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Wednesday, September 02 2015 @ 04:52 PM UTC
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What you can bike to around town this Wednesday, August 13

Looking for local rides(ers)Wednesday Lunch and Leisure Series: Mardi Gras
Noon-1pm, War Memorial Plaza (directly across from City Hall). Hosted by Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. Enjoy live jazz music, cajun food and Mardi Gras beads. Free. 410-396-7900.

Friends of Druid Hill Park Summer Celebration Potluck Picnic
Druid Hill Park-World War I Grove of Remembrance just north of the Zoo, between the Zoo entrance and Greenspring Avenue, 6:30–8:00 pm. This gathering is free and open to all. After some brief business, we'll enjoy mingling and music. Bring a chair or blanket, a dish to share and a serving implement. Plates, napkins, utensils and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. friendsofdruidhillpark@gmail.com.

Center Plaza Outdoor Film Series
Hopkins Plaza, films start at sunset (around 9 PM)
Park opens at 7pm. Bring blankets, snacks, beverages. The park has chairs and tables for use off the lawn. Porto-Sans will be available for restrooms. Stop by Coburn’s Tavern for dinner and the Taharka Brothers kiosk for ice cream. Phone: 410-244-1030
Featured film: Epic Movie

Films on the Pier
Fells Point Broadway Pier, 8:45 pm
The Sound Garden and Su Casa present films every Wednesday this summer on the Broadway Pier in Fells Point. BYOC-bring your own chair! Screenings on a 300 square ft. jumbo screen with professional sound. In case of rainouts, movies will be shown on Thursdays.
Featured film: The Birds
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Neighbors celebrate Waverly's renewal

Biking in Baltimore[Follow up on the Tour du Greater Homewood / Baltimore Bike Pageant]

Parade gives the community a chance to show off its thriving 'Main Street'

By Kevin Rector | Sun reporter
...
A local marching band and dancing troupe passed by, as did Miss Maryland - Alicia Taylor, who grew up down the block - Mayor Sheila Dixon, McGruff the Crime Dog and a slew of local residents riding bikes and walking their pets. Balloons lined the street, and shop owners and residents lined the sidewalks, taking it all in.
...
Kindseth, who smiled as bikers and pet owners gathered after the parade at St. John's Church in the Village at Greenmount Avenue and 30th Street, said she would like to see Waverly Main Street designated as a national historical district. Like DiMauro, she doesn't want Waverly to change completely, but for its historic character to be able to shine through.
...
Baltimore police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, who was at the parade, said he views all the community involvement as "a clue that we're really moving forward. This is a clue that people are engaged.

"It's an incredible shot in the arm to see this many people energized and committed," he said. "These people are prepared to take care of their own community, and what you really need is communities taking care of communities."

Dixon agreed, and pointed to the parade and National Night Out as opportunities to revitalize communities like Waverly across the city.

"This is to really bring the community, the Police Department and other partners together to talk about how to better the area," she said. "It's really all of us collaborating together."
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Move by transportation board angers some politicians

Mass TransitThe move by the Ken Ulman-led Baltimore Regional Transportation Board to designate $340 million in future state transportation funding for mass transit projects has raised the ire of some politicians.
...
But last week, officials who represent Howard's rural areas decried the change, saying it was unfair for their constituents to pay gasoline taxes to fund mass transit that they rarely use.
...
"Some people feel we can build our way out of this by building more roads, but that's a shortsighted focus," Ulman said.

"The bottom line in all this is the public wants options," he said. "We see it from the petitions we get. They want a [transit] system that works, especially in the Baltimore region."
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Highway vs Mass Transit Funding

Mass Transit * Since 1956, federal, state and local governments have invested nine times more capital funding in highway subsidies than in transit.
* In 2004, state governments spent nearly 13 times more public funds on highways than on transit.
* The process for securing funding for new transit lines is far more onerous and less certain than for highway projects, with the federal government generally picking up a smaller share of the tab for new transit lines than for new highway projects.

Yglesias also notes:

Of course you can't bring this subject up without legions of people informing you that the gas tax pays for the highways. This simply isn't true. All the funds raised by the gas tax are spent on highways, and then a bunch of additional money is also spent on highways.

Mark Delucchi at the U.C. Davis Institute for Transportation Studies backs that up as well. In a study published last fall, Delucchi found that "current tax and fee payments to the government by motor-vehicle users fall short of government expenditures related to motor-vehicle use by approximately 20 to 70 cents per gallon of all motor fuel." U.S. drivers do not pay their own way.

After the jump is another great chart from A Better Way to Go. Anyone want to guess how many millions of dollars in gasoline cost savings and tons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions the New York City Transit produces annually? [Hint, start in the billions.]
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Will Car-Free ‘Summer Streets’ Work?

Biking ElsewhereBy Sewell Chan

The city’s Summer Streets program will have its debut Saturday morning. The Bloomberg administration plans to bar motor vehicles from a 6.9-mile north-south route in Manhattan for six hours each on three consecutive Saturdays. In an interview this morning with Fox 5, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg expressed hope — but not certainty — that the event would be a success:

Cars are important, but streets are there for everybody. And we’re going to try, for three days in a row – three Saturdays in a row – to see if the public wants to go out in the streets and reconnect with each other and bicycle and skateboard and walk and kibbitz and maybe a lot of restaurants will put tables out – something different.

He added, “This has been done in Bogotá for 30 years. They love it. It’s phenomenally popular and it probably will work here. If it doesn’t, at least we’ll have tried.”
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New York City Art & Design - Bike Racks?

