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Thursday, October 02 2014 @ 10:25 AM UTC

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Maryland woman gets ticket for driving 2 mph under speed limit

Biking in Maryland...
"The reason [the ticket] is silly is because it's sending the wrong message," said John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic. "And that is, 'We will tolerate you driving at more than the speed limit, but it you drive below the speed limit, then you're penalized for that.'"
...

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/woman-gets-ticket-driving-2-miles-per-hour-211957738.html
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Support Transportation Funding to Bring Better Bicycling to Maryland

Biking in Maryland
WABA Action Alert

Dear Supporter,

You may have heard that Maryland’s General Assembly is considering an increase in gas taxes and transit fares to better fund the state's transportation needs (SB1054/HB1515).

An increase in transportation revenue is critical to improving mobility in Maryland and improving bicycling infrastructure, public transit, and the quality of roads in the state. In some cases, the presence or absence of new funding will make or break the future of key projects, such as the Purple Line (which directly affects the state of the Capital Crescent Trail), the improvements to Route 1 through College Park, and many others.

CLICK HERE to support funding for transportation projects & priorities.

Fixing deteriorating roads, sidewalks, and bridges can alleviate unsafe, bumpy rides and give cyclists better areas to navigate. The benefits of investing in a multi-modally connected region that gives its residents transportation choices, including the choice to bike safely, cannot be overstated.

This is especially critical this year, as the federal government has cut dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, meaning that the state must pick up the slack. Fortunately, the Governor and leaders in the General Assembly want to do that, but many legislators need to be persuaded that voters are willing pay their share.  Thus, it is important that they hear from cyclists and others who understand the need for transportation funding and are willing to support the proposed increases in gas and transit costs for the greater good of keeping Maryland's transportation network working.

Please CLICK HERE to email your legislators to tell them to support SB1054/HB1515 to improve transportation for all who travel in Maryland, including those of us who bike.

Many thanks,

WABA


WABA Website | Events | Maps | Rules of the Road | Take Action | Membership
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Washington Area Bicyclist Association
2599 Ontario Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20009
waba @ waba.org | Phone: 202.518.0524 | Fax: 202.518.0936

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The Law of Unintended Consequences in Government Regulations: Example Transportation

Biking in MarylandBy Klaus Philipsen, Community Architect

...
ISTEA was the landmark legislation that tried to put transportation planning and funding on a much sounder footing:
  • It recognized that transportation policy should be more about moving people and less about moving cars. To this end it stressed that it was supposed to be "mode blind" and "intermodal". 
  • It recognized that there can be efficient and inefficient ways to move people and so it stressed efficiency. 
  • It recognized that traffic doesn't know jurisdictional boundaries and needs to be approached regionally. So the law required Metropolitan Planning organizations (MPOs). 
  • The law tried to eradicate unwarranted "wish list" projects by requiring "Major Investment Studies".
  • The law understood that car focused transportation has environmental impacts and mandated linkage to the Clean Air Act. It required transportation projects to show that they did not worsen air quality in "non-attainment areas" or they couldn't be funded.  
  • One of the most enlightened elements of the law was the objective to address not only the supply of transportation infrastructure but also the demand by requiring "demand management" strategies  
  • One of the most effective demand reduction strategies is a change in land use patterns and ISTEA clearly highlighted the link between land use and transportation.
  • Finally, the Act recognized that outcomes need to be measures and included specific metrics to do that, for example VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled).
In short, the law was a dream for fiscal conservatives and for enlightened planners alike: To the former for its aspirations towards efficiency, to the latter for the goal of solving transportation, air quality and land use problems rather than just building stuff. But, with so many good intentions, one can easily guess that not all went by the plan. Reality took a different route.(For Robert Fuentes' of Brookings assessment of ISTEA read here).


I remember ISTEA well. I had just been appointed to a Maryland State Planning Commission Committee (resulting from the 1992 Maryland Growth and Resource Protection Act, an early smart growth legislation). At the same time, highly motivated by the new law I started consulting with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) which was the newly anointed regional MPO. I co-authored a manual for public involvement under ISTEA.  Most interesting, though, was a pilot project in which the six member jurisdictions of the MPO dealt with the land use-transportation nexus: They modeled the impacts land use changes would have on transportation performance.

