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Wednesday, August 27 2014 @ 09:13 PM UTC
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US is deadlier than other countries

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: You would think with the US stricter safety standards this would not be happening.]
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Via http://www.vox.com/2014/4/18/5621388/pedestrian-and-biker-deaths
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What Is Your State Doing to Improve Walking and Biking?

Biking Elsewhere

B' Spokes:

I'm going to grab a chart from this post on Streets Blog.

image
In this chart Maryland looks really good. But since 2001 when we set the goal to reduce bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities but they have not moved since then. We had 101 pedestrian fatalities and 5 cyclist fatalities in 2001 and in 2011 (last year reported) there was 102 pedestrians and 5 cyclist fatalities. - No change!

There is evidence that if you improve the safety for cyclists then pedestrians benefit and vice versa. But I find enforcement of bicycling and pedestrian issues around the state rather dismal. Police cannot do an effective job enforcing our issues from inside a police cruiser! In fact I believe too much time behind the wheel induces a bias against bicyclists and pedestrians in that it is their obligation to stay out of the way of cars, always!

We need crosswalk stings and plain clothes police officers on bikes! At least twice a year (roughly when school lets out and again when school starts) with press releases informing motorists that the police are taking bicycle and pedestrian issues seriously. But what we got is notta with this as a result:
image

We need results!

Another big issue for me is the so called improvement in the Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS.) In 2001 we had 80% of state roads with a BLOS of a grade D or better.

The 2002 (date enacted) Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan set a goal for the State to achieve a level of D or better for at least 80 percent relevant State roadways. As of 2011, 79 percent of the roadways had reached this threshold.
Apendix B of the new bike master plan

So the 2002 Bike master plan was to essentially to make no improvements for cyclists on state roads for over 20 years. I will assert this is due in part to:

Jim Titus expressed concerns regarding the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission –Prince George’s County’s designation of MD Route 564 as a bikeway was not recognized by the State Highway Administration. Michael [Jackson Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access] stated that because MD Route 564 is a State highway SHA was not bound to accept M-NCPPC-PG’s designation but recommended that Jim contact SHA staff about his concerns.
SHA not obligated to accommodate bicyclists per policy and wins an award from LAB for policy

So while true bike friendly places make use of resurfacing projects as a extremely economical way to accommodate cyclist but in Maryland it seems more of a way to take back what they gave us in the first place.


And another chart from this post on Streets Blog.

image

So Baltimore has no plan to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. But that alone might not be too bad as it's more Baltimore's "philosophy" not to kill you but just mess you up real bad. Baltimore represents the most bike/ped crashes, the most bike/ped serious injuries within the state! With just 11% of the state's population we represent 32% of the states pedestrian crashes and 30% of the pedestrian serious injuries. For cyclists, Baltimore represents 24% of the states cyclist crashes and 22% of the cyclist serious injuries. Could we please make an effort to get that down to near 11%?

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[Cecil] County police bike patrols begin this week

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: I also hear Baltimore County is also doing bike patrols, while all that is nice could we have some more please.]
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By Jane Bellmyer, Cecil Daily

...
Starting this week, however, several agencies are adding bicycles to their equipment in the name of community policing.
...

“We’ll be using the bikes in some of our high crime areas,” said Russell, who was promoted and assumed command of the barrack on April 16.
Russell said the bikes will allow law enforcement to not only be more approachable to the general public, but also to go places a motor vehicle cannot.
John Peters, director of construction and facility maintenance for The Cordish Company, which owns the North East Plaza, looks forward to that aspect.

“If (a suspect) runs into the woods, they can go right behind them,” Peters said. “In a car, it just doesn’t happen.”
...

“This will definitely keep our customers safer in this area,”Rabuck said Friday. “They’ll be able to patrol quicker and more effectively.”
...

http://www.cecildaily.com/news/local_news/article_9f118f4e-e32d-5010-b4dc-6b0843c6e930.html
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School bus used to crack down on distracted driving

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: Clever idea but well we ever get the police around here to leave their cruisers?]

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/crime/2014/04/11/school-bus-distracted-driving-minnesota-ramsey-county-law-enforcement-crackdown/7607733/
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Crash course: What to do if you're in, or see, a bicycle crash

Biking in Marylandby Megan McCarty, Greater Greater Washington

Bicycle crashes are scary, disorienting events. Nobody wants to think about being involved in a crash, but it's important to know what to do in case of emergency.

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Photo by ThinkingStiff on Flickr.

Hopefully you will never have to experience this firsthand, but you may be able to help out your fellow bicyclists with your level-headed understanding of what to do.

At the scene

You've been in a crash. Now what?

