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Bethesda Area Suffers From 535-Space Bicycle Parking Shortage, Study Finds

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A study of short-term bicycle parking in Montgomery County has found that a deficit of 2,025 parking spaces exists in commercial and developing locales such as Bethesda and Silver Spring.

The County Planning Board on Thursday is scheduled to get an overview of the analysis that aims to compare the supply of bicycle parking with targets included in the county’s zoning code.

The planning department’s study considered 19 of the county’s 30 bicycle pedestrian priority areas to come up with the findings. Seventy-eight percent of the 1,152 blocks in these regions lack any short-term bicycle parking, such as bike racks, and 85 percent of them have insufficient parking accommodations, according to the study.

The Bethesda area needs another 535 parking spaces, while Silver Spring needs 381, White Flint needs 279, Wheaton needs 241 and Friendship Heights needs 160. The report also looked at parking capacity in the areas of: Aspen Hill, Clarksburg Town Center, Cloverleaf, Flower-Piney Branch Arliss, Four Corners, Germantown Town Center, Glenmont, Kensington, Montgomery Hills, Olney Town Center, Piney Branch-University, Shady Grove, Takoma/Langley Crossroads and Westbard.

The county planning department used a crowdsource tool to identify more than 1,000 bike racks across the county.

The analysis is part of a planning department effort to update the county’s Bicycle Master Plan. To deal with the shortage of bicycle racks, the updated plan will recommend that the county launch a bicycle parking program.