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Monday, September 22 2014 @ 02:09 AM UTC


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Master plan to make [Ocean] city desirable for year-round residents

Biking in Marylandby Ann Richardson, Ocean City Gazette

He said the city must adopt a complete streets policy: a “comprehensive, integrated, connected multi-modal transportation system” throughout the city to facilitate safe, attractive and efficient movement and access for everyone. The planning board, Scheule said, is looking to encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
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seriously, MoCo [and others] really needs young people to stick around

Biking in Marylandby Dan Reed, Silver Spring, Maryland
What I found most striking was the drop in the county's young adult population. According to the Planning Department, Montgomery County has 15% fewer adults between the ages of 15 and 24 than we did in 2000.
"What" draws young people is pretty simple: Jobs, reasonably priced housing, short commutes, proximity to shopping and entertainment, and increasingly, neighborhoods where you can walk/bike/take transit instead of driving. The "how" is more challenging. But we should start going after those solutions now rather than waiting until it's too late.
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O'Malley's sales tax on gas is the right way to fund transport

Biking in Marylandfrom Greater Greater Washington by Ben Ross (See original for hyper links for background poofs )

In his Wednesday state-of-the-state speech, Governor Martin O'Malley proposed ending the exemption of gasoline from Maryland's 6% sales tax. This is the best way for the state to get more money for transportation.

Ending the sales tax exemption, rather than increasing the gas tax beyond the current 23½¢ per gallon, accomplishes two things. First, sales tax revenue keeps pace with inflation. With the current structure of the gas tax, politically difficult tax increases are needed just to keep transit operations and road maintenance constant.

Second, we now have an opportunity to refute a widely believed myth about transportation funding. Once upon a time, drivers paid for roads through the gas tax. Most people think that's still true, but it's not.

Maryland's gas tax goes into the state's Transportation Trust Fund, along with the sales tax on car sales, fares paid on MARC trains and MTA buses, and revenues from BWI Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore. When the gas tax was last raised in 1992, the 23½¢ state tax was 33% of the pretax price of gasoline. The sales tax on other pur­chases was 5%. The heavy tax on gas could be described as a user fee paid by drivers.

Today, though, the state gas tax is a little more than 7% of the price of gasoline. When drivers buy gas, they pay 7% into the transportation trust fund and get 6% back from the state's general fund through the exemption of gasoline from the sales tax.

Ending the exemption would convert the gas tax back into a true user fee. Drivers would then pay a share of the cost of maintaining roads, just as transit riders pay a share of the cost of transit operations through their fares.

Many myths surround the subject of transportation funding, in Maryland as in other states. Transit advocates need to be vigilant as the legislature debates this issue to make sure that new funding builds transit lines and walkable grid streets rather than repeating the mistakes of the past. The better the public understands the realities of the state budget, the easier this will be.
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Ocean City getting a bike path

Biking in MarylandA resolution supporting the creation of a safe bicycle path from one end of the island to the other was passed
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Really John? Our drivers are safe???

Biking in MarylandThis line from the patch caught my eye:

-> "John Kuo, administrator of the Motor Vehicle Administration,_ said he feels sympathy for Krasnopoler's family, but said he feels the state is taking adequate steps to ensure its drivers are safe."

One thing I learned at my time as your representative on BRTB-BPAG is that "What gets measured gets done."

The State does not measure it's pedestrian fatality rate against the national average (Maryland is the 4th highest in the nation.)

The state does not measure our average motor vehicle crash rate which Baltimore has come out really bad by a report from Allstate.

What it does measure is something that would make a whole lot of sense if we were a state of traveling salesmen with expanding territories. That is to say the miles driven between crashes is going up. Of course they don't state it that way but my way is just as valid as their way.

The jest of what this comes down to is while other states are making progress on reducing vulnerable road user fatalities but in Maryland it is getting worse or at best no significant change.

And since they don't report this they do not see this as an important issue.

This needs to change!
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Horrible Surface Transportation Bill Unveiled Today — Bicycle Programs Eliminated

Biking in MarylandTAKE ACTION:

Moments ago, Congressman John Mica (R-FL) announced the introduction of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. The proposed bill eliminates dedicated funding for bicycling and walking as we feared, and it goes much further and systematically removes bicycling from the Federal transportation program. It basically eliminates our status and standing in the planning and design of our transportation system—a massive step backwards for individuals, communities and our nation. It’s a step back to a 1950s highway- and auto-only program that makes no sense in the 21st century.

The bill (soon to be available on reverses 20 years of progress by:

• destroying Transportation Enhancements by making it optional;

• repealing the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school;

• allowing states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles;

• eliminating bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs; and

• eliminating language that insures that rumble strips “do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled.”

On Thursday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee will mark-up the bill and Representatives Petri (R-WI) and Johnson (R-IL) will sponsor an amendment that restores dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Representatives Petri and Johnson can only be successful if everyone with a stake in safe sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways contacts their representative today.

