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Wednesday, July 01 2015 @ 04:50 AM UTC


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Is AA cracking down on cyclists and letting speeding motorists off the hook?

Biking in the Metro AreaI saw this posted on Facebook: "Passed two AA County bike police, again, radar gun in hand, presumably ticketing speeding bicyclists on the trail. What about speeding motorists? More of them then us."

If you have been ticketed please let us know.

I'll note the data I have (from 2006) shows Anne Arundel County being very lax in giving motorist speeding tickets unless they are going 20 mph over the speed limit, I wounder if they'll do the same for cyclists?

It's also worth noting that comparing the last crash data publicly available; bike crashes are down from 88 to 80 while car crashes are up from 8427 to 8995. I certainly hope AA is cracking down on drivers with equal vigor.
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Metro Baltimore near worst on bad air days

Biking in the Metro Areaby Frank Roylance - Baltimore Sun

On a list of 252 locations in 40 states, ranked nationally by the number of Code Orange Air Quality days so far this year, the Baltimore Metropolitan area comes in with a dismal rank of 17. Only Atlanta, Ga. and 15 places in California did worse. Code Orange means that air pollution levels are considered dangerous for children and other sensitive groups.

[B' Spokes: I feel it is important to note the days before Code Orange are really nice biking days but instead people drive and then the heat cooks the auto exhaust and the result is Code Orange.

We all know the reason why more people are not biking... the lack of accommodations. Even more startling is there are federal funds for "Congestion Management and Air Quality" which most metropolitan areas spend on bicycle accommodations but Baltimore Metro spends zero, a big fat nata on bicycle accommodations from this fund. We can save this planet, if they would only put to good use what they are given and let us do what we do best, transportation with no pollution.]
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Annapolis Police looking for a driver who hit a cyclist and left the scene

Biking in the Metro AreaANNAPOLIS, Md. - Annapolis Police are looking for the driver of a van that hit a bicyclist Tuesday night and left the scene.

According to police, the bicyclist was riding west on Forest Drive near Youngs Farm Road when he was hit from behind by a dark colored van.
The cyclist was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma for treatment.

The van is described as a mini van, dark in color, with a white taxi cab light on top, missing a passenger side mirror, and will have severe damage to the front of the van.

Anyone who has any information about the van or the driver is asked to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

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Additional info: Officials said the cyclist was in stable condition, but no further information is available at this time.

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2011 Carroll County Master Plan Update

Biking in the Metro AreaOn January 11, 2011, the Board of County Commissioners rejected the Master Plan document approved by the Planning Commission on October 19, 2010. The Board of County Commissioners provided their set of goals for the Master Plan as guidance to the Commission in revising the document. Click here to view the Commissioners' recommendations. The 2010 draft document is being used as a starting point for the development of a revised Master Plan.

[B' Spokes: Something is not right here, you can have smart growth without townhouses. Do people really want to "escape" smart growth or do they just want to get away from dumb incomplete communities where "the developer knows best" run a muck as they seem to be advocating for here? Or is it just the plain and simple "drive till you qualify"?

We are planning for the long term and we do not have any guaranties the cost of using single occupancy vehicles (SOV) will go down, in fact trends are pointing to the cost of SOV will continue to go up. So does it really make sense to plan communities where transportation costs will exceed the cost of home ownership?

Still the main point is if you live in Carroll County get involved, that is unless you want to see Carroll County turned into sprawl central and developers turning a quick buck with no thought to consequences down the road.]

Upcoming meetings, agendas, and draft revisions are posted in the Work Sessions section below. To receive regular notice of upcoming meetings and web page updates, please send your name and     e-mail address to

The original plan document approved by the Planning Commission in October 2010 can be downloaded from the 2010 Draft section below.

Work Sessions

Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 6:15 p.m. - Room 003, County Office Building, 225 North Center Street, Westminster, Maryland.

Comments on the Planning Commission's discussions and draft revisions are welcomed. To provide comments to the Planning Commission, click here.

2010 Draft (This plan was rejected by the Board of County Commissioners on January 11, 2011)

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Officials say triathlon may cause Maryland 108 delays

Biking in the Metro AreaI find it interesting that &quot;fitness&quot; type rides and events can get roads closed but those open to the whole family and are not a race don't close roads.

