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Friday, August 28 2015 @ 05:05 PM UTC
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Bikers want to get moving on new trail

Bike PathsA group of mountain bikers wants to build the county's first mountain bike trail in Crownsville.
...

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/ph-ac-cn-mountain-biking-0603-20150604-story.html
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Recommendations shmasions, cars +1 foot, bikes -1 foot (Roland Cycle Track)

Biking in BaltimoreNo doubt I like nice things for cyclists but with a near constant trimming of recommendations for bike facilities in Baltimore they are less pleasant then advertised. Some cyclists (mostly those new to cycling) like the improvement others (generally those that have been cycling before the so called improvement) are not that happy with and are taken to avoid the bike facilities.

We are now facing a one way cycle track on Roland Ave with a speed limit of 25 mph. Roland is classified as an arterial collector. The critical widths in this discussion are:
4' bike lane, 2' buffer, flex posts, parking and two 10.5' travel lanes. (and the same for the other direction of the road. (And if it helps, the two directions are separated by a landscape median.)

I would be a lot happier with a 5' bike lane and two 10' travel lanes but since this is a State funded project lanes less than 10.5' are not allowed. I can sort of see that standard for State roads which are all arterial but on a local road? Baltimore has local roads as narrow as 9' and we manage.

The road in question in Google maps.
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.355961,-76.634585,3a,75y,346.16h,67.38t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s6IrUvAz49QxjCxbVsgyPDg!2e0

In the first meeting a cyclist brought up the need to pass slower cyclists. And the Director of Transportation said something to the effect "I'm tired of all you cyclist and your speeding." And I'm thinking "But but bicyclists passing is mentioned in the official design considerations for cycle tracks." But one of the things I would love to see promoted is bike facilities that allow side by side riding, that is really nice when you can do that, especially if we are talking about young families taking their kids out for a bike ride.
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Bicycling Events in Baltimore this summer

Biking in BaltimoreVia Comeback City

[Just headings]

Kinetic Sculpture Race: Sunday, June 14

Tour Dem Parks: Sunday, June 14

Baltimore Bike Party: Friday, June 26, July 31, and August 29…

Tour Du Port: Sunday, September 27


[More information, pictures and links] http://comebackcity.us/2015/06/02/bicycling-events-in-baltimore-this-summer/
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Bicycling: The SAFEST Form of Transportation

Biking ElsewhereVia Mr Money Mustache

Of all the objections I get from people about why they can’t ride a bike to get around, perhaps the most frustrating is the claim that bicycling is too dangerous. According to this line of reasoning, we all need the protection of a two-tonne steel cage in order to survive the trip to the office or the grocery store.
...

Under even the most pessimistic of assumptions:

Net effect of driving a car at 65mph for one hour: Dying 20 minutes sooner. (18 seconds of life lost per mile)
Net effect of riding a bike at 12mph for one hour: Living 2 hours and 36 minutes longer (about 13 minutes of life gained per mile)
...

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/
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Widow's lawsuit aims to make road safer for bicyclists

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: Hope or more of the same? MDOT I hear the words but I don't see any action. True in 2000 and true today.

http://www.wbaltv.com/news/widows-lawsuit-aims-to-make-road-safer-for-bicyclists/33156198
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Cyclists use cameras to document reckless driving

Biking ElsewhereHighlight: "Crocker uploaded his video to Close Call Database, where cyclists log incidents involving vehicles. The database catalogs incidents by geography and sends out alerts to users in an area where an incident is reported."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/living/feat-bike-helmet-cameras/index.html
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New device helps police enforce state 3-foot Law

Biking Elsewherehttp://www.wrcbtv.com/story/29075189/new-device-helps-police-enforce-state-3-foot-law
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AAA Announces Roadside Assistance For Bicyclists

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: This is great not just because of the service if you get a flat on your bike but AAA Mid-Atlantic used to be very vocal about their anti-bike position... now they want our business.

