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Council Vice President Riemer and Council President Berliner to Host Community Meeting on Bicycling in Bethesda Tonight at 7:30 p.m.

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 3, 2017

Council Vice President Riemer and
Council President Berliner to Host Community Meeting on Bicycling in Bethesda Tonight at 7:30 p.m.

ROCKVILLE, Md., November 1, 2017—Montgomery County Council Vice President Hans Riemer and Council President Roger Berliner, the County Planning Department, the County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) will host a community meeting tonight, Wednesday, November 1 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. to discuss bicycling routes and safety in and around Bethesda. The meeting will be held at the Jane E. Lawton Community Center, which is located at 4301 Wilson Drive in Chevy Chase, Md. 20815.
 
The Council, through the master plan process, recently adopted a bold new vision for Downtown Bethesda that includes many transformational changes to the area’s bicycle infrastructure. The Bicycle Master Plan, which has the objective of creating a world-class, comfortable, safe and connected bicycle network, is nearing completion. Responding to the closure of the Georgetown Branch Trail for construction on the Purple Line, the County is working closely with stakeholders to identify alternate bicycle connections between Silver Spring and Bethesda. The County invites residents to learn more about these opportunities and challenges and to share their perspectives at the meeting.

One of the highlighted objectives of the new Downtown Bethesda Plan is excellent walkability and bikeability. The plan emphasizes bike lanes that are protected from traffic and a new development mitigation policy that requires developer payments for all modes of transportation, including biking. The Council is supporting the development of “low-stress bike networks” that are easy for bicycle commuters to navigate.

“I am committed to creating the safest environment for cyclists of all ages and all skill levels,” said Council Vice President Riemer. “With the recent closure of the Georgetown Branch Trail, this is an important time for a community discussion about the future of biking infrastructure in affected areas. The changes recommended in the Bethesda Sector Plan, the Bicycle Master Plan, and the ongoing discussions about alternative routes to the Georgetown Branch Trail all are pushing the County in the right direction. But, we need to get it right. That is why I am looking forward to hearing from the public as the County considers ways to make bicycling a real option for more residents.”

Council President Berliner explained that, “When the Council passed the Downtown Bethesda Plan, we did so with the aim of creating a truly walkable and bikeable community – one that embraces a multimodal approach that encourages people to get out of their cars, reducing congestion and our carbon footprint.  The closure of the Georgetown Branch Trail to allow for construction of the Purple Line and the completion of the Capital Crescent Trail has made it clear that we need the bike infrastructure recommended in the Downtown Bethesda Plan more than ever. I look forward to hearing from the County Department of Transportation, the County Planning Department, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and the community on November 1 as to how we can make our bicycle network the best it can be.”

To RSVP for this community meeting, visit:
http://councilmemberriemer.com/bethesda-bike-meeting

To read more about the Downtown Bethesda Plan, visit:
http://councilmemberriemer.com/2017/08/a-bold-new-vision-for-bethesda.html

To see the Bicycle Master Plan, visit:
http://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/functional-planning/bicycle-master-plan/

For information or inquiries, contact Ken Silverman in the Office of Council Vice President Riemer, at 240-777-7830 or Ken.Silverman@montgomerycountymd.gov , or Aaron Kraut in the Office of Council President Berliner, at 240-777-7962 or Aaron.Kraut@montgomerycountymd.gov .

# # # # Release ID: 17-340
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926