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Friday, July 29 2016 @ 03:51 PM UTC

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As pedestrian accidents mount, Ocean City looks for answers, whoops I mean blame the victim and get the laws wrong

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: Years back I attended a statewide bike/ped safety meeting and the Ocean City Police really impressed me as having a handle on all the aspects of pedestrian safety but after reading this article in the Sun http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-07-08/business/bs-md-oc-pedestrian-safety-20120702_1_pedestrians-ocean-city-crosswalk-signs I wounder what happened?

Surprising Aspects of Maryland Pedestrian Laws OK, actually that is about Florida pedestrian laws but as far as I can tell they are identical to Maryland (when I have the time I will repost with Maryland law citations. See Surprising Aspects of Pedestrian Laws for Maryland laws.) So what do we learn from this?

1) There Is No “Jaywalking” Law
2) Yes you can cross mid-block on Coastal Highway as it resembles the top half of this illustration
image
3) § 21-504.(a) In general. -- Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.
4) There are lots of unmarked crosswalks along Coastal Highway where the driver is legally obligated to stop for pedestrians, this is NOT Jaywalking!
  • § 21-101.(i) Crosswalk. -- "Crosswalk" means that part of a roadway that is:
  • (1) Within the prolongation or connection of the lateral lines of sidewalks at any place where 2 or more roadways of any type meet or join, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the roadway;
  • (2) Within the prolongation or connection of the lateral lines of a bicycle way where a bicycle way and a roadway of any type meet or join, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the roadway; or
  • (3) Distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings.
5) A key outcome of this analysis is the importance of pedestrian desire lines to the location of new or improved pedestrian facilities (Accommodate pedestrians where they want to cross!)
6) "a nine-mile ribbon of blacktop eight lanes wide." - I think I see the problem, over accommodating motorist and under accommodating pedestrians.
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Changes at Proteus Bike Shop

Biking in MarylandVia Bike Arlington

As many of you know, Jill DiMauro will be leaving Maryland later this summer. Jill is moving to upstate New York so that she can be near her partner, who is moving to Canada for a year -- she must leave the U.S. for 365 days before reapplying for residency status. Because U.S. immigration law does not recognize same-sex marriage, Jill cannot sponsor her partner’s status.

Proteus has a long and interesting history. The shop moved to its current location -- a former auto repair shop (we think) -- on Route 1 at Erie Street in College Park in the 1970s. In the early days, the shop built custom bikes and bicycle frames, including special orders for racers. Jill purchased the shop in 2003, bringing an enormous passion for everyday bicycling and long-distance riders. Jill specializes in bike fitting, the art and science of helping riders achieve the most comfortable and efficient riding position. A former community planner, she has also made Proteus a second home and friendly hangout for many bike enthusiasts from all over the region.

The new owners are Laurie Lemieux and Ben Bassett. They purchased the shop in May, under a transition plan that will stretch through the end of July. Jill will continue managing the shop and doing pro-fits through July 31.

Laurie is a women’s health nurse practitioner and was most recently employed as a professor of nursing at Catholic University. She earned her masters degree from the University of Maryland and her doctor of nursing practice degree from Johns Hopkins University. She will be transitioning to full-time at the shop throughout this summer as she winds down her teaching duties. She occasionally contributes to this forum under the username “mllwhnp”. (Disclosure: we have been married for 29 years!)

Laurie is a regular on Proteus shop rides and Thursday potlucks. She rides an Orbea road bike on weekends and uses her Bianchi cyclocross bike for commuting. She is currently working as Jill’s apprentice, doing pro-fits and working on bike and accessory orders. She shares Jill’s passion for excellent bike selection and proper fitting -- one of her goals for the shop is that a certified bike fitter would be at the shop on every shift, as well as by appointment. She is especially interested in helping newer riders of all ages and abilities improve their fitness, avoid injury, and get riding every day!

Many DC area cyclists have ridden with Ben at one time or another. He regularly rides in local century (or longer) road rides and mountain bike events. He has been known to take 50+ mile rides on his unicycle, cargo bike, or vintage Wizard of Oz bike (and not get dropped)! If you haven’t met him on a ride or at the shop, he is one of the friendliest and most unassuming cyclists you will even meet. His knowledge of bikes and parts is encyclopedic.

Shop repair manager Anthony Reiss and mechanic John Huntzinger will continue to work full time at the shop. Anthony is a former BMX rider and touring enthusiast who has taken self-supported cross-country rides. He has done every imaginable type of repair and bike build, as well as some that were previously unimagined. Johnny joined the shop’s staff about three years ago -- he builds bikes, does repairs, and helps Anthony and Ben with customer service.

Of course, Proteus would not be able to thrive without its loyal volunteers. The extended Proteus family have made this transition possible, and will continue to be the backbone of the shop. Everyone is trying to make the best of a crazy legal situation, but we are very excited that Proteus will be in good hands for the future. Jill is leaving the shop in secure financial shape, and has recently signed a long-term lease for the shop’s physical space. Laurie and Ben have made arrangements to continue the shop’s relationships with Bianchi, Kona, Jamis, and Felt (and maybe Orbea) bike makers, as well as with accessory suppliers Endura and Louis Garneau and others. The shop will operate with nearly no debt, and will continue to make a priority of supporting the local bike community.

