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Baltimore EcoTour Saturday, April 18, 2009

Biking in Baltimore

Sponsors and Outreach Partners:


(Please print and bring on tour)

In partnership with numerous Baltimore and Chesapeake Watershed; government, NGO and citizen groups:
WEATHER - Rain or Shine - there will be seats in Clean Transportation media vehicles for those that have made special arrangements.

Bring your Bike, Helmet and Lock – you may make arrangements to rent any and all from assigned Bike Shops (call for list) by mentioning WFH EcoTour! Please get your bike inspected before the ride free at this store as well.

Approx 15 miles (20 miles with options)

Primarily ride in Baltimore is hilly (much of the route is on signed bike routes and /or trails- but riders should be comfortable with city traffic) - helmets mandatory

In partnership with the Roland Park County School, Baltimore EcoFestival and Baltimore Green Works

  1. (9:30 check-in) Start at Roland Park County School Green School (LEED certified building)

  2. Sherwood Gardens

  3. Farmers Market

(Optional sprint for energetic to Lake Montebello ~5 Mi R/T)

  1. School Garden at Barclay Elementary

    1. Walk across street to Book Thing- free book exchange

Bike Exchange-Velocipede

Jones Falls Trail

Druid Hill Park (merge with EcoFestival)

  1. Loop around the lake for a view over the city

At Druid Hill Park:

1) Have lunch at own choice vendor (option to re-gather and debrief on EcoTour) Note (2nd group of 25 cyclists): 1:30 – 2:30 PM meetup - 2nd Afternoon riders JOIN US (ride is 2 hours and ~8 miles)

2) Ride by Conservatory

3) Ride by Baltimore Zoo

4) Jones Falls Trail to Clipper Mill

5) Johns Hopkins Campus or Hampden to Roland Park Country School

6) Roland Park Country School, return to EcoFestival via Hampden and Jones Falls Trail or Hopkins/ Wyman Park to Jones Falls Trail

7) Again those morning EcoTour cyclists still enjoying EcoFestival - Bus back if available for novice that had too much

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Baltimore, MD Mapping Party

Biking in Baltimore

Baltimore, MD Mapping Party

Saturday April 04, 2009 at 11:00 AM until Sunday April 05, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Mapping parties are a great way to explore my areas and learn about maps, GPS and computers. I’ve had so much fun meeting people and learning from them!

You’re always looking for new ways to expand your horizons and now OpenStreetMap is here! Mapping parties will introduce you to new skills and help you create new, better shared maps. Come along to this fun event and catch up with the global movement that is mapping the world. At the OpenStreetMap Mapping Party you will:

  • Discover how you can use OpenStreetMap's map data and maps
  • Learn how to use your GPS to help create new, better maps (Don’t have a GPS? We’ll provide one!)
  • Meet other people who share your passions

Meet at Red Emmas

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About Mapping Parties

Mapping Parties are outdoor experiences for the whole family that let you explore the great outdoors like never before. You'll have the opportunity to learn from experienced mappers who will be on hand all day to answer all of your questions. Call in for quick introduction or stay for the whole day - the choice is yours! Sign-up now to guarantee your place.

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Benefits of a bicycle

Biking Elsewhereimage
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Please join fellow Democrats for an evening of fun, food, and drinks in Annapolis!

PoliticsUnity Night Reception

Chat with your Democratic state legislators [about bicycling and why our bills failed in the House Subcommittee and why is the Baltimore County Bike Master Plan Dead? (Because the State is not following Federal Policy in allowing matching funds.)] and watch an evening of the Maryland General Assembly.

When: Monday, March 30, 2009 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Miller Senate Office Building
President’s Conference Center West I & II
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Who: County Executive Jim Smith – Master of Ceremonies
Governor Martin O’Malley – Keynote Speaker
Baltimore County State Legislators
County Councilmen & Other County Officials
Members of the Baltimore County Democratic Clubs
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Taking the lane on a 4 lane road

Biking ElsewhereIn this video there is a narrow lane present which the motorists needs to use a portion of the left lane to overtake a cyclist with three feet of width clearance.

