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Saturday, May 30 2015 @ 06:19 AM UTC

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Ryan Dorsey for Baltimore City Council 3rd District

Politics"He is a member of the Transit Choices coalition, seeking improvements in safety and effectiveness in Baltimore City transportation"
[B' Spokes: He supports cycling.]

http://www.electryandorsey.com/
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Widow's lawsuit aims to make road safer for bicyclists

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: Hope or more of the same? MDOT I hear the words but I don't see any action. True in 2000 and true today.

http://www.wbaltv.com/news/widows-lawsuit-aims-to-make-road-safer-for-bicyclists/33156198
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Cyclists use cameras to document reckless driving

Biking ElsewhereHighlight: "Crocker uploaded his video to Close Call Database, where cyclists log incidents involving vehicles. The database catalogs incidents by geography and sends out alerts to users in an area where an incident is reported."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/living/feat-bike-helmet-cameras/index.html
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New device helps police enforce state 3-foot Law

Biking Elsewherehttp://www.wrcbtv.com/story/29075189/new-device-helps-police-enforce-state-3-foot-law
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AAA Announces Roadside Assistance For Bicyclists

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: This is great not just because of the service if you get a flat on your bike but AAA Mid-Atlantic used to be very vocal about their anti-bike position... now they want our business.

Read about it here:
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/05/15/aaa-announces-roadside-assistance-for-bicyclists/
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Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: While I don't agree with everything in the linked article by Eben Weiss a.k.a. Bike Snob he does make some points to think about. Roads were our first campaign for multi-use paths, they would be good for everyone and we can all share the space, would be one way to paraphrase the Good Roads Movement but then bicyclist became the trespassers on the very roads they helped get built. Ever notice that on our current multi-use paths that if there are rules posted they are only for cyclists and no other users, pedestrians are free to be unpredictable and lawless as are the dog walkers because there is nothing saying you can't walk with your leash crossing the whole path. And most of all, the rights of iPod-zombies must be protected above all else because everyone knows it is cyclists that are scofflaws and no other group. :/

I'm not saying cyclists should not be careful around pedestrians but I am saying everyone needs to watch out for each other but when you single out just one type of user as the trouble maker it all goes down hill fast. And that has been our problem with the so called "Safety Experts" to this day, the total lack of explaining shared space and the movement that is expected from everyone.

But back to the article, there is no doubt the unspoken and hard question to answer is "Why wouldn't cyclist do everything they could to improve their safety? And why shouldn't we make it a law?" First let's flip this to be a car centric example; "Why wont drivers drive with their headlight on during the day if it improves their safety? And why isn't it a legal requirement?" - That's a good question as more lives could be saved doing that then anything we could do with cyclists.

Which brings me to what I feel is a major problem with our society, cars are perceived as safe even though they are the number two cause of premature death just behind smoking. Cars have become the ultimate embodiment of sociopathic behavior as too many things about them could be summarized "As long as I am safe everyone else be damned." Things like going fast has become a priority as if saving a minute is worth killing people over. Statistics were manipulated to promote speed, freeways were deemed safer not because of their grade separated crossings but because of their speed and the same with roads that have a large speed differential it's was the cars going the speed limit (not faster) that were to blame for the increased in accidents, so increase the speed limit is a common recommendation.

Then eliminating delays became a priority to improve speed even though issues like right-on-red with its known dangers to pedestrians was never really studied to see if there was an overall improvement in traffic flow. It used to be traffic was pulsed so turning out of a shopping center on a major road was a simple mater of just waiting for the main platoon of traffic to pass from the traffic light upstream. Nowadays we have to wait for a small gap in the constant traffic diarrhea of people utilizing the right-on-red. So making things "faster" for one person makes things slower for more than one person downstream (more me first and everyone else be dammed.).... and we call this an "improvement" even though general impatience on the road seems to have been multiplied even though impatience has been "accommodated" (in one situation but not others) . Tell me you have never encountered someone turning into traffic that was not taking a risk in the hopes you would stop abruptly while they took advantage of the only gap in traffic they could see. I will assert that right-on-red is indirectly causing more traffic accidents downstream then what we would have if there was no right-on-red (the overall benefit even to just cars is dubious at best.) And then there is the assumption that some how this benefit of turning right on red is cumulative, like we spend our time driving in clockwise circles. Sure there can be a one time ~30 second improvement per trip but that's the best it can be and no better and for that we put pedestrian lives at risk not to mention other things that I have asserted that are not a benefit to society as a whole.