Because of these urgent new developments, and the vital importance of a HUGE turnout on Capitol Hill in March, the National Bike Summit early bird registration deadline has been extended to Feb 20. We need every single cyclist in Washington, D.C. that the city can hold (and that’s thousands …). Register today!

Stay in touch by visiting and for background and breaking news.

Clarke was appointed to the position of Executive Director in April of 2004 after successfully leading efforts to create, interpret and implement the various transportation programs that are available to improve conditions for bicycling and walking as the League’s State and Local Advocacy Director.

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Change gears, enjoy the outdoors [Video]

Biking in Maryland

Governor O’Malley's Cycle Maryland initiative is an effort to encourage more Marylanders to get out and ride, and to make bicycling a true transportation alternative.  Cycling is a great way to connect to your community, support a cleaner environment, encourage a healthier lifestyle, reduce household transportation costs and enjoy Maryland's magnificent landscape.

Building on the success of Cycle Maryland events held throughout the summer of 2011, provides a one-stop web portal for information about cycling infrastructure, plans, funding opportunities and events.

[B' Spokes: I still see a contradictory message here, trails for recreation vs bikes for transportation. Why can't we have both?]
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Ad of the day

Biking in MarylandWhen your vehicle needs maintenance, you should
a) stop for a donut break,
b) switch to riding a bicycle, or
c) get an oil change.
[B Spokes: Of course we think the correct answer is B but if you think it's C then the ad in read more my be of interest.]
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Better reporting from MDOT??

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: I'm not sure what year this is from or for but it came up in my news reader and is in a different format then what I am used to, so I am assuming it's new. Keep in mind essentially only transportation enhancements can be spent locally (with a very high local match and what's shown is the total project cost so only 40-50% of that is federal money) so we have 82% of bike/ped funding spent on state roads (9% of the roads in Maryland) while bike/ped crashes happen on roughly 50% local roads and 50% on state roads.

To simplify this issue, lets say when the state gave Baltimore funds for Phase 1 of our bike master plan that money could only be spent on state roads. Since there is no room for a bike lane on Falls Rd (a state road) the state said we could not have a bike lane here. But what Baltimore did was just move it over to the parallel road Rolland Ave. This is the concept I would like to see implemented in Maryland, if there is no easy way to accommodate cyclists on a state road, get money to the localities to accommodate them on a parallel route.

Please note the big fat ZERO in the retrofit bicycle program for projects. Supposedly they have been doing stuff with this money but I have yet to see a single project from this fund.

Note this is the first time I am seeing detail for recreational trails program (in the following link) This is not at all what I expected and I would be interested in your comments. Keep in mind other states are building trails with this fund and it only requires a 20% local match (See Were I question just how many trails a year do we want from this program and is the $30K cap imposed by MDOT) ]

The Maryland Department of Transportation has various funding programs for bicycles and pedestrian programs. Two new funding programs for bicycle projects are being developed this year. The Maryland Bikeshare
Program is funded at $2 million, and the Maryland Bikeways Program is funded at $10 million.
Projects listed to be advertised for construction (as of 11/11) Ongoing Grant Awards and Earmarks FY12-17 Funding Levels
retrofit sidewalk program 470,000 11,100,000
retrofit bicycle program 0 6,300,000
community enhancement and safety 380,244 6,722,000*
streetscapes and minor reconstruction 486,000 276,000*
ADA program 24,021,000 61,000,000
Pedestrian Access to Transit 7,800,000 10,400,000
primary/secondary program 3,573,000 3,573,000**
Bikeways Program 1,000,000 9,000,000
Bikeshare Program 2,000,000
transportation enhancements program 27,725,000 25,600,000***
recreational trails program 3,405,000 4,620,000***
earmark projects 16,215,000 0****
Total 36,730,244 48,345,000 140,590,712
*Funding levels estimated as a portion of total program funding level based on recent expenditures
**Additional funding is expected as primary/secondary projects move into construction and bicycle and pedestrian costs are itemized
***Funding levels estimated based on projected federal appropriations and historic spending levels on bicycle and pedestrian projects
****No additional earmark projects are expected at this time
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Maryland road fatalities

Biking in Maryland
Person Type Persons Killed % of Total
Vehicle Occupants      
Driver 269 49.18%
Passenger 83 15.17%
Unknown Occupant 0 0.00%
Subtotal 352 64.35%
Motorcyclists 69 12.61%
Subtotal 69 12.61%
Pedestrian 113 20.66%
Pedalcyclist 11 2.01%
Other/Unknown 2 0.37%
Subtotal 126 23.03%
Total 547
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS (Select Maryland from the drop down menu.)
I've posted this so you have an idea how off this is for Maryland:

Maryland bike/ped make up 23% of the road fatalities so we are way above the national average. I assume we also get less then the national average in funding, when I have that figure, I'll let you know.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
  •  Strongly disagree
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Other polls | 573 votes | 0 comments

The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on State roads
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
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