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Promoting an Active Maryland

Bike LawsCardin Annapolis Reports

Delegate Jon S. Cardin  District 11, Baltimore County

Week 10 Annapolis Report (3/20/09)
It's March Madness both on the Court and in the Maryland General Assembly. There are just a few days left to get the bills passed out of the respective houses on third reader before the crossover deadline of March 30th. Which bills will survive with a chance to make it out of committee and to the Big Dance of the House and Senate and eventually be signed by the Governor? Time will tell.

Although the Environmental Matters committee remains skeptical, I am gratified by the attention that my bicycle safety bill, which would require a safe 3-foot bubble around a cyclist when being passed by a car, has received. It is encouraging to see such an overwhelmingly positive community response on the issue.

Michael Dresser's column in Monday's Baltimore Sun cogently addressed the opposition to the legislation. He wrote, "Whatever the rights and wrongs of… [bicyclists] …on the roads, the mismatch in weight and vulnerability between motor vehicles and bicycles is extreme. And the law protects the vulnerable, even when the vulnerable get on our nerves."  Read the whole column by following this link.

Encouraging healthy lifestyles is an important step in revitalizing our healthcare system and combating the obesity epidemic. I introduced two bills this week which would promote a healthy Maryland. On Wednesday, I introduced a bill which would establish the second Wednesday in May as a commemorative day for health improvement and disease prevention. This bill would provide awareness for the many health-related problems facing our state. ...
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Police detention for riding a bike at night and forgetting to turn on your lights

Biking Elsewhereimage
A federal jury Thursday found in favor of two Portland officers, determining they used reasonable force in their arrest and detention of a St. Johns woman who was riding her bike at night without a light on Aug. 6, 2003.

That's right, it is reasonable to pull someone from their home and detain them for not turning on their bike lights rather then just issuing a ticket. After all doesn't this 67 year old women look like a threat to society?
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Idaho Stop law hearing

Biking ElsewhereFor those of you who don\'t know about the Idaho stop law it allows bicycle operators to enter a stop-sign controlled intersection without stopping when safe, and once they’ve yielded to all other traffic. Transportation planners and law enforcement officials from Idaho say that this law has been on the books there since the 1980s without incident.

Read more to find out about Portland\'s struggle for the same law.
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Bill encourages safe bicycling

Biking ElsewhereGrant would make it easier for cities to start bike programs

By Kate Golden | JUNEAU EMPIRE

If only the Legislature could do something about the weather.

Two lawmakers have introduced a bill this session aimed at encouraging more people to ride bicycles.

House Bill 132, from Reps. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, and Max Gruenberg, D-Anchorage, creates a grant program that would help cities and nonprofits start bike repair, loaner or safety programs and pay for bicycle-related road improvements. The bill will be heard in the House Transportation committee at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Despite the winter, Alaska ranks sixth in the nation in the proportion of people biking to work, according to Bob Laurie, Alaska Department of Transportation\'s bicycle advocate. (The state ranks first in the percentage who walk to work.) Yet the American League of Bicyclists ranked the state 43rd in overall bike-friendliness, and Sitka is the state\'s only officially bike-friendly community.

Laurie listed some of the biggest challenges facing Alaska communities in making themselves cycle-commute-friendly: Shoulders on the road, secure parking, places to shower, and education and enforcement of riders and motorists. All of those things take money, which the proposed grant program could help fund.
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Who Stops at Stop Signs?

Biking ElsewhereThis is video of an intersection, (I think located in or near Iowa City, Iowa), that was watched for only 5 minutes. I counted a total of eleven motor vehicles that did not stop when and where they were supposed to. Some didn't stop at all, they just rolled through the intersection.

