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Thursday, July 02 2015 @ 08:06 AM UTC
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C and O Canal Invites Feedback on Proposal to Increase and Expand Entrance and Other Fees Park-wide

Bike Paths

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Chesapeake &Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) in compliance with a nation-wide review on updating entrance fees is inviting the public to comment on proposed entrance and other fee increases. Fees collected at the park are critical to the park's operation, and 100%of the fees collected at the C&O Canal are invested in park projects that improve facilities and experiences for park visitors.

In a memo dated September 5, 2014, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, authorized park superintendents to begin a civic engagement process associated with increasing entrance fees within units of the National Park System. In an effort to standardize entrance fees, the 131 units that charge entrance fees have been placed in one of four categories based on size, complexity of operations and typical visitation patterns. To arrive at greater consistency around the Service, parks have been asked to bring their fees into compliance with others within their category.C&O Canal is in Category 1. Other similar parks within Category 1 in this region include: Antietam National Battlefield;Fort Washington Park;Great Falls Park, Virginia;Harpers Ferry National Historical Park;Manassas National Battlefield Park, and Prince William Forest Park.

C&O Canal's current park entrance fee has been in place since 2002. The only location in the park where an entrance fee is charged is at the Great Falls Tavern area off of MacArthur Boulevard in Potomac, MD. The park proposes to expand entrance fee collection to all areas of the park outside of the District of Columbia and to implement a parking fee at Fletchers Cove. As part of this fee expansion, the park proposes to discontinue the reciprocal agreement currently in place with Great Falls Park, Virginia, which allows visitors to purchase a day pass or annual pass that is valid at both the C&O Canal and Great Falls Park, VA entrance stations.

The park also proposes to extend the daily pass effective dates from three days to seven days to better align with popular recreational activities, such as cycling the 184.5 mile towpath.

The proposed entrance/parking fees that would become effective no sooner than May 1, 2015 are as follows:

Park Annual Pass:

·Current: $20 Great Falls, MD only

·Proposed: $30 park-wide outside of the District of Columbia

Per Vehicle Pass:

·Current: $5/vehicle for 3 days Great Falls, MD only

·Proposed:

oDistrict of Columbia line to Seneca Creek(near Canal towpath mile 22)

§$15 for 7 days

oWest of Seneca Creek to Cumberland, MD

§$5 in 2015 for 7 days

§$15 in 2017 for 7 days

Per Person Pass:

·Current: $3/person for 3 days Great Falls, MD only

·Proposed:

oDistrict of Columbia line to Seneca Creek(near towpath mile 22)

§$7 for 7 days

oWest of Seneca Creek to Cumberland, MD

§$3 in 2015 for 7 days

§$7 in 2017 for 7 days

Motorcycle Pass:

·Current:$5 for 3 days Great Falls, MD only

·Proposed:

oDistrict of Columbia line to Seneca Creek(near towpath mile 22)

§$10 for 7 days

oWest of Seneca Creek to Cumberland, MD

§$5 in 2015 for 7 days

§$10 in 2017 for 7 days

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access or Military Passes. These passes may be obtained at the park. In addition, the park offers at least six fee-free days per year.

C&O Canal NHP is also proposing to increase or institute fees for campgrounds, picnic pavilions and parking at Fletchers Cove. Comparability studies have been completed to determine rates. The proposals are as follows:

Drive-In Campgrounds:

·Single Site Rate: Current: $10 per night, Proposed $20 per night

·Group Site Rate: Current $20 per night, Proposed $40 per night

Hiker-Biker Camping Sites: Current: No Charge, Proposed $20 per night

Picnic Pavilion: Carderock Pavilion

·Monday-Thursday: Current $150 per day, Proposed $250 per day

·Friday-Sunday &Holidays: Current $250 per day, Proposed $350 per day

Parking: Fletchers Cove - There is currently no parking charge;however, the option to establish a parking charge is being evaluated and proposed for comment.