Things like this has lead to the unspoken corollary "Faster modes of travel need to travel faster and slower modes of travel should be made even slower." Like a 350 horse power car is going to have to really struggle to make up a two second delay and other kinds of "people" don't mind five or more minutes of delay. Too many things are ratcheting us in the wrong direction, which is my point here and I think it is also the point in the following article.]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/15/dont-make-bicyclists-more-visible-make-cars-stop-running-them-over/
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The Real Danger to Children Is Cars, Not Strangers

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: To ballpark the danger to kids (more info in the article)
115 - Kidnapping by strangers
449 - Children killed when they were walking or biking
2136 - Children killed being chauffeured by car. ]

***************************************
by Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

"Why are we building communities that are unsafe for our children? This goes beyond free range vs. helicopter parenting debates. Our infrastructure forces decisions by some parents — and are unhealthy for our children besides!"

http://streetsblog.net/2015/05/07/the-real-danger-to-children-is-cars-not-strangers/
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ROADS DEPEND ON BUS RIDER, CYCLIST & PEDESTRIAN HANDOUTS

Biking Elsewhere-> The road system used to be largely funded by the gas tax. Gas taxes, tolls, and other fees on driving account for only about half the money spent on the U.S. road system, according to a new report (Who Pays for Roads? How the "Users Pay" Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America's Transportation Problems: http://bit.ly/1E7nXa2). [http://bit.ly/1EWCcCs]

[See also: A financial analysis by the Center for American Progress found that about four out of 10 U.S. highways don't carry enough traffic to generate sufficient revenue to pay for their maintenance - let alone construction. (Advancing a Multimodal Transportation System by Eliminating Funding Restrictions: http://ampr.gs/1zLF9Wn).]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Bicycle Index: Most Bike-Friendly Cities

Biking in BaltimoreB' Spokes: We are ranked 22 out of 52. Not bad.

*******************************************************

Via BetterDoctor

...
We used the following factors to determine how bike-friendly a city is:

1. Are there other bikers? We included the percentage of commuters who commute to work by bicycle. This was weighted at 40% of the overall score.

2. Can bikers travel safely? We weighted the number of fatalities per 10,000 bikers at 30% of the overall score.

3. Are there ongoing infrastructure improvements to support bikers? Infrastructure such as bike lanes makes it easier and safer to ride. We included federal spending on bike and pedestrian projects and weighted it at 30% of the overall score.
...

https://betterdoctor.com/health/bike-friendly-cities/
[There is a table so you can see how we compare to other cities in these three criteria.]
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Maryland Safe Routes to School Program Recognizes Bike to School Day Participants

Biking in MarylandVia Southern Maryland New Net

Hundreds of Maryland Students Participating in National Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 6; Drivers Urged to Be Aware of Increased Bicycling Activity around Schools

SHABike to School Day events on Wednesday, May 6 raise awareness for the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking, as well as the health and environmental benefits of biking. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) praises schools who will participate in National Bike to School Day and urges drivers to be alert for bicyclists around schools during arrival and dismissal times. Several Maryland schools will host events, supported by Maryland’s Safe Routes to School program, which provides funding to support walking, and bicycling to and from elementary and middle schools.
...

For drivers:

• Expect bicyclists on the road and share the road.
• Stay vigilant at all times, especially when pulling out of driveways or side streets.
• Always follow the speed limit, which may be lowered in designated school zones.
• Pass bicyclists with at least three feet of space – it’s the law.
• Leave plenty of space between you and the bicyclist in front of you.
• Before turning, make sure the path is clear of bicyclists.

For children walking and biking to school:

• Obey the rules of the road, including traffic signals and stop signs.
• On a bike, ride with traffic but walk on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic.
• Wear a helmet – it’s the law for anyone under age 16, but everyone should to prevent head injury.
• Wear reflective material…it makes you more visible to drivers.
• Walk your bike across intersections.
• Use hand signals.
• When walking, use crosswalks and follow pedestrian signal indicators.

http://smnewsnet.com/archives/288139/maryland-safe-routes-to-school-program-recognizes-bike-to-school-day-participants/

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[B' Spokes: "Walk your bike across intersections." ??? Maybe that's good advice for small children just starting to bike but I have yet to see any compelling evidence that being a pedestrian is "safer" then being a cyclist in this state (our pedestrian traffic fatalities make up a higher percentage of traffic fatalities than the national average.) But more than that SHA is setting this up to give everyone the impression that ALL bikes must be walked across the intersection at all times and that is just wrong. There is no legal bases for this statement and certainly no study that shows that this is indeed good advice.]
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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