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Monday, July 25 2016 @ 11:48 AM UTC
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Biking ElsewhereAccording to an Oct. 13th Tribune article, "Despite increased fuel prices, gridlock is still a problem, but more people may be working at home or traveling at non-peak times, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning researcher says. Motorists in the Chicago area are making fewer trips to gas stations, but highways are still severely congested despite a decline of almost 5 percent in miles driven this year.

"Congestion in the region is actually worse now than a year ago. Drivers hoping to reach their destinations on schedule need to budget almost double the amount of travel time that the trips should take..."

[Just to note that parents driving their kids to school has been shown to be as high as 21% of rush hour traffic. I'll assert the impact of this behavior could explain this problem.]
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Maryland Bicycle Friendly State Ranking Feedback

Biking in Maryland[Note that Maryland's ranking is 35 out of 50]
As you know, the League of American Bicyclists recently expanded our programs in our effort to build a Bicycle Friendly America. Based on our successful Bicycle Friendly Community program, the Bicycle Friendly State program began by ranking all 50 states on their bike-friendliness. You can see the overall results of the ranking here. The rankings are based on overall scores to the ranking questionnaire that was sent to your State Bike Coordinator. Below is the feedback give to the Coordinator on areas that your state can work on to improve its ranking, and most importantly improve conditions for bicycling. We encourage you to use this feedback as a checklist of relevant to-do items when working with your State Coordinator, Department of Transportation and state legislature.

-no 3ft or greater safe passing law
-cannot legally signal with right hand
-bicycle equipment code not consistent with the language in UVC or its intent
-discriminatory mandatory bike lane law
-far to right as practicable code does exclude right turn lane

Policies & Programs
-no Complete Streets or Bicycle and Pedestrian Accomodation policy
-no Mountain Biking Plan
-no CO2 Reduction Plan that includes bicycle usage
-no policy requiring bike parking at state owned facilities

-no system in place to determine percentage of state highways that have paved shoulders
-no rumble strip policy with a minimum 4ft. of clearance for bicycles
-no dedicated state funding source for bicycling projects or programs
-no safety funding spent on bicycling in past 3 years

Education & Encouragement
-no questions regarding the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists on driver’s test
-no questions regarding the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists on driver’s manual
-no questions on motorists responsibilities to cyclists on CDL test

Evaluation & Planning
-information on bicycle usage rates not included in SCORP
-bicycle safety is not addressed in Highway Safety Plan

-No education of officer on cyclist rights & responsibilities through academy or continuing education
-information on cyclists rights and responsibilities not made available to traffic judges
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Biking in the Metro AreaAccording to an Oct. 14th Gazette article, "State Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Dist. 21) of College Park and state Del. William Bronrott (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda say they hope a proposed bill will make walking and biking to school safer for children across the state. Under the proposed legislation, school construction funds could possibly be used for adding or widening sidewalks, adding traffic lights, countdown walk signals, crosswalks and increasing the time of walk signals at intersections.

"The bill was announced Oct. 6, a day before Walk to School Day, a Prince George's County effort to encourage students to walk to school and to identify areas along their routes that need improvement. According to the State Highway Administration, there were 110 deaths involving pedestrians statewide in 2007, 28 of which occurred in Prince George's. The SHA did not have specific information on the ages of those killed. Rosapepe said Route 1 creates a dangerous walking atmosphere for College Park pedestrians..."
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Biking ElsewhereAccording to a Sept. 23rd Independent article, "After a close friend was killed by a motorist, Fair Haven Alderwoman Erin Sturgis-Pascale vowed to change street culture so these 'accidents' wouldn't happen again. Monday, in the culmination of what has become a surging, citywide safe streets movement, she found widespread support for her quest. A Complete Streets proposal, introduced by Sturgis-Pascale and East Rock Alderman Roland Lemar, met unanimous approval from the aldermanic Legislation Committee at City Hall Monday night.

"The proposal would create a Complete Streets Steering Committee to guide the development of a policy to ensure equal, safe access for all motorists, cyclists and pedestrians; a design manual to implement it; a process to include community members in the planning; an educational campaign; and traffic enforcement. Pascale said she'd like to see the city's streets evaluated not by the number of lanes or traffic lights, but by other measures. [***->] "Are our streets being used for people to socialize? Are our children playing in the streets safely? Are they able to ride their bicycles? Are we welcoming people with disabilities? Are we protecting our seniors on our streets?..." [<-***]
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Lance Armstrong Nike Commercial

Biking ElsewhereAccording to this commercial features a Lance lookalike but none the less it captures something wonderful about bicycling.
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Health & EnvironmentAccording to the Oct. 8th Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network newsletter, "Adults gain substantial health benefits from two and a half hours a week of moderate aerobic physical activity, and children benefit from an hour or more of physical activity a day, according to the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The comprehensive set of recommendations for people of all ages and physical conditions was released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"The guidelines are designed so people can easily fit physical activity into their daily plan and incorporate activities they enjoy. Physical activity benefits children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group, the report said."

[Note: A small sampling of Maryland Schools reveals a policy of less then a half hour of aerobic physical activity per *week* is provided for school age children.]
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Biking ElsewhereOn September 30th the SLO City Council came to terms with a $4.8 million shortfall in the wake of decreased city revenues and the result of a binding arbitration ruling for police officers. At the council meeting, Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Adam *censored*ushima reminded the Council that 'in these tough economic times, now is not the time to take away transportation options that promote tourism, decrease dependence on oil, and improve health.' The City Council made cuts in almost every department but left all bike projects -- including the Railroad Bicycle Trail--untouched. In 2007 the City rated bicycle improvements among its 'high priority' budget goals in response to Bicycle Coalition input at a community forum. We are glad the council remained true to those goals..."
[It's sad the same can't be said for Maryland.]
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Go carfree

Biking Elsewhere[The following quote caught my eye:]
In many parts of India and China, a growing middle class has an appetite for cars. Some people in these places and others (like America) have the idea that driving a car is glamorous or “respectable”—that it makes one special and shows that one is dignified and classy. They got that false image from American television and movies.

By joining in the World Carfree Day Movement, Americans can explicitly reject the notion that cars are anything but an especially toxic form of cancer. The good news is that it is a curable form of cancer, as many cities and towns throughout the world are now starting to demonstrate.
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NBC 4 coverage of Joe Krebs bicycle vacation

Biking ElsewhereJoe Krebs Enjoys Green Vacation
Joe Krebs, who anchors the morning show, has discovered a way to getaway, relax and go green.
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Facts & Stats

Biking ElsewhereHere's a sampling of some of the stats we've recently posted on our [Bikes Belong] website:

* Participation: Less than 1% of all U.S. trips are made by bicycle, yet nearly 40% of all trips are two miles or less.
* Economic: The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is around $200, 1/70th that of an average car.
* Health: Men who cycle to work are significantly less likely to be overweight and obese (39.8%) than those who drive to work (60.8%).
* Facilities: From 1992-2005 Portland, Oregon, increased its bikeway network by 215%, and during that period bicycle commuting doubled.
* Environmental: Bicycling instead of driving 5 miles a day reduces individual CO2 emissions by 1,287 pounds annually, about 6% of the average American's total emissions.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
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  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
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