Baltimore Spokes
Biking in Baltimore
Sign Up!
Login
Welcome to Baltimore Spokes
Monday, December 22 2014 @ 04:55 AM UTC
View Printable Version

Baltimore Bike Pageant!

Biking in BaltimoreAugust 2, 2008

National Night Out Parade

Greenmount Avenue between 29th and 35th Streets

Featuring a pet parade and the Baltimore Bike Pageant!

To register, please contact Laura Kindseth at 410-258-6295 or lkindseth "at" greaterhomewood.org

http://www.greaterhomewood.org/
View Printable Version

Cycling In Baltimore ...

Biking in BaltimoreFrom: CJ-

As a cyclist, I really must take issue with the unregulated driving habits of motorists within this city. Today, I was treated to the incivility of a woman who honked at me as I descended Lake Avenue towards Falls Road. She was behind me. Any cyclist reading this post knows that you're going approximately 60kph per hour down that hill at top speed when the speed limit is 30mph which translates to about 45kph.

Ill-advisedly, I allowed myself to escalate things by having words with the driver, who tried to preface by mentioning her "miles of riding experience"—my response to which I can't publish. I "mentioned" to her that at that speed how dangerous it would be for her to pass, to which her response was "she was late for work". BTW, she took time out of her busy schedule to argue with me.

As someone who's not connected to government(and never likely), nor is actually on the MBAC board, I fortunately have the ability to speak for myself in recognizing the questionable will set forth by the city in putting bike lanes over potholes, failing to enforce vehicle's speed limits through most of the city, while efforts are put in place to encourage people to dust off their bikes to cycle to work and make it a part of their everyday life.

If someone were to ask me where to cycle as a beginner (or relative newcomer), I'd tell them to go to the airport or the county. There really is no safe haven for cyclists here.

The myth about bike lanes is that it implies that a cyclists is to make way under all circumstances—at any speed. And unfortunately, I feel that this is misleading and the true circumstances is more similar to road racing where slower vehicles make way when the speed is completely dissimilar and the road is safe (ascending hills, etc.) Cyclists are vehicles and in traffic conditions are to make certain that they use the road in a manner that makes the road safe for them.

Knowing that motorists would be completely fine running a cyclist off the road or rolling through a stop sign at the disadvantage to a cyclist changes some of these issues with respect to a cyclist's safety. I'm loathe to criticize because my history in cycling is one of fend for myself and have learned to do so quite adroitly. Some of my instinct and action goes beyond the recreational nature of painted lines, etc. And that it unlikely to change.

Also, who deals with sewer grates? On the Falls Road bridge heading north, there is a sewer grate that would swallow any cyclists unaware of it. I say all this knowing that there a few people who do actually ride AND have a connection to City Hall and whatever they call headquarters in the county. There is a major difference between some of the recreational implementations taking place and their ability to make things safer for real cyclists. Until that gulf is bridged, the Baltimore region will continue to live in question of what it could be.
View Printable Version

Biller's Bikes Havre de Grace

Cyclist\'s Yellow PagesBiller's Bikes in Havre de Grace offers bike rentals, Susquehanna River bridge crossing services, Susquehanna State Park (MD) trail services, and folding bike rentals for Chesapeake Bay boaters. Our shop is new and pretty different and we would love to meet our Baltimore neighbors and show them around historic Havre de Grace. Seasonal, see our website at www.billersbikes.com for information. We're just twenty minutes up I-95, come visit after the snow melts! (We have great coffee)
View Printable Version

This weeks Intergalactic Conference of Energy Efficient Beings summary

Biking in Baltimoreimage

Included a demonstration of travel in low light conditions with 70+ people participating (Moonlight Madness Ride photos.and photos by Doug Retzler)
Mayor Shela Dixon and Cabinet Summit for greener transportation (Mayor's Ride photos)
And of course the seminar on good tasting fuel sources (Bike & Brunch and photos.)

[This report is a bit tongue and cheek thanks to the wonderful wacky exhibits at Art Scape and the wonderful invention called the bicycle that empowers people to do and see more in Baltimore.]
View Printable Version

The bike whisperer

Biking in BaltimoreHere is a great news report (video) about adults learning how to ride a bike late in life: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/25733084#25733084

And yes, Baltimore more has a similar program: http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=2008041713505581
View Printable Version

Bikes or cars — who rules the road?

Biking ElsewhereAccident toll rises as gas-shocked commuters opt for bicycles

By Alex Johnson - MSNBC

Over the last two months, Taylor Cabaniss’ morning commute has evolved into something entirely new. It has lengthened to an hour.

But that’s a good thing, said Cabaniss, a senior financial manager for Qualcomm Inc. in San Diego — it’s “just some good exercise opportunity, to get out a bit.”

