|Bikeways proposed in and around Four Corners. Red dashed lines indicate proposed shared-roadway bicycle facilities, green dashed lines represent proposed shared-use paths along roadways. The solid green line around Blair is a proposed on campus ring path. Click here for full map.|
Most of the proposed bikeways around Four Corners are on-street bike facilities, called "signed shared roadways" in the plan.
These are a nice gesture, but these signed shared roadways lack the type of infrastructure that makes cycling pleasant. Signs such as "Share the Road" and "Bikes May Use Full Lane" do little to protect cyclists from the things that make on-road cycling dangerous, such as aggressive drivers and the lack of dedicated cycling space (bike lanes). If you're riding a bike in the right lane of Route 29, with a car following 5 feet behind you laying on the horn, the fact that the road is a "signed shared roadway" doesn't do much for you.
However, shared use roadways on residential streets do not have this problem due to the lower speed limits. Since riding a bike on residential streets is preferable to riding on a six lane highway, it makes sense to label certain streets as bike routes. Under both plans, streets in all four neighborhoods are slated for increased bike signage and sharrows. This type of infrastructure currently exists only on Forest Glen Road in South Four Corners.
|Bikeways proposed under the 1996 Four Corners Master Plan. Compare this to the first map and note the similarities and differences.|
|A shared use path along Annapolis Road (MD 450) in Lanham. The guardrail protects users from distracted drivers and provides an important sense of safety. Image from Google Streetview.|
|Current sidewalks on University Boulevard. Photo by the author.|