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According to articles in the Washington Post and the City Paper, the District’s Department of Transportation has taken big steps in making the city more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.

Barne’s dance crossings and hawk signals give pedestrians priority over cars at intersections, and out of a goal of 80 miles of bike lanes, 49 have been completed. The city’s bike-share program is an early success with residents and visitors. Residents find it easier and cheaper to pick up a bike at a corner station than owning their own and schleping it into their homes.

In fact, according to the City Paper, one of the biggest problems seems to be developing enough places to bike to. As they quoted Gabe Klein, Director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, “…the biggest obstacle to the development of a walkable, bikeable city is, in many parts of the city, a dearth of places to walk and bike to.”

Montgomery has a planning tradition of extending District patterns into the county, primarily the major avenues like Georgia, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, as well as the Rock Creek Park system. Why not extend the District’s bike routes and bike sharing program as well. How great would it be to cycle down Wisconsin from NIH to Georgetown? (I admit, the ride back uphill is more of a challenge, but hey, bike over to Foggy Bottom and Metro back.)

Extending the District’s bike services into Montgomery is a natural support for planning goals that seek to create dense, mixed-use communities at Metro stations–that is, places to walk and bike to.

3 Responses to “Biking the ‘Burbs”

  1. Wheaton Calling

    As a Wheaton resident, I find that we really are isolated from some of the great biking networks that start out in Silver Spring. To ride my bike to work, I end up using the sidewalk along Georgia Avenue until I get to 16th St. in Silver Spring. I really think our neighborhood needs to be connected into some of the parks and bike paths that exist a little closer to the city so that we can safely take advantage of those routes into the city. For a summary of my (not so great) bike route into the city on bike-to-work day, check out my blog posting at:

  2. georgek

    The Barne’s crossings are a great idea, particularly in dense, high traffic urban areas where right turns conflict with the normal pedestrian time to cross. It’s safer and the cars flow better. The Hawk’s crossings can be tough, because they really would only work in low traffic areas–too many pedestrians and the it would never stop and they introduce a irregularity to the control of traffic. They also introduce an out of phase, weird signalization at a moment when it is least expected. The youtube link to the Hawk’s crossing forces the question, why the hell is the guy walking in that abysmal environment any way.

    If a place is a joy to walk, the typical controls work fine. The Barne’s crossing addresses a real problem in high congestion.

  3. claudia kousoulas

    “…a joy to walk,” says it all. That’s what we should be striving for.