Montgomery County has a new Bike Plan and it’s a big deal!
Last week, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to adopt a new Bicycle Master Plan for the County. This vote is the culmination of more than three years of intensive analysis, public engagement, and advocacy. By adopting this plan, the Council endorsed a dramatic shift in the County’s goals and approach to growing bicycling, committing MoCo to a convenient, inclusive, and low-stress bicycling future! While its broad strokes are similar to bicycle plans from neighboring cities and counties, the new Montgomery County Bicycle Master Plan is in a league of its own due to its analytical rigor, its commitment to promoting bicycling for people of all ages and skill levels, and its ambitious countywide vision. The plan aims to make bicycling a convenient, safe and popular option in every community, a strong complement to transit, and a joyful part of everyday life. To achieve its goals, the plan is packed with network maps of new bicycle infrastructure, new bicycle-friendly policies and programs, and so much more. Here are some of the highlights. It calls for:
- an impressive, 1,000+ mile, low-stress bicycle network of new protected bike lanes, trails, and quiet neighborhood streets, which will comfortably connect bicyclists of all ages and abilities to the places they need to go;
- new low-stress bikeways concentrated around urban areas, transit stops, schools, libraries, and county services so that a bicycle is the first choice for short trips;
- a network of high-capacity “Breezeways” between major destinations that allows people on bikes to cross longer distances with fewer delays, where all users – including slower moving bicyclists and pedestrians – can safely and comfortably travel together;
- new design guidelines for high quality, safe, and accessible protected bike lanes, trails and intersections;
- new programs and staff positions to build out the network, support people who bike and encourage more people to give it a try;
- abundant and secure, long-term bicycle parking facilities near Metro, Purple Line, Bus Rapid Transit, and MARC stations;
- and rigorous metrics to evaluate the county’s progress in carrying out the plan.
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