Montgomery County has finished installing its first cycle track.
The 1,500-foot long buffered bicycle lane has been in the works for months on Woodglen Drive between Edson Lane and Nicholson Lane.
It leads directly into the off-road terminus of the Bethesda Trolley Trail at Edson Lane and plans are in the works to extend it past Nicholson Lane all the way to the White Flint Metro station.
It is the first bicycle facility of its kind in Montgomery County. The cycle track strategy has become common in major cities as a way to encourage on-road bicycling, but with the comfort of a buffer area. In this case, it’s a series of pylons dividing bicyclists from a row of street parking.
“I am committed to creating walkable and bikeable smart growth communities in our urbanized areas, and cycle tracks are an important element in ensuring safe access for our bicyclists,” County Executive Isiah Leggett said in a press release. “As we further expand our 51-station Bikeshare program and enhance our sustainable, transit-oriented infrastructure with more pedestrian and bike trails, we are boosting the desirability of Montgomery County as an attractive place in which to live, work and visit. The future economic health and competitiveness of Montgomery County is tied to providing more alternative transportation options that help reduce traffic congestion.”
It’s likely to be the first of many cycle tracks in Montgomery County. Officials from the county’s Department of Transportation and Planning Department have floated ideas for cycle tracks along Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda, Woodmont Avenue and Goldsboro Road near River Road.
Half of the Woodglen Drive project was paid for with a state Department of Transportation Bikeways Grant.
The two-way, eight-foot-wide cycle track protects bicyclists from regular traffic and those opening their doors at their parked vehicles. It’s located between the curb and a two-to-three foot buffer bordered by flexible posts. Next to the buffer are the parking lane and three travel lanes of traffic.
The county’s Department of Transportation also installed green markings in “conflict areas” at intersections and driveways. There are also bike boxes that allow bicyclists to pull in front of traffic while stopped at a red light, which the county says increases bicyclist visibility.
The county will install a ramp at the northeast corner and southwest corners of the project for bicyclists to get access to surrounding sidewalks.
Via Montgomery County