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Maybe get some of the large bike companies and local bike stores together and create an investment partnership? That would be great PR for them, along with the potential for significant profits from the deal. They could even turn around and resell the site and development rights to someone else, since they aren't in the business of real estate development.

Probably won't happen, but it would be cool if it did.

I keep coming back to questioning the assumption that the GBT/CCT will not be improved until the Purple Line is built. There are two problems with this thinking.
1. Cyclists often get sc*wed in the end, when there is no money to do the job properly. For example, will they really build a wide enough path, or will they expect us to do with something narrow to be shared with peds. Wasnt there a plan to have a bike path near the ICC: where did that go?

2. The working assumption was that MoCo would not invest in bike infrastructure alone because there was insufficient demand, and we therefore needed to piggy back on another improvement. With the growth of cycling in the region, perhaps we should revisit that. After all, they are expanding Cabi, putting in bike lanes, etc. We can push for improvements on the GBT/CCT irrespective of the Purple Line.

If it were just the bike tunnel, there's no reason for the building to come down. It could just as easily be run under the existing building.

Why isn't eminent domain offered as a feasible solution?

SJE, there was a plan to put a trail along the ICC and that ended up getting reduced. So only part of the trail is there. But that can't happen here because of railbanking laws.

But we might not get what we're being promised. That's always a risk.

We can push for improvements on the CCT/GBT without the Purple Line. But a connection to Silver Spring would be decades away - if ever.

Cephas, but there won't be just a bike tunnel. That's the point.


I agree with Washcycle that there is always a risk of not getting what we were promised, although that risk is much smaller for the CCT than it was for the ICC trail. The ICC trail never had a strong support lobby, but the CCT surely does.

You are missing two key reasons why there will not be significant GBT/CCT upgrades before the Purple Line:
1) The county will not spend millions on a trail upgrade that must be ripped out for Purple Line construction that could begin as soon as 2015. Killing the Purple Line will not solve that problem, since transportation planners would then begin reconsidering other transit modes in this transportation corridor such as BRT. This is just simply too good a corridor for transit to be dedicated to exclusive trail use.
2) Extending the CCT into downtown Silver Spring requires the cooperation of CSX in granting r-o-w. CSX has a strong corporate policy to not allow trails in its r-o-w, and the state is asking for an exception as part of the Purple Line project. Take the state and the Purple Line out of the picture, and the chances of getting CSX to make an exception for the trail diminish to near zero.

The prospect of a pedestrian/cyclist bridge over Colesville and Connecticut without the Purple Line has to be regarded as incredibly unlikely.

Wayne: Your answers assume premises that I believe need to be examined.
1. It completely makes sense to not rip up a developed CCT for the purple line. But purple has been promised for years. What if it doesnt come? IIRC, discussion about the Purple Line and improving the CCT have been going on for more than 20 years. Do we wait another 10+ years. Lets reexamine the assumption that this will go ahead. 2. Extending CCT to Silver Spring along the ROW, building bridges across Connecticut, etc, are great, and will not happen without Purple.
BUT we can improve the current CCT along the GBT, and improve a street route to Silver Spring. Again, we can greatly improve the CCT without going the entire way or waiting for the Purple Line.

Lets reframe the argument: Bike infrastructure is valuable as a commuting option, not just recreation. MoCo can get people moving for far less money, less litigation, and do it now, by improving the CCT and other biking improvements.

My point is also that by moving forward with improving bikes now, we are in a stronger position when the Purple is built and are less likely to be short changed.

@SJE: "...discussion about the Purple Line and improving the CCT have been going on for more than 20 years..."

I certainly do agree that investment in bike infrastructure is important and we should do what we reasonably can to improve the CCT now. But we can't make an assumption that we must wait 10+ years more for the Purple Line. The project is ready to be submitted for federal approval this fall, and construction could begin in two years. Sure, it could be delayed by a year or so by litigation and funding issues, but no way will planners accept your assumption of 10+ years now that the Purple Line is this close to reality.
I would be very interested in hearing your ideas on how the street route into Silver Spring can be greatly improved ahead of the Purple Line. I live very near the street route, and I don't see it.

