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Tuesday, July 28 2015 @ 03:20 PM UTC
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Poverty, health and transit riders

Mass TransitA number of recent studies do show that high quality public transit service can improve public health by:
* Reducing per capita traffic fatalities (residents of cities with high quality public transit have about a quarter of the per-capita traffic fatality rates as residents of more automobile-dependent communities)
* Increasing physical activity (people who use public transit on a particular are about 3 times more likely to achieve the basic amount of walking required for public health as people who drive and do not use public transit)
* Increased affordability and therefore less stress and more money left in the household budget for healthy food and other necessities (residents of cities with high quality public transportation spend about 20% small portion of household budgets on transportation, and this effect is probably larger for lower-income households)
* Improved accessibility for non-drivers, and therefore less difficulty reaching medical services and healthy food. These factors cannot overcome other demographic and economic factors that reduce poor people's health, but it does suggest that everybody, particularly poor people, are much better off in a transit oriented community than in an automobile-dependent community.
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Who Should Pay to Fix the Roads?

Biking ElsewhereA new report suggests that to prevent sprawl, we should up the taxes on those who have the longest commutes.

By JUNE FLETCHER Wall Street Journal

Should the cost of driving to our suburban homes go up?

Yes, according to a report released by the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young called Infrastructure 2009: Pivot Point. Those who drive the furthest to work should bear the biggest responsibility for paying for roads.

"We should shift the funding from taxpayers to users," said Michael Lucki, global leader of infrastructure and construction at Ernst & Young and, one of the studies co-authors, at a press conference last week.
...
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No biking to school

Biking in Marylandimage
Bike to School (or Not) - [MDOT's Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access] Michael Jackson informed the members that school principals in Maryland reportedly flatly refuse to allow students to walk or bike to school or will not provide support for bike safety education programs [WC: Yes, you read that right]. In response a proposal to survey attitudes of school principals and administrators toward student walking and biking and publishing the results is being considered. Michael Jackson also mentioned that Nancy Breen, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, provided information on a possible NIH grant to fund such a study.
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SUBJECT: TAKE ACTION TODAY! Ask your Representative to support complete streets in the transportation bill

Bike LawsPlease see the below message from the Complete Streets Coalition. If your representative is targeted (see the list below), please contact them ASAP and urge that they sign-on to the letter and demonstrate their support.

MD
Elijah Cummings: (202) 225-4741
Donna Edwards: (202) 225-8699

SUBJECT: TAKE ACTION TODAY! Ask your Representative to support complete streets in the transportation bill

 

Rep. Tauscher (CA-10) is circulating a letter (see attached) for members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee to sign in support of Complete Streets. As you may know, the Committee is currently drafting the new 6-year surface transportation authorization bill, which will fund as much as $500 billion in new transportation projects. Rep. Tauscher's letter requests that those projects incorporate complete streets principles. It is critical that such a massive investment in transportation infrastructure does not ignore the safety of pedestrians, including children, senior citizens, and disabled persons, as well as patrons of public transportation and bicyclists.

 

We need as many members of the T&I Committee as possible to sign Rep. Tauscher's letter! If your Member of Congress is on the committee (see list below), please call their office TODAY and ask them to sign Rep. Tauscher's complete streets letter.

 

Talking Points:

 

Ask to speak to the staff person that works on transportation issues.

 

  • Please sign Rep. Tauscher's letter in support of complete streets. Paul Schmid in Tauscher's office is the contact. The deadline to sign is close of business, Thursday, May 7th.
  • Complete streets policies ensure that the needs of all users of the transportation system--motorists, transit vehicles and riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities-- are taken into account when streets are built or re-built. Over 90 states and communities already have complete streets policies, which are flexible and cost-effective.
  • Complete streets improve safety, especially for children and older Americans. And if we are serious about ending our dependence on foreign oil, combating climate change, stemming obesity, and revitalizing communities, we need to build roads designed for all users, not just cars.
  • Maryland ranks the 8th worst state in pedestrian fatalities per capita, 6th worst in pedestrian fatalities per all traffic fatalities.
  • Complete Streets don't cost more to build; in fact, they generate revenue by increasing property values and promoting economic development. They save money by reducing transportation and healthcare costs.
  • If you are a constituent, please ask for a response by email or mail, which helps ensure that your comment is passed up the chain of command.

 

For additional background materials about complete streets download our complete streets bill fact sheet (http://www.completestreets.org/documents/fed/cs-leavebehind-2009.pdf ) and frequently asked questions (http://www.completestreets.org/documents/fed/CS_fed_bill-Q&A-2-09.doc ).

