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Sunday, August 30 2015 @ 05:50 AM UTC
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Some nitty-gritty about the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project

Biking in MarylandCommuting and Transportation – C&T Subcommittee Chair Greg Hinchliffe submitted an electronic report. Steve Carr said that the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project Advisory Board, created by the City of Havre de Grace, issued a report recommending that a new bridge be built across the Susquehanna River at Susquehanna State Park. This park is owned by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Steve said the advisory board never contacted DNR staff about its recommendation prior to the report being issued. While DNR supports the concept of making connections between public lands and the larger community, DNR lacks sufficient information to take a position on this recommendation. Kevin Racine believes small municipalities are not equipped to address bicycle and pedestrian access across the Susquehanna River on their own. John Wetmore noted that bicycle and pedestrian access is not included in the Amtrak Bridge replacement study’s Purpose and Needs statement.

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Documents/Update_2014/041015_MBPAC_Meeting_Mintues.pdf
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Kristerfer Burnett is running for City Council in Baltimore’s 8th district

PoliticsVia Afro,

...
Improving the city’s workforce preparedness will also require improving Baltimore’s public transportation infrastructure. Having companies like Under Armour or Amazon in South Baltimore will not be an economic boon if residents cannot get there in a reasonable time-frame on public transportation, says Burnett. A subpar public transit system is also having an effect on school attendance, something that has ripple effects on the city’s workforce preparedness. “When we talk to teachers and administrators [about] why attendance rates are so low, part of it is the buses are late, or they’re not showing up at all, and so a lot of kids are like, ‘I’ll just stay home,’” said Burnett.
...

- See more at: http://www.afro.com/holton-opponent-challenges-focus-of-balto-politics/#sthash.EouHajce.dpuf
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ADDING NEW ROAD CAPACITY DOESNT IMPROVE CONGESTION

Biking in Baltimore-> Decades of traffic data across the United States shows that adding new road capacity doesn't actually improve congestion. The latest example of this is the widening of Los Angeles' I-405 freeway, which was completed last May after five years of construction and a cost of over $1 billion. "The data shows that traffic is moving slightly slower now on 405 than before the widening (405 Commutes Now a Minute Worse Than Before Carpool Lane: http://bit.ly/1AcBVLL), says Matthew Turner, a Brown University economist.

The main reason, Turner has found, is simple adding road capacity spurs people to drive more miles, either by taking more trips by car or taking longer trips than they otherwise would have. He and University of Pennsylvania economist Gilles Duranton call this the "fundamental rule" of road congestion (The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities: http://bit.ly/1Hevghc): adding road capacity just increases the total number of miles traveled by all vehicles.
In an influential 2011 paper, they looked at the total capacity of highways in each metropolitan area in the US and compared it with the total number of vehicle miles traveled. They found a one-to-one correlation: the more highway capacity a metro area had, the more miles its vehicles traveled on them. A 10 percent increase in capacity, for instance, meant a 10 percent increase in vehicle miles, on average. [http://bit.ly/1S6NEBa]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.



[B' Spokes: What ever mode of transportation gets the most support gets used the most. That should be fairly obvious by now.]

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CENSUS UNDERCOUNTS WALKING AND BIKING

Biking Elsewhere-> The U.S. Census is the most widely cited source of data about how Americans get around, but it only asks about commute trips, and commuting only accounts for about 16 percent of total household travel. What happens when you measure the other 84 percent? Researchers at the University of Minnesota set out to design a better way to track how people move around the Twin Cities region.

The UMN team found that driving decreased in the region between 2000 and 2010, while biking and walking grew. Cycling rose over that period from 1.4 to 2.2 percent of trips. Thats about 190,000 daily trips, or a 58 percent increase. Meanwhile, walking grew from 4.5 to 6.6 percent of trips, a 44 percent increase, or almost three quarters of a million daily trips. Residents of the Twin Cities region typically make about 12 million total daily trips. Whats especially interesting is that the share of biking and walking trips in the UMN survey is much bigger than what the Census indicates about two to three times larger. [http://bit.ly/1rW2snN]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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7 STUDIES: ACTIVE TRANS SATISFACTION, OBESITY, DIABETES & CHRONIC DISEASE IMPACTS

Biking Elsewhere-> It seems that not driving has all sorts of positive health benefits. A recent Canadian study (The Happy Commuter: A Comparison of Commuter Satisfaction across Modes: http://bit.ly/1EhfoIN) sorted people by mode of travel walking, biking, driving, bus, intercity train, and intracity metro and found that people who walk, bike, or take the intercity train are more satisfied with their commutes than others.

