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This must happen!

Very ambitious. I see several problems. The stretch of Connecticut Ave. after the DC lines has unusually narrow lanes and very high peak period volumes. Any bike lane woudl take a multimodal travel lane, which I would estimate as unlikely. The stretch of Wisconsin to Bradley overlaps with the Green Mile segment. Unlikely both would happen.

This has all the marks of being a bit of public posturing.

It would be great to see this happen. Fortunately, politicians and people who run DOTs are not complete idiots. It is clear that Capital Bikeshare will work well if there are bike lanes and that the bike network in MoCo (like most places) is full of holes. I think this is an honest attempt to address an actual problem.

Further, outside of DC (and maybe Arlington), coming out in support of bike lanes remains an act of political courage.

I expect bike lanes on Connecticut will meet the same fate as the decade-long effort to put traffic signals in Chevy Chase Circle (which currently is a terrifying mess). Chevy Chase Village residents will block any changes to the status quo which might prompt outsiders to venture onto their streets.

http://www.gazette.net/article/20120724/NEWS/707249971/1070/washington-dc-seeks-to-signalize-chevy-chase-circle&template=gazette

She basically picked the highest traffic volume roads and roads that for the most part don't have any infrastructure coming from the DC side.

For instance, why would I ride down GA Ave from Rt 29 to the DC line? I could cut down RCP or Sligo and pop out in Takhoma Park. I just don't see the purpose. If I were riding that way, for some reason, I would definitely rather go down Fenton or Eastern Ave.

Or her 193 point, I would rather take Arcola and then cut over to the NBT than ride along 193.

I read her list and wonder if she cycles much. You can put a sharrows on these roads, but aside from a brave few of you, I don't see a lot of use and I do see a lot of traffic antagonization. Easier is to provide the infrastructure on the feeder roads and restrict traffic on them.

For instance, why don't we connect the Northwest Branch Trail to the ICC trail? Imagine what that opens up. Maybe they need a cycling committee who knows the region.

@Matt, oh the residents of CCV would support anything that hinders traffic.

Eventually, the County is going to have to do something about cycling on Rockville Pike. You could trade in most of that list for bike lanes on da Pike and do a whole lot more good, Councilwoman Floreen.

The section of 193 between Colesville and Arcola makes a lot of sense to target, I think, since there are relatively few places to cross the Northwest Branch.

@T, the NW Branch Trail is not paved north of the Beltway, and the section just south/east of 29 is way to rocky and steep to even ride on at all. I don't see you you can consider that trail as a cycling connection?

@ T the issue is Sligo Creek or Rock Creek add miles and a ton of hills to the route...when I do it I go straight down GA from Randolph to the DC line and then split off onto 14th.....Inside DC its not bad, but the MoCo section sucks nuts.
If I go down Arcola to Sligo to Maple to the MBT it adds about 5 miles and 2 large hills/drops to an already 13 mile run.

Man, you ride one rough stretch of Georgia Avenue there.

Yeah its no picnic, I usually go in a little later (like 10-1030ish) so its not quite so bad, but Ive given up hope that the county will build the Amherst bike path/sharrows they have on the master plan that would allow me to at least avoid the Randolph-Beltway stretch which is the worst part of it

Where's your downtown end? I used to live a block off Georgia, and I checked out at least a half dozen distinct routes downtown.

Thanks, Purple Eagle: I was having trouble visualizing that part of the trail. Having been on it on both sides of 29, it's a great hiking trail. The north side is smooth and flood plain, the south side is boulders and climbing. Great for taking kids on a short day-hike. Maybe it depends on the age of the kids. I don't think cycles are even permitted on either side of 29 on that trail.

I can understand wanting something to cut across that creek, though. The sidewalk on the north-bound side of 29 was pitched for the cyclers who commuted north to White Oak. The county and the State wouldn't do anything to the south-bound side as there wasn't enough clearance of existing shoulder or room to widen beyond the shoulder. Too bad: the downhill side doesn't really need the sidewalk (for cyclists, anyway. Before the roadwork, there was nothing for the pedestrians). In any event, I didn't care for cycling SB 29 even in the slower morning rush because it was a behemoth hill and I didn't care for getting that much auto traffic backedup behind me. The drivers'd get unruly.

