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How wide is your cyclepath?

Bike Paths[B' Spokes: In Maryland too often the answer is 8' vs the Danish standard of 13' (4 meters)]
When I say that cycle paths here are quite often 4 m wide, I'm quite sure that a lot of people don't believe me.

An amusing way of demonstrating this occurred to me on Saturday. I put my bike sideways on a cycle path which is being resurfaced (so officially out of use, not that this stops many people) in a position where it wouldn't get in the way, but would demonstrate the width.

As you'll see, if it were possible to ride your bike sideways along here, it would still also be possible for someone to ride in the same manner in the opposite direction without any danger of crashing...
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WABA Action Alert: Rock Creek Park Trail

Bike PathsRock Creek Park Trail is in need of some serious upgrades, read more and take action here:
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Debunking the "Trails bring crime" myth. Again

Bike Paths&quot;Local residents gravely predicted the trail would bring crime into their neighborhoods from Hewitt Avenue. But since the trail has been built it has been well received by most area residents as a great new amenity, and the Park Police have found that crime in the area of the trail has gone down.&quot; The Woodside community wound up voting 54-4 to support continued planning on the CCT.
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Get Your Bike Travel Fix on Route 66

Bike PathsFrom

Similar to the flow of motor vehicle travelers along the original “Main Street of America,” the influx of cyclists will provide an economic boost to small communities on the new route. There is growing evidence that touring cyclists spend more time in the towns that they visit, lingering (and spending) more than the average tourist. Wisconsin released a report earlier this year that out-of-state cyclists generate more than $530 million in economic development annually. And according to a 2008 study done along the Great Allegheny Passage (a nearly 150-mile bike trail situated between Cumberland, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), bicycle tourism has become a major economic force. Business owners reported that a quarter of their gross income comes from trail users and two-thirds of the businesses saw an increase in their revenue due to their location on the trail. Despite the economic downturn in 2008, businesses saw an increase in gross revenue attributable to the trail (from $32.6 million in 2007 to $40.6 million in 2008) and paid nearly 20% more wages as a result.

Lon Haldeman, an experienced Route 66 bike tour leader said, “This route can be done as a camping tour in roadside campgrounds, however there are many unique motels along the route which make this a good credit card tour type route. Eating in the old cafes and diners is part of the charm.”
“The vision for Bicycle Route 66 is the same as the original vision for Route 66, which was to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities,” said Ginny Sullivan, special projects director for Adventure Cycling. “Bicycle Route 66 will be a perfect choice for traveling cyclists looking to explore the American heartland’s natural beauty, history, and funky out-of-the-way places.”
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Senator Brochin and Save the Raven

Bike Pathsimage

I know everyone has been anxiously awaiting new information pertaining to single-track trail usage at Loch Raven Reservoir. As everyone knows, it was stated by DPW at the last public meeting that they would have a review of our plan by the end of November. This however did not happen. Due to the overwhelming support from the public in their reach out to Senator Brochin, the Senator called a meeting to talk about the issue at hand.

Today January 11th 2011 I was afforded the chance to sit down with the Senator. The meeting consisted of Gary Nusinov (STR) and Bob Compton (MORE) in the role of “constituents and recreational advocates”, Senator Brochin, representatives from DPW including Director Foxx, Clark Howells, Marcia Collins, Ralph Cullison, Celeste Amato, Frank Boston III (representing UNDER AMOUR), and two gentlemen that I can not remember their names, one from DPW and the other with Mr. Boston.

First let me say what a pleasure it was to meet Senator Brochin. He is very passionate about Loch Raven. He has been on the forefront of issues effecting the watershed for more than twenty years. Mr Brochin clearly stated that the number one threat to Loch Raven is Deer. That statement is backed up by twenty years of DPW science. He lobbied for deer management through three Mayors.

Without going into the whole word for word analysis of the meeting, I will layout the general theme.

