Baltimore Spokes
Biking in Baltimore
Sign Up!
Welcome to Baltimore Spokes
Sunday, November 23 2014 @ 08:24 AM UTC


View Printable Version

An American tribute to British drivers

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: To make more of point I included (in the read more) a table of road fatality rates per population sorted by the lowest to highest stopping when I came to the U.S.. Or straight to my point, better education makes better drivers.]
I have newfound respect for all the motorists I encounter on British roads. A UK license is basically a PhD in driving

By Judd Birdsall, The Guardian

The United States and the United Kingdom have many important similarities, but a rigorous driving test is not one of them.


To get my American license when I was 16 years old, I had to take a very short multiple choice theory test. Having not studied and never driven, I passed easily. Then I took a practical test that consisted of a 15-minute amble through a flat rural area. I performed poorly, and at the end of my test the examiner turned to me and said, "You really don't know what you're doin', do ya?" And he passed me.

I initially assumed the UK test was comparable to the one across the pond. But then I read that the large majority of UK motorists fail their first driving exam. And I heard horror stories of Americans and other foreigners failing multiple times. I began to study (or "revise" as you Brits say) in earnest.

I'm a doctoral student at Cambridge, and I'm quite sure I prepared much more for my driving tests than I will for my PhD viva next year.

A UK license is basically a PhD in driving.

View Printable Version

Sign of the Times

Biking ElsewhereBy Bob Mionske, Bicycling

“It is better to run over a bicyclest [sic] than to get in a head on accedent [sic] because they don’t share the road.” This was the message that somebody posted on a sign along a rural road in San Diego County in California. Within days, news of the sign had gone viral. Naturally, cyclists were outraged. Had it ever occurred to the sign maker that there was another option available to motorists—to make a legal pass when it is safe to do so? Apparently not. Never mind that the better option was also the only legal option, when there were seconds to save and cyclists to kill.

First, let’s get something straight. Drivers who complain about cyclists aren’t angry just because cyclists break the law. No, drivers are angry because traffic is frustrating and cyclists are an easy target. Drivers are just as angry at the cars that are “in their way,” but they can’t bully other drivers as easily. They might actually face some consequences if they run another car off the road, or ram another vehicle hard enough to kill the driver. But when they do those things to a cyclist, no consequences.

So when the op-ed made the obligatory mention of “scofflaw cyclists,” and advised cyclists to “obey the letter of the law … to help drivers (and police officers) view cyclists as predictable users of the road who deserve respect,” it missed the mark. Yes, cyclists should obey the law. But what about drivers? They are operating lethal machinery, and nobody thinks to take drivers to task for the daily lawbreaking that virtually every driver engages in. Nobody ever suggests that drivers won’t be seen as “legitimate users of the road who deserve respect” until all drivers stop their lawless ways. Nobody would ever dare to post a sign calling for the murder of random motorists because they are “in the way,” and nobody would ever stop to tell a news crew that they agree with the sign because drivers “break the law.”

And let’s face facts here: The majority of bike-car collisions are caused by drivers. And yet, following every collision, the “scofflaw cyclists” meme is trotted out, even when the collision is caused by a law-breaking motorist running down a law-abiding cyclist. Time and time again, most of the national “bikes vs. cars” controversies have nothing to do with scofflaw cycling, and everything to do with scofflaw driving. In short, cyclist lawbreaking is not the root of the problem, and suggesting that cyclists ride lawfully is not the solution to the real problem.
View Printable Version

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: This should apply to just about anyone. Enjoy life!]
by brynnharrington, wellfesto


  • The bike is the new golf course.  Being fit may help you get a seat at the table.  Networking is no longer restricted to the golf course, and the stronger you are – and the more people you can hang with on the road and trail – the more people you’ll meet.
  • Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event.  Being an active person isn’t about taking a class three times a week at the gym.  It’s about things like biking to the grocery store and parking your car in the back of the lot and walking instead of taking a cab and catching up with friends on a hiking trail instead of a bar stool.
  • Health begets health.  Healthy behavior inspires healthy behavior.  Exercise.  Healthy eating.  Solid sleep.  Positive relationships.  These things are all related.
  • Endorphins help you cope.  A good sweat session can clear the slate.  You will have days when nothing seems to go right…when you’re dizzy with frustration or crying in despair.  A workout can often turn things around.
  • Working out signals hard-working.  The discipline required to work out on a regular basis signals success.  Someone recently told me they are way more likely to hire marathon runners and mountain climbers because of the level of commitment that goes into those pursuits.
  • If you feel beautiful, you look beautiful.  Looking beautiful starts on the inside.  And being fit and strong feels beautiful.
  • Nature rules.  And if you’re able to hike/run/bike/swim/ski/snowshoe, you can see more of it.
  • Little eyes are always watching.  We learn from each other.  You may have a daughter—or a niece or a neighbor or a friend – one day.  And that little girl will be watching and listening to everything she you say and do.  What messages do you want her to hear?

