Why bicycling should be a top priority for the State

* Per US DOT survey 73% would welcome new and improved bicycle facilities#1
* Per NHTSA survey 89% of bike trips begin at a residence and only 7% at a recreational site#2
* Over 75% of all car trips in the US are for distances under ten miles and nearly 60% are for distances under five miles.#3 (Easy biking distances for a reasonably healthy adult.)
* Per recommendations of TFAH and RWJF increase access to safe, accessible places for physical activity in communities. Examples include creating and maintaining … bike lanes and providing incentives for smart growth designs that make communities more livable#4
* School districts in Maryland are consolidating bus stops, canceling field trips and forcing students to walk longer distances to school to control fuel costs.#5 (But in reality it will be putting more cars on the road.)
* Parents driving their kids to school contributes as much as 20% of rush hour traffic#6
* Bicycling is a major source of childhood injuries but being a passenger in a car is the leading source of childhood injury#7
* Motor vehicle traffic fatalities is the leading cause of death for the ages 1-34#8
* The second leading cause of death in the United States is inactivity just behind tobacco#9

Sad stats for Maryland:
* Maryland has had statistically significant increases in the obesity rate for three years in a row per the F as in Fat Report.#10
* Maryland ranks the 6th worst state (up from number 9) for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities per all traffic fatalities per FARS#11
* Maryland ranks 35 out of 50 for bike friendliness per the League of American Bicyclists.#12
* Maryland ranks the 5th lowest bike/ped spending per capita for the last 3 years, spending $1.61/capita/year with the National average of $6.14 and the National high of $38.16.#13
* Maryland spends 0.62% of its Federal Funds on Bike/ped projects the National average is 1.78% and a National high of 5.40%#14

So we wounder why is our state below the national average of the modal share of biking to work?

Federal Law requires that a bike network be identified - and a decent one has been identified but not funded.#15 Without funds, area bike plans have laid dormant for years.
Despite policies to improve bicycle access and projects to improve bicycling in the area the net gain is virtually nil, more attention is needed.

The FHWA says:
* Provide 20:80 match to "create more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities." #16
* Bicycle projects must be "principally for transportation, rather than recreation, purposes.#17
* Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists,#18

But MDOT says:
* Federal Aid should only go to jurisdictions that are in the least need of Federal Aid by upping the matching requirements to 50:50 (Jurisdictions with the most need generally get less funding) (Priorities need to be established to get funding (in order of need) to Baltimore City, Montgomery, Baltimore, Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties.)
* Transportation Enhancement funding can only be spent on recreational trails.#19
* The inclusion of quality material in the State's Drivers' Manual for the responsibility of motorists in regards to bicyclists and pedestrians safety as well as the rights of bicyclists and pedestrians is too expensive (it will add additional pages) and adding more then 20 questions to the drivers test will make it too hard.

Additionally, more attention is needed to enforce, prosecute and levy fair and just punishments to those who disobey traffic laws (no more hand slaps #20) as well as enforcement of bicycle and pedestrian safety. This also has the added benefit of reducing crime.#21

Laws that are not being carried out as best as they could be

2-604 Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan.
(3) Provides a model to guide political subdivisions of the State in enhancing bicycle and pedestrian access to transportation facilities;
(5) After consultation with political subdivisions in the State, identifies bicycle-pedestrian priority areas to facilitate the targeting of available funds to those areas of the State most in need.
(b) Duties of the Director. – To carry out the purposes of this subtitle,
(3) Initiate a program of systematic identification of and planning for projects related to bicycle and pedestrian transportation that qualify for funds under Federal Highway Administration guidelines; [***Note that there is no clause that limits this to only State Roads.]
[***Do we even have such a program for the political subdivisions? The State's Bicycle Master Plan contains NO bicycle priority areas in the political subdivisions and/or funding for projects are not directed to areas on the bases of need. Also note all of our projects qualify for funds under FHWA guidelines but but are denied because of the State's guidelines.]

