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Monday, December 22 2014 @ 04:17 PM UTC
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Take Action: Bicyclist Safety MUST Be a Priority

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: Why this is important for Maryland:

image
Source: FARS States | Pedestrians

And note that bike/ped fatales make up 22% of Maryland road fatalities. image
Source: FARS States

And our ranking with bicycling and pedestrian fatality rates combined:
StatePedestrians KilledPedacyclists KilledPopulation (Thousands)"Pedestrian Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population""Pedacyclist Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population"Total (Pedestrians + Pedacyclist)Rank
Florida490125190582.570.663.2351
South Carolina1131546792.410.322.7350
Arizona1472364832.270.352.6249
Louisiana881845751.920.392.3148
New Mexico41420821.970.192.1647
Delaware1809071.9801.9846
California625114376921.660.31.9645
North Carolina1602596561.660.261.9244
Nevada46427231.690.151.8443
Maryland102558281.750.091.8442
Source: Car Insurance Comparison

Even the U.S. Transportation Secretary says he won't tolerate 'crisis' in bicyclist deaths

Additional info about your representatives from LAB:
In the House (Chris Van Hollen did a lot better than the others.)
In the Senate (With Ben Cardin standing out a bit better.)
From League of American Wheelmen, Inc.

Once again, bicyclists have been left out.

This morning, the federal government released a traffic safety proposal that turns a blind eye to the rising number of bicyclist and pedestrians deaths.

Last week, 700 participants at the National Bike Summit visited their members of Congress and asked them to sign on to a critical bill that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation establish a specific target to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Months ago, we mobilized bicyclists behind this bill because we knew DOT was unlikely to do this on their own.

Today, unfortunately, we were proven right.

The DOT just issued a proposed national traffic safety goal that doesn't include a specific target or goal for reducing the number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed on our roadways.
 
We know that without a specific target to focus the attention of state DOTs and USDOT on reducing bicyclist and pedestrian deaths within the overall number -- we get lost in the shuffle. At a time when cities like New York and San Francisco are adopting bold targets like Vision Zero, we believe the federal government should be expecting the same thing of themselves and state transportation agencies. 
 
Please ask your members of Congress to sign on to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act: HR 3494 / S 1708. If you just attended the National Bike Summit, it's the perfect excuse to follow up your meeting with a "Thank you" and a reminder of your request. If you weren't at the Summit, it's a great way to make your voice heard on this important issue. 
 
Next week, we'll ask for your help in responding directly to the DOT's proposed safety target. Today, please join us in making sure your member of Congress supports a national goal to reduce the number of bicyclists and pedestrians injured and killed on our roads.
image

Sincerely,

Andy Clarke
President, League of American Bicyclists


Click the Take Action button at the bottom of this page.
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Baltimore Trail Summit Saturday March 22

Biking in Baltimoreimage

Via Friends of Herring Run Parks
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A cool game...

Biking ElsewhereVia Dinosaur Comics

image
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Murder Machines: Why Cars Will Kill 30,000 Americans This Year

Biking ElsewhereBy Hunter Oatman-Stanford, Collectors Weekly

There’s an open secret in America: If you want to kill someone, do it with a car. As long as you’re sober, chances are you’ll never be charged with any crime, much less manslaughter.
...

Within a decade, the number of car collisions and fatalities skyrocketed. In the first four years after World War I, more Americans died in auto accidents than had been killed during battle in Europe, but our legal system wasn’t catching on. The negative effects of this unprecedented shift in transportation were especially felt in urban areas, where road space was limited and pedestrian habits were powerfully ingrained.
...

Eventually, the term spread to all types of automobile drivers, along with pejoratives like “vampire driver” or “death driver.” Political cartoons featured violent imagery of so-called “speed demons” murdering innocents as they plowed through city streets in their uncontrollable vehicles. Other editorials accused drivers of being afflicted with “motor madness” or “motor rabies,” which implied an addiction to speed at the expense of human life.
...

"The Safest Place" 1935 Chevrolet Film About Car Safety
http://youtu.be/WSfdMdpH32U
[Note: I get from this is that your "living room surrounded by steel" would be the safest place to be if it were not for other drivers... So that's why we are so laxed of traffic law enforcement?]

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/murder-machines/
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Bmore Bikes Cars Favored Over Bikes in District 1

Biking in BaltimoreB' Spokes: A must read if you support bicycling in Baltimore.

Basically it starts of with a victory with the Southeast Baltimore Complete Streets Master Plan.

Then it starts to get nibbled away,

http://www.bmorebikes.com/cars-favored-over-bikes-in-district-1/
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I want to be a nurse that keeps hitting cyclists with my car.

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: My headline here is over the top but we need to do something about the cavalier culture surrounding the so called right to drive regardless of the consequences. The last time I checked over 20% of all bike/ped fatalities was a hit-and-run. This needs to stop!

Rachel Anna Buckler, 23, entered an Alford plea to have her sentence from a 2011 hit-and-run and death of Port Tobacco cyclist Thomas Roepcke reconsidered.

