MDOT SHA Logo)(June 9, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is launching a pilot project allowing bicycles and vehicles to safely share 1.35 miles of MD 193 (University Boulevard) from Amherst Avenue to Arcola Avenue in Wheaton, Montgomery County. Beginning Friday, June 11, weather permitting, and continuing through late fall, this Multi-Modal Shared Streets Pilot Project includes new traffic patterns and temporarily repurposed lanes, providing opportunities for motorists and bicyclists to share access to and from commercial, residential and recreational centers in Wheaton.“MDOT SHA is committed to solutions to improve safety, accessibility and mobility for all users of Maryland’s roadways,” MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith said. “Examples such as this shared streets project show how we are using a context-driven approach, shifting our focus from auto-mobility to balance access and mobility for all users in dense urban areas.”The temporary pilot project for MD 193 (University Boulevard) is part of a county-wide initiative to enhance safety and mobility for all roadway users. The project includes:Reducing the number of vehicular through-lanes on MD 193.Repurposing MD 193 travel lanes adjacent to the curbs for use by bicyclists.Modifying lane assignments to connect bicyclists to the MD 193 interim bike lanes.Adding flexible posts – or “vertical delineators” – to separate vehicle and bike lanes.Installing updated signage and striping.“MDOT and our local partners are pursuing innovative solutions to address increased demand for pedestrian and bicycle access,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “This pilot project is an important step to advance our shared mission to provide a safe and efficient transportation system that’s open and available for all users.”Access to all businesses, driveways and bus stops will be maintained at all times during the pilot project. Bicyclists traveling along MD 193 should use the protected outside lanes. Pedestrians should use the existing sidewalk. All users share the responsibility to stay alert and undistracted on Maryland’s roadways. At the conclusion of the pilot project, MDOT SHA will remove the flex posts and temporary line striping and restore the use of all lanes for vehicular traffic. MDOT SHA will then evaluate motorist, bicycle and pedestrian operations and safety to gauge the effectiveness of the pilot project.In early 2022, results of the study will be available on the Project Portal Page, which can be accessed HERE. The public is encouraged to visit the page for more information and provide input. As the project progresses, an online survey will be available to gauge the public’s experiences.MDOT SHA works hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for our crews as well as our customers. Drivers need to stay alert, focus on driving and, look for reduced speed limits as well as other driving pattern changes. Please drive like you work here and slow down in construction zones.For a list of all major MDOT SHA projects, go to Project Portal. Visit our homepage at roads.maryland.gov. For a look at real-time traffic conditions, go to md511.maryland.gov. Editor’s NoteFrom intersection improvements to widening and new interchange construction, MDOT SHA is investing in projects to enhance the commute and daily travel for millions of Marylanders. MDOT SHA maintains more than 2,500 bridges and 17,000 miles of non-toll state roads – the interstate, US and state numbered routes in Maryland’s 23 counties.