT and were left off for good reason, so my disappointment might be founded on my ignorance.
You can watch the December 7th presentation on the bike plan at this link (I think).
If you bike in Montgomery County, review the plan and map and get any comments in before it's too late. Let's make sure they make the best bike plan possible.
Bethesda Magazine, as per usual, has great coverage of this.
The 370-page document is an overhaul of several past plans. It is written to improve safety and increase the number of cyclists by making more people feel comfortable traveling by bike. The plan will arm county leaders with tools for getting the most out of the money they spend on bike improvements, county planning board Chairman Casey Anderson said.
“We have a limited amount of resources. We can’t do all the most expensive fixes, but we probably should do a few expensive ones that are really important and valuable,” he said.
The draft will come before the planning board for a public hearing on Jan. 25, after which board members will hold work sessions to refine the proposal.