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Wednesday, September 03 2014 @ 06:59 AM UTC
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Rant on dealing with the legislature (more so in the House)

Biking in MarylandNo doubt we expect our elected representatives to be educated and well informed so when urban myths are spouted off in the legislature as truisms it comes as a great shock. The irony of these two urban myths just hit me "Cyclists break laws" and "Cyclists don't pay gas tax (so the road system should be hostile to cyclists???)"

We have enacted Federal laws that say transportation funds have to be used to give due considerations to the needs of bicyclists and we have enacted State law that cycling has to be an essential component of the State's transportation system yet MDOT breaks these laws saying that on-road bike facilities will not be funded.

So because cyclists break laws the State breaks laws to redirect transportation funds away from where they are legally obligated to go. Because the roads are for cars only (because they are paid in part by gas tax) no laws nor significant educational campaigns to insure the safety of human "road kill" are necessary.

There is a reason why Maryland ranks the 8th highest in pedestrian fatality rate as they have adopted a policy that roads are for cars and not for people.
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DIYcity Challenge #4: bikes

Biking ElsewhereDIYcity Challenge #4: Create an app that promotes bike riding in the city somehow: makes it easier to get from point A to point B, makes it less stressful, simpler, whatever.

Ianb has an idea for a \"Cooperative Bike Share\" that uses just a few combination locks and text messaging to create a bike share program for local communities. (People at DIYcity Portland are considering the possibility of testing the concept in their city).

It gets me to thinking - what other ways could you use web technologies to make riding a bike around the city easier? How could you use maps, apis, user input, whatever, to support bike riding as opposed to driving?

This is a pretty broad-open question, and submissions/ideas may be widely varied. Ianb\'s idea is inspiring, but don\'t let it guide your thinking too much for your answer.
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Earl Blumenauer talks transit, stimulus, bikes and Obama

Biking Elsewhere

[This is a great video for Cycling Advocates]

Moments after he delivered the keynote address to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), Oregon's Rep. Earl Blumenauer, head of the Congressional Bike Caucus, met with us for this exclusive one-on-one chat.

Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Aaron Naparstek talks with the congressman about the current federal stimulus bill and how advocates can better engage their leaders. Of the new White House team, which has not shown much energy in pushing transit or livable streets issues thus far, Mr. Blumenauer states:

"...just because [people and advocates] may feel more comfortable with this administration - it doesn't mean they should let up on the pressure."

Amen. This is an important year people, let that sentence stick in your noggin for the next 324 days.

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Attend T4America platform launch this Thursday at the U.S. Capitol

Biking ElsewherePlatform Launch Invitation

Come and join us!

This Thursday on Capitol Hill, we will be releasing our full campaign platform for the upcoming transportation bill, with some very special guests in attendance. If you are in the DC area, (or can make it here by Thursday!), please join us for an entertaining, informative discussion on the future of transportation in America as we officially launch Transportation For America’s platform.

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Amsterdam? Copenhagen? Nope: NYC.

Biking Elsewhereimage

The first thing I thought of when I saw this photo was the famous H.G. Wells quote, "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." A city where distinguished gentlemen commute to work by bike is a city where I am happy to live. Of course, this city isn't bad either. Go ahead and criticize this fellow's mobile phone and lack of helmet in the comments section. But first ask yourself: Does this photo depict a stupid guy or stupid urban design? 

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Ms. Jackson Makes a Change

Health & EnvironmentLess than a month into the job, and with only a skeleton staff, Lisa Jackson, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has already engineered an astonishing turnaround.

