The Planning Board hopes Montgomery County will add bicycle accommodations — possibly another cycle track — to the new street grid it hopes to start work on soon in the White Flint/Pike District.
Planners and the Board reviewed the county Department of Transportation’s plans for the Western Workaround on Thursday. The project, which could start by the summer of 2016, would involve realigning Executive Boulevard and adding a new east-to-west two-lane road known as Market Street.
Although the Planning Department’s suggestions don’t mean MCDOT is required to make any changes, staff did recommend taking out a left-turn lane in the plans for Executive Boulevard. With that space saved, the four-lane road could accommodate a cycle track similar to the one MCDOT installed at nearby Woodglen Drive last year
Planners also suggested MCDOT build narrower travel lanes — each at 10 feet in width — to fall in line with the recently enacted Urban Road Code. Design work on the Western Workaround project began before the bill was approved, meaning it’s not required to comply. That would leave space for six-foot-wide bicycle lanes separated by 2.5-foot buffers on each side of the road.
Executive will be straightened to run through what’s now a parking lot on the north side Bethesda North Marriott. It would then run through the adjoining property to Old Georgetown Road and connect with Grand Park Avenue into the Pike & Rose development. Market Street would serve as an access point for the Gables White Flint project planned for the parcel just north of the Shriver Aquatic Center and Wall Park. It would include curbside parking in non-peak hours.
County Executive Isiah Leggett is proposing to move up the project by adding $4.4 million of construction funding for Market Street and the Executive Boulevard realignment so it could start in the upcoming fiscal year. The county would also build a new parking garage to accommodate the lost parking spots in the Bethesda North Marriott lot.