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Thursday, December 18 2014 @ 02:24 PM UTC
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Baltimore should be biking

Biking in Baltimore- Sun Editorial

With gas prices topping $4 a gallon and a growing awareness of carbon footprints, a search for alternative means of transportation is under way. So why aren't more people riding bicycles in Baltimore? It's cheaper than driving or taking mass transit, and it's a good way to get exercise without sacrificing much time from busy schedules. Still, there are fewer bike commuters in Baltimore than in other East Coast cities, census numbers indicate.

The city has been trying to encourage more residents to use bicycles to commute by adding bike lanes to some city streets and extending the Jones Falls and Gwynns Falls trails - two bike paths that aim to connect residential neighborhoods with the city's urban core. Recently, the city's parking authority announced it was considering installing bike parking facilities in a parking garage adjacent to City Hall.

These efforts are definitely steps in the right direction when it comes to making the city more bike-friendly, but there is still much to be done.

The main obstacles officials face as they try to improve Baltimore's bike appeal are safety and security. Some people opt not to bike to and from work because they are afraid of riding in hectic rush-hour traffic on the city's relatively narrow streets. The condition of the pavement on some streets can deter cyclists who worry about popping a tire going over a bump or pothole. And people aren't going to ride their bikes to work or to shop if they can't park them securely, without fear of returning to find a missing wheel.

The city should continue to extending bike paths and add more dedicated bicycle lanes on commuter arteries throughout the city. If the proposed pilot bike parking program is successful, similar facilities should be installed in other parking garages as well. The city could also encourage bicycling through better maintenance of commuter routes, fixing potholes and ensuring a smoother ride.

Local businesses and commercial landlords also can help promote biking by providing workers with secure and dry places to store their bikes while at work. Businesses could provide employees with showers and a room to change into dry clothes, which would be a boon to bikers - and those who work with them - on grueling summer days.

Most importantly, the city must educate residents about bike safety, both for bicyclists and drivers. If drivers are more careful, particularly when cyclists are around, people will be more likely to consider riding their bikes in the city.

Making Baltimore more bicycle friendly could pay big dividends, not just in energy savings but in the health of its biking citizens. For riders gliding down the bike trails and city streets with the wind in their faces and a fast-changing landscape flashing by, biking in Baltimore can be an exhilarating adventure.

- Erich Wagner
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Swifter than eagles. And stolen

Biking ElsewhereWe treat bike theft as though it were a kind of natural event, like catching a cold or succumbing to some other morally neutral phenomenon.

When someone's bicycle is stolen the discussion is entirely about what he or she could have done to prevent it. The police talk about the need for tougher locks, and special serial numbers, and the cycling experts give out various bits of anti-theft advice. Don't have a bike that's too flash, they say. Try painting it some depressing colour, like orange or purple. Try having a basket at the front, they say, or mudguards, or anything to make your bike look a bit grungy and unappealing.

All of which advice may be well meant, but somehow makes me pop with rage, because we seem continually to be ascribing responsibility for the event to the victim, and ignoring the critical point. It wasn't some supernatural agency that nicked your bike, or nicked my bike. It wasn't oompa-loompas or fairies or bike elves. It was thieves.
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What's right and wrong with bicycle transportation planning 6/24 6:00 PM

Biking in the Metro AreaI'm in need of a bicycle "cheering squad" on 6/24 6:00 PM at 2700 Lighthouse Point East (2700 block of Boston Street), Suite 310, in the Canton area of southeast Baltimore City. (arriving a bit late will probably be ok.)

We are 8 years into the State's 20 year master plan to make Maryland the best state for bicycling and walking. How are we doing in planning and building comfortable bike routes to work, shopping centers or even make biking to a trail a pleasant experience?

What is the State's policy in planning and funding extra road width to comfortable accommodate cyclists using the best engineering practices? What is the State's policy in following federal guide lines in utilizing Federal Funding to address the "needs" of bicyclists? Is the state listening to the needs and concerns of bicyclists?

What I have uncovered is truly shocking and has to change! This is a rare opportunity to address the State's implementation of Federal policies and dispersement of Federal Transportation Funds.

Please try and come if you can.
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Google Maps 'Bike There' Petition

Biking Elsewheregooglemapsbikethere_300x2502.png
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Ride marshals needed for Tues night Princeton Sports ride

Biking in the Metro Area[From Bicycling Advocates of Howard County]

I hope everyone has seen the SHARE the ROAD signs up on the Columbia tri route and on Carrs Mill Rd that Bicycling Advocates encouraged the county to install. Bicycling Advocates also hopes to do *cyclists education*.

