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Friday, August 29 2014 @ 06:20 PM UTC

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Bicycle Route 66 and Amtrak Bicycle Task Force

Biking in MarylandCOME TO CUMBERLAND

If you happen to be in the area, please come to our special get-together in Cumberland, Maryland, on Thursday, September 4th. Ginny Sullivan and Saara Snow, both from our Travel Initiatives Department, will be there to discuss progress on Bicycle Route 66, the new Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route, the latest developments in the U.S. Bicycle Route System, and national advocacy projects, including an update from the Amtrak Bicycle Task Force. Food and refreshments will be provided. The event takes place at the Cumberland Trail Connection, 14 Howard Street, from 5 to 7 p.m. If you're able to attend, please RSVP at info@adventurecycling.org or (406) 532-2751 by September 1st. For full details, visit this link:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/about-us/calendar-of-events-adventure-cycling-association/cumberland-md-adventure-cycling-event/?month=9&year=2014&categoryID=&relatedID=

Via Adventure Cycling Newsletter
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NEW HIKER-BIKER PATH ALONG MD 51

Biking in MarylandVia email:

STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION BUILDS NEW HIKER-BIKER PATH ALONG MD 51 NEAR C&O CANAL’S PAW PAW TUNNEL IN ALLEGANY COUNTY

Half-Mile-Long Shared Use Path is Part of $3.2 Million Resurfacing Project along MD 51

(July 17, 2014) – This fall, bicyclists and hikers will have a safer way to access the MD 51 (Oldtown Road) Bridge over the Potomac River from the C&O Canal Towpath near the PawPaw Tunnel in Western Maryland. The State Highway Administration (SHA) partnered with the National Park Service to design a new shared-use path along the south side of MD 51, between the towpath trailhead and the Potomac River Bridge.

“A popular side trip for hikers and bicyclists on the towpath has been to leave the trail and follow MD 51 about half a mile to the bridge to stop in town in Paw Paw, W.Va., or use the river access there, but as a winding, two-lane road without shoulders, MD 51 was not particularly friendly to bicylists or pedestrians,” said SHA District Engineer Anthony Crawford. “We are pleased to partner with the Park Service to design a safe, attractive and environmentally-friendly solution.”

SHA is constructing the 1,700 foot-long, 10-foot-wide shared-use path as part of a resurfacing project on MD 51. The path will be separated from the roadway with a concrete barrier topped with fencing. Weather permitting, it will be complete in October.

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Bicycle Rules Featured In New Walk Smart! Safety Campaign; Delaware Embracing Effort As Welll

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: This article starts off better then most, keeps up some good messaging scattered throughout but then ends with bad advice for cyclists.]
******************************************************************************************************************************************************************
by DispatchAdmin, Joanne Shriner

OCEAN CITY – State and local leaders officially launched the 2014 Walk Smart! Campaign in Ocean City this week, announcing the effort will be reaching out to Delaware beaches for the first time.

Officials hope to continue the success of last year’s efforts that contributed to a reduction in pedestrian crashes. This summer Walk Smart! partners are expanding the effort in Ocean City and planning to hit Delaware’s beaches.

The Walk Smart!Campaign reminds residents and visitors of roadway basics, such as using crosswalks and signals, and because pedestrian safety is a two-way street, the effort also includes messages directed to drivers to stay alert and stop for pedestrians.
[B' Spokes: note the also directed to drivers bit.]

Last year’s campaign saw a 50-percent decrease in pedestrian-related crashes as well as no pedestrian fatalities along Coastal Highway.
...

According to Peters, SHA is continuing its engineering efforts to increase pedestrian safety with additional signing, timing signals, curb markings and this spring a mid-block pedestrian signal crosswalk on Coastal Highway at 54th Street was added.
[B' Spokes: Accommodating pedestrian desire lines with a mid-block signalized crossing!!! Well that's great news (that I would love to see more of) and that it has been noticed as reducing fatalities.]
...

