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Monday, May 30 2016 @ 08:42 AM UTC
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The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: You all heard these arguments before but maybe you need to be reminded of just how absurd it is that we use a 3 ton steel cage for personal transportation at the expense of other modes of transportation. The automobile, the ultimate in lazy decadence, the leading cause of death for the ages 1 to 39 and after that the lack of physical exercise is the leading contributing factor in the cause of death.]

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/absurd-primacy-of-the-car-in-american-life/476346/?utm_source=SFFB
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Follow the rules, bikers

Biking ElsewhereBY CHARLES MAROHN, Strong Towns

We need to rethink our urban areas. They need to be redesigned around a new set of values, one that doesn’t seek to accommodate bikers and pedestrians within an auto-dominated environment but instead does the opposite: accommodates automobiles in an environment dominated by people. It is people that create value. It is people that build wealth.
...


“Why do cyclists deserve special treatment?” “Why should they have their own standard?” “This is a civilized world, after all.” “If you don’t like it, take a car.”

To say that I find this hypocritical and somewhat maddening is stating it lightly. First, drivers don’t follow traffic laws.
...


And there is the other rub; we are treating traffic regulations like they were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. If people actually understood the haphazard way traffic control devices were developed and the random way in which they are applied, they would not hold them in such majesty.
...


We need to rethink our urban areas. They need to be redesigned around a new set of values, one that doesn’t seek to accommodate bikers and pedestrians within an auto-dominated environment but instead does the opposite: accommodates automobiles in an environment dominated by people. It is people that create value. It is people that build wealth.
...

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/5/19/follow-the-rules-bikers.html
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IT'S TIME TO BREAK UP MARYLAND'S STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION

Biking in MarylandBY JEFF LEMIEUX, Strong Towns

"Despite the fabulous mural in their conference room, SHA is dominated by highway engineers, not street engineers. Trying to make a neighborhood street function like a highway is dangerous and unproductive. I think Maryland needs to split SHA into two separate organizations: one to build and maintain the true highways, and a completely separate organization, a State Streets Administration, to re-build and maintain our major commercial and residential streets."

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2016/4/5/its-time-to-break-up-marylands-state-highway-administration

[B' Spokes: Don't get me wrong, Interstates are great, they let me vist relatives and go on vacations but during rush hour they are a miserable experience and catastrophically fail. Even worce, these behemoth of expense, fail when you need them most are idealized as the ultimate in road design. So why not try to get every rode to emulate some feature of the Interstate?

And this is where it all falls apart, high speeds, generous turning radius, no stopping whatsoever all make sense on roads that are grade separated from other roads so no conflict points as well as cyclists and pedestrians have no need to cross such a road with the cars but not any where else.

Local streets need to have a different character than the interstates, like sharper turning radius that is slower and safer for everyone. Not to mention SHA puts some local street designs on the interstates, like my pet peeve, I swear this is a conversation SHA has:"We just spent $40 million on this interchage and are over budget how can we save money? I know we can save money by not painting really bold visible crosswalks just two thin lines, you know the kind that look like spastic stop lines." (Ref: area around Eastpointe Mall) With a $2 billion budget that are "saving" money with a bit less paint while Maryland pedestrian fatality rate is the top ten worst?!?! And not to mention the percentage of traffic fatalities that are pedestrian, that's also really bad compared to everyone else.

There is something seriously wrong within MDOT. It seems to me that since 2000 we have been enacting more and more laws that basically say MDOT do your job right. Is this going to be the next topic we try to pass a law on? Like the current transportation scoring bill, or the not to distant past "Establish bicycle and pedestrian priority areas and we really mean it this time" law. (Ref: http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20150418204955785 )]
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CENTRAL LONDON, ENG: IN 3 YEARS MORE CYCLISTS THAN MOTORISTS?

Biking in Baltimore-> In three years there could be more people cycling into central London in the mornings than driving, according to a report from Transport for London. (Human Streets: The Mayor’s Vision for Cycling, Three Years On: http://bit.ly/1MRGlOr) The report describes the progress of outgoing Mayor Boris Johnson’s cycling vision, launched three years ago, and says the next mayor should keep investing in cycling to keep London moving. As well as spelling out the cycling program’s successes, the report also highlights where things went wrong.
In 2000 the proportion of cars to bicycles entering central London in the morning peak was 11:1; in 2014 it was 2:1. If the trend continues cycles entering London in the morning will outnumber cars by 2019. In 2015/16 London has spent roughly £18 (US$25) per person on cycling – on par with Germany and the Netherlands. Cycle casualty (injury) rates are the lowest ever recorded, while cycling deaths in 2015 (9) were the second lowest on record, and the lowest per journey on record. http://bit.ly/1SGNqAo

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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DNR Trail News March 2016 – May 2016

Bike PathsLink to the newsletter: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/mdtrails/Pages/DNR-Trail-News.aspx

Highlight:
Free Apps Allow Visitors More Opportunities with Online Trail Guides
Newly released applications (apps) for both IOS and Android devices allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy interactive features using the new online trail guides.