Back in May, Cabaniss abandoned his car and began biking to work. With fuel prices topping $4 a gallon, it makes a big difference.

“I’m probably saving a gallon and a half a day — I imagine $6 a day,” he said.

Cabaniss’ story is a common one. Since the average price of gasoline hit about $3.25 a gallon early this year, bike sales have skyrocketed, the National Bicycle Dealers Association reported. Store owners across the country say two-wheelers are flying out the door faster than they can stock them.

“Gas prices have jacked our business quite a bit,” said Jamie McDonald, owner of Sunrise Cyclery in Minneapolis. “I’ve sold way more racks, way more bags, way more lights, way more fenders and more bikes in general than I ever have before.”

At Wheel Nuts in Alexandria, Va., a suburb of Washington, owner Ron Taylor sounds a common theme — he’s having trouble keeping up with both sales and repairs.

“With all of that business coming in, we’ve actually had to hire additional staff,” Taylor said. “We’re staying here late, trying to meet customers’ demands, trying to get their bikes back to them sooner.”

More bikes mean more accidents

Experts welcome the trend for all of the reasons you might expect: Transportation planners like that fewer cars clog the nation’s highways. Environmental activists like that fewer tons of greenhouse emissions are pumped into the atmosphere every rush hour. Doctors like to see more people pedaling off more pounds.

But in the months since motorists began pedaling in droves, it has become clear that all those cyclists on the streets pose a significant problem: all those cyclists on the streets.

“I believe it’s definitely going to cause some problems, because people don’t know how to share the road with cyclists,” said Kirk Hendricks, director of advocacy for the group Idaho Cycling Enthusiasts. “[Drivers] need to know that we have as much right as an automobile even though we’re not as big.”

There are no nationwide statistics on bicycle-related injuries and deaths for the first half of 2008. But authorities across the country say they are seeing a sharp rise in the number of accidents involving bicyclists.

“Last year in New Jersey 12 bikers, bicyclists, were killed in motor vehicle crashes,” said Pam Fischer, director of the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “So far this year — and we’re at the middle of the summer, July 15 — we have already lost 11 bicyclists.”

Fischer said that “in almost every case, the bicycle was doing something that put them at significant risk.”

At least five bicyclists have been killed in Chicago alone this year, leading to lawsuits, organized protests demanding safer bike routes and a set of new ordinances requiring drivers to give cyclists at least a 3-foot-wide berth when passing.

“Most of the crashes that we’ve seen are a result of inattentive driving,” said Rob Sadowsky, executive director of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.
View Printable Version

Bicycle safety advocates step up county efforts

Biking in the Metro AreaCoalition presses education, legislation as planners foresee network of lanes

By Shayna Meliker | Sun reporter

Rick Wilson's father taught him how to ride a bike.

The pair, who lived on the Carroll County side of Mount Airy, used to travel into Howard County on the weekends to ride the paths.

But one summer day in August 1979, Wilson's father did not come home. As he was cycling along Route 27, when it used to be a rural road, he was hit by a truck and killed.

Wilson, now an Ellicott City resident, did not pick up a bike for 17 years, but he started riding again 12 years ago for health reasons. He was principal of Glenwood Middle School for five years and will start the next school year as principal of Folly Quarter Middle.

But Wilson has taken on more than his school duties. He heads cyclist education and safety for the Bicycling Advocates of Howard County, a coalition formed in February to address bike safety issues through education and being an advocate for legislation. The organization has nearly 200 members and 13 who serve on its executive board.

"There's no doubt that Howard County is becoming more populated, and the roads are getting tighter with more vehicles," Wilson said. "It's not as safe as any of us, bikers or drivers, would like for it to be."

And that calls for action, Wilson said, adding that he believes road safety is the dual responsibility of cyclists and drivers.

"It's too easy for bikers to point fingers at the drivers, and conversely, for the drivers to blame bikers for road issues," Wilson said. "There needs to be an understanding that bikers have the right to be on the road, but that they also have a responsibility to be smart about it."

Wilson has a particular concern for Howard County students who want to bike to school. Wilson said riding to school is a great way to instill a healthy lifestyle in students, but safety issues concern him. He is the Howard County schools liaison for BAHC.

Jack Guarneri, chairman of BAHC, estimated that there are more than 1,000 cyclists in Howard County. Of those, he said 90 percent are recreational and sport cyclists, meaning they ride primarily in the spring, summer and fall. The other 10 percent are people who commute daily to work or to public transportation hubs, even in winter.

But summertime is when cyclists have to be the most aware, said Guarneri, an Ellicott City resident who is an operations analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. He is especially concerned about drivers being less patient with the increasing number of cyclists in western Howard County, where the roads and shoulders are narrower.