  • Try not to panic.
  • Make sure you are safe to move or stay where you are and wait for paramedics. If there is any doubt, err on the side of caution.
  • Call the police. Call 911. Make sure the police make a report. If you can't call, ask someone nearby to call for you. This step is imperative. Without a police report, there is no record of the incident. Even if you don't think there is any damage, do not skip this step.
  • Get contact information for any witnesses. Do not assume the police are doing this for you as they take the report. Make sure you are able to get in touch later with anyone who saw what happened.
  • Take photos of everything, including the vehicle involved, license plate, your bicycle, any property damage, the scene of the incident, etc.
  • Collect the following information:
    • Driver's name
    • Driver's license number
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Make and model of car
    • License plate number
    • Insurance company
    • Date, time, and location of crash

    What if the driver flees the scene or doesn't stop? A driver who is involved in a crash and flees the scene has committed a serious legal offense. Try to get the vehicle license plate number and state where it was issued.

  • Get home safely. Remember that backup plan? Now is the time to use it. Don't attempt to ride a damaged bicycle or ride if you're hurt.
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After the Crash

You're off the road. You're home safe. What are the next steps?

  • Seek medical attention.
  • Write it down. While the crash is fresh in your memory, write down as many details about the event as possible.
  • Pick up a copy of the police report.
  • Take your bicycle to a shop for inspection and repair.
  • Document all expenses from the crash. Keep a log of any and all expenses incurred due to the crash. Include life changes like taking the bus instead of riding your bike to work, damage to your clothes, personal property, bike, stuff in your backpack, time off work, etc. The WABA Crash Tracker App includes an expense tracker for this purpose. Use it.
  • Complete the WABA Crash Tracker. We use this data to work on both infrastructure and law enforcement changes. Fill out the Crash Tracker form here.
Ways you can try to prevent crashes

Avoid crashes and problems by riding safely.

  • Take a City Cycling class. Most bicycle crash incidents result from the bicyclist losing control of their bicycle, hitting debris or other hazards, or running into fixed objects, and not with motorists. Learn avoidance maneuvers, practice control drills, and gain skills needed to avoid dangerous situations at one of WABA's City Cycling Classes.
  • Download the WABA Crash App. It's available for both iPhone and Android users.
  • Consider your riding style, confidence level, and route. Are there adjustments or improvements you could make to decrease your risk of a crash?
  • Follow the law. Following the law makes you more predictable. It is also important to your ability to recover damages suffered in a crash. Due to contributory negligence, a bicyclist can get stuck with 100% of his or her medical bills and damages from a crash if even only 1% at fault for the crash—and failure to follow the law is evidence of fault.
At the scene: Witness edition

You weren't involved in the incident, but saw it happen? Here's what to do:

  • Stay at the scene.
  • Call 911.
  • Give your name and contact information to those involved in the crash and let them know you are a witness.
  • Offer to help take down the above information (or do it yourself) for the victim.
We hope this overview helps to prepare you for the unlikely event that you are involved in a crash.

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/22568/crash-course-what-to-do-if-youre-in-or-see-a-bicycle-crash/
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How to improve pedestrian safety

Biking Elsewhere image

http://wpcomics.washingtonpost.com/client/wpc/nq/2014/04/18/

[B' Spokes: Or at least that does seem to be close to the "safety" message around here.]
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Bicycles on MARC - Moving Forward

Bike Maryland updatesVia Bike Maryland Newsletter

By Greg Hinchliffe

On Thursday April 10, 2014, members of Maryland Bicylcle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MBPAC) had a very productive meeting with Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) personnel regarding carrying full-size (non-folding) bikes on Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC trains. Representing MTA were Erich Kolig, John Hovatter, and Patrick McMahon. Representing MBPAC was Michael Jackson, Greg Hinchliffe, Jim Titus and Carol Silldorff, committee member and Bike Maryland Executive Director. Also in attendance was Champe Burnley of the Virginia Bicycle Federation, who is conducting similar negotiations with Virginia Railway Express commuter rail and Amtrak.

MBPAC passed a resolution asking MARC to consider allowing non–folding bikes on its new weekend service trains, with the idea that the new service would be lightly patronized. MARC was expecting approximately 2000 weekend users; they have had as many as 9000! Nonetheless, the weekend ridership is lower than weekday, making the weekend trains the logical choice to experiment with bike carriage.

MTA has put quite a bit of thought and effort into incorporating space for full bicycles on the MARC. MBPAC members are satisfied that MTA is working on a solution, and hopeful that progress can be reported soon. Additionally, we thank MTA for there interest in partnering with advocates to participate in later stages of this project’s development!

(Photo credit: Bloomburg News)

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March MBPAC Highlights

Biking in MarylandC. Legislative and Government Affairs
...
HB 241 allows crossing double yellow line when safe to pass bicyclists by 3 feet (unfavorable report in House Environmental Matters Committee) and SB 520, which legalizes bicycle travel on portions of roadway segments posted at 55 mph or greater when bicycle shoulder use is permitted (passed the House of Delegates, awaiting a Senate vote). Carol noted that although HB 241 did not pass out of the Environmental Affairs Committee MDOT changed its position from unfavorable in 2013 to “neutral” in 2014 and the trucking industry changed its position from unfavorable in 2013 to favorable in 2014.
...

