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Tuesday, March 31 2015 @ 09:40 AM UTC
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Annapolis woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for hitting cyclists with car

Biking in the Metro AreaRobin Colbert of Annapolis was sentenced to 18 months in jail for hitting two cyclists while driving drunk last summer.


http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/for_the_record/ph-ac-cn-drunken-driving-1223-20141222,0,971360.story
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Injustice at the Intersection

Biking ElsewhereBy Benjamin Ross, Dissent

...
The rules for pedestrian crossings nationwide are set out in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, known to specialists as the MUTCD. Chapter 4C specifies when red lights can be installed. One rule concerns vehicle traffic that approaches busy highways from a side street. It takes 240 cars in four hours to justify a traffic signal.

Under the same conditions, at least 300 people must walk across the main road before a red light can be installed. A pedestrian, in other words, counts for four-fifths of a driver.*

Even then, no signal is allowed if there is another light within 300 feet. This distance is considered a short enough detour to impose on pedestrians, even though, at a steady pace, a 600-foot round trip on foot takes two-and-a-half minutes. Drivers’ time is valued quite differently: engineers classify an intersection as “failing” if an average car is delayed in rush hour by a minute twenty seconds.
If pedestrians don’t use the crossing because it is unsafe, moreover, no light may be installed. Determining where to install traffic lights by counting people who step onto a dangerous highway, critics point out, is like deciding whether a bridge is needed by observing how many people swim across the river.

Absent a traffic light, might Cobb County at least paint simple crosswalk stripes at the Nelsons’ bus stop? No, it may not. The 2009 revision of the MUTCD banned new crosswalk markings on roads where heavy traffic moves faster than 40 miles per hour—just the sort of environment where the only people likely to walk are those who cannot afford a car.

The ostensible rationale for this edict rests on a little known and less enforced provision of traffic law. In most states, a pedestrian crossing the road at an intersection with no traffic signal always has the right of way, whether or not there are stripes on the pavement. Pedestrians, therefore, should need no help getting across the street. In theory, markings exist only to prevent collisions by warning drivers of the need to stop. But in a massive federal study, researchers observed that, in practice, “very few motorists stopped or yielded to pedestrians either before or after marked crosswalks were installed” at intersections with no traffic light.

This much, surely, was already obvious to anyone who’s ever navigated the suburbs on foot. But the study’s conclusion was somewhat more surprising: on roads with four or more lanes, pedestrians were more likely to be hit by drivers in a marked crosswalk than when crossing at a corner without crosswalk markings.
...

They concluded that the absence of stripes makes it safer to walk across wide roads.

Not only does this defy common sense, but the highway officials’ own behavior contradicts it. Their safety campaigns never advise pedestrians to avoid striped crosswalks and cross at unmarked intersections.
...

http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/injustice-intersection-suburbs-traffic-engineering-poverty
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Biking to Campus; Jumping the hurdles

Biking in the Metro AreaGreetings,

You are invited to participate in a survey of students, faculty, and staff in colleges and universities in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. This survey is conducted by a research team from Morgan State University.

The objective of the survey is to identify barriers of bike-to-campus. Your responses will help us to understand your concerns on biking, and find desirable policies to overcome hurdles and improve rate of biking. Completing the survey would take about 10-15 minutes. This survey is completely voluntary.

There is no risk associated with your participation. Your responses will be anonymous and confidential.

If you're interested to participate please access the survey using below link:
(Please copy & paste below link in your browser to join the survey!)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tKzXEX4pHH9J8rZvJiUZzJH87WImR9UKluefi4pRR3o/viewform?usp=send_form
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Tell HoCo app

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: Old news but still I want to make sure you saw it. So that makes two jurisdictions that make reporting bike/ped issues a little easier. (Baltimore City is the other.)]
************************************************************************

September 3, 2014

Media Contact:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

Executive Ulman Launches “Tell HoCo” app, first in state that allows non-emergency issues to be reported 24-7

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Ken Ulman today unveiled Howard County’s newest tool for connecting citizens with their government: a mobile and web-based application called “Tell HoCo.”

“Tell HoCo” allows Howard County residents and visitors to report non-emergency problems – such as potholes, graffiti, downed tree limbs and traffic signal issues, among others – to the appropriate county government representative, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Via the app, citizens can use their smart phones to snap a photo, send a report, and track its progress.

