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Friday, May 22 2015 @ 02:31 PM UTC
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Highway Safety Officials Urge Marylanders To Share The Road

Biking in MarylandBy Christie Ileto, CBS Baltimore

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A new push to make roads safer for Marylanders, whether they’re driving, walking or biking. Highway safety officials are trying to stop a scary spike in pedestrian deaths.

Christie Ileto has the roadway warning.

It’s a battle between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and it’s playing out on Maryland roads.

“Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in Maryland,” said Mike Sabol, MVA spokesperson.

The MVA says 1 out of 4 fatalities is a pedestrian fatality. Officials Friday are putting the warning out–police are beefing up patrols to make sure everyone shares the road as it gets warmer.

“We want the general public to be safe out on the roads and have drivers yielding to pedestrians and have pedestrians to see and be seen out on the road,” Sabol said.

And the penalties could cost you. Drivers failing to yield to pedestrians or pedestrians who jaywalk could face fines of up to $500.

[B' Spokes: But, but, jaywalking isn't illegal]


Last month, a driver hit and nearly killed two cyclists in Anne Arundel County. Earlier this week, a Goucher student died after he was hit trying to cross Dulaney Valley Road in Towson.

And in the Towson Circle Friday evening, WJZ cameras caught cars refusing to stop while we crossed on the crosswalk.

Numbers from the MVA tell a grim story.

Last year, Baltimore County had 21 pedestrian fatalities. Baltimore City had 12, Anne Arundel County had seven and Howard County had four. They’re stats that officials say are too often and too many.

Police say law-breaking drivers can also face points on their licenses.

The Street Smart campaign officially launches in the Baltimore area next week.

I also found:

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47% of Marylanders want to move elsewhere

Biking in Maryland"Maryland is a close third, at 47%"

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B' Spokes: My conjecture put people first over cars. Stress alternate transportation and mixed use zoning (a.k.a Walk Score) so there are places to go and things to see nearby that are comfortable to bike to. Cars are misery, things without cars are often very pleasant.
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Montgomery County added 100,000 residents since 2002, but driving didn't increase

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: This story stands in stark contrast to Baltimore County's... how to describe... expecting a car apocalypse any day now because they are re doing such a great job accommodating only cars to attract residents and business. [cough, cough] And no way in heck is Baltimore County going to emulate Montgomery County when there are more important things to do like... again not sure how to describe... keeping out Baltimore City's undesirables? That's my impression anyway.

This may be worth a read for those of you in Baltimore County:
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Areas With Most Shootings, Robberies to Get More Police on Bike Patrols

News you will not see in MarylandBy Casey Cora, DNA Info Chicago

BRIDGEPORT — Police officers on foot patrol in high-crime areas will ride bicycles to help boost their visibility in the neighborhoods, city officials announced Friday.

More than one-third of the 360 officers assigned to foot patrol in &quot;Operation Impact&quot; have been equipped with the police bikes since April 1, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

The policing-by-bike strategy, tested during the 2012 NATO summit, allows for more interaction with residents and gives police more mobility, officials said.

McCarthy said crime rates have dipped in the 20 impact zones — murders are down nearly 50 percent, shootings are down 43 percent and overall crime is down 26 percent.

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For entrepreneurs, cycling is the new golf

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: If you want to attract talent then you need to encourage cycling. And just trails is not going to cut it, we need better education for drivers and better enforcement for bicyclists rights!]
Via CNNMoney

&quot;Unlike golf, cycling is also a great equalizer,&quot; said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. &quot;You're the same as the person riding next to you. So it makes people more approachable. &quot;

Entrepreneurs also gravitate toward cycling because it's a better way to stay in shape, said Clarke. It's also less time consuming and relatively less expensive.

&quot;It's a better cardio workout. You can get a great ride done in one to two hours as opposed to hours on a golf course,&quot; said Michael Marckx, CEO of eyewear company Spy Optic. &quot;And you can actively network with more people.&quot;

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Historic Trees by Bike: May 4 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm $15

Biking in Baltimore

“View of Baltimore from Howard’s Park,” George Beck, 1796, Maryland Historical Society. Image from The Antheneum.

