Cyclists will get their very own pop-up bike lane in downtown Bethesda in celebration of Bike to Work Day on May 18.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation will be setting up barrels, cones and special bike lane markings along the route, which will start at the traffic circle at Cheltenham Drive and Tilbury Street and run along Woodmont Avenue before ending near the entrance to the Capital Crescent Trail.
The group Bethesda BIKE Now advocated for the pop-up bike lane, which will be the county’s first, according to a county news release.
Bike to Work Day is a perfect time to experiment with the pop-up lane, because the national event encourages a large number of less experienced cyclists to hit the road. Cyclists uncomfortable with navigating along bustling roadways often turned to the Georgetown Branch Trail for Bike to Work Day, but this option is unavailable because of the path’s temporary closure for the light-rail Purple Line construction, according to the MCDOT release.
The temporary bike lane will be available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., so both morning and evening bike commuters can use it. Police will provide traffic control, and transportation officials are asking drivers to show caution when crossing paths with the pop-up lane, which will result in temporary right lane closures and on-street parking restrictions.
“MCDOT is committed to expanding transportation choices for everyone and the pop-up bike lane is a great way to preview the department’s plans to construct permanent, protected bike lanes on Woodmont Avenue,” the agency’s director, Al Roshdieh, said in a prepared statement.
The transportation department has planned to build a permanent bike lane, called Bethesda Loop, on Woodmont Avenue from the intersection with Norfolk Avenue to Wisconsin Avenue.
The County Council is scheduled to vote later this month on allocating funds to the project, and if approved, the design work could begin in fiscal year 2019, according to a news release.
Bike lane route. Via MCDOT.
Bethany Rodgers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.