The official count is 2 passed by stopping where and when they were suppsoed to and 9that did not, but I counted an additional 2 in the video. It is ironic that bicyclists are chastised for not stopping and yet here we have over 10 motorists not stopping.
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Urb Ag Gala Friday, April 17th

Health & Environmentimage

On Friday, April 17th, 2009 the Baltimore Urban Agricultural Task Force will be hosting its first annual Urb Ag Gala at St. John's Church at 2640 St. Paul Street from 7:00 to 10:00pm. The celebration will include delicious local food, artwork and entertainment in the setting of an old church transformed into a wildly lavish green atmosphere. Guests will have the opportunity to mark their gardens on a giant map of Baltimore. They can also sign up to casually speak about their growing project in an open mic style storytelling and song circle that will include local musicians. A $5 donation is being requested. Urb Ag Gala will be a waste-neutral event. Featured musicians include: Atom Fisher, Cityslides, Beans, American Folklore, Mother Nature's Son, MacGregor Burns & the VCR, Lands & Peoples, Pere Yorko, The Owls Go.

The event will enable those intrigued by the "growing" movement to become more involved; connect and offer resources to those already involved; get growers and eaters and those in between fired-up for the 2009 season; and make a statement about the inspiring and practical effects that growing food locally can have on individuals, families, communities, and the state of our planet at large.

Contact: urbaggala@gmail.com, http://baltimoreurbanag.org/content/urb-ag-gala

The Baltimore Urban Agricultural Task Force is a growing coalition of farmers, students, professionals, artists, parents, and concerned citizens. The passion of its members is a common one: locally produced food. The Task Force is finding ways to strengthen communities in Baltimore through agricultural projects and environmental education. The long term goal of the Task Force is to acquire a 6-acre plot that can be farmed in Baltimore City and to create 500 new and sustainable jobs in the process.

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City Hall to go dark for Earth Hour

Health & Environmentimageimage
The City of Baltimore is pleased to announce that City Hall will be going dark for Earth Hour.

Also participating are the following surrounding buildings:

Charles L. Benton, Jr. Building
Abel Wolman Municipal Building
The War Memorial Building
The MECU Building

Please join the City and turn off your lights for one hour March 28th, starting at 8:30 PM.
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Charles Village Bike Parking Celebration - Friday

Biking in Baltimoreimage
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National Bike Summit 2009

Biking ElsewhereNational Bike Summit 2009 - a huge success

(3.17.09) Thanks to everyone that made it to the National Bike Summit this year – we had record attendance, a strong program, and some good specific asks of our elected representatives. In total, 580 registrants from 47 states and four countries (Canada, Denmark, Czech Republic and the USA) visited more than 350 Congressional offices on Thursday, March 12. Follow up to your visits is essential; please make sure you have written your thank you notes, and followed up with the offices on their commitments.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood addressed the opening plenary, noting that the DOT will be \"a full partner in working toward livable communities\". The Secretary was followed by Representatives Blumenauer (D-OR), Lipinski (D-IL) and Matsui (D-CA). Congressman Oberstar (D-MN) spoke at the Summit dinner, and Representatives Petri (R-WI), Coble (R-NC), McCaul (R-TX) and Kissell (D-NC) made remarks at the Congressional Breakfast and/or Reception.

Even if you were not able to attend this year, the League encourages you to ask your members of Congress to support the Complete Streets Act of 2009 (S. 584, introduced by Senator Harkin, and H.R. 1443, introduced by Representative Matsui) and the CLEAN-TEA: The Clean, Low-Emission Affordable, New Transportation Efficiency Act (S. 575, introduced by Senators Carper and Specter, and H.R. 1329, introduced by Representatives Blumenauer, Tauscher and LaTourette) that were introduced for the Summit.
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Action alert: Three foot legislation

Bike LawsAs I get older and wiser (hopefully) I realize there is a bit of a contradiction in advocacy. One part is I need to motivate you to write, that generally involves a sense of outrage, the other part is the the letters you write need to be positive in order to be effective. So...

Be outraged enough to be motivated to write or call, what's being said in the halls of Annapolis is enough to make you steaming mad but don't have that come across in your letters. Be positive and supportive of your representative and try to make your appeal palatable to someone who does not bike. Try to be short and to the point and ***please stay on topic, focus on safety and mention that HB 496 only applies to bicyclists that act lawfully.*** Also we have MDOT's support this year on this bill, that is significant!

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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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