Apps like “PDF Maps” released by Avenza Systems Inc. allow visitors to easily download, browse, navigate and interact with the new geo-referenced PDF trail guides in both an online and offline environment. This means that visitors can utilize this application and trail guide even when not connected to the internet.

For more information on installing and using this application visit: www.avenza.com/pdf-Maps
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Inside the Latest “Distracted Pedestrians” Con

Biking Elsewhereby Charles Komanoff, Streets Blog

Hospital records from 2014 showed that distracted walking accounted for 78% of pedestrian injuries throughout the United States.

— Daily News, Sunday, March 27, 2016

A report released in 2015 by the Governors Highway Safety Association found an increase in pedestrian fatalities, and cited texting while walking as partly to blame. Nearly two million pedestrian injuries were related to cellphone use, the report said.

— Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, March 25, 2016

Attempts to repress human-powered movement invariably arise from three elements: a penchant for victim-blaming, officials’ “windshield perspective” that marginalizes and devalues people outside cars, and dubious statistics.
...

Rebutting the claim that distracted walking accounts for 78 percent of U.S. pedestrian injuries

... Unremarked in that sentence, however, is that the study in question was not looking at all pedestrian injuries, but only pedestrian injuries related to mobile phones. We thus have the unremarkable finding that most pedestrians who were using a mobile phone when they were injured in traffic crashes were talking or texting — as opposed to, say, switching playlists or posting on Twitter.
...

Rebutting the claim that nearly two million pedestrian injuries a year involve pedestrians’ cellphone use

...

Here’s where it gets weird. ...

That could be the wildest extrapolation you’ll see in any peer-reviewed journal this decade. “Only” 66,000 pedestrian injuries a year are recorded in official U.S. traffic crash data, yet the AA&P authors speculate that there may be 30 times as many attributable to mobile phone usage alone.
...

“Victim blaming is a subtle process, cloaked in kindness and concern,” wrote sociologist William Ryan over four decades ago. Battling victim-blaming along with the pervasive windshield perspective is hard enough without having to contend with bogus “statistics” as well. The Governors Highway Safety Association and Accident Analysis & Prevention have some soul-searching to do.

http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/03/31/inside-the-latest-distracted-pedestrians-con
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REPORT: EXTENDING THE WB&A TRAIL

Bike PathsVia WABA

"The Washington Baltimore & Annapolis trail (WB&A) is a paved multi-use trail that runs from Maryland Route 450 in Prince George’s County to the Patuxent River at the border of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties. Efforts are underway to extend the WB&A trail north-eastward over the Patuxent River and toward the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport."

http://www.waba.org/blog/2016/03/report-extending-the-wba-trail/
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Trails bring the world, business to Cumberland

Bike PathsBy Heather B. Wolford, Times News

The Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal bring nearly 100,000 tourists to Allegany County each year, contributing more than $2.5 million to the local economy.
...

http://www.times-news.com/news/local_news/trails-bring-the-world-business-to-cumberland/article_7647b9c9-1204-55b3-be62-4a17d3bd23a5.html
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6 strategic takeaways from a real-life, New York City Streetfight

Biking in BaltimoreBY CHRIS & MELISSA BRUNTLETT, VancityBuzz

[Just the major headings]
1. Consensus is impossible, and inaction is inexcusable
2. When it comes to street design, less is often more
3. Keep it light, quick, cheap, and don’t be afraid to fail
4. “In God we trust. Everyone else, bring data.”
5. There’s no shame in stealing good ideas
6. When it comes to transit, respect the humble bus

http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2016/03/six-strategic-takeaways-nyc-streetfight/
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Bike Share is Coming to Baltimore!

Biking in BaltimoreVia Bikemore

Good things come to those who wait. After six years of lessons learned and a few false starts, today the city approved Bewegen (Be-Wee-Gen, hard "g") as the City's official bike share vendor. The system, which is set to launch in Fall 2016, will include in it's initial phase 50 stations and 500 bikes, 200 of which will be Pedelec bikes making it the largest fleet of pedal assist bikes in North and South America.
...

http://www.bikemore.net/news/bikeshareiscoming
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