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Friday, August 22 2014 @ 05:55 AM UTC

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ICC losing bus service in classic bait and switch

Biking in Marylandby Dan Malouff, Greater Greater Washington

Maryland may eliminate 3 of the 5 bus routes on the Intercounty Connector. The move is a classic bait and switch from highway builders: Get political buy-in with the promise of a multimodal road, then cut the multimodal aspects at the first opportunity.

The Maryland Transit Administration operates 5 bus routes on the ICC. It's proposing to eliminate routes 202, 203, and 205. Only the 201 and 204 would remain, running from Gaithersburg to BWI Airport and Frederick to College Park.

When planning the ICC, Maryland promised it would include good transit service and a high-quality bike trail. Officials cut much of the trail in 2004. The bus service was never very good either, so it never got many riders. Now the state is citing that as a reason to cut it significantly.

Of course, cars aren't held to the same standard.

There also aren't many drivers on the ICC. Around 21,000 cars per day use the road. The state says that meets projections, but the projections seem to change. At one point they were as high as 71,000.

But is anyone proposing the state shut the road? Nope. Instead, the strategy is to try and boost car use.

Lawmakers hoped to induce more traffic with lower tolls last year, although that proposal was never accepted. This year the state raised the speed limit to make driving more attractive.

When it comes to bikes and transit, it's cut and run at the first hint of a problem. For cars, it's roll out the red carpet and hope for more traffic.
...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/18899/icc-losing-bus-service-in-classic-bait-and-switch/
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[B' Spokes: I love to know where the accountability for government spending over $3 billion on this near useless highway.]
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Protecting Pedestrians: Bike Rack Use Helps Increase City's Safety

Biking in MarylandFunded by a $110K Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Community Legacy grant, bike racks located throughout the city have helped decrease pedestrian-biker-automobile accidents.

http://hyattsville.patch.com/articles/bike-rack-use-helps-increase-pedestrian-safety
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[B' Spokes: Ha, on one hand this article is really messed up but on the other it can be explained. IMHO bike racks are the cheapest thing you can do to help promote more cycling. With more cyclists on the road there is an improved overall safety (the safety in numbers effect.) And as drivers become aware of cyclists they also become aware of pedestrians. (Accommodations for one mode (cyclists or pedestrians) will also improve the safety of the other.) I'm not sure if bike racks alone can improve pedestrian safety as they usually talk about bike lanes in this context but it is a start and its how Baltimore started. So starting to implement a bike master plan should eventually end up decreasing pedestrian-biker-automobile accidents, there it makes sense now.]

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Pedestrian "sting" finds frequent driver lawlessness

Biking in Marylandby Ben Ross, Greater Greater Washington

So many drivers don't yield to pedestrians that catching them is "like shooting fish in a barrel," a surprised Montgomery County police officer remarked Wednesday. The police ticketed 72 violators in 2½ hours—one every two minutes—at a single crosswalk on Veirs Mill Road.

The operation, a first for the county, was advertised as a sting. But it was not very covert. The police announced in advance that their plainclothes officers would ticket between 11 am and 3 pm while wearing brightly-colored outfits.

Capt. Thomas Didone, head of the police traffic enforcement division, explained the reasoning behind the "sting" to the Patch. "Officers would typically attempt to enforce that kind of law by driving around a high-traffic area and looking for drivers not following the rules," he said. "That's not very efficient."

Inefficiency is the least of the problems with this style of law enforcement. Police who drive all day don't understand the reality of walking on the county's roadways. When you get out of the squad car and join the thousands who cross Veirs Mill every day (it's among the county's busiest bus corridors), you suddenly learn that "it's kind of scary."
...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/18824/pedestrian-sting-finds-frequent-driver-lawlessness/

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Maryland Cops Show How Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Should Be Done

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: Congratulations to Montgomery County for getting some national press. Too bad Baltimore and Prince Georges County don't get this at all, that's how Maryland will stay in the top ten highest pedestrian fatality state, we need more than one county to get on board!

