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Thursday, May 05 2016 @ 08:32 AM UTC
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New Safe Routes to School Senate Bill Sets Stage for Next Federal Transportation Bill

Bike LawsThe federal Safe Routes to School program was first created in 2005 through the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill and is authorized through 2009. The program funds infrastructure improvements (such as sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes, and safe crossings) and education, law enforcement, and promotion campaigns to make it safer and more common for children to walk and bicycle to and from school in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The program is up for reauthorization by Congress as part of the next surface transportation bill, which will be under discussion this summer.

The new Safe Routes to School bill proposes to build on successes around the country and strengthen and expand the federal program in several ways:
· Triple funding for the program, from the FY2009 level of $183 million to $600 million per year to meet the high demand and need for the program;
· Expand eligibility to include high schools and to allow a state to spend a portion of its funds to address bus stop safety and improved access in more rural communities;
· Improve project delivery and reduce overhead by addressing regulatory burdens; and
· Add a research and evaluation component.

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Jon Cardin on his bike @ Bike to Work Day

Photo by Russ Ulrich
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Tour dem Parks, in Spokes Magazine

Biking in Baltimore

A Ramble Through Baltimore

by Greg Hinchliffe

[Author Greg Hinchliffe is chair of Baltimore’s Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, and has been writing and marking the routes for the Tour dem Parks ride since 2003.  He lives and cycles in Baltimore City.]

In the spring of 2003, the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee of Baltimore had a problem: the brand new Gwynns Falls Trail was not being used to its potential.  The city, the Trust for Public Land, and many others had put a great deal of time, money, and effort into building the trail, but the cyclists weren’t there, either because they were unaware that the trail existed, or they were reluctant to use it, wary of urban cycling in general.  
To Penny Troutner, owner of Light Street Cycles and then chair of the committee, the answer was obvious:  host an organized ride through the city, passing by or through most of its major parks and trails, thereby not only showcasing the parks themselves, but reassuring local riders that it could be safe and pleasant to cycle within the city limits.  This was no small order.  Back in the days before the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, before we had a full-time bike-ped planner, in a city that hadn’t installed a bike lane or much of any kind of bike accommodation in the previous 20 years, Baltimore did not exactly have a
reputation as a Bike-Friendly Community.  
Nonetheless, those of us who lived and cycled in the city knew that there was some good riding and wanted to show it off with a ride.  Any money raised by the event would go right back to the parks, through donations to citizen support groups.  Thus the Tour dem Parks was born. Or Tour du Parks, as it was known for its first few years, to the considerable chagrin of the more linguistically talented members of the committee, who insisted it should either be  Tour du Park or Tour des Parks.  After years of haggling, we decided to embrace our inner Baltimoron and go with Tour dem Parks, as in “How ‘bout dem Oreos?”  (You know,
the baseball team?)  It seemed only natural to throw in “Hon” at the end. So . . . Tour dem Parks, Hon!  John Waters legendary Baltimore filmmaker of “Pink Flamingos” fame) would be proud.
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Transportation for the 21st Century: Alert from the League of American Bicyclists

Biking in BaltimoreYou're Invited - Influence Legislation with Townhall Meeting Alerts

The Next Federal Transportation Funding Bill
Prioritize bicycling and walking
Congress is writing a bill that will define our national transportation system for the next 6 years and we need your help to make sure that your Member of Congress weighs in on the transportation bill to support bicycling and walking.
Representative Daniel Lipinski (D, IL) is circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter proposing that the upcoming Transportation Bill, which is currently being drafted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I), promotes and funds alternate transportation options.  Representative Lipinski is asking his colleagues in the House of Representatives to join him in a call for increased federal funding for bicycling and pedestrian programs.    
We are thankful for Congressman Lipinski's efforts on behalf of cyclists nationwide and urge you to contact your Representative to ask them to join Mr. Lipinski and lend their voice to this important debate.
 Please contact your Representatives office today and urge them to sign onto Congressman Lipinski's policy letter today.   
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In the Future, the City’s Streets Are to Behave

Biking ElsewhereBy DAVID W. CHEN - New York Times

Imagine narrow European-style roadways shared by pedestrians, cyclists and cars, all traveling at low speeds. Sidewalks made of recycled rubber in different colors under sleek energy-efficient lamps. Mini-islands jutting into the street, topped by trees and landscaping, designed to further slow traffic and add a dash of green.

This is what New York City streets could look like, according to the Bloomberg administration, which has issued the city’s first street design manual in an effort to make over the utilitarian 1970s-style streetscape that dominates the city.

