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Saturday, October 25 2014 @ 04:46 PM UTC

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Race Pace Busts Bike Thief!

Biking in the Metro AreaBy Race Pace, via Facebook

A series of events unfolded at one of our stores yesterday...it went a little something like this:
-Mr. Thief brings a bike to a local shop, who notes shifty eyes and a fishy story, and that shop refers the customer to our store.
-Our staff greets the guy and begins the stall process.
-Another of our mechanics contacts the manufacturer, who tells us the shop that originally purchased it.
-We call that shop and get contact info for the person who bought it last month
-We call that customer, who didn't know his bike had been stolen, and they call the police to file a report.
-We call the police, and they drop by to pick up Mr. Thief and his pocket full of drugs.
Blam! The streets are safer - go bike them!
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Connect Downtown Columbia with Lake Elkhorn

Biking in the Metro AreaVia: Let's Make Columbia Awesome

image
It's budget season for Howard County Government, and there are a few notable projects in the proposed budget that could help make Columbia awesome. We're particularly excited about a proposed pathway (pictured) that would connect Downtown Columbia with Lake Elkhorn and the Patuxent Branch Trail that runs all the way to Savage. There is also funding to continue construction at Blandair Park and for renovations at the Central and East Columbia Libraries.

If you support any of the projects, please make your voice heard! Attend the public hearing on March 11 or submit testimony online here: http://www.howardcountymd.gov/budgettestimony.htm All you need to say is: "I support the Patuxent Branch Trail Extension/Library improvements/Blandair Park because it/they would help make Columbia awesome!"

Yes, it's that easy. And yes, you will make a difference.
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Proteus & Community Events

Biking in the Metro Area
Proteus & Community Events
We have lots of things going on at the shop and in the community. See our events calendar for updates and more information.
 Saturday, March 9, 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM -  FASHION SHOW This isn't your ordinary fashion show. This is fashion - Proteus style! Our staff and customers will be modeling new spring bike gear by Club Ride, Mavic, Endura, and Garneau while we eat, drink, and groove to tunes by Jerry Turner at the turntable. This event is a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure. Donate $10 or more and we'll give you a coupon for $10 off on the purchase of $100 or more of our new spring gear. More info to come!

Tuesday, March 12 (time TBA) the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington (SHROW) will be coming through Proteus. On March 9, 26 cyclists will ride from Sandy Hook School to the Capitol in support of common sense gun safety legislation. They'll be stopping by the shop to refuel and pick up more riders on their way into DC. We'll let you know when we have more details. We'd love to see a big turnout to support these riders and their cause. Show your solidarity with this worthy cause by purchasing a SHROW top tube sticker for $5 to help the group with fundraising to defray the costs of the ride. 

On Saturday, May 18th Proteus is participating in the Chesapeake Tour de Cure in beautiful Easton, MD. Join our team, "The Proteus Herd" for a beautiful ride on the Eastern Shore. This is a really fun, well-run event - and for a great cause! There are several ride options, including a century. As an added incentive to join us, Proteus will be offering some specials on Pro-Fits and tune-ups to TDC participants as we get closer to the event date.

On Sunday, May 26th, Proteus will be joining the folks at the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, Inc (ATHA) for a Bike Rally along the beautiful tributary trails in P.G. County. This is a family friendly ride that will highlight  transportation, shopping, and eating that is easily bike accessible. Route and details will be coming soon.

Continuing events:
  • Thursday night Pot Luck 7-9 pm
  • Tuesday Community Yoga 7-8:30 pm 
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Harford County Bike and Pedestrian Plan (Focus Group Comments)

Biking in the Metro AreaThis interactive map has been provided by Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning to gather comments from the public to help develop the new Harford County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. We are looking for information about streets and routes that you use, routes you believe are bicycle-friendly, or un-friendly, and areas where you think improvements are needed. The comments will be gathered and used in the planning process that is underway to develop the Harford County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
...

http://www.communitywalk.com/map/index/1492461
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MARYLAND BIKE ROUTE: COLUMBIA TO FORT MEADE

Biking in the Metro Area

In 2010, the Bicycle Advocates of Howard County partnered with the Howard County Department of Public Transportation and approached the state with an idea for a connection between Columbia to Fort Meade. A large portion of the employees that work in and around Fort Meade (the State’s largest employment center), live in and around Columbia . With the growing congestion on the roadways, many find it more enjoyable to commute via bicycle, however, finding a comfortable route is often challenging. SHA, with the support of the Maryland Department of Transportation, is working to identify and sign a suitable route for commuting cyclists. After in-depth investigation of many possible routes, SHA, in coordination with Howard County and the Bicycle Advocates of Howard County (BAHC) have developed a route that we feel is the most comfortable and most feasible route in this corridor (PDF, 11 MB).

