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Friday, November 27 2015 @ 06:20 AM UTC
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Bicycle still beats subway & taxi in Queens-to-midtown rush-hour race

Biking Elsewhereimage
When it comes to getting around the city, two wheels are still better than four.

For the fifth year in a row, cycling ruled the road in Transportation Alternatives' annual commuter race Thursday, with a biker beating a straphanger and a cabbie.

It took librarian Rachel Myers 20 minutes and 15 seconds to pedal 4.2 miles from Sunnyside, Queens, to Columbus Circle during the morning rush.

"Woo hoo!" the 29-year-old Brooklynite shouted, pumping her fist in the air. "Just goes to show that bikes rule this city!"

Subway rider Dan Hendrick - who hopped the No. 7 in Sunnyside and transferred to the No. 1 at Times Square - arrived 15 minutes later.

Hendrick, 38, usually rides the rails to work at the New York League of Conservation Voters, but he may be switching to pedal power.

"Twenty minutes saved is a lot in the morning," he said. "I could really use that time to get a latte or something."

A yellow cab rolled up to the finish line 27 minutes after Myers, costing passenger Willie Thompson $30 and precious commuting time.

"I always thought [cabs] were the fastest," said Thompson, 30, a nonprofit e-marketer from Flatbush, Brooklyn.

"But it was so slow, it was brutal. I'm exhausted from sitting so long!"
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Cell phone curb begins

Bike LawsSome state workers barred from using hand-held units while driving

By Michael Dresser | Baltimore Sun

Gov. Martin O'Malley signed an executive order Thursday that will impose a ban on the use of hand-held cell phones by Maryland executive branch employees while driving state-owned vehicles.

O'Malley said he was taking the action as part of a new driver safety program. Cell phone use has been identified in numerous studies as one of the leading distractions drivers face on the roads.

The governor's action follows another legislative session in which the General Assembly rejected curbing cell phone use while driving. The legislature did adopt a bill, since signed by O'Malley, banning text-messaging while driving.

"This legislative session, we passed tough new laws to improve safety on our roadways by cracking down on drunken driving, speeding and texting," O'Malley said. "Today, I want to carry that protection to our dedicated state employees by preventing a major cause of workplace injury: traffic crashes."
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Community Greening

Health & Environmentmonthly forums: baltimore green forum

Sunday, May 31, 4:30-6:30 PM

"Community Greening: Exploring new ideas for greening, food growing, and restorative spaces in our neighborhoods"

Parks & People Foundation's Keri Smith and Mary Hardcastle will share information about the Community Greening Network, Urban Ag Task Force, and Environmental Education through Natural Play Spaces.

Residents of Baltimore and surrounding communities are welcome.

Where: MD Presbyterian Church, 1105 Providence Road, Towson, 21286.
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Does having walkable and bikeable schools mean segregation?

Biking in BaltimoreAccording to those who oppose Boston's plan to shrink the size of the school assignment zones from three to five zones that would encompass fewer neighborhoods it would also reestablish segregation.

Proponents argue, there’s also a financial incentive to the plan. Sending students to “neighborhood schools” means fewer kids would need transport across the city, theoretically saving the city money on transportation.

Sadly no one is talking about children heath and the rising obesity epidemic among Boston's children and the need for exercise but at least they are talking about a 5% premium on sweets.
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New Safe Routes to School Senate Bill Sets Stage for Next Federal Transportation Bill

Bike LawsThe federal Safe Routes to School program was first created in 2005 through the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill and is authorized through 2009. The program funds infrastructure improvements (such as sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes, and safe crossings) and education, law enforcement, and promotion campaigns to make it safer and more common for children to walk and bicycle to and from school in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The program is up for reauthorization by Congress as part of the next surface transportation bill, which will be under discussion this summer.

The new Safe Routes to School bill proposes to build on successes around the country and strengthen and expand the federal program in several ways:
· Triple funding for the program, from the FY2009 level of $183 million to $600 million per year to meet the high demand and need for the program;
· Expand eligibility to include high schools and to allow a state to spend a portion of its funds to address bus stop safety and improved access in more rural communities;
· Improve project delivery and reduce overhead by addressing regulatory burdens; and
· Add a research and evaluation component.

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Jon Cardin on his bike @ Bike to Work Day

Photo by Russ Ulrich
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Tour dem Parks, in Spokes Magazine

Biking in Baltimore

A Ramble Through Baltimore

by Greg Hinchliffe

[Author Greg Hinchliffe is chair of Baltimore’s Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, and has been writing and marking the routes for the Tour dem Parks ride since 2003.  He lives and cycles in Baltimore City.]

