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Saturday, May 30 2015 @ 12:04 AM UTC

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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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Maryland Safe Routes to School Program Recognizes Bike to School Day Participants

Biking in MarylandVia Southern Maryland New Net

Hundreds of Maryland Students Participating in National Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 6; Drivers Urged to Be Aware of Increased Bicycling Activity around Schools

SHABike to School Day events on Wednesday, May 6 raise awareness for the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking, as well as the health and environmental benefits of biking. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) praises schools who will participate in National Bike to School Day and urges drivers to be alert for bicyclists around schools during arrival and dismissal times. Several Maryland schools will host events, supported by Maryland’s Safe Routes to School program, which provides funding to support walking, and bicycling to and from elementary and middle schools.
...

For drivers:

• Expect bicyclists on the road and share the road.
• Stay vigilant at all times, especially when pulling out of driveways or side streets.
• Always follow the speed limit, which may be lowered in designated school zones.
• Pass bicyclists with at least three feet of space – it’s the law.
• Leave plenty of space between you and the bicyclist in front of you.
• Before turning, make sure the path is clear of bicyclists.

For children walking and biking to school:

• Obey the rules of the road, including traffic signals and stop signs.
• On a bike, ride with traffic but walk on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic.
• Wear a helmet – it’s the law for anyone under age 16, but everyone should to prevent head injury.
• Wear reflective material…it makes you more visible to drivers.
• Walk your bike across intersections.
• Use hand signals.
• When walking, use crosswalks and follow pedestrian signal indicators.

http://smnewsnet.com/archives/288139/maryland-safe-routes-to-school-program-recognizes-bike-to-school-day-participants/

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[B' Spokes: "Walk your bike across intersections." ??? Maybe that's good advice for small children just starting to bike but I have yet to see any compelling evidence that being a pedestrian is "safer" then being a cyclist in this state (our pedestrian traffic fatalities make up a higher percentage of traffic fatalities than the national average.) But more than that SHA is setting this up to give everyone the impression that ALL bikes must be walked across the intersection at all times and that is just wrong. There is no legal bases for this statement and certainly no study that shows that this is indeed good advice.]
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County Planning Board Supports New Maryland Law on Designating Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Areas

Biking in Marylandby Bridget Schwiesow, Montgomery Planning Board

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, helped to initiate a new Maryland law requiring the State Highway Administration to act within one year on local designations of Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas. Work on the newly enacted law began with a collaborative effort among County Transportation Planner Larry Cole, Maryland House Delegate Alfred Carr, Jr. and Kelly Blynn of the DC regional Coalition for Smarter Growth.

Maryland Senator James Rosapepe introduced the bill on February 6, 2015 and, on February 12, 2105, the Planning Board voted to support it. The final Senate Bill 371 was signed by Governor Larry Hogan on April 14, 2015: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2015RS/bills/sb/sb0371T.pdf

The designation of Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas is intended to ensure that the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians are taken into account during all phases of transportation planning, design, construction or expansion. The aim is to provide for greater safety and access through bike lanes, paths, sidewalks, crosswalks and other physical road improvements and traffic control devices. Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas have become an integral part of Montgomery County’s recent Master Plans, developed by the Planning Department to promote multi-modal transportation in the more densely developed areas of the County.
...

http://montgomeryplanningboard.org/blog-news/2015/04/16/county-planning-board-supports-new-maryland-law-on-designating-bicycle-and-pedestrian-priority-areas/

And another: http://www.bethesdanow.com/2015/04/16/quicker-bicycling-improvements-possible-thanks-to-new-state-bill/

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[B' Spokes: While this is good news still, I wounder how many other counties are going to take advantage of this funding opportunity. Ya I'm looking at you Baltimore County and Prince George Counties. Far too many cycling related deaths and injuries and such a low mode share to even remotely justify current practice of ignoring accommodating bicycles.]
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$15 Million Available For Key Bicycle, Pedestrian & Trail Projects in MD

Biking in MarylandAuthor: ITP News Desk

HANOVER, MD (February 27, 2015) – Working to expand bicycling and walking opportunities throughout Maryland, staff from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the State Highway Administration (SHA) will hold workshops to detail five programs that provide funding for bicycling, pedestrian and recreational trail projects: Bikeways, Safe Routes to School, Transportation Alternatives, Federal Lands Access Program and Recreational Trails. In 2015, $15 million in reimbursable grant funding will be available for projects that enhance walking, biking, pedestrian safety and recreational trail access.

“A balanced transportation system must take into consideration the needs of the pedestrian and bicycle communities,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn. “These workshops will help local jurisdictions secure the funding they need to make biking and walking a more convenient, safe and fun transportation alternative for residents and tourists.”

...
More info: <a href="https://inthepanhandle.com/local/news/article/15_million_available_for_key_bicycle_pedestrian_trail_projects_in_md">https://inthepanhandle.com/local/news/article/15_million_available_for_key_bicycle_pedestrian_trail_projects_in_md</a>;
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Cops on Bikes. The Ocean City Police Department [video]

Biking in Maryland
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MoCo, State Come To Agreement On Controversial Stretch Of Old Georgetown Road NEWS

Biking in Marylandby Aaron Kraut, Bethesda Now

Montgomery County says it’s come to an agreement with the State Highway Administration on a stretch of White Flint area road that caused controversy earlier this year.

