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Thursday, July 31 2014 @ 11:38 PM UTC


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Howard County survey

Biking in the Metro AreaSome of you may know the BAHC president, Jack Guarneri. We are trying to get a survey going to rate roads in Howard County. Participation is not quite what we hoped for. If any of you ride Howard County roads, can you give us some feedback? (the survey is Howard County only...we are trying to stay focused.)
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\"\'Cross my Heart\" and the SUPERBOWL of SINGLESPEED CX

Biking in the Metro Areaimage

"'Cross my Heart" and the SUPERBOWL of SINGLESPEED CX
Presented by
Proteus Bicycles

College Park, MD

Sunday, February 01, 2009
Online Registration Will Open
Thursday, January 01, 2009 at 8:00 AM ET
Men's 1,2,3
10:00 AM 
merch top 3 
Men's 2,3,4
11:00 AM 
merch top3 
Men's Cat 4
12:00 PM 
prizes top 3 
Women's 1,2
1:00 PM 
merch top 3 
Women's 3,4
1:00 PM 
merch top 3 
Under 16
1:02 PM 
prizes top 6 
Singlespeed only
2:10 PM 
merch top 3 

The Race:

It’s always a sad goodbye when cyclocross season ends. We're having a post-season race for fun to keep things rolling a little longer.  But we’re doing things a little bit differently: The Elites always get to sleep in, so we’re going to run the race order backwards so the "little guys" can catch a break for once.  In addition to the "normal" categories, we also added a Singlespeed only category. Now, this isn’t Portland, so there won’t be any Tequila shots on the course or anything like that, but this is still your chance to show why Singlespeed Cyclocross is a special kind of riding reserved for only the extremely strong, stubborn or stupid.

Pint glasses:  Free pint glasses for the first 25 pre-registered participants.  Additional glasses will be available for purchase.  

The Course:

Expect some fast pavement, a fair amount of trails through the woods, stairs, gravel, some off camber portions and a few fun descents. No promises, but we are also working very hard on getting a snow machine in case mother nature doesn’t give us any.

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Bus driver Training

Biking in the Metro AreaCommercial Driver's License (CDL) Manual

Currently Maryland's (and most likely other States as well) the CDL Manual says that bicyclists are hazards and that truck drivers should honk at them (ok, in the manual it says tap the horn lightly but still that is totally bogus safety information.)

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in their Bike Friendly States (BFS) program had this question:
In the state driver's CDL testing and manual are questions and information regarding motorists rights and responsibilities toward bicyclists included?
Which to me implies that there is something better out their then what Maryland has.

We just got this response back from someone at MVA:
Sorry this is a week later, but wanted to be sure I passed along this information with reference to the CDL Manual. It was suggested in the email discussion to update the CDL manual. In fact, Maryland's CDL manual is modeled on the AAMVA manual (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrations), and the sections mentioned in the email discussion regarding bicycles are actually taken word for word from the AAMVA model. There is a new version being printed this month with changes as a result of national model changes. I double-checked before sending this, and the new version of the CDL manual will have the same language on bicycles.

Because the verbage is basically handed down to us, any updates to the manual are definitely not something that could be easily changed -- likely, any request for changes would have to work their way through nationally. It may seem unfriendly for trucks to blow their horn (or tap it lightly) at bicycles to make them aware of a truck behind them (getting ready to pass), and for bicycles to be listed as a potential hazard to trucks, but certainly the national model to teach truck drivers how to drive safely would not suggest harrassment of bicycles. Both of these sections mentioned are from the section on "Driving Safely" -- with the first under "Communicating Your Presence" and the second under "Seeing Hazards."
This seems to imply that Maryland has the "best" standard CDL manual.
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BAHC plans, activities and initiatives.

Biking in the Metro AreaHappy Holidays to All Howard County Cyclists! Although it is the off season (for many but not all of us) BAHC is planning for Spring and for future activities and initiatives.

