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Tuesday, February 09 2016 @ 03:46 PM UTC
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The Real Danger to Children Is Cars, Not Strangers

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: To ballpark the danger to kids (more info in the article)
115 - Kidnapping by strangers
449 - Children killed when they were walking or biking
2136 - Children killed being chauffeured by car. ]

by Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

"Why are we building communities that are unsafe for our children? This goes beyond free range vs. helicopter parenting debates. Our infrastructure forces decisions by some parents — and are unhealthy for our children besides!"
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Biking Elsewhere-> The road system used to be largely funded by the gas tax. Gas taxes, tolls, and other fees on driving account for only about half the money spent on the U.S. road system, according to a new report (Who Pays for Roads? How the "Users Pay" Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America's Transportation Problems: []

[See also: A financial analysis by the Center for American Progress found that about four out of 10 U.S. highways don't carry enough traffic to generate sufficient revenue to pay for their maintenance - let alone construction. (Advancing a Multimodal Transportation System by Eliminating Funding Restrictions:]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Bicycle Index: Most Bike-Friendly Cities

Biking in BaltimoreB' Spokes: We are ranked 22 out of 52. Not bad.


Via BetterDoctor

We used the following factors to determine how bike-friendly a city is:

1. Are there other bikers? We included the percentage of commuters who commute to work by bicycle. This was weighted at 40% of the overall score.

2. Can bikers travel safely? We weighted the number of fatalities per 10,000 bikers at 30% of the overall score.

3. Are there ongoing infrastructure improvements to support bikers? Infrastructure such as bike lanes makes it easier and safer to ride. We included federal spending on bike and pedestrian projects and weighted it at 30% of the overall score.
[There is a table so you can see how we compare to other cities in these three criteria.]
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Maryland Safe Routes to School Program Recognizes Bike to School Day Participants

Biking in MarylandVia Southern Maryland New Net

Hundreds of Maryland Students Participating in National Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 6; Drivers Urged to Be Aware of Increased Bicycling Activity around Schools

SHABike to School Day events on Wednesday, May 6 raise awareness for the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking, as well as the health and environmental benefits of biking. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) praises schools who will participate in National Bike to School Day and urges drivers to be alert for bicyclists around schools during arrival and dismissal times. Several Maryland schools will host events, supported by Maryland’s Safe Routes to School program, which provides funding to support walking, and bicycling to and from elementary and middle schools.

For drivers:

• Expect bicyclists on the road and share the road.
• Stay vigilant at all times, especially when pulling out of driveways or side streets.
• Always follow the speed limit, which may be lowered in designated school zones.
• Pass bicyclists with at least three feet of space – it’s the law.
• Leave plenty of space between you and the bicyclist in front of you.
• Before turning, make sure the path is clear of bicyclists.

For children walking and biking to school:

• Obey the rules of the road, including traffic signals and stop signs.
• On a bike, ride with traffic but walk on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic.
• Wear a helmet – it’s the law for anyone under age 16, but everyone should to prevent head injury.
• Wear reflective material…it makes you more visible to drivers.
• Walk your bike across intersections.
• Use hand signals.
• When walking, use crosswalks and follow pedestrian signal indicators.

[B' Spokes: "Walk your bike across intersections." ??? Maybe that's good advice for small children just starting to bike but I have yet to see any compelling evidence that being a pedestrian is "safer" then being a cyclist in this state (our pedestrian traffic fatalities make up a higher percentage of traffic fatalities than the national average.) But more than that SHA is setting this up to give everyone the impression that ALL bikes must be walked across the intersection at all times and that is just wrong. There is no legal bases for this statement and certainly no study that shows that this is indeed good advice.]
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Biking in Baltimore-> Household chauffeuring refers to personal vehicle travel specifically made to transport non-drivers. This additional vehicle travel imposes various direct and indirect costs. This paper (Evaluating Household Chauffeuring Burdens: Understanding Direct and Indirect Costs of Transporting Non-Drivers: develops a Chauffeuring Burden Index which quantifies chauffeuring costs and the benefits of transport improvements that reduce chauffeuring burdens. This analysis indicates that in automobile dependent communities chauffeuring costs often exceed congestion costs. []

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Biking Elsewhere-> A new study (Driver Approach Speed and Its Impact on Driver Yielding to Pedestrian Behavior at Unsignalized Crosswalks: published by TRB, reveals that drivers are nearly four times more likely to yield for pedestrians at travel speeds around 20 miles per hour than at 40 mph. These findings bolster the case for more stringent speed enforcement. However, Tom Bertulis, the studys lead author, says this work can also improve the way designers deal with unsafe crossings. []

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Biking Elsewhere-> A pair of researchers at the University of Minnesota recently set out to test the theory that a connected bike network where bike lanes provide continuous routes between many possible destinations is a major determinant of how many people bike. What they actually found was a little unexpected. Connected bike infrastructure matters, according to the study, but not as much as the density of bike infrastructure. (The Missing Link: Bicycle Infrastructure Networks and Ridership in 74 US Cities: These findings suggest that cities hoping to maximize the impacts of their bicycle infrastructure investments should first consider densifying their bicycle network before expanding its breadth, the authors concluded. []

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Biking Elsewhere-> Vision Zero the idea that we should no longer accept traffic deaths and serious injuries is gaining momentum as a framework for thinking about city streets and transportation, as more American cities adopt the goal of ending traffic fatalities. But what actually constitutes a Vision Zero policy? What are the best strategies to dramatically reduce traffic violence? Which cities are doing it right, and which are talking the talk without walking the walk? A new organization, the Vision Zero Network (, seeks to help American cities adopt the most effective street safety policies. The organization launched last week under the leadership of Leah Shahum, former executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, with support from Kaiser Permanente. []
(See also a We the People Save 33,000 lives annually with Vision Zero policies petition to the Obama Administration. It needs 100,000 signatures by May 16, 2015 to require the Administration to review and respond to the petition:

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Federal survey planned on transit to recreation

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Coming to a random mail box near you (if approved.)]

By Charles Pekow, Examinar

So how many people got to their recreational destinations by what form of transit? The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to know and has proposed asking about it in its 2015 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS). FHWA is taking public comments on the proposed survey, which needs permission from the Office of Management & Budget (OMB). FHWA announced the plan in the Federal Register of Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

FHWA wants to know who is using what form of transportation to get where they are going. FHWA plans to use the findings to help gauge factors such as safety, energy use, air pollution, congestion and safety; and to help determine research needs. It wants to know how many people are walking, biking, driving their own car or taking public transit to recreational and other destinations. FHWA also plans to share the data with state agencies so they can do the same type of evaluations.
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Ryan Dorsey for Baltimore City Council 3rd District

Politics"He is a member of the Transit Choices coalition, seeking improvements in safety and effectiveness in Baltimore City transportation"
[B' Spokes: He supports cycling.]

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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