This route, displayed in solid red, is designed for bicycle commuters with some riding experience that travel from the Columbia area along the MD 32 corridor. Depending on their skill and comfort level, some riders may prefer alternate routes; however, this road is currently agreed to be both reasonably comfortable and direct. The route is intended to behave as a trunk route to carry cyclists from the Columbia area to the Fort Meade area. Future routes can spur from this route to reach additional populations more directly.

Using grant money from Maryland’s Bikeways Program, the route will be signed and limited striping may be installed. Upon implementation, the route will provide directional guidance for cyclists and increase motorist awareness of bicycle travel. It will also be prioritized on Maryland’s statewide bicycle network as a priority bicycle route. This recognition will help the route receive additional funding to address remaining safety and comfort deficiencies for cyclists along the route. In essence, the goal of this route, along with the others, is to develop a system of bicycle trunks throughout Maryland connecting points of major key interest.

PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS ON THE ROUTE HERE

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Harford bicycle, pedestrian master plan available for review

Biking in the Metro AreaBaltimore Sun

The draft of the 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is available for public review and comment on the department's website, http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/planningzoning, and at the Department of Planning and Zoning office at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air.
...

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-01-09/explore/ph-ag-bicycle-master-plan-0102-20130109_1_harford-county-public-review-open-house
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County Asks For Input On Loch Raven Watershed Protection

Biking in the Metro AreaA meeting will be held in Glen Arm on Jan. 23.
By Nick Gestido, Patch

Baltimore County is looking for input from the public as they launch an effort to improve the Loch Raven watershed along the east side of the reservoir.

A meeting will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 23 at St. John's Lutheran Church (13300 Manor Road) to share information about and hear public contributions to a new Small Watershed Action Plan.

The plan is being introduced by the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainablility and the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, a local nonprofit.

Upcoming restoration efforts, including those aimed at restoring the health of streams and improving the quality of drinking water, will be guided by the Small Watershed Action Plan, according to a news release from the county.

The planning area encompasses the east side of Loch Raven Reservoir north to Jacksonville and Phoenix and east to Manor Road, the release states.

For more information, call Erin Wisnieski at 410-887-5683.
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SeeClickFix's Best Year Yet! Kudos Howard County

Biking in the Metro Area One of the frustrations of being a cyclist in a car centric world is trying to get road hazards fixed. Supposed you found a hazard in the shoulder and reported it, the crew inspects it and thinks to themselves "I don't see how this is a hazard to motor vehicles." so resolves the repair order without doing a darn thing.

Storm grates can be another issue as some Public Works engineers have been taught that hazardous grates for cyclists are the best "for hydraulic flow".

In short flagging a request as a cycling issue which goes to a person in government who understands cycling issues would be very helpful. To that end I'll highlight how will this works in Howard County http://seeclickfix.com/issues/220714?utm_source=activity_notice&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pois

Wouldn't be nice if more counties joined the SeeClickfix system? I think so. I'll note the system is stet up with geographical boundaries for each of the counties so it's easy to set up. From SeeClickfix newsletter:


What we built with you and your government:

The SeeClickFix Dashboard is now being used by 135 City Clients and includes a boatload of new features including the ability to assign and re-categorize issues, create work orders and generate beautiful reports.

We have whitelabeled our marketplace mobile applications for a number of cities and one State so that the app is searchable under their brand and keywords. This month we also released the ability to add additional information pages to your custom application dynamically through our easy to use content management system.  

We have started to test a knowledge base and question and answer platform in select cities to help citizens and governments learn from each other in a scalable way that saves money and easy to implement.  Two cities have already signed on for early launch and we’re still accepting early adopters at a discounted rate.

We are also starting to experiment with crowdfunding and have helped to successfully fund a few projects in New Haven.

Some Partner City Highlights

The Cities of Minneapolis and Oakland have been longtime users of SeeClickFix and this year both Cities launched deeper integrations with the platform and became clients. In Minneapolis we launched marketplace mobile applications for the city and in Oakland we integrated with their CityWorks Work order system.  Richmond, VA, Surrey British Columbia and a number of other towns  also became clients of our CityWorks connect offering.  Washington DC also launched their marketplace mobile applications with SeeClickFix and have done a tremendous job marketing the apps on subway posters and parking meter stickers.  We also launched connections with Chicago 311 and Toronto 311 and assisted many small towns and FEMA during Hurricane Sandy.  As a result of the Toronto 311 connection we also launched our largest media partner the Toronto Star who just listed SeeClickFix as the best thing they’ve done all year. All in all 15 Million new citizens were affected by these new relationships around the globe.  