I soon learned first hand that provincial interest in project funding would easily trump any effort of finding a rational planning approach. Carroll County, for example, found it much more important to get its own freeway ("we are the only county in the MPO that doesn't have one") than protecting its open spaces from development. The other counties with rural areas, Anne Arundel County, Harford County and even Howard County were not very enthusiastic about shifting growth towards existing infrastructure either. When the modeling study clearly showed that 10% growth reallocation made traffic perform better than the billions of anticipated transportation projects, the pilot project became a hot potato. Chairman Stoney Frailey had to promise the participating counties that this study result would not become public. And so it happened, the study was terminated and remained unpublished.

With the intent of ISTEA in plain view "work-arounds" and "pseudo compliance" began to proliferate. What surprise, then, that in spite of ISTEA and all the following transportation bills since then, the reality of how transport projects come about remained the same to this day: In Maryland a "road tour" organized by the State Highway Administration (SHA) in which local politicians and administrators tell the agency which projects they want.  And precisely those projects wind up in the Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP). Non attainment? No problem, the region will get waivers and extensions. Major investment study? Sure, it will show how well the dream project will perform. Intermodal? Efficient? Conforming with equity and social justice? Paper after paper will be written. A cottage industry of consultants and administrative employees knows precisely how to provide all the required reports. The projects remained the same, the justifications changed.In this manner Maryland built the Inter County Connector and doubled the lane capacity of I-95 north of Baltimore to name just the two most expensive road projects that a rigorous application of the ISTEA metrics should have prevented. Meanwhile construction for new transit projects such as the Red and Purple Lines remain unfunded.
...

Maybe Congress should learn from the Disabilities Act when it considers again how it wants to make transportation investments more effective. Mobility and mode choices as civil rights? This isn't as far fetched as it may sound considering that by far more than half of the US population doesn't have access to cars because of age, disability, poverty or choice. Consider that the age pyramid will rapidly increase that portion of the population even further. Consider that fossil fuel is powering almost all of our mobility options. Given that climate change, increased demand and rising cost will make that source less and less desirable, wouldn't it behoove us well to consider better land use that reduces demand for trips? Or a transit option for everyone? Walk and bike options for shorter trips in cities, towns and villages? Or proof that our scarce dollars really improve mobility and have the largest possible benefit?

These questions track the exact issues ISTEA tried to address. As frustrating as it is, we cannot give up on those goals. In spite of the "law of unintended consequences" the alternative, continued waste and inefficiency is not only too frightening, it is beyond our means.

http://archplanbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-law-of-unintended-consequences-in.html
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Bike Symposium News: More Politics than Policy

Biking in MarylandBy Ron Cassie, Baltimore Magazine

The breaking news from the 16th Annual Maryland Bike Symposium was more political than legislative or policy focused.

Del. Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County), chair of the state’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Caucus and a longtime member of state’s Green Caucus, confirmed what he’s long been openly mulling — that he will be a candidate to become Maryland’s next attorney general in 2014.

Cardin, of course, holds uncle Sen. Ben Cardin’s old seat. Montgomery County state Sen. Brain E. Frosh has previously announced he will run for attorney general in 2014. Current Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is expected to be a leading contender for governor in 2014, along with Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

Coincidentally, Ulman, pictured above (right) with Race Pace Bicycles owner and Bike Maryland board president Alex Obriecht, delivered the keynote address at the symposium, hosted by Bike Maryland, and was received warmly by the bicycling community. Ulman, who initiated the Healthy Howard program to increase access to health care in the county, also created the Howard County Office of Environmental Sustainability and has supported efforts to expand safe bicycling in the county, including the development of the county’s first Bicycle Master Plan.

Legislatively, in terms of bicycling bills, there doesn’t seem to be much moving in Annapolis this session.
...

http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/bikeshorts/2013/03/bike-symposium-news-more-politics-than-policy
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Don't Pass Me Yet, Bro!

Biking in MarylandBy William Smith, Frederick News Post

Dear Motorist Person,

In your haste the other afternoon to pass me as I was riding my bicycle, you came fairly close to hurting or killing someone. You see, my mom always told me, “Don't start a pass you can't finish.” She was not discussing driving, but the point was well-taken.

