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Thursday, November 27 2014 @ 02:09 PM UTC
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Solution not a problem

Biking Elsewhere...
"Accommodating cyclists in your community is a solution not a problem," Peel told the group, which included Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson, Alderman Gary Higdon, Hernando's bicycle police officers, several civil engineers and a handful of biking enthusiasts.

Peel presented several statistics to support his case including that 40 percent of trips made are 2 miles or less and 89 percent of those trips are made by car.

"Motorists think bicyclists are in the way, but really it's one less motorist in a car in front of you at the stoplight," Peel said.
...
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Vulnerable Roadway Users

Biking ElsewhereThe 2007 Oregon Legislature passed HB 3314, creating an enhanced penalty for careless diving if it contributes to serious physical injury or death to a “vulnerable user of a public way,” and will go into effect January 1, 2008. The purpose of this article is to discuss the Vulnerable User legal concept and its potential for improvement in safety for non-motorized roadway users such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Earlier this year, I wrote about the need for enhanced protection for vulnerable roadway users. See Cycling Injuries & Law Change, from the Winter 2007 issue.

“Vulnerable Roadway User”: A European Safety Concept
The concept of “vulnerable roadway user” has been used by planners and safety organizations in Europe to categorize and describe non-motorized roadway users. The label is a nice one because it incorporates the inherent vulnerability of humans who use the roads without being encased in a protective steel shell. Inclusion of the concept of vulnerability evokes a more sympathetic image and focuses on the shared vulnerability of these different user groups. By including vulnerable users within a single term, the requirement for protection is brought to mind to counterbalance the somewhat natural reaction some people have to improving safety by restricting access, such as by restricting bicycle access to freeways or pedestrian crossings or road access.

No state has ever used the Vulnerable Roadway User concept as a legal term, but for the reasons above stated, the members of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) Legislative Committee felt it could focus the need for enhanced protection of vulnerable user groups (who are reducing energy consumption and pollution, while improving their own good health and fitness). Since people need to get out of their cars and walk or roll under their own power, some enhanced protection is necessary to get law enforcement and the court system participating in protecting and encouraging kids to walk to school, commuters to ride a bike, and the use of a skateboard or scooter instead of getting a ride or driving a car to run an errand.

It was our view that Oregon law was far too lenient in punishing careless drivers who receive merely a fine and are not even required to make a court appearance after a horrific collision. Some police officers and medical personnel have even been heard to argue that people who choose not to ride in a car should expect to have bad things happen because the roadways are so dangerous. To us, tolerating the status quo was not acceptable – it was time to change the law and create a zone of protection instead of indifference toward those people brave enough to use their bodies to get around.
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FRIENDS OF THE EARTH'S "NEW ROADS = NEW POLLUTION" CAMPAIGN

Biking ElsewhereAccording to the Dec. 19th issue of Environmental Roundup, "Transportation in the U.S. is responsible for 30 percent of our global warming pollution and 70 percent of our oil consumption. We cannot solve the energy and climate challenge without making our transportation system far cleaner and more efficient.
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Annual Awards for Excellence in Bicycling and Walking Advocacy

Biking ElsewhereThe Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking is launching our new annual Awards for excellence in bicycling and walking advocacy. We invite you to nominate a person or organization for any of the awards below. The deadline for nominations is January 31st, 2009.

Awards:
“Advocate of the Year”
“Advocacy Organization of the Year”
"Innovation Award"
“Winning Campaign of the Year”
“Business Advocate of the Year”
"Best Practices Award"
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\"\'Cross my Heart\" and the SUPERBOWL of SINGLESPEED CX

Biking in the Metro Areaimage

"'Cross my Heart" and the SUPERBOWL of SINGLESPEED CX
Presented by
Proteus Bicycles

College Park, MD

Sunday, February 01, 2009
Online Registration Will Open
Thursday, January 01, 2009 at 8:00 AM ET
 CATEGORYDISTANCESTART TIME  FEE  PRIZES
Men's 1,2,3
 45
minutes 
10:00 AM 
$25
merch top 3 
Men's 2,3,4
 45
minutes 
11:00 AM 
$25
merch top3 
Men's Cat 4
 45
minutes 
12:00 PM 
$25
prizes top 3 
Women's 1,2
 45
minutes 
1:00 PM 
$25
merch top 3 
Women's 3,4
 45
minutes 
1:00 PM 
$25
merch top 3 
Under 16
 3
laps 
1:02 PM 
$10
prizes top 6 
Singlespeed only
 45
minutes 
2:10 PM 
$25
merch top 3 

The Race:

It’s always a sad goodbye when cyclocross season ends. We're having a post-season race for fun to keep things rolling a little longer.  But we’re doing things a little bit differently: The Elites always get to sleep in, so we’re going to run the race order backwards so the "little guys" can catch a break for once.  In addition to the "normal" categories, we also added a Singlespeed only category. Now, this isn’t Portland, so there won’t be any Tequila shots on the course or anything like that, but this is still your chance to show why Singlespeed Cyclocross is a special kind of riding reserved for only the extremely strong, stubborn or stupid.

