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Wednesday, July 30 2014 @ 05:09 PM UTC

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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

http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/ocean-city-general-news/20631-group-discusses-city-ethics-board-construction-permits-membership-initiatives.html
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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.)
http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20110318114606250

The state does not measure our average motor vehicle crash rate which Baltimore has come out really bad by a report from Allstate.
http://www.allstatenewsroom.com/releases/baltimore-ranks-192-on-2011-allstate-america-s-best-drivers-report

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: http://www.capwiz.com/lab/issues/alert/?alertid=60927571&PROCESS=Take+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 transportation.house.gov) 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 bikeleague.org and americabikes.org for background and breaking news.


ANDY CLARKE
LEAGUE PRESIDENT
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.


TAKE ACTION: http://www.capwiz.com/lab/issues/alert/?alertid=60927571&PROCESS=Take+Action
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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, www.cycle.maryland.gov provides a one-stop web portal for information about cycling infrastructure, plans, funding opportunities and events.

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/Bike/Cycle_Maryland.html/


[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      
Motorcyclists 69 12.61%
Subtotal 69 12.61%
Nonmotorists      
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:
image

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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Plan in motion for bicyclists, pedestrians - Funding not part of county trail network proposal

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Typical, great bike plan but no funding. One day people are going to realize that a plan without funding is the same as no plan at all... but that's how we accommodate cyclists in Maryland. Also note the required match comment, Federal aid is OUR money and not the States and it's not right that the State [MDOT] is putting up barriers to keep that money from the localities. But that might be mute with the next authorization of the transportation bill and all that funding that has built up over the years will disappear.]
***************************************************************************************
By Matthew Bieniek, Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — Passionate advocates for walking, hiking and biking traded ideas, concerns and discussed the future in a wide-ranging discussion during a Thursday afternoon open house dedicated to the Allegany County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

“I see Allegany County as a destination for families, with something everyone can do,” said Jim Christie, a planner with Thrasher engineering, who is heading up plan development with Siera Wigfield, a county planner. “We want everyone to get excited about thew project,” Christie said. And everyone in the room seemed to be excited as comments and questions went back and forth between members of the audience, Christie and Wigfield.

Topics ranged from the crossing at Depot and Main streets in Frostburg to the larger questions of funding and organization.

“In Frostburg, one issue is getting people from Depot Street across to Main Street. You can’t do it,” said Maureen Brewer. The intersection is very busy and several fast food restaurants are in the area. Brewer is a member of Frostburg First and Mountain Maryland Trails.

“I love the trail recreationally, I just wish it was more utilitarian,” said Dawn Hartlaub.

Doug “Hutch” Hutchins discussed the need for some driver education on bicyclists and keeping them safe. He also asked about funding and government support. Hutchins owns Cumberland Trail Connections and is a board member of Mountain Maryland Trails. Hutchins suggested a partnership between police, county officials and the newspaper to promote bicycle safety, especially around busy crossings.

Sometimes, government has impeded trail development and access.

“There are always excuses ... these things can be overcome,” Hutchins said.

“I don’t think most people have a clue (about the rules for drivers encountering pedestrians and bicyclists),” said Nancy Forlifer of the Western Maryland Health System.

Funding is not part of the plan and will ultimately depend on government and interested organizations. Having a plan, though, will provide a good start toward obtaining the funds, said Christie.

Mayor Butch Armentrout of Carpendale, W.Va., said grant money is still out there but that most of it required a match. For small municipalities, that can be a challenge, he said.
...
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Safety first, for all ages

Biking in MarylandBy Stephanie Mlot, Frederick News Post

The Frederick Police Department and the Ad Hoc Bicycle Advisory Committee are teaming up to teach local seniors about bicycle safety.

From 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Frederick Senior Center, Officer Michael Figgins and committee member George Ruszat will discuss how learning the rules of sharing the road can save lives.

"We thought that it would be a good idea to expand our educational programs to include the senior population, who often are intimidated by the thought of driving on the road with a cyclist," Ad Hoc Committee Chairwoman MaryLynn Hinde wrote in an email.

A light dinner will be available for $5, with a reservation. Call 301-600-1048 by Monday to make a reservation.

The event is open to the public. The Frederick Senior Center is at 1440 Taney Ave.

"Many people do not understand the 'rules of the road,'" Hinde wrote. "And therefore do not know how to safely and confidently drive along with the growing number of cyclists in Frederick."
...
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SOMERSET: Bicyclist struck by truck

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Is this a case of a disappearing shoulder in favor of a high speed left turn bypass lane? If so we need to get SHA to revise their design guidelines.]
****************************************************************
WESTOVER – Maryland State Police are seeking information in a hit-and-run accident involving a bicycle on Saturday evening in Westover.

The bicyclist was traveling north on the shoulder of Route 413 near the Somerset County Health Department around 5 p.m. when a black Ford truck drove past the bicyclist, striking him in the back with the passenger’s side mirror.

The mirror was broken off during the collision. The bicyclist was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for medical treatment.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call state police in Princess Anne at 443-260-3700

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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