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Wednesday, April 23 2014 @ 07:41 PM UTC
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Bicycles on MARC - Moving Forward

Bike Maryland updatesVia Bike Maryland Newsletter

By Greg Hinchliffe

On Thursday April 10, 2014, members of Maryland Bicylcle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MBPAC) had a very productive meeting with Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) personnel regarding carrying full-size (non-folding) bikes on Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC trains. Representing MTA were Erich Kolig, John Hovatter, and Patrick McMahon. Representing MBPAC was Michael Jackson, Greg Hinchliffe, Jim Titus and Carol Silldorff, committee member and Bike Maryland Executive Director. Also in attendance was Champe Burnley of the Virginia Bicycle Federation, who is conducting similar negotiations with Virginia Railway Express commuter rail and Amtrak.

MBPAC passed a resolution asking MARC to consider allowing non–folding bikes on its new weekend service trains, with the idea that the new service would be lightly patronized. MARC was expecting approximately 2000 weekend users; they have had as many as 9000! Nonetheless, the weekend ridership is lower than weekday, making the weekend trains the logical choice to experiment with bike carriage.

MTA has put quite a bit of thought and effort into incorporating space for full bicycles on the MARC. MBPAC members are satisfied that MTA is working on a solution, and hopeful that progress can be reported soon. Additionally, we thank MTA for there interest in partnering with advocates to participate in later stages of this project’s development!

(Photo credit: Bloomburg News)

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March MBPAC Highlights

Biking in MarylandC. Legislative and Government Affairs
...
HB 241 allows crossing double yellow line when safe to pass bicyclists by 3 feet (unfavorable report in House Environmental Matters Committee) and SB 520, which legalizes bicycle travel on portions of roadway segments posted at 55 mph or greater when bicycle shoulder use is permitted (passed the House of Delegates, awaiting a Senate vote). Carol noted that although HB 241 did not pass out of the Environmental Affairs Committee MDOT changed its position from unfavorable in 2013 to “neutral” in 2014 and the trucking industry changed its position from unfavorable in 2013 to favorable in 2014.
...

Shared Use Paths in Utility Corridors - John gave an update on efforts to persuade the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) to allow shared use paths to be built along their power line rights-of-way. He is working with a group of stakeholders including Delegate Aruna Miller and would like to see two pilot projects along utility corridors connecting Cabin John to Seneca state park in Montgomery County and along another power line right-of-way in Prince George’s County. John said so far PEPCO shows no signs of agreeing to these proposals. Dick asked if these utility corridors were owned in fee simple by PEPCO. John said yes. Dick suggested seeking a 99 year lease from utility companies for a dollar. He also joked that, “the job of electric utilities is to move kilowatts not people.”
...

ADA Accessibility Interpretation
...
He brought up a vexing issue of a McDonald’s restaurant application for renovation where the restaurant owner has been advised by their attorneys to rip up an existing sidewalk that serves both restaurant and thru pedestrian traffic because the sidewalk is not ADA compliant. A new sidewalk ... but disrupt the existing thru pedestrian traffic flow
...

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Documents/3_7_14_MBPAC_Meeting_Minutes.pdf
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Jon Cardin vs. Brian Frosh

Politics[B' Spokes: While not directly bike related (though Brian Frosh is a cyclist), I will assert that Brian Frosh is one reason why our bike bills will typically pass the Senate while the House can have issues with them, that point is better expressed below in more general terms. And maybe there is some parallels to cycling like supporting the underdog that's may lose to a big name.]
***********************************************
By Laslo Boyd, Center Maryland
...
The efforts of the candidates for Attorney General present a somewhat different picture. In light of Delegate Aisha Braveboy’s minimalist campaign, with little money raised, evaluating her efforts during the General Assembly isn’t particularly relevant even with her active role in the Legislative Black Caucus.

A second candidate, Delegate Jon Cardin, through a strategy of continuous press releases, tried to claim credit for bills on which he had little impact and made pronouncements on many other issues. One of the most curious of those press releases was a joint one with Delegate Luiz Simmons calling on the Senate to act on their “Revenge Porn Bill.” Given that Simmons is one of the least well-regarded members of the House of Delegates, it is puzzling that Cardin wanted to associate with him so publicly.

