Montgomery County Council Approves the Bicycle Master Plan

November 27, 2018

bike riders and walkers

After three years of development, the groundbreaking countywide plan for equitable and safe bicycling is set for implementation

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce that the Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to approve the Bicycle Master Plan on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.

The Bicycle Master Plan envisions a future where all Montgomery County residents have access to a comfortable, safe and connected bicycle network. That vision is reached by achieving four goals:

  1. Increase bicycling rates in Montgomery County.
  2. Create a highly connected, convenient and low-stress bicycling network.
  3. Provide equal access to low-stress bicycling for all members of the community.
  4. Improve the safety of bicycling.

This groundbreaking plan recommends an extensive network of more than 1,000 miles of trails, paths and protected bike lanes, ample bicycle parking at Metrorail stations and commercial areas, and bicycle-supportive programs and policies. The plan used some of the most sophisticated analytical tools to identify and prioritize recommendations. It includes a state-of-the-practice bikeway design toolkit to provide guidance on how to construct world-class bikeways.

“This plan raises the bar for bicycle infrastructure planning and design in North America. It positions Montgomery County to be among the leading bicycling communities in the country,” says Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson. “The plan’s vision is only as successful as its implementation and I’m thrilled that the Montgomery County Department of Transportation has staffed up in preparation for the transformative task ahead. In five years, I fully expect that Montgomery County will have some of the best communities for bicycling in the entire region.”

Community members can get involved in the plan implementation by advocating for bicycle infrastructure projects in the Montgomery County capital budget and by weighing in on the implementation of bikeways through state and county construction projects and private development in the county.

“This plan lays the foundation for safer bicycling through recommendations for new bikeways throughout the county,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “It is truly innovative in identifying ways of making bicycling a mainstream mode of transportation in a suburban jurisdiction and helping the county to achieve its Vision Zero goals.”

The Planning Board Draft of the Bicycle Master Plan will be updated to included revisions from the County Council that were received on November 27, 2018 and will be posted as the Approved and Adopted Bicycle Master Plan by spring 2019 at montgomeryplanning.org/bikeplan.

Advisory Group for Bicycle Master Plan

The Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group of community members, bicycling advocates and other stakeholders worked with Montgomery Planning staff to offer feedback as the plan was developed. The group consists of the following members:

Joe Allen, Resident of Gaithersburg

Kristin Blackmon, Bethesda Transportation Solutions and Bethesda Urban Partnership

Jack Cochrane, Montgomery Bicycle Advocates

Denise Cohen, Potomac Pedalers

Stacy Cook, Resident of Bethesda

Paul Daisey, Resident of Colesville

Peggy Dennis, Montgomery County Civic Federation

Alison Dewey, Resident of North Bethesda

Darrel Drobnich, Pedestrian Bicycle Traffic Safety Advisory Committee

Jay Elvove, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board

Janice Freeman, African American Chamber of Commerce

Joe Fritsch, Resident of Olney

Peter Gray, Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Richard Hoye, Action Committee for Transit

Jude Miller, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Shawn Punga, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts

Phil Shapiro, Resident of Kemp Mill

Geri Rosenberg, Resident of Silver Spring

Deborah Turton, Resident of Damascus

Background on the Bicycle Master Plan

Launched in 2015, the Bicycle Master Plan proposes a low-stress bicycling network that encourages more people to ride a bike in Montgomery County. It recommends an array of bikeway types, including separated, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations.

The award-winning Bicycle Stress Map was created in 2016 to evaluate nearly 3,500 miles of roads and trails in Montgomery County. Each road segment and crossing were assigned a level of stress, from very low to very high, as experienced by cyclists to inform the public about the safety of bicycling in the county and help decisionmakers prioritize bicycling improvements. As part of the public outreach, a coloring book depicting various bikeways was created to reinforce the plan’s emphasis on a low-stress cycling network since coloring is considered a stress-relieving activity.

Questions or Comments?
Contact: David Anspacher, Planner and Project Manager
Email: David.Anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org

Telephone: 301.495.2191