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As other cities push ahead with safer, more bikeable streets, Baltimore spins its wheels

Biking in BaltimoreBY JED WEEKS AND GREG HINCHLIFFE, Baltimore Brew [from March last year just cleaning up my to do list]

OPINION: Adding a rush-hour lane on Aliceanna is just the latest example of how the city is bucking national trends and its residents’ wishes

Sixity years ago, planner Lewis Mumford noted that “adding lanes to reduce traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity.”

Baltimore government still hasn’t received the message.
...

https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2015/03/16/as-other-cities-push-ahead-with-safer-more-bikeable-streets-baltimore-spins-its-wheels/
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THE FIVE WAYS ENGINEERS DEFLECT CRITICISM

Biking ElsewhereVia Strong Towns [B' Spokes: Just the headlines]

1. YOU DON’T HAVE A VALID OPINION IF YOU’RE NOT A LICENSED ENGINEER.
2. THERE ISN’T ENOUGH MONEY TO DO WHAT SHOULD BE DONE.
3. WE CAN’T ELIMINATE ALL RISKS.
4. IT IS THE POLITICIANS THAT ARE TO BLAME. ENGINEERS JUST FOLLOW ORDERS.
5. THIS REALLY IS A MATTER FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, NOT ENGINEERING.

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2015/10/5/the-five-ways-engineers-deflect-criticism
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Boston Globe Columnist Tweets Out History’s Dumbest Anti-Bike Rant

Biking ElsewhereVia Streets Blog

...
JeffJacoby:
Bicycles don't belong in busy urban traffic. If we stop promoting such risky behavior, fewer tragedies will occur.
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/06/24/boston-globe-columnist-tweets-out-historys-dumbest-anti-bike-rant/

[B' Spokes: How many deaths by motor vehicle are there but somehow it's the once in a blue moon bicycling tragedy that gets called out. :/ ]
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COMMENT ON FHWA PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE 11 OF 13 CONTROLLING DESIGN CRITERIA

Biking Elsewhereby Mark Plotz
-> Thirty years ago the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designated 13 controlling criteria for roadway design for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and safe operation of the National Highway System (NHS). State DOTs were also encouraged to adopt these standards and many did so because, well, bureaucracies are conservative and risk-averse. As a result, the 13 Controlling Design Criteria (CDC) became the law of the land, and whenever a designer wished to deviate from them, he/she had to enter into the process of requesting a formal design exemption, the outcome of which was uncertain—other than knowing it would add delay and cost to a project. The effect is that we got one-size-fits-all designs regardless of context or community wishes.

The Federal Highway Administration is revisiting the 13 criteria and is requesting comment on a proposal to eliminate all but 2 (Design Speed and Structural Capacity) for NHS roadways under 50 mph. Under this proposal it will be

Easier for designers to choose narrower lanes to find space for bicycle facilities or to reduce crossing distances for pedestrians.
Possible for designers to use narrower right of ways to avoid the high costs of land acquisition.
The likely beginning of the end of our wider, straighter and faster design paradigm (Horizontal Alignment, Vertical Alignment, Grade, Superelevation and Lateral Offset) that has yielded deadlier roads and enabled sprawl.
Should the proposed rule change become policy, the percentage of roads affected will be small. That said, the ripple effect could be huge if/when state DOTs follow suit—and why shouldn’t they, as these proposed changes could yield significant cost savings and myriad other benefits.

Be sure to tell FHWA what you think by December 7, 2015. You should write in. This is big. http://1.usa.gov/1KnCm3V

Additional reading:

"Evaluation of the 13 Controlling Criteria for Geometric Design," NCHRP Report 783, 2015. (http://bit.ly/1qsr8Rz)
"FHWA Reduces Barriers to Flexible Street Design," Project for Public Spaces, 2015. (http://bit.ly/1NTcIeZ)
"Design Flexibility for Stronger Communities," USDOT Fast Lane, 2015. (http://1.usa.gov/1Qmv3yA)
"When Livability Projects Meet Eisenhower-Era Design Standards," Streetsblog, 2012. (http://bit.ly/1W3npeb)
A final thought:
For the moment the 13 Controlling Design Criteria remain the de facto law of the land, but remember that under the status quo design exemptions are still a possibility. The Michigan DOT, which has embraced Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), grants around 600 exemptions annually. The CSS process, which is endorsed by FHWA and AASHTO, is a collaborative, interdisciplinary and holistic approach to the development of transportation projects. For more detail, see http://bit.ly/1MIcBT1 .

