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Wednesday, May 04 2016 @ 04:06 AM UTC

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DNR Trail News March 2016 – May 2016

Bike PathsLink to the newsletter: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/mdtrails/Pages/DNR-Trail-News.aspx

Highlight:
Free Apps Allow Visitors More Opportunities with Online Trail Guides
Newly released applications (apps) for both IOS and Android devices allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy interactive features using the new online trail guides.

Apps like “PDF Maps” released by Avenza Systems Inc. allow visitors to easily download, browse, navigate and interact with the new geo-referenced PDF trail guides in both an online and offline environment. This means that visitors can utilize this application and trail guide even when not connected to the internet.

For more information on installing and using this application visit: www.avenza.com/pdf-Maps
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Careful jaywalking saves lives

Biking Elsewhereby Ben Ross, Greater Greater Washington

To make streets walkable, we need to re-think the basic principles of how people on foot and people in cars share the roadway. This is the first of a multi-part opinion series.
Pedestrians put themselves in danger if they wait for a walk signal instead of crossing the street whenever and wherever it looks safest. There are no definitive studies, but that is what available evidence strongly suggests.
...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/30411/careful-jaywalking-saves-lives/
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Traffic Engineers Still Rely on a Flawed 1970s Study to Reject Crosswalks

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

"When St. Louis decided not to maintain colorful new crosswalks that residents had painted, the city’s pedestrian coordinator cited federal guidance. A 2011 FHWA memo warns that colorful designs could “create a false sense of security” for pedestrians and motorists."

"That may sound like unremarkable bureaucrat-speak, but the phrase “false sense of security” is actually a cornerstone of American engineering guidance on pedestrian safety."

...

"In 1972, a researcher named Bruce Herms conducted a study of crosswalk safety in San Diego. He found that intersections with marked crosswalks had higher injury rates than ones with unmarked crosswalks. He concluded that marked crosswalks should only be installed where they are “warranted” because they can give pedestrians a “false sense of security,” encouraging risky behavior."

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/02/12/traffic-engineers-still-rely-on-a-flawed-1970s-study-to-refuse-crosswalks/
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PROJECTED 10% JUMP IN PED DEATHS IN 2015 + STATE-BY-STATE DATA

Biking Elsewhere-> The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates a 10% increase in the number of persons on foot killed in traffic crashes in 2015, compared with the prior year. This annual "GHSA Spotlight on Highway Safety Report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2015 Preliminary Data" (http://bit.ly/1Udpeaz) provides the first look at 2015 pedestrian fatality trends, based on preliminary data reported by all 50 state highway safety agencies and the District of Columbia. This report also analyzes recent trends in pedestrian fatality data and discusses state and federal efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Along with the increase in pedestrian fatalities, pedestrians now account for a larger share ? about 15% of all motor vehicle crash-related deaths ? compared with 11% a decade ago. http://bit.ly/1UdoQZJ

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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An angry driver...

Biking ElsewhereVia The Invisible Visible Man Blog

"The designs betray a profound confusion in public policy. There’s a vague instinct that cyclists can’t be entirely denied better facilities. But that goes hand in hand with cowardice about the idea that promoting cycling is a public good. There’s no sense that sacrifices to encourage cycling might be worth everybody’s while. The unspoken sense is that cyclists should take up no space, have no momentum and cause no-one else to modify any part of their behaviour."



"My sense is that the incident might partly reflect police officers’ genuine conviction that it’s a cyclist’s job to avoid traffic turning across his or her path, not a driver’s job to yield."


http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2016/04/an-angry-driver-on-8th-st-two-tragedies.html?m=1
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"Everyone Plays a Part in Chainsaw Safety"

Biking Elsewhereby Bob Gunderson, Dearest District 5 Blog

"Everyone plays a part in chainsaw safety, from the people wielding chainsaws, to the people scurrying in fear around chainsaws."
...

Chainsaw merchants say it's only coincidence that people running through the city with chainsaws contributed to the uptick in chainsaw injuries & deaths.
...

Randy has been wielding a chainsaw on Market Street ever since he can remember, and he's not about to stop "just because some idiot hurts themself on my chainsaw."
...

Randy Smith, head of the "San Francisco City Chainsaw League" said,"It's my God given right to juggle chainsaws while running through downtown. It's my preferred method of travel. People just need to make sure to educate themselves and their children to watch for people with chainsaws. It's about mutual respect. Besides, if you don't want someone coming at you with a chainsaw, travel around with a chainsaw, for safety."
...

http://dearestdistrict5.blogspot.com/2016/04/everyone-plays-part-in-chainsaw-safety.html
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The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: You all heard these arguments before but maybe you need to be reminded of just how absurd it is that we use a 3 ton steel cage for personal transportation at the expense of other modes of transportation. The automobile, the ultimate in lazy decadence, the leading cause of death for the ages 1 to 39 and after that the lack of physical exercise is the leading contributing factor in the cause of death.]