This is what you can expect from motorists because there are no laws which require a motorist to move over to the other lane to overtake a cyclist. They only need to provide three feet of clearance.

It is ambiguous for me to try to define what is three feet as all they pass me. Clearly some don\'t and some are questionable. Some motorists simply move over to the other lane and allow the maximum clearance. What constitutes as a \"safe three feet overtaking\" is left up to someone who won\'t get hurt.

By law the two lane positions are correct, The first position to the right resulted in at least one close pass with a cargo van.
The second lane position to the left, yields better results in my opinion. [For] The person who is subject to death and injury.

This is a good example of why a cyclist may choose to use the law and move to the left to communicate to the motorists that this is a narrow lane and a motorist will need to use a portion of the left lane to overtake the cyclist as the video shows, and provide better visibility for the motorists.
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Anti-Veloism: Weird, Creepy Bike Hate

Biking ElsewhereObviously, not everybody likes cyclists. In fact, lots of people actually hate cyclists. If you ride a bicycle you've undoubtedly experienced the sting of anti-veloism at least once. Some anti-veloist attacks are fairly straightforward, like when an irate motorist yells at you for being "in the way." Others though are downright bizarre, and can be so strange that instead of being angry you just find yourself confused. A reader recently forwarded me an instance of the latter from Madison, Wisconsin.

In this case, the anti-veloism took the form of a skit on a WJJ0 99.4 radio program. Basically, some guy with a goofy Harry Shearer radio voice says he's sick of bicyclists, or "spandex cowboys." He then segues into some skit which is a parody of a hunting show, in which the host goes to the "Wisconsin Bicycle Trail of Death," where he kills bicycles instead of deer "because we feel they're flamers and they should be shot at!" He then launches into some weird homoerotic reverie in which he positions himself near someplace "gay and retarded" because that's where cyclists like to congregate. Once he spies some effeminate male cyclists, he then shoots them and excitedly declares that he "bagged me a nancy boy!" Then the host comes back and says that "if motorcyclists...if we did what bicyclists do we'd be in jail and our bikes impounded." Then they go to commercial.
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Back to the Grid: John Norquist on How to Fix National Transpo Policy

Biking Elsewhereimage
The Congress for the New Urbanism has some intriguing answers. During the stimulus debate, CNU proposed a new type of federal road funding that would help to build connected grids -- the kind of streets that livable communities are made of. The proposal didn't make it into the stimulus package before the bill got rushed out the door, but the upcoming federal transportation bill will provide another chance. CNU President John Norquist -- a four-term mayor of Milwaukee who first got into politics as an anti-freeway advocate -- was down in DC last Thursday to share his ideas with Congress. Streetsblog spoke to him afterward about what's broken with national transportation policy and how to fix it. Here's the first part of our interview.
If the debate is about transit versus roads -- and currently the battle lines are drawn at 20 percent funding for transit, 80 percent for roads -- it’s a really limited debate. It leaves out the whole discussion of what kind of roads to build. So if you have a city with boulevards and avenues and no freeways, it’s going to be a lot more valuable. You look at Vancouver, they have no freeways whatsoever, and they have a fabulously intense and valuable real estate and job market. And then you look at the places that have invested all the money in the giant road segments and they tend to be degraded. It's not roads versus transit -- it's good street networks-plus-transit versus mindless building of out-of-scale roads. I mean they're basically putting rural roads into urbanized areas and it’s counterproductive, it reduces the value of the economy, it destroys jobs, destroys real estate value. For what, so you can drive fast at two in the morning when you're drunk?

Freeways don’t work in rush hour; they're slower. Like in Washington, DC, Connecticut Avenue is faster at rush hour than the Potomac Freeway. The Potomac Freeway goes down to about two to six miles an hour during the peak hour, whereas Connecticut Avenue goes down to about eight to thirteen miles an hour. So you're really talking about the federal government investing billions and billions of dollars in stuff that reduces the value of the economy. How bad is that?
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Ashford Shared Space Video

Biking Elsewhere'Shared space' seeks to change the 'mental maps' that drivers create and alert them to a different environment in which pedestrians and cyclists have equal priority. The keys to this are low speeds, a narrow carriageway and the removal of the typical visual clues for drivers, such as information signs and pedestrian guard railing.