Road Survey: Below is a link for a road survey for the bike-ability of Howard County roads. The primary purpose is to identify which roads are unsafe or in poor condition so we can target those with HC Public Works and Highways. We discovered last year that adding shoulders on some roads or modifying existing designs is difficult, but we want the County Government to be aware of our concerns as cyclists.

Club representatives please post on your message boards and send link to your listserves. If has difficulty with the survey or just wants to provide a an evaluation of the the 3 worst roads (for recreational cycling or commuting) you can also send information in an e-mail to: ichuck"at"

Road Rage: Bill Kelly of the BAHC Board has arranged for Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon (who is a cyclist) to attend our next Board meeting on Jan 12th. If you have any questions on how to report incidents with drivers or concern for how law enforcement in the County supports cycling please e-mail me (jackguarneri"at" I'll ensure issues are brought up and will provide a post-meeting summary of our discussion.
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T4 America Ready to Go List

Biking in the Metro AreaOne criteria that the traffic folks use to establish need is the dollar amount of non-funded projects. No projects, no need so no funding. Which for cyclists then means no projects because of no funds and the cycle repeats. So with a envious eye on what is happening not that far away (and hopping to get this kind of energy here) here is what's happening in the DC area:
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14-Year-Old Dies After Being Struck By SUV

Biking in the Metro AreaNo Word On If Driver Will Be Charged In Crash

MIDDLE RIVER, Md. -- A 14-year-old boy is dead after being struck by a sport utility vehicle on Friday evening.

Baltimore County Police said that Blaine Sunowitz was riding his bike when he was hit by a Dodge Dakota near the intersection of Martin Boulevard and Middle River Road.

Sunowitz was taken to Franklin Square Hospital for treatment where he later died.
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BikePed Beacon -- November 2008

Biking in the Metro Area


November 2008 
StreetSmart Campaign
Cities Struggling to Create Bike-Sharing Programs
Pedestrian Forum - Fall 2008
U.S. Bicycle Route System
Financial Bailout Includes Tax Break for Bicycle Commuters
Implementing Smart Growth Streets
Active Transportation for America
A Regional Bike and Pedestrian Newsflash  Greetings!
The following newsflash from the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board details current news, events, etc. in regards to biking and walking both in and around the Baltimore region.

The information found in the newsflash is informative; it could inspire some to become more involved in the process of improving conditions for biking and walking.

Or it could inspire a bike ride or a walk...

Amber Blake
BikePed ED

  Upcoming Meetings    Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Group January 7th at 1:00 PM at BMC (2700 Lighthouse Point East, Suite 310, Baltimore) 
All are welcome.     
>>See the Agenda and Past Minutes
BRTB meeting with elected officials
December 2, 2008 at 5 PM at BMC  (2700 Lighthouse Point East, Suite 310, Baltimore) 
Agenda will be posted 2 weeks in advance on BMC site. 
All are welcome.  Public comment opportunity at beginning of meeting.

Focus groupOpening for Citizen Member on the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Group 

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) is currently seeking a volunteer to sit on the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Group (BPAG), to represent citizen interests related to bicycle and pedestrian planning in the region.   
The primary role of the BPAG is provide advice and assistance to the Technical Committee concerning bicycle and pedestrian projects, and update and evaluate the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.  
The BPAG is an appointed committee of the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board.  The citizen members will serve a two-year term, starting in February 2009.
For more information or to apply to serve on the BPAG, contact Amber Blake at or 410-732-0500 x1030 or download an application at


 >> Learn More About BPAG

StreetSmart Campaign


Street Smart is an annual public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign in the Washington, DC, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia area. Since its beginning in 2002, the campaign has used radio, newspaper, and transit advertising, public awareness efforts, and added law enforcement, to respond to the challenges of pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The Street Smart program emphasizes education of motorists and pedestrians through mass media. It is meant to complement, not replace, the efforts of state and local governments and agencies to build safer streets and sidewalks, enforce laws, and train better drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

The program is coordinated by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), and is supported by federal funds made available through state governments, and funding from some TPB member jurisdictions.