The Department of Transportation will begin reviewing development plans to see whether they align with the 232-page manual’s guidelines, and promises that projects with these features will win approval quickly.

“Lots of things have changed in 40 years, but this part of our infrastructure hasn’t,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner. “If we’re going to be a world-class city, we need guidelines that lay out the operating instructions of how we get there.”

The manual, to be released on Wednesday, culminates nearly two years of work involving more than a dozen agencies led by the Department of Transportation. By offering “a single framework and playbook,” as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg says in the introduction, the manual promises to simplify the design process and reduce the costs for city agencies, urban planners, developers and community groups.

Urban planners say that the document is long overdue, and that it promises to be as much a map to the future as it is a handbook for the present: getting people to think about streets as not just thoroughfares for cars, but as public spaces incorporating safety, aesthetics, environmental and community concerns.
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German kiddie traffic court

Biking ElsewhereI've head about this program there where police set-up a speed trap in front of a school, and when they pull over drivers, the motorist has to go before a journey of juniors and example why s/he was speeding.

This is what my friend who told me about it said:

A group of young kids plus a police officer, and I assume a teacher or other chaperone, stands on the sidewalk near a school. The police pull over speeders. Instead of giving them regular speeding tickets, they're forced to explain to the group of kids why they were speeding in front of the school. I don't remember whether the kids deliberated and decided whether or not to give the drivers real or fake tickets. Perhaps they made them take literature on why speeding is bad. Since they're small kids, I'm guessing they probably weren't outside for too long. I may also be misremembering, but I seem to recall that many of the drivers sent to kiddie court were parents of kids at the school. I would think that this would be much more effective than doing it somewhere away from the school, because they will be reminded of the experience every time they see these kids again at the school.
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The cul-de-sac - the greatest threat to mankind.

Health & EnvironmentWinner of The Congress for New Urbanism CNU 17 video contest.
This short film explores the connection between New Urbanism and environmental issues.
Created by independent filmmaker John Paget (<a href=""></a>;) with First+Main Media (Drew Ward, Chris Elisara and John Paget). <a href=""></a>;
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All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia RAAM

Biking Elsewhere[I always liked rooting for the home team and here are some friends of ours racing and raising money for a cause.]

Campaign Progress


Make a gift!

76 percent of goal achieved.

All Wheels for Fibromyalgia   A cycling team of four cyclists and 12 crew members will race nonstop for 3,000 miles across the United States in the world’s toughest bicycle race the Race Across America (RAAM). The race begins on June 20, 2009 in Oceanside, Calif. and ends in Annapolis, Maryland. The objective is to complete this coast-to-coast race in the fastest time the goal is 7 days!   The team’s endeavor, however, goes beyond completing this rigorous race. All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia is partnering with the National Fibromyalgia Association, and select sponsors in a shared ambition to raise awareness of fibromyalgia, a complex pain disorder that affects an estimated 10 million women, men and children in the U.S.   All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia will be raising funds to support fibromyalgia research and community-based education programs for individuals affected by the disorder. The team’s goal is to raise $50,000 by June 20. You can help them in their quest by making a tax-deductible donation in any amount to the National Fibromyalgia Association.   Thank you to our sponsors   Pfizer   Euro RSCG Life Weisscomm Partners  Sportsmark   Chico Chandler     powerbar 150   5 Hour Energy  Scarsin   Pactimo
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Volunteers needed for Tour du Port

Bike Maryland updatesOne Less Car is seeking volunteers to help with tasks leading up to Baltimore's Premier Bike Event, the Tour du Port, that will be held on October 4th. This event is OLC's annual fundraiser. Additionally, volunteers are needed for the day of the event. The first event committee meeting is this Tuesday the 19th. Furthermore, OLC seeks a part-time professional event planner/fundraiser/grant writer. Please email Carol&quot;at&quot; if you are interested in assisting!
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All road users should have to do 100 hours on other modes of transport.

Biking ElsewhereBy Flip Shelton
Cyclists are killed by cars and trucks, so car and truck drivers who don't ride a bike should pay more on their registration to cover this cost.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato said: &quot;No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding.&quot; The biggest problem we have on the road is a lack of understanding.

Many drivers don't realise the anxiety they cause by driving too close, or too quickly, or honking. They don't know because they have never been in our cleats, so to speak. That's quite understandable — often it is impossible to imagine a situation if you haven't been there.

And to those people I say, get on a bike and ride the roads for some first-hand experience.

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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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