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Sunday, June 26 2016 @ 10:32 PM UTC
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MDE ignores bike/ped again

Biking in Maryland Pursuant to the Living Shorelines Protection Act, MDE has prepared rules on where and how one can build erosion-control structures. Those structures often eliminate the public pathway along the shore (all land below mean high water is owned by the public so unless it is high tide, you can walk or ride a fat-tire bike along the shore). Some of the environmentally friendly techniques (planting marsh) also impair access along shores that were previously pebble and sand beached. In some states, to get a permit, property owners must create pathways inland of the shore protection--but these rules are silent entirely on public access. As written, MDE can allow property owners to eliminate public access along shores that people currently use to go somewhere.

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Baltimore has the first all electric fleet of car sharing vehicles in the United States.

Health & EnvironmentExxon unveils electric, car-sharing fleet at Maryland Science Center

Visitors to Baltimore's Inner Harbor Tuesday take a look at the electric car outside the Maryland Science Center.

ExxonMobil Corp. launched an all-electric car-sharing fleet at the Maryland Science Center on Tuesday.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and Maryland Energy Administration Executive Director Malcolm Woolf helped unveil the program, called AltCar, at an afternoon press event.
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Law Enforcement Bias and the 3ft Law

Biking ElsewhereOfficer re 3' passing law: “It’s very hard to do. The officer has to be in the right place and he has to observe a vehicle not giving the cyclist three feet. And if there’s on coming traffic, it’s hard for the motorist” said Dusty Stokes of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department."

Excuse me? Hard for the motorist? ...
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Caravan/Prague screens at Red Emma's!

Biking in BaltimoreThursday, June 25 @ 8PM:
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In the Summer of 2000, more than 100 cyclists set out from Hannover, Germany on a 500-mile bike caravan across Europe to join the mass mobilization against the IMF/World Bank meetings in Prague. Just a year after the historic protests in Seattle against the WTO, the Prague mobilization was an important moment in the then-still-growing antiglobalization movement - it was a moment where it still felt possible to change the world, when protests still seemed to mean something, to effect some dent in the status quo of multi-national organizations. It's no wonder, then, that the "Money or Life" bike tour took shape - not just a bike caravan aiming to get participants to the mobilization, it was an attempt to create a tuly mobile utopian community ... and filmmaker Zach Weinstein was there to document it all. Caravan/Prague is Weinstein's video diary of the days, nights, and times in-between he spent on the road, with the bike caravan, all the way to Prague. Whether you like bikes or not, and whether you agree with his (largely anarchist) politics or not, it's a great film - bizzare, informative, entertaining, and challenging. This screening kicks off our summer film series (every Thursday until the end of August!) - don't miss it!

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If I can ride a 3-speed across the country, everyone can be riding their bikes more to work and to the store.

Biking ElsewhereLast year when we gave Ryan Van Duzer a 3-speed commuter bike to thank him for years of support around the Tour de Fat - he jokingly said he'd ride it across the country. We all chuckled and walked away but Ryan called us this spring and said he was going to ride the 3-speed 3,000 miles - from San Diego to Washington DC - to raise money for Community Cycles in Boulder.

Who are we to get in the way of a young man following his folly?

So, this is Ryan's coast-to-coast adventure. He'll be blogging, tweeting and uploading videos along the way. He wants you to come out and ride with him so check back often to see when he'll be pedaling through your town - he needs your support and a place to wash his sox.

As Ryan says, "If I can ride a 3-speed across the country, everyone can be riding their bikes more to work and to the store."

Ride on, Duzer. We totally agree. We'll see you in DC late summer.
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Lessons for the United States

Biking ElsewherePublic policy can play a major role in reshaping America’s transportation system. The German experience offers five lessons to the United States for improving transportation sustainability through changes in travel behavior:

* Get the Price Right in order to encourage the use of less polluting cars, driving at non-peak hours and more use of public transportation
* Integrate Transit, Cycling, and Walking as Viable Alternatives to the Car, as a necessary measure to make any sort of car-restrictive measures publicly and politically feasible
* Fully Coordinate and Integrate Planning for Land Use and Transportation to discourage car-dependent sprawl and promote transit-oriented development
* Public Information and Education to Make Changes Feasible are essential in conveying the benefits of more sustainable policies and enforcing their results over the long term
* Implement Policies in Stages with a Long Term Perspective because it takes considerable time to gather the necessary public and political support and to develop appropriate measures.
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More people may be biking due to bad gas?

Biking in the Metro Area2nd Gas Station Hit With Bad Supply
Hess Corp. Takes Blame For Bad Gas

LUTHERVILLE, Md. -- For a second time this month, contaminated gas bought in Baltimore County is being blamed for damaging dozens of cars.

The problems were first reported at the Exxon station in Parkton last week, and the Oceanic gas station on York Road in Lutherville is currently experiencing a similar problem.

