Can you comfortably bike there from here?

Can you comfortably bike there from here?

The Montgomery County Planning Department has created a digital map showing the amount of stress that people experience when bicycling in Montgomery County.  View the Montgomery County Planning Department Bicycle Stress Map.  As you can see from the image above, the White Flint/Pike District area is full of red and orange red lines — high or moderately high stress roads where few people will bike.

The purpose of the map is to understand impediments to bicycling and to identify and prioritize the changes that are needed to create a low-stress bicycling environment for the 50 percent of people who say they would be interested in bicycling, but do not currently bicycle because they are concerned for their safety. Planning Department staff evaluated over 3,500 miles of roads and trails in the County to determine the level of stress on each road segment and intersection.

What is traffic stress?

For most people the decision to bicycle includes consideration of whether road conditions, such as traffic volume and traffic speed, exceed their threshold for stress. Since most adults are uncomfortable bicycling on roads with four or more lanes or a posted speed limit of 30 mph or higher, the opportunities to get from Point A to Point B in Montgomery County are limited unless there is a separated bikeway such as a path, trail, or separated bike lane.

Preliminary analysis has found that while about 78 percent of road miles are suitable for most adults, only a fraction of actual trips can be completed on a low-stress network, due to the inability to reach destinations with minimal detours. Schools and metro stations are also very difficult to reach riding a bike.


Amy Ginsburg


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