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Saturday, August 27 2016 @ 06:41 PM UTC
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Senate Bill Steers Away From the Car

Biking ElsewhereBy Alec MacGillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 14, 2009

As stimulus spending on highways and bridges ramps up, Senate Democrats are submitting legislation today that suggests the nation's transportation policy is headed for a major overhaul, with a strong emphasis on reducing automobile use and carbon emissions and boosting public transit, inter-city rail and rail freight service.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) are introducing legislation that they say lays out the guidelines of what they expect the next five-year federal transportation spending plan to accomplish. Their goal is to influence the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which is responsible for drafting the spending plan. The House plan is expected in early June, and the bill is due for reauthorization this fall.

Among other goals, the Senate legislation decrees that the plan must reduce per capita motor vehicle miles traveled on an annual basis, reduce national surface transportation-generated carbon dioxide levels by 40 percent by 2030, and increase the proportion of national freight provided by means other than trucks by 10 percent by 2020.

"A national surface transportation policy for our country is long overdue," Lautenberg said. "We need a transportation policy that reestablishes our leadership throughout the world when it comes to transportation -- and meets our country's transportation demands for generations to come."

There was disappointment among both highway boosters and transit advocates that initial versions of the economic stimulus package provided $35 billion for transportation projects, less than five percent of the package. Transit advocates were cheered, though, when the White House added $8 billion for high-speed rail at the last minute.

The focus for those trying to ascertain the administration's transportation agenda has since turned to the five-year bill, which is expected to cost at least $400 billion. One big question is how the government plans to fund transportation spending, with revenue from the gas tax increasingly falling short. The new Senate bill does not address that problem.

Another big question is how much the bill will provide for public transportation. As it now stands, 80 percent of federal transportation money goes to highways. But David Goldberg, an official with the advocacy group Transportation for America, said Congress and the White House are sending signs that the new plan could represent a major break. The White House has already said it hopes to spend $1 billion per year on high-speed rail.

"We are optimistic," Goldberg said.
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Thoughts on bike safety not like playing Russian Roulette at all

Biking in MarylandWith it being Bike Month and all and people looking into biking more here are some of my thoughts on bike safety on roads:

For some reason we think exposure (the amount of miles or time spent) in traffic has an influential affect on safety. The longer you are out there the higher your chance of getting into an accident, sort of like playing Russian Roulette every time you want go somewhere each mile is another spin of the chamber and click of the hammer. But what if that is not a good analogy at all?

First it helps to understand where the concept comes from. As we look at automobile use we see the number of miles driven increasing three times the rate of the population, so it is hardly fair to compare raw total crash counts of today with that of ten years ago. So how do we compare? At first glance miles driven seems like a good idea but think about it, just because you have to drive further to do the same daily chores families did 10 years ago does that make your life safer? Hardly.
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AARP Calls for Streets to Accommodate Older Citizens

Biking ElsewhereRoad Planners Display Blind Spot for Oncoming Generation of Older Drivers

Update Design Guidelines and Complete Streets Will Accommodate Everyone, AARP Report Challenges

WASHINGTON, DC--Two-thirds of transportation planners and engineers have yet to begin addressing older people in their street planning; yet by 2025, 64 million people will be over age 65 according to census projections and by 2030 a quarter of all U.S. drivers will be 65+. This is the alarm raised by “Planning Complete Streets for the Aging of America” a major new report on roadway safety and the aging of the American population from AARP’s Public Policy Institute. The full report can be found here: <a href=""></a>;[…]/2009_02_streets.html.

Streets, sidewalks and roadways designed to achieve “Complete Streets” can make getting around safer for everyone, the report suggests. Yet in a poll of adults age 50+ also conducted for the report, two in five said their neighborhood sidewalks were inadequate (although, by 2030, 20% of those age 65+ will not be drivers). Nearly half said they could not cross main roads close to their home safely, preventing many from walking, bicycling or taking the bus. But safer, more accessible streets won’t happen until federal, state and local authorities and planners wake up to the need for roads that address the challenges of the coming age wave, the report charges.

“Improvements can reduce older driver crashes and pedestrian injuries without adversely affecting traffic; in many instances, local travel flow and accessibility are improved,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President for Social Impact. “But while a growing number of states and localities have Complete Streets policies, too few have been built. Furthermore, an outdated bias in engineering practices competes with current local desire for user-friendly “Complete Streets” design.

The report recommends that federal, state, and local highway and street design guidelines serve older people by 1) reducing vehicle travel speeds at intersections where older drivers and pedestrians need more time to make decisions and execute changes, 2) making the physical layout of roads, crosswalks and sidewalks easier to navigate, and 3) making it easier for older drivers and pedestrians to notice, read, understand and respond to visual cues and information.