Shared Use Paths in Utility Corridors - John gave an update on efforts to persuade the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) to allow shared use paths to be built along their power line rights-of-way. He is working with a group of stakeholders including Delegate Aruna Miller and would like to see two pilot projects along utility corridors connecting Cabin John to Seneca state park in Montgomery County and along another power line right-of-way in Prince George’s County. John said so far PEPCO shows no signs of agreeing to these proposals. Dick asked if these utility corridors were owned in fee simple by PEPCO. John said yes. Dick suggested seeking a 99 year lease from utility companies for a dollar. He also joked that, “the job of electric utilities is to move kilowatts not people.”
...

ADA Accessibility Interpretation
...
He brought up a vexing issue of a McDonald’s restaurant application for renovation where the restaurant owner has been advised by their attorneys to rip up an existing sidewalk that serves both restaurant and thru pedestrian traffic because the sidewalk is not ADA compliant. A new sidewalk ... but disrupt the existing thru pedestrian traffic flow
...

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Documents/3_7_14_MBPAC_Meeting_Minutes.pdf
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Jon Cardin vs. Brian Frosh

Politics[B' Spokes: While not directly bike related (though Brian Frosh is a cyclist), I will assert that Brian Frosh is one reason why our bike bills will typically pass the Senate while the House can have issues with them, that point is better expressed below in more general terms. And maybe there is some parallels to cycling like supporting the underdog that's may lose to a big name.]
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By Laslo Boyd, Center Maryland
...
The efforts of the candidates for Attorney General present a somewhat different picture. In light of Delegate Aisha Braveboy’s minimalist campaign, with little money raised, evaluating her efforts during the General Assembly isn’t particularly relevant even with her active role in the Legislative Black Caucus.

A second candidate, Delegate Jon Cardin, through a strategy of continuous press releases, tried to claim credit for bills on which he had little impact and made pronouncements on many other issues. One of the most curious of those press releases was a joint one with Delegate Luiz Simmons calling on the Senate to act on their “Revenge Porn Bill.” Given that Simmons is one of the least well-regarded members of the House of Delegates, it is puzzling that Cardin wanted to associate with him so publicly.

The candidate for Attorney General whose work in the General Assembly session was significant and substantive was Senator Brian Frosh, chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

The most important bill was one that changed the burden of proof for individuals seeking protective custody orders. This legislation, which had died in previous years in the House, was a top priority of victims’ rights and women’s groups and was incorporated into the Administration’s legislative package. Frosh, however, was the real leader on the effort.

Another Frosh bill on domestic violence that passed this session closed a legal gap in the time frame between temporary and permanent protective orders. A third outlawed a particularly disgusting practice known as “Rape by Proxy” that previously was not covered by any statute. The term refers to a person using social media to pose as an ex-spouse and invite others to engage in sex with her or him.

At the request of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association, Frosh managed to correct a legal defect in current law that sets the statute of limitations on felonies committed with a handgun at one year. The new law makes the time frame for prosecution of the use of a handgun in a felony the same as for the felony itself.

In reviewing the results of the session, I also found an interesting historical footnote. In 1861, Maryland was one of three states which ratified a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would have prevented Congress from overriding any state law on slavery. Maryland’s ratification of that law was repealed by SJ 1, sponsored by Frosh.

Will yet another session of leadership in the Senate be helpful to Frosh’s campaign to be elected Maryland’s Attorney General? Or will having an opponent with a famous last name be too much to overcome?
...

http://centermaryland.org/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=915&Itemid=178
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[B' Spokes: And personally I find Cardin's marriage proposal fiasco in poor taste and judgement.
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-08-18/news/0908170093_1_city-police-police-department-baltimore-county ]
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Meet Don Engel and Healther Mizeur

Politics[B' Spokes: I encourage everyone to get involved with politics. And here are a couple of people I am impressed with, go see them and see if you are too.]

Sunday 04/27/14 - 5:00 - 6:00 P.M.
Don Engel,11th District Legislative candidate Meet-and-Greet hosted by Susan Somerville-Hawes, 1911 Ruxton Road, Towson, MD 21204,  Email Dan@DonEngel.com to RSVP.

Monday 04/28/14 - 7:30 p.m.
Southwest Baltimore County Democratic Club monthly meeting, 106 Bloomsbury Ave., Catonsville, MD  21228, Room 108.  Special Guest:  Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate, Healther Mizeur

Wednesday 04/30/14 - 7:00 pm. - 9:00 p.m.
Don Engel,11th District Legislative candidate Meet-and-Greet hosted by Ann and Don Schwartz, 2414 Sugarcone Road, Baltimore, MD 21209. Email Dan@DonEngel.com to RSVP.

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