Battle over North Bethesda bike lanes heats up

New Montgomery County bike lanes have proven to be so divisive, thousands of fired-up residents are weighing-in online.

The bike lanes run across nearly two miles of Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda, between the Beltway and Nicholson Lane. The Maryland State Highway Administration converted one travel lane in each direction in order to add buffered bike lanes along the stretch of road that typically sees about 40,000 vehicles per day.

"I believe they’ve created more issues than they’ve solved," said Allan Ginsburg, who is one of more than 6,000 people who signed a petition demanding the bike lanes be removed. The petition calls the lanes "catastrophically dangerous" and points out that "the road now is consistently congested."

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"It’s a recipe in my opinion for a lot of lost time," Ginsburg told FOX 5. "It’s a recipe for danger."

So many people have signed that first petition, however, there’s now a second petition, created by Jacob Barker in response.

"I thought I needed to be a person who actively did something to counter the narrative," Barker said.

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So far, more than 1,200 people have signed on in support of the bike lanes, saying the opposition just wants "to be able to drive faster and more recklessly."

"No one is unsafe in their car when they’re traveling up and down that road, but all of the other people who have to use that road are very unsafe," Barker added.

Since 2019, two teen cyclists have been killed in separate crashes along the same stretch of Old Georgetown Road.