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Monday, November 30 2015 @ 10:26 PM UTC
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County Planning Board Supports New Maryland Law on Designating Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Areas

Biking in Marylandby Bridget Schwiesow, Montgomery Planning Board

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, helped to initiate a new Maryland law requiring the State Highway Administration to act within one year on local designations of Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas. Work on the newly enacted law began with a collaborative effort among County Transportation Planner Larry Cole, Maryland House Delegate Alfred Carr, Jr. and Kelly Blynn of the DC regional Coalition for Smarter Growth.

Maryland Senator James Rosapepe introduced the bill on February 6, 2015 and, on February 12, 2105, the Planning Board voted to support it. The final Senate Bill 371 was signed by Governor Larry Hogan on April 14, 2015:

The designation of Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas is intended to ensure that the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians are taken into account during all phases of transportation planning, design, construction or expansion. The aim is to provide for greater safety and access through bike lanes, paths, sidewalks, crosswalks and other physical road improvements and traffic control devices. Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas have become an integral part of Montgomery County’s recent Master Plans, developed by the Planning Department to promote multi-modal transportation in the more densely developed areas of the County.

And another:

[B' Spokes: While this is good news still, I wounder how many other counties are going to take advantage of this funding opportunity. Ya I'm looking at you Baltimore County and Prince George Counties. Far too many cycling related deaths and injuries and such a low mode share to even remotely justify current practice of ignoring accommodating bicycles.]
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Tucson will pay $225,000 to settle a lawsuit involving an injurious pothole.

Biking ElsewhereBy Becky Pallack, Arizona Daily Star

"Ken Baarson was riding his bicycle on East Pima Street near North Sonoita Avenue in July 2012 when he thought he saw a puddle of muddy water. He tried to ride through it but the puddle turned out to be a deep pothole filled with water, caused by a leaking pipe under the pavement."

[B' Spokes: The city of Baltimore should take notice of this liability.]
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Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run on Philadelphia Road

Biking in the Metro AreaVia WBALTV

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.
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The Critical Ten

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I'm posting this because I think the speed limit on the most northern part of Roland Ave (where Tom was killed) is too high. Why does anyone "need" to travel 35 mph for ~ 1/2 mile when the rest of the street is 25 mph?]
By Bill Lindeke, Streets MN

The problem is that for a good urban street, this muddy “middle ground” between ‘walkable’ and ‘driver’s paradise’ can sometimes be the worst of both worlds.



The Critical Difference Between 30 and 20

I’m talking about traffic speed. If you look at the average speed of traffic on a urban commercial streets, there are a lot of things that begin to change when you slow down cars from the 30 to 35 mile per hour range into the 20 to 25 mile per hour range. Most importantly, perception, reaction time, and crash outcomes are far better at 20 than at 30 mph, while traffic flow doesn’t seem to change very much.


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Biking Elsewhere-> This month, for at least the second time in a year, the Institute of Transportation Engineers has challenged its members to rethink common practices and metrics that are often thought of as objective and unbiased, but that convey values that arent necessarily in line with the greater public interest. In particular, these values emphasize the movement of vehicles above all other interests.

In an op-ed for this months ITE Journal (<a href=""></a>;), Jason DeGray, a licensed engineer and a member of the groups advocacy committee... argues that conventional approaches to engineering, developed over years of outward suburban growth, are particularly biased toward motorized road users--most noticeably in urban areas.

A feature article in the ITE Journals August 2014 issue, titled Decisions, Values, and Data: Understanding Bias in Transportation Performance Measures (<a href=""></a>;), gives an example of one such metric--level of service--explains precisely how it reflects values and biases inherent to transportation design... [<a href=""></a>;]
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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.

<a href=""></a>;
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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: <a href=""></a>;
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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.
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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.


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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
  •  Strongly disagree
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Other polls | 1,177 votes | 0 comments

The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on State roads
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
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