Officials with Ocean Petroleum told 11 News the gas came from the Hess Corp. and damaged about a dozen vehicles Saturday night.

Jennifer Biglin's SUV was one of those vehicles.

"When I was leaving, I pulled out and everything was fine until I got to Ridgley Road, then it started to make noises and hesitate, and it didn't have any power. It sounded not normal," she said.

Biglin said she called the gas station and the owner admitted the gas was bad.
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More on the "right to drive"

Biking Elsewhere...
CYCLISTS FLOUT COMMON SENSE, ENDANGER THOSE IN CARS ON MOUNTAIN ROADS IN THE NAME OF SELFISHNESS; CARS WILL BE FORCED TO CROSS DOUBLE YELLOW LINES ON DANGEROUS LIMITED VISIBILITY ROADS DUE TO THE EXPANDED RIGHTS OF CYCLISTS.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. Where to begin? Give the author credit for getting the spelling right, at least.

Let's start with the Universal Right of Speed, a part of the vehicle code so obscure that no one has been able to find it. URS states that drivers in motor vehicles have the inalienable right to drive as fast as they want whenever they want. Speed limits are merely advisory and can be ignored if there are no law enforcement vehicles in the immediate area. Drivers may operate at or above the speed limit even when the road ahead is obscured by terrain, fog, rain, snow, or smoke. Anything that forces them to slow down (other than a police car parked alongside the road) is most likely illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral.
...
Motorists who say it is too dangerous for bicyclists to be on the public roads as they are likely to be hit by a car, are simply roadway bullies exactly like the playground bully who says, "This is my playground and I am bigger than you, and if you get hurt it is your own fault." They are simply blaming the victim.

We had similar comments on a news article here after a motorist killed two cyclists last week. 'Bicyclists shouldn't use ABC Road because it's four lanes with heavy, high-speed traffic.' And of course, someone else chimed in with 'cyclists shouldn't use XYZ Road because it's only two lanes with hills and curves.' The underlying complaint is that 'cyclists shouldn't use the road I'm on -they should go somewhere else.'
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Complete Street Quotes

Biking Elsewhere

"Transportation systems dramatically affect the design of communities in which we live, in turn the design of our communities affects our ability to engage in healthy behaviors. Transportation systems, therefore, can be used to support healthy communities essentially by allowing people to use all modes of transportation to move through the community they occupy in a safe and efficient way."
- Dr. Ileana Arias, Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at June 5's briefing on Complete Streets: Integrating Safety and Livability into the Next Transportation Bill

"The signing of this Executive Order is just one in a number of steps that we are taking to make Philadelphia an even better place to walk, bike and take SEPTA. Making it easy for residents, commuters and visitors to choose to not use their cars is among the most meaningful contributions the City can make toward our goal of becoming America's number one green city."

- Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, in the accompanying press release

"The widespread lack of physical activity in our nation has played a major part in the perpetuation of the obesity epidemic. A key factor contributing to the lack of physical activity is the absence of infrastructure to support or encourage pedestrian and bicycle travel as modes of transportation. The result of our collective inactivity has burdened New York State with over $6 billion annually in medical costs. That is why this bill is so important."
- New York State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, in Buffalo Rising

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EPA Offers $10M for Climate Change Showcase Communities

Biking Elsewhere

WASHINGTON, DC, June 15, 2009 (ENS) - For the first time, the U.S. EPA is opening a competitive grant program for local and tribal governments that want to establish and implement climate change initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities.

A total of $10 million will be distributed next January in Climate Showcase Communities grants.

"Ending climate change and moving to a sustainable, clean energy future begins on the ground in our communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, announcing the new grants program today.

"We're offering a helping hand to local areas that are leading the way in confronting climate change, and a call to action for anyone concerned about making a difference where they live," she said.

The EPA is requesting proposals from local governments, federally-recognized Indian tribal governments, and inter-tribal consortia to create replicable models of sustainable community action, generate cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions, and improve the environmental, economic, public health, and social conditions in a community.

The agency expects to award about 30 cooperative agreements, each one ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.

Approximately five percent of the funds, or about $500,000, is being set aside for tribal governments.

A 50 percent cost-share is required for recipients, with the exception of tribal governments and intertribal consortia, which are exempt from matching requirements under this grant.

"We can cut energy costs and reduce harmful emissions at the local level, and build a model for fighting climate change in every community," Jackson said.

The Climate Showcase Communities grant program aims to create models of sustainable community action that generate cost-effective and persistent greenhouse gas reductions while improving the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community.

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Knoxville , Tennessee Mayor Bill Haslam and Susan Edwards of the Knoxville Utilities Board celebrate the purchase of 400 blocks of renewable energy. April 30, 2009. (Photo courtesy City of Knoxville )

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