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Tuesday, March 31 2015 @ 08:43 PM UTC

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Bike Maryland January 2015 Newsletter

Bike Maryland updatesBike Maryland Logo

Wishing You and Yours Safe Riding in 2015

Happy New Year

Less than two weeks into 2015 and the Maryland cycling movement has gained momentum!

Response to State’s Attorney Press Conference on Charges in Cycling Related Crash

On the behalf of citizens in Baltimore and across the state, Bike Maryland and Bikemore appreciate the efforts of the Baltimore Police Department and State’s Attorney’s office in pursuing justice for Tom Palermo and his family. Charges to the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed Tom Palermo on December 27th were announced in a press release from the State's Attorney's office. The death of a bicyclist in a car collision is a terrible event, but preventable if all road users slow down and commit their full attention to the operation of what can be a deadly weapon when wielded incorrectly.

Demonstrated in the image above from January 1, 2015,  over 1,000 community members came out in a powerful show of commraderie and cycling spirit in a time of grief, anger, and lossBike Maryland continues to work closely with Bikemore and local leaders to ensure that Tom’s passing is not in vain. We express our gratitude for the increased opportunities to raise awarness and educate bicyclists and drivers alike through various media outlets, listed here and will continue to work towards improved safety conditions for all road users.

In November 2014, Bike Maryland hosted our first legislative planning meeting with leaders and advocates from nearly every county in the state to set achievable goals for the 2015 Legislative Session, which begins January 14th. As we shift gears into this new year, our organization will determine which pro-bicycle action items we can accomplish  in partnership local officials, government leaders and with transportation authorities, including the Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration and State Highway Association. Stay tuned and mark your calendar for the Annual Bicycle Symposium in Annapolis on March 17th. This event is free to the public and will include an opportunity to meet with legislators to discuss local issues.

Now more than ever we need to and we pledge to raise the collective voice of bicyclists, in Maryland and everywhere

Bike Maryland Membership Drive! Are You With Us?

This month we launch our membership drive! You may have set a New Year's resolution and here at Bike Maryland, we hope included in your personal mission for 2015 is a commitment to be a better cyclist; meaning, we want you to ride more, we want you to practice safe techniques, and we want you to unite with us and the thousands of other Maryland cyclists who strive for improved conditions and increased recognition.

Strength in numbers. We need your support and alliance with our mission.

Please join us as a member and enjoy exclusive member benefits such as the Bike Maryland MVA Organizational License Plate, pictured above.

Call For Comments On MD 175 Widening Project

MD 175 by Fort Meade is being widened in phases and just received new funding to advance to the next stage for one section of MD 175. Public comments are being accepted on the project through January 14th and will be passed directly to the design team. The more people that demand separated or protected bike lanes, the better the chances are that they will be built.

The current project will make MD 175 a 6 lane road (3 lanes in each direction) with striped bike lanes on the sides of the road, no barriers or separation. This design is up to SHA standards, but we need to tell SHA that more is needed. 

Please spread the word and email comments to comments@baltometro.org, refer to the MD 175 widening, the phase from Reece Road to Disney Road, and insist that they separate or protect the bike lanes!

Visit the SHA project page here.

Harford County Advocacy Meeting

Who & What: Meeting for Harford County bicycle advocacy to discuss road connection, trail project priorities, and the 2015 legislative session.
When: Thursday, January 15 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Where: Duclaw, 16 A Bel Air South Parkway, Bel Air, MD
RSVP not necessary.

Baltimore Youth Cycling Group 

Baltimore Youth Cycling (BYC) is a new group forming to give youth 8-16 the opportunity to get a taste of bicycling as an organized team sport. Supported by local bicycle shops and clubs, structured practices led by dedicated coaches will bring a new sense of camaraderie to our children as they learn bike skills, life lessons, and community action. BYC is based on a model used with massive success by other communities to re-imagine the cycling culture of their city. 

On Sunday, January 18th BYC will be holding a community meeting for interested parents and kids and will be electing their new board at De Kleine Duivel starting at 5 pm. Pizza will be provided by a club partner and drinks available for purchase.

More information, click here to visit the groups Facebook page or the website here.

2015 Bike Maryland Event Dates. Be a Part of Maryland Bicycling. 

Mark your calendars and join us!! Details forthcoming: 

  • March 17, 2015 - 18th Annual Bicycle Symposium in Annapolis, *always free
  • September 12, 2015 - 6th Annual Larry's Ride at Camp Milldale in Reisterstown
  • September 27, 2015 - 22nd Annual Tour du Port at Canton Waterfront Park in Baltimore City
Look Forward to Our Next Newsletter
  • 2015 Symposium Registration Information!
  • 2015 Bike Maryland Jersey Design Contest
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Toward Zero Traffic Deaths like it's 1975 :/

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

...
The document was produced by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (the body represents state DOTs), in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration and a number of safety and law enforcement groups. Take a look at what they’re proposing and it’s clear the mentality of these institutions hasn’t evolved much in the past 40 years, even as America falls farther behind countries with far safer streets.
...

All fine ideas that make a difference, but this formula leaves out many other strategies adopted by countries like Germany, Japan, and the UK — countries where the per capita traffic fatality rate is less than half the rate in America.
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/03/20/the-american-highway-safety-establishment-warms-up-some-leftovers/
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$15 Million Available For Key Bicycle, Pedestrian & Trail Projects in MD

Biking in MarylandAuthor: ITP News Desk

HANOVER, MD (February 27, 2015) – Working to expand bicycling and walking opportunities throughout Maryland, staff from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the State Highway Administration (SHA) will hold workshops to detail five programs that provide funding for bicycling, pedestrian and recreational trail projects: Bikeways, Safe Routes to School, Transportation Alternatives, Federal Lands Access Program and Recreational Trails. In 2015, $15 million in reimbursable grant funding will be available for projects that enhance walking, biking, pedestrian safety and recreational trail access.

