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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 09:49 AM UTC
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Come ride with Anne Arundel County Police Department this Sunday

Biking in the Metro Areaimage

Via Anne Arundel County Police Department
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Bill Marker for the Maryland House of Delegates 40th District

Politics[B' Spokes: I'll note Bill is a regular at Bike to Work Day among being spotted from time to time riding around town or at various cycling events. A nice guy and I rather enjoy talking with him. So in continuing supporting those that bicycle...]
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Friends of Bill Marker
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Please support Bikemore today!

Biking in BaltimoreFrom Chris Merriam via email

Dear friends,

As you know, I am Executive Director of Bikemore, Baltimore's bicycle advocacy group. We work to make Baltimore a place where people can comfortably ride a bicycle on city streets for fun, fitness, and transportation.

So, what does that mean, and what do we actually do
  • We have monthly meetings with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) in which we monitor progress on a number of infrastructure and policy changes that we've advocated for
  • We build relationships with elected representatives, community leaders, institutions, and other stakeholders around the city to engage them in the process of making our streets more friendly to people on bicycles
  • We attend community meetings around the city to ensure that plans for roads and other public infrastructure are designed to serve people on bicycles
  • We mobilize our supporters to weigh in on bicycle-related policy or infrastructure proposals, as necessary
  • We work with Baltimore's larger bicycle community to build a culture of bicycling in Baltimore
  • (Plus a lot more!)
And, of course, we raise money to fund all that work! It takes a group of professional advocates working (more than) full-time to accomplish these goals, and that's why we need your support today. We appreciate whatever you can afford to give, and whatever this advocacy is worth to you. All donations to Bikemore are fully tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, the Greater Homewood Community Corporation.
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Paris bans cars, makes transit free to fight air pollution

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: You would think being near the worst on the number of bad air days (http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20110826010851895 ) we would be working towards something like this.]
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By John Upton, Grist

Air pollution is about as romantic as wilted flowers, chapped lips, and corked wine, so the record-setting smog that has settled over the City of Love in the past few days is definitely dampening the mood.

Unseasonably warm weather has triggered unprecedented air pollution levels in Paris. Over the weekend, the city responded by offering free public transportation and bike sharing. (Similar measures were taken throughout nearby Belguim, which also reduced speed limits.) But that wasn’t enough to fix the problem, so Paris and 22 surrounding areas are taking more extreme steps, banning nearly half of vehicles from their roads.
...

http://grist.org/news/paris-bans-cars-makes-transit-free-to-fight-air-pollution/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=update&utm_campaign=socialflow
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Time for an upgrade?

Cyclist\'s Yellow Pagesimage

Time for an upgrade? We take Trade-Ins! Bring in your old bike to trade-in and we can apply the value towards either a new bike OR store credit to use on merchandise! It's that easy!! Trade-In and Trade-Up today!

Via Annapolis Bike & Sport
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What should the speed limit be for cars in cities?

Biking Elsewhere
Speed limit vs injuries
© Copenhagenize.com

Via Treehugger
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Motorists are at fault in the majority of cycling fatalities

Biking ElsewhereBy Gregory A. Clark, Standard-Examiner

...
But one contributing factor is inappropriate motorist attitude: Roads are for cars, not bikes. Another is that American motorists typically receive little or no penalty for injuring or killing cyclists -- even when the accident is clearly their fault. A third is the lack of cycling infrastructure.

These need to change.

When it comes to attitude, all too often people are ready to blame the victim.

As one commentator put it after another recent local accident, "Often the blame should be shared. ... Cyclists have to do their part to stay out of the way." (Read)
...

Sure, cyclists sometimes fail to obey the letter of the law. Me too. But that is not the major problem. Motorists are at fault in the majority of cycling fatalities.

Nearly every motorist, on nearly every drive, also breaks the law: Failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs, failing to obey the posted speed limit, failing to signal appropriately, and so on. Me too. If receiving respect required giving respect for the letter of the law, then motorists would deserve no respect, either.

Despite our own routine driving infringements, we don't claim that other drivers should be absolved of blame for hitting our cars. Or that roads and infrastructure shouldn't be built or maintained. Or that cars shouldn't be allowed on roads. Yet that is much the attitude many motorists wrongly convey toward bicyclists.

Pedestrians also often violate the letter of the law, crossing in the middle of the street or against red lights. Me too. But that's no excuse for motorists to run them down, or to deny them infrastructure.
...

Instead, pedestrians are correctly presumed to have the legal right-of-way over motorists. That makes sense, given the discrepancies of size, speed, and injury potential between cars and people.