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/absurd-primacy-of-the-car-in-american-life/476346/?utm_source=SFFB
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Follow the rules, bikers

Biking ElsewhereBY CHARLES MAROHN, Strong Towns

We need to rethink our urban areas. They need to be redesigned around a new set of values, one that doesn’t seek to accommodate bikers and pedestrians within an auto-dominated environment but instead does the opposite: accommodates automobiles in an environment dominated by people. It is people that create value. It is people that build wealth.
...


“Why do cyclists deserve special treatment?” “Why should they have their own standard?” “This is a civilized world, after all.” “If you don’t like it, take a car.”

To say that I find this hypocritical and somewhat maddening is stating it lightly. First, drivers don’t follow traffic laws.
...


And there is the other rub; we are treating traffic regulations like they were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. If people actually understood the haphazard way traffic control devices were developed and the random way in which they are applied, they would not hold them in such majesty.
...


We need to rethink our urban areas. They need to be redesigned around a new set of values, one that doesn’t seek to accommodate bikers and pedestrians within an auto-dominated environment but instead does the opposite: accommodates automobiles in an environment dominated by people. It is people that create value. It is people that build wealth.
...

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/5/19/follow-the-rules-bikers.html
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IT'S TIME TO BREAK UP MARYLAND'S STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION

Biking in MarylandBY JEFF LEMIEUX, Strong Towns

"Despite the fabulous mural in their conference room, SHA is dominated by highway engineers, not street engineers. Trying to make a neighborhood street function like a highway is dangerous and unproductive. I think Maryland needs to split SHA into two separate organizations: one to build and maintain the true highways, and a completely separate organization, a State Streets Administration, to re-build and maintain our major commercial and residential streets."

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2016/4/5/its-time-to-break-up-marylands-state-highway-administration

[B' Spokes: Don't get me wrong, Interstates are great, they let me vist relatives and go on vacations but during rush hour they are a miserable experience and catastrophically fail. Even worce, these behemoth of expense, fail when you need them most are idealized as the ultimate in road design. So why not try to get every rode to emulate some feature of the Interstate?

And this is where it all falls apart, high speeds, generous turning radius, no stopping whatsoever all make sense on roads that are grade separated from other roads so no conflict points as well as cyclists and pedestrians have no need to cross such a road with the cars but not any where else.

Local streets need to have a different character than the interstates, like sharper turning radius that is slower and safer for everyone. Not to mention SHA puts some local street designs on the interstates, like my pet peeve, I swear this is a conversation SHA has:"We just spent $40 million on this interchage and are over budget how can we save money? I know we can save money by not painting really bold visible crosswalks just two thin lines, you know the kind that look like spastic stop lines." (Ref: area around Eastpointe Mall) With a $2 billion budget that are "saving" money with a bit less paint while Maryland pedestrian fatality rate is the top ten worst?!?! And not to mention the percentage of traffic fatalities that are pedestrian, that's also really bad compared to everyone else.

There is something seriously wrong within MDOT. It seems to me that since 2000 we have been enacting more and more laws that basically say MDOT do your job right. Is this going to be the next topic we try to pass a law on? Like the current transportation scoring bill, or the not to distant past "Establish bicycle and pedestrian priority areas and we really mean it this time" law. (Ref: http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20150418204955785 )]
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CENTRAL LONDON, ENG: IN 3 YEARS MORE CYCLISTS THAN MOTORISTS?

Biking in Baltimore-> In three years there could be more people cycling into central London in the mornings than driving, according to a report from Transport for London. (Human Streets: The Mayor’s Vision for Cycling, Three Years On: http://bit.ly/1MRGlOr) The report describes the progress of outgoing Mayor Boris Johnson’s cycling vision, launched three years ago, and says the next mayor should keep investing in cycling to keep London moving. As well as spelling out the cycling program’s successes, the report also highlights where things went wrong.
In 2000 the proportion of cars to bicycles entering central London in the morning peak was 11:1; in 2014 it was 2:1. If the trend continues cycles entering London in the morning will outnumber cars by 2019. In 2015/16 London has spent roughly £18 (US$25) per person on cycling – on par with Germany and the Netherlands. Cycle casualty (injury) rates are the lowest ever recorded, while cycling deaths in 2015 (9) were the second lowest on record, and the lowest per journey on record. http://bit.ly/1SGNqAo

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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