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Wednesday, May 25 2016 @ 08:43 PM UTC
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Transportation Bill Timing & Attack on Biking and Walking

Bike LawsThe latest here in Washington is an update on the timing of the Transportation Bill and attacks on biking and walking programs.

First, we have been hearing that the Transportation Bill was likely to be out in about a week, but our newest intelligence is that it will be later. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be releasing some white papers on the bill in the next few weeks with a related press conference highlighting key points. It is still possible that a bill will be out through a sub committee this month, but Majority Leader Hoyer has stated that the transportation bill will not hit the floor before the July 4th recess.  And on the Senate side, word is still pessimistic that there will even be a bill in 2009.

The second bit is that the House Republican leadership is unfortunately taking the position that all funding for Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and non-motorized transportation projects should be totally eliminated, saying that these projects are more appropriately funded by state and local governments. We are reaching out to Ohio and Virginia advocates (and encourage you to reach out to any contacts, friends or family you might have) in the districts of Rep. John Boehner (OH 8th - West of Dayton) and Rep. Eric Cantor (VA 7th - Richmond and North) why biking and walking are good investments.  An article is pasted below and you can also read the 22 page proposal at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/newsroom/6.4.09%20Budget%20Savings%20Proposal.pdf

Finally, we will be having our Federal Transportation Bill conference call next Wednesday, June 10th at 1pm EDT.  To join us for the call please sign up at:

Thanks!

Jeff
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Everyone Share the road

Biking in Marylandimageimageimage

Whether we’re traveling on four wheels or 16; two feet or two wheels, we all have something in common: we are on this road together.  Sadly, the toll of sharing the road together has cost too much, and lost lives is a price too dear for just getting from here to there.  Here’s a review of the rules of the road whether you’re walking, bicycling, motorcycling – or driving around pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles or large trucks.  The good news is that you’re in control and have a choice – to choose safety for life!

Pedestrian Safety – Tips for Pedestrians and Sharing the Road with Pedestrians Every time you get out of your vehicle, you become a pedestrian too.  Share the road with pedestrians.

Bicyclists, do in fact, belong on the road, and not the sidewalk.  Did you know that bicyclists are subject to the same vehicle laws as drivers? Rules for bicyclists and vehicles sharing the road with them.

Motorcycles – Tips for motorcyclists and Sharing the Roads with Motorcyclists

Commercial Vehicles - Sometimes roadway bullies are not the biggest on the block, drive cautiously around large vehicles.  Commercial truck drivers will return the favor.

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Another day, another bike rack, on the food network?

Biking in BaltimoreThis one at Charm City Cakes just might make it:
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ARTSCAPE TAKES PLACE JULY 17, 18 and 19, 2009

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The 28th annual summer arts festival showcases the visual and performing arts

Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announce the return of Artscape, America’s largest free festival of the arts, on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 from noon to 10pm and Sunday, July 19 from noon to 8pm centered on the 1200 block of Mount Royal Avenue and the 1400 block of North Charles Street. Artscape features visual art exhibits both on and off-site; incredible live concerts on three outdoor stages; a full schedule of performing arts including dance, opera, theater, fashion and film, interactive family fun projects, children’s entertainers; and a delicious international menu of food and beverages available throughout the site.

Performers on the Main Stage in 2009 include legendary singer Dionne Warwick on Friday, July 17 at 8pm; the progressive band Cake on Saturday, July 18 at 6:30pm; funk, rock & soul group Robert Randolph & The Family Band on Saturday, July 18 at 8:30pm; and pop and R&B crooner Robin Thicke on Sunday, July 19 at 6:30pm. The Festival Stage is the home area’s top local bands such as The Cheaters, Bio Ritmo and Whop N The Global Soul Revue. With support by the Baltimore Blues Society and the Baltimore Jazz Alliance, the Charles Street Stage hosts jazz and blues groups including Matt Wigler, Felicia Carter Quintet and Todd Marcus Orchestra.

