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Monday, April 21 2014 @ 07:43 AM UTC
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A mass transit dilemma: Ridership up, funds down

Mass TransitPublic transport systems are reeling from an economic crisis that has dried up tax revenue and blown gaps in state budgets. They are having to raise fares and cut services.
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Obama moves to let states cap car emissions

Health & EnvironmentWASHINGTON - Plunging into energy and climate change policies, President Barack Obama on Monday moved to give states a freer hand in curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars, and to enact tighter fuel-efficiency standards that could remake the auto industry.

Obama stressed that his goal is to work with carmakers on key administration goals: energy independence and combating global warming.

"Let me be clear: Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry," Obama said at the White House. "It is to help America's automakers prepare for the future."
...
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NEW PA TO MD TRANSIT SERVICE LAUNCHED THIS WEEK

Mass Transit[Note the free emergency ride home, love to see this for bike commuters as well.]
Commuter bus service will run between York, PA and Timonium, MD

Rabbit Transit logoOn February 2nd, rabbittransit launched a new commuter bus route from York, PA to Timonium/Hunt Valley.

Rabbit Transit Express Commuter BusThe service offers 3 trips each way daily, Monday through Friday and stops at any MTA bus stop along the route. All buses are equipped with satellite TV, reclining seats, and bicycle storage.

Riders who are registered and ride to work at least twice a week are eligible to receive free emergency rides home.
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Dueling Helmet Bills

Bike LawsThe House has two bills in regards to bicycle helmets; one requires helmets for all ages of cyclists (HB 187) and the other increases the (under) age from 16 to 18 for those who are required to wear helmets (HB 437.) May the better law win.
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North Baltimore Bike Brigade (Another Baltimore Bike Blog)

Biking in BaltimoreWe are a loosely-knit band of bike commuters based in North Baltimore. While we don’t get to ride together as much as we would like, we share the experience of daily commuting in Charm City.

There are plenty of places for Baltimore roadies and downhillers to chat and share. This is for Freds, commuters, utility beaters and generally for those of us who use our bikes for transportation, not just fitness and recreation.

If that’s your thing, that’s cool. All this commuters vs. roadies vs. downhillers vs. freds stuff is bull$#!+. We have in common that we ride. We have to get along and fight our common foe. You know, everyone else.
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Symposium Pics

Bike Maryland updatesimage
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Hello Grand History Trail Partners!

Biking in MarylandRails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program are completing the initial planning phase of the Grand History Trail (GHT). We hope you’ll join us for our final stakeholders meeting in Baltimore this spring. Attendees will get a preview of the final web site and project report which include:

* GHT suggested route maps & GIS data
* Resource inventory of historic sites
* Media and Marketing Toolkit for trail promotion
* Trail gap analysis

The afternoon meeting will be an opportunity to make final comments and suggestions on the proposed routes and will also be a working session to gather ideas about marketing and promoting the trail.

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 from 1pm – 3pm
LOCATION: Baltimore Rowing and Water Resource Center Baltimore Rowing and Water Resource Center (Located in Middle Branch Park , 3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230, along the Gwynns Falls Trail, www.gwynnsfallstrail.org Trailhead #8, T8)

Formal meeting agenda to follow.

Also, if anyone is interested in a post-meeting bike ride (bikes provided) along the Gwynns Falls Trail please let me know!

RTC will be presenting the Grand History Trail concept at the upcoming Maryland Bicycle Symposium on Wednesday, February 4th in Annapolis , MD. The symposium will bring together advocates, planners, and elected officials who want to improve the conditions for cyclists in Maryland – best of all, registration is free!
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Taking Aim at CO2 in Infrastructure Projects

Health & Environment...
A Portland-based start-up, Ecologistics, has developed a software program to help government agencies calculate the carbon dioxide costs right alongside the capital costs of their purchasing decisions when constructing or remodeling commercial buildings, bridges, roads and other infrastructure.

The software integrates a traditional life-cycle energy assessment of all the project materials — from resource extraction to installation — and compares suppliers not only according to the lowest bid, but also by the carbon dioxide emissions generated, fuel use and vehicle miles traveled, among other metrics.

