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Friday, August 22 2014 @ 05:39 PM UTC


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Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: Some more great material from the Annapolis Department of Transportation (now if we could get the MVA to be even half this good.)]
1.     When making a right turn:

A. Look for young cyclists who may be using the sidewalk and crosswalk.
B. Check for pedestrians crossing the street.
C. Check to see if there are cyclists behind or on your right that may be going straight.
D. All of the above.

2.     Passing a cyclist is acceptable:

A. Whenever you need to keep up your speed.
B. When you are in a hurry.
C. When you are sure that there is ample space between you and the cyclist and there are no blind spots or dangers by moving over to allow safe passage.
D. When the bicyclist is going slower than you are.

3.     You must be extra vigilant of cyclists when:

A. Opening your car door after parking on the road.
B. Backing in and out of driveway.
C. Making left and right hand turns.
D. All of the above.

4.     When making a left turn:

A. You can always be faster than a cyclist so you don’t have to be so concerned about the potential cyclist approaching since a cyclist man power is no match for your horse power.
B. Make sure you can see into the distance to make sure no motorists or cyclist are in a close proximity and never assume you can turn faster than an approaching cyclist.
C. Just make sure no cars are approaching.
D. It is safe to go when the light permits.

5.     A good response when you witness a cyclist making a traffic error

A. Honk your horn.
B. Hate all cyclists for the rest of your life.
C. Realize that this individual made a mistake and not make blanket assumptions on the cycling community at large.
D. Run them off the road to teach them a lesson about disrespect.

True or False:

6.     True or False: Cyclists are allowed to ride in the flow of traffic.

7.     True or False: It is customary to honk at cyclists to let them know you’re approaching.

8.     True or False: Cyclists have the same rights to the road and motorists and must adhere to the same road rules.

9.     True or False: Cyclists must hug the right side of the road, be in a bike lane or be on bike paths at all times.

10.   True or False: Cyclists are a menace to motorists.
Answer Key [you'll need to follow the link for that.]
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SHARROW [Good and bad advice.]

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: Sharrows are used when there is not enough space for a bike lane, sometimes sharrows can create a quasi safe place for riding side by side with motoring traffic and sometimes not. But it is noteworthy to point out that in Maryland sharrows are used on roadways where it is legal for a cyclist to use a whole lane. So use your best judgment, avoid the door zone of parked cars which means avoid the sharrows as well (if minimal guidance is followed, which it usually is, see pic)
image by Dan Gutierrez

So without further ado here is the City of Annapolis' take on sharrows (but major kudos for being the first government agency to try to get at least this much info out there):

What does a SHARROW mean for motorists and bicyclists?


  • Expect to see bicyclists on the street
  • Remember to give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing
  • Follow the rules of the road as if there were no SHARROW


  • Use the SHARROW to guide where you ride within the right hand side of the lane and with the direction of traffic
  • Remember not to ride too close to parked cars
  • Follow the rules of the road as if there were no SHARROW

SHARROW diagram

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Encourage bicycle travel with more dedicated lanes

Biking in the Metro AreaI am a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and I am writing to you about how Columbia should advance its pathway system. We have a great community, and far better pathways than most cities, but the cycling community is growing, and it would be beneficial to Columbia to add more places for bicycles to travel.

Gas prices are going through the roof, and more people who have relatively close jobs are switching to biking to work. Other countries have made cycling one of the main modes of transportation, and it is working very well. We need to start making that switch for ourselves. With the increased number of cyclists, we should have more paths by the roads or, for road cyclists, a bike lane on the shoulder.

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Biking in the Metro Area

Encouraging motorists and bicyclists to share the road
Sponsored by the Annapolis Police Department and the Department of Transportation

The Give/Get Respect campaign educates motorists and bicyclists in the City of Annapolis on how to participate in proper road conduct. Choosing a bicycle for transportation is a great idea and it has never been more important to learn to share the road. Promoting calmer, safer, more respectful behavior by all road users in the City of Annapolis is an important part of the City’s ongoing campaign for safer streets and more livable neighborhoods.

The key messages of the campaign are as follows:

  1. Reminding motorists to leave at least 3 feet of space when passing bicyclists, and to pass slowly and carefully.
  2. Reminding bicyclists to ride predictably in the roadway and ride with traffic, not against it.
  3. Reminding motorists to check their side mirrors for approaching bicyclists before opening their car doors after parking.
  4. Reminding bicyclists to ride at least 3 feet outside of the dangerous door zone - the area just next to parked cars, where doors can suddenly and dangerously fly open.
  5. Reminding motorists that blocking a bike lane or SHARROW is illegal and forces bicyclists to swerve into moving traffic.
  6. Reminding bicyclists to yield to pedestrians and stay off the sidewalks.

The three goals of the Give Respect Get Respect campaign:

  • Educate motorists to share the road — and give cyclists the space we deserve.
  • Educate cyclists not to ride on the sidewalk, ride in the direction of traffic, not to ride in a way that threatens pedestrians.
  • Educate Police Officers about the laws that protect cyclists.

Give/Get events will happen several times a year. The Department of Transportation joins with City police officers to educate cyclists and motorists about proper conduct on the road.

