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Thursday, July 24 2014 @ 08:00 PM UTC
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Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Guide– Recommendations and Case Study

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Since 2002 the state has had a goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and year after year no real change has been observed. It just amazes me how many pedestrian safety improvements that could be done here, most for cheap but are not. Maryland seems to have standardised on “essentially not visible” crosswalks and rather than follow the recommendation of marking all legs of the intersection with a high visibility crosswalk we are lucky to get two faded parallel lines that is either a crosswalk or your choice of stop lines if you are a driver. (Ref: An Overview and Recommendations of High-Visibility Crosswalk Marking Styles)

Other places I have been that are working toward reducing pedestrian fatalities have been installing hundreds of these pedestrian hybrid beacons. Does Maryland even have one?

Maybe there is no need for pedestrian improvements here?
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Nope, that's not it.

If you would like State Highways to do more for pedestrians please write: James T. Smith <secretary@mdot.state.md.us>

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Pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHB) have been shown to significantly reduce pedestrian crashes. A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) study published in 20101 found that pedestrian hybrid beacons can reduce pedestrian crashes by 69 percent and total crashes by 29 percent. Because PHBs remain dark until activated, they can help increase driver attention to pedestrians crossing the roadway, and can reduce rear-end collisions. The pedestrian hybrid beacon’s red signal indication removes any judgment from the motorists and requires a complete stop. The PHB provides a clear message that motorists must stop and allow pedestrians to cross the street. Motorist compliance with the requirement to yield has been shown to exceed 90 percent at PHBs.
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This document will show how PHBs are being used to reduce pedestrian crashes across the country [but not in Maryland.]
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http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/tools_solve/fhwasa14014/fhwasa14014.pdf
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Video: Google’s self-driving car meets cyclists and out-performs far too many human drivers

Biking ElsewhereArtificial intelligence? Not quite, but Google might have cracked artificial courtesy and consideration
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http://road.cc/content/news/117584-video-google%E2%80%99s-self-driving-car-meets-cyclists-and-out-performs-far-too-many
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Baltimore County Disappoints Bike & Trail Advocates

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: I always wondered why we have a law to create priority funding areas for bike/ped projects but next to zero projects that come in under that funding. Well BMore Bikes has an explanation for Baltimore County and why they don't want free money for bike/ped projects. I recommend reading the whole thing but I'll pull some things that I hope will get your attention.]
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When asked who was staffing the bicycle program, Ms. Schlabach indicated she was the only staff and only at a fraction of her time.  She also indicated that there was ZERO LOCAL FUNDING FOR BIKE PROJECTS! The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Bikeways Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program could potentially fund the vast majority of the projects suggested, especially if the available state and federal funding was combined to have state funds match the federal funds. However, for almost any project, the county would need to put up at least some local funding as a match and to devote some staff time to project coordination and outreach. Failing to do so leaves available money on the table for projects that have clear public support.

Ms. Silldorff also asked what else could be done for the county to support these projects.  Ms. Schlabach replied for committee members and the public to contact their council representatives to help fund these projects.
[B' Spokes: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/countycouncilmega.html]
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Other ways the county is showing resistance to the national bicycle movement:

  • Baltimore County remains the only Maryland jurisdiction NOT to have the East Coast Greenway signed.  Some portions of the route are signed on the Torrey C. Brown/NCR Trail, but not the on-road section between Paper Mill Road and the city line.
  • No Bikes Allowed signs are popping up at Robert E. Lee Park
  • Baltimore County will not support any trail projects along the proposed Red Line improvements, even though it would connect two regional trail systems: Gwynns Falls Trail & Patapsco Valley State Park


http://www.bmorebikes.com/baltimore-county-disappoints-bike-trail-advocates/
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Undercover Houston Cops On Bikes Are Nabbing Drivers Dangerous To Cyclists

News you will not see in MarylandBe careful which bikers you buzz by super closely on Houston's streets. One of them might arrest you.

By SYDNEY BROWNSTONE, Fast Co.Exist

In Houston, cops are taking a novel approach to arresting jerks who cut off cyclists. They’re going undercover on two wheels, and when things get too tight for the law, they're calling in for support.
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http://www.fastcoexist.com/3028416/undercover-houston-cops-on-bikes-are-nabbing-drivers-dangerous-to-cyclists
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For their safety honk

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Sadly too many think like this.]
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Ohio Bike Lawyer - Steve Magas
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Say what? $4 million gets us what again?

