Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “North Four Corners News”

North Four Corners News ♦ June 2023

MCDOT Bus/Bike Lane Pilot Coming This Summer

By Sharon Canavan

This summer, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) plans to start a 12-month pilot for dedicated lanes on University Boulevard.  Only buses, bicycles, emergency vehicles, and traffic turning right into the neighborhood will be allowed to drive in the dedicated lanes.  MCDOT held a virtual public meeting on 30 March to discuss this project.  More specific information and a video recording of MCDOT’s presentation is available at the link below.

The goal of the pilot is to improve transit times and service reliability for buses and support increased bicycle usage.  The dedicated lanes will run east and west in the curb lanes on University Boulevard from Dennis Avenue in Four Corners to Amherst Avenue in Wheaton and will be identified with red painted areas and traffic signage.

Vehicles will still be able to drive in the dedicated lane in order to turn right into a driveway or access road into our neighborhood.  To make a right turn, drivers should enter the dedicated lane within 100 feet of their turn.

When MCDOT conducted a previous pilot with dedicated bike lanes in this same stretch of University Boulevard, there was substantial criticism — particularly from residents of the Kemp Mill community — because the pilot project design blocked off the right turn yield lane from Arcola onto University Boulevard.  This caused substantial traffic backups on Arcola.  MCDOT’s traffic engineers recognized this problem, so the upcoming dedicated lane pilot will preserve the yield lane; vehicles will be able to use the yield lane and cross the dedicated lane to merge onto University Boulevard.

Dedicated lane pavement markings and signs will be installed this spring with the pilot set to begin this summer.  MCDOT is encouraging the public to comment on the pilot and its design, so your comments can be posted at the link below.    ■

MCDOT Plan Post Comments

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