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Friday, July 31 2015 @ 07:19 AM UTC
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Biking in BaltimoreThis is a funny YouTube video. Imagine you riding home from work and...
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One Less Car plans fall bicycle forum; will likely bring back Cycle Across Maryland

Bike Maryland updatesBy Ron Cassie - News-Post Staff

One Less Car, a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of bicycling and pedestrian issues, will sponsor a Maryland Bicycle Fall Forum for the first time next month in preparation for the start of the next General Assembly in January.

"It's a cattle call; all the bike clubs will be there – the College Park Area Bicycle Coalition, the Baltimore Bicycling Club, Oxon Hill, Howard County, MoBike (Montgomery Bicycle Advocates), and others," said One Less Car executive director Richard Chambers.

"Anybody who's got a bike and is interested is welcome," he said. "It's a free advocacy event."

The forum, scheduled to run from 6 to 9 p.m. , will take place Oct. 6 in the Parsons Theater at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel .

[For more information or to RSVP, please send an email to rchambers"at"onelesscar.org]

Chambers described the forum as a summit of sorts, to talk about upcoming legislation. He said it's an opportunity for bicycling advocates to discuss what the state needs to do to promote safe riding, such as adding bike lanes and racks and connecting trails – all of which makes more bicycle commuting possible.

"Maryland Department of Transportation bike/pedestrian coordinator Stephanie Yanovitz has already committed to being there, and we've invited John Porcari, Maryland 's transportation secretary, highway administration people, and elected officials," Chambers said. "I think we're going to get over 100 people to attend. Obviously, with gas prices, this is an issue that has legs."

Bill Smith of the Frederick Pedalers said bicycle advocates working in different parts of the state benefit by coordinating with each other.

"Many of us know each other via e-mail only," he said. "I've only met in person 10 percent of the advocates statewide. I want to know what is happening in other areas and I want to communicate that to all of the bicyclists in this area."

Smith, who said there are good things happening all over the state and in Frederick for bicyclists, said he wants to ensure that routine accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians are considered during every part of the legislative and planning process, so that all transportation needs are met, not just those of drivers.

Chambers also confirmed last week that One Less Car now expects to continue its annual fundraising ride, Cycle Across Maryland, after planning to drop sponsorship of the event earlier this summer.

After several years on Maryland 's Eastern Shore , the ride shifted its home base to Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg this July. In its 20th anniversary this year, the ride went smoothly and registration jumped 25 percent to more than 500 riders, said Charina Chatman, One Less Car's events coordinator.

"The board has not voted on it yet, but I'm 90 percent sure we're going to go ahead," Chambers said.

One Less Car's largest ride, its annual, noncompetitive "Tour Du Port" trek around the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry , is expected to attract more than 1,500 cyclists in Baltimore on Oct. 5, the day before the Maryland Fall Bicycle Forum.
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Pedaling Away Parkinson's Symptoms

Biking ElsewhereNBC Nightly News with Brian Williams - Excerpt |02:27 |
A small pilot study of Parkinson's patients who rode tandem bicycles three times a week has shown promise in alleviating the tremors and rigidity of the disease.
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The Beauty of Bikes -- Even Ugly Ones

Biking in MarylandBy John Kelly - Washington Post
...
Not so good is the news that the intercounty connector might not have a continuous bike path along its 19-mile route in Montgomery County. Bad for the environment, planners say. As opposed to, say, the six-lane highway itself and the thousands of vehicles that will travel on it?

Let's see: There's too much traffic. There's too much pollution. There's too much fat. It seems to me that every new road that's built around here -- and plenty of old ones -- should include dedicated bike lanes.

Of course, riding a bike in our area can get you killed. Car plus bike often equals disaster. If you'll excuse an Oxonian memory, I never felt nervous cycling in Oxford, even when I was pedaling on a narrow, rain-slicked road with a double-decker bus looming inches from my right elbow.

The reason I didn't feel nervous is because I knew the bus driver had been in my shoes before, maybe when he was a kid, maybe on his commute to work that very morning. When you've ridden a bike regularly, you look out for bikes.

