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Sadly, SHA can't even design a proper bike lane even in the heart of the state's flagship university area, where bikes are everywhere. Here's what they sent to local legislators on their plans for Route 1 last week:

"The proposed conditions along Segment 1 [UMD to Greenbelt Road, basically] are as follows:

Improvements consist of roadway widening along US 1, with two 11-foot inside travel lanes and a four-foot bicycle compatible shoulder in each direction to accommodate on-street bicyclists."

They can't even call it a "bike lane" since that would require a 5 foot minimum I think. That's why they call it a "bicycle compatible shoulder".

Seriously, our political leaders need to kill this design. If SHA gets away with building a deathtrap front of UMD, will they ever build a safe bike lane anywhere?

And all this in spite of the governor's announcement that we were going to get a real sidepath:


$20 million to buy right-of-way for a bicycle and pedestrian trail along U.S. 1 from College Avenue to Md. 193 in College Park.

And if you are hit by a car near UMD, what is the response of the police?

I also think that part of the issue with not calling it a bike lane is, at least around this neck of the woods, that bike shoulders appear and disappear very quickly as space allows. (ref: MD193) I have also noticed that MDSHA doesn't seem too interested in making logical bicycle connections at intersections. "BIKE LANE ENDS" is about all you get before a big intersection. I believe SHA is putting some sort of bicycle markings on MD193 near Route 1 with the recent repaving....(from what i recall of the plans), but still won't make a logical connection to traverse if you're trying to turn left onto Route 1 Southbound across 3 lanes of crazy Greenbelt Road traffic.

I also heard that ADA-acceptable sidewalks may be near future for Route 1, north of UMD. Anything is better than what's a patchwork of horror now.

I have to admit they have made some remarkable strides since I went to UMD many moons ago.

But, I still think they have a lot of room for improvement. The fact that they're requiring students to register bikes to use the racks is a little odd. I get highly recommending registering for police purposes, but requiring is stupid and then sends the wrong message to those visiting campus.

Bringing me to the next point, they don't advertise outwardly that they're bike accessible. Eg, they tell you how to get to campus via Amtrak, Metro, Driving, and even by Air, but not by bike for major sporting events (http://www.nmnathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=208131347&DB_OEM_ID=29700&DB_OEM_ID=29700).

They should also probably post notices on their big maps or at least bike racks that there are fix-it stations. Damned if I knew that and I have biked there several times, one of which included an untimely flat.

Some of their "bike routes" are just a joke. I've seen the signs for biking down 193. To that I would simply say thanks, no thanks. On Rt 1, eh, maybe, but even with the speed cameras and reduced speed limit from 495 down to Hyattsville (now 25 that whole way), I still would be very nervous on that road. I mean the road literally has a weekend rush hour if you ask the MDOT or CP police.

Also, do they have any covered bike parking? I can't recall ever seeing it at the Comcast garage, the Stamp garage or the garage over by the Smith School. I can't imagine it would be that tragic to lose one or two parking spaces to accommodate some bike parking for when crap like downpours or snow storms hit.

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