It’s Time for a Protected Bike Lane on Fenton Street

Fenton Street in Silver Spring looking south

Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring has almost everything it needs to be the Silver Spring’s main street. It is lined by cafes, shops, entertainment and community spaces kept bustling by the tens of thousands of people who live and work nearby. But step off the curb into the street and the bustle turns to chaos. Aggressive driving, unsafe crossings and a car-first road design make biking too stressful for most and walking, especially with kids, harder than it should be.

It’s time to make Fenton Street work for everyone. Protected bike lanes, safer crossings, and traffic calming can help make Fenton the community main street it should be. Sign our petition to ask our county’s leaders to get started planning protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on Fenton Street!


In 2016, WABA’s Action Committee for Montgomery County kicked off a campaign to Create the Silver Spring Circle. We envisioned a network of protected bike lanes around and through Silver Spring’s downtown core to connect people with the places they want to go. Three years later. that network is taking shape. Large pieces are complete and even more are under construction and in design. Together, they form a low-stress bicycle loop around Silver Spring’s busiest attractions. But the last piece of that network — a protected bike lane on Fenton St from Cameron to King which would get people to those busy places — is still just a concept.

Silver Spring’s future network of trails and protected bike lanes
Fenton Street connects people to the places they want to go


Biking is a great way to get around downtown Silver Spring, but most people will not consider it unless it feels safe and convenient. With protected bike lanes and traffic calming on Fenton Street, people of all ages could comfortably bike to Veterans Plaza, the Library, and Montgomery College. Nearby residents would gain a new option for visiting local businesses and restaurants.  Walkable, bikeable streets, where everyone feels comfortable, will help attract new residents to our community, patrons to our businesses, and locals to our events. A protected bike lane on Fenton Street would bridge a substantial gap in the Silver Spring bicycle network, linking Spring Street to Cameron to Wayne to the Metropolitan Branch and Capital Crescent Trails.

Join us urging Montgomery County to move ahead on continuous, direct, protected bike lanes, safer crossings, and traffic calming on Fenton Street. Sign our petition today!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Why protected bike lanes?
    • Busy streets work best when people driving, walking, and biking have their own space. Protected bike lanes give people on bikes a space free of the stresses of traffic. Pedestrians can walk freely without competing for sidewalk space. And drivers have fewer interactions with people on bikes sharing the lane. Studies show that protected bike lanes reduce both the frequency and severity of crashes.
  • Why Fenton Street?
    • A protected lane on Fenton St is the only solution that provides bicyclists of all abilities with a safe and convenient way to go from Cameron Street on the north end of the Central Business District to the Metropolitan Branch Trail near Montgomery College on the south end of the CBD. Fenton St. is well-used by confident bicyclists today specifically because it connects dozens of businesses, housing, and civic destinations. Yet, without a protected bike lane, it remains too stressful for most people to bike. Aside from the planned Metropolitan Branch Trail, which deliberately avoids commercial areas, there is no continuous route the length of the CBD, particularly on the Eastern side of the Georgia Ave.
  • How does this help pedestrians?
    • By narrowing the crossing distance, protected bike lanes can make it easier to cross a street on foot. They also slow down the speed of traffic and provide a buffer between moving vehicles and the sidewalk, making more pleasant places to walk.
  • Why not use the existing Grove St. bike route?
    • The existing bike route along Woodbury Dr and Grove St is a wonderful, low-stress neighborhood bike route which is slated for some minor improvements soon. However, it is not a reasonable substitute for a protected bike lane on Fenton St. The route requires multiple turns, frequent stops, a short hill, and serves neighborhood, rather than commercial destinations. It is important to have options in a bicycle network and at least one of them should be direct.

Better Bicycling Ride in Silver Spring

Register Cost Location

Riding a bike is a great way to get around! We’ll explore the bicycle lanes in Downtown Silver Spring and ride on the Sligo Creek Trail. Our community education ride series is an inclusive space for riders of all levels to explore the area. Our rides are always a good time, but they’re also a safe space to ask questions and practice riding on the roads and trails in the area. Come tour the region, come to ride, come to ask any of your deepest, darkest, secret-est bike questions, and just have fun!

  • Ride start and end – Whole Foods Silver Spring
  • Start time – 10:30 AM
  • End time – 12:00 PM
  • Distance – About 6 miles

Great, what else should I know?

Please bring your own bike and helmet. Helmets are a requirement on all WABA rides. If you have questions, please read our ride policies here. Everyone ages 14 and up is welcome. All riders must sign a waiver. Riders under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

What does it cost?

Ten bucks! This ride is offered thanks to the generous support of Montgomery County Department of Transportation

Are you a WABA or Capital Bikeshare Member? Then the class is free! We can also reimburse you for your usage fees if you use Bikeshare during the class. Email or call 202-518-0524 x221 to receive your coupon code.

Not a WABA member? For just $25 you get a ride registration ($10 value) and a one-year WABA Membership ($35 value). Learn more about the benefits of joining WABA here.

Walk-ups are free! But space is limited, so we recommend you register below ahead of time to hold your spot!

Event Location

Whole Foods Silver Spring
833 Wayne Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Register

This class is offered thanks to the generous support of Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

This ride is from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM.

Confident City Cycling

Register Cost Location

More joy, less stress! Riding your bike doesn’t have to be stressful. Join us for a morning of skills, confidence, and community building. We’ll spend some time on a few specific bike handling skills, then go for a short ride and talk about strategies for riding in different road, bike lane, and trail situations. Bring questions! By the time you head home, you’ll feel more confident, comfortable, and happy on your bike. Plus it’s a blast.

This is going to be fun!

Riding your bike doesn’t have to be stressful. Join us for a morning of skills, confidence, and community building.

We’ll spend some time on a few specific bike handling skills, then go for a short ride and talk about strategies for riding in different road, bike lane, and trail situations. Bring questions!

By the time you head home, you’ll feel more confident, comfortable, and happy on your bike. Plus it’s a blast.

Something for everyone

Whether you’ve just learned to ride or you’ve been bike commuting for years, we’ve got new things to share with you. Our experienced League Certified Instructors will make sure that you’re working on skills that match your level of comfort and experience on your bike.

Is this class right for you?

  • Do you know how to ride a bicycle?
  • Are you comfortable riding a bike for at least 30 minutes?
  • Are you able to start and stop your bike in a controlled manner?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, then a Learn to Ride or Basic Skills Clinic is best for you.

What to bring:

  • Questions! We love them! Do you have a particular bike situation you’ve always wondered about? That’s what we’re here for.
  • A bike, helmet, water and a snack.
  • Flat pedals. Toe clips, clipless pedals, or other gizmos that attach your feet to your pedals aren’t recommended. If you don’t know what this means, your pedals will work fine.

What does it cost?

Ten bucks! What a deal! This class is offered thanks to the generous support of Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

Drop-ins are free! But space is limited, so we recommend you register below ahead of time to hold your spot! Otherwise, walk up to any class at least 15 minutes before we start so we can have you fill out a little bit of paperwork.

Are you a WABA or Capital Bikeshare member? Then the class is free. Email or call 202-518-0524 x221 for a coupon.

Event Location

This class is from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad Parking Lot
5020 Battery Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814

Metro
The nearest Metro stop is Bethesda on the Red line. From the stop, head northwest on Old Georgetown Road until Battery Lane. The parking lot will be on your right.

Register

This class is offered thanks to the generous support of Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

This class is from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.