Montgomery Co. Committee: Cyclist Safety a Concern After Purple Line Work Closes Trail

A Montgomery County committee is pushing for more safety measures to protect bicyclists who can no longer use a trail closed for construction of the Purple Line.

The popular Georgetown Branch Trail that connects Bethesda and Silver Spring, Maryland, has been rerouted and for the next four or five years riders and pedestrians will have to use a detour that takes them along busy roads, including Jones Bridge Road.

At a meeting Thursday, the Montgomery County Transportation Committee voiced concern about the new route and discussed the possibility of widening sidewalks and adding curbs and signs to help cyclists.

"Letting people just find their own way is not desirable in this situation and we need to find paths that are useful not only for more experienced bikers, but there's a lot of kids that are taking a bike to school, there's a lot of, you know, more recreational users," said Councilmember Hans Riemer.

The council also warned residents living near construction they will likely experience issues for the next few years.

“This is going to be tough to live through,” Councilmember Nancy Floreen said, WTOP reports. “Like any construction project, it’s going to be annoying and there are going to be problems.”

The Purple Line is a light rail system that will stretch 16 miles from Bethesda to New Carrollton. The line will provide a direct connection to Metro's Red, Green and Orange lines and connect to MARC, Amtrak and local bus services.

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