The advantage of a lane on 355 north of Manakee is that the stretch by MC gets real fast. 50, I'd guess. The sidewalk on the NB side is OK if you don't mind cycling in gravel and glass. Its advantage is there are no cross streets until you get to College Plaza. Up til last month, the sidewalk ramps were very steep (jarring!). The modified sidewalks are zig-zags. Not much better. SB sidewalks from Gude to MC are not wide enough to pass a ped. Some of them into Rockville aren't either and have steep ramps, to boot.

My opinion of most of the suggestions are not that she is a cyclist. Rather, she is a driver who is interested in getting bikes off the auto's road. I'm not too impressed by many of the choices. I mean, Nicholson to Old Georgetown? That's silly. There's little hill to that stretch and it's really short. You're still caught by the lights. In true driver fashion, I've even been yelled at by a MC police there as he drove. Not even sure what he said since he took off so fast. Something about riding in the gutter, I think. That said, DC line to E/W isn't bad when that road gets congested in the evening. beats filtering, really.

Why those that make decisions don't find a way to put in cycle lanes on *uphill* sections, I don't know. The down-hills take care of themselves. Cycles only typically impede when cranking up a hill, anyway.

I can't find the original request so perhaps some context is missing. If the request is as glib as the Examiner article, then I halfway expect SHA's response will be to post R4-11 signs.

The MoCo master plan has bike lanes for a few of these roads. Given that the council approved that plan, she is on strong ground asking for bike lanes there--but pretty weak ground asking SHA to disregard the plan for other roads.

Of course the plan contemplated bike lanes being put in as part as a capital upgrade to the roads, rather than resurfacing. SHA guidelines require 6-foot (plus gutter) bike lanes on most of these roads, so a bike lane can not be created through a simple narrowing of the travel lanes.

Thus, this request can only be fulfilled by converting a general travel lane to a bike lane (or perhaps a bike/bus lane). So I doubt that the request is from the perspective of a driver trying to get bikes out of the way.

My hunch, is that this letter is mainly trying to float a long-term goal out there, possibly as precursor to changing the master plan to include bike lanes on all of these roads, and as a way of getting SHA to be receptive for a few stretches where a bike lane might work be possible operating withing District 3's frame of reference.

District 3 will not reduce general travel lanes as part of a resurfacing project. Never. Don't even ask. But they will on occasion convert shoulders and right turn lanes to bike lanes, even if this requires a slight narrowing of a general travel lane.

If I lived out that way, I would take my measuring wheel and find those places where the right lane including shoulder but excluding gutter already has 14 feet, so that a minimally acceptable bike lane could be created through a configuration of 10-11-11-4-gutter.

@ Crikey-

I work all over downtown so depending on where I need to be that day its generally one of these

GA-Grubb-CCT-Georgetown for stuff in the West End

GA-14th for stuff in the central core

GA-Blair-MBT for stuff on the hill

Grubb-CCT?

I can see Forest Glen-Seminary-Beach Drive-CCT

I gave it some more thought, and although my cynical expectation is that the council wanted to get the cyclers off the auto's road, there may be more to it. It would not be the first time that someone has suggested a course of action on the hope that it might get passed or, even, slippery-slope-give-an-inch-take-a-mile ("we already have lanes *here* and *there*; we should connect them"). Also, given that it is timed around a schedule of repaving, this would be a cheaper time to schedule new lanes or changes in divisions (it's only a little more paint). Our good councilor may simply be naive about the planning required. (Why not? I am!)

Jim T,
I don't know what to think of SHA's 6-foot minimum. I don't think they keep very close to that rule. Is it only a "wish"? They must have included the lines for New Hampshire at White Oak. Downtown Rockville on East Middle lane is doing good at four feet--with the lines included.

Think a little,
Grubb doesn't connect directly to Georgia - at least not that I've ever seen. But whether you mean Georgia to East-West to Grubb or you come across Penwick creek just across the DC line and back across East-West -- I thought you said you didn't like hills!? Those are some mean hills!

Brookville, maybe?