New in 2009, festival-goers are encouraged to bike to Artscape and park in the new Bike Parking Zone sponsored by the University of Baltimore located at Maryland Avenue between Oliver Street and Mount Royal Avenue. Volunteers from the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee will be on hand to organize the zone and offer giveaways. In addition, the new Baltimore Free Bus Shuttle will circle the festival site to help guests to get to various areas throughout the event.
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City seeks U.S. funds to turn derelict rail span into centerpiece of trail

Biking in BaltimoreA decrepit railroad bridge in the shadow of Interstate 95 could find new life as the linchpin of a 5 1/2-mile trail encircling the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River - opening up recreational opportunities along a stretch of Baltimore waterfront that some are calling "the next Inner Harbor."

For now, the century-old CSX swing bridge carries little traffic except the occasional trespasser with a crab pot. But city officials and a prominent developer envision a restored span that would serve runners, bicyclists and folks who simply want to take a stroll along a stretch of shoreline that is being reclaimed from industrial development.
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Stop, walk car

Biking Elsewhereimage
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For Adult Learners, Bike Riding Isn’t as Easy as It Looks

Biking Elsewhere[Note info on our adult classes can be found here: <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=2008041713505581">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=2008041713505581</a>;]
...
I was 16, a senior at a public high school in Manhattan, and I had never learned to ride a bike. So my friend and classmate Josh had walked with me to Riverside Park, taking along a bicycle from his family’s apartment on the Upper West Side. We adjusted the seat low, so my feet could easily touch the ground, and Josh tried to explain the key concept behind bike riding: namely, balance. (Training wheels were not an option, at my advanced age.) I got on, and started to pedal.

It did not go well.

I could not manage to travel four to six feet before the bike — and I — swerved wildly off course. My attempts to compensate for the bike’s tilt in one direction by leaning in the other ended with my falling, repeatedly. Josh gamely tried to hold onto the back of the seat and run behind me, but it did not help. Our bike-riding lesson ended in failure when I fell onto (or was it over?) a park bench, scraped my arm and damaged the bike’s front rim.

As New York City goes through something of a bicycling renaissance — with the construction of new bike routes, improved bike parking, and even the closing of parts of Broadway to vehicular traffic — one issue has received little attention: there are some New Yorkers — and I’m not talking about 5-year-olds — who do not know how to ride. Until I was 18, I was one of them.

My embarrassment was heightened by the fact that I was part of a tiny minority. The National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior [pdf], released last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found that only 3 percent of adults surveyed said that not knowing how to ride was the primary reason they did not. Lack of access was the most common reason cited — by 28 percent — when respondents were asked why they have not been on a bike in the last 30 days or never ride during the summer.

The League of American Bicyclists, a national advocacy group based in Washington, has been “getting more calls from the lost generation of 30- to 50-year-old adults who were less likely than their parents to ride,” according to Meghan Cahill, a spokeswoman for the organization.

Ms. Cahill said that “balance and fear of ridicule are the two biggest factors to overcome” in learning how to ride.

There have been anecdotal reports that demand for adult bike lessons is rising.
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Cyclists Find No Safety in Numbers

Biking Elsewhere[Baltimore Spokes: I'm posting this article to point out that tractor-trailer drivers in Maryland are not admonished to check mirrors or even look for cyclists when executing a right turn but simply cyclists are hazards and to tap the horn at them. Worst yet the State's Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian accesses thinks what we have is fine.]
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The debate on bicycle safety, mired in conflicting beliefs and a dearth of conclusive studies, stretches back decades with few firm conclusions.