You might recall that, at the time you chose to begin your pass, there was a hill just ahead of us that hid the oncoming car from your view, but not mine since I was forty feet in front of you. I imagine that you chose to go completely across into the other lane on this skinny country road in order to provide sufficient room to pass me, which in some circumstances could be quite appropriate and desirable, but not in this case. Your haste to pass me created a situation where, had I not intervened, was going to either

  • cause you to have a head-on collision with the unseen oncoming car (perhaps killing one or both of you)
  • force the oncoming car off the road into the trees (perhaps killing her),
  • lead to you swerving to the right in order to avoid the oncoming vehicle (crashing into and possibly killing me).

I hope you did not mind that I decided to quickly move into the center of the roadway to prevent you from passing me and that my frantic waving and yelling “NO!” did not alarm you to a large degree. Fortunately for all of us, you chose to take my actions seriously and pull back into line behind my bike. Also pleasing was the fact that you then waited ten seconds for me to signal “clear” and wave you on so that you could pass safely. Not as pleasing was the one-finger salute that followed, despite the likely crash that my attentiveness prevented. A “thank-you” would have been more appropriate. I imagine it was the last token of affection displayed when one realizes that he/she has done wrong and needs to proclaim victory and withdraw.

Sincerely,

Bill

I see this type of situation often enough. With decades of bicycling experience and a fine mirror mounted on my helmet, I can usually spot a potentially dangerous situation brewing and take action in time to avoid the danger. Motorists will unsafely pass bicyclists for various reasons, some of which are: (a) impatience, (b) incompetence, (c) anger, (d) inattention and (e) misjudging the speed of the bicyclist. On every bicycle is a human being such as myself. A motorist's haste to more quickly reach his/her destination does not override the rules of the road, nor the courtesy that we should extend to each other, nor is sufficient reason to put another person's life in danger.

Sometimes I hear the common motorist rant, “He was riding in the middle of the lane!” There is often a reason for this. If the lane is too narrow for a motor vehicle and bicyclist to safely share (think Rosemont Avenue or 7th Street), the bicyclist should move far enough to the left to dissuade the motorist from passing in the same lane. If the bicyclist does not move left, the motorist will be tempted to try to squeeze past the bicyclist, often passing within a few inches, setting up a dangerous situation. In 2012 it became law in Maryland that a motorist must pass a bicyclist with at least three feet of clearance space.

So – please, my motorist friends – be patient and pass safely.

Another situation that a bicyclist must be careful to avoid is called the “right hook.” This is when a motorist passes the bicyclist and then immediately executes a right-hand turn in front of hm/her, causing the bicyclist to (a) get pushed off the road, (b) get crushed underneath a tire or (c) if fortunate, quickly slam on the brakes in order to avoid a collision. To avoid the situation, I will move into the center or center-left of the lane as I approach an intersection where there is a potential for a trailing car to perform a right turn. This persuades the motorist to execute the correct and safe maneuver of remaining behind the bicyclist and turning right behind him/her instead of in front.

The following link shows how these situations can be avoided under the caption “How to Not Get Hit By Cars”: http://www.bicyclesafe.com/ There are ten situations covered here, accompanied by some very good advice on how to ride safely in traffic. Every bicyclist and motorist should read this web page. We would all be safer as a result.

See you out there.  And always listen to your mother.  She also requested that we all use our turn signals.

 


http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/blogs/blog.htm?bid=206&headerTitle=Bicycling+In+and+Around+Frederick+%E2%80%94%C2%A0Citizen+blog
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Booby traps found

Biking in Marylandimage
Frederick Bicycle Coalition
Be careful people, after Sunday's trail work a fellow rider stopped by the parking lot and dropped these booby traps off which were found on a trail in the Watershed. Besides 2 flat tires he stepped on another device when he was walking out. The boards have razor blades embedded in them and are buried in the ground so they are hard to detect.

We've gotten several reports of these over the last several months. Stay safe out there and keep your eyes and ears out for the perp.

