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Tuesday, July 07 2015 @ 05:34 PM UTC


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Jones Falls Bike Boulevard

Biking in BaltimoreBy comebackcity

The Jones Falls Valley should be a top candidate for Baltimore’s next bicycle boulevard. In full disclosure, it is the author’s (and others) bicycle commute. Baltimore’s current and only bike boulevard is on Guilford Avenue between 33rd Street and Mt. Royal. A bicycle boulevard is a road shared by vehicles and bicycles, but with features that keep car speeds slow and create safe and comfortable bicycle conditions. A bicycle boulevard is not necessarily wide as the name implies, but does have the boulevard characteristics of being relatively short and not built for speed. A bicycle boulevard is the best prescription when you need cars to be able to share the road, but still want to emphasize bicycle traffic.

Specifically, I am proposing a “bike boulevard” for the stretch of roads paralleling the river from the Jones Falls Trail in Woodberry/Clipper Mill to the Jones Falls Trail road crossing at Round Falls on Falls Road- here after called the Jones Fall Bike Boulevard (JFBB)

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Lawlessness on Baltimore's Streets

Biking in BaltimoreBy Klaus Philipsen

Baltimore's Sun Paper did an investigation in Baltimore's many speed cameras and found much lacking, including proper measurements in some instances. The paper milked the story over weeks and, naturally, government haters are out in full force fretting about the freedom of motorists. Yet, I would locate the real problem on the opposite end of this spectrum: the general lawlessness on our city streets. If the paper is so interested in measurements, it should measure the top speeds people travel on urban streets where kids walk to school. The paper should videotape how many seconds after a light turns yellow cars still race through intersections, how impossible it is to cross on a marked crosswalk (try North Avenue between the two parts of the Coppin campus or in front of the BMA), or how many pedestrians downtown walk blindly across the street no matter what the signal says. Or how at any given downtown intersection cars block it when their lane is congested and create gridlock. Or what percentage of drivers have their hands on phones and texting devices right in front of your eyes, no matter that Maryland law prohibits it.

Essentially we have a culture of anything goes and the police never do a thing about it, presumably “because they have more important things to do”. Given over 200 murders a year (about half of what all of New York City has which is twelve times as large), this sounds plausible. And, of course, the police don’t yield to peds themselves, drive around with broken headlights, their phone on their ears or drive way above the speed limit without lights or sirens being activated.

My take on this is, and this is where it becomes almost an “urban design” topic, that the “broken windows theory” can also be applied to traffic lawlessness. If small things don’t get enforced, then big things start to slide as well. And yes, I know, we need to make sure that enforcement is fair and doesn’t just harass black teens or drag even more people into jail. But if nothing is done, it is difficult to convince people that Baltimore is oh so charming. If it isn’t even safe to drive and walk, let alone bike in the city because ruthless drivers will cut you off, knock you over, incessantly show you the finger and cuss you out, we can’t even begin to talk about violent crime.

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Governor O'Malley announces funding for Bicycle Safety Education in City of Baltimore

Biking in Baltimore[Another a bit old piece of news]
August 7, 2012

Baltimore Department of Transportation Joins Forces with Bike Maryland to Spread Awareness of Bicycling Safety

Baltimore, MD – Supporting safe bicycle access throughout the state, Governor Martin O’Malley today announces $44,500 as funding support for the City of Baltimore’s Bicycle Safety Education Program. The Department of Transportation will partner with Bike Maryland’s “Bike Minded Program” to communicate safety awareness throughout the city.

“Whether for tourism, recreation, exercise or commuting, our message is that Maryland roadways welcome bicyclists,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Our State is evolving to include bicycling as a more environmentally beneficial and healthy way of commuting, and to continue those efforts we need bicyclists and drivers to know and follow the basic rules of the road for everyone’s safety.”

The project includes updating, publishing and distributing “Bike Baltimore” maps, which will be available in English and Spanish, hosting workshops on bicycle safety, and organizing outreach by law enforcement. These efforts will not only communicate safety rules to cyclists, but will also alert motorists to the need to drive with caution and share the road. The City of Baltimore will contribute the remaining funding for the $96,800 project.

“Year after year, Baltimore is becoming a more bike friendly city,” said Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “We are grateful for Governor O’Malley’s continued support of our efforts to increase bicycle use and safety, which supports our goal of making Baltimore a more attractive city for families.”

Over the past two years, Baltimore has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of bike commuters. The opening of five new bike shops in the past four years also signals the growth in bicycling popularity. With Charm City Bikeshare scheduled to launch in September 2012 and the Jones Falls Trail opening in 2013, Baltimore can expect even more cyclists on local roads.

The Bicycle Safety Education Program enhancements are funded through the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP), which funds non-traditional, community-based transportation-related projects. This year Maryland awarded six TEP projects totaling more than $4.1 million. The Governor determines which projects qualify for funding based on need and potential benefit to the public. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration oversees the federal program, which has awarded more than $206 million for 270 projects in Maryland since the TEP program began in 1991.
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The Best of Baltimore Spokes for 2012

Biking in BaltimoreI found this rundown enlightening, cyclists seem to have a sense of humor as well as wanting to create a better world to live in. There were some stories that were rather old still making the list which I mostly threw out unless they were still relevant or cute. So Baltimore Spokes top 10 for 2012:

  1. Cycling [the meme]
  2. What we need are "Ghost Cars"
  3. Brakes - sometimes they can work TOO well
  4. What roads would look like if they were bike lanes
  5. But, but, jaywalking isn't illegal
  6. Average Bicycle Accident Verdict
  7. Surprising Aspects of Pedestrian Laws
  8. After a two year loan to the United States, Michelangelo's David is being returned to Italy
  9. What Cyclists Need to Know about Trucks
  10. Cars Designed to Intimidate Us
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Kickstarter: Baltimore Bike Party: Epic Mobile Sound Trailer

Biking in BaltimoreTime to take BBP to the next level: a custom-built mobile party delivery system! Make sure Bike Party continues to kick out the jams!

To help contribute to this project or just find out more:
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Windsor Hike the Windsor Mills Conservation Trail in Gwynns Falls Leakin Park

Biking in BaltimoreI know a few cyclists that take up hiking in the winter, so this might be of interest:

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Join the Baltimorean Team LUNA Chix rider in Haiti to ride MTB Ayiti

Biking in Baltimoreimage

Marla Streb is all-in for the feel good race of the year – and you all are invited to join the Baltimorean Team LUNA Chix rider in Haiti to ride MTB Ayiti

The first 10 riders using promo code "marla-ayiti" are sponsored with a $300 entry fee savings

Here’s how to enter:
1. Click on
2. Under the two registration options, there is a small link that reads "Enter promotional code"
3. When you click that link, a small box pops up and you type in "marla-ayiti" and click "APPLY"
4. Follow and complete the registration process
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Bollards beheaded on new bikeway

Biking in BaltimoreIt seems nothing stays nice for long in Baltimore.

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Baltimore gains new League Certified Instructors

Biking in Baltimoreimage

B' Spokes: I liked this bit:
Having been a cyclist for over 20 years (most as a professional racer), and coaching for 16 of those 20, I thought I knew it all. But evidently I was wrong! I was humbled when I realized just because I can ride a bike, it doesn't mean I can effectively teach the League of American Bicyclist principles or the rules of the road...

Seriously, if you ever have an opportunity to learn from one of these individuals, please do so.
Read more:
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Remington man wins grant to promote cycling in Baltimore

Biking in BaltimoreOpen Society Institute grants him fellowship of $60,000

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