“Today, we are taking the step to make Howard County more responsive, more innovative, and more efficient, than ever before,” said Executive Ulman. “We will be crowd-sourcing a better County.”

Added Howard County Councilperson Courtney Watson: “This is a great tool to help our communities connect better with their government. Howard County’s hard-working employees, as always, are ready to help as much as they can.”

The “Tell HoCo” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store or from Google play. Users can make anonymous reports if they desire, after they register. Additionally, links to the web version of “Tell HoCo” will now be prominently included on the Howard County government website.

Once issues are identified, the person making the report receives updates on its progress. Users can also check to see what issues have been reported in their communities.

“The ‘Tell HoCo’ app is also a perfect internal management tool,” Executive Ulman said. “Our public works department and recreation and parks staff have been using it for a couple of months to track their work and monitor their progress. This is eliminating paperwork, and making our crews more efficient.”

Howard County Councilperson Jen Terrasa said it was important for the County to embrace technology to help citizens. “We need to stay on the cutting edge, and this app will help us work together toward a better future,” she said.

Video from today’s launch of the “Tell HoCo” app can be found at http://youtu.be/ul4SUGJxQOI

An online version of the reporting tool can be found at http://www.howardcountymd.gov/iframetemplate.aspx?id=6442474544
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You can now bring your bike to Baltimore on weekend MARC trains

Biking in Baltimoreby Gregory Billing, Greater Greater Washington

Starting this weekend, you can take your bike on select MARC trains running between Baltimore and DC on the Penn Line. MARC outfitted two rehabilitated passenger cars to carry passengers and their full-size bicycles. The bike cars will run on weekends between DC and Baltimore, for now.
...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/25159/you-can-now-bring-your-bike-to-baltimore-on-weekend-marc-trains/
[Includes pics of the inside of the train and some people who were on the first run of the bike car.]
***************************************************************************************************************************************
[B' Spokes: Excursion idea, Saturday take the morning train to DC, bike north on the C&O Canal at least ~10 miles for the primitive camping sites (and ~ every 5 miles after that) or ~ 60 miles up to Harpers Ferry for a B&B or the Youth Hostel (Season 2014 was April 15th to December 1st.) Bike back Sunday and then take the evening train back to Baltimore. Or heck, DC is a fun place to play tourist on a bike. In short use this service if you like to see more bike accommodations!

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21 Measures for Pedestrian Safety (in Baltimore or Anywhere)

Biking in BaltimoreBy Klaus Philipsen, FAIA, Community Architect

There is hardly a city left in America that doesn't have a Complete Streets policy, and Baltimore is no exception. Unfortunately, while talk is universal, action is much harder to find.
...

(Just the headings)
1. No right on red anywhere in the central city or where pedestrian traffic is heavy
2. No rush hour lanes directly abutting a sidewalk
3. Well-marked and well-lit crosswalks everywhere, especially mid-block
4. No pedestrian signals requiring push-button activation anywhere downtown
5. Full enforcement of the pedestrian right-of-way laws at crosswalks
6. Longer crossing signal times, especially on wide streets
7. No signals without pedestrian heads
8. All pedestrian signals should provide the “go” signal two seconds before vehicles get green light
9. No pedestrian phase should be so short that it takes two phases to cross a street
10. No inner city bus stop should be without extra space, shelter, and amenities
11. Fewer parking garages in downtown areas of desirability
12. Fewer curb cuts across sidewalks with high pedestrian volume
13. No construction sites that simply close the sidewalk, saying "Pedestrians use other side"
14. No sidewalks with less than 5' of actually usable space, free of obstructions
15. General maximum speed limit of 30mph within city limits, except designated expressways, and 20mph in residential streets and near schools
16. No crosswalk without curb ramps, per ADA
17. Reinstate the red light and speed camera system
18. No large parking lot or garage without marked pedestrian routes and refuges.
19. Each downtown block must have some visual interest point for pedestrians
20. Install Pedestrian rest areas and trailblazing throughout the city.
21. Reduce number of one-way streets.
...

http://archplanbaltimore.blogspot.com/2014/12/21-measures-for-pedestrian-safety-in.html?m=1
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Highlights from June's MBPAC Minutes

Biking in Maryland"Steve attended a public hearing regarding plans for the renovation and/or replacement of the Amtrak railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River due to his interest in seeing that a shared use path is included in the renovation and/or replacement plans. He said both DNR and State Highway Administration staff attending this public hearing expressed support for the inclusion of a shared use path. ... Scott says MDP supports the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian facility on a renovated or replacement Amtrak Railroad Bridge. Greg attended the public hearing and said he was not as optimistic as Steve regarding the inclusion of a shared use path on the Amtrak Bridge."


