Wednesday night’s Bradley Boulevard Public Meeting was fundamentally about the potential configurations of 4 items in a redesign of Bradley Boulevard from Wilson to Goldsboro:
1. an 8′ shared-use trail;
2. a northern sidewalk; and
3. a southern sidewalk.
Roughly a year after the last presentation of design alternatives (numbered 1, 2, and 3) to the public, MCDOT presented 3 revisions (4a, 4b, and 4c). These revisions were various combinations and/or moderations of the original 3 alternatives. All variations include bikeable shoulders and a vegetated bioswale to meet the County’s environmentally sensitive design requirements, as well as stormwater quality and quantity regulations.
- Alternative 4a:
Includes an 8′ shared-use path, bikeable shoulders on both sides of the roadway, and a sidewalk on both sides of the roadway. The 12′ path from the original alternatives has been reduced to 8′. And this is the only alternative containing any shared-use path.
- Alternative 4b:
Includes sidewalk on both sides of the roadway with bikeable shoulders, but no shared-use path.
- Alternative 4c:
Includes sidewalk on the north side of the boulevard only, with a bikeable shoulder on both sides.
After a brief introduction of the project team by project team leader Pat Shepherd, the community took a few moments to ask general questions before breaking up into smaller groups to review the individual cross-sections. The primary concerns expressed during this period related motor vehicle volume and whether this project would increase traffic along the roadway. Concerns were expressed about the roadway being widened.
Ms. Shepherd clarified that the roadway was not being widened, but that a left turn lane is proposed to be added at Wilson Lane, where the level of service is currently “F” and there are frequently rear-end collisions with drivers trying to turn left, as well as increased maintenance needs and significant dangers to cyclists from motorists passing left-turning vehicles on the right shoulder.
Given the existing high volume of bicycle traffic along this stretch of Bradley Boulevard, as well as the potential that exists to link this neighborhood to the CCT, the Bethesda Trolley Trail, the C&O Towpath, and the retail and job opportunities in Bethesda, WABA supports the alternative that includes the shared-use path. While all options are likely to improve conditions for cyclists, shared-use paths are more accessible for many.
Thus, WABA supports alternative 4a. It provides the greatest improvement for bicyclists and pedestrians, and does the most to contribute to a truly multi-modal, walkable, bikeable neighborhood.
All are encouraged to send comments to Aruna Miller and Pat Shepherd. (And they do count and consider them. They noted that they received 140 comments after the last public meeting.)
You can send an email supporting Alternative 4a, which includes the shared-use path, HERE.
Further information about the project can be found HERE under “Bradley Boulevard Bikeway.”