Any thoughts why that is?

More about the closing: <a href=""></a>;
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Police Arrest Annapolis Man in Connection with Cyclist Hit and Run

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: We still have more to catch, please be on the look out for a black SUV with suspicious front end damage.]
By Laura Tayman - Broadneck Patch.

Anne Arundel County Police have arrested and charged an Annapolis man with multiple traffic violations in connection with a hit-and-run incident involving a cyclist on East College Parkway on July 26.

William Christopher Kirby, 25, of the 300 block of Forest Beach Road in Annapolis, has been charged with multiple violations,
A police press release said that officers then received a tip that the damaged vehicle was seen on Forest Beach Road and the driver was Kirby. Officers later located the damaged car at a repair shop in Jessup and retrieved it along with the damaged parts as evidence. Detectives also interviewed a potential passenger of Kirby’s involved in the incident.

Kirby was arrested on Aug. 9 and is currently being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on $75,000 bail.
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Ritchie Highway crossings being made safer

Biking in the Metro AreaAs deadly year on county roads continues, SHA pushes ahead on sidewalk, traffic signal projects
By TIM PRATT Staff Writer - Hometown Annapolis

As the State Highway Administration looks for ways to improve the part of Ritchie Highway where a Pasadena teenager was killed last month, work has begun to make more than a dozen other intersections safer for pedestrians.

The work will upgrade pedestrian crossings, traffic signals and access to bus stops along Ritchie Highway between the Baltimore City line and Route 50 near Annapolis.

Charlie Gischlar, an SHA spokesman, said design work for the improvements started about nine months ago and construction began in late June. He said that while no specific incident prompted the improvements, the SHA is aware of the high number of pedestrian accidents along Ritchie Highway in recent years.

&quot;There have been some real tragedies over there lately and we're trying to do everything in our power to prevent those things from happening again,&quot; Gischlar said.

This year, at least three pedestrians have been killed on Ritchie Highway.

In July, 25-year-old Alex Canales Hernandez of Baltimore was struck while on his bike near Bon Air Avenue in Brooklyn Park. Also last month, two teenagers were struck while trying to cross near Earleigh Heights Road. One of those teens, 17-year-old Kara Micciche of Pasadena, died.

In January, 50-year-old James Howard Minnix of Severna Park was killed while attempting to cross near Robinson Road.

Eight pedestrians and one cyclist have died in the county since Jan. 1, which is already more than the seven pedestrians killed last year. Ten pedestrians and one cyclist were killed in the county in 2009.

In the 101/2-mile stretch of Ritchie Highway between the Baltimore City line and Earleigh Heights Road, there were 374 vehicle crashes last year, six involving pedestrians. No statistics were available for this year.

In 2009, that same stretch of highway had 363 crashes with four fatalities. Twelve pedestrians were struck on Ritchie Highway that year.

&quot;The overall number of crashes may seem high, but there needs to be some perspective,&quot; SHA spokesman Dave Buck said. &quot;This is a congested 10-mile section of road with numerous signals, access points and other high-traffic-generating areas.&quot;

The SHA is using countdown pedestrian signals, coordinated signal timing and signal detection systems to enhance pedestrian safety along Ritchie Highway, Buck said.

One intersection being improved is at Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie. The SHA upgraded sidewalks, ramps and crosswalks at the intersection, and plans to add sidewalks between Ordnance and Dover roads.

One goal of the project is to connect bus stops with nearby crosswalks.

Sidewalks and ramps also were installed along portions of East Ordnance Road.

The $300,000 project is almost complete, said SHA engineer Kim Tran, though some striping and sidewalk construction still needs to be finished.

Thirteen other locations along Ritchie Highway between Baltimore and the Annapolis area also are being upgraded to give pedestrians safer highway crossings and access to bus stops.

Four of the 13 locations are in Brooklyn Park at 11th Avenue, 16th Avenue, Church Street and Hammonds Lane / Walton Avenue.

The Brooklyn Park sidewalk improvements are scheduled to begin next spring and conclude next fall. Some of the signal improvements may take a few years, Tran said.

Other intersections under construction or slated for $1.3 million in upgrades include:

Arundel Corporation Road, Glen Burnie.

