Casey Anderson, the chair of Montgomery County’s planning board, says he wants the best bike plan any place US city has ever seen. The county’s interactive Cycling Concerns Bicycle Atlas is a tool for gathering the feedback it needs to make that happen.
The primary goal of the County Bike Plan is to move from a world where only 1% of the population feels comfortable riding (high stress roadways) to one where those who tolerate moderate (10%) or low stress (50%) also feel comfortable riding. Importantly, it also recognizes that there is a substantial minority that will never get on a bike.
This effort began with the Second Great MoCo Bike Summit, and has been part of a series of community meetings where Board Chairman Casey Anderson and planner David Anspacher led attendees through a discussion of common cycling issues and defined the
Unlike a similar atlas unveiled in Fairfax County this spring, which asked cyclists to identify routes they’d like to see bike lanes on, Montgomery’s map asks users to note problem areas within the county’s existing network, such as poor or missing connections, unsafe sewer grates, and concerns with road conditions.
The map will remain up indefinitely. The county has already started using feedback from the atlas to address immediate concerns. The plan should be complete in 2017, and it will include recommendations about specific bike facilities to be built. Hundreds of people have already used the map,, and the county is asking them to keep it up. Users can also rate and comment other users’ feedback directly on the map.
There will be one more community meeting to discuss the Bike Plan on Tuesday, October 6, at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda.