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Sunday, March 29 2015 @ 07:20 AM UTC

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US DOT: Mayors' Challenge closing in on 100 cities; is yours in? - Baltimore, nope

Biking in BaltimorebyAnthony Foxx

Last month here in the Fast Lane, I launched DOT's Mayor's Challenge For Safer People and Safer Streets. Today, I'm pleased to say that 86 communities from across the U.S. have committed to join the Mayors' Challenge and improve safety for bicycle riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities over the next year.

And the good news is, there's still time for more cities to sign up.

The Challenge will showcase local practices to improve safety, share tools for local leaders to take action, and promote partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety. Mayors, other elected officials, and team leaders from registered cities will attend a summit in March then return to their communities to start taking action in seven different challenge areas.

Overall, highway deaths have been declining in recent years--in fact, roadway fatalities have fallen by 25 percent over the last decade. Unfortunately pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have not seen similar safety gains and now represent nearly 17 percent of total fatalities. In 2013, bicyclists were the only group to show an increase in total deaths.

While it's true that cities around the country are seeing more people walking and biking to get where they need to go, we cannot accept an increase in deaths and injuries among people choosing those transportation options. The Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets seeks better protection of the most vulnerable users of our roadways based on the latest pedestrian and bicyclist safety innovations.
...

http://www.dot.gov/fastlane/mayors-challenge-closing-100-cities-yours
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City hatches plan to raise private money for free bikes for school kids

Biking in Baltimoreby Mark Reutter, Baltimore Brew

The Baltimore Department of Transportation is requesting over $50,000, mostly for a consultant, to help it raise private funds to provide free bicycles to K-8 school children.

An allocation of $45,818 is set to be awarded to McCormick Taylor, a Philadelphia-based consultant, with an additional $6,874 for in-house administrative costs, according to the request before tomorrow’s Board of Estimates meeting.

The expenses will go toward the agency’s so-far-unpublicized effort to give away bikes to children to stimulate “awareness and enthusiasm” for cycling in Baltimore.

...

https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2015/01/13/city-hatches-plan-to-raise-private-money-for-free-bikes-for-school-kids/
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Is “Safe” Road Design Killing Bicyclists and Pedestrians?`

Biking in BaltimoreBY JOSH COHEN, Next City

In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed in the United States, up 6 percent from the previous year. Rep. Rick Larsen, of Washington, has a sneaking suspicion that road design — specifically designs that make things safer for cars — are a big part of the problem.

To find out for sure, Larsen along with Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton (of D.C.) and Peter DeFazio (of Oregon) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office in late December asking for an investigation into trends and causes of crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians and recommendations for improving safety.

The request centers on the question of whether or not road designs that make driving safer are putting bicyclists and pedestrians at greater risk — at a time when cities around the country are creating more bike lanes and promoting walkability.

Their letter says, “Roads are designed and built with wider, straighter lanes and have fewer objects near the edges, more turn lanes, and wider turning radii at intersections. While these practices improve driving safety, a suspected unintended consequence is that drivers travel faster when they feel safer. Greater speeds can increase the frequency and severity of crashes with pedestrians and cyclists who are moving at much slower speeds and have much less protection than a motorized vehicle affords.” (In an effort to stop pedestrian deaths, in November, NYC tackled the speed issue by reducing the city’s default to 25 mph.)
...

http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/road-design-pedestrian-safety-bicyclist-safety
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The Bishop, the Cyclist and a Death on the Road

Biking in BaltimoreBy Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times

...
“This type of thing is your worst fear,” said Jed Weeks, president of the board of Bikemore, a Baltimore cycling advocacy group. “You are in a bike lane and you are struck and killed from behind by someone who doesn’t even remain at the scene. That worst fear realized has galvanized us."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/10/us/baltimore-bishop-charged-in-hit-and-run-case.html
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Biking advocates bemoan slow pace of promised safety improvements

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: A lot of talk about the need for infrastructure and cycling fatalities. Nothing against facilities especially if we are going to have them everywhere. What? They are not going to be everywhere, well then how about some more stress on education and enforcement then. Between this Baltimore Sun article and Bike Maryland's policy statement (https://www.bikemaryland.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Bike_MD_PolicyPaper.pdf ) I feel like screaming EDUCATION and ENFORCEMENT are needed as well!]
*******************************************************************************************************
By Kevin Rector, Baltimore Sun

As the number of bicyclists has risen in Baltimore and across the nation in the last decade, city planners and other government officials have responded with a broad range of initiatives.

They've set aside millions of dollars for designated bike lanes. They've enacted laws to better protect cyclists. And they've made bicyclists and pedestrians more of a priority in urban renewal and so-called complete streets transportation projects.

Still, bicyclists, biking advocates and families devastated by serious accidents say real progress has been slow — leading to tragic incidents such as the recent collision that killed avid cyclist Thomas Palermo in Baltimore. Despite programs to improve safety, bicyclists in Maryland are regularly forced to travel on dangerous roads designed almost exclusively for cars and trucks, the advocates say.
...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-biking-safety-20150103-story.html
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Md. Bishop Charged In Death Of Cyclist Tom Palermo

Biking in BaltimoreVia CBS Baltimore

Newly appointed Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Bishop Heather Cook will be charged in the death of cyclist Tom Palermo at a press conference Friday.

Cook was charged with vehicular manslaughter, DUI, texting and leaving the scene of the Dec. 27 accident, which took the life of the 41-year-old father of two was hit and killed while riding his bike on Roland Avenue.
...

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/01/09/baltimore-city-states-attorney-to-address-death-of-cyclist/
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On Palermo tragedy, 'Agony in the Garden' and the Next Baltimore

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: A well written piece from Dan Rodricks about the future of Baltimore becoming accomidating of cyclists, along with special kudos to the Episcopal Diocese and their unusually candid series of public statements.]

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-rodricks-0108-20150108-column.html
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Boys Latin students were first to stop to help injured cyclist Palermo

Biking in BaltimoreBy Fern Shen, Baltimore Brew

The first people to stop and try to help cyclist Thomas Palermo – some Boys Latin students on their way to the school to play soccer on a sunny Saturday – did not see the car crash that threw the 41-year-old from his bike and ultimately kill him.

All they saw was a man lying in the street, on the southbound side of Roland Avenue, his head on the sidewalk curb, and they went to see if he needed help, said Matt Manzoni, a Boys Latin senior.
...

What He Saw

“We saw somebody on the side of the road, so we did a U-turn at Lake” Avenue, said Manzoni, speaking last night. “It was a man lying alone. No one was around.”
...

https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2015/01/08/boys-latin-students-were-first-to-stop-to-help-injured-cyclist-palermo/
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Planning improvements for San Martin Drive

Biking in BaltimoreSan Martin Drive near JHU is a cycling gem, both as a commuter route and a scenic pleasure ride. JHU is in the process of rebuilding it, and it is imperative that the new design accommodate bikes. Attend the public meeting and make your desires known.

San Martin Drive Improvements Meeting
Wednesday, January 7
6:30 pm
Johns Hopkins Keswick
3910 Keswick Road
Classrooms A & B, South Building

Johns Hopkins University is planning improvements for San Martin Drive, including improved safety for all user groups,
upgrading conditions and appearance, and creating a better first impression while entering the Johns Hopkins campus from the West.

There is plenty of free visitor parking after 5 pm at the South Building (under the overhang),
To access the parking lot:
--From 37th Street go up the hill and park under the overhang
--From Keswick Road (at Craybombe) turn right and drive up the hill and park under the overhang
Be prepared to sign in and show ID at the building entrance which will be in front of you once you park

Please contact if you plan to attend:
Jennifer Mielke, Director
Office of Community Affairs
Johns Hopkins University
Jmielke3@jhu.edu

Via https://www.facebook.com/groups/bikebmore/763031053751119/?ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity
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Police Building Criminal Case Against Bishop Heather Cook for Fatal Hit-And-Run; Church Says Her Fate Is Out of Their Hands

Biking in BaltimoreBY LEONARDO BLAIR, Christian Post

The Baltimore Police Department confirmed Monday that it's building a criminal case against Bishop Heather Cook, 58, the second-highest ranking official of the Episcopal Church of Maryland, after she crashed into a married father of two as he cycled along a local roadway then fled the scene as he lay dying two Saturdays ago.
...

[Detective Howard] "In the interest of preserving the investigation and not contaminating a jury pool we will not release any aspects of the case prematurely. ... We don't want facts and evidence about things floating out in space before a person is charged for the crime," he said.

"Investigations of this nature are typically a methodical process. There's a lot of forensic evidence that has to be reviewed and evaluated … so it's still an active and open investigation," he added.

Addressing the deceased's supporters' concerns that Cook be swiftly charged with murder, he said that investigators needed as much time as necessary to prove that a crime was committed and there's no specific date on when this would happen.
...

http://www.christianpost.com/news/police-building-criminal-case-against-bishop-heather-cook-for-fatal-hit-and-run-church-says-her-fate-is-out-of-their-hands-132122/

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