Vigilant police enforcement and education by Town of Ocean City Police, Maryland State Police and agencies in Delaware will address drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who are not following the rules of the road.
[B' Spokes: Wow, they are still addressing everyone. Usually they start of this way then quickly degrade to just blaming the victims.]
...

The simple act of our officers approaching pedestrians that have crossed streets unsafely has proven to get the message across.
[B' Spokes: What? No tickets? That's nice.]
...

There are three tips for cyclists to remember. Always ride with the flow of traffic, ride as far to the right of the road as possible, and last but not least follow all the rules of the road,”
[B' Spokes: To be clear, if there is space to be safely out of cars way, then by all means I encourage cyclists to ride there. But to imply riding far right as *possible* is the law is wrong. It is doubly wrong to say this without any plain cloths officers riding as far right as possible and siting drivers who violate the 3' passing law. Fair is far, if we are far right, then cars need to be far left when passing.]
...

http://mdcoastdispatch.com/2014/06/12/bicycle-rules-featured-in-new-walk-smart-safety-campaign-delaware-embracing-effort-as-welll/
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Amtrak to welcome bicycling passengers by end of the year

Biking in MarylandBy Jon Schmitz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Amtrak said it will begin to introduce new baggage cars equipped with bicycle racks on all of its long-distance trains, including the Capitol Limited serving Pittsburgh, by the end of the year.

“This is a service and amenity that we want to make sure we can offer,” Amtrak spokesman Craig Schulz said Tuesday.

“It’‍s great to have Amtrak understanding how important the bike tourism industry is,” said Linda Boxx, board member and former president of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, who has worked for years to persuade Amtrak to provide better accommodations for bikes.
...

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/06/25/Amtrak-to-welcome-bicycling-passengers-by-end-of-the-year/stories/201406250033
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Highway Safety Officials Urge Marylanders To Share The Road

Biking in MarylandBy Christie Ileto, CBS Baltimore

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A new push to make roads safer for Marylanders, whether they’re driving, walking or biking. Highway safety officials are trying to stop a scary spike in pedestrian deaths.

Christie Ileto has the roadway warning.

It’s a battle between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and it’s playing out on Maryland roads.

“Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in Maryland,” said Mike Sabol, MVA spokesperson.

The MVA says 1 out of 4 fatalities is a pedestrian fatality. Officials Friday are putting the warning out–police are beefing up patrols to make sure everyone shares the road as it gets warmer.

“We want the general public to be safe out on the roads and have drivers yielding to pedestrians and have pedestrians to see and be seen out on the road,” Sabol said.

And the penalties could cost you. Drivers failing to yield to pedestrians or pedestrians who jaywalk could face fines of up to $500.

[B' Spokes: But, but, jaywalking isn't illegal]

...

Last month, a driver hit and nearly killed two cyclists in Anne Arundel County. Earlier this week, a Goucher student died after he was hit trying to cross Dulaney Valley Road in Towson.

And in the Towson Circle Friday evening, WJZ cameras caught cars refusing to stop while we crossed on the crosswalk.

Numbers from the MVA tell a grim story.

Last year, Baltimore County had 21 pedestrian fatalities. Baltimore City had 12, Anne Arundel County had seven and Howard County had four. They’re stats that officials say are too often and too many.

Police say law-breaking drivers can also face points on their licenses.

The Street Smart campaign officially launches in the Baltimore area next week.

