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Friday, November 27 2015 @ 04:32 AM UTC
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Electric bikes provide greener commute

Biking ElsewhereNEW YORK (AP) -- When Honora Wolfe and her husband moved to the outskirts of Boulder, Colorado, she wanted an environmentally friendly way to commute to her job as a bookshop owner in the city.

Wolfe, 60, found her solution about a month ago: an electric bicycle. It gets her to work quickly, is easy on her arthritis and is better for the environment than a car.

"I'm not out to win any races," she said. "I want to get a little fresh air and exercise, and cut my carbon footprint, and spend less money on gas. And where I live, I can ride my bike seven months out of the year."

The surging cost of gasoline and a desire for a greener commute are turning more people to electric bikes as an unconventional form of transportation. They function like a typical two-wheeler but with a battery-powered assist, and bike dealers, riders and experts say they are flying off the racks. ...
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Obituary: Gihon Jordan, 58, traffic engineer

Biking ElsewhereBy Gayle Ronan Sims, Inquirer Staff Writer

Gihon Jordan, 58, a Philadelphia Streets Department traffic engineer who worked to make the city safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and the disabled, died of colon cancer Thursday at his home in West Philadelphia.

Mr. Jordan battled bureaucracy, and combined vision and common sense in his quest to make Philadelphia a better place. He was responsible for just about everything involving traffic in Center City, North and South Philadelphia, and the river wards. This included street signs, malfunctioning traffic signals and the closing of streets.

But he also solved bigger problems. While scientifically designing and implementing convention-defying solutions, he earned a national reputation as an expert traffic calmer.

"I don't want to move vehicles around," Mr. Jordan said in a 1994 article in The Inquirer. "I want to move people around. Philadelphia was designed for the pedestrian, not for the car."

When he took over as traffic engineer for the city in 1993, Mr. Jordan worked to get more people to walk, bike and take mass transit.

Especially biking. Mr. Jordan, who never owned a car, was responsible for putting city policemen on bicycle patrols; he designed cross-state bike routes for the state Department of Transportation, and bike paths along the river drives and on city streets.

After earning a bachelor's in electrical engineering in 1973 from the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Jordan pedaled solo across the United States three times and through 21 countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia and Senegal. Along the way, he spread the word about bicyclists' rights, safety, pollution, health, maps, crime, energy demands and road design.

Mr. Jordan was an early and active board member of the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia and numerous other biking organizations. In 1984, he wrote "Bicycling, Transportation and Energy: Handbook for Planners," one of dozens of such publications he wrote. He was on the pedestrian committee of the National Academy of Science's Transportation Research Board.

Mr. Jordan earned a master's in energy management and policy in 1982 from Penn's Wharton School. He also studied religious thought. His first name, Gihon, came from the Old Testament: "I'm on Page 2 of Genesis; Adam and Eve are on Page 3," he noted in 1994. He was a Quaker who called himself "an ethicist."

Raised in Edison, N.J., Mr. Jordan was the grandson of a civil engineer and Penn professor who led the construction of U.S. Route 2 in Montana.

In Philadelphia, Mr. Jordan pushed for more stop signs and fewer stop lights, which he wanted converted into energy-efficient LED lights; better pedestrian signage; and safe, paved shoulders.

"One of his most cherished accomplishments was helping start the Warrington Community Garden in West Philadelphia," said his wife of three years, Susan Edens. She is a cultural landscape architect at Independence National Historical Park and shares her husband's passion for improving the world.

"Gihon knew the dangers and joys of riding a bike in the city. He was a safe biker, always wore a helmet. He had a road bicycle which he kept in good repair," she said. "He rode in the rain and at night."

After five years with New Jersey Department of Transportation as a specialist in air quality, bicycles and transportation, Mr. Jordan came to Philadelphia to work for the Planning Commission, where he studied the demographics of North Philadelphia until 1989. He was named project and traffic engineer by the Streets Department, where he worked until 1993. For 12 years, he was the Streets Department's Center City district traffic engineer. He retired in 2005.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Jordan is survived by a brother, Paul; sisters Patricia Williams and Joan; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is being planned for September. Donations may be made to the Gihon Jordan Scholarship Fund, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Box 93, Cedarburg, Wis., 53012.
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MBAC meeting tomorrow 8/19/08

Biking in BaltimoreThe Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow, 8/19/08, at 6pm at parks HQ, 2600 Madison Ave. across from Druid Hill Park.

City Update
Sunday Streets
Kelly Ave Bikelane
Sustainability Committee
Upcoming Items and Events
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Making Sustainability Visible

Biking in BaltimoreOn Wednesday, September 3 from 6-8pm the first Baltimore Design Conversation will take place at the Windup Space (12 W. North Avenue).
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The Livable Streets Movement

Biking ElsewhereThe livable streets movement is changing the way cities around the world work. From Paris to Melbourne, cities are dedicating increasing amounts of public space to pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit. London pedestrianized part of Trafalgar Square; Vienna closed its central streets to vehicle traffic; Copenhagen built an extensive bicycle network; Bogotá chose busses over highways. In the United States, cities, states and now Congress have either passed or are considering legislation that would require transportation planners to consider the needs of all users – not just those in motor vehicles. As New York sets out to fulfill PlaNYC’s promise of dozens of new pedestrian plazas and hundreds of miles of bike lanes, the city is poised to be at the forefront of this historic movement.

In the U.S., the livability movement is nothing short of a sea change in government transportation policies that have been singularly focused on motor vehicles for decades. The driving force of this movement continues to be a growing recognition of the economic and environmental costs of existing policy and a search for alternatives. Livable streets encourage walking, cycling and transit trips, cut into these costs and also advance important societal goals. London’s Walking Plan, for example, argues that walking contributes to “health and well-being” and to the “vibrancy” of the city, while other programs point to benefits such as a stronger sense of community.

