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As the weather has started warming up I’ve been riding my bike more often between home, work, and school. It’s been great for my commute because the County has a number of good trails and off-road routes for getting from place to place. While certain parts of the County are extremely bike-friendly – think Bethesda on a weekend morning – others could use some work. It’d be nice to see the County expand it’s on-street bicycle infrastructure. When it does, here’s one idea I think is pretty effective.

5 Responses to “The Next Step for Bicycle Infastructure”

  1. Michael Drayne

    I lived in San Francisco for nearly 15 years and I can say that the bicycle lane network is truly amazing. There is a sizable number of people who rely on bicycles as their primary mode of transportation and they have long advanced the idea of creating more and better bike lanes and facilities for cyclists. Even though San Francisco is crowded with cars on the streets, I always felt safe due the large number of other bikers on the streets The bike lanes are possibly because San Francisco has a large number of young, progressive people who have not bought into the car culture and are open to creating a different vision for how a city can operate. Montgomery County just needs to attract the same demographic and we’ll begin to see similar changes (on a smaller scale).

  2. anthony pins

    Michael –

    I feel the same way about DC as you do about San Francisco. The District is making a concerted effort to promote cycling as a mode of transportation by expanding bike lane infrastructure, providing bike shelters at major destinations, and creating a pretty successful bike sharing program. There seems to be a general understanding among cyclists and drivers that both will have to share the road and be aware of one another.

    I’m continually surprised by the level of hostility towards cyclists that exists in the suburbs. Never would I have expected to be harrassed or spit at simply for peddling from place to place (the latter was an isolated incident). But I guess that goes to your point about the culture, and the for more progressive cycling policies to raise awareness.

  3. gwadzilla

    more bike lanes…
    logical bike routes…
    and more bikes…

    It takes more than people getting on their bikes…
    it also takes cyclists taking action for their voices to be heard


    one of the strong voiced activists in The Bay Area is Jason Meggs
    Jason has been involved in the Bike The Bridge project as well as many other cycling efforts on that side of the country

    the irony… he is from Montgomery County and moved to The Bay Area decades ago

  4. Michael Drayne

    I’d add the name Davey Snider who was the founder and long time director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC). He’s originally from DC. He had a huge impact on the bike route network and is often credited with the enormous expansion of the network and so many other improvements in San Francisco and the Bay Area. I speak of him in the past tense because I’ve heard he’s moved on to other progressive ventures.

    I do love the trails in the DC Area and I use them a lot, but I sometimes feel like they’ve held back the development of a more extensive on-street bike network. Simply putting up a sign and calling it a bike route is not nearly the same as painting the street and educating the public about sharing the road. I have seen real progress since I moved to Silver Spring 10 years ago, but I still feel like a second class citizen at times when I go out on the road. I worry that some of the trails (the Green Trail on Wayne comes to mind) send a message to drivers and cyclists that bikes don’t belong on the road but on a trail next to the road. My feelings about these trails are definitely mixed.

  5. Brains from my father

    I’ve been watching the construction of the Metropolitan Branch Trail as I take the red line to work each day. Can’t wait until it opens so I can bike from Silver Spring to Union Station.