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Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 07:34 PM UTC


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Real Life on a Bike – Robert Anderson, Maryland's Practical Cyclist

Biking in the Metro AreaRobert Anderson - Real Life on a Bike

Jeff Ouellette

Ellicott City, Columbia, Maryland

By Dena Jackson

The life of Robert Anderson, a practical cyclist, blogger and commuter, changed three years ago after his doctor told him he was pre-diabetic. Some years earlier, Anderson had moved across the country for a career change as a software executive at Vectorworks in Columbia, Maryland.

“When I got the doctor’s bad news, I took up a cycle-commuting habit to improve my health. Now biking is a surprisingly large part of my life and I am surprised how much I enjoy and look forward to it,” he said.

A favorite part of Anderson’s commute is the hills.

“I have five hills going each way, and I can enjoy the vegetation, birds and sky while getting a real workout, and getting my heart rate up,” he said.

In his experience, Anderson said Columbia’s motorists are mostly reasonable and polite, and annoyances on his commute are few. Once in awhile, however, he is chagrined by the occasional car full of young adolescent boys who like to get right up behind him and honk. “It can be a definite nuisance,” said Anderson.

Anderson is so passionate about cycling, he initiated a great bike commuting blog,, and plans to get his League of American Bicyclists Instructor certification so he can open a cycle commuting class at his local community college. Anderson believes sharrows and improved pavement could contribute to a more enjoyable commute.

“Bikes need better paving than cars do. As for people doing great work, I admire the nearby folks in Washington, DC at Bikes for the World ( and think they are doing fantastic work,” he said.

When reading his highly compelling and professional blog, where in one post Anderson salivates over New York City cycling charts, one wonders at Anderson’s exact definition of being a “practical cyclist.”

“I think of practical cycling as cycling that displaces car miles: commuting, errands, anything that you do on a daily and needful basis,” he said.

Two years ago, Anderson struggled to get in 3,000 miles in a year, including recreational rides. Last year, he was able to get almost 3,700 purely “practical” miles under his belt.

Were you to ask Anderson what being a “self-propelled” person means, he might quote you a familiar advertising pitch:

“A decent commuting bike: $700; panniers, pump, lock and patch kit: $100; helmet, gloves and bike shoes: $150; the self-esteem you get from being self-propelled and always being able to wear your ‘skinny jeans’: priceless.”

by Dena Jackson

7/1/10 8:48 PM

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Moped Rider Dies In Howard County Crash

Biking in the Metro AreaCOLUMBIA, M.D. -- A moped crash in Howard County resulted in the death of the rider.

Police said the crash happened at about 12:53 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Tamar Driver and Foreland Garth in Columbia.

Officers said a SUV was turning left from Tamar Drive when it collided with the moped, driven by Mohammed Hammad Chaudhry, 24, of Columbia.

Chaudhry was flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore and later pronounced dead.

Officials said the driver of the SUV, identified as Marganta Gonzalez Cruz, 45, also of Columbia, was uninjured.

The crash is still under investigation.
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HoCo for a Bicycle Master Plan Survey

Biking in the Metro Area

1. If you are a driver, do you feel safe passing cyclists on the section of Folly Quarter Road from the Shepherd Lane traffic circle to the Royal Farms gas station?
2. Have you ever narrowly missed or seen others narrowly miss an accident due to cyclists on roads in Howard County?
3. In your opinion, how necessary are bicycle lanes, widened shoulders, and other accommodations for cyclists in Howard County?
4. Would you be in favor of Howard County creating a Bicycle Master Plan, which would outline a network of bicycle lanes, widened shoulders, and other accommodations for cyclists?
5. Would an elected County official's support for a Bicycle Master Plan be a factor in whether or not you vote for him or her in the next election?
6. Do you identify with Howard County drivers' or cyclists' perspective on the issue of "sharing the road"?
7. If you are a driver, how do you react when you must slow down and drive behind a cyclist while waiting for an opportunity to pass?
8. If you are a cyclist, have you ever feared for your safety while trying to enjoy your hobby in Howard County?
9. What are the most dangerous roads in Howard County for bicyclists and drivers to share, in your opinion?
10. How much would bicycle lanes, widened shoulders, and other accommodations to improve safety conditions for cyclists and motorists impact your enjoyment of driving or biking and therefore of living in Howard County?
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Agenda 07/7/2010: Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Group

Biking in the Metro AreaWEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2010

2700 Lighthouse Point East, Suite 310
Baltimore, MD 21224



2. APPROVAL OF MAY 12, 2010 MINUTES (5 Minutes)


* May 21st Bike to Work Day (10 Minutes)
* Street Smart Regional Safety Campaign (10 Minutes)
* Access to Rail Study/Bike Rack Study (10 Minutes)
* Roundtable Discussion (25 Minutes)


Shannon Sanders McDonald, AIA, Author of a book published by the Urban Land Institute: The Parking Garage: Design and Evolution of a Modern Urban Form discussing its evolution within architecture, planning, the environment and transportation issues in the United States over the last 110 years and into the future.


* Action Plan Update Report Outline (15 Minutes)
* Assignment - Long Range Transportation Goals - DUE in 3 weeks

6. OLD BUSINESS (5 Minutes)

7. NEW BUSINESS (10 Minutes)
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Howard County bike thefts

Biking in the Metro AreaBaltimore Avenue, 14800 block, June 16. While eating at McDonald's, a Laurel man and his son observed two males take their bicycles from the front of the restaurant and ride away. The victims gave chase and one of the males dropped the bicycle and fled on foot. The second male fled with the other bicycle.