Predictions are a fool's errand, but I put the over/under on purple line groundbreaking at 4 years.

Wayne: I am not assuming that it will be 10+ years, but why do we assume it will be soon? I just don't think we should wait.

As for infrastructure GBT to SS, I live in Rosemary Hills and there are several routes.

e.g. (1) Brookville Rd to Linden and Dale Drive.
(2) Over the Talbot Ave Bridge, to 2nd Ave down towards Spring
(3) Grubb to East-West Highway with wider path along EW Highway to make it easier for bikes to share.

I would start with clear route markings on the road and sharrows/bike lanes all the way. There is sufficient room on several of the streets for bike lanes (e.g. Brookeville, 2nd Ave could have bike lanes).

You could even extend bike access off Brookville so it connects to the trail close to the bridge over rock creek.

SJE: Like it or not, it is not what we decide we will "assume" the wait will be for the Purple Line, but what the majority of politicians and planners assume will be the wait, for that is what will set their thinking about what is a reasonable expenditure for bike infrastructure in the path of the Purple Line. I think Washcyle's 4 year "over/under" estimate is the best working assumption we can get, unless you have some solid information no one else has about why the Purple Line project will take longer.
Of your suggested routes, none can give major improvements like that needed to be compatible with an CCT off-road trail.
1) The route up Brookville Road is too indirect and adds considerable distance, hills, and issues with getting through the Linden/Second Ave. lights. I agree Brookville Road should get bike infrastructure, but that will not address the other problems on this route.
2) The route over Talbot Ave. bridge is the best, and is the route the on-road trail follows now. We can add a sidepath trail or cycletrack at Stewart Ave., and extend the sidepath at the south end to be continous sidepath from Spring Street to Colesville Road. But most of the rest can only get slight benefit from sharrows and better signs - most of this route will remain on-road and the intiminating crossings of 16th Street, Colesville Road, and the several other lights will remain.
3) A route on E-W Highway from Grubb will be hilly, with an especially nasty hill between Grubb and Sundale. It will be an unpleasant sidepath alongside a busy four lane highway even if the sidepath is widened, and at Colesville Road there is no good option to get from E-W Highway to Wayne Avenue. This block of Colesville has "walk your bike" sidewalks on both sides, and riding in traffic on Colesville is not for most. We yelled as loud as we could when the Master Plan for this area was approved that we badly needed bike paths or bike lanes on this block, and lost to the competing interests of pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic in front of the transit center. We can yell again, but I doubt we will have a better outcome.
I support all of the bike infrastructure improvements we can get on all three of these routes, as worth their cost for better neighborhood circulation in this urban area. But none of them will measure up to be more than marginal improvements. If we want a good quality, off-road trail with grade separated crossings of the big highways, we must get access to the CSX r-o-w and our best hope of that lies with the Purple Line.

I can see losing out next to the transit center, with the sheer volume of pedestrian and motorvehicle traffic.

As for the Purple Line schedule: I am always a bit skeptical about such plans, as those who are set to implement the plans are prone to rosy predictions (e.g. see the transit center). But lets put that aside.

Why can't we get ask for more infrastructure leading into the planned Purple bike path. This would strengthen the demand for a bike path and strengthen its utility. e.g. Brookville Road to Seminary leading to Forest Glen and Kensington.

East West Highway is a terrible route, I agree. But it is already the prime motorist route and so the roads are already developed, and there are plenty of people who already travel along it by foot or bike. A related concern is that EW may have to take the place of the CCT during construction of the Purple Line, so improving it now provides an alternative. I have already made this point to the planners.

I think that we are after the same goals, but I am more cynical. I used to be more active when I was in Baltimore, and was constantly disappointed by the disconnect between lofty goals and action even for things as simple as turning around storm grates. I want to get more bike facilities in large part to ensure that the CCT remains open for bikes, and we don't get sidelined.

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