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Sunday, February 07 2016 @ 08:24 AM UTC

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Translated - Victims of road violence

Biking in MarylandVia my Inbox

After reports began to circulate last week of a gruesome hit and run in the Fill in the Blank neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, people started asking the usual questions about the cyclist at the center of the attack: Was she drunk? Was she running red lights? Did she say or do anything to provoke the attack? Does she have a history of “aggressive riding"? Maybe she got what she deserved for slowing drivers down….

As Baltimore City Councilwoman Tell Itlikeitis sees it, all of these questions are code for 'How can we blame this cyclist for the act of violence committed against her?' So in a recent appearance on CNN, Tell Itlikeitis didn't just call out the victim-blaming language people are using to describe the case — she completely shut it down.

Speaking live with anchor Pamela Brown on Wednesday, the councilwoman highlighted the public's tendency to respond to hit and run assault cases with questions about victims' behavior, calling the typical reaction to violence against cyclists "not appropriate."

"There needs to be legislation, there needs to be strategy, there needs to be implementation as well as enforcement," Cumbo said. "Every cyclist in the city of Baltimore should feel safe, whether they are coming home late at night, early in the morning, coming from a party or going to work extremely late."

Like clockwork, Brown immediately fell into the trap of blaming the victim, asking Tell Itlikeitis for more information about the cyclist's behavior the night of the alleged attack. "Law enforcement sources have told CNN that this alleged victim in this case was riding in the middle of the lane, slowing traffic and yelling at cars that came too close," Brown said. "What can you tell us about that?"

Tell Itlikeitis responded, without missing a beat:
"I would say that that's typical of just what I spoke about — that individuals often talk about the cyclist; they rarely talk about the individuals who actually committed the crime. Those are the individuals that need to be focused on right now." She continued:

We shouldn't talk about whether she should have been even riding a bike, we shouldn't talk about whether she was properly dressed, we shouldn't talk about the time in the evening that it happened. That is too typical of the situation of how we discuss hit and runs in the city, the nation and, really, the world. We need to focus in this situation on those individuals that committed this heinous crime, and what were the bad decisions that they made all throughout the day.

Tell Itlikeitis response reiterates what anti-cyclist assault activists have been saying for a long time, evidently to no avail: The only people responsible for hit and runs are drivers, not victims. Regardless of what they wear or how much they ride, where they were riding or how many others ride with them, cyclists are never "asking for it." Victims of hit and runs are called "victims" because perpetrators commit criminal acts of violence against them, the same reason victims of burglary, battery and murder are called the same thing.

As Tell Itlikeitis went on to tell Brown, victim-blaming tends to go hand-in-hand with other cultural ills — specifically, institutional racism, anonymity and classism — in giving perpetrators the sense that they can act with impunity.

"A lot of it is neglect," she said. "[The alleged hit and runners are] thinking that because they're anonymous in their car, that no one really cares what they do in this community. There will be no repercussions."

But classism, arrogance of might-is-right, and cultural neglect aren't the only types of ignorance that contribute to our right to drive culture. Our willingness to blame victims and protect car drivers also allows affluent college students and star athletes to commit assault with the sense that they might just get away with it.

Tell Itlikeitis is saying otherwise. Before signing off, she made one final point about violence against cyclists, a guide to change the way we think and talk about hit and runs.

"We're discussing this matter," she said, "because we want to let individuals know: Whether you are on the bridge to East or West Baltimore or Downtown or wherever, all people on bikes matter — and we're here to make sure that message is sent loud and clear."
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County Police to SHA on Henson Trail crossing: "I told you so"

Biking in MarylandVia The WashCycle

...
Captain Thomas Didone, who heads the county police department’s traffic division, is blunt about it.

“People trying to cross are universally ignored by drivers,” he said. “We have done many, many crosswalk stings at that location and every time we go we write as many tickets as we can handle.”
...

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2015/12/county-police-to-sha-on-henson-trail-crossing-i-told-you-so.html

[B' Spokes: I'm posting this because I'm tiered of pedestrian "safety" messages that blame the victim and "cross only in the crosswalk". Crosswalks are totally useless and if you are the one that needs takes responsibility for your own safety then crossing mid-block has fewer conflicts and better visibility, so they call that illegal jaywalking but just one problem, jaywalking is not illegal, it's crossing between consecutive streets controlled by lights that's illegal. - But more to the point if people are dying or injured here slow the cars down! With big awful speed bumps and lots of them, Or maybe for each person seriously hurt trying to cross the road one speed bump will be placed. That way motorist will get the idea that they are the ones that are making driving conditions worse and maybe they just might do what they are supposed to when they come across other types of road users.]
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Improvements coming to intersection where bicyclist died

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: On one hand it's nice to see them doing something but on the other hand it's just lipstick on a pig, the substance of the problem remains. Bigger stop signs, come on, that's not going to do a thing. The issue is basically that if you accommodate a behavior, you get that behavior. In this case a right turn to an acceleration lane is the problem.

To explain further, people stop if there is cross traffic, no cross traffic little to no compliance for coming to a full and complete stop, too much like the wide radius right turns they put everywhere so people turning right don't have to stop, heck they don't even have to slow down.