“A balanced transportation system must take into consideration the needs of the pedestrian and bicycle communities,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn. “These workshops will help local jurisdictions secure the funding they need to make biking and walking a more convenient, safe and fun transportation alternative for residents and tourists.”

...
More info: https://inthepanhandle.com/local/news/article/15_million_available_for_key_bicycle_pedestrian_trail_projects_in_md
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US DOT: Mayors' Challenge closing in on 100 cities; is yours in? - Baltimore, nope

Biking in BaltimorebyAnthony Foxx

Last month here in the Fast Lane, I launched DOT's Mayor's Challenge For Safer People and Safer Streets. Today, I'm pleased to say that 86 communities from across the U.S. have committed to join the Mayors' Challenge and improve safety for bicycle riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities over the next year.

And the good news is, there's still time for more cities to sign up.

The Challenge will showcase local practices to improve safety, share tools for local leaders to take action, and promote partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety. Mayors, other elected officials, and team leaders from registered cities will attend a summit in March then return to their communities to start taking action in seven different challenge areas.

Overall, highway deaths have been declining in recent years--in fact, roadway fatalities have fallen by 25 percent over the last decade. Unfortunately pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have not seen similar safety gains and now represent nearly 17 percent of total fatalities. In 2013, bicyclists were the only group to show an increase in total deaths.

While it's true that cities around the country are seeing more people walking and biking to get where they need to go, we cannot accept an increase in deaths and injuries among people choosing those transportation options. The Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets seeks better protection of the most vulnerable users of our roadways based on the latest pedestrian and bicyclist safety innovations.
...

http://www.dot.gov/fastlane/mayors-challenge-closing-100-cities-yours
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What is something annoying a cyclist might do?

Biking Elsewhereimage

[B' Spokes: Since I started driving I am even more irked by drivers outrage against cyclists. There are dozen of things more annoying than cyclists that I run across, like double parked trucks. Yet hardly a thing is ever said about that. And since I drive the speed limit (I have cruse control) I hold up more drivers and cause longer delays then what I have ever done by bicycle. But the real point here is peoples lives are not going to be any better with more cars on the road and more car parking spaces taken up, so they seriously need to stop complaining about bicycles.]

And a response: Answers For Family Feud
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Cops on Bikes. The Ocean City Police Department [video]

Biking in Maryland
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City hatches plan to raise private money for free bikes for school kids

Biking in Baltimoreby Mark Reutter, Baltimore Brew

The Baltimore Department of Transportation is requesting over $50,000, mostly for a consultant, to help it raise private funds to provide free bicycles to K-8 school children.

An allocation of $45,818 is set to be awarded to McCormick Taylor, a Philadelphia-based consultant, with an additional $6,874 for in-house administrative costs, according to the request before tomorrow’s Board of Estimates meeting.

The expenses will go toward the agency’s so-far-unpublicized effort to give away bikes to children to stimulate “awareness and enthusiasm” for cycling in Baltimore.

...

https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2015/01/13/city-hatches-plan-to-raise-private-money-for-free-bikes-for-school-kids/
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Is “Safe” Road Design Killing Bicyclists and Pedestrians?`

Biking in BaltimoreBY JOSH COHEN, Next City

In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed in the United States, up 6 percent from the previous year. Rep. Rick Larsen, of Washington, has a sneaking suspicion that road design — specifically designs that make things safer for cars — are a big part of the problem.

To find out for sure, Larsen along with Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton (of D.C.) and Peter DeFazio (of Oregon) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office in late December asking for an investigation into trends and causes of crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians and recommendations for improving safety.

The request centers on the question of whether or not road designs that make driving safer are putting bicyclists and pedestrians at greater risk — at a time when cities around the country are creating more bike lanes and promoting walkability.

Their letter says, “Roads are designed and built with wider, straighter lanes and have fewer objects near the edges, more turn lanes, and wider turning radii at intersections. While these practices improve driving safety, a suspected unintended consequence is that drivers travel faster when they feel safer. Greater speeds can increase the frequency and severity of crashes with pedestrians and cyclists who are moving at much slower speeds and have much less protection than a motorized vehicle affords.” (In an effort to stop pedestrian deaths, in November, NYC tackled the speed issue by reducing the city’s default to 25 mph.)
...

http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/road-design-pedestrian-safety-bicyclist-safety
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The Bishop, the Cyclist and a Death on the Road

Biking in BaltimoreBy Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times

...
“This type of thing is your worst fear,” said Jed Weeks, president of the board of Bikemore, a Baltimore cycling advocacy group. “You are in a bike lane and you are struck and killed from behind by someone who doesn’t even remain at the scene. That worst fear realized has galvanized us."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/10/us/baltimore-bishop-charged-in-hit-and-run-case.html
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The Feds Quietly Acknowledge the Driving Boom Is Over

Biking Elsewhereby Phineas Baxandall, Streets blog

image
...

Some states, like Washington and Maryland, have begun to ratchet down their forecasts of future VMT.
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/01/07/the-feds-quietly-acknowledge-the-driving-boom-is-over/
[B' Spokes: While true I have seen words in some annual report that MDOT is no longer making predictions as Vehicle Miles Traveled has leveled off since 2005. but as a friend pointed out, just look at the new road projects and there are the wild traffic predictions. And I will assert these wild predictions are keeping the state from making much progress in accommodating bicyclists.]
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