The 'shared space' philosophy builds on the work of Hans Monderman in Holland and has already been used in changes recently completed in Kensington High Street
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Upgrade to Robert E. Lee Park

Health & EnvironmentSmith Testified in Favor of State Capital Budget Request

Towson, Md. (March 19, 2009) — Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith testified this week before two legislative committees on behalf of a $3 million state capital budget request for the improvement of Robert E. Lee Park in the Mount Washington area of Baltimore County.

He testified on Monday before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and Tuesday before the House Appropriations Committee in favor of the funding.

County Executive Smith\'s testimony as prepared for his appearance before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee is presented below:

Chairman Currie and members of the Budget and Taxation Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of the $3 million appropriation for the improvement of Robert E. Lee Park.
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Fear, intimidation, and decision making

Biking Elsewhereby Raphael Clemente

As one who uses a bicycle for the vast majority of my trips around town, I am often struck by the crazy behavior and strange reactions of some automobile drivers. I am not implying that people who drive cars are evil or by virtue of riding a bicycle for transportation that I am better than anyone else. But some drivers are intent on using their vehicles to barge their way through situations using intimidation and fear as a means of influencing others.
Freedom from Fear
Undoubtedly, one of the most common deterrents to bicycling is fear. Fear of motorists. Notice I said “motorists,” not “cars” or “traffic.” When people talk about bike safety, especially those who are afraid to bike on the roads, they aren’t much concerned about potholes or dogs or sand on the corner or their ability to control the bike. They fear the motorist they can’t see and who supposedly can’t see them. This fear is based on the belief that a significant number of motorists are likely to hit bicyclists while overtaking them. Does it happen? Yes. Is it common? Not at all.

Beliefs are survival tools our brains use when we don’t have sufficient direct sensory information to make a decision. Good beliefs can protect us from potential dangers. Bad beliefs mislead us into being fearless when we should be wary or fearing the wrong things. While I sit at my desk in my office I believe my bike is sitting in the bike locker where I locked it and left it, even though I have no evidence to support that belief. It’s not until I go out there, open the locker and look inside that I know my bike is actually there. I couldn’t function sanely if I spent the day believing my locker was being broken into. Conversely, if I believed no one would wish to steal my bike, I wouldn’t bother locking it and would again sit at my desk believing it was still there.

What kinds of events contribute to our beliefs about bicycle safety? First and most common is sensory information — observation of the motorists and bicyclists around us. Such observations often convince people that bicycling is unsafe. It only takes a few incidents of carelessness or rudeness by motorists to convince some that cycling is a dangerous activity even though most interactions with motorists are non-threatening. We humans are easily startled when something big comes rushing up from behind us. Think — predator! Even after 25 years of cycling an overtaking car still occasionally startles me.

Second are the lies that motorists tell when they have treated cyclists poorly. Catch up to a motorist after one has nearly sideswiped you and you’ll most likely hear one of the following lies: A) “I didn’t see you.” B) “You belong on the sidewalk.” C) “You’re supposed to ride all the way to the right.”

Third are stories about crashes. The media does not report “20,000 people rode their bikes today and none of them were hit by motorists.” They usually report that someone has been killed while cycling and make little or no effort to explain why the crash occurred.

The fourth way is through statistical data on bicyclist-versus-motorist crashes. Here again the information is skewed toward the negative. The statistical data people receive through the media is vague and misleading.

My purpose on these pages is to show you why proper cycling on roads is quite safe and can be accomplished by normal adults. I’ll be covering a few statistics (okay, a lot of statistics) my own experiences, the skills and practices necessary for safer cycling, and some reasoning about the motorist’s perspective.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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