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Friday, August 22 2014 @ 05:55 AM UTC
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THE BIKE LAW INTERVIEW: ANN GRONINGER, BIKE LAW NORTH CAROLINA: ON RAISING THE NEXT GENERATION

Biking ElsewhereBy Bob Mionske, Bicycle Law

I recently had the opportunity to talk with North Carolina bicycle accident lawyer Ann Groninger. Ann had recently written a well-received article about being buzzed on a morning ride. Or I should say, it was well-received by cyclists, all of whom have had similar experiences on the road. But some motorists had a different reaction, expressing their disdain for “scofflaw cyclists” (despite the fact that Ann had been riding lawfully, and was nearly hit by a “scofflaw driver”), or worse, expressing a thinly-veiled intent to assault cyclists with their vehicles. Before writing about her own brush with near-disaster, Ann had written another excellent article asking “Are bicycle crashes accidents?” Ann had also written about personalizing the consequences of bicycle crashes—in this case, the impact that a negligent driver had on the cyclist she hit, and on his widow.

It was clear from Ann’s articles that she wants drivers to understand that, in her words, “these stories personalize the consequences of taking unnecessary risks when driving”… “what I want to talk about is the value of human life and how people can take it so lightly…by riding my bike on the road, especially alone, I am putting my life in the hands of people who don’t care about it and are willing to take pretty big risks with it.” For Ann, these stories “should be a daily wake-up call” for anyone with a conscience.
...

Ann: Riding a bike was such an important part of my childhood, and I think most peoples’ childhoods. For many reasons – safety, more indoor options, more organized activities - I think it’s tougher for kids these days to just get out and ride. A lot of them will miss that unique feeling of freedom a bike gives you, which is sad.

Also, young kids today are tomorrow’s drivers. If we can teach our kids respect for the road while riding their bikes they will hopefully carry that respect over to driving a car.
...

http://www.bicyclelaw.com/blog/index.cfm/2014/6/13/The-Bike-Law-Interview-Ann-Groninger-Bike-Law-North-Carolina-On-Raising-The-Next-Generation
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Ikea to sell electric bicycle called 'Folkvanlig' (poll)

Biking ElsewhereBy Joseph Rose, Oregon Live

Is there any activity that helps people of all languages discover new curse words more than assembling Ikea furniture?

Well, put on your bike helmet and get out the swear jar: The Swedish-based home furnishings company is getting into the bicycle business.

Meet the Folkvänlig, an $1,000 electric bicycle that it hopes will get more commuters out of their cars in cities worldwide. The product's name is derived from the Swedish words for people and friendly.

Here are the details (or "detaljernas"):

  • The frame, which holds the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, is aluminum; the front fork is steel.
  • The electronic "pedal assist," which gives riders a boost when they start to run out of gas, er, steam, is powered by a 250-watt motor with a range of 37 to 45 miles. (Not bad at all.)
  • A Shimano transmission provides six different "driving" modes.
  • It's 60 pounds, which is typical for e-assist bikes.
  • All of the bike's parts (including the mysterious extra piece that will inevitably be left over after you've assembled it) come with a two-year warranty.
  • There are models for men and women.
  • Ikea Family members get a $150 discount.
...


http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2014/05/ikea_to_sell_electric_bicycle.html
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Study finds mode of transportation affects how we feel

Biking Elsewhere“We found that people are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation,” said Eric Morris, lead author on the study and assistant professor in Clemson’s planning, development and preservation department.

http://newsstand.clemson.edu/mediarelations/study-finds-how-mode-of-transportation-affects-how-we-feel/
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NCR Trail: 'Bike Through History' Series Starts Wednesday

Bike PathsGuided tours offered over the next eight weeks.
By Ron Cassie, Baltimore Magazine, Posted on June 03, 2014

Starting tomorrow evening, and for the next eight Wednesdays, guided tours of different segments of the Torrey C. Brown Trail (formerly known as the North Central Railroad Trail) will be offered by members of the NCR/Hereford Volunteers Association. Each weekly tour tackles about 10 miles of the trail, covering specific history of the trail and that week's location, according to a post on the Maryland Hiking and Adventuring Meetup page.