The Motor Vehicle Administration entrance, Glen Burnie.

Centre at Glen Burnie.

Wellham Avenue, Glen Burnie.

Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard, Glen Burnie.

Aquahart Road, Glen Burnie.

Guildford-Farmington Road, Glen Burnie.

Jumpers Hole Road, Pasadena.

The area around the intersection at Earleigh Heights Road is on the state's list to receive new sidewalks. That project will give pedestrians easier access to bus stops on both sides of the highway.

The SHA is studying the intersection to see if a crosswalk is needed, Tran said.

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Annapolis: Maryland’s Biking Capital

Biking in the Metro AreaIf Annapolis’ Bicycle Master Plan ever gets off the drawing board and onto the streets, our capital city could be Maryland’s biking capital.

The thoughtful plan, introduced last week, is the work of the Toole Design Group whose specialty is moving people, have created bike plans across the country, from Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Washington — including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Winston Salem and Asheville.

Envisioned is a cross-city “network of on-street and off-street routes” realized in six years over three phases. The first two years’ projects are easy fixes requiring only paint and signage.

Main Street, Calvert and Cathedral streets, King George Avenue, Bay Ridge and Chesapeake avenues and a bit of Hilltop Lane fall into the first phase.

The plan starts with pathways and street lanes. But it doesn’t stop there: Bicycle sharing stations and parking, safety education for all ages, enforcement and an active website are also part of the plan.

After the plan is reviewed and completed, it goes to the City Council for ratification as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Of course getting it done takes some money, as well.

Take a look at the plan at <a href=""></a>;
and the map at

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You have until July 29 to comment: Iain Banks at

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Parents Examine Safer Routes for Rodgers Forge's Walkers

Biking in the Metro AreaBy Tyler Waldman

For the parents of some Rodgers Forge Elementary School students, walking home is an iffy proposition, fraught with unclear crosswalks and the occasional speeding car.

A Rodgers Forge parent who works as an urban planner now aims to find a safe route.

Stu Sirota is leading a group of eight parents and community members to get Rodgers Forge participating in Safe Routes to School. The national program, established by Congress in 2005, aims to get more students walking and biking to school instead of driving and busing.

Sirota has unique experience in dealing with traffic issues—he was a planning consultant on the Walkable Towson plan in 2007 and 2008, a plan that included the new urban design guidelines and the Washington Avenue streetscape.

In 1969, 50 percent of students walked or biked to school, according to statistics from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Now, less than 15 percent do.

Sirota said the group conducted a survey for two days in June and found that roughly 65 percent of Rodgers Forge's 395 students now walk instead of catching a ride—leaps and bounds ahead of the national average. Sirota said, however, when considering that Rodgers Forge Elementary's district is just three-tenths of a square mile, the figure leaves plenty of room for improvement.

&quot;All the houses in Rodgers Forge are within an easy short walk [of the school],&quot; Sirota said. &quot;Our goal is to educate and encourage families that aren't walking who could be walking.&quot;

Sirota, who has two children at Rodgers Forge Elementary and one more to start in 2012, said physical changes could range from new sidewalks to traffic islands.

&quot;There's a whole traffic calming toolkit out there,&quot; Sirota said.

Maryland received $3.5 million in federal funds for the 2011 fiscal year to complete such improvements.

Other tactics don't cost anything. Those include &quot;walking school buses&quot; in neighborhoods, or bike groups.

Sirota said he hopes to start a blog soon to court community feedback. The group also plans to meet with elected officials and school system administrators.

&quot;We've already reached out to them and we hope to be able to partner with them,&quot; he said. &quot;It's still an evolving process right now.&quot;
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Is your employer bike friendly? Then nominate them!

Biking in the Metro Area Advertiser Message

  Nominate your employer as a Baltimore Sun Top Workplace  
  We are looking for the best employers in Baltimore.  

If you think your employer deserves to be recognized and has more than 50 employees in the Baltimore metro area, why not nominate them for an award?

Anyone can nominate a company and the best companies in the region will be featured in a special section of The Baltimore Sun publishing in December.

Nominate your company now   Read the launch article
  or call us at (410) 779-9337  
  We look forward to receiving your vote!
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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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