Thursday, February 26, 2015

MD-SHA Offers Protected Bike Lanes with updates to Policy & Engineering Guidelines

The SHA has updated their design guide and most notably are new options for protected bike lanes.   WABA has a great write up about SHA's policy update along with good comments about where the new policy still has gaps.   For example, the SHA can still build narrow, unsafe bike lanes along high speed traffic.

A great project currently in design phase that could benefit is the MD28/MD198 Improvement Project (between MD-97 and I-95).  The number of vehicles that travel this section should warrant safe pedestrian and bicycle accommodations being made (even in the no-build phase).   If the project moves forward with anything other than a no-build option, the road is destined to be widened with plans for minimal on-road bicycle facilities.   Switching to one-way protected bike lanes on each side would certainly make this section a great east-west connection for cyclists of all experience levels.   Let's also be clear that a 'protected' bike lane needs to be protected, not just buffered by a 2ft wide white line as shown in figure 10.3 of the guidelines.  This setup creates problems with 'dooring' from parked cars on the right and no physical buffer from vehicles on the left leaving people on bikes vulnerable to major physical injury.  

Feel free to contact me about this project by posting comments or connecting with me on twitter (@makeitbikeable).  

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