Tuesday, October 26, 2010

4th Street Boulevard Construction

Construction is underway on the final piece of the 4th Street Capital Improvement Project.  This project includes the transformation of this...

4th Street near Ashford Blvd
 ...into this:

Cross-section of 4th Street, with bike lanes and tree-lined median
The tree-lined center-medians will aid in traffic calming on this road and also will allow for better traffic management, when traffic picks up again on the Laurel Mall site.  DPW crew are currently installing bikes lanes, and contractors are repairing sidewalk, curb-and-gutter.  A new pedestrian crossing is being installed at the intersection of 4th Street and Ashford Boulevard.   In addition, the crosswalks and median openings at the intersection of 4th and Cherry will be widened to 14' wide on both sides of the intersection. These wider crossings will allow for easier and safer pedestrian and bike access from 4th Street to the Gude Lake, via the newly-built connecting path.  When all the concrete work is complete, contractors will mill and overlay select portions of the road. Construction is expected to take up to a month, depending on weather conditions.
DPW crew installing bike lanes on 4th Street today


  1. I've seen the work on 4th Street just north of Cherry Lane... there just isn't enough width to allow safe bike lane and vehicle lane, the cars, trucks and especially buses encroach on the bike lanes. As a bicyclist, I especially would never use the lane from Gude Lake toward old town, you're riding in what appears to be the middle of the north-bound lane since there's designated parking against the curb. Why not just designate all roads in Laurel as shareable roads for vehicles and bikes? Just put down the arrows with the bicycle logo in the right side of all traffic lanes?

  2. Anonymous,
    We haven't finished re-striping 4th street yet. It is being milled from Cherry to Ashford; then it will be re-striped. Unfortunately, I don't see it being re-striped until this spring. When re-striped, the entire northbound direction will be 8' parking, 5' biking, and 12' travel lane - on a roadway that sees virtually no on-street parking (right now) and has an ADT of only 7500 cars. The southbound direction will be 12' wide travel with a 6' bike lane the entire distance. Also, the bike lane heading southbound will shift over to the center to eliminate the "right-hand hook" scenario at Cherry Lane. Bike detection at the signal will be accomplished via the camera traffic detectors; and it is expected that bikers will use the widened median opening and widened sidewalk on Cherry to continue south or on to the Gude Lake paths. You can e-mail me at bwhite@laurel.md.us for more information or stop by the DPW office and ask for me.

    To answer your last question, we will be putting down a lot of shared route markings next year and over the next few years.

  3. What kind of traffic delays are being experienced, south bound on 4th street at the bus stop across from the mall (~0.14 miles north of Cherry Lane)when a bus is sitting at the shelter, blocking the one lane of through traffic. Are vehicles using the Left Turn Only lane to get around the bus and continue on to Cherry Lane? If so, do we want to change the signage to allow a "bus bypass"? In the past, I have seen a bus (apparently waiting for its scheduled departure time)causing a southbound backup.

  4. Hi Edward,
    I've never heard this brought up before. I checked - and sure enough there is a WMATA stop on the southbound side of 4th Street across from the bus shelter. I don't believe that vehicles are using the LT lane to go around a bus, because I have never ever seen a queue build up on the southbound direction there. Candidly, I've never even seen a WMATA bus on the southbound side of 4th Street. If I do see something like what you've described, I will tell the bus driver to move. This doesn't sound like a good application for more signage.