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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NHTSA 2014 SUMMARY OF MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES

Biking Elsewhere-> NHTSA released its "2014 Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes" (http://1.usa.gov/291QBWd). The portion of nonoccupant (pedestrian, bicyclists, and other cyclists) fatalities increased from 13 percent to 18 percent between 2005 and 2014. On average, a pedestrian is killed in a motor vehicle crash every 108 minutes, and one is injured about every 8 minutes. Using 2010 data, the most recent available, the tangible economic cost for pedestrians' crashes is $11.5 billion and for bicyclists' crashes is $4.4 billion. The comprehensive costs, including quality of life factors, are $65 billion for pedestrians' crashes and $21.7 billion for bicyclists' crashes. http://1.usa.gov/291QBWd


from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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July 4th Bike Ride To Fort McHenry Honoring Julie Rout

Biking in BaltimoreVIA Catonsville Rails to Trails

Catonsville Rails To Trails 6th Annual Bike Ride to Fort McHenry Honoring Trail Lover Julie Rout on Monday, July 4th, 2016 C’ville Bikes/Hub, 821 Frederick Road, 21228 7:30 a.m- Light Refreshments - compliments of C’ville Bike/Hub 8:00 a.m. – Ride Begins The friends of Julie Rout will be participating in this bike ride. Julie loved the Catonsville trails and frequently used the trail during her battle with ovarian cancer. Julie passed away in March but her memory lives on with her friends who will be participating in the ride and raising money for Catonsville Rails To Trails’ newest trail, the Spring Grove section of the Short Line. What a great way to spend July 4th morning! Local cyclist, Charlie Murphy, will lead this ride from Catonsville to Ft. McHenry via the Gwynns Falls Trail. Donations can be made to CRTT in Julie’s honor at www.catonsvillerailstotrails.org. Casual ride at approximately 10-12 mph. Helmets should be worn. Parents should consider distance and conditions of ride to determine if age appropriate for child’s endurance and strength. Route will be checked the day before! No one will be left behind! Ride is FREE but donations/memberships are appreciated. Become a member of CRTT We will have membership and donation forms on the day of the ride. Bring a check!

http://catonsvillerailstotrails.com/girls-soccer-team-cleans-trails-in-record-time/
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The little yellow bicycle button that gets the attention of city leaders

Biking ElsewhereBy Paul Mackie, and Adam Russell, Mobility Lab

Swedish company Hövding – best known for its bicycle airbag-helmet, which was explosively modeled at a Transportation Techies meetup in 2015 – is back in the news with the release of another bike product that puts a modern spin on a classic function.

The yellow handlebar buttons, called “Flic” buttons, combine the best of so many things needed to advocate for safer bicycling streets: a practical technology that allows riders to easily take action and note where they feel unsafe.
...

http://mobilitylab.org/2016/06/15/yellow-bicycle-button-attention-city-leaders/?utm_content=bufferfa5d4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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Program lets Boston commuters drive some, cycle the rest

Biking ElsewhereBy BOB SALSBERG, Tucson.com

BOSTON (AP) — Traffic is crawling bumper to bumper on Soldiers Field Road, a major artery leading to Cambridge and downtown Boston, as Mark Rabinsky parks his car near the Charles River, takes out his bike and prepares to cycle the rest of the way to his job at Harvard University.

"My ride is all along the river. It's such a beautiful ride every morning," said Rabinsky, one of a small but growing number of commuters who avoids the last few miles of rush hour gridlock by utilizing Park & Pedal.
...

http://tucson.com/lifestyles/program-lets-boston-commuters-drive-some-cycle-the-rest/article_3c8af680-65fb-5596-b86c-d12b343e4fa5.html
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Cartoon: If people treated their homes like they treat the earth

Biking Elsewherehttp://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/17/1364819/-Cartoon-If-people-treated-their-homes-like-they-treat-the-earth
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Virginia approves its first transportation plan based on a new system of scoring and prioritizing projects

Biking Elsewhereby Dan Levine, Transportation for America

Following the release of the first list of recommended projects back in January, today’s approval from the CTB marks the first complete cycle of a brand new process created by the legislature a few years ago to improve the process for selecting projects and awarding transportation dollars — all in an effort to direct the new money to the best, most cost-effective projects with the greatest bang for the buck.
...

http://t4america.org/2016/06/14/virginia-approves-its-first-transportation-plan-based-on-a-new-system-of-scoring-and-prioritizing-projects/
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