Baltimore Spokes
Biking in Baltimore
Sign Up!
Welcome to Baltimore Spokes
Monday, May 25 2015 @ 03:14 AM UTC
View Printable Version

Bicycle safety advocates step up county efforts

Biking in the Metro AreaCoalition presses education, legislation as planners foresee network of lanes

By Shayna Meliker | Sun reporter

Rick Wilson's father taught him how to ride a bike.

The pair, who lived on the Carroll County side of Mount Airy, used to travel into Howard County on the weekends to ride the paths.

But one summer day in August 1979, Wilson's father did not come home. As he was cycling along Route 27, when it used to be a rural road, he was hit by a truck and killed.

Wilson, now an Ellicott City resident, did not pick up a bike for 17 years, but he started riding again 12 years ago for health reasons. He was principal of Glenwood Middle School for five years and will start the next school year as principal of Folly Quarter Middle.

But Wilson has taken on more than his school duties. He heads cyclist education and safety for the Bicycling Advocates of Howard County, a coalition formed in February to address bike safety issues through education and being an advocate for legislation. The organization has nearly 200 members and 13 who serve on its executive board.

"There's no doubt that Howard County is becoming more populated, and the roads are getting tighter with more vehicles," Wilson said. "It's not as safe as any of us, bikers or drivers, would like for it to be."

And that calls for action, Wilson said, adding that he believes road safety is the dual responsibility of cyclists and drivers.

"It's too easy for bikers to point fingers at the drivers, and conversely, for the drivers to blame bikers for road issues," Wilson said. "There needs to be an understanding that bikers have the right to be on the road, but that they also have a responsibility to be smart about it."

Wilson has a particular concern for Howard County students who want to bike to school. Wilson said riding to school is a great way to instill a healthy lifestyle in students, but safety issues concern him. He is the Howard County schools liaison for BAHC.

Jack Guarneri, chairman of BAHC, estimated that there are more than 1,000 cyclists in Howard County. Of those, he said 90 percent are recreational and sport cyclists, meaning they ride primarily in the spring, summer and fall. The other 10 percent are people who commute daily to work or to public transportation hubs, even in winter.

But summertime is when cyclists have to be the most aware, said Guarneri, an Ellicott City resident who is an operations analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. He is especially concerned about drivers being less patient with the increasing number of cyclists in western Howard County, where the roads and shoulders are narrower.

BAHC is taking several preventive steps in the near term, he said, including posting "Share the Road" signs, planning safe-riding seminars and creating brochures for drivers about sharing the road with cyclists.

"But we need long-term action," Guarneri said. "We have to increase the width of shoulders on the roads, and we have to be building roads that are conducive to cyclists. We need to create a bike master plan."

And county officials are listening.
View Printable Version

Baltimore Bicycle Update

Biking in Baltimore 1. Some quick stats on bike lanes in Baltimore :
1. There are 32 miles of bike lanes, sharrows and signed/shared roadways in Baltimore City .
2. There are 35 miles of multi-use trails in Baltimore City

These stats were compiled from updated GIS layers that I’ve been working on. These maps will be available online later this summer/early fall to help local cyclists plan their routes accordingly.

2. DOT received proposals, cost estimates and a tentative schedule for the Bicycle Facilities Network program (the “official” title of Bike Master Plan improvements) from Toole Design Group. We are currently reviewing the information and amending as needed. The focus of these areas will be southeast Baltimore and Park Heights . The Engineering and Construction section of DOT will oversee this project, although I will be assisting in the project management and reviewing submittals.

3. Under Operation Orange Cone, DOT has added 6 miles of bike lanes to roadways including Clarks Lane , Loch Raven Blvd, W. Belvedere Ave, and Gwynn Oak Avenue . Once the extra work orders are approved for the contractors, bike lanes will then be installed on Belair Rd, Garrison Blvd, Cherryland Rd, Patterson Avenue, and Boston St.

4. One goal that I have is to provide bike lanes/routes through downtown. This goal is getting closer to reality. As the downtown shuttle program will have designed bus lanes, I am researching other community’s efforts with combined bus & bike lanes. While these lanes may also be used by right-turning vehicles, it does allow a full 10’+ lane for bikes along Pratt and Lombard Sts. Kettleson, Inc. is performing traffic studies to ensure this will work.

