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Monday, July 06 2015 @ 07:05 AM UTC

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Another case of car lanes too wide and bike lane too narrow

Biking in Maryland"Ten-foot lane widths would mean ample room for safer, buffered and protected bike lanes. On the other hand, making travel lanes wider would lead to higher vehicle speeds that'd then make it more difficult to make downtown College Park walking and biking-friendly."

There's plenty of room for safe bike lanes in College Park
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/26574/theres-plenty-of-room-for-safe-bike-lanes-in-college-park/
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Some nitty-gritty about the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project

Biking in MarylandCommuting and Transportation – C&T Subcommittee Chair Greg Hinchliffe submitted an electronic report. Steve Carr said that the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project Advisory Board, created by the City of Havre de Grace, issued a report recommending that a new bridge be built across the Susquehanna River at Susquehanna State Park. This park is owned by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Steve said the advisory board never contacted DNR staff about its recommendation prior to the report being issued. While DNR supports the concept of making connections between public lands and the larger community, DNR lacks sufficient information to take a position on this recommendation. Kevin Racine believes small municipalities are not equipped to address bicycle and pedestrian access across the Susquehanna River on their own. John Wetmore noted that bicycle and pedestrian access is not included in the Amtrak Bridge replacement study’s Purpose and Needs statement.

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Office_of_Planning_and_Capital_Programming/Bicycle/Documents/Update_2014/041015_MBPAC_Meeting_Mintues.pdf
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Biking: Ride and bike with a scenic railroad pass

Biking in MarylandVia Post Gazette

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad invites bicyclists to enjoy both by riding its passenger train from Cumberland to Frostburg and then returning to Cumberland along the Great Allegheny Passage.
...

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/outdoors/2015/05/23/Biking-ride-and-bike-with-scenic-railroad-and-Eat-Play-Ride-holds-fundraiser/stories/201505230065
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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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