The economic benefits of livable streets, despite their growing importance in transportation policy planning, are presently not well understood. This is due in part to a paucity of research: there have been almost no published studies in the U.S. on economic impacts, and only a handful in Europe. In addition, it has been difficult to untangle the specific impact of measures such as new pedestrian amenities or parking regulations from other civic improvements put in place simultaneously.
Livable streets have demonstrated the following effects on local economies:
• Pedestrian zones in city centers have boosted foot traffic by 20-40% and retail sales by 10-25%.
• Property values have increased by nearly one-third after traffic calming measures were installed.
• Property values on quiet streets are generally higher than those on noisy streets. In the extreme, the value of a house on a quiet street would be 8-10% higher than the same house on a noisy street.
• Public recreational and gathering space increases property values. Apartment prices near community gardens in New York City are 7% higher than comparable apartments in the same neighborhood.
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Installing bike lanes with known hazards.

Biking in Baltimoreimage
To me bike lanes should say that the space delineated by the bike lane has been reviewed and is basically free of hazards. No one would think of making a car lane with a tree in the middle of the lane and if there was a hazard it would be marked and signed in advanced. So what makes engineering bike facilities different?

The down hill section of Kelly Ave where a typical cyclists travels 20+mph will now see a new bike lane complete with a safety barrel in half of the bike lane with NO advanced warnings. This is just wrong especially in light of MD law requiring us to ride in bike lanes (and does not give us the exception of leaving a bike lane when we are going the speed limit. )

Personally I have little tolerance for door zone bike lanes especially on down hill sections where there is without a doubt insufficient time for a cyclists to "scan" vehicles for occupants and AASHTO recommends at least 13' for parking + bike lane when there is substantial parking as exhibited along this block. The Toronto study showed that dooring was the 4th cause of bicyclists deaths, I do not support putting in door zone bike lanes where ever we can put them. To present one solution; sharrows work sufficiently better for this type of situation as typically a cyclist will ride further away from the door zone with sharrows then with bike lanes. This will provide a separate space to encourage bicycling yet allow the advanced rider clear legal options to ride in a safe position in the roadway. Encouraging bicycling should not not also be a deterrent to those who are already riding.

I am curious what other think where the city should be drawing the line on where bike lanes are appropriate and Is this a good case to say "This is not a good place for a mandatory use bike lane"?

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Online registration for Civil War Century

Biking in MarylandIf you register online by the end on 8/15 you save $10 on registration.

And remember, there is no day of registration so you must pre-register if you want to go on this ride.
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Cool bike posters hung on the street ...

Biking Elsewhereimage
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Baltimore is creating a plan to improve the quality of life.

Biking in BaltimoreDo You Care About…
Having Trees? - Your property value? - Outdoor recreation?

Make your voice heard!

Baltimore is creating a plan to improve the quality of life in Baltimore now and for generations to come. Participate in a series of community conversations to discuss ideas for a better Baltimore!

In spring 2008, Mayor Sheila Dixon formed the Baltimore Commission on Sustainability, representing neighborhoods, nonprofits, institutions, and businesses, to plan for the future of Baltimore. The Commission on Sustainability holds public meetings the fourth Tuesday of every month at 4 pm at the Baltimore City Planning Department, 417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor.

The Commission’s Next Public Presentation Meeting is Tuesday, October 28, 6:30 at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Auditorium, 1400 W. Cold Spring Lane.

Please Join Us

The Commission has formed six Working Groups that will host public community conversations for you to voice your ideas on the future of Baltimore in the following areas:

Saturday, August 16, 2008
10:00 a.m. – Noon

We’d like to hear your ideas on making healthy food accessible to all, making our urban parks and greenspaces safe, active and well maintained for Baltimore’s resi-dents and ecological systems.

Morgan State University
The McKeldin Student Center
4300 Block of Hillen Road
Room 212 A
(near the Christian Center and Library).
Parking is available along Hillen Road

Three Ways to be a Part of Baltimore’s Sustainability Plan

Share Your Ideas - Participate in our public meetings or email us at sustainability"at"
Get Connected - Sign up for email updates on meetings and general announcements. Email: office_of_sustainability-join"at"
Read All About It - Regularly check for updated information on our website. <a href=""></a>;

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Union Station's Chutzpah

Biking ElsewhereLike many people these days, I am concerned about the environment, and I try to do my part to reduce my environmental impact. I recycle, and my garden consists of native plants. Instead of driving from my house on Capitol Hill to my job in Silver Spring, I ride my bike to Union Station and hop on the Metro.

Unlike the bikes being rolled out in the SmartBike DC program [Metro, Aug. 13], my bike is old. I bought it used from a bike store a few years ago, and it has certainly seen better days.

But it functions just as it should, taking me from point A to point B. So imagine my shock and sadness when I got off the Metro after work Tuesday and my bike was missing from the bike rack outside Union Station.

I went to the nearest security guard to report the apparent theft, and he promptly retrieved my &quot;stolen&quot; bike. As it turned out, my bike had been judged to be &quot;unsightly&quot; by Union Station standards and had been impounded. They had cut the lock and confiscated the machine, obviously without bothering to verify whether it was abandoned or just a little beat up.

Are they serious? Is this a message the District wants to send? Is this how the nation's capital is promoting sustainability? Is the city going to confiscate old cars that function perfectly well? Are banks going to reclaim houses that show some peeling paint? Give me a break . . . and a new bike lock while you're at it.



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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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