We are planning to have going away party for Jill in late July. We don’t have a final date and time yet, but it will probably be on a weekend evening after the shop closes at 6pm. All are welcome to drop by and give Jill our thanks and best wishes.

-Jeff

PS. The shop’s website hasn’t been updated yet, but in the meantime, the best way to keep up with what’s going on at Proteus is to visit the Facebook page: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/proteusbicycles">www.facebook.com/proteusbicycles</a>; .
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Carroll County Man Day Away from Ending Continental Bike Ride to Support Wounded Vets

Biking in MarylandBY: KELLI STEELE - WGMD NEWS

A Carroll County, Maryland soldier nearing the end of his military career is just days away from successfully ending a solo bicycle trip across the United States in which he is raising awareness and funds to support military veterans wounded in the service of our country.

59-year-old Sergeant First Class Bill Cherneski will end his ride in Ocean City on Saturday; Tuesday, he rolled into his hometown of Hampstead, Maryland for the first time since April 28 when he began his cross-country trek at the Pacific Ocean in La Push, Washington.

Cherneski will be riding today towards Ocean City to finish his mission of making it to the Atlantic Ocean by noon on Saturday.

<a href="http://www.wgmd.com/?p=62318">http://www.wgmd.com/?p=62318</a>;
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Lack of connections, visibility hurt ICC Trail

Biking in Maryland
Less than a year old, the Intercounty Connector Trail offers a new way to get across Montgomery County by bike. However, a circuitous route, a lack of connections to surrounding areas, and sections with poor visibility all hurt its potential.
...
Not surprisingly, area bicyclists were unhappy with the decision. "Why do designers think cyclists should have to go the long way, but cars need a direct route?" asked WashCycle.
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/15381/lack-of-connections-visibility-hurt-icc-trail/
[B' Spokes: It may be of interest on how we got to this point.

The ICC Was A Fast Tracked Project

The problem the government looks at the length of the planning process as an unnecessary expense (this is evident in the new Transportation Bill and the "streamlining" of the timing of the environmental review process. When it should be looking at the quality of the results. It should be intuitive but there are studies that show that the more you involve the public the better the outcome of the project. Does this take longer? Sure but it gets better results which is a lot better then one under used road putting a strain on our road budget for years to come.

Defend, defend and defend

While no planning agency says this is their policy it has become very apparent (in Maryland at least) that this is the state's policy. I say that because by the time a project comes up for public comment it is too late to go back and make changes as that will take more design time and there is no budget for that. So the public's only option is to accept or reject the plan as given. It is my opinion one of the mistakes the cycling advocates made was to request minor tweaks to the original design of the ICC rather then just saying "This design is unacceptable so it has to be scraped in it's entirety." Which may sound a bit extreme but certainly less extreme then the state's assertion "a highway is not an environmental problem, but a bike path is an environmental problem." So my advice for future advocacy efforts, no more mister nice guy, if the project design is unacceptable, it is unacceptable, end of story even if it can be easily fixed. Our policy should be to demand that they fix the plan first or we come out against the plan. (Just to note some local planners are easier to work with then the state, so use your discretion when working with local projects. I will also point out the irony of it's harder to work with the state with their bigger budgets and with more year end left over funds then with locals with tighter budgets because I will assert there is a greater need to be responsive to the public at the local level then at the state level. )

Stick your fingers in your ears and hum real loud syndrome and the impact on MBPAC

While this is directed at the previous administration [Ehrlich (Governor) and Flanagan (Secretary of Transportation)] I remain concerned vestiges of this attitude remain within MDOT. There is nothing about the current observations of the ICC and its trail that were not known before the project ever got approved. So why did they go ahead with it anyway? I can't answer that but I can point to an issue that hindered getting a full and complete trail as envisioned by master plans.

While the concept of having members from different state agencies on Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MBPAC) sounds like a good one, the gotcha comes in can a state employee vote against the policy of the Governor? With that in mind MBPAC intended to send a message to MDOT that this convoluted mix of on and off trail route + indirect circuitous routing of a bike "trail" was not a full and complete trail as envisioned by master plans. But that got nixed very effectively by the state by threatening to fire any state employee who voted in support of trying to fix this so called "trail" that we got. So instead of MDOT getting just one vote it got 9 votes by this tactic. (I will also note that when the vote took place few general public members of MBPAC were present.)

With any planning just on paper one group can say one thing and another group can say the opposite but here we are with things mostly in place and guess what, Ehrlich and Flanagan got it wrong and used excessive force in trying to ignore public/advisory committee's input. Perhaps if MBPAC amended its bylaws so members could vote the way they feel best and still be secure in their jobs to avoid this from happening again would be a good place to start. ]
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Gamera II HPH World Record Flight: 50 seconds [video]

Biking in MarylandGamera II is the second human powered helicopter from the University of Maryland's Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center.

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Maryland has a hard time spending federal money on bike/ped issues

Biking in MarylandExcerpt from The WashCycle (Just MD stats.)

