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Monday, September 22 2014 @ 10:15 PM UTC


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Girl, 14, killed in northern Harford

Biking in the Metro AreaBy AEGIS STAFF REPORT

A 14-year-old Pylesville girl died Thursday after she was hit by a car while crossing Route 136 in northern Harford County, Maryland State Police said.

The victim, Heather Greer, was struck in the 2200 block of Harkins Road (Route 136) shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday. Initial Harford County radio dispatches said the victim was in some kind of "arrest" and, a short time later, a chaplain was requested.

Maryland State Police troopers responded to the scene and, according to a news release from the Bel Air Barrack, ordered a Medevac to the scene to fly Ms. Greer to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

She died at the hospital "as a result of injuries sustained during impact," according to the news release.

State police in the news release say Ms. Greer "attempted to cross the road," when she was struck by a 2009 Toyota Highlander driven by James Landerkin, 34, of Pylesville, who was driving south on Route 136, just prior to the diagonal intersection with Amos Mill and West Heaps roads, when the accident occurred.

The area, a few miles south of the Maryland and Pennsylvania border, is rural and dotted by farms and single homes on large lots.

Route 136 was closed for about two hours while troopers investigated the accident, state police said.

A Facebook page, "RIP Heather Greer Best 2nd Baseman Ever," has been started in Ms. Greer's memory. The page had 51 members as of 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Ms. Greer's death is the 15th on Harford County highways this year and the fifth during July. She was the second young person to be struck by a car in northern Harford this week.

A 12-year-old boy was injured when he was hit while riding a bicycle across Old York in the Monkton area Tuesday afternoon, according to state police.

For updates, check back with
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Three Charged with Robbery, Assault After Attack on Bicyclist

Biking in the Metro AreaKudos to Baltimore County police department for catching these criminals!

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Ritchie Highway a national example of how not to build a road (again)

Biking in the Metro AreaMaryland Police: Fallen Cyclist Shouldn’t Have Been on the Road
from Streetsblog by Angie Schmitt

Following Cyclist’s Hit-and-Run Death, Police Officers Blame the Victim: Alex Canales Hernandez, 25, was killed this week while cycling on Maryland’s Ritchie Highway — the same deadly highway that took the lives of two pedestrians in a single day in 2005. The police response? Cyclists probably shouldn’t be on Ritchie Highway.

Network blog Wash Cycle reports that police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said, “Certain stretches of roads should really be just for vehicles.” This stretch of road has claimed the lives of three people. Wash Cycle asks: How long will it take for local officials to recognize the problem? “Mulcahy seems to be blaming these cyclists for the crashes, instead of traffic engineers for failing to build complete streets. If the roads are only safe for driving, and some people can’t drive – then those people are just going to get hurt.”


Man fatally hit by car outside Maryland court building
Tsk, tsk, State Road, State building and no sidewalk, what a waste.


Leading Danger Zone for Injuries and Deaths
The report noted that 56% of pedestrian fatalities occur on roads that weren’t designed with pedestrian safety in mind. The report says arterial roads usually have multiple lanes, high speed limits, and few (if any) crossing signals or crosswalks. Other arterial loads linked to Baltimore pedestrian accidents include Ritchie Highway...


And from 2009
Tragedy in AA County now a national example of whats wrong with our streets
Tragic Example: A 14 year-old girl was killed at 5:45 pm Friday while trying to cross Ritchie Highway (Route 2) on her bicycle in Pasadena, in Anne Arundel County. Police said that that the intersection isn't "designed, marked or engineered as a pedestrian crossing." What goes unmentioned is that there is no marked crossing anywhere nearby. The closest traffic signal, at Eastwest Boulevard, has no crosswalks or sidewalks.


So we join Washcycle and ask : How long will it take for local officials to recognize the problem?
Again I'll note Maryland's 4th HIGHEST pedestrian fatality rate (there is a reason for this and it is NOT pedestrian error):
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Anne Arundel cyclist killed in hit and run

Biking in the Metro AreaThe Washcycle has an excellent article on this crash which I'll highlight just a bit:

“Certain stretches of roads should really be just for vehicles,” [police spokesman Justin] Mulcahy said.

Dave Humphreys, executive director of Annapolis Regional Transportation Management Association, deals with transportation issues all over the county. With the heavy amount of traffic on Ritchie and Crain highways, he said the accidents involving Hernandez and Garcia were “sadly not unexpected.”

“Those are very, very unfriendly bike roads,” he said. “I wouldn’t ride my bike up there.”

Mulcahy seems to be blaming these cyclists for the crashes, instead of traffic engineers for failing to build complete streets. If the roads are only safe for driving, and some people can't drive - then those people are just going to get hurt.