Biking in MarylandBy B' Spokes

Recreational Trails Program Typical projects, awarded FY2013
Howard County Conservancy Accessible Trail Improvements 24,750
Brunswick Trailside Amenities 10,100
Boardwalks for Upper Rock Creek Trail 32,800
DNR Algonquin Cross Country trail25,000
DNR Potomac Garrett State Forest Trail Guides 26,000
TOTAL ONGOING AWARDS 4,410,000
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN RELATED PROJECTS in the Consolidted Transportation Program FY 2014 – 2019

I've talked about the Federal Recreational Trails Program before and I don't get why Maryland caps the grant amount to $30k (with some small exceptions.) Per Recreational Trails Program: Preliminary Report on State Trail Projects on average 44% of this fund is spent on "Trail Construction or Development." While Maryland does not provide enough information to say what we do spend on actual trail construction I am willing to bet it is no where close to 44%.

So I decided to see how Maryland's average cost per RTP project compared to other states (data follows.) Only 9 other states had a smaller average cost per project than Maryland. Maryland's average cost was $22k, the national average was $41k. It is worth noting that DC's average was $232k per project and California was %122k per project. Big difference!

My main point here is I would love to see a greater diversity of projects funded through this program. And on that note I noticed the $30k cap has changed!

Funds requested per project cannot exceed $40,000 for trail construction and $30,000 for non-construction. Please note, for the FY15 solicitation, we will consider lifting the $40K cap for construction projects that score high with the criteria.


So things are starting to change! And remember this is a 20% local match so here's hoping to see a lot more bicycle related projects! Speaking of changes for the good, I noticed Transportation Enhancements (TE) are back! That's right the CTP mentions $25,355,100 worth of TE projects!!! I did not see any mention of the old draconic 50% local match requirement, nor any mention of a match requirement. Did Jim Smith decide to start spending that $40 million backlog of federal money rather then just let the feds keep that money? I would love to know the details but from what I can see from publicly available documents, things are finally starting to look up. .
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Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive drivers

News you will not see in MarylandBy Matthew Artz Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND -- Abusive drivers who take aim at cyclists and pedestrians might soon face retribution far more severe than a middle finger.

Councilwoman Libby Schaaf introduced legislation Tuesday that would make Oakland the nation's fourth city to allow aggrieved cyclists and pedestrians to take their vehicular tormentors to civil court. If victorious, Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive driversplaintiffs would be entitled to at least $1,000 and attorneys fees.

Bicycle advocates and Schaaf, who is running for mayor, acknowledged that cyclists are not always docile victims on the streets of Oakland. But they said the additional protections were warranted because both cyclists and pedestrians are far more vulnerable to serious injury.
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http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25418959/oakland-law-would-let-cyclists-pedestrians-sue-abusive
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April 28 Susquehanna Crossing Meeting

Biking in MarylandBy jonkorin, Bicycle Advocates For Annapolis & Anne Arundel County ("BikeAAA")

SusquehannaAnnouncement letter-Open House042814

BikeAAA has joined an East Coast Greenway Alliance called the Safe Crossing Susquehanna Coalition supporting the creation of a new bike/ped Susquehanna River crossing in conjunction with a new Amtrak bridge that is being planned. There is a public meeting Monday April 28th @ 5:00 open house at the Havre de Grace Activity Center, 351 Lewis Lane, Havre de Grace MD. This is where public comments will be gathered and the voices for a bicycle and pedestrian bridge can be heard.

Other organizations signed onto the coalition include the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Maryland, Washington Area Bicycle Association, Bikemore, and the September Eleventh National Memorial Trail at this time.



http://bikeaaa.org/2014/04/23/april-28-susquehanna-crossing-meeting/
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This is what politics is all about... getting people on bikes.

Politicsimage

On Brian's way in to work today…he is an avid bicyclist. Want to ride with him one weekend? Let us know at brian@brianfrosh.com

Via Brian Frosh
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Scofflaw cyclists... and I'm like...

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Mass of One Cycling

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