That's not the case here. We've severed our relationship with these sublime machines. Making it easier to cycle -- by building bike lanes and bike paths -- will help us reestablish it.
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Weaving a web of biking trails

Biking in BaltimoreThe state plans to establish a safe and accessible network of paths for bikers

[The Sun's coverage of the State's Strategic Trail Plan ref:<a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20080729093118564">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20080729093118564</a>;

While I love trails, for the most part they cannot be everywhere we need them, we will be issuing an alert next week on our own strategic plan to make a dramatic difference in the bikeability of the region for a surprising low price tag. Stay tuned.]
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Friday evening ride

Looking for local rides(ers)Six o'clock in the evening Sept. 5th, starting in front of City Hall, going to Druid Lake and back.

Join us by 6:00 Pm at City Hall -or- be at Droodle around 6:30 and pedal along for a while.

Be there or be an unfit shape for a bicycle wheel.
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The fifth annual F as in Fat Report

Biking Elsewhere WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Adult obesity rates increased in 37 states in the past year, according to the fifth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America, 2008 report (<a href="http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2008">http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2008</a>;) from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Rates rose for a second consecutive year in 24 states and for a third consecutive year in 19 states. No state saw a decrease. Though many promising policies have emerged to promote physical activity and good nutrition in communities, the report concludes that they are not being adopted or implemented at levels needed to turn around this health crisis.

More than 25 percent of adults are obese in 28 states, which is an increase from 19 states last year. More than 20 percent of adults are obese in every state except Colorado. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. In 1980, the national average of obese adults was 15 percent. Now, an estimated two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and an estimated 23 million children are either overweight or obese (the report does not include new state-level data for children this year).
...
&quot;America's future depends on the health of our country. The obesity epidemic is lowering our productivity and dramatically increasing our health care costs. Our analysis shows that we're not treating the obesity epidemic with the urgency it deserves,&quot; said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH. &quot;Even though communities have started taking action, considering the scope of the problem, the country's response has been severely limited. For significant change to happen, combating obesity must become a national priority.&quot;
...
The report also provides an annual review of state and federal policies aimed at reducing or preventing obesity in children and adults. It shows that many policies are missing critical components or require a more comprehensive approach to be truly effective. Among the examples highlighted:
...
-- While the Dietary Guidelines for Americans were updated in 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) school meal program has yet to adopt the recommendations.
...
-- Ten states do not include specific coverage for nutrition assessment and counseling for obese or overweight children in their Medicaid programs (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefits).

-- Twenty states explicitly do not cover nutritional assessment and consultation for obese adults under Medicaid.

-- Only Georgia and Vermont have specific guidelines for treating obese adults in their Medicaid programs. In Nebraska and South Carolina, the Medicaid programs specifically state that obesity is not an illness and is therefore not covered.

-- Forty-five states allow using obesity or health status as a risk factor to deny coverage or raise premiums. Only five states do not allow using obesity or health status to deny coverage or raise premiums.
...
The F as in Fat report concludes with a recommendation that the country set a national goal of reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. To help achieve that goal, the report's top recommendation calls on the federal government to convene partners from state and local governments, businesses, communities, and schools to create and implement a realistic, comprehensive National Strategy to Combat Obesity. Some key policy recommendations include:

-- Investing in effective community-based disease-prevention programs that promote increased physical activity and good nutrition;
...
-- Increasing the amount and quality of physical education and activity in schools and childcare programs;

-- Increasing access to safe, accessible places for physical activity in communities. Examples include creating and maintaining parks, sidewalks and bike lanes and providing incentives for smart growth designs that make communities more livable and walkable;
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Waterfront Promenade essentially complete

Biking in Baltimoreby ROBBIE WHELAN - Daily Record

With the opening of a stretch of red cobblestones in front of the new Ritz-Carlton Residences, city residents now have access to more than six miles of almost uninterrupted waterfront public space around Baltimore’s harbor.

The Baltimore Waterfront Promenade, which begins in the shadow of the First Mariner Bancorp Tower in Canton and ends just before the Baltimore Museum of Industry in South Baltimore, has been in the works since the mid-1980s, when a series of urban renewal ordinances passed by City Council sought to extend the Inner Harbor’s pedestrian access to other parts of the harbor.

Each new piece of legislation, starting with the Inner Harbor Urban Renewal Plan and most recently including the Key Highway Urban Renewal Plan, has stipulated that all private development by the harbor must agree to an easement placed on 20 to 30 feet of public-access promenade space along the water.

Late last month, the city approved an easement for the section of promenade in front of the newly opened Ritz, which effectively completes the connection between the Inner Harbor and HarborView, a luxury condominium and townhome development.

