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Friday, October 31 2014 @ 02:18 PM UTC


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Baltimore as Mayberry?

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: A very cute story and covers some people and bike shops that are good to know or at least have an interesting story.]
By Laura Flynn, Baltimore Brew

Biking, it seems, is the Brew thing-to-do. My first article I wrote for them as a new intern was about a bike trip and movie screening hosted by the American Visionary Arts Museum, three cycling groups and a bike shop.

Brew reporter Mark Reutter, my go-to guy for insight about Baltimore, strongly advised me to get a bike. It’s a much easier way to get around and get to know the city, said Mark, who spots many of his best stories over his handlebars. Brew business development director Meredith Mitchell not only uses a bike as her main method of transportation, but co-owns Baltimore Bicycle Works with her husband Josh Keogh. And Brew editor Fern Shen is an avid biker who rides a vintage 80s Trek to cover stories, hit the gym and take weekend rides with her family.

To properly inaugurate myself as a Brewer, it was clear I needed a bike. The last time I rode was probably ten years ago on a bike with a bell and flower stickers. But, I wanted to immerse myself into the website and the city, so off I went to EBay where I found just the bike for me: a Huffy Beach Cruiser.
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Baltimore Bike Party Lights Up Blue Moon Friday

Biking in BaltimoreBy Ron Cassie, Baltimore Magazine

I didn't plan to write one of those “Best. Time. Ever.” posts. But I’ve never seen so many people riding bicycles and smiling as I did at Friday night’s most recent iteration of the Baltimore Bike Party — the last Friday of each month group pedal around town. Big smiles, too.

I actually heard a guy at the Druid Hill Park rest stop say that he’d been waiting for a bike ride like this his whole life. (He was probably in his mid-20s, but still.)

More than 700 bicyclists, surpassing all expectations, rolled out together from Mt. Vernon’s Washington Monument for the “Moonlight Madness”-themed ride, a 12-13 mile trek through East Baltimore, West Baltimore, Druid Hill Park, Hampden and other neighborhoods. It wrapped up about 10 p.m. with an outdoor party at the Wyman Park Dell: Buscia’s Kitchen and IcedGems food trucks, Natty Boh on tap, music and dancing. Whole night could not have been better — check the comments on the event’s Facebook page. (The above photo, I took, the rest are courtesy of the event's Facebook page.

Read more (plus photos)
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Baltimore Velo

Biking in BaltimoreI want to give a recommendation for you to take a look at the Baltimore Velo blog. In some ways they are covering events and issues that I don't have the time to get to.
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Does Hopkins get pedestrian safety or are they playing the blame the victim game?

Biking in BaltimoreIn this Baltimore Sun article Hopkins students get Walking 101 has an overall tone that distracted walking is a major problem.
That's one of the university's most notorious spots for "pedtextrians," students blithely waltzing through traffic, heads buried in smart phones.

OMG look at that pedestrian using a cell phone while in a crosswalk, that's dangerous. Well Streets blog and Washcycle get into the issue of why making distracted walking a major issue is just wrong.

The issue is if you actually do walk in Baltimore you know drivers way too often do not stop for you in crosswalks. I have almost been run down by drivers on the cell phone while they were turning. So ya, maybe distracted walking is a problem... that is only if we expect pedestrians to have super powers and be able to jump out of the way of distracted drivers. :/

But you are supposed to yield to cars. I can't tell you how often I have heard that while riding my bike. If drivers feel this way about another vehicle what hope do pedestrians have? The second part of this is few fully understand pedestrian laws, see Surprising Aspects of Pedestrian Laws

Let's look at pedestrian safety initiatives elsewhere:

Update: Yield to pedestrians or else

The Best Way to Deal With Crosswalk-Blocking Drivers Ever

Sadly I have to interject that failing to come to a complete stop where you are supposed to is beyond rude, it is intimidating as heck to pedestrians. Too many drivers fail to even stop at all when making a right-on-red (the video is in Europe so they have a left-on-red) so even when a pedestrian has the right-of-way at a light they are confronted with a steady stream of motorists not stopping. Once this becomes the norm it is safer to cross mid-block. Failure to acknowledge the mass civil disobedience called "jaywalking" is the result of pedestrians trying to increase their safety because of unlawful motorist behavior is a major problem in the state of Maryland. Enforcement needs to crack down on both motorist and pedestrians, the emphasis on cracking down on pedestrians with a made up issue but NO mention of known driver issues is very sick. IMHO.

Back to the Baltimore Sun article
Drivers, too, will be asked to be careful through signs on university buses and a banner hanging from the pedestrian bridge
Seriously, that's it, drivers just be careful?

