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Wednesday, July 23 2014 @ 10:25 PM UTC
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The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) opposes HB 1197.

Bike LawsCommittee: ENV Date: 3/03/09 Bill #: HB 1197

Position: OPPOSE Title: Vehicle Laws — Bicycles — Rules of the Road

Explanation: HB 1197 would expand the definition of a bicycle to include a wider variety of wheel configurations and provide that, except for the requirement to use a sidewalk and travel facing traffic on a roadway or shoulder, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. It would also allow bicycles and motor scooters to be ridden on the shoulder or in the roadway if no smooth bike lane exists. Finally, it would allow a bicyclist to pass another vehicle by driving off the roadway.

Comment: The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) opposes HB 1197.

Currently, bicyclists are granted all of the rights and are subject to the same duties as a vehicle driver. While those provisions of law would not be repealed by HB 1197 they appear to conflict with the provision in this bill that bicyclists be treated as pedestrians. In fact it is more appropriate that bicycles generally be treated as vehicles.

[Note: Fact: Bicycles using trail crossing are not treated as vehicles per State law but encouraged/required to be pedestrians.]

Unlike their motorized counterparts (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.), bicycles and motor scooters typically are incapable of attaining or sustaining the speeds which are prevalent on highways throughout the State. Accordingly, special provisions were enacted in law to separate these slower vehicles from conflict with higher speed vehicles where there is a suitable alternative. Under existing law, bicyclists and motor scooter operators are restricted to riding on the shoulder in a bike lane and not in the roadway if a smooth shoulder or bike lane exists. Doing so greatly reduces the potential for conflict due to speed disparity with other vehicles.

This bill would allow these riders to ride in the roadway if there is no bike lane, even if a smooth shoulder exists. This would permit bikes and motor scooters to be operated in a position where they are more vulnerable to being struck by motor vehicles traveling in the same direction. It also would interfere with the flow of traffic to a considerably greater extent. These issues would likely be exacerbated with respect to youthful bicycle and motor scooter riders, who may lack the necessary skills and are less prone to pay attention to safety when mixing with faster traffic.

[Note: Fact: Under current law and current MDOT policies bicyclist are required to ride in "facilities" that fail to meet minimum width AASHTO standards and fail to have the required notice of hazards and protection of bicyclists right-of-way.]

Finally, the provision in current law that operators of bicycles and motor scooters are allowed to use the shoulder and bike lanes provides adequate legal authorization for them to pass other vehicles by leaving the roadway.

For these reasons, the Department respectfully requests the Committee grant HB 1197 an unfavorable report.

For Information: Tom Hicks
Martin Harris
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Maryland House Bill 1197 Removal of mandatory shoulder use and right-of-way in crosswalks

Bike Laws[From the League of American Bicyclists]
Needs Support & Testimony
The League wishes to express our support for Maryland House Bill 1197 . It is our opinion that the bill would help clarify Maryland law in addition to being a step forward to fully recognizing cyclists as authorized, legal road users. Maryland is only one of four states whose laws require cyclist to use a shoulder when one is present. This fact only serves to reinforce the second class status of cyclists on Maryland's roads. Such discriminatory laws are part of the reason the League ranked Maryland 35 out of 50 through our Bicycle Friendly State program. Passage of HB 1197 will help improve its standing, and help Maryland fulfill the promise of its Department of Transportation to "encourage walking and bicycling, and will provide a seamless, balanced and barrier-free network for all." HB 1197 would remove any ambiguity to the law, and make for more clear concise language that is easier for cyclists to follow, officers and judges to enforce, and for all to understand.

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Spring Clearance Sale! March 7th & 8th at Joe's Bike Shop

Cyclist\'s Yellow Pages[We do not give our local bike shops enough press, so any excuse we have to say thanks for being there and supporting bicycling, we'll do so. And hey sale prices are good too.]

Hello friends,

It is that time of year again when we need to clear out some inventory and make room for our incoming spring orders. Saturday March 7th and Sunday March 8th there will be big discounts on clothing, shoes, accessories, everything. We will even have every bike in the shop on sale.

This is a big event for us so please spread the word as much as you can. Tell everyone you know that rides or might be looking for a bike or anything, and of coarse we hope to see you there as well.

Thanks again for your efforts, as always they are much appreciated

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Vision Statement by the Annapolis Bicycle Transportation Committee. April, 2008.

Biking in BaltimoreThe City of Annapolis recognizes the many environmental, economic and health benefits of walking and bicycling for both transportation, recreation and tourism in our city. Foremost among these benefits are reduced traffic and parking pressure, stronger communities and neighborhoods, and enhanced mobility for all residents and visitors. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the City of Annapolis to invite, welcome and encourage more bicycling by planning, developing and continually improving safe and accessible streets through programs like Safe Routes to School and off-road networks and amenities such as bicycle storage, signage, education, enforcement and maps.