 

Please contact us if you have any questions and let us know if you've contacted your Representative and their response to signing on to the letter by emailing Ivan Kaplan at ikaplan@completestreets.org. Thanks for helping complete America's streets!

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10 Reasons not to ride against traffic

Biking in Baltimore[Just a reminder since wrong way riding does play a significant roll in our bike crashes.]

1. It's against the law

2. Riding against traffic reduces the reaction time of cyclist & driver since you're approaching each other instead of going in the same direction.

3. Potential impact is greater: Bike going 20 mph and car going 40 mph
collision riding with traffic = 20 mph impact
collision riding against traffic = 60 mph impact

4. Coming over the crest of a hill, if riding against traffic you'll come head on to an oncoming car, whereas when riding with traffic, the upcoming car on your path of direction will see you going up the hill.

5. Drivers making RIGHT turns will only look to their LEFT. Since they have to merge with that traffic and are not expecting vehicles to be coming head on from their right side

6. Drivers pulling out and making left turns will only look to their left, thus pulling out in front of you.

7. Riding on the right, a car can slow behind you and wait until it's safe to pass. Riding on the left, you're coming right at the cars, leaving them the choice of a head-on with oncoming traffic or a head-on with you.

8. Primary tenets of safe riding are to be visible and predictable. Riding on the left puts you where drivers aren't looking for you, and you're demonstrating a complete ignorance of traffic laws; so you get a FAIL on both counts.

9. It's probably much more likely you'll get doored driving against traffic as well. Most people are looking in their sideview mirror or behind them for a passing car before opening the door, since they aren't expecting anything coming from the front.

10. The reason you ride with traffic is because when on a bicycle, you ARE traffic. you are subject to most all of the other laws that govern vehicles, so you must be in proper position to obey the laws AND be protected by them. Riding on the left, all traffic signs and lights for your direction are on the OTHER side of the road.
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Motorist annoyed that cyclists are not riding in the bike lane

Biking in Baltimoreimage
A motorist gets annoyed with a group of cyclists riding on the left (unused) side of this roadway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgOn7SA7Qtk
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Maryland Senior Olympics bicycling competition

Biking in MarylandWe now have an e-group for persons interested in the Maryland Senior Olympics bicycling competition. The group will be used for announcements of events, training information, and discussion of matters related to the MSO cycling competition. Members can post questions, comments and ideas related to MSO cycling competition.

Senior Olympic competition is for athletes 50 years of age and older, however, the e-group is open to anyone.

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Six-Pack Rides

Looking for local rides(ers)All are welcome on the Six-Pack Rides. We meet every Tuesday (weather pending) @ 10PM @ Charles & Read Streets. Generally, we meet up, take a few long rides, but our destinations are parks and open places where we can hang out and drink a few beers. We try and stay out of bars so we can just hang out on our terms and cheaply. We don't super promote it because it should still be a relatively intimate number of people (below 25, I'd hope), so we can have fun and not attract a ton of attention. We do hope that people of all skill levels attend, but we don't ride slow--like critical mass. It's a good chance to ride at night and make connections. Last night was fun and quick--good times all around.
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Boulder sheriff decries 'bicycle safety' bill approval

Biking ElsewhereBOULDER, Colo. — A bill that clarifies cyclists' rights and seeks to better protect them from aggressive drivers has been approved by the Colorado Legislature and is headed to Gov. Bill Ritter's desk for a final decision.
...
Provisions of the bill would require drivers to give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing, allow vehicles to cross double-yellow lines to pass riders safely and allow cyclists to ride two abreast as long as they don't impede the normal flow of traffic.

But while bicycle advocates are celebrating the victory and anticipating a final approval by the governor, the Boulder County sheriff said Tuesday that the law would make cyclists virtually immune to prosecution.
...
"There's really nothing now that requires them (cyclists) to yield or move over," Pelle said. "This bill gives them full access to the road."
...
[Baltimore Spokes: Look at it this way, we build expressways to improve safety and to get a certain class of road user off the local streets. Now imagine having laws so you would be found at fault in an accident simply because you were not driving on a expressway. Sounds ridiculous, right? Then why do people try and do the same thing to cyclists? Laws that micro manage where you can ride and would like you to do something for courtesy do not belong in the same class of laws that determine who is at fault in an accident. ]
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2009 Bicycle Friendly States

Biking in MarylandAdditionally, the League is announcing its inaugural round of Bicycle Friendly States. Four states have been awarded the coveted designation and two states received an honorable mention: Washington (Silver), Wisconsin (Silver), Arizona (Bronze), Minnesota (Bronze), Delaware (Honorable Mention) and Maryland (Honorable Mention).

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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

  •  Off-road bike trails
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