The new year will start off with a bang as well as we launch marketplace mobile applications and integrate with Houston’s CRM Kana, an integration with Oracle in Albuquerque and with 35 towns in Massachusetts through the Commonwealth Connect application that we have built for the State.  There also were a number of deals signed at the end of 2012 from California to North Carolina that we have not let the cat out of the bag yet on.  Stay tuned for those!

User Highlights

5 years on the job and still my favorite part of working at SeeClickFix is witnessing the anecdotal evidence that SeeClickFix is enabling collaboration between citizens and governments. Each of the resolved 200,000 issues are a little neighborhood victory, and they all deserve to be celebrated.  A few of our favorites fixes from 2012:

The Long Awaited Left Turn: A persistent Mom improved the safety of an intersection near a school after a year of work.

Giving a Hoot: An owl family was saved thanks to a diligent Park Ranger. 

Spring Cleaning with SeeClickFix: A town in Canada uses SeeClickFix to coordinate its yearly clean up efforts.

As the first full-time employee at SeeClickFix the most remarkable thing for me has been watching the growth of the team to fifteen full-time employees. Those 15 folks are dedicating their lives to helping you make your neighborhoods better. If you want to help them we’d love it if you would introduce SeeClickFix to your neighbors or your local government. If you are in local government we’d love to show you all that has been built in the last year. We think you’ll like it.  You can email me or contact the team at contact@seeclickfix.com.

Happy Holidays and here’s to collaboratively improving neighborhoods in 2013!
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Lessons Leaned in Creating Bike Master Plans

Biking in the Metro AreaB' Spokes: Since we have several areas developing Bike Master Plans this article by Richard Layman is a recommended read for those involved in the process. Some highlights from the article:

I often make the point that plans are beginnings, not endpoints.

government is about "sustained efforts."

prepared advocates poised to act are key.

if you want to improve the situation for whatever you are advocating for, YOU NEED AN AGENDA, one that is clear, cogent, and ideally comprehensive and complete.

If you don't identify the gaps, I guarantee they will never be corrected.
[B' Spokes: I'll also echo the importance of this as too often "what can easily be done" takes focus over "what needs to be done."]

http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-western-baltimore-county-pedestrian.html
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Balt. Co. Council approval keeps path for cyclists and pedestrians clear

Biking in the Metro AreaBy Mary K. Tilghman, Baltimore Sun

...
One local example is bike lanes that will be designated along Edmondson Avenue in Catonsville, probably in the spring, she said.

Thanks to the efforts of Catonsville Rails to Trails, a bike lane was added to the Frederick Road bridge over the Baltimore Beltway as part of that construction project.

Some streets will be considered "signature streets" designed to accommodate many modes of travel as well as provide amenities that will make them more aesthetically pleasing. They should be walkable, ridable and be on transit routes.

Rolling Road in Catonsville is one of three designated signature streets in the county.
...
Annapolis Road in Baltimore Highlands and stretches of Sulphur Spring Road, Wilkens Avenue and Maiden Choice Lane in Arbutus received top priority for bike lane designation. So did parts of Hollins Ferry Road in Lansdowne.

In Catonsville, sections of North Rolling and South Rolling were listed for bike lanes, as were Winters Lane, Edmondson Avenue and Bloomsbury Avenue.

Roads that connect to parks, bus stops and train stations, schools and existing bike paths also were given a number one priority for bike lanes and signage.

Sidewalk improvements got top priority in Catonsville on parts of Frederick Road, North and South Rolling Road, Old Frederick Road, Edmondson Avenue and Ingleside Avenue and parts of Sulphur Spring Road, Leeds Avenue, Maiden Choice Lane, Selma Avenue and Winans Avenue in Arbutus.

Among the paths listed for needing improvements to make them attractive to both cyclists and pedestrians were the three converted trolley trails in the area, trails in Patapsco Valley State Park, the Catonsville Park Trail and Banneker Community Center Trail.

In addition, other needs identified included bus shelters, crosswalks and ramps in neighborhoods as well as on the campuses of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville.
...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/baltimorecounty/news/ph-ca-at-bike-ped-20121127,0,6293734.story

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