In the spring of 2003, the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee of Baltimore had a problem: the brand new Gwynns Falls Trail was not being used to its potential.  The city, the Trust for Public Land, and many others had put a great deal of time, money, and effort into building the trail, but the cyclists weren’t there, either because they were unaware that the trail existed, or they were reluctant to use it, wary of urban cycling in general.  
To Penny Troutner, owner of Light Street Cycles and then chair of the committee, the answer was obvious:  host an organized ride through the city, passing by or through most of its major parks and trails, thereby not only showcasing the parks themselves, but reassuring local riders that it could be safe and pleasant to cycle within the city limits.  This was no small order.  Back in the days before the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, before we had a full-time bike-ped planner, in a city that hadn’t installed a bike lane or much of any kind of bike accommodation in the previous 20 years, Baltimore did not exactly have a
reputation as a Bike-Friendly Community.  
Nonetheless, those of us who lived and cycled in the city knew that there was some good riding and wanted to show it off with a ride.  Any money raised by the event would go right back to the parks, through donations to citizen support groups.  Thus the Tour dem Parks was born. Or Tour du Parks, as it was known for its first few years, to the considerable chagrin of the more linguistically talented members of the committee, who insisted it should either be  Tour du Park or Tour des Parks.  After years of haggling, we decided to embrace our inner Baltimoron and go with Tour dem Parks, as in “How ‘bout dem Oreos?”  (You know,
the baseball team?)  It seemed only natural to throw in “Hon” at the end. So . . . Tour dem Parks, Hon!  John Waters legendary Baltimore filmmaker of “Pink Flamingos” fame) would be proud.
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Transportation for the 21st Century: Alert from the League of American Bicyclists

Biking in BaltimoreYou're Invited - Influence Legislation with Townhall Meeting Alerts

The Next Federal Transportation Funding Bill
Prioritize bicycling and walking
Congress is writing a bill that will define our national transportation system for the next 6 years and we need your help to make sure that your Member of Congress weighs in on the transportation bill to support bicycling and walking.
Representative Daniel Lipinski (D, IL) is circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter proposing that the upcoming Transportation Bill, which is currently being drafted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I), promotes and funds alternate transportation options.  Representative Lipinski is asking his colleagues in the House of Representatives to join him in a call for increased federal funding for bicycling and pedestrian programs.    
We are thankful for Congressman Lipinski's efforts on behalf of cyclists nationwide and urge you to contact your Representative to ask them to join Mr. Lipinski and lend their voice to this important debate.
 Please contact your Representatives office today and urge them to sign onto Congressman Lipinski's policy letter today.   
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In the Future, the City’s Streets Are to Behave

Biking ElsewhereBy DAVID W. CHEN - New York Times

Imagine narrow European-style roadways shared by pedestrians, cyclists and cars, all traveling at low speeds. Sidewalks made of recycled rubber in different colors under sleek energy-efficient lamps. Mini-islands jutting into the street, topped by trees and landscaping, designed to further slow traffic and add a dash of green.

This is what New York City streets could look like, according to the Bloomberg administration, which has issued the city’s first street design manual in an effort to make over the utilitarian 1970s-style streetscape that dominates the city.

The Department of Transportation will begin reviewing development plans to see whether they align with the 232-page manual’s guidelines, and promises that projects with these features will win approval quickly.

“Lots of things have changed in 40 years, but this part of our infrastructure hasn’t,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner. “If we’re going to be a world-class city, we need guidelines that lay out the operating instructions of how we get there.”

The manual, to be released on Wednesday, culminates nearly two years of work involving more than a dozen agencies led by the Department of Transportation. By offering “a single framework and playbook,” as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg says in the introduction, the manual promises to simplify the design process and reduce the costs for city agencies, urban planners, developers and community groups.

Urban planners say that the document is long overdue, and that it promises to be as much a map to the future as it is a handbook for the present: getting people to think about streets as not just thoroughfares for cars, but as public spaces incorporating safety, aesthetics, environmental and community concerns.
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German kiddie traffic court

Biking ElsewhereI've head about this program there where police set-up a speed trap in front of a school, and when they pull over drivers, the motorist has to go before a journey of juniors and example why s/he was speeding.

This is what my friend who told me about it said:

A group of young kids plus a police officer, and I assume a teacher or other chaperone, stands on the sidewalk near a school. The police pull over speeders. Instead of giving them regular speeding tickets, they're forced to explain to the group of kids why they were speeding in front of the school. I don't remember whether the kids deliberated and decided whether or not to give the drivers real or fake tickets. Perhaps they made them take literature on why speeding is bad. Since they're small kids, I'm guessing they probably weren't outside for too long. I may also be misremembering, but I seem to recall that many of the drivers sent to kiddie court were parents of kids at the school. I would think that this would be much more effective than doing it somewhere away from the school, because they will be reminded of the experience every time they see these kids again at the school.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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