Here is the message from DNR on what to do if you any type of trail traps in the woods:
Quote:
I have discussed this trail sabotage incident with our Natural Resources Police (NRP) and have the following to offer. First, when anyone finds something like razor blades in boards within the Watershed, please do not disturbed this important piece of evidence and call the Frederick County Sheriff’s office at 911 as this appears to be a criminal act. If anyone encounters a hunting or natural resources violation, please call 410-260-8888 as this is the number to DNR’s central communication office who will relay any complaints to our NRP officers.
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Just how much do motorist contribute to "their" roads

Biking in MarylandWell according to this report from Tax Foundation Maryland drivers pay just 45.8% in special fees and taxes, with a ranking of 33rd (which means Maryland is close with other states where motorist contribute the least for their roads.)

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/statelocal-road-spending-covered-user-fees-user-taxes-categories-separated-out
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ROAR for Autism

Biking in MarylandFAMILIES COME TOGETHER TO “ROAR” FOR AUTISM RESEARCH
Kennedy Krieger adds a new 5K run and family fun walk to its 9th annual ROAR for Autism event; bike ride and family festival also to return

BALTIMORE, MD—Kennedy Krieger Institute will mark Autism Awareness Month with its 9th annual ROAR for Autism event on Sunday, April 28, at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD. Families and friends will come together to bike, run, walk – and most importantly – break the silence surrounding autism with a united ROAR to raise awareness and funds for autism research. Back by popular demand is the 25-mile bike ride and family festival, and new this year is a partial road/partial cross country 5k run and a family fun walk.

Autism is a brain-based developmental disability affecting the ability of 1 in 88 children to communicate and form relationships with others. As one of nation’s leaders in autism research, Kennedy Krieger Institute strives to provide earlier diagnosis and develop successful treatments by discovering how autism affects the brain.

With activities for the entire family, ROAR for Autism is a fun-filled day with meaningful purpose. For the first time, the event will feature a 5k run for those who want to hit the pavement feet first. Participants can also take part in the 25-mile bike ride for cycling enthusiasts or a 1-mile family fun walk. After biking, running or walking, families will enjoy a festival featuring music, children’s entertainment, carnival games, refreshments and more!

Participants and teams may go online to register, join a fundraising team and build personal fundraising pages—all in support of autism research. Want to support ROAR for Autism, but can’t attend on April 28th? Just register to “Snore for ROAR” and raise awareness and funds while you sleep in.

Additionally, an iPad mini valued at $330 will be raffled off at the event. Tickets can be bought online or at the event for $5 each or three for $10.

For more information about ROAR for Autism, or to register, visit www.ROARforAutism.org or call 443-923-7300.

What:
ROAR for Autism 2013
25-mile Bike Ride, Partial Road/Partial Cross Country 5k Run, 1-mile Family Fun Walk & Family Fun Festival

Where:
Oregon Ridge Park
13401 Beaver Dam Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030

When:
Sunday, April 28, 2013
6:30 a.m. - 25-mile bike ride registration opens (7 a.m. start)
7:00 a.m. - 5k registration opens (8:30 a.m. start)
8:00 a.m. - All 25-mile bike riders must be on course
8:45 a.m. - 1-mile Family Fun Walk begins
9:00 a.m. - Family Fun Festival

Cost:
Advance Online Registration (by April 26)
Adults - $25.00
Children 12 and under - $10.00
Register by April 10 and receive a free t-shirt!

On-Site Registration (April 28)
Adults - $30.00
Children 12 and under - $15.00

Children 4 and under participate for free!

Snore for ROAR
Adult - $30
Children 12 and under - $15

Additional Visit www.ROARforAutism.org or call 443-923-7300.
Information: ROAR for Autism is on Facebook! www.facebook.com/ROARforAutism.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD serves more than 19,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit www.kennedykrieger.org.

###
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Bike safety requires more than helmets

Biking in MarylandJeffrey H. Marks excelent letter (as always) in the Baltimore Sun: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-02-21/news/bs-ed-helmets-letter-20130221_1_helmet-bill-bicycle-safety-bike-safety
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Rockville Man Arrested After Taking Legal Video of Police

Biking in MarylandReally? This is sill going on?

You can read about it here: http://dcist.com/2013/02/rockville_man_arrested_after_taking.php

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