View Printable Version

89% of cyclists traveled in a safe and legal manner

Biking Elsewhere

By Leighton Walter Kille, Journalists Resource


Walking, bicycling

  • Between 2000 and 2009, on average 6,067 pedestrians and bicyclists died on U.S. highways and in collisions with other modes of transport. Of these, 4,930 died when hit by cars and trucks operated by private users, 545 deaths resulted from collisions with commercial carriers, and 592 from commercial users not on highways.
  • In all, fatalities of pedestrians and bicyclists make up nearly 15% of annual average highway fatalities. More than 90% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in collisions with automobiles and light trucks.
  • A related study on risk factors for on-road cycling commuters indicated that prior to car-bicycle accidents, 89% of cyclists were traveled in a safe and legal manner. In addition, vehicle drivers were at fault in 87% of the events.


U.S. transportation safety over time: Cars, planes, trains, walking, cycling

View Printable Version

Interesting mode shift by age in Philadelphia

Biking Elsewhereimage

Via Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Transportation & Utilities
View Printable Version

America’s next big rip-off: Cars are the next subprime crisis!

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: This concerns me because if we design the right to travel solely around the automobile then government is subtily coercing the financially vulnerable into making a big mistake.]
With financial firms now pushing strongly into auto loans, here's how Congress is helping car dealers rip you off
View Printable Version

Cops do the darndest things, when it comes to dealing with cyclists and pedestrians

Biking ElsewhereTreehugger list these recent stories:

* You can't walk your kids to school in Cumberland County.
* Charlotte grandma cited for letting kids ride bikes on the street
* In New York, they ticket you for riding in the bike lane
* In London, man carrying kids in cargo bike gets stopped by cops

View Printable Version

4 things U.S. college towns could teach planners about biking

Biking Elsewhereby Michael Andersen, Bike Portland

Here's a secret you won't hear often: The United States has many cities where biking is far more popular than in Portland.

Davis, Calif. - 19.1% of workers commute by bike

Universities breed 20-minute neighborhoods.
Universities create car-free spaces.
Universities use public spaces to enable density.
Universities charge for auto parking.
View Printable Version

NYC DOT Shares Its Five Principles for Designing Safer Streets

Biking Elsewhereby Ben Fried, Streets Blog


  • Make the street easy to use by accommodating desire lines and minimizing the complexity of driving, walking, and biking, thus reducing crash risk by providing a direct, simple way to move through the street network.
  • Create safety in numbers, which makes vulnerable street users such as pedestrians and cyclists more visible. The same design principle, applied to arterial streets when traffic is light, reduces the opportunity for excessive speeds.
  • Make the invisible visible by putting users where they can see each other.
  • Choose quality over quantity so that roadway and intersection geometries serve the first three design principles.
  • Look beyond the (immediate) problem by expanding the focus area if solutions at a particular location can’t be addressed in isolation.

View Printable Version

Activists Take Brooklyn Speed Limit Into Own Hands, Install 20mph Signs in Park Slope

Biking ElsewhereBy KATE HINDS, WNYC

Calling it "a gift to the city," a group of activists changed the speed limit in Park Slope this weekend by hanging rogue 20 mph speed limit signs along Prospect Park West.

Safe streets activists with the group Right of Way installed the signs on Saturday night around 10pm. Organizer Keegan Stephan says the group was motivated by recent pedestrian deaths -- and statistics showing a lower speed limit save lives.

"A pedestrian hit by a car going 20 mph has a 95% chance of survival," he said, who added that a WNYC map showed the city could lower the speed limit to 20 miles per hour across two-thirds of city under current state law. "We don't understand why they're not, (so) we took it upon ourselves."

My Account

Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?


Site Map


There are no upcoming events

Older Stories

Saturday d-M

Friday d-M

Thursday d-M

Saturday d-M

Friday d-M

Thursday d-M

Wednesday d-M


Order: New Views Posts
Latest 5 Forum Posts
Re: Winter riding
 By:  B' Spokes
 On:  Sunday, November 16 2014 @ 05:55 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Winter riding
 By:  nawaz
 On:  Saturday, November 15 2014 @ 05:35 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Halloween Critic..
 By:  nehal
 On:  Saturday, November 01 2014 @ 05:52 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: c-mass winter ri..
 By:  namal
 On:  Saturday, November 01 2014 @ 05:50 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: 6 pack
 By:  Dose123
 On:  Friday, October 24 2014 @ 06:21 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0

Mailing Lists

General Talk
Subscribe Archives Announcements
Subscribe Archives


Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
  •  Strongly disagree
This poll has 0 more questions.
Other polls | 750 votes | 0 comments

The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on State roads
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
This poll has 0 more questions.
Other polls | 785 votes | 3 comments

Who's Online

Guest Users: 271