August 5, 2013

Shady Grove Access Bike Path Completed

County Executive Ike Leggett (left) helped celebrate completion of the Shady Grove Access Bike Path that extends from Shady Grove Rd. to Redland Rd. Joining Leggett were (from left) MoBike Chair Jack Cochrane; Joe Fritsch, cyclist; Charles Hynson, MoBike member and bike commuter; Gary Thompson, bike commuter; Gregory Billing, Washington Area Bicyclist Association advocacy coordinator; and Transportation Engineering Division Chief Bruce Johnston. At left is a Bikeshare bike, which will soon be seen at a station on the west side of the Shady Grove Metro Station.
Completion of the Shady Grove Access Bike Path was celebrated by officials, bikers and walkers, alike, because it means there is a safe pathway to the Shady Grove Metro Station for bicyclists and pedestrians and a connection to other area sidewalks and bikeways. By improving access to transit, residents may be encouraged to not only travel by bike, but also combine bicycle trips with buses, Metro and walking.

The new 10-foot bike path extends 4,700 feet from Shady Grove Rd. to Redland Rd. along the east side of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metro Access road. The project includes a bikeway ramp from the new bike path to an existing bikeway on Crabbs Branch Way. To enhance safety, a pedestrian-activated traffic signal was installed at the crossing to the Metro station.

“This bike path is an important component in increasing safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists as our Smart Growth Initiative transforms the Shady Grove area into a walkable, bikeable community,” said Leggett.

Bike parking is available at the Shady Grove Metro Station. The County’s Bikeshare program will have a station located on the west side of the Shady Grove Metro -- part of a 21-bike station system with 200 bikes that will be installed in the Rockville and Shady Grove/Life Sciences Center area. The downcounty bikeshare system will have 30 stations with 250 bikes located along both of the Red Line Metrorail corridors between the District of Columbia and the Beltway.

The Department of Transportation plans additional improvements to extend bike connections along Needwood Rd. eventually connecting to the ICC (Inter-County Connector) and Rock Creek Regional Park.

Read more.


  1. Cyclists should be aware that the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) ‘Guide for the development of bicycle facilities’... cautions against building two-way paths along, but physically separated from, a parallel road. AASHTO states that sidewalk bikeways are unsafe and implies the same about shared-use paths parallel to roads, listing numerous safety concerns and permitting their use only in special situations.

    Cyclists are usually safer taking a central position in the general traffic lane in situations like these, as is recommended by the Maryland state Driver's Manual (see page 30), which states, "Bicyclists may ride out in the travel lane for their own safety due to narrow roads, or to avoid obstacles or pavement hazards. On roads without shoulders, or with cars parked along the right side, often the safest place for a bicyclist to ride is in the center of the lane. In Maryland, a bicyclist may use the full lane even while traveling substantially below the speed of traffic if the lane is too narrow for a car to safely pass a bicycle within the lane)."

    The roads around Shady Grove all have two lanes in each direction - motorists can easily change lanes to overtake. Or, if there isn't enough room to overtake, they can wait behind the cyclist, as they are required to do by law.

  2. If the problem is that cyclists from Gaithersburg have no access except for the quasi-freeway that is N. Frederick Road, then what's needed is a ROAD, with a 20-25mph speed limit and connected at each end with a standard intersection. We do not need a bike path with fricken pedestrian crossings at each end. A bike is a vehicle, not a toy.

    Alternatively, and admittedly this idea might be shocking and appalling to some, but what if we reduced the speed limit on N. Frederick Road, say to 25 to 30mph, so that people don't use it as a raceway and so that all users can feel safe on it.

  3. How about posting a map so I can see where this trail is located?

  4. This sort of story would be improved tremendously if it had a map showing both the new bike path and the existing paths to which it connects.

  5. You can find maps and other information about bikesharing in Montgomery County at


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