I enjoyed Mr. Edens' write up in the paper, "In the street," on June 18. I specifically enjoyed reading about the pedestrian-free zones in Europe and other American cities.

I recently spent six months in Munich on business and I too enjoyed the traffic-free downtown — it was a pleasure to behold and experience. Mr. Edens also touted the reduction on carbon dioxide emissions as a bonus.

However, one important detail was missed in his article. All those cities have an incredible bicycling community/culture with bicycle lanes everywhere including out of the suburbs into the city. Talk about reduction in CO2.

Here in Frederick, we have all kinds of suburban communities (suburban to Frederick city) including Clover Hill, Amber Meadows, North Crossing, Cannon Bluff, Tuscarora Creek, Meadowbrooke, Whittier, and many more that have zero safe access capability to downtown via bicycle. It’s preposterous that we’re actually backwards to our European counterparts.

One cannot ride from any of these neighborhoods safely into town, let alone to the grocery store (even closer to home). We spent a huge sum of money to build a tunnel under the Rosemont Avenue on-ramp to U.S. 15, which is great for downtown residents, but does absolutely nothing for those surrounding the city which are actually considered (except Clover Hill) part of the city since the city annexed all those parcels years ago.

There is a great rail right-of-way that runs from Frederick city to Thurmont which runs right through Whittier. You would think we would have made that a rail trail long ago, but alas, no one has even considered it as far as I know.

Our bicycle lanes in Frederick consist of some lines and arrows in the middle of the street (see 7th Street, Rosemont Ave.) and a little bike path in the northwest part of the city proper. If we really want to get folks downtown and drop our carbon footprint, we need capable bike paths for those of us outside the city to get safely into the city. It’s common sense!

With all this building going on out here near Yellow Springs, why aren’t the creation of bicycle lanes being required/prioritized by the city/county from the developers as part of the APFO (Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance)? Frederick wants to be a grown-up town and fight climate change at the same time. It’s time to start designing it as such.

(27) comments

jwhamann

My experiences with bike lanes is that all the road trash, dirt and broken glàss ends up in those lanes. In winter snow plows cover them up.

gary4books

So we ought to make plans to keep them cleared and put that in the budget, too.

gabrielshorn2013

"One cannot ride from any of these neighborhoods safely into town, let alone to the grocery store (even closer to home)."

Strange example. How many people would bike to the grocery store for their weekly groceries? Not many. Where would they put them on a bike?

public-redux

I don’t disagree about how many. But there was a time in my life when a bike was my only vehicle. For grocery shopping I used panniers, a plastic container that I attached to the rack with bungee cords, and a rucksack. Did that for two years.

threecents

Yah, when I was in grad school, I was able to attach to bags of groceries to my bike, along with what could fit in my backpack. Back in the day. Same for my laundry.

public-redux

I asked the store manager if they could install a bike rack. He pretty much sneered at me that I would be the only one to use it.

jsklinelga

gabe

That was my instant first thought. Numerous opinions have been offered and the writer says we are lagging behind our European counterparts. But then one poster nailed it. When gas becomes $8.00 per gallon, like Europe, we will see new bike paths.

Certainly that may be why many support Biden. Assuredly with the carbon taxes, drilling restrictions and other government regulation that will follow, gas could reach $5.00 a gallon overnight. That will have a super positive multiplier effect. Commuters will not be able to afford to travel !-270 Housing sprawl in the county will subside. In several years many will not be able to afford a car CO2 levels will approach a pandemic low. (I to love to ride my bike but not on the roadways._

shiftless88

actually Biden is not a big proponent of much of the Green New Deal so I would suggest that people support Biden despite his views on this. He is at least partially supportive of the right thing, verus basically every Republican.

gary4books

People all over the world have faced this problem and we have many solutions. Even by shopping more often.

Dwasserba

"One cannot ride from any of these neighborhoods safely into town, let alone to the grocery store (even closer to home)." Weis is in a shopping center named for Amber Meadows on TJ with a long sidewalk to it on Oppossumtown that has only sporadic foot traffic.

DickD

We have bike lanes along 180 and other roads. The problem is bikes don't always stay in the lanes, they wander and can cause serious accidents to the bike riders. And very few use the lanes anyway.

Roofstarr

We need to educate everyone how to be safer. Bicyclists need to observe the rules of the road, but the real problem - if you've ever braved riding a bicycle on the roads - is that cars meander with deadly consequences. Some drivers deliberately buzz drivers, trying to scare us off the roads. Drivers need to look out for cyclists and share the road. Ideally, we'd have paths that are well off to the side of the road.

mcrider

A rail ROW through Whittier ? Really? I never knew that. Where would that be exactly? I can not find it on county mapping.

Dwasserba

I thought that too, my next thought was, why do I want to go to Thurmont

mcrider

Nevermind

lynnemezzo

The old Potomac Edison right of way for the trolley line that ran from Frederick to Thurmont.

edens30

There's currently a shared use path that runs along a small portion of the old right of way, just NE of Tuscany Dr., between the Walnut Ridge and Old Farm subdivisions.

shiftless88

mcrider; if you look on Google maps (satellite view) you can see it along the NE edge of Whittier. Perhaps 100 yards NE of the edge of the lake.

MD1756

You can build bike lanes but that doesn't mean there will be any significant travel habits. DC has taking large chucks out of a number of streets for bike lanes. When I worked down there (12th and PA) I didn't see any noticeable change in the number of people riding bikes however it did seem that fewer were riding on the sidewalks.

micky

When gas reaches $8 per gallon, as in Europe, there will be bicycles everywhere here also!!

DickD

Can you use electric bikes and scooters in the bike lanes?

gary4books

I do not know when it will be completed, but there will be a path from Worman's Mill to downtown Frederick in the future. I do hope it stays in the budget. It can be a model for other trails if people like it.

MD1756

Gary, while more trails may be nice, when the government isn't currently properly maintaining all of its existing infrastructure needs or expanding critical infrastructure (i.e., schools) to keep up with the growing population do you think they should build new amenities or stick to basics?

Roofstarr

Bicycle trails are not a luxury, but part of critical infrastructure. If you don't have a car it's impossible to get around this county. Bicycle paths make it safer to travel to school, work, grocery stores, etc. Cycling reduces the need for automobile traffic, cuts down on pollution, and has the nice side effect of reducing chronic health issues like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The more trails the better!

gabrielshorn2013

"Critical infrastructure"? No. Bicycle commuting is OK if you have a short, maybe a five mile maximum commute. Outside of that, very few people will take advantage of it. Recreational riding is different, but that can be done on the existing roads. Providing "bike lanes" is costly to establish and maintain, especially when the road systems are already established (e.g. Frederick City). There is significant cost in adding additional pavement for wider new roads that incorporate a separate bike lane. Compare the cost of establishing bike lanes and other uses for those funds, especially when Local, County, State, and Federal governments will be seeing a significant revenue shortfall due to the pandemic, whose effects on the economy may last for many years. The better use of those funds is clearly elsewhere. BTW, I am also an avid cyclist. See you on the road.

gary4books

Bike lanes will be part of the future. Denial will be locked in the past. I expect to see some really interesting devices that merge new materials, some new technology and electronics for another way to ride a bike trail.

gary4books

Of course they should, and pick those with the greatest return first. First things first. Old or new.

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