The university will hang 3,000 pairs of shoes -- footwear officials and volunteers spent months gathering and collecting. They're all spray-painted bright caution yellow to make them impossible to miss, along with their intended message that boils down to "watch where you're going, kids."
I just wanted to cry when I read this, it starts out so good and I am anticipating something like "Motorist cause pedestrian injuries and death so motorist obey the law and stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk." Instead it concludes "watch where you're going, kids." That is just so wrong. This is what is implied to drivers:
Drivers don't worry if you hit a pedestrian, they don't know what they are doing and need to get out of your way.

Great safety promotion guys, NOT! We need something better then this!

Lastly they mention long term plans for road improvements so I will point out this out SIGNALIZED INTERSECTION ENHANCEMENTS THAT BENEFIT PEDESTRIANS
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Bike Show: Opening Reception 9/13 from 6-8 pm

Biking in BaltimoreBy Maryland Art Place
Thursday, September 13, 2012
6:00pm until 8:00pm in EDT

The exhibition’s intention is centered on the relationship between people and their bicycles. As Baltimore’s ever-growing cycling community evolves and develops, MAP would like to showcase those artists and individuals who’ve embraced the bike culture. While artists tackle topics such as cycling, MAP anticipates constituents of different backgrounds such as government, transportation, community development, health, and art coming together for a common purpose.

Dawn Gavin, MAP’s Program Advisory Chair is leading the curatorial aspects of the exhibition. Dawn is the Associate Professor in Drawing and Foundations at the University of Maryland College Park, a professional artist, and avid bicyclist.

Artists: Chris Bishop, Faith Layla Bocian, Dan Perkins, David D'Orio, Eric Dyer, Joshua Wade Smith, Jean Francois Rauzier, Ryan Humphrey, John K. Lawson.

Please join us for an opening reception co-hosted by Bike Maryland Thursday, September 13, 6-8pm.

Bike Show is sponsored by Race Pace, Bike Maryland and the Department of Transportation, Bike Baltimore.

Photo by Dan Perkins, Monochrome Series [1], 2009 oil on canvas 53'' x 79''
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bicycle accident

Biking in Baltimoretoday a.m. approximately 7: 50 a.m.
Location President & Eastern Ave.
I may have this on video. GoPro helmet camera.
I have already spoken with the BCPD.
Rider suffered head injury, how severe I do not know.
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Hopkins Launches Public Safety Installation

Biking in BaltimoreBy Ron Cassie, Baltimore Magazine

Beginning this morning, 3,000 pairs of shoes will be affixed to the fence around Johns Hopkins-owned property at the corner of St. Paul and 33rd Streets by members of the JHU community. The project, conceived earlier this spring, is designed to highlight safety issues faced by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Specifically, the 3,000 pairs of shoes represent the number of pedestrians and cyclists involved in motor vehicle crashes in the state of Maryland every year, according to Hopkins’ Office of Alumni Relations, which notes that more than 100 people die in the state each from such crashes.
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Baltimore #2 (for worst drivers) :(

Biking in BaltimoreOnce again Allstate studied the auto insurance claims frequency of America’s 200 largest cities and ranked Baltimore the second worst with an 87.9% likelihood a motorist living there is to be involved in a crash, relative to the national average.

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Where H.L. Mencken Learned to Ride a Bicycle

Biking in Baltimore

H.L. Mencken learned to ride a bicycle in the lot behind a bicycle shop owned by Joseph Wiesenfeld at the southwest corner of West Baltimore and Paca Streets. He recalled the story in a piece from Mencken on Mencken, a collection of autobiographical writing originally published in the New Yorker and Esquire during the 1940s:

…in an ancient two-story house which still stands, was Joe Wiesenfeld’s bicycle shop, and at the rear of it was a large yard, floored like a room. On that floor, coached by one of Little Joe’s salesmen, I learned to ride a bicycle. It all seems remote and archaic today, like mastering the subtleties of medieval equitation. But bicycling was a great and urgent matter in 1889, when the pneumatic tire came in.


Read more:
[There is a nice old photograph of the building with a couple of bikes parked outside here as well.]
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America's Coolest Cities - #14 Baltimore

Biking in Baltimorevia Forbes

14. Baltimore, MD
M.S.A.: Baltimore-Towson, MD
Arts & Culture Index: 96
Recreation Index: 98
Diversity Index: 57
Number of Local Eats: 4,451
Median Age: 38
Unemployment: 7.1%
2011 Net Migration: 4,610 people

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