January 14, 2015

County’s First Protected Bike Lane (Cycle Track) Installed

The Department of Transportation’s Division of Transportation Engineering (DTE) recently completed the County’s first protected bike lane -- also referred to as a “cycle track.”

The on-road bike lane is about 1,500 feet long and is adjacent to the curb on the west side of Woodglen Dr. between Edson and Nicholson lanes. It provides an important connection between the Bethesda Trolley Trail to the south and Rockville destinations to the north. Eventually, the lane will link directly to the White Flint Metro Station, which is located one block north.

The two-way, eight-foot-wide cycle track protects bicyclists from both through traffic and parked vehicle door openings, because it is located between the curb and a two-to-three foot buffer bordered by flexible posts. Next to the buffer are the parking lane and three travel lanes of traffic.

View a video of the restriping process.


  1. We live a block off of Woodglen Drive and find that the changes to Woodglen are ugly and too restrictive to both vehicles and pedestrians. What are sidewalks for? We often walk the path behind Georgetown Prep and access it from Woodglen and have Never had a problem with bike or pedestrian access. Will the county, someday, increase the width of the path behind Georgetown Prep to accommodate both pedestrians and bikes???? In our opinion, this change is a big waste of our tax dollars!

    1. In response, the Department of Transportation says: You raise several good points. Montgomery County recognizes that our transportation facilities form the framework for our communities and should provide for the safe and efficient movement of all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit users and travelers of all ages and abilities as well as for goods and services.

      When the Woodglen Drive resurfacing project was initiated, Montgomery County Department of Transportation evaluated the roadway for safe pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and for meeting local master plan objectives. It was determined that Woodglen Drive would be a good candidate for the County’s first cycle track or separated bike lane. The cycle track is separated from vehicular traffic, parking spaces and sidewalks and provides space exclusively for bicyclists.

      Woodglen Drive is a heavily utilized north south pedestrian and bicycle corridor linking users from Bethesda to Rockville via the Bethesda Trolley Trail. Integrating the cycle track into the Woodglen Drive right of way provided an opportunity to enhance the safety and convenience of bicycle travel as well as improve conditions for motorists and pedestrians. Since cycle tracks separate bicyclists from motor vehicle traffic to a greater degree than bicycle lanes, users feel more comfortable using the facility and are more apt to use their bicycle for trips.

      Although cyclists can legally ride on sidewalks in Montgomery County, in our more urban areas sidewalks often become congested with runners, joggers, walkers and shoppers. This results in conflicts and frustration between users. With respect to future improvements to the Bethesda Trolley Trail behind Georgetown prep, there is currently not a project to widen the trail at this time.

  2. A BIGi Waste of money! We live near Woodglen Dr and feel that with all of the new development,ie Whole Foods, Seasons 52, etc and the existing wide sidewalk along Woodglen between Nicholson and Edson is adequate, if not more than adequate!

  3. As a bicyclist (and pedestrian and driver), I think it's great that the county has piloted a cycle track project. It has come none too soon. It can be scary, and just plain dangerous, to bike on many of the roads in the county. I hope the county expands this to many other roads in the county.

  4. I am a cyclist that has had too many close calls with motorists. I am a county resident, and am so happy that the county is waking up to the reality that bicycles as a mode of transportation is here to stay. Kudos to MOCO!!


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