« Monday Morning Commute - DMV | Main | If you oppose sidewalk cycling, you should support safer streets for cyclists »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I'm astonished that they have room for this--my impression of that stretch is that in a number of places the road itself barely fits between the slopes of the valley on the Western side and the creek bed on the Eastern.

This is one of the main entry points from the north into RCP. It's high time that the recreational use of the Park be restored.

I am very glad someone is considering making cycle lanes as "climbing lanes." It seems to make a lot of sense to me separating out where the speed of travel will be very different, such as hill-climbing. I would be a bit concerned about the width. Slow travel under load always leads to wobbling for me. I imagine others might, too. With that, four foot wide cycle lanes seem small. Since the most extravagant option (so the most expensive) is a climbing lane for slower cycle traffic, I'd guess this is a place where accepting it for now is the wisest, most expedient choice. It'd keep drivers from doing dumb things in frustration.

My only suggestion would be to keep the walk lane on the same side as the uphill climbing lane. That allows the cyclist to exit the roadway for the walkway as cleanly as possible. A road engineer may tell me that's not going to work because the walking traffic should not cross the road lanes or some such.

Is (uphill) auto traffic there frequent?

It is a commuter thoroughfare. Volumes are not huge, but a cyclist going uphill at rush hour could expect anywhere from 20-50 cars to pass them on that stretch. The map fails to capture the twisty character of this stretch of road. This leads to cars stacking behind, then roaring around you the instant a bit of straight road appears.

@Crickey: all extension of the right-of-way would be on the western slope side; that is also the non-Park Service side: so the cost or mechanism to extend the right of way (especially I would think with a few embassy owned property involved) could be quite problematic. In any case, yes they would grade out from the slope.

I am also in total agreement that these changes are totally worth it because for those north and west the only way to get into RCP is to drive - even for those like me who live merely blocks away if I would like to walk.

The rode is indeed very twisty with many a blind spot: the graphic included is only showing a section of three different area implementations within the alternative. At the meeting they also had very detailed and enlarged maps (several pages at large scale for the 1.7 miles) with overlays for each alternative (but not contours).

Improvements to this stretch of road for pedestrians and cyclists would make a huge difference.

Over the last two years the bridge at the southern end was closed for months and it was amazing how many people took the opportunity to walk or ride in the street with no cars. Building better access for pedestrians and cyclists will lead to a lot more peds and cyclists.

I commute all year by bike along Ridge Road instead of Broad Branch, which would cut several minutes off my commute, because its not safe. The road needs improvement.

As a cyclist, who could get to work faster on an improved road, I think the most needed improvements are for pedestrians. There should be a trail/sidewalk of some sort along the entire length of the road. today its bad for cyclists, but its even worse for pedestrians.

Expanding the road with a north bound bicycle lane would be a great improvement and I'm sure I would be headed home in the new lane, but why not instead expand the trail so bikes could share it with pedestrians, like they do in other parts of Rock Creek Park?

Having regularly ridden on Broad Branch for the last 25 years, I don't think it can be characterized as unsafe, certainly not relative to the degree to which many streets are. The narrowness is what makes it safer, in that cars just can't pass. A person walking or cycling, thereby has more control over the situation than no many roads.

It's definitely aggravating to ride on with the current amount of traffic, and the beauty is horribly compromised by drivers following too closely (in both directions I might add), but it's hardly unsafe to have cars traveling more slowly. It's also quite alarming that widening the paved surface is being offered as a solution, when the road is nearly in the creek bed as it is, with unavoidable water run-off problems due to it's location.

In addition, adding a bike lane and making it intermittent is just going to exacerbate the problem of speeding, aggressive drivers by 'uncorking' the roadway so they have more opportunities to race ahead. Then it will truly become unsafe to the level many of the larger, wider roads are now.

The solution is too limit the drivers who use it as a cut-through, often going/coming from clear down the length of Rock Creek Park and to/from Maryland. It's indefensible that such use can be tolerated, let alone enabled. Broad Branch is one of the most beautiful sections of the park and deserves to be protected as a park access road and residential road alone. Lowering the speed limit to what is now in many newer residential areas, 15mph, and adding some large signs alerting drives to be aware of people walking on the road would be a good initial solution.

The idea of reducing traffic in the Park during rush hour is clearly the best solution, and just as clearly a political loser for anyone who proposes it.

I don't find this route especially intimidating, but I think most riders would. Drivers can't pass? More like they shouldn't pass, but they do.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader