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Tuesday, September 16 2014 @ 02:53 AM UTC
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Bicycle Rules Featured In New Walk Smart! Safety Campaign; Delaware Embracing Effort As Welll

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: This article starts off better then most, keeps up some good messaging scattered throughout but then ends with bad advice for cyclists.]
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by DispatchAdmin, Joanne Shriner

OCEAN CITY – State and local leaders officially launched the 2014 Walk Smart! Campaign in Ocean City this week, announcing the effort will be reaching out to Delaware beaches for the first time.

Officials hope to continue the success of last year’s efforts that contributed to a reduction in pedestrian crashes. This summer Walk Smart! partners are expanding the effort in Ocean City and planning to hit Delaware’s beaches.

The Walk Smart!Campaign reminds residents and visitors of roadway basics, such as using crosswalks and signals, and because pedestrian safety is a two-way street, the effort also includes messages directed to drivers to stay alert and stop for pedestrians.
[B' Spokes: note the also directed to drivers bit.]

Last year’s campaign saw a 50-percent decrease in pedestrian-related crashes as well as no pedestrian fatalities along Coastal Highway.
...

According to Peters, SHA is continuing its engineering efforts to increase pedestrian safety with additional signing, timing signals, curb markings and this spring a mid-block pedestrian signal crosswalk on Coastal Highway at 54th Street was added.
[B' Spokes: Accommodating pedestrian desire lines with a mid-block signalized crossing!!! Well that's great news (that I would love to see more of) and that it has been noticed as reducing fatalities.]
...

Vigilant police enforcement and education by Town of Ocean City Police, Maryland State Police and agencies in Delaware will address drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who are not following the rules of the road.
[B' Spokes: Wow, they are still addressing everyone. Usually they start of this way then quickly degrade to just blaming the victims.]
...

The simple act of our officers approaching pedestrians that have crossed streets unsafely has proven to get the message across.
[B' Spokes: What? No tickets? That's nice.]
...

There are three tips for cyclists to remember. Always ride with the flow of traffic, ride as far to the right of the road as possible, and last but not least follow all the rules of the road,”
[B' Spokes: To be clear, if there is space to be safely out of cars way, then by all means I encourage cyclists to ride there. But to imply riding far right as *possible* is the law is wrong. It is doubly wrong to say this without any plain cloths officers riding as far right as possible and siting drivers who violate the 3' passing law. Fair is far, if we are far right, then cars need to be far left when passing.]
...

http://mdcoastdispatch.com/2014/06/12/bicycle-rules-featured-in-new-walk-smart-safety-campaign-delaware-embracing-effort-as-welll/
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Complete Streets Save NYC Taxpayers Money

Biking Elsewhereby Stephen Miller, Streets Blog

Each year, the city comptroller issues a report on claims settled for and against the city, showing how much New York spends on personal injury and property-damage judgments. Every year, there’s a similar story: Damages from crashes involving drivers of city vehicles rank as one of the top money-losers for taxpayers. A report issued this week by Comptroller Scott Stringer [PDF] is no exception, singling out complete streets as a tool to reduce claims.

While claims against the city have held mostly steady since 2003, motor vehicle claims are down 13 percent to $91.2 million during fiscal year 2013. One potential factor: street design. “NYC DOT has been a national leader in working to transform our roads into ‘complete streets’ that serve a variety of users,” the report says. ”This is not only smart transportation policy, it is also an intelligent way to drive down claims costs.”

Stringer cites a 2006 Federal Highway Administration report on risk management: ”With every passing year, the courts become less and less sympathetic to agencies that have not understood the message: bicyclists and pedestrians are intended users of the roadway.”
...

http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/07/11/stringer-complete-streets-save-city-money/
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Reisterstown Road Streetscape update (addressing our concerns)

Biking in BaltimoreTo follow up on the Reisterstown Road meeting regarding the video detection for bicyclists and the pedestrian phases at key intersections, we have had a meeting with STV consultants, Traffic, and TEC. The following has been discussed and addressed:

· STV and Traffic confirmed that the signal phasing allows for green time for the side streets for every cycle, the video detection will only impact the amount of green time that will be given to the side street. In other words, video detection will not impact WHETHER cyclists on the side street will get green time but how much time is allotted to the green time for the side streets.
· Given there will always be a green phase, this means bicycle detection is not completely necessary. Video detection can be programmed for bicycle detection. However, after doing some research and talking with several other Cities (I spoke with staff at San Francisco, Portland, Chicago) who have used video detection they indicated video is not the optimal type of bicycle detection. Planning is recommending Traffic and TEC consider inductive loop detection for bicyclists and bicycle-friendly push buttons as part of future projects and a possible addition at key locations along this corridor in the future.
· At the meeting, we discussed that the Pedestrian Walk phase should be part of every phase in the cycle and not require actuation with a push button for several key locations along the corridor. Traffic has agreed that they can look into this and accommodate where possible. I will provide them a list of the prioritized intersections.

Many thanks,

Caitlin Doolin
Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner
Baltimore City Department of Transportation
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Why isn’t LAPD ticketing drivers in the crosswalk?

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I wonder if this is our problem as well?]
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Via Los Angeles Walks

Earlier this year, we published a response to the LAPD jaywalking crackdown asking officers to please focus their energy on ticketing drivers who were blocking or in some cases blatantly driving through a crosswalk while pedestrians were present—something we saw and documented as a far bigger safety issue on downtown streets. Two weeks ago, Melanie Freeland was verbally berated and nearly hit by a driver who purposely sped through a crosswalk, then dismissed by a police officer who saw the entire incident. We asked Melanie to share her story, as well as the letter she sent to LAPD.
...

He said, “I did. Did you hear me hit my PA?” I said no, at which time he asked if I was okay and why I was “blocking traffic.” To be clear, he specifically asked if I was on any medication.

I explained I was in the crosswalk to cross the street with a clear walk signal—he was at the same red light waiting—and that the car nearly hit me, then threatened me verbally and threatened me with his vehicle. He explained that he had seen the driver lean out the window but couldn’t hear what he said or the events preceeding, that so had assumed I was blocking traffic, thus why he had hit the PA.
...

He told me that unless someone was injured then a ticket could not be issued. I requested a follow up and left him with my information and the information of the car and driver.
...

http://www.losangeleswalks.org/why-isnt-lapd-ticketing-drivers-in-the-crosswalk/
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"Bicycle Bully" Column Prompts Protest at Post

Biking ElsewhereVia CSN Baltimore

Dozens of bicyclists protested outside The Washington Post Thursday over a Courtland Milloy column that they say incited violence against them.
...

"I thought the article was an incitement to violence," said Jim McCarthy, a D.C. cyclist. "I'd like to see Milloy be fired. I thought the article was totally irresponsible."
...

Mike Forster, the protest organizer, said that the protesters "don't want to be characterized by lazy opinion writers."
...


http://www.csnbaltimore.com/article/bicycle-bully-column-prompts-protest-post
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Four surprising ways a video camera could be your most valuable riding partner

Biking ElsewhereBy Bob Mionske, Bicycling

I call it the SWSS, or Single-Witness Suicide Swerve: A careless driver injures a cyclist, then claims that the rider careened into his or her car. With no witnesses, it's difficult for the cyclist to prove what happened. Sometimes the rider is knocked unconscious and has no recollection of the collision, and the driver's version of the story is the only one that ends up in the police report. Then there's that minority of drivers who use their automobiles to bully and assault cyclists. Unless there are independent observers, calling the police on these motorized criminals likely won't accomplish anything; officers usually will not file charges against a driver if it's a case of the cyclist's word against the motorist's. But if you bring a video camera along for the ride, the balance of power may change. Here are four compelling reasons to hit "record" the next time you hit the road.
...

http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/roadrights/its-playback-time
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Catonsville resident uses pedal power to cut the grass

Biking in BaltimoreBy Lauren Loricchio, Baltimore Sun

If you're driving on Seminole Avenue in Catonsville, you may spot a homeowner taking a different approach to mowing his lawn.

Jason Mah, 40, an avid cyclist, has created a contraption that allows him to cut his lawn, while riding his bicycle.

"I'd have to mow my lawn or pay someone to mow my lawn — it's a definitive given," Mah said. "And it dawned on me one night — why am I paying someone to mow my own lawn when I could be biking and mowing it at the same time? I'm going to be killing many birds with one stone."
...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/catonsville/ph-ca-creative-resident-0625-20140708,0,453280.story
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Bicyclist bullies try to rule the road in D.C.

Biking ElsewhereAn unbelievable anti-bike rant in the Washington Post, that leaves me speechless. But the responses so far have been wonderful.


"I wouldn't expect to see something this bad on the worst yahoo message board. Despite this, the city's flagship newspaper ran this article. That's the part that's most frustrating." - WashCycle

A point by point rebuttal by WashCycle:
Courtland Milloy and the irrational fear of others (in this case Millennials)
http://www.thewashcycle.com/2014/07/courtland-milloy.html


"I hope that if we can find the right venue for conversations, the readers of Greater Greater Washington, and of Milloy's column, will participate, not to point fingers at another side or deride their misconceptions, but actually to learn from each other and let understanding win over hatred." - David Alpert

We need empathy and understanding, around bicycling, gentrification, and much more
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/m/post/23512/we-need-empathy-and-understanding-around-bicycling-gentrification-and-much-more/


"The “egregious” behavior Milloy cites is simply slowing his car’s progress between stoplights." - Shane Farthing

"This piece of rhetoric is both irresponsible and incorrect. Encouraging, or at least condoning, acts of violence has no place in civil discourse, and I am appalled that our hometown paper has published such a statement. " - Shane Farthing

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT RE: MILLOY’S “BULLIES”
http://www.waba.org/blog/2014/07/setting-the-record-straight-re-milloys-bullies/


UPDATE: Post transportation reporter and avid bicyclist Ashley Halsey III published this response Wednesday to this column from the Post’s Courtland Milloy.

"Here’s my bias: No matter how you go — bike, car, bus, train, boat or plane — I want you to get there safely."

It’s time to tone down the tirades against bicyclists
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/its-time-to-tone-down-the-tirades-against-bicyclists/2014/07/09/950a98b4-077b-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html
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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT (OCSD)

Biking ElsewhereDear Orange County Sheriff’s Department,

On 5/31/2014, Bryan Larsen’s life was threatened, endangered and assaulted as he bicycled along the PCH in Dana Point, California. Having lived and raced in Europe, this individual is an accomplished Junior National Champion, a Category 1 Professional Cyclist. His resume reveals his experience to ensure his personal safety doing everything he can to protect himself; from wearing a helmet to being educated of the laws governing bicyclists, & adhering to the “Rules of the Road”.

Pulling out his cell, Bryan obtained video footage of the verbal harassment he’d been receiving from a passing motorist. He recorded more than just the license plate, additionally capturing video of the passenger throwing a potentially deadly projectile (full Gatorade bottle) from the moving vehicle. Not only did the driver fail to give a 3’ clearance to the cyclist, but can be seen swerving out of his lane, threatening to run the cyclist off the road. Concerning, Bryan immediately shared the video with OCSD. He was told he could pursue personal charges of assault, but that was it. Despite the video, OCSD would not do anything for reason of not being present to witness the incident.

Uncertain what to do next, Bryan shared this video with LOOK! SAVE A LIFE / Arizona. The goal of the organization is to humanize all road users by promoting a greater sense of safety and more respectful relationship among all who utilize our public byways. The mission is to foster an environment of safety through educating laws governing our roadways, developing a mutual respect and innovate transportation systems to better incorporate vulnerable users. Awareness is the key. Through awareness, suffering will be alleviated, injuries avoided, and lives will be saved.

We immediately shared his video on FB, which went Viral with over 130k views in less than 48hrs. This captured attention of local news reporters who investigated the story. Per KCAL9, “A sheriff’s spokesperson said detectives are investigating the incident as an assault & battery.”

It has been well over a month and still no word on justice being served. Both the driver and passenger of the assaulting vehicle have not been held accountable for their reckless and endangering actions. These incidents against cyclists are not only a problem for Southern California, but are becoming a National and Global Epidemic. There have been many similar, but far less serious recorded incidents throughout the country which have garnered significant attention to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions.

* Recently, an Alabama motorist recorded & posted to social media his own actions, assaulting cyclists. Per the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Keith Maddox was arrested for his actions on a warrant for reckless endangerment depicted in the videos endangering cyclist in our county.
* In 2012, Colorado State Patrol issued a citation to James Ernst, 75, of Erie, CO for harassment, impeding flow of traffic & improper use of a horn or warning device.
* In 2010, two men in Canton, Mississippi were arrested after recording and posting their “smoke out / rolling coal” of a cyclist on the Natchez Trace. In that incident, both driver & passenger faced federal and state charges stemming from this action.

There may be times a report is filed without a vehicle description or lack of evidence to hold accountable those responsible. On behalf of cyclists everywhere, I am kindly pleading for you to take necessary action to put a stop on these disgusting actions against cyclists. We need a clear message that such disturbing acts will not be tolerated or go unnoticed. Please thoroughly investigate this story to bring those responsible to justice!

If you would like to voice your concern, Please Contact The Orange County Sheriff’s Department or The Orange County Sheriff’s Department governing Dana Point.

“Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility”

Brendan Lyons
Founder of: Look! Save A Life / ARIZONA
A Son, Brother, Boyfriend, Friend, Cyclist, Motorist, Student, Firefighter, EMT

http://looksavealife.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/an-open-letter-to-the-orange-county-sheriffs-department-ocsd/
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You’re Going to Kill Someone

Biking ElsewhereBy Albert McWilliams

...

It’s not if it’s when. You are going to kill or seriously injure someone. You are. Someone’s father, brother, mother, daughter - you are going to end their life, forever, like permanently dead. You’ll be a murderer.

...

You can save those lives. You need to do two things:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Move over.

A few facts you might not be aware of:

  • When you pass a cyclist without crossing the yellow line you are breaking the law.
  • When you pass a cyclist while oncoming traffic is present you are breaking the law.
  • When you pass a cyclist in a no-passing zone you are breaking the law (this should be obvious yes? Because it’s called a “no passing zone.”)

...

http://albertmcwilliams.com/post/54015994028/youre-going-to-kill-someone
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