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Wednesday, November 25 2015 @ 11:39 PM UTC


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Cumberland awarded $75,000 bikeways grant

Biking in MarylandBy Greg Larry, Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — A new $75,000 grant, with plans to add bicycle lanes to Frederick and Bedford streets, has been awarded to the city from the Maryland Bikeways Program.

“We have now become a place where a lot of bikers come,” said John DiFonzo, city engineer.

DiFonzo said that cyclists come mainly for the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage.

“But they are also riding our streets,” said DiFonzo.

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[B' Spokes: Trails are great but they don't remove he need to go the same places as cars.]
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Maryland Cyclists Against DOT Saying Stupid Shit

Biking in MarylandI started a new Facebook group to see how much support I could gather to change what we have into something better.

What we have in Maryland:

What we would like to see instead:

Maryland Cyclists Against DOT Saying Stupid Shit

After all you don't want to see this here: Delaware Cyclist Ticketed for Riding His Bike
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Petition: Ensure that the new Amtrak Susquehanna River Bridge will accommodate cyclists and walkers.

Biking in MarylandPetition by East Coast Greenway Alliance

The East Coast Greenway (ECG) is a 2,900-mile National Millennium Trail connecting 15 states and more than two dozen major cities throughout the Eastern seaboard. The ECG is now 29% complete as trail, with 71% of the route on carefully-selected roadways. There are many challenges to building trail on the route, but one rises high above the rest: crossing the Susquehanna River. Did you know that in the state of Maryland there is no safe way to cross the Susquehanna on foot or by bike? The closest safe crossing is in Pennsylvania, over 23 miles upstream from Havre de Grace. With your help, we can change that.

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Unlock Federal Funds in Your Community in 2014: Apply for a Navigating MAP-21 Workshop

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Maryland has accumulated $40 million in unspent federal money that could be spent on bike ped projects. Local key players really need to attend this workshop and get O'Malley to spend this money.]

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Watchdog: Clarifying the road rules for bicyclists

Biking in MarylandBy ALLISON BOURG, Capital Gazette

Problem: Paul Fields of Crownsville started noticing the signs on county roads over the last few months. “Bicyclists may use the full lane,” they say.

Matt Diehl, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel’s Department of Public Works, said the county has installed the signs Fields has noticed on about a dozen roads to remind drivers of what the law is.

Bicyclists have the right to use the entire lane if the lane is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side. Buck said the state defines that as 13 feet. So if a road, including travel lane and shoulder, is 13 feet or less, a bicycle can take the full lane.

On other roads, bicyclists traveling more than 10 mph under the posted speed limit are considered slow moving vehicles and should stay as far to the right as possible, Buck [spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration] said.

B' Spokes: Confused? We can take the lane but we have to ride as far right as possible??? It is if they want this sign instead:
imagePhoto credit: John Brooking

So let's look at the slow moving vehicle law:
§ 21-301.(b) Special rule for slow-moving traffic. -- On every roadway, except while overtaking and passing another vehicle going in the same direction or when preparing for a lawful left turn, any vehicle going 10 miles an hour or more below the applicable maximum speed limit or, if any existing conditions reasonably require a speed below that of the applicable maximum, at less than the normal speed of traffic under these conditions, shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic...

I will also note that cyclist road position is governed by SUBTITLE 12. OPERATION OF BICYCLES AND PLAY VEHICLES in the Transportation code.
§ 21-1202. Traffic laws apply to bicycles and motor scooters
Every person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter in a public bicycle area has all the rights granted to and is subject to all the duties required of the driver of a vehicle by this title, including the duties set forth in § 21-504 of this title, except:
(1) As otherwise provided in this subtitle; and

See § 21-1205. Riding on roadways or on highway, which Matt Dieh did a good summary of. (That is the bicycle subtitle provides the road position position for cyclists and not the (slow moving) motor vehicle code but they are similar in lane position but not in other things like the slow moving vehicle emblem requirement.)

It's pretty obvious that David Buck has gotten the cycling rules wrong, even more damaging when talking about the “Bicyclists may use the full lane” sign.

And it's not the first time someone at MDOT got the law wrong in total contradiction to the main subject.

So respectfully ask that SHA issue a correction and write:

James Smith <>
David Buck <>
John Kuo <>
Michael E. Jackson <>

And sugjest that it might be a good idea for them to watch this excerpt from the police training video.
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Utilities as Neighbors: PEPCO vs. Transcontinental

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: The major problem with adding bikeways to roads is the limited right-of-way but we have miles and miles of under utilized right-of-way under power lines that would make excellent connections for cyclist. But the utility companies in Maryland have no interest in even allowing accommodations for cyclists This needs to be corrected!!!]

How does a trail benefit a utility company?

  • Paved trails give utilities a free access road for their maintenance trucks.

  • Trail users act like a volunteer security patrol, discouraging illicit activity like vandalism just by their presence.

  • With laws and agreements shielding the utilities from any liability and costs for the trails, there is virtually no down side.

  • "In our 35 years of planning, designing and constructing trails, we have always found the utility companies around here to understand that the trail users constitute unpaid "eyes and ears" to deter vandalism. Further when we design trails we often facilitate their use by the utility companies for maintenance of their lines. With a good trail, restored or replacement bridges and the like, the companies realize their cooperation will save them money." Bob Thomas, Campbell Thomas & Co., Philadelphia PA

With trails providing mutual benefits to both the public and the utility companies, why do some utility companies embrace trails, while other utility companies with identical ROWs oppose them?

Simply put, the main obstacle to building trails along power lines is the attitude of the utility company.

If the utility company sees the public as friends and neighbors, and it wants its ROW to be a positive amenity for the surrounding community, it will find a way to allow trails to be built. It will take full advantage of its state's Recreational Use Statute. It will reach out to local governments looking for opportunities to build trails along the ROWs, and actively negotiate agreements that protect and benefit all sides. Trail inclusion becomes the default condition, instead of being the rare exception.

If the utility company sees the public as a threat, or it just doesn't care about the surrounding community, it will find an endless list of objections to building any trail. Opportunities will be squandered. Sadly, its ROWs will be as attractive as living next to a state prison, with nothing but No Trespassing signs to greet you.

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Maryland a net loser as taxpayers migrate

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: This is why I support bicycling... not many really want to live in a place where you &quot;need&quot; a car to get around. Now add to that getting around by car here is misery. Instead of using anything close to a grid road system there is some rule here that east west roads cannot be longer than a few miles and they idealize lollipop development (too many minor streets close off when they reach a development), too much stress that business cannot share parking lots unless a strip mall and each business &quot;needs&quot; at least two bidirectional driveways but ideally three or four. All this makes for a very unpleasant biking and walking experience as well as an unpleasant driving experience, too many opportunities for conflicting movements. Being overly car centric not only hurts biking and walking it creates driving misery as well.]
Via Maryland Reporter

... with Maryland losing $5.5 billion in taxable income along with 66,000 residents. [Ranking of 43, that's really bad.]

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Frederick, Md., Mayor Begins 2nd Term

Biking in MarylandVia CSN Baltimore

In his first four-year term, McClement heavily promoted biking. His administration created an annual high-wheel bicycle race through the downtown.

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What's it Like to Be a Cyclist on the Road in Maryland?

Biking in Maryland

Via Edgewater Patch
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Maryland Cycling Safety

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: A nice edited version of the police training video so that it's under two minutes.]
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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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