Read about it here: http://www.somdnews.com/article/20140228/NEWS/140229177/sentence-in-death-of-bicyclist-stands&template=southernMaryland
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It's about transportation

Biking Elsewhereimage

This is not about recreation; it's about transportation--about people using their bikes to get where they need to go. We're talking about making sure, when someone’s only or best option to get to work is a bike, that they have an option to ride it, and ride it in safety. http://1.usa.gov/1e1vABP

Transportation Secretary
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We all need silly stuff [video]

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: A little girl on a bike and a cat riding around her neighborhood, you can't get cuter than that. But it makes me wonder why so many are working to make such imagery a thing of the past. Now kids to be safe stay inside and play your video games. :/ ]
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Why Clearing Sidewalks Isn’t a Priority Like Plowing Streets

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: First some Maryland data to put this in context.

Where Maryland stands compared to other states with their pedestrian fatality rate.
image http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/

How Maryland pedestrian fatalities by month rank for pedestrian fatalities.
Month20082009201020112012AVG.%
December149914101111
January1489109109.8
September91010137109.6
November9127911109.4
October871010998.6
February12985888.2
May510128788.2
June410146888.2
April8879787.6
July77491077.2
August61256576.7
March10824465.5
Fatal Crashes1061109710395102100
http://mhso.mva.maryland.gov/TrafficSafetyData/_benchmarkreports/PedestOnFootBR-12Aug1-13.pdf

It seems to me that Maryland has a winter time pedestrian problem.
by Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

If where you live is anything like where I live, the sidewalks are a mess right now. People are walking in the streets and getting summarily blamed by the press when a driver injures them.

Plows are out all night salting and scraping the streets, but sidewalks are a private responsibility, and compliance with shoveling laws is haphazard enough to make mixing with SUVs seem like the best option for a lot of pedestrians.

To their credit, community leaders in Akron, Ohio, have been debating how to keep children safe when they walk to school. On his blog Notes from the Underground, Jason Segedy, head of Akron’s metropolitan planning organization, AMATS, wrote about the relative lack of concern for kids who walk:

The immediate, specific, and tactical answer to the question of “Why don’t we make safe and accessible sidewalks a priority?” has to do with a panoply of thorny and interrelated fiscal, legal, and property issues.

But the holistic, general, and strategic answer to that question is simply this: our culture does not value or respect people on foot the way that it does people behind the wheels of cars. To be clear, this cultural orientation is not the result of conscious antipathy toward pedestrians, or an intentional organized conspiracy to disenfranchise or disrespect the marginalized and the poor. Instead, it’s simply the way that our society has evolved over the past 60 years, as the automobile has achieved near complete dominance as a mode of transportation – at least for the affluent majority.

I discuss this issue with people all of the time, and often hear people say “Why waste the time or money on this? No one walks anyway.” My translation: “I don’t walk anywhere, no one that I know walks anywhere, and since I occupy a place of privilege in society, I really don’t notice anyone that does walk.”

In addition to being patently false, the generalization “no one walks anyway” misses the point entirely.  Social equity and fairness in transportation is not about a tunnel-vision view of the needs of the majority that drives, considered in a vacuum; but rather, about looking out for the needs of the minority that does not drive.

...

http://streetsblog.net/2014/02/19/why-clearing-sidewalks-isnt-a-priority-like-plowing-streets/

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A Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: It would be nice if Baltimore did something like this, especially on 4 lane roads where they plow all the snow from the street onto the sidewalk.]
Via Hans Riemer

Responding to large storm events is a challenge for our county government and our residents. We have a very robust snow plow operation that clears the roads very efficiently, and our superb highway team is always working to improve its performance. However, we do not have a sufficient plan or policies in place to meet the challenge of removing snow from sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

I have seen or heard reports of pedestrians walking in the street on major roads, mothers pushing strollers over sidewalks that have not been cleared, seniors and individuals with mobility challenges unable to enter a street crossing because it is blocked by snow, and even motorized wheelchairs moving in traffic lanes on state highways (in this case, University Blvd) because sidewalks are impassable.

We know that the county considers its snow removal work complete long before these problems have been resolved.

I am requesting Council staff to draft legislation requiring Montgomery County DOT to create a Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan.

The plan would require elements including:
  1. A digital map of the county showing who is responsible for clearing snow on all sidewalks in the county
  2. A "major storm event" communications plan addressing a range of preparation efforts that residents need to understand, and including sidewalk snow removal, to be implemented in advance of major storm events
  3. A targeted public education campaign for property owners to make them aware where they are responsible for clearing sidewalks from snow
  4. Establishing pedestrian priority routes where additional education, enforcement and county services will be applied
  5. A public education campaign to educate residents about how to request enforcement of sidewalk clearing rules, and enhanced process for residents to request enforcement by 311
  6. Policies for keeping 311 in operation late during snow events
  7. Increased enforcement for property owners who fail to clear their sidewalks
  8. Plan for county-provided snow removal at bus-stops and around Metro stations
  9. Plan for county-provided snow removal near schools
  10. Plan for county-provided snow removal along state highways
  11. Plan for county-provided snow removal along highest priority pedestrian routes
  12. Plan for snow removal in urban districts, funded by urban districts
  13. Pedestrian access requirements provided to snow removal contractors and performance assessment based on fulfilling the plan
  14. Plan for clearing hiker biker trails on a prioritized basis
  15. Plan for trash removal if snow cancels collection
I recognize that we have limited resources and storm events are already a massive expense for the county -- we spend over $1 million per day during snow events, according to the county executive.

http://www.councilmemberriemer.org/2014/02/a-sidewalk-snow-removal-plan.html

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