The same legal principle should apply to cyclists. And where that principle has been put into legislation, it works. Such legislation -- with enforcement -- doesn't "result in rampant injustice to drivers ... it results in far fewer accidents." (Read) Nor does it result in rampant law-breaking by cyclists, who must worry about their physical harm far more than about traffic tickets.

Overall, bicycle use reduces, not increases, traffic and parking problems. Traffic jams and slowdowns are caused by too many cars, not by too many cyclists. (Read) Nor are traffic jams caused by the few extra seconds (if any) it takes for drivers to pass slower cyclists.

Further still, bicycle use saves the taxpayer money. That's a kind of "green" that most anyone can love.
...

http://www.standard.net/stories/2014/03/17/bicyclists-improve-our-quality-life
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FHWA Proposes to Let States Fail Their Own Safety Goals With Impunity

Biking Elsewhereby Tanya Snyder, Streets Blog

Secretary Anthony Foxx has made clear that safety — and specifically, safety for bicyclists and pedestrians — is a priority of his administration. If that’s true, his administration sure has a funny way of showing it.

The Federal Highway Administration’s proposal on safety performance measures allows states to fail to meet half their own safety targets without consequences. And it gives the seal of approval to worsening safety performance as long as people in that state are driving more.
...

First, bike and pedestrian advocates are bitterly disappointed that their demand for a separate performance measure on vulnerable road users was not included. “Once again, bicyclists have been left out,” said Bike League President Andy Clarke in a blog post Tuesday. “We know that without a specific target to focus the attention of state DOTs and USDOT on reducing bicyclist and pedestrian deaths within the overall number — we get lost in the shuffle.”
...

More people dying? No problem — just keep driving!
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/03/14/fhwa-proposes-to-let-states-fail-their-own-safety-goals-with-impunity/
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Traffic Safety Trends

Biking ElsewhereBy Anne Teigen and Douglas Shinkle

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 3 and 34. In 2012, highway deaths increased for the first time since 2005, from 32,479 in 2011 to 33,561 in 2012. While motor vehicle deaths in 2012 remain at the same level of fatalities as in 1950, Americans drove approximately the same about of miles in 2012 as they did in 2011, but with a 3.3 percent increase in fatalities. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia saw reductions in overall traffic fatalities (Table 1); in Mississippi, the number of fatalities decreased by 48, or 7.6 percent.
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Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

After a few years of declining traffic deaths among bicyclists and pedestrians, the past few years have witnessed an increase in deaths for these groups. In 2012, pedestrian deaths rose from 4,457 deaths in 2011 to 4,743 deaths in 2012 (an increase of 6.4 percent), while bicyclist deaths increased from 682 to 726 (an increase of 6.5 percent). Injuries increased as well, by 10 percent for pedestrians, to around 76,000, and by 2.1 percent, to about 49,000 for bicyclists. Alcohol use continues to increase the risk of injury or death for pedestrians and cyclists; 37 percent of pedestrians killed in 2011 (the year with the most recent data), had blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal driving limit of .08, although that has declined from 44 percent of pedestrians in the early ‘80s.

Due largely to the success in decreasing vehicle deaths, the proportion of bicyclist and pedestrian traffic deaths has increased significantly; according to the newest data from the NHTSA passenger vehicle deaths now account for 65 percent of traffic deaths, down from 75 percent in 2003, while the proportion of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities increased from 13 percent of deaths to 17 percent [22 percent for Maryland]. Common legislative strategies to enhance traffic safety for pedestrians and bicyclists include vulnerable user laws, complete streets, safe bicycling passing laws, and yield to pedestrian laws.

Vulnerable Users

A number of states [but not Maryland] considered legislation to assess stiffer penalties for traffic incidents that cause harm or death to vulnerable users, but Utah was the only one to enact such legislation in 2013. The Utah law defines a vulnerable user as a pedestrian; a person riding an animal; or a person operating a skateboard, wheelchair, bicycle, moped, motorcycle and other devices. A motorist may not distract, force, or attempt to distract or force a vulnerable user off the roadway with the intent of causing injury. Violating this law can result in fines of up to $750 and up to 90 days in jail; in the case of a violation resulting in injury to a vulnerable user, the penalty can be fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
...

http://www.ncsl.org/documents/transportation/2013Trafficsafetytrends.pdf
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House OKs jail time for drivers who kill while on cell phones

Bike LawsBy Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun

The House of Delegates approved a bill Friday that would allow a judge to give up to a year's sentence to a driver who negligently kills or seriously injures someone while texting or speaking on a hand-held cellphone.
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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-house-oks-jail-time-for-drivers-who-kill-while-on-cell-phones-20140314,0,4820774.story?track=rss

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