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Wednesday, October 22 2014 @ 09:39 PM UTC
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Crossing A Double Yellow Line

Bike Laws by Eli Damon, Co-author: Steven Goodridge, I am Traffic

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How did we get here?
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In response to motorist errors, traffic engineers began marking no-passing zones in areas where the sight distance was inadequate to safely pass a vehicle traveling just below the maximum posted speed limit.
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Over time, solid centerlines proliferated over a larger percentage of roadway miles. Engineers marked them extending out several hundred feet from intersections, in areas with driveways, and anywhere else that the engineers considered unsafe for passing, particularly at high speed. The formulas and tables used to determine where to place solid centerlines assumed that the vehicle being passed was traveling near the maximum posted speed limit1, so that dashed center lines, indicating permission to pass, became quite rare. On many two-lane roads, solid centerlines continue for miles at a time, with no dashed sections at all.
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The markings that traffic engineers placed on most miles of two-lane roads did not communicate a reasonably convenient process for passing low-speed vehicles.
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What’s the problem?

In most of the United States, a motorist is not clearly permitted to cross a solid centerline to pass a cyclist when it is safe to do so. Yet practically all drivers do so rather than continue to follow the cyclist at reduced speed. Drivers recognize that current striping policies for no-passing zones are overly restrictive in the context of low-speed vehicles. Mathematical analysis bears this out. For instance, safely passing a motorist traveling at 35 mph on a 45 mph road requires a sight distance 600 feet longer than passing a 15 mph bicyclist on the same road.
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The legal ambiguity around crossing a solid centerline line is a source of conflict for cyclists, motorists, police officers, and driving instructors. Motorists can be unnecessarily inconvenienced because they believe that they are not allowed to pass a cyclist. Their frustration can lead to resentment and hostility toward cyclists. It can even lead to riskier behavior and crashes. A motorist might honk or yell at cyclists or might buzz them to avoid crossing a solid centerline. In the worst cases, motorists have attempted to squeeze past cyclists within the same lane and fatally struck the cyclists.
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Can we fix this thing?
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Model No-Passing-Zone Exception

When passing a pedestrian, bicycle, tractor, or other slow moving vehicle, the operator of a vehicle may drive on the left side of the center of a roadway in a no-passing zone when such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with or endangering other traffic on the highway.
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We ask that legislators modernize their passing laws to reflect safe and practical passing practices, and that cycling advocates make a priority of lobbying them to do so.
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http://iamtraffic.org/engineering/crossing-double-yellow-line/
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Do Drivers Cover the Cost of Roads? Not By a Long Shot

Biking Elsewhereimage

Via http://streetsblog.net/2014/09/26/do-drivers-cover-the-cost-of-roads-not-by-a-long-shot/
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Good cities need more streets that “fail”

Biking ElsewhereBY DAVE CIESLEWICZ, Wisconsin Bike Fed

How do we measure a successful street?

Well, traditionally we’ve allowed traffic engineers, focused on moving cars, to create that measure. They’ve developed a grading system for streets called “Level of Service” or LOS.

But here’s the problem. If you look at a LOS map of many of the downtowns and neighborhoods that we love the best you’ll see almost nothing but level of service “D” and “F”. In other words, by the measure of moving cars our streets are failing or nearly failing. And if you ranked streets by friendliness to bicyclists and pedestrians the maps would look very different.

At the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Pittsburgh last week I heard a compelling argument to forget about LOS in most urban environments altogether. After all, a city is not a place for cars to move efficiently. And if you make it that you’ve almost certainly lost all the things that make your city a good place to be. You’ve destroyed your city in order to save it.

We need to start thinking of cities as something more than impediments to the smooth movement of traffic. MIT engineer Jeff Rosenblum presented a study of one street in Cambridge, which was treated with a road diet – fewer lanes, broader sidewalks, bump-outs at pedestrian crossings, wider terraces. That street moved 20,000 cars a day before this treatment. And afterwards? It still moves 20,000 vehicles a day. By restricting turns and timing stop and go lights the street was made more efficient for cars just as it was made more welcoming for biking, walking, hanging out and just living.
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http://wisconsinbikefed.org/2014/09/19/good-cities-need-more-streets-that-fail/
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The obesity era

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I thought this was an interesting read. Can I make a point that exercise is more important than ever after reading this?]
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As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us

http://aeon.co/magazine/health/david-berreby-obesity-era/
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.Councilman Tom Quirk - Baltimore County District 1

Politics
Open Space, Trails & Environmental Protection
Councilman Quirk is a champion of open space and alternatives to vehicular traffic as integral to maintaining our quality of life, protecting our natural resources and maintaining our property values.
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“Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee” Bill 2-11 (February 2011) established the Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee.
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Traffic Management & Pedestrian Safety
Councilman Quirk lives on a heavily trafficked road and is intimately aware of the challenges that vehicular traffic presents for his neighbors and constituents, many of whom live in the district for its family friendly culture and good schools.
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“Speed Monitoring System” Bill 1-11 (January 2011)  increases availability of speed monitoring systems in school zones in direct response to the enormous number of speeding complaints.
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http://www.councilmantomquirk.com/issues.php#Open_Space__Trails___Environmental_Protection
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Ward Rd. (Volunteer) Park UPDATE

Bike Pathsimage

We NEED your help if you would like to see family friendly recreational opportunities in Calvert County!...

The Calvert County Division of Parks and Recreation and Division of Natural Resources are hosting a public meeting Thursday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m., at the Northeast Community Center in Chesapeake Beach...

So we have two action items…

#1 – Plan to attend the upcoming meeting on (see details above). If you can’t make the meeting, please take a minute to email the Calvert County Commissioners...

#2 – We need to thank Commissioner Slaughenhoupt for his efforts to see this trail system addressed in the master plan....

http://calvertctc.org/ward-rd-volunteer-park-update/
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5 WAYS TO IMPROVE 3 FOOT PASSING LAWS

Bike LawsBy Rick Bernardi, BicycleLaw.Com

1. Eliminate exceptions to the laws that make them weaker:
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2. Link passing distance to passing speed:
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3. Change lanes to pass:
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4. Make passing collisions prima facie evidence of an illegal pass:
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5. Criminalize buzzing:
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http://www.bicyclelaw.com/blog/index.cfm/2014/9/16/Five-Ways-to-Improve-3-Foot-Passing-Laws
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KC considers law against street harassment of walkers, cyclists and others

Bike LawsBY MIKE HENDRICKSTHE KANSAS CITY STAR

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Whether it’s crude remarks shouted from car windows at mothers walking their kids to school, or bicyclists nearly squeezed off the road by angry motorists not interested in sharing it, such all-too-common acts of intimidation do more than make the targets fearful.

They also undermine initiatives aimed at fighting obesity and encouraging alternative forms of transportation here and across the nation.

Which is why Kansas City could soon be joining a growing number of communities that have enacted anti-harassment ordinances that impose fines and jail sentences on perpetrators found guilty of street harassment.
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http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article2107031.html
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Congress Approves Bill That Will Offer Free Automobiles To Welfare Recipients

Biking Elsewhere"Earnest said in the briefing that the campaign is intended to help unemployed Americans find secure employment, and ultimately will cause the unemployment rate to drop significantly. “Every American deserves the right to possess the ability to get themselves to a good job. Public transportation is very limited for most of the unemployed, especially in rural areas. "

http://empirenews.net/congress-approves-bill-that-will-offer-free-automobiles-to-welfare-recipients/

[B' Spokes: Yes this satire but I think it makes the point if you prioritize just cars and treat everything else as second class this could very well happen in the future.]
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Almost Every Way Of Getting To Work Besides Driving Is Better For Your Mental Health

Biking Elsewhere"Three researchers who tracked more than 17,000 British commuters in surveys over a period of 18 years found that those with active modes of transportation fared better on a scale of well-being."

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3035700/almost-every-way-of-getting-to-work-besides-driving-is-better-for-your-mental-health
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