The cheap fix would be to put a raised crosswalk in to make sure turning trucks slowed down significantly before turning (I believe the cost to be around $500). A better option would be to get rid of the acceleration lane and put a stop light in (I believe the cost to be around $2000.)

So there you have it, to prevent another cyclists death is not worth $2000. So sad that either of these options are not considered viable solutions.

WBAL's coverage: http://www.wbaltv.com/news/improvements-coming-to-intersection-where-bicyclist-died/35801248
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Hogan Announces $14M For Pedestrian, Bike Projects Throughout Maryland

Biking in MarylandHANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that Maryland has received $14.9 million in grants for bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use trail projects across the state.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a total of 63 grants, including $2.77 million in Bikeways Program grants, $1.03 million in Recreational Trails Program grants, and $11.1 million in Transportation Alternatives Program grants.
...

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/09/29/hogan-announces-14m-for-pedestrian-bike-projects-throughout-maryland/

[Includes a link to a complete list of projects.]
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Suburban-style streets don't fit a busy Bethesda corner

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: There are a lot of good points and logic that can be applied elsewhere around the state in this article. We need to get rid of this cars first even at the expense of other modes of travel attitude from too many traffic engineers. There are solutions that work well for everyone.]

...
The real problem is the traffic engineering doctrine

One fix after another has failed here because Montgomery County remains wedded to old-style traffic engineering. Two of the profession's basic tenets are to blame. First, engineers design streets for cars and see other users as obstacles. Second, they design the roads to minimize rush-hour delays rather than to work best at all hours. When you measure success by counting cars in rush hour, wide streets and slow lights are solutions rather than problems.
...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/28136/suburban-style-streets-dont-fit-a-busy-bethesda-corner/
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SHA officials told me there'd be no study of University Boulevard. Now, elected officials are taking up the cause.

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Just another example of SHA being a pain in the rear to work with.]

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/27744/sha-officials-told-me-thered-be-no-study-of-university-boulevard-now-elected-officials-are-taking-up/
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Ride For Natasha

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Just to note I plan on going.]

From BikeWashingtonDC
[ In Memory of Natasha Pettigrew - 5th Anniversary] Ride For Natasha
Posted by: "Kenniss Henry"
Date: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:15 pm ((PDT))

All,
Heartache and pain come from all directions (although folks are quick to say, "sorry for your loss") it never ends!!!

During last year's ride I was told by both the Campus Police and volunteers who are County employees that I *must *obtain a Special Event Permit. While I have aggressively worked for six months to get the elusive permit I have yet to encounter anyone who knows the process!!! Like a rubber ball, I have been bounced and bounced but nothing else!!!!

I have decided to declare *riders' civil disobedience.* I will not let
this the 5th anniversary of the *death* of my baby go unceremoniously.

Yes, there will be a *"Ride For Natasha,"* and no, there will not be any formal registrations...show up, keep coming, tell everyone you know to come ready to ride!!!

Let's send a message that "organized bicycle riding" will come to PG County. Let's send a message that not just this ride but many other rides will come to PG County!!!

We will say that bicyclists are people and they matter!!! Share the roads, share the resources!!!

see attached fliers.



2 of 2 File(s) https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BikeWashingtonDC/attachments/1626325913

Our Story - Ride for Natasha 2015.docx
RIDE FOR NATASHA2015.pptx
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Construction Closes Main and Church Streets in Prince Frederick for Eight Weeks

Biking in MarylandVia Calvert Co. Gov. News Briefs

Portions of Main and Church streets in Prince Frederick are closed as the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) makes road improvements. The project involves numerous improvements including: installing a raised brick island to create a right-turn lane from Main Street to Church Street; constructing brick sidewalks on Church Street between Heritage Boulevard and Main Street and on Main Street between Old Field Lane and Armory Road; installing bicycle lanes; improving drainage and resurfacing the roadways.
...

http://somd.com/news/headlines/2015/19641.shtml
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Maryland Highway projects to improve Route 1 and build lots of shoulders, a bike lane and a path

Biking in MarylandVia The WashCycle

...
The US 1 College Park Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safety Improvements project will spend $30 million to reconstruct US 1 to a four-lane divided highway with a raised median and enhanced bicycle and pedestrian accommodations from College Avenue to MD 193.

And just outside the immediate area, near Fort Meade, Annapolis Road (MD -175) between Reece Road and Disney Road will be expanded from two to six lanes, with a median, on-road bicycle lanes in each direction, a 5-foot sidewalk on the north side and a 10-foot, shared-use path on the south side of MD 175.
...

In Baltimore County, northbound MD 140 will be widened from Painters Mill Road to Garrison View Road to accommodate an additional third travel lane and a bicycle-compatible shoulder.
...

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2015/07/maryland-highway-projects-to-improve-route-1-and-build-lots-of-shoulders-a-bike-lane-and-a-path.html
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A Maryland road widening will be more costly than the transit it replaces

Biking in MarylandBy Ben Ross, Greater Greater Washington

Maryland governor Larry Hogan wants to build roads with money saved from cancelling the Baltimore Red Line and cutting back the Purple Line. The governor says the two light rail lines cost too much. But his marquee highway project, a wider Route 404 on the Eastern Shore, looks to be far less cost-effective than either.
...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/27316/a-maryland-road-widening-will-be-more-costly-than-the-transit-it-replaces/
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