A 2010 study conducted in Hamilton, Ontario (Enjoyment of Commute: A Comparison of Different Transportation Modes: http://bit.ly/1JWV841), found that bikers and walkers were more satisfied with their commutes than anyone else, as did a nationwide Canadian survey (Commuting to Work: Results of the 2010 General Social Survey: http://bit.ly/1dhpqED) done the same year.

A British study (Associations between Active Commuting, Body Fat, and Body Mass Index: Population Based, Cross Sectional Study in the United Kingdom: http://bmj.co/1edalUD) found that people who walk, bike, or take any form of public transit have lower rates of obesity than people who drive, after controlling for other forms of exercise and socioeconomic factors.

People who walk or bike to work also have lower rates of diabetes (Active Travel to Work and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in the United Kingdom: http://bit.ly/1Jwnh3R) and cardiovascular disease (Active Commuting and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: http://bit.ly/1EhgF2o). [Biking or Walking to Work will Make you Happier and Healthier by Joseph Stromberg: http://bit.ly/1AiukLq]

Impact of Changes in Mode of Travel to Work on Changes in Body Mass Index Survey: evidence from the British Household Panel (http://bmj.co/1JwmIXS) found that workers who switched from driving to walking, bicycling or taking public transportation had a significant average reduction in body mass index equal to about 2.2 pounds per person. [http://bit.ly/1c2mRon]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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REALTORS: WALKABLE COMMUNITIES 4X MORE TAX REVENUE, 41% HIGHER GDP

Biking Elsewhere-> Realtors® from across the country gathered today to learn about the importance and benefits of walkable urban communities in real estate development during a panel organized by the REALTOR® University Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies. Residential walkable communities generate four times the tax revenue compared to regional and business malls, bringing more value to the area, according to panelists. Walkable urban regions in the U.S. have a 41 percent higher Gross Domestic Product over non-walkable regions, said Christopher Leinberger, professor at George Washington University School of Business and president of Locus, a national coalition of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, walkable urban development in metropolitan areas. [http://bit.ly/1Gluu5W ]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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OC to add bike routes through resort

Bike PathsVia Delmarva Now

...
“The bike routes are being planned so that they avoid busy sections of Ocean City, such as Coastal Highway or Baltimore Avenue,” said Town
...

Kayla and Lucas Baier, two Ocean City residents who currently attend college at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and George Washington University, respectively, were particularly excited about the prospect of adding bike paths that will run the length of the island.
...

http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2015/06/11/ocean-city-bike-paths/71081844/
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VANCOUVER, BC: NEARLY 50% PED, BIKE & TRANSIT MODE SHARE

Biking Elsewhere-> Recent travel data show that the City of Vancouver's (BC) automobile mode share has declined to about half of all trips (most North American cities have about 80% automobile mode share), offset by growth in walking, cycling and public transit trips. Daily automobile trips declined from 980,000 in 2013 to just 918,000 in 2014, while walking, cycling, and public transit trips rose from 893,000 to 905,000. That puts the alternative modes in a statistical dead heat with automobile trips. The city has already surpassed its long-term target to reduce vehicle trips at least 20 percent by 2040.

The Vancouver region:
* Has 3.9 traffic deaths per 100,000 residents, one of the lowest among North American cities, and despite rapid growth in bicycle travel, crashes involving bicycles have not increased, indicating a declining crash rate.
* Households devote just 12.4 percent of their household budgets to transportation, the least of any North American city
* Rates as one of the worlds most livable cities. [http://bit.ly/1BmpasZ ]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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US DOT MAYORS CHALLENGE UPDATE - and yes, Baltimore is now included

Biking in Baltimore-> As of May 19, 2015, 218 cities have signed on to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxxs Mayors Challenge (http://1.usa.gov/1Cx9G8C). (Check to see if yours is among them: http://1.usa.gov/1GjTMD8) The Challenge, part of the Secretarys Safer People, Safer Streets initiative to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, calls for mayors and top elected officials to take a public stance to reduce pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The effort calls for cities to take action in seven areas:
Take a Complete Streets approach.

* Identify and address barriers to make streets safe and convenient for all road users, including people of all ages and abilities and those using assistive mobility devices.
* Gather and track biking and walking data.
* Use designs that are appropriate to the context of the street and its uses.
* Take advantage of opportunities to create and complete pedestrian and bicycle networks through maintenance.
* Improve walking and biking safety laws and regulations.
* Educate and enforce proper road use behavior by all.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Biking: Ride and bike with a scenic railroad pass

Biking in MarylandVia Post Gazette

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad invites bicyclists to enjoy both by riding its passenger train from Cumberland to Frostburg and then returning to Cumberland along the Great Allegheny Passage.
...

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/outdoors/2015/05/23/Biking-ride-and-bike-with-scenic-railroad-and-Eat-Play-Ride-holds-fundraiser/stories/201505230065

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