Bike Infrastructure & More at the Implementation Committee Meeting

Bike Infrastructure & More at the Implementation Committee Meeting

Last week, the White Flint Implementation Advisory Committee held their monthly meeting and, after preliminary and general updates, we finally got more information on the latest plan for Woodglen Drive.  Here are our notes from the meeting:

  • Not much development activity since last month. Only item is that the Goddard School on Edson will be filing in the near future.
  • County White Flint Implementation Coordinator Dee Metz’s Update:
    • The County along with the White Flint Partnership filed for a TIGER grant to fund a study for BRT on 355. Expect to have a response by the end of September.
    • The County is working with the Stadium Authority to bid out the design work for the parking garage that will sit on the Conference Center property. Design work should start by the end of the year.
    • The County is continuing to coordinate with the Gables.
    • Dee did a bike tour of DC with WABA.  Said the bike tour was interesting.
    • The traffic study for White Flint is still in progress. In particular there was concern over Old Georgetown Road. FRIT and many residents would like to see Old Georgetown reduced to 2 lanes in each direction. The County is proposing 3 lanes in each direction based on input from MD SHA. The County has been revising its projections based on changes in the residential / commercial mix of projects in the pipeline. The County is trying to project out to 2042. Generally, SHA agrees with their traffic projections, but has challenged the County on plans if the projections are exceeded. SHA has thus asked for additional analysis. MC DOT and the County are working to better understand what SHA is asking for.   The County hopes to publish the traffic study by the end of the year.
  • Representatives of MCDOT were present and were asked to focus on  pedestrians and cyclists in addition to cars. Bruce Johnston of MCDOT explained that their designs are consistent with the Sector Plan and, in some facets, exceed the Plan, ie bike lanes on Marinelli and the introduction of cycle tracks.
    • Bruce noted that they are predicting 50/50 split in mode share by 2042, so they are not being conservative in their view towards an increase in non-auto trips. Dee reiterated that they do not control state roads. Evan Goldman noted that FRIT will push for 2 lanes in each direction on Old Georgetown, even if they have to go to the State / Governor. He noted it will take pressure from the community to make this happen.
    • Bruce noted that the additional phases of the western work-around are a ways off due to the slow acquisition of buildings like the VOB building.
  • The Manager of Pike & Rose spoke about tenants moving in to all floors of PerSei and that it’s been successful thus far. Looking forward to the entertainment and restaurants opening, beginning in September. Evan Goldman spoke about phase 2 of Pike & Rose and a commitment to biking facilities (bike racks) and Zip Car. Phase 2 residential units also offer fewer car spaces per unit .7 spaces per unit vs. 1 per unit in Phase 1. Evan discussed the need to fund a bikeshare station.
Update on Bike Infrastructure in White Flint
  • Bruce Johnston, Chief, Division of Transportation Engineering, and Patricia Shepherd, Bikeways Coordinator, were on hand to discuss improvements Marinelli Road, Woodglen Drive and Nebel Street.
  • Bruce quickly reviewed the bike lanes that were added to Marinelli Road when it was resurfaced. He noted that MC DOT is attempting to improve cycling infrastructure when the opportunities present themselves, and this was one of those opportunities. He noted that bike lanes on Marinelli Road were not part of the Sector Plan. This section is considered complete, though sharrows and bicycle signage should be added shortly on the east bound lane of Marinelli at the intersection with Rockville Pike.
  • Improvements to Woodglen between Nicholson Drive and Edson Lane were supposed to be completed almost a year ago. MC DOT is now presenting a new design based on community feedback, the desire to save some trees and the inability to move utilities. The new design presents the County’s first cycle track, a 2 way bike lane that will be separated from street parking and traffic by a 2 – 3 foot striped buffer with plastic posts. The cycle track will be on the west side of Woodglen Drive.
  • They are also working on the intersections at Edson Lane and Nicholson Drive, but did not present those designs. They intend to use green surface treatments at intersections in the bike lanes to increase awareness.
  • They also presented two designs for Woodglen Drive from Nicholson Drive to Marinelli Road. They worked with BF Saul / Brian Downie on the design. This section features a two way cycle track, but it is separated from on street parking and traffic by a 5 foot grass buffer. The 2 options presented only varied in whether the cycle track would be on the same grade as an adjacent shared use path. One design had the cycle track a few inches below the shared use path, the other had the cycled track at grade with the shared use path.
  • The improvements to Woodglen were well received by those in attendance and represent a huge improvement to the previous design. There will be a briefing on the Woodglen improvements at the Planning Board meeting on September 4th.
  • Nebel Street is currently being designed by DOT. There are two groups within DOT that are working on unique designs. MC DOT is trying to figure out whether a cycle track or bike lanes are better for Nebel. MC DOT is intent on designing solutions that are best for each type of road. MC DOT will share a design for public input once the designs have been finished and evaluated.
  • There will be a briefing on the Woodglen improvements at the Planning Board meeting on September 4th.
  • Sogand Seirafi from MC DOT was on hand to discuss a new pedestrian and bicycle facility improvement initiative that was proposed by Council Member Hans Riemer. The County Council has appropriated $375,000 for projects in five areas where the enhancement of bicycle and pedestrian traffic and safety is a priority. Those areas are: Glenmont, Grosvenor, Silver Spring CBD, Veirs Mill/Randolph, and Wheaton CBD.

Lindsay Hoffman


One comment

Ed Reich

Having attended this meeting, I must say you folks do an excellent job in summarizing these meetings, which I greatly appreciate, especially for those meetings I can’t attend. Thank you.

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