As the capital city of Maryland and the heart of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Annapolis should promote bicycle use in order to reduce automobile congestion as a part of its clean air strategy in a region that has been determined by the Environmental Protection Agency to be a non-attainment area because of high ozone levels directly related to automobile exhaust, and where highway funding is tied directly to specific actions undertaken by local governments to promote alternative forms of transportation.

To demonstrate this commitment, the City will hire or designate a bicycle/pedestrian planner whose short term goals will be to procure grants, enlist state support, coordinate bicycle initiatives with the county, build partnerships with bicycle and pedestrian groups, and promote safety and education programs to enhance bicycling. The planner's long term goals will be to develop a bicycling master plan that will result in Annapolis’ becoming a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community as determined by the League of American Bicyclists by June 1, 2011 and to continue to improve thereafter and become a Silver-level Community by 2016.

As the only municipal hub in the United States where two national trails (the East Coast Greenway Trail and the American Discovery Trail) converge, and as the finish line for the Race Across America, and as a key link to international destinations via the B&A Trail, the BWI Trail, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, AMTRAK, and Greyhound/Trailways, Annapolis will be a world renowned bicycle destination where safe bicycling is an accepted form of transportation
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Support Kerri in Bike and Build 2009!

Cyclist\'s Yellow PagesThis Summer I will spend nine weeks volunteering with an organization called Bike and Build. I’m going to ride my bike from Jacksonville Florida to San Francisco California, 3534 miles! Along the way we spend time building houses with Habitat for Humanity across the country, including one week in Louisiana. We will also spend time educating and spreading the word about the importance of affordable housing in local communities, and offer safe riding seminars to children. The experience should be very rewarding and amazing from every aspect.

Following hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on the Gulf Coast in 2005, Bike & Build re-routed Southern U.S. in 2006 to join the ongoing rebuilding effort in the Gulf Coast. The second week of the trip will be spent building in areas that are still in need of hurricane reconstruction. From there the group continues their trek West onto the ranges of Northern Texas, the deserts of the South West and, eventually, the coast of Northern California.

Please consider joining this group to show your support for the cause, as well as for my journey across the country. When the time comes, you can follow my blog if you’d like!

At this time you can go to for more information or to make a donation under my name. My fundraising goal is 5,000 to help with affordable housing! I'd appreciate any help you can give... it adds up quick :)
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Choker vs Speed Table

Biking in MarylandAs congestion increases motorists look for alternative routes which often are our cycling routes. But in order for these routes to be a viable shortcut for motorists there is a need to exceed the speed limit which causes issues and concerns.

In order to address these concerns community's have been installing chokers which has alarmed a local cycling community as most feel that chokers make roads less bike friendly, additionally chokers are one of the lest effective measure to reduce motorists speed.


Speed tables (long flat raised surface) on the other hand are effective at keeping speed near the desired limit without any significant discomfort to law abiding motorists or cyclists.

So I am curious how you feel, see poll in the right hand column.
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Create Complete Streets with Economic Stimulus Spending

Biking Elsewhere

This monthly newsletter issued by the National Complete Streets Coalition provides a roundup of news related to complete streets policies -- policies to ensure that the entire right of way is routinely designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Please pass it around! And visit to stay informed.

Create Complete Streets with Economic Stimulus Spending

The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included $48 billion for transportation infrastructure investments.  Of that $48 billion, more than $27.5 billion are in funding categories that make funds eligible for use in projects with complete streets elements, and another $3.8 billion are available for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

The ARRA funding should not be used to expand a system of roads that do not provide safe travel for people who are walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation along a corridor.  Too many streets around the country are designed to be wide and fast, without sufficient sidewalks, crosswalks, safe bus facilities, or bicycle lanes.

Incomplete streets are dangerous and create barriers for people to get to jobs, school, the doctor, and fully participate in civic life.  State and city governments should spend the stimulus money on infrastructure that serves all citizens safely and efficiently.

The National Complete Streets Coalition created a new repository of resources for communities interested in identifying opportunities for building complete streets with ARRA funding:  Check in frequently, as it will be updated often with new information and materials.

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Earth Alley & CSBA Happy Hour

Cyclist\'s Yellow PagesUpcoming Event:March 2nd - 6 - 8 pm. Earth Alley is happy to host Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance's next Happy Hour. Where? Here at Earth Alley of course!
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Friends of the earth

Health & EnvironmentIn this post:
Global warming - a minority view? It is per the Washington's Post's editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt.
Ending Big Oil Giveaways
International Climate Victory
And more
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$22,500 for one temporary parking spot

Biking in BaltimoreIf people think bike trails are expensive check out this temporary $9 million 400 spaces MARC station parking lot. One space could get us 60 miles of bike lanes. If biking to West Baltimore MARC Station was safe and covenant you could easily get a few hundred cyclists down there but accommodating a few hundred cars at $9 million some how seems more economically prudent???

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