Read the article here: http://streetsblog.net/2013/05/10/maryland-cops-show-how-pedestrian-safety-enforcement-should-be-done/
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MARC: Allow regular bicycles on trains, not just folding bikes [petition]

Biking in MarylandTo be delivered to: The Maryland State House, The Maryland State Senate, Governor Martin O'Malley, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

Petition Background
MARC trains only allow folding bicycles, which are typically heavier and more expensive than regular bikes, and bikes are one of the best ways of making public transportation practical, by helping people make up for gaps and problems in that transportation system. Especially in this tough economy, allowing regular bicycles would enable more people to adapt to available public transportation, rather than waiting for transportation to adapt to them. In other words, this would allow Maryland to get the most bang for its transportation bucks.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/marc-allow-regular-bicycles.fb28?source=s.fb&r_by=810315
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The Return of Neighborhood Bicycle Shops: A Sustainable Community Indicator

Biking in Maryland“The communities that embrace the bicycle and all that goes with it NOW will be the successful communities of the next generation.”

–Alex Obriecht, President Bike Maryland & Race Pace Bicycles

http://smartgrowthmd.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/spoke-shops-signal-smart-growth/
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Maryland Bicycle and Trail Map Interactive Viewer

Biking in MarylandThe Link: http://maps.roads.maryland.gov/cyclemaryland/

B' Spokes: First kudos for getting this up on the web. But I'll note if you turn on the "Bicycle Level of Comfort" layer they grouped grades C & D together and that's not right. That would be like saying here is a list of restaurants that are satisfactory and less than satisfactory and we are not going to tell which is which so go ahead and just try them out and if you don't like it well that's what a grade D means.

I have to ask how is that promoting bicycling or encouraging people to ride if the state knowling says roads that are less than satisfactory are satisfactory? This also ties into the state's 20 year bicycling plan (which is currently being updated) which has a goal of 80% of state roads with a BLOC grade D (unsatisfactory) or better. We need a goal of 100% BLOC grade C or better and no more BS about how goals need to be attainable and then the state knocks out a 20 year goal in less than a year and then we got stuck with no improvement for the next ten years. The CTP is for attainable goals not the long range plan!

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Montgomery County police say "Get out of the way" or something

Biking in MarylandVia Washcycle

Disappointing article on WTOP.

Washington Area Bicyclist Association Director Shane Farthing says bicyclists have the right to use the full travel lanes at all times and that cars must yield and simply wait behind a slow-moving bike.

"Cyclists can't necessarily always go as fast as traffic, but the law does give cyclists the right to use the road," says Farthing.

So far, so good...

But Montgomery County Police Lt. Bob McCullough, deputy director of the traffic division, says that's not the case.

Slow-moving bikes need to move to the right-hand side of the roadway particularly "when they reach a point that they are impeding traffic."

Is Bob McCullough calling in from the 80's? But it gets worse.

D.C., Maryland and Virginia law states bicyclists can ride the center of the travel lane only if they're going the speed limit.

There is no such law. The speed limit is an UPPER limit, not a lower limit. You are not required to maintain that speed, and there is no law against "impeding traffic".  The law in Maryland reads:

Riding to the right not required when traveling at the speed of traffic, operating on a one-way street, passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, avoiding a mandatory turn lane or traveling in a lane too narrow to share.

So there are many more excpetions to "riding right" in Maryland than just "traveling at the speed of traffic" which is not the same as "the speed limit." In DC the law is even farther from what WTOP reports:

Operate a bicycle in a safe and non-hazardous manner... so as not to endanger himself or herself or any other person.

WTOP, you are not the New York Post. Don't try to be.



http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/04/montgomery-county-police-say-get-out-of-the-way-or-something.html
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Maryland Transportation Plan 2035 Survey

Biking in MarylandPlease take some time to help get cycling a bigger priority.

http://mtp2035.metroquest.com/
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Shocking rhetoric from John Townsend and AAA

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: What I like best about this article and AAA Mid-Atlantic sometimes war against cyclists/walkable cities is the chance to promote Better World Club.

"In the meantime, residents do have a choice when purchasing towing, insurance, and travel discounts. Better World Club is one company that offers many of the same benefits as AAA, but without the disdain."

Better World Club: https://www.betterworldclub.com/

Read about the Ku Klux Klan accusations from AAA Mid-Atlantic here: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/18573/shocking-rhetoric-from-john-townsend-and-aaa/

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