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Biking in Baltimore
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Tuesday, May 31 2016 @ 03:55 AM UTC
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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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Cannondale Recalls JD Forks

Biking Elsewhereimage
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Bicycles with JD suspension forks
Hazard: The recalled bicycle’s fork can lose alignment causing the front wheel to turn unexpectedly. This can cause the rider to lose control of the bicycle and crash.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported.
Description: The recall involves model year 2008 Cannondale Adventure 2, Adventure 3, Adventure 2 Feminine and Adventure 3 Feminine bicycles. The model name is printed on the bicycle’s frame. The bicycles have a suspension fork with the words “cannondale AT35 adventure trail” printed on them. Bicycles equipped with the Rock Shox i-ride fork are not included in the recall.
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Mayor's Artscape press conference.

Biking in BaltimoreOn Wednesday, when Mayor Dixon announces the program for Artscape, she is going to be encouraging people to use bikes (and transit) to get to the festival. We’re looking for a group of cyclists to take part in the announcement:


I'm looking for some energetic, charismatic and attractive volunteers - that means you- to help spread the word on biking in Baltimore.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 9:45am until about 11
University of Balto Student Center – Mt. Royal Ave.

Mayor's Artscape press conference.

This year Artscape will feature a bike parking area (with some freebees and giveaways for those who arrive at Artscape by bike.) The advance press conference, June 3rd, is when Mayor Dixon announces the festival program, and anything new at Artscape for the year- including bike parking.

For the press conference, we will stage a photogenic bike parking area to help Mayor Dixon encourage festival goers to bike to Artscape. We'll be a visual demonstration that biking is in fact a great way to get around Baltimore.

So I need a few good bicyclists. Please let me know if you can help for this very easy assignment!

Artscape itself is July 17-19 (we need volunteers then too...)
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Bike racks on buses photo op

Bike Maryland updatesimage
While old news this is still a cool picture of One Less Car's victory of bike racks on buses.
Pictured: Governor Martin O'Malley and One Less Car's Executive director Carol Silldorff.
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Court Rules Bicycling Is a 'Leisure' Activity, Finds No Assumption of Risk

Bike LawsDrawing a distinction between "sporting" and "leisure" activities, a Brooklyn-based appellate court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an avid Long Island bicyclist who was injured in an accident precipitated by roadway repairs.

The Appellate Division, 2nd Department, in Cotty v. Southhampton, 2007-08536, declined to apply the assumption-of-risk doctrine as a matter of law and ruled unanimously that the negligence action of Karen Cotty could proceed.
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New Frames for New Ages

Biking Elsewhere

A (rather long) essay reflecting on the book Fighting Traffic by Peter D. Norton (MIT Press, 2008)

The street is an extremely important symbol because your whole enculturation experience is geared around keeping you out of the street.  “Just remember: Look left, look right, look left again… No ball games… Don’t talk to strangers… Keep out of the road.”   The idea is to keep everyone indoors.  So, when you come to challenge the powers that be, inevitably you find yourself on the curbstone of indifference, wondering “should I play it safe and stay on the sidewalks, or should I go into the street?”  And it is the ones who are taking the most risks that will ultimately effect the change in society.

The car system steals the street from under us and sells it back for the price of gasoline.  It privileges time over space, corrupting and reducing both to an obsession with speed or, in economic lingo, “turnover.”  It doesn’t matter who “drives” this system, for its movements are already pre-determined.

– from the website of the London advocacy group “Take Back the Streets”

* * * * *

Imagine you are a member of the majority, and a powerful minority has managed to get the laws changed in such a way as to significantly curtail one of your essential liberties.  What’s more, they then proceeded to abuse your remaining rights and make your life miserable.  As a result, a couple decades later, your majority has become a minority.

There’s no need to imagine.  This is what happened to pedestrians (and to a lesser extent bicyclists) in these United States in the 1920s.

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Cars Are Like Cigarettes; The New Pariah

Biking Elsewhere...
Sometimes I feel like I am flying when I ride my bike. It's exciting to turn a corner and suddenly find myself in a sea of other bicyclists. They seem to share this feeling of self-empowerment. In love with the knowledge that, as they pass through the air that surrounds them, they are not polluting what we all share and breathe. Bicyclists are free from the petroleum products that have compromised our global environment. They don't have to worry about paying for parking, tipping valets, car insurance, car inspections or car maintenance. And this makes them smile. And, as an added bonus, bicyclists are less tense than the people belted into their metal, four-wheeled boxes.