Pint glasses:  Free pint glasses for the first 25 pre-registered participants.  Additional glasses will be available for purchase.  

The Course:

Expect some fast pavement, a fair amount of trails through the woods, stairs, gravel, some off camber portions and a few fun descents. No promises, but we are also working very hard on getting a snow machine in case mother nature doesn’t give us any.

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Holier than You on the Bogus Bicycle Commuter Act

Biking in Baltimore[In a word, where you can get a $220 parking allowance for your car, a $115 mass transit allowance or a $20 biking allowance but you can only pick one, which one would you choose?]
...
One plus for LaHood - he co-sponsored the Bicycle Commuter Act. Of course, so did 64 other representatives, so it's not like he really stuck his neck out on that one. It did get snuck into the bailout bill, but I find it very humdrum. $20/month subsidy for people who bike to work. Great! Except that if you already participate in a pre-tax transit benefit, you can't take advantage. People who bike often are people who take transit, even if they aren't multi-modal commuters like the Caltrain bike cohort. For example, I know people in SF who bike to work, don't own a car, and also have a MUNI pass. A MUNI pass is $45. In order to get the bike benefit, they'd have to forfeit their much larger transit benefit.
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'Green' Jobs Compete for Stimulus Aid

Health & EnvironmentIn one of the first internal struggles of the incoming Obama administration, environmentalists and smart-growth advocates are trying to shift the priorities of the economic stimulus plan that will be introduced in Congress next month away from allocating tens of billions of dollars to highways, bridges and other traditional infrastructure spending to more projects that create "green-collar" jobs.

The debate has centered on two competing principles in the evolving plan: the desire to spend money on what President-elect Barack Obama calls "shovel-ready projects," such as highway and bridge construction, vs. spending on more environmentally conscious projects, such as grids for wind and solar power.
...
"If we're going to call it a stimulus package, it has to be stimulating and has to be stimulating now. I think there are members of our caucus who are trying to create a Christmas tree out of this," said Rep. Baron P. Hill (Ind.), incoming co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of 51 fiscally conservative House Democrats.
...
But environmentalists and their allies view old-fashioned highway construction as encouraging longer commutes and increasing the energy-consumption crisis of the past year. "They're going to put a bunch of money through a broken system to stimulate the economy. That doesn't make sense to me," said Colin Peppard, a transportation expert for Friends of the Earth.
...
Goldberg's group has studied infrastructure proposals from 15 states and found that 75 percent of their requests are for roadway construction, and of that, the overwhelming majority of money would fund new projects in outer suburbs that have been hard hit by the mortgage crisis. "We're building all this stuff for where the economy isn't anymore," he said.
...
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An Iditarod Without Dogs

Biking ElsewhereIt is promoted as the longest, most remote winter ultrarace in the world, a slog across century-old marshland trails from the outpost of Knik over the Farewell Hills, up the Yukon River, through the ghost towns of the Kuskokwim Mountains and on to the Bering Sea.
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Something for the holidays

Biking Elsewhere[I have been at a lost to find something to post for the holidays until I ran across this, revolution and excitement sounds like something we can get behind. ;) ]

A RECIPE FOR FLIPPING

In the spirit of the season, we offer the following recipe for a holiday punch of another kind. The story is that the appropriately named "Flip" was a popular revolutionary-era drink, and that, together with coffee, it fueled the excitement --the ferment, you might say-- that became the American Revolution. So for your own edification:
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Bus driver Training

Biking in the Metro AreaCommercial Driver's License (CDL) Manual
Problem

Currently Maryland's (and most likely other States as well) the CDL Manual says that bicyclists are hazards and that truck drivers should honk at them (ok, in the manual it says tap the horn lightly but still that is totally bogus safety information.)

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in their Bike Friendly States (BFS) program had this question:
In the state driver's CDL testing and manual are questions and information regarding motorists rights and responsibilities toward bicyclists included?
Which to me implies that there is something better out their then what Maryland has.

We just got this response back from someone at MVA:
Sorry this is a week later, but wanted to be sure I passed along this information with reference to the CDL Manual. It was suggested in the email discussion to update the CDL manual. In fact, Maryland's CDL manual is modeled on the AAMVA manual (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrations), and the sections mentioned in the email discussion regarding bicycles are actually taken word for word from the AAMVA model. There is a new version being printed this month with changes as a result of national model changes. I double-checked before sending this, and the new version of the CDL manual will have the same language on bicycles.

Because the verbage is basically handed down to us, any updates to the manual are definitely not something that could be easily changed -- likely, any request for changes would have to work their way through nationally. It may seem unfriendly for trucks to blow their horn (or tap it lightly) at bicycles to make them aware of a truck behind them (getting ready to pass), and for bicycles to be listed as a potential hazard to trucks, but certainly the national model to teach truck drivers how to drive safely would not suggest harrassment of bicycles. Both of these sections mentioned are from the section on "Driving Safely" -- with the first under "Communicating Your Presence" and the second under "Seeing Hazards."
This seems to imply that Maryland has the "best" standard CDL manual.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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