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Monday, February 08 2016 @ 10:01 AM UTC
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Monday's Bike Forum summary

Biking in MarylandIt was very encouraging to see ~70 people show up and attend the meeting. Here is my brief summary of the highlights followed by some of the disappointments.

Highlights:
1: Safety: Peter Moe - Maryland Highway Safety Office
If you remember after trying to get the three foot safe passing bill through the legislature last year we were promised a safety campaign and we got to see how this is unfolding. Elements include: a pamphlet "Bicycle Safety: It's a two-way street." core message: Bicycles are legitimate [road] users; simple strategies for sharing the road; Transit advertising; email blast; web support and Driver share the road video.

2: Data & Initiatives: Stephanie Yanovitz - MdSHA
2.a: On October 23rd SHA will hold a Complete Streets Training Workshop for SHA's lead staff in Planning, Design and from each District Traffic Office. [Hopefully more training sessions we be held for all involved in the process of (re)designing our streets.]
2.b: Maps are provided for each SHA district that highlight the Bicycle Level Of Comfort (or the lack thereof) as well as bicycle and pedestrian crash locations, in short, a great little aid in highlighting where there is need for better accommodations.
2.c: At all public presentations of upcoming projects a Bicycle FAQ board will be presented, which covers bicycles being allowed on the road, our helmet law, riding on sidewalks, rules regarding sidepaths, common courtesy and common motorist errors around cyclists.

3: Trails: Sylvia Ramsey - MDOT
Maryland Trails: Strategic Implementation Plan <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20080729093118564">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20080729093118564</a>;
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California passes Complete Streets

Biking ElsewhereGovernor Schwarzenegger signed AB 1358, the California Complete Streets Act of 2008, into law Tuesday night. The Complete Streets Law has been the number one legislative priority of the California Bicycle Coalition.

The Complete Streets Act codifies policy that all streets be designed to accommodate all users including bicyclists. According to San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno, who introduced AB 1358, “Streets aren’t just for cars, they’ re for people and AB 1358 will ensure our roadways are safe and convenient for everyone - young or old, riding a bike or on foot, in a car or on a bus.”

AB 1358 requires a city or county’ s general plan to identify how they will accommodate the circulation of all users of the roadway, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, children, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and users of public transportation. The new general plan provisions would be required when local governments next revise what is known as the circulation element which addresses flow of traffic through a local transportation system utilizing better planning to ease congestion. Such accommodations may include sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, wide shoulders, medians, bus pullouts, and audible pedestrian signals, among others.

“Complete Streets ensure that tax dollars are invested to serve all Californians, and protect and enhance our quality of life now and in the future,” said K.C. Butler, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition.

Complete Streets has many societal and public health benefits. When people have more transportation options, there are fewer traffic jams and the overall capacity of the transportation network increases. Additionally, physical inactivity is linked to our growing obesity epidemic. One study found that 43% of people with safe places to walk within 10 minutes of home met recommended physical activity levels.

AB 1358 is also a key strategy communities can use to help improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Complete Streets will help cities and counties meet standards set by landmark legislation capping carbon emissions in California, AB 32. If each resident of a community of 100,000 replaced one car trip with one bike trip once a month, it would cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by 3,764 tons per year.

Additionally, integrating sidewalks, bike lanes, transit amenities, and safe crossings into the initial design of a project is more cost-effective than making costly retrofits later.
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Biking Elsewhere
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Photos from Tour du Port

Bike Maryland updatesIf you missed Sunday's ride you missed a great event, great weather and supporting a great cause. We hope to see you next year.
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Hit by a bus today, again

Biking in BaltimoreYes, hit by a bus, again.
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Kill a cyclist, pay $110

Biking ElsewhereUntil the city lives up to its bike-plan promises, door-prize givers will get away with murder

BY Jonathan Goldsbie

What if I told you that you could kill a man — or a woman or a child — for the low cost of $110? No jail time. No criminal record. No other fines or fees. Quite a bargain, huh? And you may not even have to pay that much, if you successfully challenge the penalty in court. The offer is not gonna get any sweeter than this. I dare you, find a better deal. Kill a person, pay $110, move on with your life.

How, you might ask? Well, it's obvious. Just pick someone whom society willfully neglects, whose life is considered unimportant and whose death is no big whoop, an unfortunate but forgettable consequence of modern society. A little collateral damage at the margins. Nope, not homeless people. They're looking down on that now.