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Vision Zero NYC: Ending the Body Count

Biking Elsewhere[Baltimore Spokes: Note the "blame the victim" sign.]
More than 250 New Yorkers are killed in automobile-related crashes every year, and it’s not unusual for City officials to tout these historically low numbers as evidence that they are doing their jobs well, as if exchanging 250 lives is a reasonable trade for mobility. Only in transportation is this somehow acceptable. This past spring, two construction cranes toppled over in separate incidents, killing six people and injuring several others. This prompted the Department of Buildings to declare war on falling cranes. Clearly, objects crashing down on city streets are a serious hazard to people, legitimizing such a hard stance. Automobiles moving at high speeds are the horizontal counterparts of falling cranes and building debris.
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Humane Metropolis Baltimore

Biking in the Metro AreaA free public workshop sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Organized by the Ecological Cities Project in collaboration with the Parks &amp; People Foundation

June 11, 2009, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Today, 80 percent of Americans live in cities and suburbs and more than half the world's population is now classified as &quot;urban.&quot; Older cities and their suburbs like Baltimore City and County are experiencing many challenges - affordable housing, jobs, mobility, education, public health, physical fitness, floods, and ecological destruction - not to mention the current economic and foreclosure crisis.

&quot;Humane Metropolis&quot; is a new perspective on people, nature, and cities developed by the Ecological Cities Project in collaboration with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The 2006 book The Humane Metropolis: People and Nature in the 21st-Century City highlights new initiatives for various cities to become more:

Green: Protect and restore urban biodiversity and ecological services

Healthy: Promote outdoor exercise and fitness, reduce respiratory threats

Safe: Reduce crime rates; lower risk of fire, floods, and other hazards

Efficient: Employ a better use of water, energy, materials (e.g., green building, light rail)

Equitable: Embrace environmental and social justice, affordable housing, access to jobs

Neighborly: Foster pride of place and sense of community

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Biking in Baltimoreimage
Can you imagine this space being bike/ped friendly? BaltiMore BaltiMorphsis can, check them out.
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“Time & Place” Sundial Sculpture Closing Picnic

Bike Pathsimage
Saturday, May 23 2-5 pm
Winans Meadow-Leakin Park
4500 Franklintown Road 21229

For three seasons, “Time & Place” has been marking time and people’s thoughts along the Gwynns Falls Trail. I sincerely hope you and friends can visit this site-specific work before it disappears at end of this month. We will be hosting a closing picnic with readings from journals, paper sundial workshop, games and good friends. Picnic is Sat.4/23 2-5 (Herb Festival is 10-2 in upper park) Rain date Sun, 4/24

Photo-documentation of sundial activities and journal entries can be viewed on this Flickr page
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My commute sucks

Biking Elsewhereimage
Sign the Petition!

See-sawing gas prices, crazy crowded roads, noxious fumes - who would love their commute?

Not us. Join Americans all over the country, in big cities and in small towns, who are making their voices heard in Washington. Tell Congress: "My commute sucks and it's not getting any better. Stop pouring billions into a broken system. Transportation shouldn't be an expensive, dirty burden. Fix it, clean it, make it work!"
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Capturing the Value of Transit

Mass Transit[Baltimore Spokes: What's wrong with this picture? Where's the congestion, air pollution? This can't be a vibrant city ... or can it?] image
A recent Denver Post story noted property values had increased 4 percent along the Southeast light rail line – the Post called it “the money train” – while declining by 7.5 percent regionwide. Portland’s Pearl District has seen property values increase more than 1,000 percent along its streetcar line since 2001, while Tampa has seen increases of up to 400 percent. Another recent study found property values along the light rail system in Dallas increased 50 percent from 2005 to 2007, noting that existing and planned development near stations would bring in an additional $127 million in tax revenues a year.
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Biking Elsewhere[Baltimore Spoke: It would be nice if MD even had such a report, even nicer if they could say they had an increase and say they were concerned about the recent surges in pedestrian fatalities. ]

-&gt; According to an article in the May 8th Mobilizing the Region E-Mail, &quot;While New Jersey DOT's planned FY2010 Capital Program devotes more money towards road widening projects than in the past, it also provides almost 50% more funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects than last year's capital program did. These types of projects now represent about 2% of the total highway program, up from 1.5% last year.

&quot;This is obviously tremendous news for New Jersey's cycling community, and especially timely given recent surges in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities. NJDOT deserves credit for making bicycling and walking a funding priority. About 12% of all trips in the state were on foot or bicycle in 2001, according to the Federal Highway Administration...&quot;

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