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Wednesday, October 01 2014 @ 08:10 AM UTC
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Watchdog: Clarifying the road rules for bicyclists

Biking in MarylandBy ALLISON BOURG, Capital Gazette

Problem: Paul Fields of Crownsville started noticing the signs on county roads over the last few months. “Bicyclists may use the full lane,” they say.

Matt Diehl, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel’s Department of Public Works, said the county has installed the signs Fields has noticed on about a dozen roads to remind drivers of what the law is.

Bicyclists have the right to use the entire lane if the lane is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side. Buck said the state defines that as 13 feet. So if a road, including travel lane and shoulder, is 13 feet or less, a bicycle can take the full lane.

On other roads, 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, Buck [spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration] said.

B' Spokes: Confused? We can take the lane but we have to ride as far right as possible??? It is if they want this sign instead:
imagePhoto credit: John Brooking

So let's look at the slow moving vehicle law:
§ 21-301.(b) Special rule for slow-moving traffic. -- On every roadway, except while overtaking and passing another vehicle going in the same direction or when preparing for a lawful left turn, any vehicle going 10 miles an hour or more below the applicable maximum speed limit or, if any existing conditions reasonably require a speed below that of the applicable maximum, at less than the normal speed of traffic under these conditions, shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic...

I will also note that cyclist road position is governed by SUBTITLE 12. OPERATION OF BICYCLES AND PLAY VEHICLES in the Transportation code.
§ 21-1202. Traffic laws apply to bicycles and motor scooters
Every person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter in a public bicycle area has all the rights granted to and is subject to all the duties required of the driver of a vehicle by this title, including the duties set forth in § 21-504 of this title, except:
(1) As otherwise provided in this subtitle; and

See § 21-1205. Riding on roadways or on highway, which Matt Dieh did a good summary of. (That is the bicycle subtitle provides the road position position for cyclists and not the (slow moving) motor vehicle code but they are similar in lane position but not in other things like the slow moving vehicle emblem requirement.)

It's pretty obvious that David Buck has gotten the cycling rules wrong, even more damaging when talking about the “Bicyclists may use the full lane” sign.

And it's not the first time someone at MDOT got the law wrong in total contradiction to the main subject.

So respectfully ask that SHA issue a correction and write:

James Smith <>
David Buck <>
John Kuo <>
Michael E. Jackson <>

And sugjest that it might be a good idea for them to watch this excerpt from the police training video.
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Bicycle Advocates For Annapolis And Anne Arundel County Now Seeking Members

Biking in the Metro AreaBy Shane Jacobus, Severna Park Voice

Established just this past year as a project of the Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship Program, Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (Bike AAA) maintains a three-fold mission: create a healthier, more livable Annapolis and Anne Arundel County by promoting bicycling for transportation, recreation and fitness; advocate for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices, and educate children, adults and motorists about safe bicycling.

Bike AAA members Joe Piette and Matt Jones are league-certified bike safety instructors. “Anne Arundel County has an active outdoor culture but we need more safe places to ride to get more people to ride to work, school, shopping and other destinations,” said Jon Korin, founding president of Bike AAA.

“Government has the plans to implement better infrastructure for cycling, and part of our role is to advocate for faster, smarter implementation. We will also provide bike safety programs to ensure cyclists ride safely,” he explained.

Sadly, there were two cyclist fatalities in Anne Arundel County in 2013, one due to cyclist error and the other caused by driver error. Korin said the cycling community is committed to bringing something positive from these tragedies by promoting safe and legal behavior from both cyclists and drivers.

Jon Korin and his wife Kathy moved to Severna Park two years ago just as he was preparing to retire from the IT industry. One of the reasons they chose to live in Severna Park was the B&A Bike Trail, which he calls an absolute gem. Before moving, Jon and Kathy used to drive from Olney to BWI so they could ride their bikes down the trail into Annapolis.

“It pains me to see that so many recreational cyclists stop at Boulters Way rather than continue into Annapolis,” said Korin. “It’s an example of the importance of safer connections between trails like the B&A and bike lanes like those on Bay Ridge Road in Eastport.”

Bike AAA has four immediate goals - increase safe bicycling through education and improved condition, partner with the City of Annapolis to attain League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Bronze Bike-friendly Community status, provide a forum and stronger voice for bicycling through collaboration among residents, government, businesses, schools, nonprofits, clubs and other groups, and improve bicycling conditions and choices both on and off road.

In 2012, the city of Annapolis applied for the LAB Bronze Bike-friendly status but instead received an honorable mention. One of the deficiencies was that there was no bicycle advocacy group at that time, which is where Korin said Bike AAA comes in. The group is now working with city, county and state officials to promote cycling, improve safe infrastructure for transportation, fitness and recreation, and improve safe behavior among cyclists, drivers and pedestrians.

Some of Bike AAA’s other accomplishments include providing input to the Anne Arundel County Pedestrian/Bike Master Plan, participating at numerous county transportation planning meetings, sending letters to the Maryland Attorney General regarding charges in cycling fatalities, interacting with Healthy Anne Arundel, Annapolis Regional Transportation Management Association, Friends of AA County Trails, East Coast Greenway, County Bike Police and other groups, and providing the first bike commuter count for the city of Annapolis.