Sorry I was being lazy
GA-Seminary-Brookville, cut down by El Noreno to the gravel CCT

Forest Glen to Beach to CCT is a 250' drop down Forsythe to climb right back up to meet the CCT at Jones Mill/Jones Bridge...Ill do it for exercize but not for work :-)

@just another rider:


When were these two bike lanes put in. Also, can you say a bit more about number of lanes, volume, speed limit? (By the way, they are supposed to measure to the middle of the stripe, but line painters habitually make 1'10" and 2'10" shoulders.

SHA's interim guideline came out about a year ago. It came up with the new MD-212 Contee Road/Virginia Manor Road interchange with the ICC near Konterra. PG-DPWT is building it and planning for a 4-ft lane, and a letter from SHA said it needs to be 6 feet.

Since the engineering was evidently started before the new standard, WABA suggested a compromise of 5 feet + gutter and lowering the speed limit to 35 mph. In my view, even the 2006 SHA bikeways design manual required 5 feet so DPW&T was on notice. Issuing a standard after the engineering is done.

The 2006 guidelines appear to be a minimum of 4 feet, but it goes up to 5 feet if traffic volume >20,000, or there are alot of buses and trucks, or speed limit is 40 mph or greater. The 2011 interime guidelines seem to simplify that, not in a good way, so that only the % of trucks and buses increase the bike lane width. I am hoping that the revised bikeway guidelines manual will fix that.

@Jim T:
I too wonder whether SHA will stick to a 6' minimum bike lane width. Historically they've put in bike lanes (or shoulders clearly intended for bikes) narrower than whatever their old standard was, then just not marked them. Sometimes it's due to painting error as well.

I toured upper MoCo with the SHA striping engineer a couple years ago and we talked extensively about narrowing travel lanes to create more outside lane or shoulder space to help bikes, even if the bike space wouldn't be 6' wide. He was supportive of the idea. I think with pressure from the MoCo County Council SHA might be more flexible on this. It's a double-edged sword of course. We want SHA to insist on adequate width, then give in only when it's completely impossible to get that much width.

Having ridden with Nancy Floreen to look at Bethesda bike infrastructure (on a DOT-sponsored bike tour), I think she is genuinely concerned that bike share will flop without more infrastructure such as bike lanes and paths, and wants these facilities to help cyclists. It's based on how she rides. She has ridden a lot of miles on organized bike tours, not for transportation though. I don't think she's doing it to get bikes "out of the way of cars", at least not consciously.

Some things on this list may be wildly improbable, like bike lanes on Connecticut Ave, but it looks like she's moving the right direction.

I wrote a post on CycleMoco providing Floreen's letter to the state and more detail:
http://cyclemoco.com/2012/10/councilmember-floreen-asks-for-bike-lanes-on-state-roads/
She highlights a particular request, namely bike lanes on Georgia Avenue from Spring Street to 13th Street and on the east side of Colesville Road from East-West Highway north to Georgia Avenue.

@Purple, that's sort of my point. I would prefer they fix those trails than put in a lane that maybe a handful of us will use. I'm impressed by those riding some of these big arterial roads in rush hour, but at the same time, I watched a pedestrian get hit at the crosswalk with the right of way about a block from where she wants one of these markings to end.

The hills and distance excuse seems a little vague to me. Yes, I would chose to take Eastern Avenue from the circle@16th St MD/DC border up to Georgia rather than E-W Hwy. Yes I would chose to take Sligo Creek Parkway to hit points near 29N rather than GA out to 29. I just don't see the rationale.

Jim T,
Sorry I have not gotten the information you asked about with regard to the cycle lanes either on New Hampshire @White Oak or those on East Middle in Rockville. I would guess both were done about the same time -- around 2006.
I didn't cycle around Rockville when those were put in, but they were done about the time the city built up the lot that was the municipal parking and is now parking garage and restaurant area. Maybe I'll get a chance to stop in this weekend and try to measure. I do not use that route often (once, I think) but I do recall that the bicycle stick figure to indicate it is a bike lane overlaps the paint on the left and the cement gutter on the right.
I think the New Hampshire lanes were put in early 2007. I seem to recall going through there and being surprised by them and a bit suspicious of how much they'd do for me.
I still haven't found references to them in the local media, but that might be my fundamental inability to use internet search engines.

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