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Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 01:48 AM UTC


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A Baltimore Christmas 2013 [video]

Biking in Baltimore
Santa Claus spreads Christmas cheer in Baltimore on his Rudolf-the-red nosed bicycle. Directed and filmed by Anastasia Tantaros and Natan Lawson.
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Biggest Bonehead (Please vote for Baltimore)

Biking in BaltimoreThe city of Baltimore, for running a 180-mph car race through the streets of downtown, at great risk and annoyance to pedestrians.

Vote here by midnight on New Year’s Eve:
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Some Guy Almost Killed Me Yesterday

Biking in Baltimoreby The Chop, The Baltimore Chop

A strange thing just happened to me riding my bike home yesterday. Some guy in a car almost ran me over. Not that there’s anything strange about that, unfortunately. It was his ultimate reasoning for doing it that was utterly baffling to me.

And here’s where it gets bizarre. What do you think he said to me? He said :

“You were going way too fast.”

Now, I know exactly how fast I ride around Baltimore. On average it’s about 13 mph.
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Support Bethel Street Bike Park

Biking in BaltimoreThe Bethel Street Bike Park is scheduled for construction in March 2014. Consisting of a pump track and two 'gravity/jump lines,' the park is designed to promote physical activity in Baltimore City youth by providing a safe, public, local place to ride. The bike park will be located adjacent to and fully integrated with the recently built Bethel St. Playscape and Garden, and will be complimented by an inviting community gathering space and a recently planted fruit tree orchard. The park will accommodate diverse levels of mountain biking experience, and is intended as a Baltimore City destination for members of the off-road community across the region. Programming for the Bethel St. Bike Park will initially consist of open riding sessions on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings, and more frequently during the summer, with mountain bikes available for all kids. Additionally, The 6th Branch will organize periodic exhibitions at the park in order to sustain a high level of energy for the project.

How can you help?

T6B is hoping to use a combination of existing funds and new small grant funding for the major construction aspect of the Bethel Street Bike Park. New campaigns, such as this one, will help us acquire the actual bikes and safety equipment, as well as support maintenance costs.
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Special Traffic Enforcement Officers – Citywide Jurisdiction

Biking in BaltimoreThere is no doubt in my mind that we need more Traffic Enforcement Officers to improve safety but wait, what? We need more officers just to direct traffic?

Well while Artscape was setting up I noticed tons of people running red lights to create gridlock from hell and hardly an officer to be seen. Well that's not exactly true, there were officers situated at every closed crossroad on Mt. Royal, sitting and just maintaining a presence just in case something might happen but the gridlock happening a block away was ignored. So we need more officers to correct that... I guess.

But do officers directing traffic improve throughput? Mythbusters says no.

So while I agree we need to address gridlock with enforcement but still there is a huge need for traffic safety enforcement beyond just not obeying a traffic signal or directions from an officer. Baltimore City is over represented with car crashes involving bike/peds, this is a huge quality of life issue that is being ignored.

But do the police have time to address traffic safety or other general public safety measures? They say no.

Well if you get hit by a car you can always call 911 and get a positive result. Wrong, I was hit by a car while walking across a driveway and the officer responded that "unless I see it, I can't issue a ticket." and evidence is growing that not only are the police not out there watching for bike/ped issues, they are rather clueless on what the laws are for bicyclists and pedestrians. "And remember to watch for cars, you don't want to be dead right." [Sheesh, not even close to good safety advice.]

So which brings me to City Of Baltimore Council Bill 13-0262 which states in part:
"A Special Traffic Enforcement Officer has no power to issue citations for moving violations other than for a failure to obey lawful traffic direction and control devices."

They are expanding who can appoint and where they can enforce, all good things but I seriously wish they also expanded what they can enforce. The idea that only the police can enforce all criminal laws plus all traffic laws is just crazy.

We need to change the mindset in city hall from roads that are defined by just how many cars can go by per hour, to roads being public space and as public space have zero tolerance for bullies that threaten and hit those they don't like in "their" space.

Text of the bill:
To follow the progress and more info:
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5 Economic Myths About Bicycling

Biking in BaltimoreWe’re all rich, and poor, and freeloaders

By Elly Blue, Bicycling

y new book, Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy came out this week! During my research on the book, I ran up against a bunch of myths about people who ride bicycles. Like all good myths, these contained a kernel of truth. Likewise, they all miss the boat while trying to describe the reality of the pedal-powered economic revolution that’s quietly spreading across the US of A.

Myth 1: We’re rich
Myth 2: We’re poor
Myth 3: We’re cheapskates
Myth 4: We’re freeloaders
Myth 5: We just help ourselves
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Working from home, bicycle commuting on the rise in Baltimore

Biking in BaltimoreBy Ryan McDonald, Baltimore Business Journal

Fewer workers are commuting by car in Maryland’s urban areas, including Baltimore, according to a report by the Maryland PIRG Foundation.
Between 2006 and 2011, there was a 1.8 percent decrease in vehicle miles traveled per capita in Baltimore.

The steepest reduction in driving belongs to the younger workers. Americans between the ages of 16 and 34 reduced their average driving miles by more than 20 percent between 2001 and 2009.
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Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: I have not read the paper (requires registration) but what I speculate is road treatments designed solely to reduce motorist speed by a few mph are not effective in reducing crashes, Or I'll assert road treatments that alert drivers to bicyclists and pedestrians are effective.

I'll note I've seen a lot of studies over the years that just looked at motorists speed, hopefully we will start looking at things more comprehensively now.
-> According to an Oct. 15th TRB abstract of a report titled Quasi-Experimental Study of Traffic Calming Measures in New York City, “This paper provides a large-scale, rigorous evaluation of traffic calming projects in one U. S. city. The study area is New York City, which treated 391 streets with speed tables between 1996 and 2003. On the basis of crash frequencies for 5 years before treatment and 5 years after for treated streets and well-matched comparison streets, no evidence emerged that New York City's ambitious traffic calming program has led to a reduction in total crashes, pedestrian crashes, or injury crashes. This is in contrast to earlier, less carefully controlled evaluations that have reported significant reductions in crashes with traffic calming.” [Access to full report requires purchase]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Pedestrain space taking over the streets in Baltimore

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: OK it's only temporary but still cool.]

There are a lot of holiday events on Charles Street this weekend and the restaurants and bars are usually packed. We helped some establishments in the 300 block of North Charles gain a little elbow room by creating temporary outdoor dining (with heaters). These spaces will be open all weekend for the Monument Lighting, Style Stroll, Christmas tree sales on Saturday, and Dollar or Less Days.

Via Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Inc.
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Something Cool: A 'Hopscotch Crosswalk' In Baltimore

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: Wait what? Something cool and ped friendly in Baltimore? And on NPR none the less. I think I'm going to faint. ;) ]
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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