“We do a pre-bid analysis of the materials supply chain and put together a footprint, so agencies can make a decision based on more than just price,” said Bryce Benge, a development coordination manager for Ecologistics, from his booth at the trade show.
...
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One less Car Legislative Priorities 2009

Bike Maryland updates2009 Bills to SUPPORT:

House Bill 97 Criminal Law: Manslaughter by Vehicle
* This is a very important bill – the hearing took place last week before the Judiciary Committee. If you live in committee members district - ask your delegates to support this bill that:
* Makes it a misdemeanor for a person to cause the death of another as a result of the person's driving, operating, or controlling a vehicle or vessel in a criminally negligent manner.
* This bill will make our roads inherently safer for bicyclists and pedestrians by improving the standards of justice and encouraging safer driving by conveying the message that criminally negligent driving behavior is not tolerated.
* Closes the current loophole in Maryland’s law and holds people accountable for causing the death of another as a result of driving, while sober, negligently, taking substantial risk and deviating from the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person.
* Increase the penalties and provides jail time for those who currently pay a $500 fine and do not serve any time in jail Not place the ordinary driver at risk for severe penalties
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/HB0097.htm

Senate Bill 428 - Three Foot Bicycle Safety Bill
* This very important bill increases safety for bicyclist by requiring a driver of a vehicle to pass a bicyclist at a distance of 3 feet.
* Requires a driver to yield the right of way to a person who is riding a bicycle in a designated bicycle lane.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/SB0428.htm

Senate Bill 98 - No Text Messaging While Driving
* Prohibits a person from using a text messaging device to write, send, or read a text message while operating a motor vehicle.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/sb0098.htm

Senate Bill 152 - Arrest for Leaving a Scene of an Accident Involving Injury
* Requires a police officer to arrest with or without a warrant a person who the police officer has probable cause to believe has committed a specified offense of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury or death.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/hb0152.htm

Senate Bill 15 - Funding for Bike-Ped Access to Schools
* Authorizes local governments to use specified highway user revenues for sidewalk construction; specifying State policy regarding sidewalks, footpaths, and bicycle trails.
* Requires regulations that give priority to and provide financial
assistance to county boards for public school construction or public school
capital improvements that incorporate sidewalks, footpaths, and bicycle
trails that facilitate and encourage usage by students as an alternative to
transport by school bus.
* Hearing took place on 1-28 before the Budget and Taxation Committee. If you live in districts of committee members ask your senators to support the bill.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/sb0015.htm\

Senate Bill 250 - SUPPORT SB 250 only with Amendment to Include Bicycles
* Authorizes the driver of a motorcycle at an intersection where traffic is controlled by a traffic control signal to proceed through a red signal under specified circumstances if a visible vehicle sensor operating the traffic control signal does not detect the presence of the motorcycle.
Amendments:
* Bicycles are less likely than motorcycles to be detected by sensors.
* Traffic lights are often set to skip a cycle if there is no vehicle waiting.
* A law-abiding cyclist now might have to wait through several cycles before a vehicle comes that is detected by the sensor.
* By waiting for a vehicle to come and trip the sensor, a cyclist is often put into a more dangerous situation due to conflicts with other traffic, especially turning traffic. This change in the law would allow a cyclist or motorcyclist who is not detected by a vehicle sensor to treat a red light like a flashing red light when the wait has been two minutes or one complete cycle of the light.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/sb0250.htm


2009 Bills to OPPOSE:

House Bill 187 Mandatory Helmet Law
* HB 187 would extend current law requiring helmets for cyclists under age 16 to cyclists and motor scooter drivers of all ages. It also defines a mo-ped as being a bicycle. It looks like someone wanted to make sure the bicycle helmet law includes mopeds and motor scooters, and while at it they removed the “under 16” so it would apply to everyone. If passed, this would make Maryland the first state with a statewide mandatory helmet law for adult cyclists.
* Instead of this bill, bicycle education opportunities and low cost or free helmets are needed.
* The bill does not have a provision stating, "failure to wear a helmet may not be used as evidence of contributory negligence." Any helmet bill should have language similar to the "contributory negligence" clause in the seat belt law.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/hb0187.htm

House Bill 25 Scooter Road Restriction
* This bill prohibits motor scooters from roads where the posted speed limit is over 30 mph, which will reduce opportunities for people to travel by means other than automobile. Some people depend on motor scooters for basic transportation necessary to get to work, school and shopping.
* Current law prohibits bicycles and motor scooters from roads where the speed limit is over 50 mph.
* There is concern that changing the law to prohibit motor scooters where the posted speed limit is over 30 mph could lead to the same prohibition on bicycles.
If the intent of the bill is to reduce the reckless use of motor scooters, there are existing laws on reckless driving that could be better enforced.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/billfile/HB0025.htm
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ACTION: Mandatory Helmet Law - oppose

Bike LawsHB 187 would extend current law requiring helmets for cyclists under age 16 to cyclists and motor scooter drivers of all ages. It also defines a mo-ped as being a bicycle. It looks like someone wanted to make sure the bicycle helmet law includes mopeds and motor scooters, and while at it they removed the “under 16” so it would apply to everyone. If passed, this would make Maryland the first state with a state-wide mandatory helmet law for adult cyclists.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
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  •  All of the above
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