In a north-south direction, the GBC has requested that Mt. Royal from St. Paul to Guilford and Guilford from Mt. Royal to Centre St be repaved. As you know this is a major bike route into downtown from the north. Once repaving is complete, an official bike lane will be installed through this stretch.

5. 25 bike racks will be installed throughout downtown, Ridgeley’s Choice and southeast B’more once the crews return from a labor training class.

6. Bike racks at Penn Station will be installed through a cooperative effort from DOT, MTA and the Parking Authority. The new racks will be located just inside the main entrance to the garage on the median adjacent to the security booth. This should reduce bike theft and satisfy Amtrak and Homeland Security’s concerns about bike racks being too close to the train station.

7. There is a growing effort from the Department of Planning to allow bikes on the Promenade. The first phase will concentrate on Canton from the Waterfront Park to Harris Creek . Other sections will open as property owners and the city reach liability agreements.

8. Baltimore has been approved for Part 1 of the Bicycle Friendly Communities application!!! Part 2 is much more involved and has shed some light on the amount of work that lies ahead of us.

9. As part of Traffic Mitigation agreements with the city, some developers have expressed an interest in bike sharing. I’ve researched this possibility and have found 4 developments along the greater downtown area that would be suitable sites for bike sharing stations. While DC’s SmartBike program is not fully underway, I’m exploring other cities efforts in this area.

10. As the Department of Transportation is examining ways to save money on fuel costs, the Planning Division is leading the way by using bikes whenever possible. (I myself have never operated a city vehicle.) I’m working on a logo to hang on “official city bikes” to promote this effort.

11. There are currently two bills in Congress to promote complete streets design. I’m compiling some training materials for our engineers and consultants to have once these bills become law.

12. Last Friday, Greg and I met Jim Runion of GBA Engineers at the new Masonville Environmental Education Center. We were looking at a possible trail connecting the nature center to Hanover St . With a little funding, this could happen.

13. I’ve been involved with an effort between Baltimore County and CCBC Catonsville to establish a national set of GIS standards for trails and bikeways. This is a pretty cool undertaking and will help with data collection and planning for any future bike-related improvements nationwide.
View Printable Version

Another Google Bike Mashup Map

Biking in MarylandThis page is dedicating to working on Washington Bike Mashup Maps: <a href=""></a>;

And another Map for Police incidents, tickets and warnings, and bike accidents:
<a href=";hl=en&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=110783320719658065016.0004519876ef8015b5aa3&amp;ll=38.858255,-77.06943&amp;spn=0.389787,0.601501&amp;z=11">;hl=en&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=110783320719658065016.0004519876ef8015b5aa3&amp;ll=38.858255,-77.06943&amp;spn=0.389787,0.601501&amp;z=11</a>;

Note that we have the capability for the latter here: <a href=""></a>;
With your help we can make this a valuable information tool.
View Printable Version

The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist

Biking Elsewhere[The following is really good, which I quote in full (without hyper links) but for those who are more then the casual reader I will encourage you to visit the original article (link at the end of this article) on the WashCycle site and follow the comments on the article.]

Whenever you read an article about cycling in the city, or a discussion of transportation involving cycling it is highly likely that you'll read a comment like this:

&quot;I will 'share the road' when cyclists start 'obeying the traffic laws.'&quot;

and this

&quot;I always see bikers disobeying traffic signals. They always run red lights going across R Street and Connecticut Ave&quot;

and this

Before encouraging people to cycle and spending millions of pounds of our money in the process, the Government should have down some groundwork to make roads safer for all of us. [WC: Sounds reasonable]

Making cyclists observe a few traffic laws - such as stopping at traffic lights and zebra crossings - would have been a welcome start.[WC: Really? You'd START with cyclists?]

In fact after Alice Swanson's death, many comments on the post, DCist and elsewhere mentioned that something like this was bound to happen because of the illegal manner in which most cyclists ride. Despite the fact that there seems to be no indication that she did anything illegal.

