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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 04:39 PM UTC
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Action: Sustainability City Council Hearing

Health & Environment

[Please tell your City Council member to vote for the Plan and attend in person if you can.]

The collective efforts of the Baltimore Commission on Sustainability, working groups, community associations, and interested citizens across the city have culminated in the creation of Baltimore ’s first Sustainability Plan.  The Plan has been approved by both the Commission on Sustainability and the Baltimore Planning Commission.


The next step toward final adoption is an informational hearing by the Baltimore City Council on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 5:00 PM in the City Council Chambers, 4th Floor of City Hall, 100 N. Holliday Street .


Because of your interest in the sustainability of Baltimore , you may wish to attend this hearing. There will be time allowed for public comments.


Please note that the security procedures at City Hall require that you bring photo-identification with you.


If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Zaleski at or 410-396-4556 for further information.


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Another gift for the auto industry

Mass Transit...
Mass transit needs far more stimulus help to offset local budget cuts, but cannot get it because some say buses, trolleys, and trains are not "shovel-ready." America's automakers keep getting aid, even when a bailout is only a shovel to dig their own grave.
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Why do tubes filled with CO2 go soft so soon?

Biking ElsewhereThe rate of loss

Dear Lennard,
Since a CO2 molecule is larger than either an oxygen or nitrogen molecule, why does it leak out of a bicycle tire faster?

Dear Glenn,
Upon receiving your question, I put CO2 in a clincher tire with a Michelin butyl inner tube (latex tubes leak air quickly, as you’re probably aware). This particular tire and tube hold air pressure faithfully for weeks on one of my road bikes without needing pumping. And sure enough, within three days after inflating with CO2 to 90psi, the pressure had dropped to 45ps
Permeation by diffusion predicts gas leakage rates proportional to the inverse of the square root of their molecular weights. Using air as a reference the predicted leakage rates for common gases are: helium 2.7, air 1.0, nitrogen 1.02, oxygen 0.95, argon 0.85, carbon dioxide 0.81.

It turns out however that the leakage rate of CO2 is huge, and the reason is that it is actually soluble in butyl rubber and is thus not constrained to normal permeation loss, it can transfer straight through the bulk rubber resulting in severe tire pressure loss on the order of a single day.
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Biking Elsewhere-> According to the Jan. 29th Thunderhead Weather Report, "SRAM has announced a grant of $400,000 to the Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists to boost the advocacy capacity of local cyclists. Jeffrey Miller, President of the Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking commented on the strength SRAM will provide to Alliance organizations working at the local level. 'Much of the progress over the past decade has been through the hard work of these dedicated advocates. This incredible support from SRAM boosts our ability to support them directly.'

"'SRAM's generosity builds on what is best about the League and the Alliance: trusted and practical programs for increasing bicycle-friendliness and effective, passionate advocacy for change,' says Andy Clarke, President of the League. The broadening partnership of the Alliance and the League will allow the two organizations to not only provide technical and training assistance to grassroots organizations, it will also create a new grant making program. Details of this new program will be announced in the weeks to come..."
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"Vehicular Assault of a Bicyclist or Pedestrian." & KY House Bill 88

Biking ElsewhereBelow is some background information, written by and used with permission of Dr. Barry Zalph, Expectative Director of Bicycling for Louisville, about Kentucky House Bill 88. Barry and the staff of Bicycling for Louisville and several attorneys drafted HB 88 which will create the new law of "Vehicular Assault of a Bicyclist or Pedestrian." I've included a link to the HB 88 and a link to allow you to contact members of the Kentucky Legislature to express your views about the bill. I would also be interested to hear your comments and answer any questions you may have about HB 88. E-mail your comments or questions to me at RMLCI at aol dot com. The link to HB 88 is: and the link to contact Kentucky Legislators is:

Here's some background:
As in many (but not all) other states, Kentucky law generally does not allow law enforcement officers to issue citations or make arrests for non-felony traffic violations not witnessed by the officer. Kentucky law makes exceptions for DUI and hit-and-run. Felony charges are very rarely leveled against drivers unless alcohol or drugs are involved and a fatal or crippling injury results. Because most crashes occur when no officer is on hand to witness them, criminal charges are rarely filed in connection with the crashes. This means that a bicyclist can be obeying all of the traffic laws and minding her or his own business, get crippled or killed by a reckless driver, and have no legal recourse except through a lengthy civil (lawsuit) process. The news accounts say, "No charges will be filed," giving the impression of a tragic accident for which nobody is at fault. This is equally true if physical evidence and eyewitness testimony shows that the driver was speeding, passing illegally, failing to yield right of way, running a red light, etc. at the time of the crash. From a public policy perspective, the lack of enforceable criminal penalties sends the message that these crash-causing driving violations are of no concern to the Commonwealth, and that it is merely a private (civil) matter for the involved parties to resolve among themselves. This helps to perpetuate the attitude that Kentuckians' convenience as car drivers trumps any responsibility that they have for the safety of other road users - as long as the driver is not intoxicated.

