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Sunday, May 29 2016 @ 07:36 AM UTC
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Biking in the Metro AreaCommittee seeks public comment on draft

AnnapolisEvery 10 years, Annapolis creates a new Comprehensive Plan to chart the City's direction for the coming decade. Since late 2006, the City has been working with a Citizen Advisory Committee to generate a new Comprehensive Plan.

Now, the Comprehensive Plan Citizen Advisory Committee invites Annapolis residents, community groups, business groups and other interested individuals to review and comment on the "Committee Review Draft" of the Annapolis Comprehensive Plan. The committee wishes to hear from the public before it finishes its work on the Plan.

The Committee Review Draft is available for download on the City web site (link below) or for review at the Annapolis and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Libraries or the Annapolis Department of Planning and Zoning.
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Speed Cameras Shown to Increase Road Efficiency

Biking ElsewhereWASHINGTON, D.C. (September 18, 2008) — Although drivers tend to slow down when driving through a photo enforcement zone, a recent study shows that speed cameras actually reduce travel time and improve travel time reliability. The landmark study is the first in the U.S. to analyze multiple effects on driver behavior, travel time, societal costs, and road safety.

The study, which became available to the public this summer, looked at a trial photo enforcement program on a segment of Arizona State Loop 101 in Scottsdale. The program — the first in the U.S. to use fixed-site speed cameras on a freeway — ran from January through October 2006 and cited drivers going at least 11 miles over the 65 mph speed limit.

Simon Washington, the Arizona State University engineering professor who co-authored the report, found that the speed camera program “not only improved safety but also improved mobility through travel time savings, improved travel time reliability, and reduced travel time uncertainty.”

The report found that during the nine month speed camera trial program
  • mean traffic speeds were reduced by nine mph
  • total crashes were reduced by 44% to 54%
  • injury crashes decreased by 28% to 48%
The annual estimated safety benefits ranged from $16.5 to $17.1 million, based on medical costs, quality of life costs and other costs (lost productivity, wages, long-term care, etc.).

The report estimated that the reduction in crash frequency saved approximately 1,336 vehicle-hours a year when crashes blocked one lane and 45,060 vehicle-hours a year when crashes blocked two lanes. The annual benefit of travel time savings ranged from a low of $20,040 (one-lane blockage crash assuming $15/hr value of travel time savings) to a high of $901,200 (two-lane blockage crash assuming $20/hr of travel time savings). The six speed cameras (three facing in each direction of traffic) produced a clear change in driving behavior.

The average number of daily speeding detections per camera was
  • 162.2 during the warning period;
  • 129.7 during the program period;
  • 1,482.4 during the after period; and
  • 134.68 during the reactivation period.
“This study confirms what we have believed all along,” said Barbara Harsha, Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). “By reducing crashes, photo enforcement not only saves lives but also enhances traffic flow and shortens time in the car.”
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xkcd - Organic Fuel

Mass Transitimage
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SHA Public Workshop for I-795 Pleasant Hill interchange

Biking in MarylandSHA Public Workshop for I-795 Pleasant Hill interchange
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Biking ElsewhereWarning funny link
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Bikes vs. Cars: The Rules of Engagement

Biking ElsewhereAll our sympathies go to the SWDCBlogger's roommate who was intentionally struck by a driver while riding late Friday night on 14th Street SW near Constitution Avenue. Witnesses to the incident picked up the driver's tags, so the hope is that justice will catch up with that automomaniac. Anyone else who was hanging around the Mall after 1 a.m. and saw the incident should get in contact with the [the original post].

This writer, too, has had several recent run-ins with motor drivers compelled to violence by nothing more than the inconvenience of sharing a lane with a bicyclist. It's enough to drive a person to a Matt Borlikian attitude toward anyone with car keys. Last month, for example, while I was biking on Florida Ave NW, a driver who had crowded me and honked his horn repeatedly from behind me — despite the fact that no one was using the other east-bound lane — finally passed me so aggressively and ostentatiously that he clipped my front tire, sending me off the road. And just last night, a driver on 14th Street near the Columbia Heights Metro station swerved toward me, nearly clipping my toes, when I stepped out on foot into the lane but then stepped back toward the car. So, I punched her trunk as she passed, prompting her male passenger, who was behaving in a manner consistent with being high on drugs, to hop out and, after some debate about etiquette, follow me into that terrible pollo burrito place there by the Gentrification Giant and punch me in the face. (The worst part of the exchange came later: regrettably, I ate the burrito I ordered.)