The candidate for Attorney General whose work in the General Assembly session was significant and substantive was Senator Brian Frosh, chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

The most important bill was one that changed the burden of proof for individuals seeking protective custody orders. This legislation, which had died in previous years in the House, was a top priority of victims’ rights and women’s groups and was incorporated into the Administration’s legislative package. Frosh, however, was the real leader on the effort.

Another Frosh bill on domestic violence that passed this session closed a legal gap in the time frame between temporary and permanent protective orders. A third outlawed a particularly disgusting practice known as “Rape by Proxy” that previously was not covered by any statute. The term refers to a person using social media to pose as an ex-spouse and invite others to engage in sex with her or him.

At the request of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association, Frosh managed to correct a legal defect in current law that sets the statute of limitations on felonies committed with a handgun at one year. The new law makes the time frame for prosecution of the use of a handgun in a felony the same as for the felony itself.

In reviewing the results of the session, I also found an interesting historical footnote. In 1861, Maryland was one of three states which ratified a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would have prevented Congress from overriding any state law on slavery. Maryland’s ratification of that law was repealed by SJ 1, sponsored by Frosh.

Will yet another session of leadership in the Senate be helpful to Frosh’s campaign to be elected Maryland’s Attorney General? Or will having an opponent with a famous last name be too much to overcome?
...

http://centermaryland.org/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=915&Itemid=178
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[B' Spokes: And personally I find Cardin's marriage proposal fiasco in poor taste and judgement.
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-08-18/news/0908170093_1_city-police-police-department-baltimore-county ]
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Meet Don Engel and Healther Mizeur

Politics[B' Spokes: I encourage everyone to get involved with politics. And here are a couple of people I am impressed with, go see them and see if you are too.]

Sunday 04/27/14 - 5:00 - 6:00 P.M.
Don Engel,11th District Legislative candidate Meet-and-Greet hosted by Susan Somerville-Hawes, 1911 Ruxton Road, Towson, MD 21204,  Email Dan@DonEngel.com to RSVP.

Monday 04/28/14 - 7:30 p.m.
Southwest Baltimore County Democratic Club monthly meeting, 106 Bloomsbury Ave., Catonsville, MD  21228, Room 108.  Special Guest:  Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate, Healther Mizeur

Wednesday 04/30/14 - 7:00 pm. - 9:00 p.m.
Don Engel,11th District Legislative candidate Meet-and-Greet hosted by Ann and Don Schwartz, 2414 Sugarcone Road, Baltimore, MD 21209. Email Dan@DonEngel.com to RSVP.

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Avoid fast cars and ride a bike instead, Pope tells trainee priests and nuns

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: We are becoming a religious movement, ha.]

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/07/09/avoid-fast-cars-and-ride-a-bike-instead-pope-tells-trainee-priests/#.U0enL3MEY3g.facebook
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Maryland lawmakers vote to increase penalties for drivers using cellphones

Bike LawsBy Jenna Johnson, Washington Post

The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation Monday that will stiffen penalties for drivers who cause fatal or serious crashes while talking on a cellphone or texting. The legislation now goes to the governor to be signed.

The Maryland House of Delegates and Senate had passed different versions of the legislation, but in a compromise reached on the last day of the session, lawmakers agreed to these conditions: The law would apply to drivers using a cellphone in a variety of ways, not just texting. Those found guilty would face up to one year in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000. And prosecutors could charge drivers with this law in addition to other laws.
...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-lawmakers-vote-to-increase-penalties-for-drivers-using-cellphones/2014/04/07/188b8470-be9b-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html
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Getting on board the Fruit Bicycle

Biking in the Metro AreaBY CLAIRE BOLDEN, Baltimore Post Examiner

...
Luda Bard, who runs the bike, says: ‘Reactions to this healthy and exciting deviation from the typical ice cream truck, have been amazing. People like that it’s different and our mission with the fruit bicycle is to create an environmentally friendly means of providing healthy organic fruit snacks.’

Run by a Columbia family of five that loves to hop on their bikes and ride the pathways to the farmers’ market, the library, or to the lake for an evening concert, Luda decided to make their family choices into public choices too.
...

image

http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/getting-board-fruit-bicycle/2014/04/09
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Don’t Design Streets For Death

Biking Elsewhereby Chuck Banas, Urbanophile

...

If pedestrians are being endangered, the design speed of the road is usually the culprit. Many if not most roads in this country are intentionally designed for much higher speeds than the posted limit. A 30 mph speed-limit sign on a road designed for 50 or 60 mph is a futile—and sometimes fatal—exercise in wishful thinking.