We know that Baltimore is full of great historic buildings, but who knew that our city can boast a wonderful collection of historic trees? Among the dozens of our city’s leafy landmarks stands an English Elm that shaded Frederick Douglass as he delivered a public speech in 1878 in Sharp Leadenhall, one of George Washington’s celebrated “Cambridge Elms” (planted in 1932 as part of our first president’s 200th birthday celebration), and a baby Wye Oak that President Gerald Ford planted in 1976 at Fort McHenry. And that’s not to mention the exceptionally rare European Turkey Oak (Quercus cerrus) that graces the War of 1812 battery now called Riverside Park.

Please join us and the Urban Forestry Division of the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks on an easy-going bike tour of historic trees in Central and South Baltimore. Mr. Gary Letteron, urban forester and tree champion extraordinaire, will lead the tour and talk horticulture and history as we wind our way through Federal Hill and parts of South Baltimore. The tour will start and end at the parking lot of the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

To register:
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Who's celebrating walk & bike to school in Maryland?

Biking in Maryland
Baltimore 1
Bel Air 1
Bethesda 1
Frederick 1
Kensington 1
Potomac 1
Silver Spring 2
Takoma Park 2
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Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Guide– Recommendations and Case Study

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Since 2002 the state has had a goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and year after year no real change has been observed. It just amazes me how many pedestrian safety improvements that could be done here, most for cheap but are not. Maryland seems to have standardised on “essentially not visible” crosswalks and rather than follow the recommendation of marking all legs of the intersection with a high visibility crosswalk we are lucky to get two faded parallel lines that is either a crosswalk or your choice of stop lines if you are a driver. (Ref: An Overview and Recommendations of High-Visibility Crosswalk Marking Styles)

Other places I have been that are working toward reducing pedestrian fatalities have been installing hundreds of these pedestrian hybrid beacons. Does Maryland even have one?

Maybe there is no need for pedestrian improvements here?

Nope, that's not it.

If you would like State Highways to do more for pedestrians please write: James T. Smith <>

Pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHB) have been shown to significantly reduce pedestrian crashes. A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) study published in 20101 found that pedestrian hybrid beacons can reduce pedestrian crashes by 69 percent and total crashes by 29 percent. Because PHBs remain dark until activated, they can help increase driver attention to pedestrians crossing the roadway, and can reduce rear-end collisions. The pedestrian hybrid beacon’s red signal indication removes any judgment from the motorists and requires a complete stop. The PHB provides a clear message that motorists must stop and allow pedestrians to cross the street. Motorist compliance with the requirement to yield has been shown to exceed 90 percent at PHBs.

This document will show how PHBs are being used to reduce pedestrian crashes across the country [but not in Maryland.]
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Video: Google’s self-driving car meets cyclists and out-performs far too many human drivers

Biking ElsewhereArtificial intelligence? Not quite, but Google might have cracked artificial courtesy and consideration

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Baltimore County Disappoints Bike & Trail Advocates

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: I always wondered why we have a law to create priority funding areas for bike/ped projects but next to zero projects that come in under that funding. Well BMore Bikes has an explanation for Baltimore County and why they don't want free money for bike/ped projects. I recommend reading the whole thing but I'll pull some things that I hope will get your attention.]
When asked who was staffing the bicycle program, Ms. Schlabach indicated she was the only staff and only at a fraction of her time.  She also indicated that there was ZERO LOCAL FUNDING FOR BIKE PROJECTS! The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Bikeways Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program could potentially fund the vast majority of the projects suggested, especially if the available state and federal funding was combined to have state funds match the federal funds. However, for almost any project, the county would need to put up at least some local funding as a match and to devote some staff time to project coordination and outreach. Failing to do so leaves available money on the table for projects that have clear public support.

Ms. Silldorff also asked what else could be done for the county to support these projects.  Ms. Schlabach replied for committee members and the public to contact their council representatives to help fund these projects.
[B' Spokes:]

Other ways the county is showing resistance to the national bicycle movement:

  • Baltimore County remains the only Maryland jurisdiction NOT to have the East Coast Greenway signed.  Some portions of the route are signed on the Torrey C. Brown/NCR Trail, but not the on-road section between Paper Mill Road and the city line.
  • No Bikes Allowed signs are popping up at Robert E. Lee Park
  • Baltimore County will not support any trail projects along the proposed Red Line improvements, even though it would connect two regional trail systems: Gwynns Falls Trail & Patapsco Valley State Park

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