Biking Elsewhere...
In recent years his [David Byrne] interest in bicycles has expanded from riding them to thinking seriously about the role they play in urban life, as he has started making connections with politicians and international design consultants keen to keep cars from taking over the city. So when the Department of Transportation asked him to help judge a design competition for the city’s new bike racks, he eagerly agreed — so eagerly, in fact, that he sent in his own designs as well.

They were simple shapes to define different neighborhoods around the city: a dollar sign for Wall Street; an electric guitar for Williamsburg, Brooklyn; a car — “The Jersey” — for the area near the Lincoln Tunnel. “I said, ‘Well, this disqualifies me as a judge,’ ” he recalled, “but I just doodled them out and sent them in.” He figured maybe they’d be used to decorate the contest Web site, nycityracks.wordpress.com.

...on Friday nine racks made from his own whimsical designs were installed around the city. “They immediately responded, saying, ‘If you can get these made, we’ll put them through,’ “ he recalled. “I was kind of shocked.”
...
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Enraged motorist swerves into bicyclists, injures one

Biking ElsewhereBy Steve Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune

A 41-year-old man who allegedly used his truck to swerve into groups of bikers on Mirror Lake Highway over the weekend has been charged with third-degree felony aggravated assault and a pair of misdemeanors.
...
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Driver picks the wrong pedestrians to go after with his truck

Biking ElsewhereAfter jumping out of the way, the four off-duty cops call 9-1-1 and have the driver arrested

By Lee van der Voo The Lake Oswego Review

In the end, hitting the gas may have been a very bad idea.

But a Portland driver who allegedly gunned his three-quarter ton truck at four pedestrians in a Lake Oswego parking lot is now in the Clackamas County Jail.

Turns out the joke’s on him.

Richard J. Halley, 55, is accused of racing his vehicle toward four men in the parking lot of the Albertson’s store at 11 S. State Street.

It happened at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday as the four men walked across the parking lot onto the sidewalk after just having lunch at the Subway.
...
He was charged with four counts of menacing, one count of reckless driving and one count of recklessly endangering. He is being held in the Clackamas County Jail on $45,000 bail.
...
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Schools move to eject cars from campuses

Biking ElsewhereBy Gwen Purdom, USA TODAY

High schools and colleges are steering students away from cars to save money on gas, save the environment and promote physical fitness.

This fall, Ripon College in Ripon, Wis., is offering freshmen free mountain bikes, helmets and locks in exchange for a promise not to bring a car to campus. The $300-per-student cost is funded by private donations.

The college's president, David Joyce, says the project was meant to avoid building a parking garage, but its side effects are beneficial: less pollution, more exercise and savings on gas.

The timing was right, Joyce says: "We were either extremely brilliant or extremely lucky."

About 60% of the school's 300 incoming students have signed up.

"Today's teenagers deserve a lot of credit. They're socially aware, they're environmentally conscious," says Mike Martin, executive director of the National Association of Pupil Transportation. "When the price of gasoline takes effect, they're smart."

On other campuses: ...

"We have over 100 million bikes that are sitting around in garages and basements and back porches," Blumenauer says. "When people start to use them, it can be transformational."
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My hurry matters more than your hurry

Biking Elsewhere[An article about hostile motorist/cyclists interactions]

By JAN HOFFMAN - New York Times
...
“We’ve had a car culture for so long and suddenly the roads become saturated with bicyclists trying to save gas,” Mr. Cooley said 10 days after the attack, still feeling scrambled, in pain and traumatized. “No one knows how to share the road.” He doesn’t plan to bike to work again this season.

Every year, the war of the wheels breaks out in the sweet summer months, as four-wheelers react with aggravation and anger to the two-wheelers competing for the same limited real estate.
...
Like Mr. Cooley, the newbies are lured by improved bike lanes as well as the benefits of exercise, a smaller carbon footprint and gas savings. But talk about a vicious cycle! With more bikes on the road, the driver-cyclist, Hatfield-McCoy hostility seems to be ratcheting up. Cycling: good for the environment, bad for mental health?
...
Psychologists and traffic experts say the tension rises from many factors, including summer road rage and the “my hurry matters more than your hurry” syndrome, exacerbated when drivers feel captive to slower-moving cyclists.

And then there’s old-fashioned turf warfare.
...
The ability of drivers and cyclists to trash talk and then disappear into the anonymity of traffic further poisons the atmosphere. Dave Schlabowske, the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for Milwaukee, recalled a car pulling alongside as he pedaled to a meeting: passenger, a child of about 6, rolls down window. No seat belt.

Driver, male, fixes Mr. Schlabowske with a glare, and then gives instruction to small child. Obediently, child complies: he flips Mr. Schlabowske an obscene gesture, shouts complementary epithet. Looking triumphant, driver peels off.

To some extent, the hostility is a byproduct not only of the abdication of common sense, but of widespread ignorance of state and local laws. In every state, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. But in the particulars, state vehicle codes and municipal ordinances vary. Consider the frustrated driver who shouts to a cyclist, “Get on the sidewalk!”
...
The anticyclist hostility even follows riders into court. Just ask a bike lawyer. For as surely as night follows day, with more riders on the road, there is a small but growing peloton of lawyers specializing in bike law, usually representing injured cyclists.

Gary Brustin, a cyclist and California bike lawyer, said anticyclist fervor makes jury selection daunting. “They are white-hot about us,” Mr. Brustin said. “They are seething.” In California, bicycle plaintiffs lose two out of three cases that go to trial.

The anger has not gone unnoticed by officials around the country. A dozen states now mandate at least a three-foot passing gap. In June, South Carolina passed an antiharassment law to protect cyclists. ... Complete Streets bills seek to require that roads be designed for all users.
...

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