She has pledged to reverse or review three Bush administration directives that had slowed the government’s response to global warming and has brought a new sense of urgency to an issue that President Bush treated indifferently. She has also boosted morale at an agency badlydemoralized after eight years of political meddling.
...
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Letter to the Editor-LAB

Bike LawsDear Editor, I would like to respond to Steven Leiby's letter "Breaking The Rules" in the Jan/Feb 2009 LAB American Bicyclists. His letter is right on and timely for the situations we are dealing with on our busy roadways. I have been the Chairman of the College Park Area Bicycle Coalition-CPABC for over twenty years and the most asked question about Biking is "Why do Cyclists Break so many of the Rules of the Road when riding their Bikes?". Mr Leiby's letter points out the concern by other Cyclists when they see others doing stupid things when riding their Bikes and seem reluctant to tell the lawbreaker rider to obey the traffic laws. Every motorist stopping at the red lights see these stupid Cyclists doing stupid/dangerous things and its reflects on all the Biking Society, Along these lines when a Cyclists goes to court for their due rights they are often rebuffed by juries because the jury remembers the Stupid Cyclist on their main street and feel you constantly break the laws and now you want the law to work for you. We are now working at our State Capital, Annapolis for a 3' Bubble Bike Passing Bill to keep our Cyclists safer on the road and we are told why do you want more laws to protect you when you don't obey the laws already on the books.

In closing I would like to tell Mr. Leiby and other concerned Cyclists to approach the Stupid Cyclist and tell them we don't appreciate their unlawful behavior because it reflects on all of us. The Bike is a legal vehicle in all 50 states and must obey all rules of the road and they are subject to $50.00 fine for running a stop sign, $65 for running a stop light and $125 fine for passing a stopped school bus. It is our job as sensible Cyclists especially on group rides to correct the Stupid Cyclists and other times we see these unlawful actions because peer presure certainly works. Hopefully the discussion will continue on this important issue. Thanks Bill Kelly Chair-CPABC
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Ride for the Feast is in Full Gear...

Biking in Marylandimage

It's not too early to register for Ride For the Feast 2009! This event encompasses 2 days and 140 miles of paved road biking from Rehoboth Beach, DE to Baltimore City. We provide you with complete support and one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. All event costs are underwritten so that 100% of the money you raise supports Moveable Feast’s programs. There is a $50 registration fee and minimum fundraising goal of $1,200.
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Nearly $3.8 Billion in Stimulus Aid to Maryland

Bike Laws

Cardin Annapolis Reports

Delegate Jon S. Cardin  District 11, Baltimore County

Week 6 Annapolis Report (2/20/09)

On February 13th Congress passed the $789 billion Economic Recovery Act. For numerous reasons, including our proximity to Washington and the numerous federal agencies and military installations located here, Maryland stands to receive a significant influx of capital and programming money. I expect to see road and bridge projects ($600 million), Medicaid stipends ($1.2 billion), education ($1 billion), and renewable energy jobs among others growing in our state because of this important federal initiative.
 
We will receive nearly $3.8 billion over three fiscal years.  While this is an incredible amount of money, much of the funding is based on federal formulas or block grants and will not be part of the state's general fund budget. This will require us to be careful and creative when using these funds, with an eye towards using the money to sustain ongoing concerns, not creating new programs.

[Unless we change MDOT policy bicyclists will NOT be getting their fair share of this.]
...
This is the fourth year for HB 496 - my bicycle safety bill - a law that would require a safe three-foot bubble around a cyclist when being passed by a car. Whether in a car or on a bike, this is a common-sense rule which would keep all parties from mishaps. A little bit of patience and attentiveness goes a long way in avoiding accidents. The hearings in the House and Senate went well, and now I encourage all of you bike enthusiasts to remind your legislators to pass this nationally recognized and effective safety effort.
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We currently regulate vehicles based on velocity but not mass.

Biking in BaltimoreIf the bill passes, it would create the new weight class and instruct state and local law enforcement agencies to index their traffic violation fines to match the weight class of the offending vehicle.

I spoke with Representative Bailey last week, and he explained his reasoning behind the bill. “It’s your basic physics equation,” he said. “Force equals mass times velocity, squared.”

“We currently regulate vehicles based on velocity,” Bailey explained, “but not mass. You can do a lot more damage the faster you’re going, and the fines reflect that. But heavier vehicles do much more damage than lighter ones. The fine in Oregon for rolling through a stop sign — no matter how slowly — is $242 for a bicycle or a heavy truck. This law would change that.”

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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