Our thinking is the more polite cyclists in Howard county are to motorists the more influence we will have on motorists to be considerate of us. In the next couple months leading up to the Iron Girl triathlon, the Princeton Sports Tues night ride has many newbie inexperienced cyclists. It's a very large ride with many cyclists. To help educate them on how to bike safely and courteously, we are looking for a few VOLUNTEER ROAD MARSHALS to bike along with them on the Tues night ride from Princeton Sports.

Please help these new cyclists learn how to bike safely and do a nice ride too!!!! Princeton plans to eventually provide *yellow jerseys* to road marshals.

If you are interested in being an occasional road marshal, please contact Mike Carney (Mcarney "at" He is coordinating volunteer road marshals. We only need a couple each week. Thanks again for all your interest in helping bicycling in Howard County!
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Getting Baltimore to be not so sucky

Biking in BaltimoreAll the comments in the "BALTIMORE truly sucks" article are appreciated but I will note without detail of vehicle ID time and place it is hard to take action. Even if the police "can't do anything" we can do things that will help prevent negative things from happening in the future. So please post as much detail as you can.

On the positive side Baltimore City is in the midst of contract negotiations for an bicycle educational/safety campaign, the State is also looking into doing a safety campaign (and has funding for it as well!) The Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee has established contacts within the Baltimore Police Department and other city agencies to help bring these issues to the attention of those who can make a difference. Not to mention efforts of the Baltimore Bicycling Club to keep the metro counties aware of bicyclists issues.

Things are changing, be a part of that change.
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Berry Festival this Saturday- it will be delicious

Health & EnvironmentI thought you might want to come out this weekend and kick back with Herring Run Watershed Association for our Native Berry Festival- please RSVP to Ashley if you might be coming... Native berry desserts, Andy Nelson BBQ, Brewer's Art Beer, games for kids and adults and other local vendors.

Native Berry Festival 2008
When: Saturday, June 21st, 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Rain date, Sunday, June 22, 12:00-4:00
Where: Herring Run Park at Belair Rd. (by the movie shed).
Cost: Free admission! Brewers Art beer, Andy Nelsons BBQ, berries, native trees/shrubs, and crafts will be on sale.
Bring: A dessert to enter into the contest! Native berries include cherry, blackberry, blueberry, elderberry, mulberry, strawberry, serviceberry, and raspberry. Dessert competition rules.
RSVP: call 410-254-1577 or email Ashley or Joel.
Details: Join us for a merry berry day in the park! Eat finger-lickin BBQ, enjoy live bluegrass/folk music and cheer on competitors in a native berry dessert contest at the Native Berry Festival. Celebrity judges: Rob Kasper, the Baltimore Sun; Ann Kostlow, Sofia's Crepes; and Jeff Smith, Chameleon Cafe, will decide winners of the dessert contest.

* Plenty of games and crafts for the kids
* Local vendors selling their wears
* Urban Forest Project exhibit: Spawning in Herring Run
* Brewer's Art beer
* Andy Nelson's BBQ
* Native berries and plants for sale

Come socialize with fellow residents from our watershed's 50 neighborhoods.

The event is free and open to the public. Proceeds from BBQ, beer, and dessert sales will go towards the Herring Run Watershed Center. Bring your appetite!
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Looking to Avoid Aggressive Drivers? Check Those Bumpers.

Biking Elsewhere- Shankar Vedantam Washington Post Staff Writer
Watch out for cars with bumper stickers.

That's the surprising conclusion of a recent study by Colorado State University social psychologist William Szlemko. Drivers of cars with bumper stickers, window decals, personalized license plates and other "territorial markers" not only get mad when someone cuts in their lane or is slow to respond to a changed traffic light, but they are far more likely than those who do not personalize their cars to use their vehicles to express rage -- by honking, tailgating and other aggressive behavior.
Hey, you clown! This ain't funny! Aggressive driving might be responsible for up to two-thirds of all U.S. traffic accidents that involve injuries.
The key to the phenomenon apparently lies in the idea of territoriality. Drivers with road rage tend to think of public streets and highways as "my street" and "my lane" -- in other words, they think they "own the road."

Why would bumper stickers predict which people are likely to view public roadways as private property?

Social scientists such as Szlemko say that people carry around three kinds of territorial spaces in their heads. One is personal territory -- like a home, or a bedroom. The second kind involves space that is temporarily yours -- an office cubicle or a gym locker. The third kind is public territory: park benches, walking trails -- and roads.
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Early riders to downtown/penn station area

Looking for local rides(ers)I'm going to be commuting from Towson/ Rodgers Forge area to Penn Station around 5:30 am, at least 4 days a week. Please let me know if you are interested in heading that way and or know anyone riding already at that time who might be interested in any type of group commute. Thanks-
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Google MTA trip planner

Mass TransitMTA routes and schedules are now accessible by Google so on just type starting address to ending address and at the top of the direction box click Public Transit Or go to

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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