The central portion of our bill creates a new offense, vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian, defined as a vehicle operator (and yes, this can be a bicyclist as well as a motorist) hitting a bicyclist or pedestrian while operating her or his vehicle in a reckless manner. Reckless, according to long-standing Kentucky law, means a combination of two things: 1) failing to avoid a substantial and unjustifiable risk; and 2) grossly deviating from the standard of care exercised by a reasonable person under those conditions. To convict someone of this crime, the prosecutor would need to prove recklessness. This provides a large degree of protection for vehicle operators who hit someone through little or no fault of their own. Our bill would specifically empower law enforcement officers to issue a citation or make an arrest for this crime on the basis of "probable cause," another well-established legal term that means good reason to believe that the person committed the crime, regardless of whether the officer witnessed it. This means that if an officer arrived at the scene of a car-bike or car-ped crash, looked at the evidence, and had strong reason to believe that one party to the crash caused it by driving recklessly, the officer could charge that person with vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian. In my opinion, this charge would have been appropriate in three of the four most recent car-caused bicyclist fatalities in Louisville. Under current law, no charges were filed in any of those cases.
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Senate amendment would strip bike funding from stimulus bill; Blumenauer responds

Biking Elsewhere[From Bike Portland]
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced an amendment last night that would prohibit funding of “bicycle routes” and paths from the economic stimulus package that’s working its way through Capitol Hill right now.

According to staffers in Representative Earl Blumenauer’s office who are following the bill closely, Sen. DeMint’s amendment was supported in a speech by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)

DeMint is chair of the Senate Steering Committee. On Tuesday, he told

“When people see bike trails and hiking trails and golf courses, they know this is not designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs. It’s just basically special-interest pork barrel spending.”

Here is the amendment:


And the text reads:

Prohibition on use of funds for trails and off-road vehicle routes. None of the funds made available under this Act shall be used for bicycle, walking, or wildnerness trails, or off-road vehicle routes.

And Blumenauer, like he has done many times in the past, has issued a response (emphasis mine):

“Republican amendments and assertions that the creation of hike and bike trails in the recovery plan will not create jobs or stimulate the economy shows us just short-sighted and out of touch they are.

Investment in bike paths will not only improve our economy, and take our country in the right direction for our future; it is precisely the kind of investment the American people want. American families have indicated time and again in the passage of bond measures across the country that they favor spending on alternative transportation, such as bicycles and mass transit, over spending on more highway capacity.

Americans want a real solution to the economic crisis, not just a band-aid fix. These investments will stimulate the economy in the present and point our nation toward the economic and environmental realities of the future.”

We’ll keep you posted on the status of this amendment.

UPDATE: The League of American Bicyclists has addressed the DeMint statement and amendment in their “Trash Talk” section.

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DeMint Attacks Bicycle Infrastructure Funding

Biking Elsewhere[From the League of American Bicyclists]
Stimulus Amendment To Prohibit Bike Funding
Call Your Senator Immediately
Senator DeMint (R-SC) has offered an amendment to SPECIFICALLY prohibit funding for bicycles, walking and offroad vehicles. The amendment ONLY goes after bicycle, walking, and offroad vehicle funding.

The Amendment has been offered but not introduced.  We do not have a schedule for when this will be introduced and voted on, but we need to alert all Senators to urge them to vote against such amendments and ensure that funding for bicycle infrastructure remain eligible under the transportation funds provided in the stimulus package.


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Bike Lane Enforcement

Biking in BaltimoreProblem: The designated bike lanes along Light & Pratt Streets are constantly being violated by motorists. Specifically, taxis, delivery trucks and tourists. These vehicles drive and park in the bike lane which not only violate the posted traffic signs but also greatly endangers the cyclists and pedestrians using these lanes.

Response from Baltimore City Police: I will increase enforcement immediately in the bike lanes. Thank you for letting me know of this situation. My shift supervisors will immediately ensure strict compliance from all vehicles in the bike lanes. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
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The BALTIMORE BICYCLING CLUB'S Instructional Ride Series will begin with an orientation to be held on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ridgely Middle School in Baltimore County.

This series is offered to anyone over 16 years of age interested in learning the basic skills of cycling, including doing minor road repairs and improving as a rider. We want to help people new to our sport find a comfortable riding level and develop so they can at least ride on the BBC casual rides by the end of the series and to permit experienced riders who are new to club riding to meet and to learn about group riding. The ride series will cover both road and recreational trail riding.

At the orientation, we will demonstrate cycling skills and techniques and discuss bicycles, equipment and clothing and answer any questions about the program. We will watch a short, informative video on cycling safety and bike handling. If you bring your bicycle to the orientation, we can check it out for you and show you how to do a pre-ride bike check. The indoor orientation will be held RAIN OR SHINE. Weather permitting, anyone who wants to do so can join us for a short ride following the orientation. You must have and wear a helmet in order to ride.
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A mass transit dilemma: Ridership up, funds down

Mass TransitPublic transport systems are reeling from an economic crisis that has dried up tax revenue and blown gaps in state budgets. They are having to raise fares and cut services.

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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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