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Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 06:42 PM UTC
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Bus driver Training

Biking in the Metro AreaCommercial Driver's License (CDL) Manual

Currently Maryland's (and most likely other States as well) the CDL Manual says that bicyclists are hazards and that truck drivers should honk at them (ok, in the manual it says tap the horn lightly but still that is totally bogus safety information.)

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in their Bike Friendly States (BFS) program had this question:
In the state driver's CDL testing and manual are questions and information regarding motorists rights and responsibilities toward bicyclists included?
Which to me implies that there is something better out their then what Maryland has.

We just got this response back from someone at MVA:
Sorry this is a week later, but wanted to be sure I passed along this information with reference to the CDL Manual. It was suggested in the email discussion to update the CDL manual. In fact, Maryland's CDL manual is modeled on the AAMVA manual (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrations), and the sections mentioned in the email discussion regarding bicycles are actually taken word for word from the AAMVA model. There is a new version being printed this month with changes as a result of national model changes. I double-checked before sending this, and the new version of the CDL manual will have the same language on bicycles.

Because the verbage is basically handed down to us, any updates to the manual are definitely not something that could be easily changed -- likely, any request for changes would have to work their way through nationally. It may seem unfriendly for trucks to blow their horn (or tap it lightly) at bicycles to make them aware of a truck behind them (getting ready to pass), and for bicycles to be listed as a potential hazard to trucks, but certainly the national model to teach truck drivers how to drive safely would not suggest harrassment of bicycles. Both of these sections mentioned are from the section on "Driving Safely" -- with the first under "Communicating Your Presence" and the second under "Seeing Hazards."
This seems to imply that Maryland has the "best" standard CDL manual.
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The Future (result) of Freeway Expansion

Biking ElsewhereJust in time for the holidays:

A look at one potential future for the city of Minneapolis if the 2009 economic stimulus bill expected to be passed by Congress very soon focuses on yesterday's transportation vision rather than building for the needs of the next century. What might the future have in store? Let's take a look.
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BAHC plans, activities and initiatives.

Biking in the Metro AreaHappy Holidays to All Howard County Cyclists! Although it is the off season (for many but not all of us) BAHC is planning for Spring and for future activities and initiatives.

Road Survey: Below is a link for a road survey for the bike-ability of Howard County roads. The primary purpose is to identify which roads are unsafe or in poor condition so we can target those with HC Public Works and Highways. We discovered last year that adding shoulders on some roads or modifying existing designs is difficult, but we want the County Government to be aware of our concerns as cyclists.

Club representatives please post on your message boards and send link to your listserves. If has difficulty with the survey or just wants to provide a an evaluation of the the 3 worst roads (for recreational cycling or commuting) you can also send information in an e-mail to: ichuck"at"

Road Rage: Bill Kelly of the BAHC Board has arranged for Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon (who is a cyclist) to attend our next Board meeting on Jan 12th. If you have any questions on how to report incidents with drivers or concern for how law enforcement in the County supports cycling please e-mail me (jackguarneri"at" I'll ensure issues are brought up and will provide a post-meeting summary of our discussion.
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Thanks to the following bicycle shops

Cyclist\'s Yellow Pages[We always like to pass on kudos to those who are helping to promote bicycling.]

Thanks to the following bicycle shops for their generous contributions to the BBC

Remember to support them with your business!

And a special thanks to the volunteer host of the BBC Website: System Source
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From MdTA: No bikes on ICC shoulders

Biking in Maryland

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) has decided not to allow bicycling on the shoulders of the ICC. Here is their response to Nancy Breen who had asked on behalf of the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee that bicycling be allowed on the shoulders for those portions where the ICC trail will not be built.
- Jack Cochrane

December 1, 2008

Dear Dr. Breen:

Thank you for your follow-up email regarding bicyclist use of the shoulders on the Intercounty Connector (ICC). As Transportation Secretary and Maryland Transportation Authority Chairman, I am once again pleased to respond.

As you are aware, legislation was passed during the 2008 legislative session that allows me, as Authority Chairman, to decide on a case-by-case basis whether bicycle use will be permitted on Authority facilities. To that end, staff members completed a review of the matter and took several issues into account, including shoulder use, high-speed ramp crossing, motorist expectancy, toll collection/violations and facility design. Based on staff findings and further examination, I have made the decision not to allow bicycle use on ICC shoulders. Local viable alternatives exist to allow a bicyclist to cross the county, including trail segments that will be built during ICC construction. The Authority has committed to and will continue work at the local level to allow additional trail segments adjacent to the ICC.