...
And the rest of the rankings aren't very good for Maryland and Viriginia either
  • Transportation Enhancement  - Maryland #47
  • Surface Transportation Program -   - Maryland #45 (tied at 0.0%)
  • CMAQ - Maryland #32
  • HSIP - Maryland #16 (tied at 0.0%)
...
And to add some new content, once again Maryland UNDER spent its Transportation Enhancement money.

image
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Survey Identifies Ways to Better Support Cyclists

Biking in MarylandFrom Citizens Planning & Housing Association, Inc. blog

A survey conducted earlier this year by Maryland’s Office of Tourism, Department of Business and Economic Development (in collaboration with Bike Maryland, the Department of Transportation, the Highway Administration, and others) has shown that cyclists in Maryland are a tech-savvy, safety-conscious group that primarily uses their bikes for health benefits or pleasure. The survey, which was open to the public from May to October 2011, received 2,300 submissions and concerned cycling habits, map resource use and preferences, demographic information, and more. The key findings of the survey are as folows:

  • The top motivating factors for cycling are health benefits and for pleasure – 95 percent of respondents recognize these as leading factors – followed by environmental reasons.
  • The top four activities for all respondents were: enjoying outdoors and nature, going to restaurants for food and beverages, shopping, and visiting friends.
  • 75 percent of cyclists sometimes or always use paper maps to plan cycling trips.  Of those who have seen the Maryland Bicycle Map, more than 65 percent reported that the Maryland Bicycle Map was useful.
  • The overwhelming majority of survey respondents also reported using online maps to plan bicycle trips – 85 percent use them currently. A little over half of respondents reported at least sometimes using navigational devices while on their trip. Google Maps is the most popular web service for planning and navigating a trip.
  • Respondents across the board showed the most support for a map in a mobile application format. Additionally, they would be most interested in having a map that shows connections to local bike routes, parks and off-road trails, followed by type of riding surface and bike shops.
  • More than half of respondents reported that the amount of traffic, surface type and smoothness of the road, and speed of traffic were most important to them. Additionally, almost half listed continuous, safe routes and shoulder width as important.
  • For amenities, more than half of respondents reported that scenic views, parks, points of interest, and restrooms were most important to them – followed closely by food services.

The Office of Tourism and its partners in Annapolis have rightly interpreted these findings as a call for the state to engage with online resources that cyclists already use, such as Google Maps, while continuing production of the Department of Transportation’s Maryland Cycle Map. The conclusions section also includes a vow to use survey respondents to test any new products and services offered.

This very interesting and thoughtful survey missed an opportunity to learn about the infrastructure improvements bicyclists see as important for their continued and increasing use of bicycling for purposes beyond health and pleasure.  Since 45% of respondents use a bicycle for their commute to work, respondents would have been able to identify priority funding areas the state could target that might result in increasing the number of bicycle commuters in the years ahead.  In particular, efforts to make densely populate areas more bike-friendly should be a concern for state policymakers interested in reducing congestion and promoting physical fitness.

Read the full survey report here.

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Salisbury Seeks Grant To Improve Bicycle Routes

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Just to note we have $38 million available in Transportation Enchantments funds so I put the amount requested in this article in millions as well for easier comparison. Ref: <a href="http://www.enhancements.org/profile/MDprofile.php">http://www.enhancements.org/profile/MDprofile.php</a>; ]
*************************************************************************************************
SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — City officials and local advocates are pursuing a state grant that will kick-start efforts to make Salisbury a bicycle-friendly community.

Teresa Gardner, director of Public Works, submitted an application to the Maryland Bikeways Program earlier this month for $0.014 million in funding for a minor retrofit project, which consists of striping designated bike lanes where road width permits, applying shared lane bike symbols where road width is constrained and installing permanent marker signs on the roadside as well as bike boxes at select traffic signals.
...

<a href="http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/05/25/salisbury-seeks-grant-to-improve-bicycle-routes/">http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/05/25/salisbury-seeks-grant-to-improve-bicycle-routes/</a>;`
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The Cabot Tour route is coming to MD

Biking in MarylandOn June 13th Cabot Community Tour riders are coming to MD on June 12th. Here are the routes and days they will be riding.
June 12th Washington DC to Annapolis
June 13th Annapolis to Towson
June 14th Towson to Havre de Grace
June 15th Havre de Grace to Newark DE

It would be great to populate the ride with local riders. The riders will need to determine how to get back to their point of origin, etc. There will be two sag vehicles, one will have a mechanic. The rides should all be starting at the hotels that the riders will be staying at. Typically the rides will start at 9:00. Please feel free to post on list serves/send to email lists, etc.

Here is the URL for the tour. http://www.cabotcommunitytour.com/

How to register

Thank you all, and glad to have the route now buttoned down to be able to send to you.

Andrew Hamilton, RLA, ASLA, APBP
Mid-Atlantic Trail Coordinator
East Coast Greenway Alliance
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Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington [video]

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: A couple of videos from Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington. The first one is a good intro intro for the ride and the second one highlights our friends at Proteus Bicycles in College Park.]


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