DPW presented their view of the history and current state of Loch Raven Reservoir. It was stated that we would not be told what the evaluation of our plan is UNTIL the mayor is informed. A couple of facts were out of place but with so much time between meetings, that is almost expected. However if you would like to see what DPW and John Markley from Baltimore County DEPRM have to say, you can visit (Baltimore Metropolitan Council) and search for articles Titled “Reservoir bike trails RTG brief” by Clark Howells [I think that's the right link] and “Comments on Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Inc. Recreational Trail Use Plan Proposal” by John D. Markley. The comments will astonish you.

Senator Brochin Shortened the DPW presentation in order to let Bob and Gary speak

Bob Compton, Timonium resident and MORE's Co-Chair of the MTB task Force reorganized the history of our plight while placing on the table a stack of support that has come from citizens and businesses in and around Maryland. This included petitions, letters of recommendation, letters of support and some incriminating pictures of some damage done to the reservoir by a local utility company. . Everyone in the room could not believe that the utility company was clearing their easement in the reservoir buffer lands and DPW was not aware. He also stated that DPW plans on hiring a local tree company to widen the woods roads so that two vehicles may pass. Bob mentioned that the Trail plan was handed in to the DPW for review. The reviewing group (Reservoir Technical Group) contained members were that already opposed to bikes in the original meetings so why would they choose any differently now.

Senator Brochin repeated that recreational activity at Loch Raven is something that his constituents are die-hard about. He repeated that the deer are the number one cause of destruction. He requested that before the Mayor is informed from DPW that we all sit in a room and try and work this out and do not leave the room until it is done. He clearly stated that this can be worked out. He offered time at his office in Annapolis for us to meet again in order to solve this mess. Director Foxx said he would still consult with the Mayor first, but agreed that he work tell her that any decision they have come to is not final.

Mr. Boston informed the group of UNDER AMOUR's continued support of proper recreational access at Loch Raven. He stated that he liked the direction that the Senator was moving the conversation.

The DPW theme is that access is not an issue and that the plan that we submitted is only going to be turned down because of the laws that they have to follow, the Buffer Protection Management Ordinance.

Gary Nusinov was then given a chance to speak. Gary presented a pile of DPW's scientific studies and stated that within all of the studies, mountain bikes are not mentioned and that if the problem was that bad, then the bikes would be mentioned separately from recreation. He corrected the assertion that impact is directly correlated to bikes since many trails were in existence well before mountain bikes were invented. He re-stated that the plan that MORE submitted was a trail use plan for all recreation and that DPW had no intention of creating a recreational plan that properly met the needs of all users. Gary then referred to the Buffer Protection and Management Ordinance and read out loud. In a word, trails are allowed in the area and much of the damage we see from DPW in the bufferland is strictly prohibited. An example brought up was the recent dumping of fresh un-compacted asphalt at the head of the trail next to a stream. There was a lot of back and forth talk about some things that came to light such as our impact being equal to only 6 acres, other grandfathered uses, storm-water issues, and the fact that absolutely nobody in the room could disagree with the statement that Loch Raven will be better than it is now if our trail plan is accepted.

The Senator reinforced the fact that he wants to sit down in the next few weeks to hatch this out. It was brought up that the rangers could be doing much more useful things with their time then harassing the citizens and criminalizing them. The Senator read a letter from a doctor who talked about losing weight because of Mountain Biking at Loch Raven and the direct impact that the newly enforced rules would have on him. He continually expressed his opinion that we are all neighbors and that we enjoy Loch Raven and that the DPW is using too much government and it is unnecessary and unreasonable.

The meeting ended with a promise to all get back in the room and work this out, ASAP.

Please everyone show your support for Senator Brochin. His address is 705 York Road, Towson. His email is Please send him a letter of gratitude! Also, there is a town hall meeting tomorrow night Jan 12th (we just heard) about loch raven with Senator Brochin. For questions call 410-823-7087

Small Lecture : The worst thing you can do is create new trails, or use newly created trails! This is the number one argument against all recreation in the bufferland! STOP IT.

Thanks and please show your support for the Senator. I've got feeling...


