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Montgomery County pushing forward with Bicycle Master Plan

WASHINGTON — Biking in the ‘burbs will be better in the future.

That’s the pledge from Montgomery County Planning Director Casey Anderson who recently tweeted: “We will not settle for anything less than the best suburban bike plan ever written — come along for the ride” Anderson’s got a team at work on aimed at making that promise come true.

David Anspacher, project manager for the Bicycle Master Plan, says the goal is “to create a network of low-stress bikeways and secure bicycle parking to get people around the county.” By low-stress, he means bikeways that help cyclists feel more secure and safer on the road: and in the future that could include bike lanes that are separated — not by a strip of paint — but by curbs with landscaping to separate the cyclists from traffic.

Right now, Anspacher says the focus is on two areas slated for massive change: the White Flint Sector Plan (along Rockville Pike/Md. Rt. 355) and the area (along Key West Avenue/Md. Rt 28). But Anspacher says there could be more separated bikeways in the future in places like the downtowns of Silver Spring and Bethesda.

Anspacher’s office generated a graphic that shows the concerns of bike users — and potential cyclists. Among the biggest frustrations, poor linkage of trails and bikeways, infrastructure design that makes crossing intersections feel dangerous, and here’s one drivers will relate to: poor pavement conditions.

You can add to the information Anspacher’s getting: the Bicycle Feedback Map allows cyclists to pinpoint problems they encounter. Here’s the link to make your concerns known.

Click here for more information on Montgomery County Planning Department’s Dec. 15 meeting about proposals for separated bikeways in Gaithersburg’s “Life Sciences Center.”

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