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/04/18/highway-safety-officials-urge-marylanders-to-share-the-road/


I also found:

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47% of Marylanders want to move elsewhere

Biking in Maryland"Maryland is a close third, at 47%"

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168770/half-illinois-connecticut-move-elsewhere.aspx
***********************************************************
B' Spokes: My conjecture put people first over cars. Stress alternate transportation and mixed use zoning (a.k.a Walk Score) so there are places to go and things to see nearby that are comfortable to bike to. Cars are misery, things without cars are often very pleasant.
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Montgomery County added 100,000 residents since 2002, but driving didn't increase

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: This story stands in stark contrast to Baltimore County's... how to describe... expecting a car apocalypse any day now because they are re doing such a great job accommodating only cars to attract residents and business. [cough, cough] And no way in heck is Baltimore County going to emulate Montgomery County when there are more important things to do like... again not sure how to describe... keeping out Baltimore City's undesirables? That's my impression anyway.

This may be worth a read for those of you in Baltimore County:
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/22578/montgomery-county-added-100000-residents-since-2002-but-driving-didnt-increase/

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Who's celebrating walk & bike to school in Maryland?

Biking in Maryland
CITY COUNT
Baltimore 1
Bel Air 1
Bethesda 1
Frederick 1
Kensington 1
Potomac 1
Silver Spring 2
Takoma Park 2


http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/go/whos-biking/2014/MD
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Say what? $4 million gets us what again?

Biking in MarylandBy B' Spokes

Recreational Trails Program Typical projects, awarded FY2013
Howard County Conservancy Accessible Trail Improvements 24,750
Brunswick Trailside Amenities 10,100
Boardwalks for Upper Rock Creek Trail 32,800
DNR Algonquin Cross Country trail25,000
DNR Potomac Garrett State Forest Trail Guides 26,000
TOTAL ONGOING AWARDS 4,410,000
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN RELATED PROJECTS in the Consolidted Transportation Program FY 2014 – 2019

I've talked about the Federal Recreational Trails Program before and I don't get why Maryland caps the grant amount to $30k (with some small exceptions.) Per Recreational Trails Program: Preliminary Report on State Trail Projects on average 44% of this fund is spent on "Trail Construction or Development." While Maryland does not provide enough information to say what we do spend on actual trail construction I am willing to bet it is no where close to 44%.

So I decided to see how Maryland's average cost per RTP project compared to other states (data follows.) Only 9 other states had a smaller average cost per project than Maryland. Maryland's average cost was $22k, the national average was $41k. It is worth noting that DC's average was $232k per project and California was %122k per project. Big difference!

My main point here is I would love to see a greater diversity of projects funded through this program. And on that note I noticed the $30k cap has changed!

Funds requested per project cannot exceed $40,000 for trail construction and $30,000 for non-construction. Please note, for the FY15 solicitation, we will consider lifting the $40K cap for construction projects that score high with the criteria.


So things are starting to change! And remember this is a 20% local match so here's hoping to see a lot more bicycle related projects! Speaking of changes for the good, I noticed Transportation Enhancements (TE) are back! That's right the CTP mentions $25,355,100 worth of TE projects!!! I did not see any mention of the old draconic 50% local match requirement, nor any mention of a match requirement. Did Jim Smith decide to start spending that $40 million backlog of federal money rather then just let the feds keep that money? I would love to know the details but from what I can see from publicly available documents, things are finally starting to look up. .
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April 28 Susquehanna Crossing Meeting

Biking in MarylandBy jonkorin, Bicycle Advocates For Annapolis & Anne Arundel County ("BikeAAA")

SusquehannaAnnouncement letter-Open House042814

BikeAAA has joined an East Coast Greenway Alliance called the Safe Crossing Susquehanna Coalition supporting the creation of a new bike/ped Susquehanna River crossing in conjunction with a new Amtrak bridge that is being planned. There is a public meeting Monday April 28th @ 5:00 open house at the Havre de Grace Activity Center, 351 Lewis Lane, Havre de Grace MD. This is where public comments will be gathered and the voices for a bicycle and pedestrian bridge can be heard.

Other organizations signed onto the coalition include the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Maryland, Washington Area Bicycle Association, Bikemore, and the September Eleventh National Memorial Trail at this time.



http://bikeaaa.org/2014/04/23/april-28-susquehanna-crossing-meeting/
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