Which leads to what I call &quot;The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist&quot;.

Now then, I'm not trying to claim that cyclists don't break the law. Let me state clearly and upfront, they do. What I'm saying is that there is nothing unique about the frequency with which cyclists as a class break the law when compared with drivers or pedestrians. And even if cyclists broke the law more flagrantly, that would not negate the need to share the road.

Hello? Kettle? You're Black!

Implicit in all of these types of comments is that drivers (and sometimes pedestrians) constitute the law-abiding sections of society, but these scofflaw cyclists - with their Lycra-clad arrogance (you have to mention arrogance or self-righteousness for it to count) - are a menace to society.

Let's knock that down first.

Many drivers break the law. I would almost be willing to say that every driver breaks the law, but let's stick with many. How?

First of all, they speed.

Driver compliance with speed limits is poor. On average, 7 out of 10 motorists exceeded the posted speed in urban areas. Compliance ranged from 3 to 99 percent. Compliance tended to be worse on low-speed roads, better on roads with prima facie limits, or where the speed limit was based on an engineering study. Better does not mean good compliance; less than 10 percent on [sic] the sites had more than 50-percent obedience with the posted speed

In DC, speed cameras were set up at several locations. They were recording 170 infractions per hour (that's one every 21 seconds for all you poli-sci majors).

And they run red lights

From August 1999 through May 2008, the automated red-light enforcement program has, at 49 locations, resulted in 741,780 notices of infraction.

And stop signs

The overall compliance rate for stop signs was 22.8 per 100 vehicles, ranging from 1.4 per 100 for bicycles to 46.2 per 100 for commuter vans. Compliance increased to 53 per 100 vehicles when pedestrians were present in the crosswalk. [WC: Ok we're both guilty here, but the cars aren't even stopping half the time. More on this below.]

They illegally park

There were 1.67 million parking tickets written last year, up from 1.3 million in 2001, according to statistics provided by the D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW).

They double park and park in the bike lane.

They ignore toll booths

Court records show that among the first cases in Fairfax County last week, five motorists each had fines topping $10,000. A dozen more face penalties higher than $4,000.

They drive drunk and distracted, this being a mere drop in the bucket.

Through October, officers issued 9,484 tickets this year to motorists driving with a cell phone in their hand, according to police statistics.

The number of citations already issued this year is 13 percent more than the 8,358 issued last year. In 2005, police issued 7,523...

and I could go on.

Pedestrians, of course, jaywalk.

My point isn't that two wrongs make a right or that drivers are worse than cyclists. My point is that it's hypocritical to call your neighbor rude, because his loud stereo makes it difficult for you to focus on your backyard chainsaw sculpting.
View Printable Version

BFC Application Part 1 Approval

Biking in BaltimoreDear Nate Evans,

Thank you for submitting Part 1 of Baltimore, Maryland's Bicycle Friendly Community [BFC] application. Your application has been reviewed and approved. If you haven't already done so, please begin part 2. In order to be included in the next application review cycle, please complete and submit Part 2 of the application by August 15, 2008.

Upon receipt of Baltimore , Maryland 's completed application, your application will be carefully reviewed and scored. Feedback from local cyclists will also be considered. Then, the League will award qualifying communities Bicycle Friendly Community status, with a designation of platinum, gold, silver, or bronze. Communities on the cusp of earning an award may be given an honorable mention award.


Bill Nesper
League of American Bicyclists

[Pt 2 is more involved, but the City is already on it.]
View Printable Version

In the news - Trading Gas Guzzlers For Bikes

Biking ElsewhereVideo: <a href=""></a>;
View Printable Version

Earth Alley - Gift shop/Art store

Cyclist\'s Yellow Pages
image New to Hampden, Earth Alley features eco-friendly and fair-trade items from here and around the world. For the bike enthusiast, we have messenger and hand bags created from bike inner tubes (and truck tires if you want an even more indestructible material), candle holders, picture frames, bottle openers and clocks made from recycled bike parts. And that's not all! You will be able to find jewelry and home accessories with an environmental slant. Please visit us at 3602 Elm Ave., just off the Avenue and across from the Wine Source. or 410-366-2110.
View Printable Version