Cities Struggling to Create Bike-Sharing Programs    Bike-shareWatching the success of a massive bicycle-sharing program in Paris, where more than 20,000 bikes are now available for public use at self-service racks, several large U.S. cities have been exploring launching such service. Enthusiasm to reduce traffic congestion and pollution through greater bicycle use is being tempered by questions over funding and liability concerns, however.
Early bike-sharing efforts involved placing donated or unclaimed lost bikes around the city and relying on the honor system that users would return them. Many end up being stolen, however. So, following the Paris model, cities are now looking at more high-tech systems that require swiping a credit or membership card to guarantee the bike's return.  

Washington became the first American city to start such a program in August. Jim Sebastian, District of Columbia Transportation Department planner, said more than 900 users have signed up so far with an average of 150 daily rides among the 100 bicycles in service. Only one has been stolen and that user was billed $550 for a replacement bike, USA Today reported. The D.C. program is funded by Clear Channel Outdoor under an agreement that gives the company advertising rights on the city's bus stops.
Transportation officials in other cities including Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco are studying the Paris and Washington programs in hopes of starting up similar services. But efforts are being slowed in Boston by liability issues over who would be at fault if a bike-sharing user gets injured while using the service, in Chicago by funding questions, and in San Francisco by anti-bicycle activists who sued the city to halt construction of bike lanes until the impact on automobile traffic could be properly studied.

Pedestrian Forum - Fall 2008   
Department of Transportation.  United States of America  
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released the latest issue of its quarterly newsletter that highlights recent pedestrian safety activities related to the 4 E's-engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency services.

Articles include:
  • FHWA Safety Policy Memo Contains Provisions for Pedestrians 
  • Developing an Effective Measure of Pedestrian and Bicycle Exposure to Risk 
  • Evaluation of the Miami-Dade Pedestrian Safety Demonstration Project 
  • NHTSA Report on the Evaluation of Safety Benefits of Legacy Safe Routes to School Programs 
  • National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior Results Finally Released 
  • NHTSA Conducts Pedestrian Assessment in Nevada 
  • NHTSA Releases National Pedestrian Crash Report 
  • Pedestrian Road Safety Audits Conducted in California and New Jersey 

A U.S. Bicycle Route System
Bike Routes USAAn official U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) could help make the United States' cycling infrastructure more competitive with these other expansive route networks. Given the sheer size of the U.S., the USBRS could become the largest cycling network in the world.

Adventure Cycling Association and several other organizations have teamed up with AASHTO (American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials) to develop such a system.

With staff support from Adventure Cycling AASHTO's Tasl Force on U.S. Bicycle Routes has developed a corridor-level plan and designation system. The Corridor Plan was just approved by the Executive Board of Directors at the AASHTO Annual Meeting. Similar to La Route Verte, the vision of the USBRS is to create a seamless rural-suburban-urban cycling experience.

Financial Bailout Bill Includes Tax Break for Bicycle Commuters  

Bike to work
Tucked in the $700 billion bailout bill intended to help the nation's financial sector is a small provision to help promote bicycling to work.

Starting in January, bicyclists will be eligible for a $20-per-month tax-free reimbursement from their employers for bike-related expenses, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Employers who choose to participate in the voluntary program will be able to deduct the expenses from their federal taxes. The money could be used to purchase, store, maintain, or repair bikes that are used for a substantial portion of an employee's commute.
Bike advocates worked for seven years to get such a provision approved by Congress. The bicycle benefit was championed by members of the Oregon delegation, who squeezed it into the mammoth bailout bill signed Oct. 3 by President Bush. Supporters estimate the federal government will lose about $1 million a year in tax revenue as a result of the new benefit, with the exact amount depending on how many companies decide to offer the money to their employees (Source: AASHTO Journal Oct. 16, 2008 Page 10).

