Montgomery County Planners Want Input on Tough Bicycling Spots

‘Digital Feedback Map’ is part of Planning Department’s Bicycle Master Plan


Attendees of the 2nd Great MoCo Bicycle Summit in June write in areas of concern for bicyclists on a giant map of Montgomery County

Aaron Kraut

Montgomery County planners want to know where poor pavement conditions, difficult-to-cross intersections and roads with excessive vehicle speeds are making it unsafe or uncomfortable for bicyclists.

Planners working on the Bicycle Master Plan have launched a “Digital Feedback Map” that allows residents to pinpoint spots with conditions that present “cycling concerns.”

Those concerns include difficult crossings, poor or non-existent bicycle path connections, excessive speeds, high traffic volume, insufficient bicycle parking and cars blocking a bikeway.

Users can add comments to detail their concerns, like one person did for a spot on Montgomery Avenue in Bethesda.

“There are stairs from the [Capital Crescent Trail] to montgomery ave in the middle of this block. But there is no safe way to cross without going either to pearl street or to east-west—way out of one’s way,” the commenter wrote. “Because there is no cross walk in the middle, where it is most needed, people just cross in the middle anyway, incredibly dangerous crossing.”

The Planning Department is hoping its final Bicycle Master Plan will come up with recommended bikeway connections to make bicycling around the county easier. Planners are assessing just how stressful it is to ride on every street in the county, using a methodology developed in a 2012 report from San Jose State University’s Mineta Transportation Institute.

Planners previously rolled out a giant map of the county for bicyclists to manually write and draw in concerning spots during an event in June at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

They’re also hosting three community meetings on the plan: Sept. 15 at Planning Department headquarters in Silver Spring, Sept. 21 at the Wheaton Library and Oct. 6 at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda. All meetings are set to run from 7 to 9 p.m.

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