Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 12:59 PM EST
Contributed by: B' Spokes
[B' Spokes: In keeping with my endeavors to add more transparency to MBPAC here are the subcommittee reports for the October 2012 MBPAC meeting (link at the end for the whole thing.) The Open Meeting Act requires meeting minutes as well as public notice of when and where these meetings take place. I guess these reports could satisfy the minutes requirement and we (the public) are still waiting to have some advance notice of these meetings but till then here is a glance of what they are up to.
I'll note that while these reports were originally emailed so the text could be scanned and searchable, they were converted to a picture PDF so I had to painstakingly retype what you see bellow. I don't have anything positive to say about this processes of obfuscating information other then something is better then nothing I guess.]
Over the last three months, Prince Georges has seen many news articles complaining about the lack of "crosswalks" on state highways. Elected officials from Edmonston and Seat Pleasant have both stated that there are few crosswalks on the state highways going through their towns and called on SHA to do something. In reality, these towns have unmarked crosswalks, and police forces that could enforce the law; but rather then do what is within their power, they ask SHA to paint white lines. Perhaps some crosswalk education is needed. Are crosswalk violations the "broken windows" of traffic enforcement?
[B' Spokes: Nice comment, too bad I get the impression that it dead ends there. It would be nice if someone somewhere would do something about Maryland's high pedestrian fatality rate.]
Law Enforcement Training
* A meeting regarding the draft Law Enforcement Bicycle Safety Training Video will take place October 11, just before the October MBPAC meeting the following day. I'll be able to provide an update there.
[B' Spokes: Good news that this is still being worked on. Though I can't help but think wouldn't it be nice if a notice went out saying the public is invited to attend the Educational and Awareness subcommittee meeting discussing the topic of the draft Law Enforcement Bicycle Safety Training Video. Instead all we get is the topic was discussed.]
5. Letter to MDOT Secretary regarding MDOT/MBPAC legislative coordinating procedures
It is recommended that a motion to reconsider be introduced by an appropriate MBPAC member based on comments from Martin Harris and Michael Jackson. The main reason expressed by Martian and Michael against the motion is related to how MDOT operates legislatively. Currently MDOT is open to discussing legislative issues with MBPAC prior to the legislative session. At any time during the legislative session communication between MDOT and MBPAC may be positively or negatively impact proposed legislation due to any number of reasons some of which may not be under Michael's control. For example recently MDOT's position on the 3 foot bill may have surprised the bicycle community even though MBPAC indicated positive support to MDOT for this proposed law and had expected MDOT to concur. Under the proposed resolution MBPAC would likely get the same response from MDOT's Secretary on a given piece of legislation but the process for obtaining the Secretary's response would involve many more staff persons then Michael and Martin thus not being the best use of staff time and resources.
[B' Spokes: Does anyone remember MDOT's opposing our bicycle has the right-of-way in a bike lane bill because of the problem of flying unicorns? My bad, that should be because of the problem of striping a bike lane through an uncontrolled intersection but both are mythical so it really makes no difference. My point is better communication/debate is needed especially when the debate comes down to old assumptions that started in the 60's vs new and improved ways of looking at complete streets and how to accommodate people, not just cars, that have proven studies that show that they work. Or the whole point of the committee is to challenge car centric ideas.]
7 Attorney General Letter Regarding Passing in Double Yellow Centerline Item was deferred to another date due to lack of time.
[B' Spokes: I wounder what that was about? Sounds interesting as I support allowing motorist to pass cyclists over the double yellow (when safe to do so) instead of MDOT saying (in effect) you can legally pass a cyclist as close as you want if there is a double yellow.]
By coincidence Michael received a phone call from Delegate Miller the morning following the subcommittee meeting on another matter. During the conversation he mentioned discussion of her planned sidewalk legislation and she was surprised to hear of opposition. Michael suggested she might want to hear directly from the persons voicing their opposition. Delegate Miller in the future regarding this topic. Michael suggested a subsequent L&GA subcommittee meeting be set up for this purpose.
[B' Spokes: That's good the pros and cons of sidewalk riding are being discussed. Though I would be interested in the points that were raised.]