Police Officers hand out information to motorists detailing activities that endanger cyclists, and pass out multi-lingual educational flyers to educate cyclists. The first of these events for 2010 occurred on Wednesday May 19th at the intersection of Bay Ridge Avenue and Madison Street/Eastport Shopping Center. Over 700 flyers were handed out to motorists and cyclists. Further events will be scheduled, stay tuned for upcoming locations.

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Annapolis Bicycle Master Plan - July 20

Biking in the Metro AreaSince the May 26 kickoff, the City of Annapolis Bicycle Master Plan, Toole Design Group and the Steering Committee have been hard at work. The public meetings and the community walk website generated more than 500 public comments, all of which have guided the master plan process to create a long-lasting bicycle transportation program.

Now is the chance to make sure that the master plan has covered all of your needs and those of your community.

A public open house, including a presentation of the draft plan, will take place at the Roger W. "Pip" Moyer Recreation Center, 273 Hilltop Lane, between 4 and 8 p.m. July 20. The presentation will take place at 6 p.m.

The public is urged to come out and review the DRAFT Plan Recommendations including:

* Bicycle network maps.
* Early action priorities.
* Programs and policies.
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Annapolis, Maryland calls in outside bike planner

Biking in the Metro AreaBike Radar Has a nice article about the development of Annapolis' Bike Master Plan but I would like to take a moment to contrast what good planning considers as an economical and viable Enhancements to our road network to include comfortable accommodations for bicyclists versus what the State will spend Enchantment funds on.

First form the article:

“The biggest challenge is something you see everywhere and that is funding. As a country we don’t do a great job of funding that type of transportation.”

Instead the funding often is part of other projects, and TDG is looking to include bicycle paths, bike lanes and other improvements in those other projects. “We have to look at capital improvements and resurfacing and include bicycle paths into those.” Cruse says, “It is just hard to make it about bikes unless it is part of a larger project.
Maryland with $31 million available in just Transportation Enhancement funds that could go to projects like those described makes the following ADDITIONAL requirements over and above the federal requirements: From Maryland's Transportation Enchantment Program Eligibility:

[Must] Be independent projects unrelated to planned or existing highway projects or routine highway improvements [such as resurfacing].
I sympathize with Toole Design Group {TDG) as they work all over the country and Maryland is certainly the odd man out when it comes to following the recommended federal policy but I really have to question MDOT on it's policies of accommodating bicyclists any time SHA adds accommodations for bicyclists it's ALWAYS related to planned highway projects and NEVER a stand alone project. So why is MDOT putting this requirement on the localities?
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Survey: Two-thirds in region want red light cameras

Biking in the Metro Areafrom Getting There by Michael Dresser
A survey by a prominent highway safety group shows two-thirds support for the use of red light cameras in Baltimore and 13 other large U.S. cities, indicating the public believes study findings that the devices reduce auto fatalities.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said its survey shows that 67 percent of respondents in Baltimore support the use of the camera -- a percentage that is in line with the national average.

Other cities in the survey ranged from 78 percent support in Washington to 48 percent favorable in Long Beach, Calif. The survey did not address public acceptance of speed camera.

The institute contends the survey shows that opponents of the red light cameras, while vocal, make up a minority of the driving population. According to the group, another of its studies showed a 24 percent reduction in fatal crashes in the same cities since the introduction of the technology.

“Most drivers don’t buy the argument that it’s somehow wrong to enforce the law just because you’re using a camera to do it,” says Anne McCartt, the Institute’s senior vice president for research. “They understand that this technology is preventing crashes in their cities.”

The survey found that nine in 10 drivers call red-light-running unacceptable, and eight of 10 consider the practice a threat to their own personal safety.

The institute said the survey found that about one-quarter of the respondents firmly oppose use of the cameras. It said the most common reasons given -- by 26 percent each -- were that cameras make mistakes and that they are installed to raise government revenue rather than to improve safety.

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County launches StreetSmart campaign to promote bicyclist, pedestrian safety

Biking in the Metro AreaBy Amanda Yeager


County executive Ken Ulman said the county also needed to prioritize pedestrian and bicycle safety in its future projects. "We have a community that was built for the automobile," he said. "It was not designed for bicyclists. We've got to make sure that as we redevelop, we are putting the priority on pedestrian and bicycle safety."
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Bicycles on MTA

Biking in the Metro AreaA one stop summary of how to combine bicycling with Mass Transit. Policies for MTA buses, rail, lockers and commuter choice program.
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Bicycle advocates urge care on the roads

Biking in the Metro AreaThere are a lot of good points in this article and I love all the points they touch on but if you are a reader of this blog there's not much new info except the following bit. Why I think this is important to emphasize this, is because our state over focuses on trails holding up Columbia as a prime example of accommodating bicyclists. Well, how does that work out anyway....
County Executive Ken Ulman, who describes himself as a recreational cyclist, said that while Columbia was among the first communities in Maryland to have designated bike paths, "they didn't think destinational, getting from your house to the mall safely on a bike. … Particularly in downtown Columbia, there are big, sweeping roads that allow vehicles to go very fast."

Ulman said the proposed redevelopment of downtown Columbia is "getting us to focus on streetscapes and complete streets with sidewalks and bike lanes and parking areas."

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