Positive Steps Towards Pedestrian and Bicycling Access and Safety in Kensington
October 8, 2021
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) recently announced that the Town of Kensington has been chosen for State Bicycling and Pedestrian Priority (BPPA) designation.
This designation corresponds geographically with the boundaries of Montgomery County’s BPPA for the Town of Kensington (see insert), and will facilitate collaboration between the Town, County, and State in the identification and implementation of bicycle and pedestrian improvements within the BPPA. Importantly, gaining BPPA recognition from MDOT SHA will lead to:
- Planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements and additions, together with residents’ input and existing land-use/master plans;
- Identifying roadway improvements that align with State and local bicycle and pedestrian planning; and
- Estimating construction costs for proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
Connecticut Corridor Study – A Key Factor in the Kensington BPPA
As a next step in the BPPA process, the Town will work with MDOT SHA, Montgomery County, and other key stakeholders to develop a Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Area Plan. One important input into this Plan is a soon-to-be-initiated study on the development of alternative visions for transforming the Connecticut Avenue corridor in Kensington.
The goal of the study is to deliver concrete and innovative improvements in pedestrian and bicycling access and safety, as well as improved connectivity throughout the Town. The analysis and design options are expected to also cover areas that intersect with Connecticut Avenue: Knowles Avenue, Plyers Mill Road/Metropolitan Avenue, and University Boulevard.
Funding for this study is being provided by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Transportation Land Use Connections (TLC) program. The Town partnered with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) to apply for and win the grant, and Mead & Hunt was just announced as the consulting firm selected to carry out the study.
Feedback and Public Engagement
Both the COG TLC grant study and the BPPA Plan are designed to be highly participatory. The TLC process will start later this calendar year with a public kick-off meeting, and there will be several other opportunities for public input and community feedback along the way. The work is slated for completion in mid-2022, and again, is expected to play a significant role in shaping the BPPA Plan.
The BPPA designation and TLC grant were secured through the efforts of the Town’s Pedestrian and Bicycling Access and Safety Working Group, which has been working for over a year to identify mechanisms for improving walkability, as well as pedestrian and bicycling safety in and around Kensington.
Support was also provided through letters of endorsement from County Councilmembers Albornoz, Friedson, and Glass, MCDOT and Montgomery County Planning Board’s Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Maryland District 18 Delegation: Senator Waldstreicher and Delegates Carr, Shetty, and Solomon.
For more information, please contact Councilmember Nate Engle, Co-Chair of the Pedestrian and Bicycling Access and Safety Working Group (firstname.lastname@example.org).