Moonlight Madness bike ride

Biking in Baltimore[Note After the ride some of us are going to see midnight showing of &quot;The Dark Knight&quot; at the Senator 5904 York Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21212, Theatre (410)435-8338, Office (410) 435-9892]

Bob Moore's Moonlight Madness bike ride is on: Thursday July 17th. 8:30 start
A memorial ride for Bob Moore

Take a night-time bike tour of Baltimore City on a safe, well lit, mostly flat route of about 20 miles. Get an intimate view of the city after dark. Skyline, neighborhoods and waterfront as well as sights ranging from illuminated classical buildings and monuments to the neon of &quot;The Block&quot;, from churches, museums, and City Hall to the enormous &quot;Wizard of Boh&quot;.

Ride Start: in front of the Youth Hostel at the corner of Mulberry and Cathedral. (catty-corner from the Pratt Library)

Ride is casual 10-12mph. Approximately 20 miles. You must have a properly functioning bike, be wearing a helmet, and have safety lights on front and back.

I will bring cue sheets.

Sundown is at 8:30 and a nearly full moon rising about the same time.
Spread the word as you see fit. :-)

More about Bob:
<a href=",0,1706484.story">,0,1706484.story</a>;
View Printable Version

Attacked on Falls bike path

Biking in BaltimoreFrom the wpca-md list:

I just wanted to warn wpca members that groups of teens and young adults are attacking cyclists on the Falls bike path. My partner was trapped on the newly constructed switchback near the Steiff Silver Building. A group of eight teens and young adults cornered him, threw rocks and sticks and chased him, apparently trying to steal his bike or harm him. Luckily, he got away, but another man wasn't as lucky. He crashed and was more seriously injured. Police were called. Commuters beware!
View Printable Version

Princeton Sports - Join our Tuesday Night Road Rides, Note New Times!

Biking in the Metro AreaIron Girl Columbia Triathlon Road Ride
leave at 6:30PM - new time to avoid rush-hour traffic

Ride 18 miles on the bike leg of our local, popular triathlon. Meet at Princeton Sports' Columbia, MD &amp; change in dressing rooms, fiil-up water-bottles &amp; be ready to leave at 6:30PM Sharp! It's a no-pressure ride with a rider leader, sag rider, helpful store employees &amp; volunteers from the Bicycle Advocates of Howard County to answer your questions &amp; give tips. Cue Sheets/Maps available; Weather Permitting; Ride Waivers Required
Columbia Triathlon Road Ride
leave at 6:00PM

A fast training ride for AA, A, &amp; B level riders (22 mph to 16 mph average) on 25 miles of rolling hills of Howard County. Cue Sheets/Maps available; Weather Permitting; Ride Waivers Required

Bring a friend! Call our store or e-mail lrussell&quot;at&quot; for more info. See you here.

My Account

Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?


Site Map


There are no upcoming events

Older Stories

Monday 04-May

Sunday 03-May

Wednesday 29-Apr

Tuesday 28-Apr

Tuesday 21-Apr

Saturday 18-Apr

Tuesday 14-Apr


Order: New Views Posts
Latest 5 Forum Posts
Re: Trader Joes Park..
 By:  abeha
 On:  Friday, March 27 2015 @ 06:46 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Netherlands Bike..
 By:  HBK
 On:  Monday, February 09 2015 @ 04:55 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Seeking route op..
 By:  William888
 On:  Tuesday, February 03 2015 @ 06:53 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Winter riding
 By:  B' Spokes
 On:  Sunday, November 16 2014 @ 05:55 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Winter riding
 By:  nawaz
 On:  Saturday, November 15 2014 @ 05:35 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0

Mailing Lists

General Talk
Subscribe Archives Announcements
Subscribe Archives


Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
  •  Strongly disagree
This poll has 0 more questions.
Other polls | 1,078 votes | 0 comments

The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on State roads
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
This poll has 0 more questions.
Other polls | 1,122 votes | 3 comments

Who's Online

Guest Users: 127

What's New

Stories last 2 days

Links last 2 weeks