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Sunday, November 29 2015 @ 05:09 AM UTC
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Enough of this "As Far to the Right as Practicable " Crap!

Biking Elsewhere[Baltimore Spokes: Please note that Maryland law allows cyclists to "take the lane" when the width of the lane cannot be safely shared by a car and cyclist side by side. AASHTO defines that as as least 14' and most of our road lanes are 12' or less.]

From here on out on certain roadways I am taking the lane. No more of this "as far to the right as practicable" crap! I am sick and tired of being passed too close. The law/ordinance says cyclists have to ride as far to the right as practicable. What this translates to is as long as there is no road hazards, debris, broken pavement, etc. on the right hand side of the roadway cyclists are to be close to the curb. The problem is as far to the right as practicable opens the door for motorists who are in too big of a damn hurry to wait to pass safely to pass too close almost hitting a cyclist. It has happened to me way to many times now on certain roadways and I am sick of it. I am going to take the lane from here on out. What I mean by take the lane is ride in the right hand tire track of the travel lane. This will mean I am about 3' to 4' off of the curb instead of 1' to 2'.
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Traffic Court Results

Biking ElsewhereFrom Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance:

As was posted back in February, I was cited for riding in the road. Yesterday (April 30) I finally had my day in court.
Then it was my turn to testify. I pointed out that the law does not require bicyclists to use the shoulder, and I presented two Idaho Supreme Court cases (Maier v Mindoka County Motor Company and Kelley v Bruch. Thanks to Philip Cook - a fellow LCI from Moscow) that explicitly stated that bicyclists are not obligated to stay in the shoulder. The judge took a few minutes to review these cases and agreed that the law was in my favour there. I testified that I am a League Cycling Instructor and that I teach bike safety and the bicycling related laws. I explained that in a narrow lane it actually isn't safe for a bicyclist to be all the way over on the edge of the lane because it encourages motorists to try to squeeze by when it isn't safe. I presented photos of the area to show how narrow the road is, and a diagram from the Florida Bicycle Association (thanks to Fred Ungewitter in Florida) showing "How to Get more Passing Clearance' by riding further left in the lane. I pointed out in the Idaho Street Smarts manual (written by John Allen) the section that deals with narrow lanes. The Prosecutor had some concerns about where the manual came from.
In all my trial took over an hour, while the previous cases where all less than 1/2 hour each. Both the judge and the prosecutor commented that it had been a learning experience for them, and while the judge acknowledged that Officer Lim was just trying to do his job, given that the law is less than clear about what is "as far right as practicable", the final verdict was Not Guilty.
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Car Sharing RFP Issued

Biking in BaltimoreOn Friday, May 1, 2009, the Parking Authority of Baltimore City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a car sharing organization to provide its services to Baltimore, Maryland city-wide.

The RFP can be downloaded from the Parking Authority main page, listed at the bottom of this email or from our car sharing page: <a href=""></a>;, where you can still tell your friends to &quot;sign up&quot; as interested in car sharing. We are using the collected email addresses to keep everyone updated on the progress of car sharing in Baltimore. We are using the physical addresses to map and analyze the best locations for car sharing vehicles throughout the entire city.

The deadline for proposals is June 12, 2009 at 3:00 PM.

Thanks for your continued interest and support for car sharing in Baltimore City. Over 550 of you have told us you want car sharing in Baltimore. We'll keep you updated on the response to the RFP and the results!

Tiffany James
Special Assistant &amp; Public Relations Manager
Parking Authority of Baltimore City
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Department of Energy - Secretary Chu

Biking Elsewhere

Chu and biking colleagues.Chu (center) with cycling colleagues at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Q: Is it true you don’t drive a car?
A: My wife does, but I no longer own a car. Let me just say that in most of my jobs, I mostly rode my bicycle.
Q: And now?
A: My security detail didn’t want me to be riding my bicycle or even taking the Metro. I have a security detail that drives me.
Q: How do you feel about adding carbon emissions to the air?
A: I don’t feel good about it.

“I don’t feel good about it”? The guy is in agony over it! Chu is an avid, lifelong bicyclist—the interviewer didn’t have to ask, Chu volunteered that fact—and now he’s sealed up in a Chevy Tahoe. Ouch!

What followed was even worse:

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Random ideas

Biking Elsewhereimage
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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 &amp; Young called Infrastructure 2009: Pivot Point. Those who drive the furthest to work should bear the biggest responsibility for paying for roads.

&quot;We should shift the funding from taxpayers to users,&quot; said Michael Lucki, global leader of infrastructure and construction at Ernst &amp; 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.

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 ( ) and frequently asked questions ( ).


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 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 &amp; 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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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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