"For example the annual Seagull Century bike ride attracts an average of 7,100 cyclists annually who pump $2.5 million into the economy of the Lower Eastern Shore. "


http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Documents/6-13-14%20MBPAC%20Meeting%20Minutes.pdf
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Bike Maryland December 2014 Update

Bike Maryland updates

Riding Your Bike When It is Cold Is Not Just For The Hardcore!

Cold weather bike rides can be fun, even merry and bright! Let our Bike Minded Safety Program Coordinators show you tips and techniques at a FREE workshop that will remind you cycling is an easy way to get around town for work, errands and play. Experienced bike commuters will offer insight to help you enjoy your bike year round. Meet other commuters and stay for a social bike ride after the workshop! 

Everyday Cycling Made Easy Adult Workshop
Saturday, December 13, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Cold Community Cottage at 4800 Tamarind Rd, Baltimore, MD
FREE, Open to the Public
Register here


2014 Annual Report and the 2015 - 2020 Strategic Plan

Now available, the Bike Maryland 2014 Annual Report is a summary of the accomplishments that resulted from our advocacy and education initiatives. The annual report is intended to give Maryland bicyclists and other interested people information about the organizations activities over the past year. Please review it! The annual report will be accessible on the Bike Maryland website on the Achievements page under the About section. In January 2015 a finacial report will be added to this page and will disclose our 2014 financial performance.

To become a Bike Maryland stakeholder and receive a hard copy of the 2014 Annual Report, please join us as a member here

Keeping with the theme of focusing our efforts and operating transperantly, Bike Maryland has released the recently developed 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. Created in partnership with local bicycling advocates from across the state, this living document is also now available on our website under the About section. The Strategic Plan identifies our core initiatives and lays our measurable goals and actions, which will help fulfill our mission.


Bike Maryland End of the Year Match Campaign Going On Now!

Please consider Bike Maryland as you prepare for your end of the year giving. Between now and December 31st every individual contribution up to $5,000 will be matched by Race Pace Bicycles during our 2014 End of The Year Charitable Matching Campaign. That means your 100% tax-deductible gift will travel twice as far and help us pedal twice as hard to achieve our mission to improve bicycling conditions across the state! Please consider Bike Maryland as you plan for your end of the year giving and click HERE to donate. 

Thank you to Race Pace Bicycles for their dynamic role in helping Maryland become a GREAT place to ride!


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DECLINING WALKABILITY: BIG ROLE IN CHINA'S OBESITY PROBLEM

Biking Elsewhere-> According to a Nov.17th CityLab article, "In China's rapidly changing urban landscape, the Chinese middle class may be bearing the greatest burden when it comes to the connection between the way their cities are being built and rates of obesity, a new study suggests.

"A paper recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine (Walking, Obesity and Urban Design in Chinese Neighborhoods: http://bit.ly/1xmYmcW) examines the connections between obesity, income, and the built environment in two of China's major cities, Shanghai and Hangzhou. The research team is headed up by Mariela Alfonzo, an assistant research professor at the NYU School of Engineering and a Fulbright scholar who has spent years developing measures of walkability in the United States and is now expanding that work to China.

"Alfonzo and her colleagues found that, as in other countries, there is a link between neighborhood designtheir walkabilityand levels of physical activity among residents. They also found, however, that the relationship between income, obesity, and physical activity is not a linear one in China. There, the poorest and the most affluent were both less likely to be obese than the middle class..."

Source: http://bit.ly/1EYEg9n

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Waiting for the perfect proof of what works

Health & Environment"The evidence base on the clinical and behavioral interventions to reduce obesity is far from complete, and ongoing investment in research is an imperative. However, in many cases this requirement is proving a barrier to action. It need not be so. Rather than wait for perfect proof of what works, we should experiment with solutions, especially in the many areas where interventions are low risk. We have enough knowledge to do more."

Source: http://bit.ly/1tDdYEc

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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