Montgomery County is hosting a public meeting about proposed separated bike lanes on Spring and Cedar Streets in Silver Spring tomorrow night (7-9pm, Silver Spring Civic Center, Ellsworth Room, 1 Veterans Place).
The facility will connect the future Capital Crescent Trail to the future Silver Spring Green Trail along Wayne Avenue. BethesdaMagazine adds
Matt Johnson, the project manager, said county transportation planners will be looking for feedback on the proposal at the Feb. 2 meeting. He said MCDOT expects a cost estimate soon.
It would be the second separated bike lane project in Montgomery County, following a two-way separated bike lane that was installed in late 2014 on Woodglen Drive in White Flint.
The lanes on Spring and Cedar streets would include a buffer, possibly flex posts, between the bike lane and vehicle traffic.
Silver Spring is going to turn into a real bicycle crossroads if all the plans are brought to fruition. When completed, the CCT will connect to the Sarbanes Center as will the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the Silver Spring Green Trail. In the future the SSGT will be extended to the Sligo Creek Parkway and thus the Anacostia Tributary Trails. This separated bike lane would then serve as a northern alternative to the SSGT and would make a nice little downtown loop.
What's really needed after that is a direct east west connection between Sligo Creek and the WB&A Trail via College Park and Greenbelt. Then we'll have a real bicycle network north of DC.
Toole Design assessed the trail plans for the trails along the Purple Line back in 2013. For the SSGT, they recommended that the path be 10 feet wide where public ROW is available or small amounts of private ROW can be acquired.
Locations where current plans suggest that a 10-foot width is possible within public ROW include the following:
• Between Springvale Road and Cloverfield Road
• Between Cloverfield Road and Greenbrier Drive.
• Between Silver Spring International Middle School (station 653+15) and station 656+62, to the east.
Additionally, consideration should be given to a design cross section that would include a 3.5 foot buffer with a split rail wood fence (or other style wood fence) and a 9.5-11.5 foot wide asphalt path (varying based upon availability of public ROW). Because the path is on a significant slope, crosses a number of driveways and is adjacent to an arterial roadway, somewhat unique safety issues are present. It will be easy for a bicyclist to travel at a relatively high speed in the east bound direction (downhill); 15-25 mph. The five foot buffer may not provide adequate recovery space for an errant cyclist, especially a child or youth cyclist, causing them to cross the buffer, drop off the curb and enter the roadway against opposing traffic.
And they make a good point about the Sligo Creek Trail
TDG concurs with the concerns raised by Planning Staff. Additionally, TDG is aware that the Sligo Creek Trail was designed many years ago. In its current condition in this area, it is substandard in width, and it appears that the Purple Line project is not bringing the parts of the trail impacted by the project up to current standards. It is a best practice to have every capital transportation project improve the other transportation facilities in its area of impact. The Sligo Creek trail is expected to be a major feeder of bicycle and pedestrian traffic to the Purple Line, thus the Purple Line will result in increased trail traffic which the project should accommodate. Moreover, improving a portion of the Sligo Trail will encourage its use for Purple Line access and help ensure that Purple Line ridership projections are met.