BAHC is taking several preventive steps in the near term, he said, including posting "Share the Road" signs, planning safe-riding seminars and creating brochures for drivers about sharing the road with cyclists.

"But we need long-term action," Guarneri said. "We have to increase the width of shoulders on the roads, and we have to be building roads that are conducive to cyclists. We need to create a bike master plan."

And county officials are listening.
View Printable Version

Baltimore Bicycle Update

Biking in Baltimore 1. Some quick stats on bike lanes in Baltimore :
1. There are 32 miles of bike lanes, sharrows and signed/shared roadways in Baltimore City .
2. There are 35 miles of multi-use trails in Baltimore City

These stats were compiled from updated GIS layers that I’ve been working on. These maps will be available online later this summer/early fall to help local cyclists plan their routes accordingly.

2. DOT received proposals, cost estimates and a tentative schedule for the Bicycle Facilities Network program (the “official” title of Bike Master Plan improvements) from Toole Design Group. We are currently reviewing the information and amending as needed. The focus of these areas will be southeast Baltimore and Park Heights . The Engineering and Construction section of DOT will oversee this project, although I will be assisting in the project management and reviewing submittals.

3. Under Operation Orange Cone, DOT has added 6 miles of bike lanes to roadways including Clarks Lane , Loch Raven Blvd, W. Belvedere Ave, and Gwynn Oak Avenue . Once the extra work orders are approved for the contractors, bike lanes will then be installed on Belair Rd, Garrison Blvd, Cherryland Rd, Patterson Avenue, and Boston St.

4. One goal that I have is to provide bike lanes/routes through downtown. This goal is getting closer to reality. As the downtown shuttle program will have designed bus lanes, I am researching other community’s efforts with combined bus & bike lanes. While these lanes may also be used by right-turning vehicles, it does allow a full 10’+ lane for bikes along Pratt and Lombard Sts. Kettleson, Inc. is performing traffic studies to ensure this will work.

In a north-south direction, the GBC has requested that Mt. Royal from St. Paul to Guilford and Guilford from Mt. Royal to Centre St be repaved. As you know this is a major bike route into downtown from the north. Once repaving is complete, an official bike lane will be installed through this stretch.

5. 25 bike racks will be installed throughout downtown, Ridgeley’s Choice and southeast B’more once the crews return from a labor training class.

6. Bike racks at Penn Station will be installed through a cooperative effort from DOT, MTA and the Parking Authority. The new racks will be located just inside the main entrance to the garage on the median adjacent to the security booth. This should reduce bike theft and satisfy Amtrak and Homeland Security’s concerns about bike racks being too close to the train station.

7. There is a growing effort from the Department of Planning to allow bikes on the Promenade. The first phase will concentrate on Canton from the Waterfront Park to Harris Creek . Other sections will open as property owners and the city reach liability agreements.

8. Baltimore has been approved for Part 1 of the Bicycle Friendly Communities application!!! Part 2 is much more involved and has shed some light on the amount of work that lies ahead of us.

9. As part of Traffic Mitigation agreements with the city, some developers have expressed an interest in bike sharing. I’ve researched this possibility and have found 4 developments along the greater downtown area that would be suitable sites for bike sharing stations. While DC’s SmartBike program is not fully underway, I’m exploring other cities efforts in this area.

10. As the Department of Transportation is examining ways to save money on fuel costs, the Planning Division is leading the way by using bikes whenever possible. (I myself have never operated a city vehicle.) I’m working on a logo to hang on “official city bikes” to promote this effort.

11. There are currently two bills in Congress to promote complete streets design. I’m compiling some training materials for our engineers and consultants to have once these bills become law.

12. Last Friday, Greg and I met Jim Runion of GBA Engineers at the new Masonville Environmental Education Center. We were looking at a possible trail connecting the nature center to Hanover St . With a little funding, this could happen.

13. I’ve been involved with an effort between Baltimore County and CCBC Catonsville to establish a national set of GIS standards for trails and bikeways. This is a pretty cool undertaking and will help with data collection and planning for any future bike-related improvements nationwide.
View Printable Version

Another Google Bike Mashup Map

Biking in MarylandThis page is dedicating to working on Washington Bike Mashup Maps: http://washingtonbike.wetpaint.com/page/Mashup+Map?t=anon

And another Map for Police incidents, tickets and warnings, and bike accidents:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110783320719658065016.0004519876ef8015b5aa3&ll=38.858255,-77.06943&spn=0.389787,0.601501&z=11

Note that we have the capability for the latter here: http://www.margieroswell.com/maps/bike.htm
With your help we can make this a valuable information tool.
View Printable Version

The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist

Biking Elsewhere[The following is really good, which I quote in full (without hyper links) but for those who are more then the casual reader I will encourage you to visit the original article (link at the end of this article) on the WashCycle site and follow the comments on the article.]

