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Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 07:17 AM UTC
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The best of MDOT's WTF

Bike LawsWhen talking about the new 'Bikes May use the Full Lane" sign

bicyclists traveling more than 10 mph under the posted speed limit are considered slow moving vehicles and should stay as far to the right as possible

Even if we have a sign saying we may use the full lane we have to ride to the right if we are slow? And is it really too much to ask to have this clarified?

When introducing our new 3' foot safe passing law

The law says the bicyclist has the responsibility to move aside and let you pass.

There is no such law for cyclists, motor vehicles capable of doing the speed limit yes but not cyclists. But even so there has to be space to move aside.

And MDOT still insists this is 100% correct and is a good paraphrase of a cyclist failing to ride lawfully (not in compliance with § 21-1205).

A 3 foot passing distance is required unless... the bicyclist fails to ride to the right,

Am I the only one who is detecting a theme here? While MDOT has been good at correcting stuff online they are horrible at correcting "little" meda slip ups. My impression of the first two slip ups are the result of trying to get some vehicle code that does does not apply to cyclist to apply to cyclists. It would have been nice if they corrected the misunderstanding in the Capital Gazette (first quote) by simply clarifying that even slow cyclists can legally use the full lane when the lane is narrow. But it seems they have dug in their heels and will only go as far as replacing "as far right as possible" with "as far right as practicable and safe" for slow cyclists. Well I have news for you MDOT the latter phrase is from the bicycle code and NOT the slow moving vehicle code, that should be a hint that the slow moving vehicle law does not apply.

Art. 6. That all persons invested with the Legislative or Executive powers of Government are the Trustees of the Public, and, as such, accountable for their conduct: Wherefore, whenever the ends of Government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered... - Maryland Declaration of Rights

Are not our personal liberties endangered if MDOT puts out contradictory messages? Is not failing to correct an error in the original source of publication failing the public trust? I have gone to too much work just to get MDOT to clarify that even slow cyclist can use the full lane if it is too narrow. I am now trying to investigate other options if anyone knows a good lawyer that could handle this let me know.
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Petition: Ensure that the new Amtrak Susquehanna River Bridge will accommodate cyclists and walkers.

Biking in MarylandPetition by East Coast Greenway Alliance

The East Coast Greenway (ECG) is a 2,900-mile National Millennium Trail connecting 15 states and more than two dozen major cities throughout the Eastern seaboard. The ECG is now 29% complete as trail, with 71% of the route on carefully-selected roadways. There are many challenges to building trail on the route, but one rises high above the rest: crossing the Susquehanna River. Did you know that in the state of Maryland there is no safe way to cross the Susquehanna on foot or by bike? The closest safe crossing is in Pennsylvania, over 23 miles upstream from Havre de Grace. With your help, we can change that.
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Meet Brian Frosh for Attorney General

Politics[B' Spokes: I was with some cycling friends over the weekend and they could not stop talking about how great Brian Frosh is (and he is a cyclist as well.)]

I hope you are safe and warm this snowy day! I want to share information on our campaign's upcoming events in the Baltimore area this weekend. This Saturday we are having two events, the first is Saturday morning in Baltimore County and the second is that afternoon in Baltimore City. Brian will discuss his legislative priorities and share why he is running to be the next Attorney General of Maryland.

There is much work to be done and Brian can’t do it alone. He needs your support! Please join us this Saturday to learn more about Brian, hear more about his vision for a better and safer Maryland, and get involved in our campaign. Please feel free to share this invitation with your friends and family!





Baltimore County Baltimore City

Meet & Greet in Timonium


Senator Brian Frosh

 Democrat for Attorney General of Maryland

Saturday, January 25, 2014

10am – 12pm

Home of Rev. Sharon Smith

219 Sandee Road

Timonium, MD


Meet & Greet in Mt. Vernon


Senator Brian Frosh

 Democrat for Attorney General of Maryland

Saturday, January 25, 2014

3pm – 5pm

Home of Kathleen Fanone & Steven Ruckman

913 Tyson Street

Baltimore, MD



Please RSVP to Christa Burton at 847-409-5889 or send an email to

His website:
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Wheels of change: Baltimore's bike crusade

Biking in BaltimoreBy Andrew Zaleski, For b

For 23 years, Penny Troutner has owned Light Street Cycles in Federal Hill. And she had seen bicycles on Baltimore's streets, for recreation and transportation, even before she opened her bike shop. But Troutner holds up 2011 as the year she noticed drivers giving cyclists in the city more room on the road.