Gorman Avenue, 700 block, June 13. Bicycle stolen from a parking lot.
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Baltimore County Police Chief earns NHTSA honor; Data-driven approach increases traffic safety

Biking in the Metro Areaby

One of DOT's greatest assets has been the participation of municipal, county, and state police departments in our traffic safety enforcement efforts. Whether it's "Click It or Ticket," distracted driving, or "Over the Limit, Under Arrest," America's police officers have given the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) their fullest support.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland praises Baltimore County's DDACTS record,
BCPD Chief Jim Johnson (left) and County Exec. James T. Smith, Jr.

And, just a few miles up the road from DC, the Baltimore County Police Department has been one of NHTSA's strongest partners. Two years ago, Chief Jim Johnson volunteered the BCPD to implement a brand new, technological initiative, DDACTS (Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety).

Chief Johnson's department was one of only eight departments nationwide participating in this approach. DDACTS was developed by NHTSA and turned into a pilot program in partnership with the Department of Justice. By mapping crashes together with other incidents, police using DDACTS can identify problem areas as they are beginning to develop. They can then position officers in a highly visible enforcement presence to deter speeding, distracted driving, and unsafe pedestrian behaviors.

Chief Johnson thinks this is common sense:

"Technology is now a vital part of fighting crime. We use it to fight identity theft; we use it to communicate to the public. Now, with DDACTS information, we can deploy our officers and resources in the most effective and efficient way. It really turns our data analysts into keyboard crime fighters."

And, by improving traffic safety through reduced crashes, injuries, and fatalities, a community can also realize reductions in crime. "One helps the other," Chief Johnson says, "because vehicles are often used in the commission of crimes."

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Man and Young Girl Killed in Separate Train-related Pedestrian Accidents

Biking in the Metro Area[B' Spokes: Why would anyone walk on train tracks when there is a perfectly good high speed road with no shoulders or sidewalks to walk on? Oh wait.. never mind. I guess as long as the victims are at fault nobody has to do anything to correct this, right?]
by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Here in Baltimore, we have a range of public transportation choices that make for convenient and relatively comfortable travel throughout the city and environs. Many of the transit lines are handled by light rail and commuter rail services. While these subway and rail lines are very helpful in getting around the city, dangers do lurk on every level crossing and pedestrian crossover. As a Maryland personal injury and auto accident attorney, I understand how a simple walk across railroad tracks can end tragically.

While the railroads provide a fair degree of safety and warning equipment, sometimes that is not enough. Especially for those persons who are distracted from the very real danger of a train collision and its potential for fatal results.

Two relatively recent deaths on railroad tracks in the city point up the importance of remaining aware of one’s surroundings, as well as not taking unnecessary risks whenever near a railroad right-of-way.
According to a news article, a man was struck and killed in mid-January by a southbound Amtrak passenger train just south of the railroad's Aberdeen station. According to reports, officers responded to a call around 2:30pm regarding a body that was seen about 15 feet from the railroad's southbound track in the 600 block of S. Philadelphia Blvd. At the time of the report, police did not know the cause of the accident and were investigating the death.

This accident came just a week after a young high school girl died when she was struck by another Amtrak train near Middle River in Baltimore County. Based on reports at the time, Amtrak and MARC traffic along the Northeast Corridor was disrupted Tuesday, January 5, following the collision that killed 14-year-old Ann Marie Stickel of the 700 block of Maple Crest Drive.

Police reports indicate that the southbound train hit the girl as she and a friend were walking along the tracks with their backs to the oncoming train. The Kenwood High School student and the other girl were not authorized to be on the tracks, according to police. The youngster was later found to be wearing headphones, which prevented her from hearing the train until it was too late.

The girl’s friend, who was not wearing earphones, jumped out of the way just in time. The accident occurred about 11 miles north of Penn Station involving a Northeast Regional train traveling from New York to Washington.
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Police find body along Md. 97, suspect hit-and-run

Biking in the Metro AreaBy Ryan Marshall, Times Staff Writer
Police said James O. Robinette Jr., 40, of the 2000 block of Littlestown Pike, was killed when he was hit by what police believe to be a forest-green 1996 or 1997 Saturn S-1 series four-door sedan or station wagon with gold pinstripes.

He was likely hit early Sunday morning by a vehicle that was northbound on Md. 97, near where he lived with a relative, according to a state police release. Contact information for Robinette's family wasn't available Monday night.
The Saturn likely has heavy front-end damage and is missing a large part of its front fender, along with a side rearview mirror.
UPDATE: Police have released two people who were questioned in a hit-and-run crash that killed a Westminster man without charging either person.

The case will be forwarded to the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office once it's completed for a review and decision on any possible charges.
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Car hits 8-year-old riding her bicycle

Biking in the Metro AreaFORT MEADE — An 8-year-old girl who was struck by a car while riding her bicycle yesterday morning on Fort George G. Meade has been released from a hospital.

The girl collided with a car at about 10 a.m. near Chamberlin Avenue and Huber Road. She suffered multiple fractures and was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital in Baltimore.

Fort Meade emergency service personnel responded to the incident and requested assistance from the Maryland State Police for the airlift. The accident is under investigation. The driver of the vehicle was not charged.
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Baltimore Metro Wheelers Cycling Club

Biking in the Metro Areaby

Another group of cyclists who made Tour dem Parks a group ride is the Baltimore Metro Wheelers Cycling Club. They have a weekly Wednesday ride on the BWI Trail starting from the Dixon Observation Park at 6pm.

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