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College Park - Ongoing Plans to Complete Trolley Trail, but Barriers Stand in the Way

Bike PathsProgress on the incomplete sections of the Trolley Trail are slowly moving forward, but some major roadblocks could significantly delay the day that we see a complete trail extending from the Berwyn neighborhood to the Northwest Branch Trail near Route 1 in Hyattsville. Because the trail runs through portions of College Park, Riverdale Park, and Hyattsville, there are a number of entities fumbling through the funding, design, and construction process. Following is an update on each of the incomplete sections.
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East Coast Greenway Committee Chairs in Maryland

Bike PathsMaryland – Greg Hinchliffe
Greenways advocate, chair for the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (MBAC) in Baltimore also serves on the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Greg, a long-time member of the Maryland Committee for the ECG, stepped up as committee chair in 2004. He’s also a member of our Trail Council and has been a resource for ECG long-distance travelers coming through Baltimore. In the rest of his spare time, Greg chairs the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee in Baltimore, helps coordinate local cycling events, serves on the Gwynn’s Falls Trail Council, and is a member of the Baltimore Bicycling Club, Washington Area Bicycling Association, and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

District of Columbia – Bob Patten
Bob Patten is a Transportation Planner with Toole Design Group and also serves on the ECGA Trail Council. Bob has over 15 years of experience transportation planning, including national policy work with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and local trail planning both as a professional with DC government, and as a volunteer with the Washington Area Bicyclists Association and the Coalition for the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Over the course of his career, Patten founded the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse at RTC, organized a successful campaign to secure $2.5 million in ISTEA funding to complete 13 miles of the 24-mile Anacostia Tributary Trail System in Prince George's County, and became the first full-time trail planner hired by the District of Columbia. Bob is a frequent bike commuter and enjoys coaching his daughter’s soccer team.
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WMRT westward Expansion in EA process

Bike Pathsfrom TheWashCycle by washcycle
The National Park Service has begun the Planning, Environment and Public Comment period on the proposed extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail approximately 15 miles from its present western terminus at Pearre Station to a point near Paw Paw, WV.  This extension will be under the management of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.  Project information is available here.  The Public Comment period is from Nov 16 - Dec 23.  The project needs all the favorable comments it can get.
Note the Topic Questions Instructions here. Those submitting comments are encouraged to answer all, or part of, the six Topic Questions.  Since the Indigo Tunnel detour will use the towpath, it is important that the towpath have a surface that will accommodate road bikes.
There were two public meetings earlier this week which kicked off the comment period. NPS will make its decision next year. If you've never been on the WMRT it's really nice. And this next section will have several bridges - including six over the Potomac river, and two tunnels through the Paw Paw bends. It will also take the trail into West Virginia (and back).
WMRT extension
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Bicycle path on Route 50

Bike Paths...
County Councilman David MacLeod applauded the enhancement of a bicycle path on Route 50 at Route 346, which is slated to be completed by March 2011.

&quot;We recently had the Sea Gull Century, in which 8,000 bikers came to Salisbury, and the new bike path was extremely popular,&quot; he said.
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Word is Spreading about the Trail Summit!

Bike Paths

Please help us make this the best event possible by passing on the information to others who may be interested.  You can cut and paste text below or draft your own copy. This is a great opportunity to collaborate on our shared vision to create a Trail System in Maryland, “second to none.” We are almost half-full!

Again, thanks for registering.

We look forward to seeing you at the Summit.

The Md Trails Summit Team 

Greetings Trail Enthusiast! 



The Maryland Trails Summit:

Sharing the Vision-Making the Connections

October 19, 2010


The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proud to announce that the Maryland Trail Summit will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at the Holiday Inn BWI Airport in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. The Summit will bring together trail users from all over the State to discuss the future of trails in Maryland, preview an interactive map and Website, work on regional projects, network with other trail users and planners, learn about trails in neighboring states and much more!

This opportunity is not to be missed. This 1-day event is the culmination of ideas and input from the four Regional Roundtables that DNR hosted this past summer. If you are a commuter, boater, bicyclist, roller-blader, hiker, walker, skier, jogger, pet lover, paddler, camper, birder, off-road vehicle rider, equestrian, or anyone else that has an interest in trails in Maryland this is the event for you!

Maryland’s very first trail summit is just around the bend, so complete your online registration and come prepared to learn and discuss the future of trails in Maryland. We hope to see you there! 

Limited Space – Register online today to assure your seat!

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