Cycle Track Could Be Coming To Chevy Chase Lake

Cycle Track Could Be Coming To Chevy Chase Lake

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A stretch of Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase could be the next place to get a cycle track.

The Planning Department on Friday showed off concepts for the cycle track developed by a Silver Spring-based design firm. The cycle track — basically a bike lane but buffered from vehicle traffic and pedestrians — is becoming an increasingly popular technique in Montgomery County.

In November, the county finished installing its first ever cycle track on Woodglen Drive in White Flint/North Bethesda. In recent months, transportation and planning officials have shown off plans for a potential cycle track on Woodmont Avenue in downtown Bethesda and one that could serve as the Capital Crescent Trail crossing of Wisconsin Avenue.

The Connecticut Avenue cycle track was planned because of the planned Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station — set to be built on the east side of Connecticut Avenue where the Capital Crescent Trail is today.

Many of the plans in the 2013 Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan revolve heavily around the Purple Line station.

“Separating bicycles and pedestrians in this area is important due to the substantial pedestrian activity anticipated around the Purple Line station,” according to a Planning Department press release.

The department released two basic concepts for the cycle track, which in either case would run from the intersection of Manor Road south to Chevy Chase Lake Drive.

The preferred alternative would bring a 12-foot, two-way cycle track separated from Connecticut Avenue by a six-foot tree buffer and separated from the sidewalk by another six-foot tree buffer.

The constrained alternative would involve an 11-foot, two-way cycle track separated from Connecticut Avenue by a three-foot vegetation buffer and separated from the sidewalk by a six-foot tree buffer.

The plans also include a “Purple Line Very Constrained” scenario for both alternatives. Allowing for the space the Planning Department prefers would mean adjusting the design of the Purple Line station because of the bridge carrying the light rail set to go over Connecticut Avenue.

If that design remains as proposed, the cycle track under the bridge would have “minimal buffers,” only three feet from vehicle traffic on Connecticut Avenue and three-feet from the pedestrian sidewalk, divided by a fence.

Both alternatives would include a wayside, or a small waiting area, at Manor Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive to allow room for bicyclists and pedestrians to mix safely.

The alternatives might also include a pedestrian crossing at Connecticut Avenue and Laird Place, though that would have to be approved by the State Highway Administration. The crossing would have a median and a pedestrian-activated signal to alert drivers that someone is about to cross.

Both alternatives also include room for a future bus stop near the Purple Line station.

Images via Planning Department

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