County Executive Isiah Leggett announced today that the state will allow the county to reduce the number of lanes on Old Georgetown Road in the recently rebranded Pike District to make it easier to cross for pedestrians.

The county’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will also be able to build the on-road bike lanes recommended by the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan.
...

County officials said they’re hands were tied because SHA controls decisions on lane configurations and construction permits for the state road.
...

<a href="http://www.bethesdanow.com/2014/12/24/moco-says-state-will-let-it-build-more-narrow-old-georgetown-road/">http://www.bethesdanow.com/2014/12/24/moco-says-state-will-let-it-build-more-narrow-old-georgetown-road/</a>;
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Highlights from June's MBPAC Minutes

Biking in Maryland&quot;Steve attended a public hearing regarding plans for the renovation and/or replacement of the Amtrak railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River due to his interest in seeing that a shared use path is included in the renovation and/or replacement plans. He said both DNR and State Highway Administration staff attending this public hearing expressed support for the inclusion of a shared use path. ... Scott says MDP supports the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian facility on a renovated or replacement Amtrak Railroad Bridge. Greg attended the public hearing and said he was not as optimistic as Steve regarding the inclusion of a shared use path on the Amtrak Bridge.&quot;


&quot;For example the annual Seagull Century bike ride attracts an average of 7,100 cyclists annually who pump $2.5 million into the economy of the Lower Eastern Shore. &quot;


<a href="http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Documents/6-13-14%20MBPAC%20Meeting%20Minutes.pdf">http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Documents/6-13-14%20MBPAC%20Meeting%20Minutes.pdf</a>;
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Bike friendly rankings make no sense to me

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: Hmm, Maryland with a state ranking of 7 per the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) but none of our cities made made Bicycling Magazines ranking of the top 50 cities.

All this says to me is that our Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access is really good with the double talk and LAB buys into it. Or maybe all the criteria that LAB uses has absolutely nothing to with conditions on the ground, specially near where most people live. And what about progress?

In 2000 we passed a law for a state wide bicycle master plan. It took one year to develop that plan and another year to start implementing that plan.

20032014
Bicycle mode share
(National average 0.6%)
0.2%0.4%
% of state roads BLOC grade D or better80%81%
Bicyclists fatalities65
Bicyclists injuries162658

After 10 plus years is this progress? Is this progress worthy of a top 10 ranking by LAB?
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PSA: why the heck don’t cyclists stay right?

Biking in MarylandBy Jack Cochrane, Cycle MoCo

Wouldn’t it be great to air a public service announcement saying why cyclists don’t stay right all the time?  After all, this blog can’t reach everyone.  How’s this?

[Sound of driving]
MAN: Hey, there’s a bicyclist.  Why is he riding so far to the left?  Shouldn’t he move over?
WOMAN: Not if he wants to be safe.  There are a lot of cars parked along the street.  Cyclists should always stay well away from parked cars because a driver might suddenly open his door.
MAN: Even if there’s a bike lane?
WOMAN: You bet.  A cyclist might also leave the bike lane to avoid leaves or potholes or to get ready to turn left.
MAN: I get it.  Look, there’s another bicyclist up ahead.  There’s no parking but he’s in the middle of my lane.
WOMAN: That’s because the lane is too narrow for cars to pass him in the same lane.  But some drivers will try anyway and it’s very dangerous.  If the cyclist rides in the middle of the lane, drivers will have to change lanes to pass or else wait until there’s more room.  Everyone is safer.
[pause with more sound of driving]
WOMAN: And one more thing Mike.  Drivers must always keep at least three feet to the left of cyclists when passing.  That’s the law.
MAN: Wow.  There’s so much I didn’t know.  I’ll definitely keep an eye out for cyclists in my lane now.

To be honest it should be broken up into a couple shorter PSAs.  For the next couple installments, maybe this:  1. Why aren’t cyclists using the bike path? (and what’s the difference between a bike lane and a bike path).  2. What are those funny bike markings with arrows in the middle of the road?



http://cyclemoco.com/2014/11/psa-why-the-heck-dont-cyclists-stay-right/
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MARC will add a bicycle car to some weekend trains

Biking in MarylandBy Miriam Schoenbaum, Greater Greater Washington

MARC plans to allow bicycles on some weekend trains on the Penn Line before the end of the year, a MARC official said last week.

Bicycle advocates have long asked MARC to allow passengers to bring ordinary bicycles aboard MARC trains. MARC allows only folding bicycles on regular passenger cars.

However, MARC is now spending $359,000 to convert two single-level passenger cars to passenger/bicycle cars, Chief Mechanical Officer Erich Kolig explained to the MARC Riders Advisory Council on October 16. MARC plans to add one bicycle car to certain weekend Penn Line trains. There will be a bicycle symbol on the Penn Line schedule to denote these trains. The other bicycle car will remain in reserve.
...

<a href="http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24585/marc-will-add-a-bicycle-car-to-some-weekend-trains/">http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24585/marc-will-add-a-bicycle-car-to-some-weekend-trains/</a>;
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