Thank you again for your follow-up email and for taking the time to write. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Dennis Simpson, Acting Director of Capital Planning, Maryland Transportation Authority at 410-537-5650, toll-free 1-888-754-0098 or via email at


John D. Porcari

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Does Maryland's drivers test cover bicycling well?

Biking in MarylandThe one bike related question I got while taking the MD driver test on-line:
If a bicycle rider near you is a child:
* Expect the child to know Maryland’s bicycle laws.
* Expect the child to be in total control of the bicycle.
* Expect anything could happen and adjust your driving.

[What do you think, are MD drivers being trained and tested in regards to the rights of cyclists and the duties of driver's of vehicles toward cyclists? Also if you take the test (its only 20 questions) let us know what was the one question you got.]
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The Transportation Outlook 2035 Amendment - Draft Preferred Alternative Open for Public Review and Comment

Mass Transit[Note: No additional bike projects, heavy sigh]

BALTIMORE (December 18, 2008) - After several months of public outreach and involvement, the BRTB is pleased to present, for public review and comment, the draft preferred alternative for the amendment to the Baltimore region's long-range transportation plan, Transportation Outlook 2035: Creating a Blueprint for the Baltimore Region's Future.

This Draft Preferred Alternative proposes $225 million in funding for regional transit projects, beginning in the year 2020.
The mix of projects includes:

* Green Line Transit - Preliminary Engineering
* Park-and-Ride spaces - averaging $10,000/space for 2,000 spaces in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard counties
* Carroll County - transit vehicles and amenities
* Intermodal Facilities /MARC stations/ Transit Oriented Development (TOD) -
o $10 million/facility average, 3 of 4 (smaller type facilities such as bus to bus: Central Maryland Transit Operations Facility (CMTOF), Columbia, Snowden Square, Parole)
o $20 million/facility average (larger type facilities such as rail to rail or bus: Lexington Market, or other Baltimore City location)
o MARC station(s) not currently included in TO2035, i.e. Odenton, West Baltimore, or East Baltimore Development Initiative (EBDI)
* Dedicated bus lanes - in congested corridors such as I-695, MD 152, US 29, MD 2
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So you think you have what it takes to be a bike messenger

Biking ElsewhereDegnaw made this flash game and I thought I would share.
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Baltimore ’s status on becoming a bike-friendly community

Biking in BaltimoreAttached are the comments from League of American Bicyclists concerning Baltimore ’s status on becoming a bike-friendly community. While the comments were compiled by LAB, the actual reviews were done by local persons with knowledge of Baltimore ’s bike “culture”.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

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Ray LaHood for DOT Sec

PoliticsDear Thunderhead members,

Please pardon the length of this post, but I want to provide information on our incoming USDOT Secretary, Ray LaHood, a moderate Republican Congressman from central Illinois who was retiring from his seat this year. In summary, he's been great for us! He is an active supporter of bicycling and trails, and he has very visibly gone against the wishes of his party leaders on our issues:

In a letter da ted April 28, 1997, LaHood joined 5 other Republican House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee members in expressing support for both Enhancements and CMAQ to the committee chair, Bud Schuster. He also spoke to the Illinois Valley Wheelm'n bicycle club about his support of both of these funding sources, which he said "have provided many benefits to the environment and local communities (e.g., bicycle and recreational trails). I believe in the importance and value of these programs." Congressman LaHood's leadership was pivotal in ensuring that Enhancements would continue in TEA-21 (1998).

On July 11, 2003, a House Appropriations Subcommittee, led by Rep. Istook (R-OK), passed a fiscal year 2004 transportation budget that redirected the $600 million slated for Transportation Enhancements to highway construction. Zeroing out TE threatened it not only for that year, but for the reautho rization bill that became SAFETEA-LU. An effort to restore dedicated Enhancements funding barely failed in full committee, where LaHood was one of only two R's voting for it. In a tremendous and powerful 327-90 victory that solidified TE's status, a bi-partisan amendment won 327-90 on the House floor. LaHood stood up impressively to make a floor statement in support:

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
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Other polls | 133 votes | 0 comments

The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
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  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
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