"We are committed to keeping the park affordable and providing visitors with the best possible experiences," Superintendent Kevin Brandt said. "Fee revenue is absolutely critical to the park operation, and we ask for the public's feedback and support. National Parks are still one of America's best bargains. I don't know of anything a family can do for 7 days for just $15. The entrance fee provides full access to the park including: the historic towpath;more than 17 miles of backcountry trails;numerous visitor centers and interpretive programs and access to the Potomac River. The park is a popular place where people come to recreate, to learn, to be challenged physically and to be inspired and renewed;however, the park cannot run itself for free, and our fee revenue is essential to providing for public safety, recreation and resource protection."
Entrance fees have supported a wide range of projects that improved park conditions and visitor experience including: restoration of the Great Falls Tavern, Western Maryland Railroad Lift Bridge, Lockhouse 44, Ferry Hill Plantation and Hancock Visitor Centers;new picnic tables, grills and fire rings for campgrounds throughout park;developing and installing exhibits in visitor centers such as Great Falls and Ferry Hill Plantation;repairing park wells and hand pumps;removing trees from the canal, installation of a water fountain in Williamsport;restoration of historic lockhouses;improving ADA accessibility at park comfort stations, repairing replica canal boats used in interpretive and education programs, and rehabilitation of the CCC era restroom in Great Falls into a space for the free Bike Loaner program. Additional revenue raised by a fee increase could be used to restore additional historic structures such as Swains Lockhouse;Conococheague, Tonoloway and Seneca Creek aqueducts expand the park's ability to maintain the towpath;improve campground safety by establishing campground host sites at drive-in campgrounds;restore water in the canal between Lock 5 and Anglers;extend the re-watered section of the canal in Hancock;preservation work on the Paw Paw Tunnel;improve river access at Fletchers Cove and Dam #4, and increase interpretive and educational programming park-wide.


The C&O Canal is a strong economic engine for the area. In 2013, the C&O Canal hosted nearly 5 million visitors who contributed more than $80 million to the local economy and supported more than 1,000 jobs related to tourism.

To provide comments on the proposed fee increases, go to:  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/cocanalfeesThe public has the opportunity to comment on the increases for a 48-day period ending on February 22, 2015. Written comments should be provided through this website.
Interested citizens are invited to discuss the proposed fee increases at public meetings to be held in various locations around the park as follows:

January 21, 2015, at the Brunswick City Hall, Council Meeting Room, 1 West Potomac Street, Brunswick, MD 21716 from 6:30-8:00 PM

January 27, 2015, at C&O Canal Park Headquarters, 1850 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, MD 21740 from 6:30-8:00 PM

January 29, 2015, at Canal Place, 13 Canal St, 2nd floor, Cumberland, MD 21502 from 6:30-8:00 PM

February 5, 2015, at Glen Echo Town Hall, 6106 Harvard Ave, Glen Echo, MD 20812 from 7:00-8:30 PM

Following the comment period and public meetings, feedback will determine how, or if, a fee increase would be implemented.



http://www.nps.gov/choh/parknews/c-and-o-canal-invites-feedback-on-proposal-to-increase-and-expand-entrance-and-other-fees-park-wide.htm
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Biking advocates bemoan slow pace of promised safety improvements

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: A lot of talk about the need for infrastructure and cycling fatalities. Nothing against facilities especially if we are going to have them everywhere. What? They are not going to be everywhere, well then how about some more stress on education and enforcement then. Between this Baltimore Sun article and Bike Maryland's policy statement (<a href="https://www.bikemaryland.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Bike_MD_PolicyPaper.pdf">https://www.bikemaryland.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Bike_MD_PolicyPaper.pdf</a>; ) I feel like screaming EDUCATION and ENFORCEMENT are needed as well!]
*******************************************************************************************************
By Kevin Rector, Baltimore Sun

As the number of bicyclists has risen in Baltimore and across the nation in the last decade, city planners and other government officials have responded with a broad range of initiatives.