For more information or to join the group, visit There are a variety of tax-deductible annual membership levels for individuals, families, businesses and other organizations, starting at $10 for students and seniors.


Their website:

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Biking ElsewhereThe Big Question: not only is cycling more liberating than any other way of getting around, argues Emma Duncan, it's also more egalitarian

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, January/February 2014

Transport is a subtly political business. Left-wingers like trains (central planning, low fuel consumption, largely egalitarian seating). Right-wingers like cars (freedom, independence, individualism). Only the bicycle crosses the political divide: it embodies both liberty and equality.

Even in rich countries, the cyclist has a greater liberty than any other traveller. She cruises up alongside traffic jams, as drivers fume. When the road is closed and screeching cars make angry U-turns, the cyclist picks up her bicycle, smugly wheels it along the pavement under the impotent glare of policemen, and nips back onto the road when their backs are turned.
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Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I try to avoid quoting articles in their entirety but this is just too close to home. Having nice places to ride are nice but the real issue is are they accessible by the majority of the population? And the Baltimore metro area is notably lacking such amenities. And you don't have to go that far to get bicycling accommodation envy, Montgomery County and DC are way ahead of us and not just in miles of bikeways but also in things you would like to ride on. Sure they have a few things you have to take with a grain of salt but too much of our cycling infrastructure really pushes the minimum standards of AASHTO. Minimum things are not that comfortable to bike in. ]
By Bikeyface

Bike are a popular present for Christmas. And no doubt many kids are jumping with excitement about their new bicycles right now. However, very soon they will get wise to the nature of the world.

Someplace to Ride

Someplace to Ride

Someplace to Ride

Yep, within a few months they’ll know what they want next Christmas.

Someplace to Ride

So let’s help deliver it to them this year.
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How Being Heavy or Lean Shapes Our View of Exercise

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I wonder if this has some explanation why overweight people seem to be velmetly opposed to cyclists on the roads, at least that is my impression.]

Overweight women’s brains respond differently to images of exercise than do the brains of leaner women, a sophisticated new neurological study finds, suggesting that our attitudes toward physical activity may be more influenced by our body size than has previously been understood.

The resulting readouts revealed that overweight women’s brains were put off by exercise. Shown images of people being active, these women developed little activation in the putamen region of the brain, suggesting that they did not enjoy what they were seeing. At the same time, a portion of the brain related to dealing with negative emotions lit up far more when they viewed images of moving than of sitting.
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Bike Bells for B&A Trails

Bike PathsIn an effort to increase safety along our trails, The Friends of A.A. County Trails are offering bicycle bells designed with their logo. Available for $12 per bell or $10 each for two or more (tax included), they can be purchased at the Earleigh Heights Ranger Station in Severna Park. Please bring cash or checks payable to “Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails.” Check office hours at 410-222-6244.

Via Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County
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Exxon Hates Your Children [video]

Biking Elsewhere
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Help Chris, help the climate

Biking in Baltimore


Chris Merriam here. As you probably know, I am the Executive Director of Bikemore, and we work to promote bicycling as a form of transportation in Baltimore, my amazing hometown. More bicycling = fewer cars on the road; healthier air, water, and people; and a more human-centric city. We work to make this happen by advocating for Baltimore City government to invest more in human-friendly street design (including, but not limited to bicycle lanes), and by teaching people how to ride a bicycle safely and responsibly on the streets.

I'm doing my part to take action and resolve our serious sustainability issues, but I need YOUR HELP!

It is clear that there are a host of issues affecting the health of our planet and economy. Right now, it is more important than ever to work toward a sustainable and green future. A great way that you can help me do something meaningful, substantial, and concrete is to support my fundraising for Climate Ride. I'm riding more than 250 miles toward this effort and raising money for Bikemore. Your generous donation will help us work to turn the tide, build the green economy, and secure our energy future.

You can make a secure online donation today by clicking on the 'Support Me' button. You'll automatically receive an acknowledgment and I will be notified by email of your support. Thank you for your help!


You can find the donate button here:
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Study finds cycling in city harmful to heart and lungs

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: This is rather disheartening but still there are lots of roads that are less traveled in Baltimore and if that is impractical a breathing mask.]
By Marcus Hondro, Digital Journal

If you ride a bike to work in a city you might want to check out a study from Trinity College Dublin. The essence of the findings is that while cycling, you're breathing in dangerous pollutants and doing yourself considerable harm.
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Exercise Prevents, Treats, Or Cures Basically Everything

Biking ElsewhereBy JORDAN D. METZL, SLATE

If there were a drug that treated and prevented the chronic diseases that afflict Americans and we didn't give it to everyone, we’d be withholding a magic pill.

We have that drug today, and it’s safe, free, and readily available.

Exercise has benefits for every body system; it is effective both as a treatment and for prevention of disease. It can improve memory and concentration, lessen sleep disorders, aid heart disease by lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure, help sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction, and raise low libido. Exercise does it all.

Even with cancer, particularly colon and recurrent breast cancer, the data show clearly that exercise is a deterrent.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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