But infrastructure improvements have also contributed to safer streets for cyclists. Since 2006, 140 miles of cycling lanes on city streets have been installed, a measure that garnered Baltimore recognition from the national League of American Bicyclists as a bicycle-friendly community.

"We're going to see a visible difference in the next two to three years of bike infrastructure in the city," said Billy Hwang, 40, the deputy director for administration at the city's Department of Transportation.

Hwang said this year marks the first time Baltimore is "dedicating federal and local funds to bicycling," a total of about $3.1 million to put toward bike infrastructure, including another 500 bike racks that will be placed citywide over the next year.

Nowhere has that call for better infrastructure been stronger over the past year than inside Bikemore, a cycling advocacy group founded in 2012.

Hear the plan

Bike and pedestrian planner Caitlin Doolin will present the Downtown Bicycle Network at the central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free library (400 Cathedral Street) from 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 4.,0,1736056,full.story
[B' Spokes: Click the link above at least to show support for more articles like this as well as I skipped a lot of good stuff so there is a lot more in there.]
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Cyclists Can Save You Money, If You Let Them

Biking ElsewhereReference:

B' Spokes: There appears to be some disagreement here on just how much motorist pay for the roads. So I'll note from my research there is a big difference what the proportion of motor vehicle taxes make up the state DOT budget and that of the localities. State DOT's build a lot of expensive roads where cyclists are prohibited (so it stands to reason motor vehicles pay the lion share of that) while localities using less vehicle taxes build roads for everyone to use. So it looks like the inference holds, we are paying more then our fair share.

A few highlights:

"And a 2013 study by Canadian researcher Todd Litman found big disparities in how motorists and non-motorists kick in for transportation projects. Litman estimated a cyclist who travels 3,000 miles a year likely overpays almost the same amount as a motorist who logs 10,000 miles a year might underpay."

"But some observers say parsing these revenue streams ignores a larger point: Bike facilities have the ability to save massive amounts of money."

"A Swiss researcher, Thomas Gotschi, who helpfully made Portland the subject of a 2011 study, drove that point home. He found investments of $138 million to $605 million in bike infrastructure could be leveraged to save:
• Between $388 million to $544 million in health care costs.
• $143 to $218 million in fuel
• $7 to $12 billion in human life (measured “value of statistical lives,” a common metric in transportation planning)"
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Bike PathsVia What Weekly

Jess Bither writes her way under the highway.

It’s difficult to view Round Falls from the highway overhead; it’s even hidden to runners along the Jones Falls Trail. Round Falls is out of view, not easily accessible, and unknown to most people in Baltimore. I first became curious about this not-quite-natural-not-quite-urban environment thriving underneath the Jones Falls Expressway while living in Remington.
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Vision Zero Traffic Fatalities [video]

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: This video is just like here but we have a higher pedestrian fatality rate than New York City. When you realize this is normal behavior at a lot of our intersections it is safer for pedestrIans to cross mid block. But our police repeatedly crack down on jaywalking (which is not illegal) but have never engaged in crosswalk stings which helps get better motorists behavior. That is not right only addressing one side of the problem.]

65th and 7th Ave, Brooklyn, #VisionZero from Anna Zivarts on Vimeo.

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Poll: Do you think Baltimore leaders understand that millennials are key to healthy gains in Baltimore’s population?

Biking in BaltimoreThere is a poll at the bottom of the page in the link. Do you think our leaders get it?
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China starts televising the sunrise on giant TV screens because Beijing is so clouded in smog

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Too many supporting more single occupancy motor vehicles (cars) have arguments that boil down to denying climate change and the hopes that the U.S. has enough untapped oil and gas to go on the way it has for another 350 years.

Trying to refute that is not my main argument, this is:]

From the Daily Mail

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Police Bicycle Patrol Pedals Ahead Despite Snow, Frigid Weather

News you will not see in MarylandB' Spokes: Heck I would settle for some bike patrols around here just in the good weather. (Filed in news you will not see in Maryland.)

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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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