They've set aside millions of dollars for designated bike lanes. They've enacted laws to better protect cyclists. And they've made bicyclists and pedestrians more of a priority in urban renewal and so-called complete streets transportation projects.

Still, bicyclists, biking advocates and families devastated by serious accidents say real progress has been slow — leading to tragic incidents such as the recent collision that killed avid cyclist Thomas Palermo in Baltimore. Despite programs to improve safety, bicyclists in Maryland are regularly forced to travel on dangerous roads designed almost exclusively for cars and trucks, the advocates say.
...

<a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-biking-safety-20150103-story.html">http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-biking-safety-20150103-story.html</a>;
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DelDOT to install "Bicycles IN LANE" signs at key I95 crossings

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: This is a lot better than our standard dual sign that reads "Bikes Share the Road."]
By Frank Warnock, 1st State Bikes

image

Thanks to a successful petition drive - and a Chief Traffic Engineer who takes a pro-active approach toward bicycle and pedestrian safety - a new and unique bicycle warning sign is heading for approval. Working with 1st State BIKES advocates, Mark Luszcz (P.E, DelDOT) designed the sign that will give Delaware another 1st on the national stage, rolling out the words "IN LANE" in conjunction with the standard bicycle warning sign (bicycle symbol on yellow sign).
...

http://www.1stbikes.org/2015/01/deldot-to-install-bicycles-in-lane.html
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Does Speeding Really Get You There Any Faster?

Biking ElsewhereBy Eric Ravenscraft, Life Hacker

...
DistanceSpeed LimitSpeed +10Time (in minutes)Time w/SpeedingSavings
15354525.71205.71
1545552016.363.64
15556516.3613.852.51
...

http://lifehacker.com/does-speeding-really-get-you-there-any-faster-1556767685
[B' Spokes: And this does not take into account traffic lights, which are the great equalizer of speeds. I'll note when I was in Arizona and began driving almost everyone drove the speed limit there with a few exceptions. Driving here it's flipped, few drive the speed limit. Here I take my life in hands doing the speed limit on the freeways as cars come up behind me doing 20+ the speed limit. Of course I am used to that riding my bike, so no big deal really but it is kind of ironic that I can have a longer line of cars behind me trying to pass driving then what I have ever had riding my bike.

But what I really want to point out that the chance for survival from being hit by a car is cut in half when when the vehicle is traveling 40 vs 30 mph.
image

My thoughts today have been on the tragic death of Tom Palermo, sure DUI is bad, texting is bad all of which lead to the driver striking Tom but I'll give you this thought... it was the speed of the vehicle that killed Tom. Traffic enforcement is a joke in this state especially those that can help improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Crosswalk stings, virtually nonexistent enforcement of the 3 foot passing rule, again nonexistent. At least come out twice a year and make some effort, some news, some something, please! ]
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Md. Bishop Charged In Death Of Cyclist Tom Palermo

Biking in BaltimoreVia CBS Baltimore

Newly appointed Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Bishop Heather Cook will be charged in the death of cyclist Tom Palermo at a press conference Friday.

Cook was charged with vehicular manslaughter, DUI, texting and leaving the scene of the Dec. 27 accident, which took the life of the 41-year-old father of two was hit and killed while riding his bike on Roland Avenue.
...

