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Monday, October 20 2014 @ 08:04 AM UTC
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The Cost of Litter

Health & EnvironmentLitter is not only ugly, it
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The Baltimore Green Home Tour

Health & EnvironmentThis is your only chance to see a wide range of environmentally friendly homes! Learn what's on the market now, and how you can turn your dream home into a healthier, more sustainable place to live.

Saturday April 26 12:30 & 2:30

Buses will leave from EcoFestival in Druid Hill Park. Visit the City Life Realty booth at EcoFestival to pick up your tickets and information pack.

The Tour is Free, but Space is Limited! Register today to save your seat! www.BaltimoreGreenHomeTour.com or (410) 889-3191
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SB 492 Passed !!!

Bike LawsSB 492, which empowers the head of the Maryland Transportation Authority to authorize pedestrians and bicyclists to use MdTA bridges, has passed both houses of the Maryland legislature unanimously.

Thank you to everyone who wrote their Senators and Delegates.

- John Z Wetmore
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Running the Numbers An American Self-Portrait

Health & EnvironmentThis series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 410,000 paper cups used every fifteen minutes. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

My only caveat about this series is that the prints must be seen in person to be experienced the way they are intended. As with any large artwork, their scale carries a vital part of their substance which is lost in these little web images. Hopefully the JPEGs displayed here might be enough to arouse your curiosity to attend an exhibition, or to arrange one if you are in a position to do so. The series is a work in progress, and new images will be posted as they are completed, so please stay tuned.
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Stop the Latest Threat to Maryland's Transportation Trust Fund!

Mass TransitOne Less Car OPPOSES new Senate effort to cut much needed transportation funding

Some state Senators are floating a proposal in the Budget & Taxation Committee to take $150 million per year from the Transportation Trust Fund and transfer it to the state's General Fund. This move would do great damage to numerous transit and bike/ped projects.

The rationale behind this effort appears to be to balance out potential tax increases directed at very high-income earners. If accepted, this move would have a severe impact on the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), in particular. Local transportation programs like Ride On in Montgomery County, The Bus in Prince George's County, and Howard Transit in Howard County would also be potentially affected. Major new projects like the Red Line and Green Line in Baltimore City, and the Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway in Montgomery County could also be adversely affected, as well. Bicycle and pedestrian projects may also feel the pinch.

Please send an email to Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman, Ulysses S. Currie and tell him you OPPOSE any raiding of the Transportation Trust Fund. If you would like to see a complete list of Budget and Taxation Committee members, please click here: http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/05sen/html/com/01bud.html
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Complete Streets Legislation in US Sentate

Bike LawsOn Monday, March 3, 2008, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced Senate bill S. 2686, The Complete Streets Act of 2008. The Complete Streets Act of 2008 was introduced to ensure that all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users as well as children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are able to travel safely and conveniently on streets and highways. The bill would require that state DOTs and MPOs develop complete streets policies for the use of federal funds.

Co-sponsors and supporters of S. 2686 are essential - please call or write to your Senator today to gain their support. Visit the Complete Streets website for talking points, fact sheets and updated information. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is supporting this bill, as complete streets help to make our roadways safer for everyone, including children, the most vulnerable users.

[Maryland ranks in the top 10 worst states with the highest ratio of bike/ped traffic fatalities, this is important to us. I will also note that during the previous administration too often the additional ~2% expense for complete streets where appropriate was claimed to be too expensive while at the same time coming in UNDER the transportation budget by ~2% (the transportation budget includes many big ticket items where complete streets would not be appropriate for the bulk of the project, such as expressway expansion.) We need policy to counteract this sort of malfeasance.]
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NYC Got on the Bus

Mass TransitNew York City is finally on the BRT bandwagon.

Mayor Bloomberg announced "Select Bus Service" along the BX 12 line last week, a plan that many policy-minded readers might know by a different name: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Yes, after years of hard-nosed advocacy by Transportation Alternatives, the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and a growing chorus of advocates like "Communities United for Transportation Equity," the City and the Bloomberg Administration finally got on the BRT bus.