On August 7, 2007, John Myslin, 25, a high school teacher at Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz, California, was crushed by a tractor-trailer making a right turn into his path. The driver of the truck had stopped at a red light on Mission Street where it intersects Bay Street on the city’s west side. From the curb lane, vehicles can either turn right onto Bay or continue straight on Mission. The truck’s right-turn signal was blinking at this point, police said. Myslin then rode his blue mountain bike along the right side of the semi. As the light turned green, he tried to pass in front of the truck as the driver began a right turn onto Mission Street, witnesses told police. He didn’t make it.
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Bicycle Items Featured in auction

Biking Elsewhere

The Canadian Embassy Officer's Club is hosting an online silent auction, starting June 4th, to benefit "The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation http://www.nyof.org/ . NYOF is a U.S. based nonprofit organization devoted to bringing hope to the most destitute children in the beautiful but impoverished Himalayan country of Nepal. They hope to raise $10,000 which would rescue 100 girls from indentured servitude, let them come home to live with their family, pay their school expenses for a year, and provide their family with a baby goat or piglet, for only $100.

They have now several items related to cycling, including the grand prize on an 18 nights trip to Vietnam and Laos, donated by Far and Away, a value of $2295. Also a spot on "The Grand Tour in the Lower St. Lawrence region in the province of Quebec" a value of $925. Bobby of the Great Peanut Tour is donating 2 registrations as well, and Mountains of Misery one registration for 2010. Also a registration for Bike VA 2010. They also have registrations to various club centuries, RABA, PPTC, Oxon Hill, Marin Bike Club, New York Great Escape and a Trek Jet 21 donated by Spokes and Cascade in Seattle has donated 2 passports to 10 of their events. A 2 Dimensional Bike Fitting donated by Contes of Arlington and a bike tune up donated by Papillon. Terry Bicycle said they would donate saddles, and they expect more stuff in the coming days.

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What’s with cyclists anyway?

Biking in Baltimore[The unedited version of what appeared in the Urbanite:]

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with people getting exercise but really do you have to do it in the street? You don’t own the roads, I own the roads, I pay taxes and you cyclists don’t. And don’t go trying to raise the gas tax or put in more toll roads to pay for roads, I pay enough as it is. Roads are important so I support getting more money from the General Fund and Project Open Space to build and maintain roads, anything so long as I don’t have to pay more for the road I drive on.

If you cyclists have to get exercise do what I do and get an exercise machine and stick it in the basement, that way when you feel the urge to get exercise you won’t bother anyone else. Of course I hardly ever use the thing as it’s boring as heck but I am not a Lance Armstrong wannabe either and what’s with that anyway? You cyclists might as well give that up, no way are you going to win the Tour de France. If you are trying to lose weight go on a diet like normal people. I lose 5-10lbs every time I go on a diet, no big deal but then I gain it right back again but that’s a different story.

Hang on a sec, I got a call…Hey Joe! What’s up? … Ya I am on my way over. Sure I’ll pick up some beer and snacks for the game tonight, it should be a good one…. I might be a late, traffic is a mess today. [Sound of honking] Same to you buddy! See what I mean, it’s a real zoo out here. See ya when I see ya, bye. OK back to cyclist, the problem with cyclists and them taking their dear sweet time going places, it’s called rush hour for a reason you know. I am doing import things and I have places to go and I don’t go around holding everyone up while I smell the roses. It’s a real problem, I drive 10-15 mph over the speed limit and when I come upon a cyclists it can be real scary.

Cyclists should be required to get a license to bike like people have to do in order to drive. Oh what’s up with that driver? “Move it buddy! Hang up and drive!” Geez, some people can’t chew gum and drive at the same time, some drivers, I tell you, one of these days… but anyway where was I? Driver’s License, ya what a joke, 20 questions that I could have answered with my eyes closed, no wonder we have the kind of drivers we do on the roads but cyclists they’re the real problem. Just look at this clown on a bike, I’m stuck in traffic and he just whizzes by and he’s probably going to run the next red light too, they really need to obey the laws like everyone else.

Anyway I got to go pick up some things for the party tonight so I’ll just double park here while I run in as I'll just be 5 minutes. Anyway cyclist please don’t block the car lanes not even for 2 seconds as that is real irritating, OK?

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