Whenever you read an article about cycling in the city, or a discussion of transportation involving cycling it is highly likely that you'll read a comment like this:

"I will 'share the road' when cyclists start 'obeying the traffic laws.'"

and this

"I always see bikers disobeying traffic signals. They always run red lights going across R Street and Connecticut Ave"

and this

Before encouraging people to cycle and spending millions of pounds of our money in the process, the Government should have down some groundwork to make roads safer for all of us. [WC: Sounds reasonable]

Making cyclists observe a few traffic laws - such as stopping at traffic lights and zebra crossings - would have been a welcome start.[WC: Really? You'd START with cyclists?]

In fact after Alice Swanson's death, many comments on the post, DCist and elsewhere mentioned that something like this was bound to happen because of the illegal manner in which most cyclists ride. Despite the fact that there seems to be no indication that she did anything illegal.

Which leads to what I call "The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist".

Now then, I'm not trying to claim that cyclists don't break the law. Let me state clearly and upfront, they do. What I'm saying is that there is nothing unique about the frequency with which cyclists as a class break the law when compared with drivers or pedestrians. And even if cyclists broke the law more flagrantly, that would not negate the need to share the road.

Hello? Kettle? You're Black!

Implicit in all of these types of comments is that drivers (and sometimes pedestrians) constitute the law-abiding sections of society, but these scofflaw cyclists - with their Lycra-clad arrogance (you have to mention arrogance or self-righteousness for it to count) - are a menace to society.

Let's knock that down first.

Many drivers break the law. I would almost be willing to say that every driver breaks the law, but let's stick with many. How?

First of all, they speed.

Driver compliance with speed limits is poor. On average, 7 out of 10 motorists exceeded the posted speed in urban areas. Compliance ranged from 3 to 99 percent. Compliance tended to be worse on low-speed roads, better on roads with prima facie limits, or where the speed limit was based on an engineering study. Better does not mean good compliance; less than 10 percent on [sic] the sites had more than 50-percent obedience with the posted speed

In DC, speed cameras were set up at several locations. They were recording 170 infractions per hour (that's one every 21 seconds for all you poli-sci majors).

And they run red lights

From August 1999 through May 2008, the automated red-light enforcement program has, at 49 locations, resulted in 741,780 notices of infraction.

And stop signs

The overall compliance rate for stop signs was 22.8 per 100 vehicles, ranging from 1.4 per 100 for bicycles to 46.2 per 100 for commuter vans. Compliance increased to 53 per 100 vehicles when pedestrians were present in the crosswalk. [WC: Ok we're both guilty here, but the cars aren't even stopping half the time. More on this below.]

They illegally park

There were 1.67 million parking tickets written last year, up from 1.3 million in 2001, according to statistics provided by the D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW).

They double park and park in the bike lane.

They ignore toll booths

Court records show that among the first cases in Fairfax County last week, five motorists each had fines topping $10,000. A dozen more face penalties higher than $4,000.

They drive drunk and distracted, this being a mere drop in the bucket.

Through October, officers issued 9,484 tickets this year to motorists driving with a cell phone in their hand, according to police statistics.

The number of citations already issued this year is 13 percent more than the 8,358 issued last year. In 2005, police issued 7,523...

and I could go on.

Pedestrians, of course, jaywalk.

My point isn't that two wrongs make a right or that drivers are worse than cyclists. My point is that it's hypocritical to call your neighbor rude, because his loud stereo makes it difficult for you to focus on your backyard chainsaw sculpting.

My Account





Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?

Google


Site Map

Events

There are no upcoming events

Older Stories

Tuesday d-M


Monday d-M


Sunday d-M


Saturday d-M


Friday d-M


Wednesday d-M


Tuesday d-M

Forumposts

Order: New Views Posts
Latest 5 Forum Posts
 
Re: Winter riding
 By:  B' Spokes
 On:  Sunday, November 16 2014 @ 05:55 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Winter riding
 By:  nawaz
 On:  Saturday, November 15 2014 @ 05:35 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Halloween Critic..
 By:  nehal
 On:  Saturday, November 01 2014 @ 05:52 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: c-mass winter ri..
 By:  namal
 On:  Saturday, November 01 2014 @ 05:50 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: 6 pack
 By:  Dose123
 On:  Friday, October 24 2014 @ 06:21 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0

Mailing Lists

General Talk
Subscribe Archives Announcements
Subscribe Archives

Poll

Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
  •  Strongly disagree
This poll has 0 more questions.
Results
Other polls | 814 votes | 0 comments

The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on State roads
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
This poll has 0 more questions.
Results
Other polls | 861 votes | 3 comments

Who's Online

Guest Users: 202

What's New

Stories