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Thursday, November 27 2014 @ 09:19 AM UTC
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Alert: Save the ICC Trail

Biking in MarylandPlease tell Montgomery County not to discard half of the planned ICC bike trail! We need emails and letters urging the county Planning Board NOT to replace large sections of this paved trail with unsuitable detours along busy arterials. County planners are citing environmental concerns over the path, despite the six-lane ICC highway next-door! Even if you attended the recent public meetings, please send comments to:

Royce Hanson, Chairman
Montgomery County Planning Board
8787 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
MCP-chairman@mncppc-mc.org

Or send comments to Chuck Kines at the Planning Department at: Charles.Kines@mncppc-mc.org
You may also cc the County Council at: county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov


Background

The county Planning Department is studying possible alignments of the planned ICC trail and is now seeking public input. Unfortunately the department is defending the state's misguided plan to build the trail along only 7 miles of the 18-mile long ICC. That plan would replace the missing 60% with circuitous detours on unsuitable roads like New Hampshire Avenue and East Randolph Road. This would add miles of length, busy intersections and countless driveway crossings to the route. It would decimate a trail that was meant to be a spectacular facility and the east-west backbone of the paved trail network.

We expect the county to build the sections that the state isn't building, in accordance with the county master plan. That's what the current study was meant to examine. Instead the Planning Department is examining how to reroute the trail around park areas and onto major roadways. Even worse, the Planning Board has indicated it will remove the missing trail sections from the master plan, preventing them from ever being built.

So please contact the Planning Board (which heads the Planning Department) and ask it to save the full trail and reject the detours. Insist that none of the trail be removed from the master plan.

For information on the current ICC trail study, see: http://www.mcparkandplanning.org/Transportation/icc/icc_bike_path.shtm

Jack Cochrane
Montgomery Bicycle Advocates
www.mobike.org
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Baltimore Green Week

Health & Environment

April 25th to May 2nd - is a weeklong program comprised of community events, forums, lectures, hands-on activities and the EcoFestival - all which focus on greening and the value of a sustainable lifestyle. Through our events we seek to increase awareness about how local residents can make the Baltimore region environmentally friendly for all who live and work here. Our mission is to further the voice of organizations that promote a healthy living environment. This year marks the fifth year of Baltimore Green Week (BGW). In 2007, over 5000 people attended BGW events. Started by regional volunteers, Baltimore Green Week remains a volunteer-driven event.

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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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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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