<a href="http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/01/09/baltimore-city-states-attorney-to-address-death-of-cyclist/">http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/01/09/baltimore-city-states-attorney-to-address-death-of-cyclist/</a>;
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County should get behind bicycle safety initiatives [Editorial]

Biking in the Metro AreaBaltimore Sun

Baltimore County has the distinction of ranking among the top 10 jurisdictions in the country based on the Complete Streets policy the County Council initiated that takes into account the use of roads by cyclists and pedestrians, as well as motorists.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/towson/ph-editorial-bike-safety-0107-20150107-story.html
[B' Spokes: While special thanks to Tom Quirk and David Marks are in order, I really must highlight the large discrepancy between near the best in policies and near the worst outcomes for cyclists and pedestrians. We also have this problem on the state level, maybe we should get some award for the best double talking politicians or something. LAB loves our policies`at the state level but the results on the ground are still a bit different, like a bike mode share less than the national average (just one quick stat among several), not bad for being in or near the top 10 bike friendly states. :/]
image image
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On Palermo tragedy, 'Agony in the Garden' and the Next Baltimore

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: A well written piece from Dan Rodricks about the future of Baltimore becoming accomidating of cyclists, along with special kudos to the Episcopal Diocese and their unusually candid series of public statements.]

<a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-rodricks-0108-20150108-column.html">http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-rodricks-0108-20150108-column.html</a>;
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Boys Latin students were first to stop to help injured cyclist Palermo

Biking in BaltimoreBy Fern Shen, Baltimore Brew

The first people to stop and try to help cyclist Thomas Palermo – some Boys Latin students on their way to the school to play soccer on a sunny Saturday – did not see the car crash that threw the 41-year-old from his bike and ultimately kill him.

All they saw was a man lying in the street, on the southbound side of Roland Avenue, his head on the sidewalk curb, and they went to see if he needed help, said Matt Manzoni, a Boys Latin senior.
...

What He Saw

“We saw somebody on the side of the road, so we did a U-turn at Lake” Avenue, said Manzoni, speaking last night. “It was a man lying alone. No one was around.”
...

<a href="https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2015/01/08/boys-latin-students-were-first-to-stop-to-help-injured-cyclist-palermo/">https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2015/01/08/boys-latin-students-were-first-to-stop-to-help-injured-cyclist-palermo/</a>;
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Many ‘Healthy Obese’ Don’t Stay Healthy

Biking Elsewhereby Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times

&quot;'Healthy obesity’ is quite a misleading term,” said the lead author, Joshua A. Bell, a doctoral candidate at University College London. “It sounds safe, but we know that it’s only healthy in a relative sense. The healthy obese become unhealthy and progress into the highest risk group. This is a real challenge to the idea that the obese can be healthy in the long term.”

<a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/many-healthy-obese-dont-stay-healthy/">http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/many-healthy-obese-dont-stay-healthy/</a>;
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Seeking more than a few good transportation engineers

Biking ElsewhereBy Robert Steuteville, Better! Cities &amp; Towns

Traffic engineers and transportation planners are aware of the research favoring walkability, they know that complete streets work, and yet many are unwilling to face the logical implications: Their long-held practices need to change.

We need more than a few good transportation engineers.

Janette Sadik-Khan was a rare Department of Transportation official, under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who challenged long-held practices. She pushed hard to make the city's streets and public spaces better for people outside of motorized vehicles.
...

Knowing the futility of finding better solutions that way, Sadik-Khan was clever. When a big change was warranted, she proposed the idea as a temporary test. Traffic studies are notoriously unreliable—they often overestimate traffic substantially, contributing to the design of larger, faster streets and roads that discourage walking and induce more traffic. The system is guaranteed to confirm conventional practice. Traffic studies often delay projects for years and raise costs.

A temporary test project, instead, generates real-world data in real time. When these tests worked, the city made the changes permanent. Then new changes were proposed.

In that way Times Square and many other places in New York City were substantially improved. Half of the space in Times Square is now given to people to enjoy. Business is up, safety is improved, and the traffic still flows. One of the top three tourist attractions in the world now has better transportation balance. Using the old system, such a result is hard to imagine.
...

<a href="http://bettercities.net/news-opinion/blogs/robert-steuteville/21381/seeking-more-few-good-transportation-engineers">http://bettercities.net/news-opinion/blogs/robert-steuteville/21381/seeking-more-few-good-transportation-engineers</a>;

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