The Montgomery County Planning Department is making progress on the Bicycle Master Plan for Montgomery County through worksessions with the County Council.
On Monday, September 17, Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and Montgomery Planning staff met with members of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) Committee to discuss various aspects of the forward-thinking plan.
“This plan uses some of the most sophisticated analytical tools ever used for bicycle planning,” says Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson. “One of the objectives of the plan is to make bicycling a real mode of transportation for more county residents. Our data-driven approach to the plan’s recommendations show that safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure currently is lacking to connect people to their jobs, school and recreation – it’s an equity issue and one that can be solved with this plan.”
Some of the topics discussed at the T&E Committee worksession included:
Cost of the plan: The Bicycle Master Plan is intended to be implemented over a period of decades. Current cost estimates associated with the Bicycle Master Plan are not realistic in assuming every bikeway will get built as stand-alone projects funded by local government, as many will be implemented as part of other road and private development projects.
Implementation of the plan: The Council T&E Committee was complimentary of the Bicycle Master Plan goals but directed staff to remove target completion dates with each of the stages of the plan. Additionally, the committee wanted to make clear that the plan is an aspiration set of recommendations and that the plan is not intended to provided for the construction of every recommended bikeway, but rather that the plan provides redundancies in the network in the event that some recommendations are not feasible.
The T&E Committee’s next worksession on the Bicycle Master Plan is scheduled for October 1 and will focus on specific bikeway recommendations.