Expect prepaid fares, signal priority at intersections, colored "bus only" lanes, entrances in the front and rear of the vehicle, as well as fewer stops along this flagship BRT route that runs on 207th Street in Northern Manhattan and on Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway in the Bronx. If all of these measures are made a reality, well-maintained and strictly enforced, New York City will see its first ever surface subway, a bus line capable of quickly moving a train's worth of people for a fraction of the cost.
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House Bill 875 - allow bikes on toll bridges, please.

Bike Maryland updatesSenate Bill 492 [House Bill 875] is now being heard by the House Environmental Matters Committee. A vote may come at any time. If passed, it would allow the state Department of Transportation to grant bicycle and pedestrian access on new and state-owned retrofitted bridges. If this bill does not pass walking and bike paths on the new Nice Bridge currently being planned over the Potomac could be put in jeopardy. Contact Environmental Matters Chairwoman, Maggie McIntosh [ref HB 875] and tell her we need this bill to come to a full House vote. The bill already passed in the Senate 47 - 0 !!
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Road Safety Needs to be Taken Seriously

Bike Maryland updates Hi Everyone,

Pop quiz. What's the number one killer of kids in the world?

No. Not the scary murderer on the 11 o'clock news.

Not some disease with a hard to pronounce name.

It's cars. More young people are killed on roads than anywhere else. This is true WORLDWIDE.

In America the numbers are pretty grim. Every day 6 children age 14 and under are killed on U.S. roads, while another 670 are injured. That's 2,200 children dead each year and a staggering 245,000 injured.

Most of this carnage is accidental. But all of it is totally avoidable. Speed is usually the fundamental reason for these deaths. A child hit at 25 mph has a 90 percent chance of surviving. If he is hit at 40 mph his survival rate is less than 10 percent.

This year One Less Car has been doing its best to raise the profile of the road safety issue in Maryland. We supported bills in Annapolis that would have increased the penalties for reckless motorists and we put a lot of effort into passing a requirement that motorists give 3 feet when passing bicycles. Both of these measures failed.

In our opinion these bills would have made Maryland roads a safer place for all users (including motorists). The fact that they failed to make it out of committee is a disgrace. It's disheartening that so many of our elected representatives seem so ignorant of how dangerous our car culture has really become.

As the weather gets warmer and more of us are out walking and biking give some consideration to how you would make the case for safer roads to your state delegate or senator. Think about your neighborhood and how much better it would be with fewer and slower cars. Do you think you could make your elected representatives listen? We'll need your voice during the next General Assembly session.

Meanwhile, take a look at the website of the Make Roads Safe Campaign http://www.makeroadssafe.org/ . They are tackling the problem on a global scale. If you have time, please sign their petition for safer roads in developing countries. Every name helps.

Thanks,

Richard Chambers, Executive Director
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When will Baltimore be a more bike friendly city?

Biking in BaltimoreDeputy Mayor Andy Frank on the Marc Steiner Show - December 2007

Caller, Q: "When will Baltimore be a more bike friendly city?"

Frank, A: "The transportation department working with planning dept is implementing a bike strategy, we funded $1mm worth of construction mostly in lane striping improvements to connect what is referred to as the collegetown route to connecting some of the universities in Baltimore. If you drive down some of the streets now you'll begin to see the striping

We opened the promenade in the inner harbor to biking.

The mayor every Friday morning is leading a delegation of city cabinet heads and community folks who want to come out at 6:30 in the morning, it's a little too early for me, [Marc: too early for you?] if she did it at 12:30 in the morning I might get up and do it...

We have a bike coordinator and we have an entire plan and every time now when we design and construct streets we do it keeping in mind that there need to be bike lanes, this is a major part of the mayor's cleaner and greener initiative and we want to encourage more biking."

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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

  •  Off-road bike trails
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