The building of the New Nice Bridge, which connects Charles County with Virginia via U.S. 301 presents a once in 100 year opportunity to construct an iconic bridge with a barrier-separated path for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Imagine all of our excitement when Governor Hogan declared in this statement that
The new bridge will be built north of and parallel to the existing 1.7-mile bridge and will include two lanes of traffic in each direction and a barrier-separated bicycle and pedestrian path.
Unfortunately, MdTA, who owns the bridge and controls the bidding process decided to allow for 2 “options” when they released this video (the 6:00 mark is where this is discussed and the diagram is at 6:34). The second option allows for a design in which cyclists share a lane with motor vehicles travelling in excess of 50 MPH. While a protected bicycle and pedestrian lane accomodates both pedestrians and cyclists, this second option would only be utilized by the most fearless cyclists.
Bike Maryland needs everyone reading this to submit comments to the Maryland Transportation Authority. The message is this:
Thank you Governor Hogan for your commitment to including a barrier-separated pedestrian-bicycle path on the New Nice Bridge. We strongly encourage you to remove option 2 from the request for design-build proposals so that there is no question that your commitment will be fulfilled.
Additional talking points that you can add:
- Riding slowly with traffic passing at a high rate of speed is far from ideal. Note that the bridge will have a very significant incline and bicycles are estimated to travel between 5 and 12 mph.
- Riding in crosswinds with traffic passing at a high rate of speed will be hazardous
- A safe path for cyclists and pedestrians provides a great economic opportunity for communities near the bridge. These opportunities include overnight stays, shopping opportunities, and, of course before and after ride meals
Anything that you feel you want to add to stress the importance of why access to the bridge is good.
Please use the button below to submit a comment. More info here
Additionally, if you are interested send emails to Governor Hogan and Secretary Rahn thanking them for the commitment for a barrier separate bike pedestrian path and asking them to require MdTA to fulfill that commitment.