Pedestrian Injury Frequency and Severity Based on Vehicle Speed (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, image from the Bicycle Alliance of Washington)

Here are the sobering facts: at 30 mph, vehicle-pedestrian accidents are fatal in about 5% of cases; at 40 mph, fatalities are 90%. This is not to mention injuries, which can be devastating in their own right: incapacitating injuries are significantly less likely and less severe at slower speeds.

...

Done properly, traffic throughput is still maintained, with less stop-and-go frustration for drivers, and much greater safety and civility for all users of the roadway, including pedestrians and bicyclists. For the vast majority of surface roads, there is simply no reason to design for a speed limit over 30 mph. Doing so seems careless and downright irresponsible, but this is the unfortunate norm for most highway departments.

...

http://www.urbanophile.com/2014/04/01/dont-design-streets-for-death-by-chuck-banas/
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Bike Maryland Job, Internship and Volunteer Openings

Bike Maryland updates

Job openings:

APPLY NOW! Full Time Events and Membership Coordinator

  • Status: Read the job description here (link to docx).
  • Start Date: April 2014. Available immediately. Position: Salaried position with paid vacation and sick days. 
  • Term: This is an ongoing, full-time position
  • Appilcation Instructions: send cover letter, resume and a list of three references to: Mary Hebranson

APPLY NOW! Part Time Bike Friendly Maryland Program Coordinator

  • Status: Read the job description here (link to docx).
  • Start Date: Spring 2014. Available immediately.
  • Term: this is an ongoing, part-time position at 20-30 hours a week.
  • Application Instructions: send cover letter, resume and a list of three references to: Carol Silldorff

Internship openings:

2014 Bike-MINDED Safety Program Internship

  • Status: Part time at 8-20 hours per week
  • Internship Description: Intern will work closely with Bike MINDED Program Coordinators to oversee Youth and Adult Safety classes and monitor volunteer involvement. This is a hands on position that offers ample in-class experience teaching bike safety. Hours are dependent on Bike Maryland class schedule.
  • Start Date: Now -- This is an excellent opportunity to learn about Bicycle safety, gain experience teaching safety courses and assist in planning  of Youth and Adult classes
  • Term: We will accept a seasonal intern but we prefer a year long commitment.
  • Application Instructions: To apply for the intern position, please send a cover letter with resume and a list of three references to: Nick Rodricks

Summer 2014 Communications Intern

  • Status/Start Date:Part time at 8-20 hours per week; can start now
  • Develops bike advocacy related content by investigating and reporting bicycling related initiatives at the state, city, town and local level
  • Performs media outreach, develops press releases
  • Develop website/newsletter/social media content
  • Application Instructions: To apply for the intern position, please send a cover letter with resume and a list of three references to: Carol Silldorff

Bike-MINDED Safety Ambassador

This is a terrific volunteer position where you will promote bike safety in Baltimore or other areas throughout Maryland!

  • The position requires a passion for bicycling and teaching workshops - no experience is necessary.
  • Most of your work will be teaching bike safety to Baltimore City Youth or other areas in the state per your preference.
  • Additionally, if time allots, you will teach bike commuter classes to adults.
  • Please contact Carol Silldorff if you are interested in volunteering.
  • Learn more about the Bike-MINDED Safety Program here.

For Additional Volunteer Opportunities, click here



http://bikemd.org/page.php?id=165
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Seeking Witnesses To Catonsville Car-Bicycle Crash on March 13 - Please Forward Widely!

Biking in BaltimoreBy Seth Lueck, Bikemore

On March 13, sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, Bikemore's treasurer Tim Adams was riding his bicycle home from work when a car hit him at the intersection of Wilkens Avenue and South Rolling Road in Catonsville, near UMBC. (Interestingly, the Google Street View image of that intersection features someone on a bicycle.) He suffered severe injuries to his hip and his head, and had to undergo multiple surgeries, although he is slowly regaining his health.

Tim’s family is seeking eyewitness accounts of the accident. If you have any details that could aid the investigation, please contact info@bikemore.net and we will put you in touch with the family.



http://www.bikemore.net/blog/seeking-witnesses-to-catonsville-car-bicycle-crash-on-march-13-please-forward-widely
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