In line with our recent piece asking whether pedestrian safety caused more walking or vice versa, a recent study has proven that protected bike lanes lead to more biking. The bicycling infrastructure in White Flint, however, is dismal. We simply don’t have a robust network (or, really, any network) of safe routes for bicyclists. At a recent community meeting, a resident exclaimed that he never sees any bikers on the Marinelli Road bike lane, so why bother building more? Having never noticed a bike lane on Marinelli Road, I took a detour on my way home and saw the lane he described. I’ve probably never noticed it because The Bike Lane is Less Than One Block Long. In other words, the lane begins well after an intersection and ends well before the next intersection. No wonder he’s never seen anyone using it! It’s completely non-functional.
A glimpse at the county’s bikeways map highlights how much room we have for improvement in White Flint (green and purple lines denote bike infrastructure):
From Montgomery County’s Bikeways Map: http://gis3.montgomerycountymd.gov/bikewaymap/
We do have some relief on the way. There is a plan to integrate bike lanes into improvements coming to Nebel Street (click here for more on those) and Woodglen Drive (click here for more on those; we hope for an update soon). But, to really expect people to use their bikes, we have to offer a safe network of lanes that will get them where they need to go.
Read more about how bike lanes really do increasing biking by clicking here.