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Sharing the Road: Residents React to Recent Pedestrian and Cyclist Collisions

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: I'll note that the description of driver and vehicle is close enough to a driver that ran me off the road and later at the light said "Get the f!@# off the road. Next time I will run you over." We need to throw the book at people who treat life in such cavalier manner.]
Seven people were killed or injured in the county in the past two weeks

By By [Glen Burnie] Patch Staff

Three people died and four more were hospitalized after being hit by cars in the last two weeks.

While the number of fatal and life-threatening crashes has not increased this year over previous years, according to Anne Arundel County Police Department spokesman Justin Mulcahy, the incidents, some involving pedestrians and others involving cyclists, have put county residents on the alert.

Police still are looking for the woman who they believe was driving a small, dark-colored SUV July 14 when she hit Baltimore resident Alex Hernandez, 25, in Brooklyn Park and fled the scene. Hernandez later died of his injuries.

Sue Dzeidec of Edgewater has been cycling since 1987 on south county roads. She said she thinks one reason there are so many biking accidents this year is that there are more people biking.

"I think it is a combination of things,” said Dzeidec, who said she rides each weekend out of Davidsonville Park and makes a 40-mile trek to Galesville with three other riders. She said it is the responsibility of both cyclists and motorists to share the road and look out for one another.

“There are certainly drivers who are inconsiderate, but I see kids with those trucks that have the big mirrors, and they make it a game—'how close can you get.' That said, there are some really courteous drivers who will stop and let you go through. Unfortunately, there's a lot less of them," she said. "I also think that bikers in the big groups, who won't move over, and on those curvy south county roads, there aren't many places to pass, and they are going 25 to 30 miles per hour—I think that probably irritates anyone in a car and they take it out on other bikers."

It’s not only rural parts of the county that can be dangerous for cyclists.

Carma Clark said she hasn’t biked in years for fear of drivers in downtown Annapolis.

“They don’t slow down for you or even seem to know you’re there sometimes,” she said this week at an open house on the city’s master plan for biking paths and trails.

William Small, a member of the bike plan’s steering committee, said more people would use bicycles as transportation if they felt safer.

“I would love to do it more myself, but I’ve been run off the road. I don’t feel like taking my life into my own hands just to ride my bike through the city.”

To address that concern, planners are urging city officials to re-launch the Coexist Program, a campaign to increase the awareness of cyclists and educate drivers on the rules of the road.

Another Annapolis cyclist, Patrick Miller, said he generally feels safe riding his bike. But he says it is up to cyclists to make sure they are visible to drivers.

“Cars are generally courteous and give me an appropriate amount of space,” said Miller, who commutes to work daily on his bicycle. The Epping Forest resident travels to Compass Marketing in Eastport. “Still, especially in the winter months, I do my best to look like a Christmas tree, adorning my bike and body with many blinking lights and reflective gear.”

Miller’s suggestions for keeping cyclists safe are first to increase road markings, like bike lanes and sharrows (shared lane markers) to remind motorists to share the roads, especially on crowded streets that cyclists are forced to use due to a lack of alternate routes.

“We cyclists are smaller than other vehicles and must do our best to be visible,” Miller said. “I see this as a purely practical matter.”

Others say it’s the bikers—especially young ones—who need to be more careful.

“Part of it might be the fact kids now have no respect or fear,” said Chris Reed, a Severn area resident. “I drive through a certain neighborhood daily and they will just walk or ride their bikes right in front of my car and just look at you.”

Kristin and Chris Kosmides recently took their two young boys to Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. The children were still getting comfortable with their new "big boy" bikes and the couple thought the park was the perfect place to ride—away from busy streets.

"They usually only ride in the park or in our driveway or maybe on our neighborhood streets," Kristin Kosmides said. "As drivers, we always try to be aware of cyclists on the road."

Chris Kosmides said he is a regular bicyclist and being hit by a vehicle is "something you're always concerned about."

"I've noticed drivers have become more aggressive over the years," he said.

The Towson couple said they've seen an increase of bicyclists and runners on the roads during rush hour and many not taking proper precautions.

In 2009, 630 bicyclists were killed and an additional 51,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes, across the country in 2009, according to AAA. Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, and made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.

The auto club offers safety tips for cyclists and tips for motorists to share the road.

But particularly in the summer, bicycles aren’t the only things for drivers to watch out for. More people are on foot during warm months and drivers are increasingly distracted.

“I think both parties are to blame,” said Jennifer Petrin, a teacher at Old Mill High School. “In the car, people eat, talk on the phone, text—driving is no longer their focus.”