Granted, each of these respective drivers earned a flurry of middle fingers from your correspondent at various points in our conversations, but hey, that's driving. Incivility is certainly not a license to use a 5,000-lb. vehicle in order to enforce a norm of the road. Drivers: You may not assault, batter, or kill bicyclists with your vehicle, no matter how slow they seem to be going, how much lane they seem to unfairly occupy relative to their size, or how many rude digits they point in your direction.

Drivers absolutely may not strike bikers, but ... is there ever a case when it might be appropriate for bikers to hit back at drivers? No one should read this as a call for asymmetric violence by bicyclists against drivers who put them in danger, but given the "etiquette" conversation I had last night before getting punched, I'm curious: do you all think responding to vehicular assault by banging your fist down on a trunk is so wrong? And what about a well-placed U-lock to a tail light? Where do you draw the line?
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Health & Environment"...have lower prevalence of asthma;" article by Lovasi, Quinn, Neckerman, Perzanowski, & Rundle; in the July 2008 Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (62:569). Quote: "Street trees were associated with a lower prevalence of early childhood asthma. This study does not permit inference that trees are causally related to asthma at the individual level. The PlaNYC sustainability initiative, which includes a commitment to plant one million trees by the year 2017, offers an opportunity for a large prospective evaluation."
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Biking ElsewhereAccording to an Oct. 13th Tribune article, "Despite increased fuel prices, gridlock is still a problem, but more people may be working at home or traveling at non-peak times, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning researcher says. Motorists in the Chicago area are making fewer trips to gas stations, but highways are still severely congested despite a decline of almost 5 percent in miles driven this year.

"Congestion in the region is actually worse now than a year ago. Drivers hoping to reach their destinations on schedule need to budget almost double the amount of travel time that the trips should take..."

[Just to note that parents driving their kids to school has been shown to be as high as 21% of rush hour traffic. I'll assert the impact of this behavior could explain this problem.]
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Maryland Bicycle Friendly State Ranking Feedback

Biking in Maryland[Note that Maryland's ranking is 35 out of 50]
As you know, the League of American Bicyclists recently expanded our programs in our effort to build a Bicycle Friendly America. Based on our successful Bicycle Friendly Community program, the Bicycle Friendly State program began by ranking all 50 states on their bike-friendliness. You can see the overall results of the ranking here. The rankings are based on overall scores to the ranking questionnaire that was sent to your State Bike Coordinator. Below is the feedback give to the Coordinator on areas that your state can work on to improve its ranking, and most importantly improve conditions for bicycling. We encourage you to use this feedback as a checklist of relevant to-do items when working with your State Coordinator, Department of Transportation and state legislature.

-no 3ft or greater safe passing law
-cannot legally signal with right hand
-bicycle equipment code not consistent with the language in UVC or its intent
-discriminatory mandatory bike lane law
-far to right as practicable code does exclude right turn lane

Policies & Programs
-no Complete Streets or Bicycle and Pedestrian Accomodation policy
-no Mountain Biking Plan
-no CO2 Reduction Plan that includes bicycle usage
-no policy requiring bike parking at state owned facilities

-no system in place to determine percentage of state highways that have paved shoulders
-no rumble strip policy with a minimum 4ft. of clearance for bicycles
-no dedicated state funding source for bicycling projects or programs
-no safety funding spent on bicycling in past 3 years

Education & Encouragement
-no questions regarding the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists on driver’s test
-no questions regarding the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists on driver’s manual
-no questions on motorists responsibilities to cyclists on CDL test

Evaluation & Planning
-information on bicycle usage rates not included in SCORP
-bicycle safety is not addressed in Highway Safety Plan

-No education of officer on cyclist rights & responsibilities through academy or continuing education
-information on cyclists rights and responsibilities not made available to traffic judges
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Biking in the Metro AreaAccording to an Oct. 14th Gazette article, "State Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Dist. 21) of College Park and state Del. William Bronrott (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda say they hope a proposed bill will make walking and biking to school safer for children across the state. Under the proposed legislation, school construction funds could possibly be used for adding or widening sidewalks, adding traffic lights, countdown walk signals, crosswalks and increasing the time of walk signals at intersections.

"The bill was announced Oct. 6, a day before Walk to School Day, a Prince George's County effort to encourage students to walk to school and to identify areas along their routes that need improvement. According to the State Highway Administration, there were 110 deaths involving pedestrians statewide in 2007, 28 of which occurred in Prince George's. The SHA did not have specific information on the ages of those killed. Rosapepe said Route 1 creates a dangerous walking atmosphere for College Park pedestrians..."

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
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  •  Undecided
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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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