Read about it here:
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/05/15/aaa-announces-roadside-assistance-for-bicyclists/
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Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: While I don't agree with everything in the linked article by Eben Weiss a.k.a. Bike Snob he does make some points to think about. Roads were our first campaign for multi-use paths, they would be good for everyone and we can all share the space, would be one way to paraphrase the Good Roads Movement but then bicyclist became the trespassers on the very roads they helped get built. Ever notice that on our current multi-use paths that if there are rules posted they are only for cyclists and no other users, pedestrians are free to be unpredictable and lawless as are the dog walkers because there is nothing saying you can't walk with your leash crossing the whole path. And most of all, the rights of iPod-zombies must be protected above all else because everyone knows it is cyclists that are scofflaws and no other group. :/

I'm not saying cyclists should not be careful around pedestrians but I am saying everyone needs to watch out for each other but when you single out just one type of user as the trouble maker it all goes down hill fast. And that has been our problem with the so called "Safety Experts" to this day, the total lack of explaining shared space and the movement that is expected from everyone.

But back to the article, there is no doubt the unspoken and hard question to answer is "Why wouldn't cyclist do everything they could to improve their safety? And why shouldn't we make it a law?" First let's flip this to be a car centric example; "Why wont drivers drive with their headlight on during the day if it improves their safety? And why isn't it a legal requirement?" - That's a good question as more lives could be saved doing that then anything we could do with cyclists.

Which brings me to what I feel is a major problem with our society, cars are perceived as safe even though they are the number two cause of premature death just behind smoking. Cars have become the ultimate embodiment of sociopathic behavior as too many things about them could be summarized "As long as I am safe everyone else be damned." Things like going fast has become a priority as if saving a minute is worth killing people over. Statistics were manipulated to promote speed, freeways were deemed safer not because of their grade separated crossings but because of their speed and the same with roads that have a large speed differential it's was the cars going the speed limit (not faster) that were to blame for the increased in accidents, so increase the speed limit is a common recommendation.

Then eliminating delays became a priority to improve speed even though issues like right-on-red with its known dangers to pedestrians was never really studied to see if there was an overall improvement in traffic flow. It used to be traffic was pulsed so turning out of a shopping center on a major road was a simple mater of just waiting for the main platoon of traffic to pass from the traffic light upstream. Nowadays we have to wait for a small gap in the constant traffic diarrhea of people utilizing the right-on-red. So making things "faster" for one person makes things slower for more than one person downstream (more me first and everyone else be dammed.).... and we call this an "improvement" even though general impatience on the road seems to have been multiplied even though impatience has been "accommodated" (in one situation but not others) . Tell me you have never encountered someone turning into traffic that was not taking a risk in the hopes you would stop abruptly while they took advantage of the only gap in traffic they could see. I will assert that right-on-red is indirectly causing more traffic accidents downstream then what we would have if there was no right-on-red (the overall benefit even to just cars is dubious at best.) And then there is the assumption that some how this benefit of turning right on red is cumulative, like we spend our time driving in clockwise circles. Sure there can be a one time ~30 second improvement per trip but that's the best it can be and no better and for that we put pedestrian lives at risk not to mention other things that I have asserted that are not a benefit to society as a whole.

Things like this has lead to the unspoken corollary "Faster modes of travel need to travel faster and slower modes of travel should be made even slower." Like a 350 horse power car is going to have to really struggle to make up a two second delay and other kinds of "people" don't mind five or more minutes of delay. Too many things are ratcheting us in the wrong direction, which is my point here and I think it is also the point in the following article.]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/15/dont-make-bicyclists-more-visible-make-cars-stop-running-them-over/
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The Real Danger to Children Is Cars, Not Strangers

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: To ballpark the danger to kids (more info in the article)
115 - Kidnapping by strangers
449 - Children killed when they were walking or biking
2136 - Children killed being chauffeured by car. ]

***************************************
by Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

"Why are we building communities that are unsafe for our children? This goes beyond free range vs. helicopter parenting debates. Our infrastructure forces decisions by some parents — and are unhealthy for our children besides!"

http://streetsblog.net/2015/05/07/the-real-danger-to-children-is-cars-not-strangers/

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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