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Friday, November 28 2014 @ 10:43 PM UTC

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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.
...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24585/marc-will-add-a-bicycle-car-to-some-weekend-trains/
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Salisbury program unites establishments, bicyclists

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: An excellent way to start becoming bike friendly without a whole lot of money, engage the businesses. Read about the Bike-SYB program:

http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2014/10/11/biking-toward-profits/17134163/
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Will Maryland Finally Build a Safe Bike/Ped Crossing on the Susquehanna?

Biking in Maryland"That’s right: There’s not a single bridge in the state of Maryland that will take you across the Susquehanna River safely on a bike or on foot."

A very well written article: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/04/24/will-maryland-finally-build-a-safe-bikeped-crossing-on-the-susquehanna/

And if you have not already, sign the petition: http://www.change.org/p/maryland-department-of-transportation-ensure-that-the-new-amtrak-susquehanna-river-bridge-will-accommodate-cyclists-and-walkers
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Statistics Show Shift in Citations of Drivers, Pedestrians for Crosswalk Violations

Biking in MarylandBy ANDREW METCALF, Bethesda Magazine

...
“The police department made a very conscious shift,” Councilmember Hans Riemer said. “It’s deliberate and represents an evolution in their enforcement strategy.”

image
...

He said police are conducting about two to three crosswalk stings per week, but have plans to increase that number to five or six per week. McCullough said the department could increase the number of stings if it could pay more overtime to officers for traffic enforcement.
...

http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2014/Statistics-Show-Shift-in-Citations-of-Drivers-Pedestrians-for-Crosswalk-Violations/
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Maryland TIGER grant will widen Route 175, add bike facilities and trail

Biking in MarylandVia The WashCycle

Maryland is reportedly getting a TIGER grant to wide Route 175  where it passes through Fort Meade. 

Work along Route 175 between Disney and Reece Roads will widen the road to six lanes, as well as adding sidewalks, on-road bicycle facilities in widened right lanes and a multiuse hiker-biker trail. 

The trail will go farther south than that via another project

The state has already approved $27.9 million to improve the intersections of Route 175 at Reece Road and Mapes Road in Odenton. That work will include stormwater improvements, new turn lanes, a raised median and a hiker/biker trail. 

It appears the project  will add 5' bike lanes and a 10' hiker/biker path along the south side of Rotue 175.

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2014/09/maryland-tiger-grant-will-widen-route-175-add-bike-facilities-and-trail.html

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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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