I’m asking you to support those two above designs because they would do the most to increase safety for bike riders and encourage more people in the area to bike. Many families drive to a couple of parking lots along Sligo Creek Trail, then unload their bikes and ride or go for a walk. As a community – for greater safety, cleaner air, lower noise, etc. – we have to encourage more people to take Metro to Takoma or Silver Spring and then bike over to Sligo Creek
As usually happens when street width is narrow, the planners put up paint-only bike lanes and shared-road “sharrow” markers as options for Lower Maple. Data and anecdotal accounts show that both of those designs do close to nothing to encourage more bike riding or make existing riders safer. Paint-only bike lanes in mixed-use areas become double-parking zones
where rideshares pick-up and drop-off, where package delivery trucks stop to unload, and quick in/out movements of parked/ing drivers frequently strike bicyclists.
In theory, I prefer the curb-height mobility lane because it has big pedestrian improvements with new beginner-friendly bikeways. This will result in the most possible people biking to and through the corridor. However, installing a capital project with moving curbs will likely push the installation of this project back 2-5 years. The town would probably need to seek County, State, and maybe Federal money to complete design and installation.
I’m a mobility justice advocate, so I have to hold myself to be a pedestrian ally as well as a bike safety evangelist. The tension: support a safer road for bikes that can install next year or support a safer streetscape for everyone that *maybe* gets done by 2024-26. Under no condition will I support Lower Maple designs with sharrows or paint-only bike lanes. Those configurations have completely failed in all contexts where housing, business, and recreation collide at the curbside. Those roads kill people.