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Wednesday, April 23 2014 @ 10:24 PM UTC


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How to enforce 3-foot passing law to protect bicyclists

News you will not see in MarylandTo those who say that laws requiring motorists to give bicycles a 3-foot gap when passing are unenforceable, consider what police in Austin, Texas, are doing.
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News you will not see in Maryland[B'Spokes: We need something like this here, beginning of the school year means more auto traffic, more cyclists and more pedestrians. People need to be aware of the change and everyone has a right-of-way and to respect that.]
-> According to an August 19th TxDOT release, "Back-to-school means back-to-traffic, and as students return to the classroom this fall, the Texas Department of Transportation calls on drivers to 'Drive Friendly. Drive Safe' to reduce crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

"In 2012, vehicles on Texas roads struck more than 5,000 pedestrians resulting in 2,962 serious injuries and 481 fatalities. Vehicles also struck more than 2,000 bicyclists resulting in 1,450 serious injuries and 56 fatalities. Compared with the previous year, 2012 saw a 13.2 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities and a 19.1 percent increase in bicyclist fatalities..."


from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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What to do when the street is closed to cars

News you will not see in Marylandimage

Via Cyclovia Tucson
[B' Spokes: With the Grand Prix creating a traffic nightmare it would be cool if affected business would do something like what they are doing in Tucson for this street closing for repaving. We need more thinking along the lines "If cars are advised to avoid, invite the bicyclists and pedestrians to come and make up the difference. :D ]
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SFPD Now Shaming Bike Thieves On Twitter

News you will not see in Marylandimage

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Austin police stepping up enforcement of safe-passing law

News you will not see in MarylandBy Pam LeBlanc, FIT CITY

Because it’s hard to enforce safe passing on a day-to-day basis, Austin police set up special operations like this one to watch for violations. Today’s is the sixth such operation, and more are planned.

“It’s part of our initiative to make Austin streets a safer place to ride a bicycle,” says Austin Police Sgt. James Dixon, who is heading the day’s effort. “It’s really important that we educate people that we are out here and going to enforce this whenever we can for safety.”

Typically, two undercover officers head out on bikes. They ride single file up and down a short stretch of road, waiting for motorists to pass. Officers in patrol cars pull over those who get too close, issuing warnings or citations based on the severity of the violation.

Before they hit the streets, the undercover cyclists practice judging the 3-foot distance by setting up a pole and riding past it. They measure the distance from the end of the handlebar to the farthest part of vehicle — usually the mirror. GoPro video cameras mounted on the bike record everything.

“If I were riding along and could reach out and touch the mirror, those get a citation,” says Cunningham, who was a cyclist before she became a police officer. “If it’s one we feel is right on the cusp, we give a warning.”
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Operation Safe Summer: Police Reward Kids For Wearing Helmets With Ice Cream

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: I love the idea of positive reinforcement, seriously why not reward people for doing behavior that you want instead of only punishing the behavior that you don't want? This goes double for bicycling! We want to see more people on bikes, less traffic, more parking, better health... So instead of trying to making stupid laws that require everyone to wear helmets, just encourage their use, like they have done here. And while we are on positive reinforcement I'' remind you of an old post "The Speed Camera Lottery [video]" ]
Via Huffington Post

Police Chief David Oliver wrote his new policy on Facebook last week:

"Effective next week, my officers will have a quota for least one per shift. We are going to be profiling, too. We will target a specific group, with the express purpose of writing as many tickets as possible. I am strongly encouraging my officers to write as many as they can, every shift, every is called operation Safe Summer..."

Officers are targeting kids 12 and under. If a cop spots a child wearing a bike helmet while riding, that suspect will be stopped and issued a ticket. And what is that ticket good for? One free ice cream cone from Franks Drive-in.

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Police Scotland nabs dodgy drivers in crackdown to protect vulnerable road users

News you will not see in MarylandPolice detect almost 3000 offences in just one week including speeding, dangerous driving, and using a mobile phone while driving

[B' Spokes: I would love to see such a crack down here.]
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Risk Alert: BEWARE OF BICYCLISTS!—Pedaling Popularity Poses Perils [video]

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: This is way better than anything Maryland has done for commercial truck drivers and bus drivers!]
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TfL plans to fine motorists and dock points from licences for ignoring Advanced Stop Lines

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: Here's some ideas that might help make Maryland a bit safer for non-motorists.]
By Simon_MacMichael,

London’s Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, plans to deploy CCTV cameras to catch motorists illegally entering Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs), with transgressors being fined £60 and having 3 penalty points put on their driving licence.

“We know how many cars go into advance stop boxes — probably more than 50 per cent of the time. Maybe they don’t known they are meant to stay out of them.

“At present, you have to have a police officer standing at the junction or in a police car. What we can do is stick a camera up and do automatic enforcement. That will sort out the problem.”

The Standard points out that fines imposed on drivers for ignoring ASLs or mandatory cycle lanes [cars entering bike lanes (or parking in them)]
[B' Spokes: Could you imagine automated enforcement of no parking in the old trolley lane around the inner harbor?]

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MARC, whoops I mean BART Removes Rush-Hour Bike Ban for Full Five Month Trial

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: I love this this because it is an agreement to ACTUALLY see what kind of problems may occur rather than idle speculation about some domesday if we accommodate bikes.]
SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday night, BART Board of Directors voted to hold a five-month trial, allowing bicycles on trains during all hours of the day, and removing a key obstacle to regional travel by bike. The five month lift of the “bike blackout” will run July 1-December 1.
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
  •  Strongly disagree
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Other polls | 133 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
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