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Friday, November 27 2015 @ 02:44 AM UTC
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Woman gets probation in death of teen at bus stop

Biking ElsewhereA judge has sentenced a 60-year-old North Carolina woman to three years of probation for passing a stopped school bus and striking a 16-year-old boy, killing him.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported Judy Stilwell pleaded guilty Tuesday in Rockingham County. Her six- to eight-month jail sentence was suspended as long as she completes probation. Her driver's license was suspended for a year and she was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Prosecutors say Stilwell had a clean record in January before passing the school bus which had its lights on and stop sign out on state Highway 770. She struck Nicholas Adkins as he crossed the street.

Stilwell cried in court and her attorney called the incident a lapse in attention.
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Drivers catch green lights 'wave'

Health & EnvironmentLocal councils can adopt "green wave" systems of sensors, where vehicles at or just below the speed limit trigger a succession of green lights.

Environmental and motoring groups say carbon emissions will be reduced.

Previously the Department for Transport (DfT) had discouraged the systems which reduce fuel use, resulting in less tax being paid to the Treasury.

But now, rather than seeing green wave systems as a "cost" to the public purse, the DfT views them as a "benefit".

'Easy target'

The RAC's motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "Green waves is a common sense win-win initiative that will actually help motorists as they go about their daily lives as well as reduce carbon emissions.

"It's used very successfully in other countries and it would be great to see motorists up and down the UK benefit from its widespread introduction.
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Lane control public policy

Biking Elsewhere Posted by: John Forester on Chainguard Date: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:58 am ((PDT))

The issue regarding control of lanes by cyclists, precisely stated, is:
1: Cyclists should have the same legal right of lane control as other drivers of vehicles. This can be called the slow vehicle law case. or
2: Cyclists should be assumed to have no right to control lanes, but must always act to allow the easiest overtaking by any potential faster traffic, unless failure to control the lane is dangerous. This can be called the Far To the Right law case.

That's the issue.

2.1: The FTR case has been public policy for decades, and it has been supported by three arguments:

2.1.1: Cyclists are not capable of obeying the normal rules of the road, and therefore are endangered if they don't stay at the edge of the roadway. This is an assertion based on the notion that cyclists are young children, who are assumed to be safe only if they stay at the edge of the roadway. Both parts are false. Most roadway cyclists are not young children, but are sufficiently old to obey the normal rules of the road. Furthermore, roadway cycling safety requires that cyclists often operate away from the edge of the roadway, so that those who do not know how to do this safely are endangered. Cyclists need to be trained to operate properly.
2.1.2: Having cyclists operate at the edge of the roadway keeps them safe from fast traffic. This argument assumes that fast motorists will always leave sufficient room at the edge of the roadway to accommodate bicycle traffic, which is false, and it exonerates motorists who are so careless that they drive right into slower vehicles, which is seriously unlawful behavior.
2.1.3: Having cyclists operate at the edge of the roadway, despite the exceptions for safety, will produce less delay to motorists than allowing cyclists to operate as drivers of vehicles. This argument is very weak. The only condition in which the cyclist's lateral position on the roadway might be changed to allow a motorist, who has no other safe choice than to stay behind the cyclist, to safely overtake, is if the cyclist is using a lane that is wider than standard. If the lane is standard-width or narrow, which is the typical case, the cyclist can do nothing to make safe overtaking possible within that lane. Only if the cyclist is operating in a wide outside lane, might there be adequate width for safe overtaking. Only in the limited case when there is adequate width in the outside lane for safe overtaking, does the FTR law require that the cyclist stay far right to facilitate overtaking by faster traffic. That is all the advantage that the FTR law can provide.

2.2: The FTR case has been public policy for decades, and it has produced the following ill effects:
2.2.1: The public belief that staying at the edge of the roadway is both necessary and sufficient for cyclist safety persuades cyclists that they should not leave the edge of the roadway and, therefore, would not benefit from better knowledge and skill in operating according to the rules of the road.
2.2.2: Motorists believe that there is always room for cyclists to move aside safely, simply because the FTR law says that there is.
2.2.3:Some motorists believe that the FTR law expresses the right of motorists to always travel faster than bicycles, that bicycle traffic is prohibited from slowing down motor traffic.
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Federal/State Matching Requirements

Biking in Maryland[I have been struggling with the problems associated with the State requiring a 50% match in local funds for bike/ped projects note the the Feds allow for a 5% local share!]

