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Thursday, October 30 2014 @ 11:49 PM UTC
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Say what? $4 million gets us what again?

Biking in MarylandBy B' Spokes

Recreational Trails Program Typical projects, awarded FY2013
Howard County Conservancy Accessible Trail Improvements 24,750
Brunswick Trailside Amenities 10,100
Boardwalks for Upper Rock Creek Trail 32,800
DNR Algonquin Cross Country trail25,000
DNR Potomac Garrett State Forest Trail Guides 26,000
TOTAL ONGOING AWARDS 4,410,000
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN RELATED PROJECTS in the Consolidted Transportation Program FY 2014 – 2019

I've talked about the Federal Recreational Trails Program before and I don't get why Maryland caps the grant amount to $30k (with some small exceptions.) Per Recreational Trails Program: Preliminary Report on State Trail Projects on average 44% of this fund is spent on "Trail Construction or Development." While Maryland does not provide enough information to say what we do spend on actual trail construction I am willing to bet it is no where close to 44%.

So I decided to see how Maryland's average cost per RTP project compared to other states (data follows.) Only 9 other states had a smaller average cost per project than Maryland. Maryland's average cost was $22k, the national average was $41k. It is worth noting that DC's average was $232k per project and California was %122k per project. Big difference!

My main point here is I would love to see a greater diversity of projects funded through this program. And on that note I noticed the $30k cap has changed!

Funds requested per project cannot exceed $40,000 for trail construction and $30,000 for non-construction. Please note, for the FY15 solicitation, we will consider lifting the $40K cap for construction projects that score high with the criteria.


So things are starting to change! And remember this is a 20% local match so here's hoping to see a lot more bicycle related projects! Speaking of changes for the good, I noticed Transportation Enhancements (TE) are back! That's right the CTP mentions $25,355,100 worth of TE projects!!! I did not see any mention of the old draconic 50% local match requirement, nor any mention of a match requirement. Did Jim Smith decide to start spending that $40 million backlog of federal money rather then just let the feds keep that money? I would love to know the details but from what I can see from publicly available documents, things are finally starting to look up. .
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Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive drivers

News you will not see in MarylandBy Matthew Artz Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND -- Abusive drivers who take aim at cyclists and pedestrians might soon face retribution far more severe than a middle finger.

Councilwoman Libby Schaaf introduced legislation Tuesday that would make Oakland the nation's fourth city to allow aggrieved cyclists and pedestrians to take their vehicular tormentors to civil court. If victorious, Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive driversplaintiffs would be entitled to at least $1,000 and attorneys fees.

Bicycle advocates and Schaaf, who is running for mayor, acknowledged that cyclists are not always docile victims on the streets of Oakland. But they said the additional protections were warranted because both cyclists and pedestrians are far more vulnerable to serious injury.
...

http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25418959/oakland-law-would-let-cyclists-pedestrians-sue-abusive
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April 28 Susquehanna Crossing Meeting

Biking in MarylandBy jonkorin, Bicycle Advocates For Annapolis & Anne Arundel County ("BikeAAA")

SusquehannaAnnouncement letter-Open House042814

BikeAAA has joined an East Coast Greenway Alliance called the Safe Crossing Susquehanna Coalition supporting the creation of a new bike/ped Susquehanna River crossing in conjunction with a new Amtrak bridge that is being planned. There is a public meeting Monday April 28th @ 5:00 open house at the Havre de Grace Activity Center, 351 Lewis Lane, Havre de Grace MD. This is where public comments will be gathered and the voices for a bicycle and pedestrian bridge can be heard.

Other organizations signed onto the coalition include the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Maryland, Washington Area Bicycle Association, Bikemore, and the September Eleventh National Memorial Trail at this time.



http://bikeaaa.org/2014/04/23/april-28-susquehanna-crossing-meeting/
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This is what politics is all about... getting people on bikes.

Politicsimage

On Brian's way in to work today…he is an avid bicyclist. Want to ride with him one weekend? Let us know at brian@brianfrosh.com

Via Brian Frosh
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Scofflaw cyclists... and I'm like...

Biking Elsewhere image

Mass of One Cycling
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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.]
image

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.]
**********************************************************************************************************************************
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.

image
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.
image

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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