“The idea, just generally, going way back is that after the Inner Harbor happened, and was successful, the thinking was to extend the promenade to the east and south into the neighborhoods, because we thought public access to the waterfront was a paramount idea and something we’d like to achieve,” said Robert M. Quilter, an architect with the city’s planning department and coordinator of the promenade project.

Quilter said that the key to ensuring waterfront access to the public is to legislate it.

Easement requirements are usually built into urban renewal plans, but if a development is not located within an urban renewal area, then the city ties the easement to an agreement called a Planned Unit Development.

Under a PUD agreement, which must be approved by the city, various zoning uses such as residential, commercial and retail can be grouped together on one property. Hale Properties’ Canton Crossing and Struever Bros. Eccles &amp; Rouse’s Tide Point projects are examples of developments built outside of urban renewal areas for which an easement was a contingency for PUD approval.

“The thing about the easements is, we realized that what had happened up to [the 1980s] was that everything that happened was on city-owned land,” Quilter said. “The promenades that were done at Harbor East were also on city land, but when you get to Fells Point and Canton and Key Highway, that was on private land so it became clear that [we] needed this easement mechanism to guarantee public access.”
...
On a recent bicycle ride around the harbor from Canton to Locust Point, The Daily Record found that, save for four spots, the promenade is a continuous loop along the water.

They were a break in the brick-paved path behind the Captain James restaurant in Canton, the areas around the construction sites at Harbor Point and Harbor East’s Legg Mason/Four Seasons project, and a small fenced-off portion of Henderson’s Wharf in Fells Point.

In each of these cases, a quick detour, with minimal time spent contending with street traffic, returned the rider to the waterfront in just a few minutes.
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Going to the store

Biking in the Metro AreaBike riders are paying customers when they can park securely.

It's not even two miles to go to the local grocery store. But I don't do it on my bike. I like my bike, I like riding it. It is a low end road bike that I put a rack on, and have both a trunk bag and a large pannier (side bag). So I should be able to use it for shopping.

But I don't because I don't want it damaged or stolen. Maybe I got away cheap spending under $1,000 for a road bike, but I don't like leaving it unattended.

I thought that maybe Trader Joe's (Owings Mills) would be more progressive, and asked the &quot;Captain&quot; about bringing the bike in. He said no, (and has had several requests) so I asked about getting a bike rack out front. I was told that the landlord was against the idea, and was told that I could call First Washington Realty at 703 442-4323. Ginny Brown is who I was told to ask for.

If you have a retail business, why not install a bike rack and have it in a visible and safe location? If you really want a good image, have a water cooler inside like Race Pace in Owings Mills does. Free ice water was the foundation for Wall Drug in South Dakota. They offer it now as they did in the '30s and are a huge business, especially by the standards of Wall, South Dakota.
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Eldridge mention of ICC bikeway

Biking in Maryland[From MoBike-]

Here's a bit from Steve Eldridge's &quot;Sprawl and Crawl&quot; blog about the ICC bike path:

<a href="http://www.commuterpageblog.com/2008/08/getting-it-wron.html">http://www.commuterpageblog.com/2008/08/getting-it-wron.html</a>;

I think he misses the mark in putting all the blame on county planners when the state's original plan didn't include the bikeway except for 7 miles. If there was a bait &amp; switch, it was 3 years ago by the state. But the sentiment is absolutely correct.

Here's the relevant part:

&lt;&lt;The latest travesty involves a road or a highway that has been on the planning books for something like 50 years and construction on it just recently got underway. Anyone living in this region would have to be hiding under a rock to have not heard about all of the controversy the Intercounty Connector (ICC) has brought. State officials say they went above and beyond to make sure that the highway used all of the latest construction innovations to minimize the impact on the surrounding environment. Yet, the current group of planners and elected nincompoops is now planning to eliminate the hiker/biker trail that was one of the centerpieces of the &quot;green&quot; aspect of this highway. They now say that the inclusion of six to eight feet of hiker/biker path will require them to do bad things to the environment. What a crock of box turtle dung. They can build a highway that is 75 or so feet wide but can't build an extra couple feet of paved space for self-powered, two-wheeled vehicles we tend to call &quot;bicycles?&quot; Talk about another bait and switch.

I have supported the building of the ICC because the county and the region just don't have enough east/west arteries. I felt like the state had done a good job to mitigate many if not every single one of the environmental concerns. I also felt like they were using many of the new construction techniques in areas of environmental concern. But actions such as the proposal to eliminate promised accoutrements make me very suspicious about the sincerity of the intentions from the start.&gt;&gt;

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