The tours are free and open to the public, with the first tour kicking off tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Paper Mill Road entrance to the trail. Each tour/mini-ride lasts about two hours.
...

http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/2014/6/3/ncr-trail-bike-through-history-series-starts-wednesday
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Vote for Wes Adams for States Attorney

PoliticsVia Jerry Cunningham, Facebook

Hi friends,

People have asked me what they can do for me and the kids since Trish was killed last August. I've never really had an answer, but now I do.

Please get out and vote for Wes Adams for States Attorney, in the primary on June 24th.

I guess I am guilty of not really getting involved in politics until it affected me. Maybe I didn't get involved because I was so happy living my life with Trish and the kids every day.

But I can't let Trish's memory just fade away. She was a beautiful person taken from this planet for no good reason. I can't have Trish back, but I really don't want this to happen to somebody else. I really don't. And it will happen again unless we raise public awareness about bicycle safety.

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that Wes Adams' opponent is defending Trish's killer.

The people of Anne Arundel county deserve better. Wes Adams is better. Please vote for him. Please like and share his facebook page. Please share his website. You don't have to live in Anne Arundel County to do this.

https://www.facebook.com/wes.adams.98229
https://www.electwesadams.com/

Please help raise awareness for bike safety, here in Anne Arundel County and across the country. Because more cyclists will die. More of them will die because it is not treated as a serious crime.

Right now - think of the person that you love the most in this world.

Right now - think of their face and how it feels to hold their hand.

Now imagine that you will never get to talk to them again.

Vote for Wes, because he actually cares about more than himself.

Thank you very much,

Jerry
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Anne Arundel County: Councilman announce Complete Streets program

Biking in the Metro AreaVia Eye On Annapolis

Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman and County Councilman Chris Trumbauer have announced the county is developing a Complete Streets program to improve the safety and accessibility of county roads for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

“As we continually work to make our roads safer for all users, I’m proud that we are working together to find efficient ways to improve our streets without any fiscal impact,” said County Executive Neuman. “Considering all opportunities for enhancements when approaching road projects is one more example of maximizing efficiency in county government.”

Approved unanimously by the County Council on February 18, the resolution (6-14) Trumbauer sponsored seeks to incorporate a Complete Streets policy into the county’s design manual, which determines standards for repaving roads. The policy was designed in collaboration with the county’s Office of Planning and Zoning, and outlines a method for determining whether upgrades such as bike lanes and sidewalks should be included along roadways already slated for improvement. “We don’t want to replace a road as it is without thinking about it – there might be a good enhancement to be made,” Trumbauer said.

County Executive Neuman recently established a work group comprising transportation committee members and county residents to make suggestions for upgrades to the county’s design manual.

“I’m pleased we have established this Complete Streets task force,” said Councilman Trumbauer. “Working with county staff, these citizens will make recommendations to help make our roadways safer, more accessible and better suited for all modes of transportation.”

To learn more about the county’s Complete Streets program, go to http://www.aacounty.org/PlanZone/Transportation/Resources/finalreport_complete040914.pdf.

http://www.eyeonannapolis.net/2014/06/04/county-executive-councilman-announce-complete-streets-program/
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Davidson: Are the City’s New Pedestrian-Safety Measures Strong Enough?

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: Note that New York's pedestrian fatality rate is ranked at #17 while Maryland is ranked #7 by FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System by NHTSA.) The one thing New York has that we don't is: "The police department, too, has reclaimed traffic enforcement as a high priority" ]
****************************************************************************
By Justin Davidson, New York Magazine

This should not be controversial: When the light turns green and you step off the curb and into a crosswalk, a car should not whip around the corner at the same time, causing your body to crumple and snap. If that does occur, it shouldn’t be legal. And if it’s illegal, it should be punished. And yet motor vehicles did hit 854 pedestrians all over the city last month, killing eight of them — a run of grief, violence, and horrific injuries that, statistically speaking, makes April a relatively peaceable month. And unless they were high or stoned, the vast majority of those drivers are back on the road. Menace a child with a baseball bat, and you will likely go to jail; kill that kid with an SUV and you’ll pay a few-hundred-dollar fine. Manslaughter by motor vehicle is a perfectly legal crime.

The de Blasio administration and its allies are pushing hard to change that state of affairs, but success will require more than just adjusting stoplights or redesigning intersections; it means transforming an entire culture. We have to recognize that crashes are preventable disasters rather than random events — not accidents at all, but the product of individual decisions. Reckless and distracted driving must become a new taboo.
...