The statistical truth is that 90% of trips made in cars are less than five miles from our homes. A very comfortable journey made on a bicycle. In addition to saving the aforementioned automobile expenses, riding a bike--just a couple hours a week--will reduce a person's risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%, not to mention reduce the risks of obesity and diabetes, two of the biggest killers in the United States. The more people that ride bikes, the safer it gets to share the road with pedestrians and cars.

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Honorable Mention

The League Of American Bicyclists Highlights Maryland As One Of Six Bicycle-Friendly States
Making Key Initiatives To Improve Conditions For Bicyclists

HANOVER , MD – The League of American Bicyclists named Maryland as an Honorable Mention in its Bicycle Friendly State program. Maryland is one of six bicycle-friendly states recognized for state initiatives to improve conditions for bicyclists. This year is the first year the organization expanded its program honoring bicycle-friendly communities to highlight states making government efforts for bicyclists. The Bike Friendly State program links the League’s work with federal level and community advocacy throughout the nation by recognizing states that actively support bicycling.

“The League is delighted to recognize Maryland as an Honorable Mention for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable,” said League President Andy Clarke . “We applaud Maryland and our other Bicycle-Friendly State winners for their willingness to invest over the long-term in creating a better, more livable environment for their citizens.”

As part of Governor O’Malley’s Smart, Green and Growing Initiative, Maryland has taken a number of steps to improve access and to provide safe bicycling for residents and visitors. These efforts range from implementing a 20-year Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Master Plan and adding bicycle racks to buses to producing comprehensive bicycle safety materials. A key focus has been on creating materials aimed at encouraging adults to bicycle safely on Maryland roadways and trails. The Smart, Green and Growing Initiative is geared to help Maryland achieve a more sustainable future by linking: community revitalization, transportation improvements, economic development, smart growth and environmental restoration efforts.

“Being recognized as one of six Bicycle-Friendly States nationwide shows how Governor Martin O’Malley’s Smart, Green & Growing initiative is working to put families first,” said Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari. “In addition to a number of efforts here in Maryland , our next step is to launch our Maryland Trails Strategic Implementation Plan that will link 800 miles of existing transportation trails in Maryland . The goal is to provide trails without borders, by filling in the missing links regardless of city, county or State lines.”

One of the key missing links to be completed in June is the bicycle trail on the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge that connects Virginia and Maryland . This trail will provide an alternative commuter route and a great recreation option with an incredible view of the Potomac River and our Nation’s Capital.

The League of American Bicyclists cited a number of specific efforts Maryland is making that made them stand out including:
- coordination with other states;
- reach and breadth of education efforts by Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Washington Area Bicyclist Association and One Less Car;
- bike patrol certification;
- creation of a Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access position at MDOT;
- creation of popular Competence and Confidence adult bicycle safety video specific to Maryland ; and
- establishment of a 20-Year Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Master Plan that provides a detailed perspective from the State's vision of becoming the best State for bicycling by 2023 and the 66 action items needed to get there.

Both Maryland and Delaware were given honorable mention awards, with silver awards going to Washington and Wisconsin and bronze awards going to Arizona and Minnesota . Applicants completed a detailed, online form, and scoring was based on a 75-item questionnaire evaluating a state’s commitment to bicycling and covering six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement.
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RT40 Hatem Bridge Bike Crossing Now Free to Greenway Members

Biking in MarylandBiller's Bikes Havre de Grace now offers free bike/cyclist crossing of the &quot;no bikes allowed&quot; RT40 Hatem Bridge (across the Susquehanna River) to East Coast Greenway Alliance members (see <a href=""></a>; for details).
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Bikes Belong Research to Learn More about Bicycling

Biking in BaltimoreLinks to the following topics:
* A review of bicycle safety campaigns
* Quantifying the federal investment in bicycling
* Gas prices and bike sales
* The Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program
* Benchmarking bicycle advocacy
* Do trails lead to sales?

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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