Phase 1 of the Bethesda Bikeway is ready to roll

Two-way green bike lanes run along Bethesda Avenue and Willow Lane from the Capital Crescent Trail to 47th Street near Elm Street Park and along Woodmont Avenue. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Montgomery County officials Wednesday celebrated the completion of the first phase of the Bethesda Bikeway in front of a new protected bicycle intersection in downtown Bethesda, Maryland.

They also highlighted the need for more infrastructure to ensure fewer traffic deaths, after the release of the annual Vision Zero Initiative report.

The Vision Zero Initiative aims to end serious crashes on Montgomery County roads by 2030. 

“We’re not doing a victory dance on pedestrian safety, because we have not gotten there yet. But we’re going to continue to do things,” said County Executive Marc Elrich, pointing to the 47 traffic deaths on Montgomery County roads. Thirteen were pedestrian deaths, and four involved cyclists. 

“Vision Zero needs to mean zero. And this vision needs to become a reality,” County Council President Gabe Albernoz said during the ribbon cutting on the first phase of the Bethesda Bikeway. 



They highlighted the new bike-protected intersection at Bethesda and Woodmont avenues. Bike riders can turn left onto Bethesda from Woodmont without stopping. They are protected by a separating concrete curb. Other directions use a dedicated bike traffic light.   

Speakers at the event, which also included council member Andrew Fried, pushed for more infrastructure and road projects to facilitate walking and biking.

“We have to acknowledge that it’s only the third protected intersection in all of Montgomery County. So we recognize that there’s a lot more work to do,” said Fried.

Bethesda Bikeway Phase 1

It is part of a new bike lane system that runs through downtown Bethesda and connects riders to the Capital Crescent Trail. Two-way green bike lanes run along Bethesda Avenue and Willow Lane from the Capital Crescent Trail to 47th Street near Elm Street Park and along Woodmont Avenue. 

Additional phases are in planning, design and construction. Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed next year.

“What we’re doing here today is the beginning of a bike network here in Bethesda,” said Chris Conklin, Montgomery County’s director of transportation. 

But it is not limited to the one city. All across the county, 27 bikeway projects are underway.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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