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Old 12-19-2015, 12:16 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default Bicycle Master Plan Advances with Community Meeting Focused on Life Sciences Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2015


Bicycle Master Plan Advances with
December 15 Community Meeting Focused on Life Sciences Center


Planners traced the progress of the Life Sciences Center Loop
Trail and the Bicycle Master Plan in the Life Sciences Center
    

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 on the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus to update the community on bicycle and pedestrian planning activities in the Life Sciences Center (LSC) area near Gaithersburg.

The community event focused on efforts to create new transportation and recreational networks for people who walk and bike. The Draft Life Sciences Center Bicycle Network Proposal aims to create separated bike lanes and provide long-term bicycle parking stations in this district within the Greater Seneca Science Corridor. Separated bike lanes (or cycle tracks) create a low-stress environment for cyclists because they provide physical separation from both traffic and pedestrians.

A complementary project, called the Life Sciences Center Loop Trail, will provide an off-road shared use path for walking and bicycling to connect destinations within the Life Sciences Center area. At the meeting, the draft design guidelines for the Loop Trail were introduced.

These guidelines will assist project developers in this area, who are required to build the trail along the frontage of their building, in developing engineering plans and cost estimates for construction. The guidelines will also allow funding for the LSC Loop Trail to be included in the County’s six-year Capital Improvements Program which is required for the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan to advance to the next stage. 

The Planning Board is scheduled to review the Draft Life Sciences Center Bicycle Network Proposal and LSC Loop Trail design guidelines on January 28, 2016. Once approved, these networks will be incorporated into the new Bicycle Master Plan for the County.

Review the Draft Life Sciences Center Bicycle Network Proposal.

Review the Draft Life Sciences Center Loop Trail Design Guidelines.

View a video recap of the meeting.

Send feedback on the documents to: LSCplanning@montgomeryplanning.org.

Background on the LSC Loop Trail
The Life Sciences Center (LSC) Loop Trail is recommended in the Greater Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan as one of the steps for achieving the plan goals. This 3.5-mile cycling and walking path will knit together five districts within the Life Sciences Center area near Gaithersburg and enhance access to the Corridor Cities Transitway, a proposed bus rapid transit route. The Loop Trail will help to achieve the increased non-auto driver mode share requirements established in the Master Plan.

A $60,000 grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments enabled the Montgomery County Planning Department to hire a consultant, Alexandria, Virginia-based Rhodeside & Harwell, to prepare design guidelines for the LSC Loop Trail. Inspiration came from the Indianapolis Cultural Trail with its creative mix of landscaping, signage and public art, and private funding of construction.

Next steps in the LSC Loop Trail project include presentations of the recently completed trail design guidelines to the Planning Board, Upcounty organizations and other community groups.

Background on Bicycle Master Plan
The Bicycle Master Plan will develop a low-stress bicycling network that encourages more people to ride a bike in Montgomery County. It will evaluate an array of bikeway types, including separated, buffered bike lanes and bicycle boulevards, as well as how to provide secure bicycle storage facilities at transit stations. The network will be developed using an evaluation of the varying levels of stress imposed by traffic on cyclists along each roadway in the County.

Community meetings held in five locations throughout the County during September and October 2015 allowed participants to record comments on how the bicycle connections in the County could be improved. Those comments were recorded on a digital feedback map and will be taken into account as work continues on the new Bicycle Master Plan. View the feedback map.

Questions or Comments?
Contact: David Anspacher, Planner and Bicycle Master Plan Project Manager
Email: avid.Anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org">David.Anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org
Telephone: 301.495.2191

Contact: Steve Findley, Planner and LSC Loop Trail Project Manager
Email: Steve.Findley@montgomeryplanning.org
Telephone: 301.495.4727

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