I'm talking about cyclists. Just open the door of your parked car into an oncoming cyclist and smack 'em into traffic. It might take several tries before you actually kill one, but keep at it. The police will be hesitant to charge you at first. And then other cyclists will get all uppity, and police will compromise with a $110 fine. Because that's how much a cyclist's life is worth.

Incidentally, it's also how much a cyclist is fined for not coming to a complete halt at a stop sign. Or not having a bell. Or having a defective bell. Or riding in or along a pedestrian crossing.
...
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Bailout Bill Includes Bike Commuting Benefit

Biking ElsewhereRemember Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer's long-sought $20 per month tax credit for bike commuters, intended to extend a benefit to cyclists that motorists have received for decades? The measure ridiculed by North Carolina Rep. Patrick &quot;Give Me Fossil Fuels or Give Me Death&quot; McHenry? It didn't make it into law last year, but it seems the bike commuting credit has found its way into the latest version of the financial bailout package. ...
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Great Agenda Set-Up for Bike Form Mon. 10-06-08 at 6:00PM

Biking in MarylandHi Bike Forum Folks. We had our last Bike Forum Planning Session yesterday folks from APL-SHA-OLC &amp; CPABC and Boy do we have an exceptional agenda for you on Monday Evening. This is one Bike Forum you DO NOT WANT TO MISS. We laid out a List of Ten Topics that the Cyclists in Md. want to discuss and have answers from SHA/MDOT. Neil Pedersen-Administrator-SHA has been working with Stephanie Yanovitz-SHA Bike Coordinator and along with the rest of SHA Transportation Staff to fully answer all those important questions. Stephanie has worked up a very professional Power Point Presentaion(Bicycing Md. on Oct. 6, 2008) and Neil will present it starting at 6:45 PM at APL. We have a chock full agenda that will keep you busy for three hours asking and answering these very important questions. We will start going at 6:00PM with refreshments-Pizza-Veggies and Drinks(Complements of OLC)(No Food allowed in this wonderful very professional Parson Auditorium. We need to thank Jack Guameri from APL and chair of the Howard Co. BAHC Bike Group for the use of this perfect setting for so many of us to get together. And all the folks who helped pull this Bike Forum together.
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Dead right

Biking ElsewhereA Fox 6 (Milwaukee) news report about motorist unsafe passing, a cyclist with cameras and his effort to increase awareness.
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C&O Canal bike trail traffic-free and gorgeous

Biking in Maryland[A wonderful article about the C&amp;O]
...
A few of us were veterans of weeks-long or even months-long expeditions in the saddle. Several others had barely been on a bike for years. Our bikes ranged from fancy wheels right out of the shop to tough old machines.

And we had 184.5 miles to cover -- together.

Not a problem. There's something about the C&amp;O that makes these differences not matter.

Bicycling the canal, on a dirt towpath where mules once hauled barges, is like riding through a watercolor painting of nature all day long. Spring, summer and deep into fall, it's like inhaling a passage from &quot;Walden&quot; and exhaling a verse from Robert Frost.

After splashing through the first dozen mud puddles, seeing the first of the turtles lazing on fallen trees in still water, and getting swallowed by the luscious greenery -- as if we'd leaped into that painting -- I knew we'd found our stride.

The C&amp;O, it turns out, is an ideal proving ground for casual cyclists looking to push their limits. It's long, flat and traffic-free, plus gorgeous.

Those same qualities engage dedicated cyclists, too, who can stretch the daily mileage if they want and speed a little faster through the same grand tapestry.

And what a tapestry. On one side is the broad, rushing Potomac River; on the other, the placid canal. Above, a canopy of leaves.

Along the way: 74 locks with massive wooden gates patterned on the designs of Leonardo da Vinci, 11 aqueducts and dozens of white brick houses where gatekeepers tended locks and gardens until the canal went bust in 1924.

The human imprint is frozen in time here. Nature is in motion.

Now herons, songbirds, snakes and the ubiquitous turtles make their living on the C&amp;O.

It wasn't supposed to be this way when people started carving the earth in 1828 to make a waterway for coal and commerce from the Allegheny Mountains to the East Coast.

They reckoned a canal stretching between Chesapeake Bay and the Ohio River would beat the railroad in the race west. The railroad won -- and so did the great outdoors.

Today, the C&amp;O joins the recently expanded Great Allegheny Passage rail trail to give cyclists a 320-mile offroad route along sparkling rivers between Washington and the outskirts of Pittsburgh.
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