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Friday, July 25 2014 @ 03:22 PM UTC
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Condoning speeding may imperil others

Biking in BaltimoreLetters to the Editor (Sun)

Michael Dresser's article "Up to speed" (Feb. 3) exposes the great variation in speed enforcement among Maryland jurisdictions.

In counties such as Montgomery County, police often write speeding tickets that cite speeds of one to nine miles over the posted limit when drivers were going far faster.

Why give them a mere slap on the wrist?

Cpl. Jimmy Robinson, a police spokesman, explained: "We are very proud of the caliber of the citizens" of Montgomery County. He deems it unfair to penalize such drivers with a three-point citation and a fine of hundreds of dollars.

Fair to the speeding drivers? How about to the other citizens of Montgomery County, whose lives are jeopardized by speeders? Is this policy fair to them?

Speeding is a major cause of crashes, especially fatal crashes. Speed increases the likelihood of a crash because a driver has less time to react.

In a crash, higher speed increases the severity of injuries and the chance of fatalities.

I hope counties that make a practice of trivializing speed infractions will begin to consider the rights of other road-users, who deserve protection.
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TREK recalls girls bicycles due to frame failure

Biking ElsewhereWASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Trek MT220 Girls Bicycles

Hazard: The bicycle's frame can break during use, causing the rider to lose control and suffer injuries.

Incidents/Injuries: Trek has received 13 reports of frames breaking, including four minor injuries.

Description: This recall involves Trek girls' bicycles model MT220 and model years 2005 (light metallic blue), 2006 (metallic silver and metallic purple or pink and pearl white), and 2007 (pink and white pearl or metallic purple). The model name is printed on the frame of the bicycle. Model year 2008 bicycles re not included in this recall.

Sold at: Authorized Trek dealers nationwide from April 2004 through June 2007 for about $300.

Remedy: Consumers should take the recalled bicycle away from children immediately and return it to a Trek dealer for a free replacement MT220 girl's bicycle or a $100 discount on a different size Trek bicycle.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, consumers can contact Trek at (800) 373-4594 between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Saturday, or visit the firm's Web site at
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40mph residential speed limit strictly enforced

Biking in BaltimoreThe constitutional right to drive like an a55 irregardless of the potential harm to others as long as you have insurance has hit home, the street where you live.

The right to exceed the speed limit, if there is such a right, might make some sense on interstate highways and expressways but it has no place on public streets used by cyclists and walkers, yet police districts are saying that they will not ticket anyone that is going less then 15mph over the speed limit no mater where, expressway or residential street.

This 15mph speed difference when applied to a 25mph residential road turns the likelihood of a pedestrian or cyclists surviving a crash with a motor vehicle from favorable outcome to a very likely unfavorable outcome. This apparently is acceptable because it is "just an accident" when someone purposefully depresses the accelerator and drives too fast for conditions or the posted speed limit.

After our presentation at the Bicycle Symposium ( ) we are getting feedback from people who are inquiring about speed limit enforcement in their neighborhood and getting very disappointing answers.

Maryland is in the top ten highest ratio of bicycle and pedestrian traffic fatalities, in Baltimore City 39% of traffic fatalities involve a cyclists or pedestrian. Studies have shown when you enforce traffic laws, crime also goes down. Addressing two major issues with one simple action? Nah, too simple, not sexy enough, we need to reinvent the wheel. Sorry but no, enforcing the law, works, period.
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'Speeding' bicyclists anger homeowners

Biking ElsewhereHmmm, cyclists too fast for residential streets and too slow for the 6 lane Boulevard.
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Photos - Bike Symposium

Bike Maryland updates
Photo credit: Doug Retzler
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Pounds of Carbon per passenger mile

Health & Environment
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MD Bike/Ped Crash analysis of 2006 MHSO crash data

Biking in MarylandThis and so much more
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Bike lane laws in the news

Biking ElsewhereThis article has an interesting animated graphic that shows vehicular behavior right turning across a bike lane as required by two different states.
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Action - Support HB 143

Bike LawsHB 143 is the Safe passing of cyclists and right of way in a bike lane bill. (Ref: )

The following Delegates need to know of your support of this bill. The hearing is 2/5 1:00 if you want to come and testify in person.

A personal story of unsafe passing would be helpful. And if you have the time use the comment button to post your story or your thoughts about this bill.

Facts: Collision type: The motorist made a right turn and struck the cyclist (4.7% of which 11% were serious or fatal). ... at least 60% of the time, the motorist turned in front of the cyclist ... Bike lanes were involved 8% of the time.

The Most Common Cause of Cycling Fatalities
#3. The motorist was overtaking the bicyclist, cause of the accident unclear.
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One Less Car supports 3 bills this year

Bike Maryland updatesOne Less Car will be supporting three bills (at least) in the Maryland General Assembly this year. The following is a quick summary of each bill, a link to the text of the bill, and the date when the bill will be heard in committee. If you are interested in writing letters to your representative or testifying in person to support these bills, please contact Richard Chambers at 410-235-3678 or by email

HB 143 - Bicycle Safety

* Requires that a driver of a motor vehicle, when overtaking a bicycle, not pass at a length of less than 3 feet, and that the driver of a motor vehicle yield the right-of-way to a person who is riding a bicycle in a designated bicycle lane. This bill creates a legal "safe-zone" for bicyclists and gives them an extra added measure of safety on the road.
* First Hearing - House Environmental Matters - Tuesday, Feb. 5th at 1PM
* Read the bill

SB 204 - Makes transit-oriented development a State transportation priority

* Ensures that commercial and residential development adjacent to transit stations is a statewide "transportation priority" and expands MTA's ability to coordinate and further these projects. More transit oriented development means less sprawl and more options for Marylanders who don't want to travel everywhere in their car.
* First hearing - Senate Finance Committee - Wednesday, Feb. 6th at 1PM -
* Read the bill
* This is cross-filed in the House under HB 373
* Read the Baltimore Sun editorial in support of this bill.,0,3701372.story

SB 492 - Bicycle and Pedestrian access on MdTA toll facilities

* Removes the state's current total prohibition on bicyclists and pedestrians on Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) bridges and tunnels and gives the MdTA the option of allowing access. This means future and current bridges and tunnels may be fitted with bike/ped facilities.
* First Hearing in the Senate - Not scheduled yet
* Read the bill

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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