Anyone with information on the July 14 fatal hit-and-run in Brooklyn Park is asked to contact the Anne Arundel County Police Department at 410-222-8610 or the Traffic Safety Section at 410-222-8573.
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Woman Transported to Shock Trauma Following Bicycle Accident

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: While not impossible, this crash with supposedly no vehicle involved sounds suspicious to me. So if any witnesses with contrary information please contact the police or us. ]
By Mary McGuirt

A 28-year-old woman is being flown to the Baltimore Shock Trauma Center following injuries from an apparent bicycle crash, officials from the Annapolis Fire Department said.

Capt. Robert Christian said units responded to the scene at around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The incident occured in front of the 7-Eleven on Taylor Avenue, Christian said. Christian said at this time it has not been determined that the woman was struck by a car, but instead, it appears to have been a crash.

The woman was transported Priority 2 and appears to have been wearing a helmet at the time, Christian said.

At the time of publication, the incident was ongoing and no further information was available.
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Meet the Obscure Unelected Agencies Strangling Many U.S. Cities

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: Did you know that there is a vacant bicycling advocate position in our MPO? (or was last I checked) the significance of that is hinted at by the quote below. ]
by Angie Schmitt

Do you know the name of your local Metropolitan Planning Organization or Council of Government? Most Americans don’t. In fact, most people probably have no idea these agencies even exist, let alone what they do. Yet they are surprisingly powerful and play a substantial role in shaping the places where we live and work.

Led by unelected boards, MPOs and COGs, as they’re known, are a special breed among government agencies. They lack the authority to issue taxes or impose laws. As such, they go largely unmentioned in the media and are mostly unknown to local residents, outside of the most wonkish circles. But the low profile of MPOs and COGs belies their considerable power.

Despite their limitations, they represent the strongest form of regional governance we’ve got in the United States, crossing city and county lines. More importantly, they disperse hundreds of millions of federal transportation dollars annually. MPOs and COGs are powerful forces shaping metro regions. While these agencies often distribute transportation funds more fairly than state DOTs, many of them are structured in a way that favors sprawl and undermines cities.

[B' Spokes: CMAQ is one fund that our MPO has been highlighted as spending a big fat ZERO on bike/ped projects.]
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Teen Cyclist Hit on College Parkway

Biking in the Metro AreaA pick-up truck hit a 16-year-old boy on a bicycle on College Parkway near Pennington Lane around 3:31 p.m. Sunday. According to Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman Steve Thompson, the teen was taken to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.
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Boy Flown to Trauma Center after Edgemere Accident

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: So sad no one taught the kid to ride with traffic and not against traffic. ]
By Ron Cassie
"The child was riding northbound in the southbound of North Point Road on a bicycle," Batton said. "He was struck by a car in the southbound lane, driving southbound."

The boy suffered "very serious" injuries, Batton said, adding that no more information is available at this time.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene. Police investigators arrived on the scene and the investigation is ongoing, but no charges are expected to filed at this time, Batton said.
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Rash of Pedestrian, Bike Accidents in Last Week

Biking in the Metro AreaBy By Tim Lemk of Odenton Patch

Since July 9, county emergency crews have responded to at least five incidents involving a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by a moving vehicle.

Firefighters and police in Anne Arundel County have been busy in recent days responding to several incidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Here are five incidents just in the last 10 days. 

July 9 – A firefighter from Station 26 in Glen Burnie was hospitalized after being struck by a car while on the scene of a fire on Telegraph Road. Police are looking for the driver of a black Mercedes-Benz.

July 12 – Kara Micciche, 17, of Pasadena died after being struck by a car while crossing Ritchie Highway nearly the Earleigh Heights Fire Station in Severna Park. Another teen, 19-year-old Sean Snyder, remains hospitalized. The teens were reportedly not in the crosswalk. Police said they do not anticipate handing down charges on the driver.

July 13 – Robert Ashworth Brown died after being struck by a pickup truck near Montevideo Drive and Montevideo Road in Jessup. Charges are pending against the driver of the truck, Keith Edward Harrell of Jessup. Police said speed and alcohol may have played a role in the accident.

July 14 – Baltimore resident Alex Canales Hernandez, 25, was killed after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle on Ritchie Highway in Brooklyn Park. Police are looking for the driver of a black midsize sedan, possibly a Hyundai Sonata or similar vehicle.

Also on July 14, a Glen Burnie man was struck while riding his bicycle north on Crain Highway. Mario A. Garcia, 41, was taken to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and police are still searching for the driver of a small gray sedan, described as a white man with a beard wearing wire-rimmed glasses and a baseball cap.

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