In general, the Federal share of the costs of transportation projects is 80 percent with a 20 percent State or local match. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.

* Bicycle-related Transit Enhancement Activities are 95 percent Federally funded.
* Hazard elimination projects are 90 percent Federally funded. Bicycle-related transit projects (other than Transit Enhancement Activities) may be up to 90 percent Federally funded.
* Individual Transportation Enhancement Activity projects under the STP can have a match higher or lower than 80 percent. However, the overall Federal share of each State's Transportation Enhancement Program must be 80 percent.

Also in Title 23: Highways:

Federally aided bicycle and pedestrian projects implemented within urbanized areas **must** be included in the transportation improvement program/annual (or biennial) element unless excluded by agreement between the State and the metropolitan planning organization.
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Blessing of the bikes

Biking Elsewhere[This is cute, taking place in DC @ All Souls Church.]


Exciting events planned for Earth Day Sunday at All Souls. Blessing of the bikes. Ride your bike to church. Cyclists and non-cyclists are invited to participate in the blessing of the bikes led by Rob after each service.

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Bicycling related bills that passed

Bike LawsSB 98 Use of Text Messaging Device While Driving - Prohibition - Passed Senate (43-4), House (133-2)
SB 219 Violations by Drivers Under the Age of 18 Years - Driver's License Suspensions - Passed (with amendments) Senate (44-0), House (133-0)
SB 262 Repeated Drunk and Drugged Driving Offenses - Suspension of License - Passed (with amendments) Senate (44-0), House (137-0)
SB 277 Speed Monitoring Systems - Statewide Authorization and Use in Highway Work Zones - Passed Senate (27-20), House (94-41)
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The cost of free parking

Biking ElsewhereBy Todd Litman -
There are a lot of good reasons for cities to charge for public parking. It is more efficient and equitable. Urban parking facilities are a valuable resource, costing $10,000 to $50,000 to construct, with a typically annual value of $1,000 to $2,000 in land, construction and operating costs. Many vehicles are worth less than the parking spaces they occupy; underpricing parking forces people who own fewer than average vehicles to subsidize their neighbors who own more than average vehicles. Currently, most parking is provided free, financed through development costs and municipal governments, and therefore borne through mortgages, rents and taxes. Charging motorists directly of using urban parking facilities typically reduces automobile trips by about 20%; in other words, about 20% of parking facility costs, traffic congestion, accidents, energy consumption and pollution emissions results from the common practice of paying for parking indirectly rather than directly.
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Outside in

Biking in the Metro Areaimage
From they map where I blog.

Kinda cool and kinda spooky at the same time.
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Mikulski Fiddles with Car Tax Credits While Transit Burns

Mass Transitimage Photo by Voxefx via Flickr
Maryland state lawmakers re-added a $10 million tax break for car purchases at the final stage of their budget negotiations. Legislators had previously decided to remove the credit to help shore up Maryland’s finances until Senator Barbara Mikulski pushed to reinstate it. Mikulski inserted a similar provision into the federal stimulus bill earlier this year.

What could Maryland do with $10 million besides further incentivize people to buy new cars that most of them don’t need? With just half that money, they could restore transit cuts in the DC region. Those cuts threaten to cut off vital service to many residents who don’t have alternatives, or will drive many Marylanders to commute by car instead of transit, increasing traffic, pollution and parking problems. DC and most Virginia jurisdictions came up with extra money to stave off most of their proposed cuts to Metro service, but Maryland remains $4.8 million behind. The other half of the $10 million could restore previous cuts or improve service in Baltimore.
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\"Invitation to Transition\": From oil dependency to local resilience

Health & Environmentimage
BGF presents an Introduction to Transition facilitated by Larry Chang of EcolocityDC that will address the challenges of peak oil, climate change and economic collapse.

Larry Chang will then present an outline of the Transition Movement, discuss how you can replicate the model, and give examples of what is being done locally. Participants will be invited to collaborate in formulating plans to reduce oil dependency and build local resilience.

Residents of Baltimore and surrounding communities are welcome.

Where: MD Presbyterian Church, 1105 Providence Road, Towson, 21286. Directions

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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