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/davidson-on-the-small-steps-toward-vision-zero.html
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What Makes Some Intersections More “Elastic” Than Others?

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt. Streets Blog

Of all the places we encounter throughout the day, intersections have perhaps the most strictly prescribed rules. But the way people actually behave at intersections differs a great deal, depending on the mode of transportation, the place, the time of day — all sorts of factors.

Adonia Lugo at Urban Adonia says she’s seen observance of these rules vary wildly from city to city, and it got her thinking about why people negotiate some intersections differently than others:

There are laws, there are stripes, there are bollards, and then there are all these randos doing what they think is best. As a street ethnographer, I have observed that some intersections are more “elastic” than others, and this flexibility comes from people’s attitudes rather than road design.

When I first started bike commuting in Portland, the heart of Law Abiding Cyclist Country, I got really jazzed about always stopping at stop signs and red lights. It made sense to me that I could make drivers take me seriously by behaving predictably. I’d grown up in a place where jaywalking meant running across the street, because pedestrians having priority was more theoretical than real. So it followed that, using this new mode of transport, I should do what the signs told me to do…

Now I’m in Washington, D.C, and wow, I look like a country mouse when I hesitate at intersections. Every time I pull up on a bike or on foot at a corner, others stream past me. The signals here seem to be more suggestions than anything else. Drivers, too, inch forward as much as they can, sometimes being halfway through the intersection before the light turns green.

Since I’ve observed so many other bike users and pedestrians, and as I noted, even motorists, making the point, it’s hard for me to ignore the logic of pressing forward into empty space. Traffic signals should guarantee right of way, from a predictability standpoint, but should they impede the flow of people when there’s no right of way to protect?

I know that a lot of our road design standards have been developed through years of liability lawsuits and efforts to control safety. It’s just weird to me that the reality, as seen from the everyday scale of ethnography, is a lot more pragmatic. If we really want to promote active transportation, shouldn’t we legitimize the greater elasticity walking and biking afford? Does it really make sense to limit these modes according to the car-based paradigm of traffic engineering?



http://streetsblog.net/2014/05/27/what-makes-some-intersections-more-elastic-than-others/
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Tell HoCo on iTunes

Biking in the Metro AreaTell HoCo is an easy way for anyone to report non-emergency issues to Howard County, Maryland while on-the-go, such as potholes, damaged street signs, graffiti, street maintenance, street light issues, damaged trees, park maintenance and more. Using your phone’s GPS, you can help identify the exact location of the problem, and with the use of its camera, you can attach a picture, as well. You’ll be able to track your issue from the time it is reported until it is resolved. Tell HoCo makes it easier than ever to report a problem.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tell-hoco/id874344402

*****************************************************************

[B' Spokes: It would be cool if other localities did this as well.]
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Anne Arundel County unveil inaugural bike ride event - Lifeline 100

Biking in the Metro AreaBy Christopher Johnson, NACO

Anne Arundel County, Md. PoliceDepartment, Department of Recreation and Parks and Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County (BikeAAA) have teamed up to unveil the Anne Arundel County Lifeline 100 Century Ride set for Oct. 19.

bikeride.jpg
Courtesy Anne Arundel County, Md.

Anne Arundel Police Chief Kevin Davis speaks about the Century Ride and how it came to fruition. The event is scheduled for Oct.19.

A growing trend among counties is to get moving and healthier.

“This all began last year when officer Kam [Cooke] and I came up with an idea for a community bike ride,” Cpl. Dominic Scali, Anne Arundel County Police Department said. “This is also an opportunity for our department to show what a bike patrol is and what they do while raising money for county non-profits.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Anne Arundel County Lifeline 100 Century Ride offers a great experience for cyclists of all levels with 100–, 56– and 15–mile routes with a ‘kiddie and family’ ride option for younger children and their parents. The routes wind throughout the county with views of downtown Annapolis, the Severn River, southern parts of the county, BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport and more. The ride is a part of the all-day “Make Health Happen Community Health Fair” at Kinder Farm Park.

“We are proud to be hosting the bike ride and health fair,” Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman said. “This first of its kind initiative emphasizes the health and economic benefits of safe bicycling in the county.”

...


http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/Current%20Issue/5-19-2014/Pages/Lifeline-100,-Anne-Arundel-County-unveil-inaugural-bike-ride-event-.aspx
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