Implementing Smart Growth Streets
Smart Growth
The U.S. EPA Office of Development, Community and Environment (widely known as the ''Smart Growth'' office) is sponsoring a study on ''Implementing Smart Growth Streets'' that is being conducted by ICF International and Ellen Greenberg. Readers of Smart Growth Online are invited to participate in this work by bringing candidate case studies to the attention of the project team.

The project, which is in its initial phases, is using the following summary definition of smart growth streets: ''Smart Growth Streets are roadways designed and operated to support compact communities while promoting least-polluting transportation performance and preserving environmental resources within and beyond the right of way.''

Study organizers are seeking exemplary cases that demonstrate innovation, quality, and replicable results with respect to one or more of the principles. It is not expected that each case study will illustrate all of the principles. The study is focusing on documenting such examples, as well as on the implementation activities and institutional arrangements that are leading to positive outcomes.

Rails to Trails ReportActive Transportation for America:  A Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking.    
A 48-Page Report by Rails-to-Trails   "This report quantifies, for the first time, the benefits that America can expect from elevating the priority of bicycling and walking in our nation's transportation system.

This case statement for increased investment in bicycling and walking infrastructure evaluates benefits in the areas of transportation, oil dependence, climate change, and public health, and puts dollar estimates to the economic value of these benefits. Benefits from bicycling and walking are quantified for the status quo, and for prospective increases in bicycling and walking under a Modest Scenario and a Substantial Scenario for the future.

The analysis concludes that modest increases in bicycling and walking could lead to an annual reduction of 70 billion miles of automobile travel. More substantial increases could lead to the avoidance of 200 billion miles per year."  (Excerpt from the Executive Summary of the Report)
  >> Read the Report
In The News
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BMC Logo                            Amber Blake
              Baltimore Metropolitan Council
              410-732-0500 x1030
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Cyclocross race this Sunday

Biking in the Metro AreaI thought I would share that the Howard County Recreation and Parks Department, in conjunction with Lateral Stress Velo, is hosting a cyclocross race in Rockburn Branch Park this Sunday. The Rec & Parks Dept. has been is very enthusiastic about expanding its offerings for cycling, and I hope some of you will be able to come out and support the event--or even participate! In particular, we will be having a Free "Li'l Belgians" race for kids ages 9 and under at 1:00 pm. The only requirement is that kids must have a helmet, and parents must sign a release at registration.
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MD 25 - Falls Road construction

Biking in the Metro AreaAs part of our ongoing highway maintenance program, the State Highway Administration (SHA) is beginning a project to repair, resurface and improve safety along approximately 16 miles of MD 25 (Falls Road) between the I-695 interchange and Mount Carmel Road . Five segments of Falls Road will be repaired, milled and repaved during the next several months as weather conditions permit. The entire $4 million project is slated for completion in late Spring 2009.

Nighttime work is underway on the first segment, from I-695 to north of Seminary Avenue . Lane closures with flagging operations will occur nightly Sunday - Thursday between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. (Repairs, Milling and Repaving Fall 2008)
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Biking in the Metro AreaConsolidated Transportation Program Details Future Transportation Projects

Maryland has a unique process to gather public input from every jurisdiction, a process stipulated by State law, requiring the Secretary of Transportation to visit with, and present to each of the State's jurisdictions, the Draft Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), for comment. This process is known as the Secretary's Annual Capital Program Tour.

The CTP is a detailed listing with descriptions of the capital projects that are proposed for construction, or for development and evaluation during the next six-year period.

Each year this report is developed in draft form and presented to every jurisdiction during the fall. Following distribution of the draft document, Maryland Department of Transportation representatives visit each jurisdiction both to present and to receive comments on the program. Following the tour, the CTP is prepared in final form for presentation to the General Assembly in January.

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