TITLE 3 FINANCING BY DEPARTMENT Subtitle 2 Consolidated Transportation Bonds 3-216 Transportation Trust Fund
(d) Other uses of Fund
(5) For each fiscal year, the Department shall use the funds in the Transportation Trust Fund for the purposes specified in subsection (c)(2)(ii) of this section, which may include construction and maintenance:
(ii) Bicycle ways as defined in section 21-101 (l) of this article; [This includes bike lanes and shoulders.]
[***We are up for funding annually???]

TITLE 8 HIGHWAYS Subtitle 2. State Highway Administration Part I Administration in General 8-204 General powers and duties of Administration
(i) Bicycle priority route system. – The Administration shall:
(1) Plan, select, construct, improve, and maintain the State highway system; and
(2) By July I, 1997, in accordance with local governments, draft a plan for a bicycle priority route system that provides a viable network for bicycle transportation throughout the State.
[***Item 2 seems to have fallen to the wayside or is not being updated.]

2-602 Public Policy.
The General Assembly finds that it is in the public interest for the State to include enhanced transportation facilities for pedestrians and bicycle riders as an essential component of the State’s transportation system, and declares that it is policy of the State that:
(1) Access to and use of transportation facilities by pedestrians and bicycle riders shall be considered and best engineering practices regarding the needs of bicycle riders and pedestrians shall be employed in all phases of transportation planning, including highway design, construction, reconstruction, and repair as well as expansion and improvement of other transportation facilities;#22

#1 <a href="http://www.baltometro.org/content/view/472/298/">http://www.baltometro.org/content/view/472/298/</a>;
#2 <a href="http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic%20Injury%20Control/Articles/Associated%20Files/810971.pdf">http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic%20Injury%20Control/Articles/Associated%20Files/810971.pdf</a>;
#3 <a href="http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm">http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm</a>;
#4 <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&amp;STORY=/www/story/08-19-2008/0004870298&amp;EDATE">http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&amp;STORY=/www/story/08-19-2008/0004870298&amp;EDATE</a>=
#5 <a href="http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2008/8/18/374608.html">http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2008/8/18/374608.html</a>;
#6 <a href="http://www.activelivingresources.org/assets/SRTS_pledge.pdf">http://www.activelivingresources.org/assets/SRTS_pledge.pdf</a>;
#7 <a href="http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/11/bicycles_injuries.html">http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/11/bicycles_injuries.html</a>;
#8 <a href="http://www.minority.unc.edu/sph/minconf/2004/materials/ewing.et.al.pdf">http://www.minority.unc.edu/sph/minconf/2004/materials/ewing.et.al.pdf</a>;
#9 <a href="http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/healthmedical/a/actualdeath.htm">http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/healthmedical/a/actualdeath.htm</a>;
#10 <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&amp;STORY=/www/story/08-19-2008/0004870298&amp;EDATE">http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&amp;STORY=/www/story/08-19-2008/0004870298&amp;EDATE</a>=
#11 <a href="http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/States/StatesCrashesAndAllVictims.aspx">http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/States/StatesCrashesAndAllVictims.aspx</a>;
#12 <a href="http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/index.php">http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/index.php</a>;
(Note: Per the State Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access: This ranking was based on a lot of incorrect information that he is requesting the League to correct and reassess.)
#13 <a href="http://www.thunderheadalliance.org/site/images/uploads/2007_Benchmarking_Data_Final.xls">http://www.thunderheadalliance.org/site/images/uploads/2007_Benchmarking_Data_Final.xls</a>;
#14 ibid
(Note: The State refutes these figures as they employ a unique accounting system that makes it hard to track Federal Funding and spending on bike/peds as part of routine maintenance. But we have to question how are we supposed to determine good funding levels for bike/ped projects without good accounting.)
#15 <a href="http://www.baltometro.org/BRTP2001/RegionalMap.pdf">http://www.baltometro.org/BRTP2001/RegionalMap.pdf</a>;
#16 Generally, the Federal share is 80 percent …
<a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/factsheets/transenh.htm">http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/safetealu/factsheets/transenh.htm</a>;
Subsequent legislation provides the funding, planning, and policy tools necessary to create more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities.
<a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bp-broch.htm">http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bp-broch.htm</a>;
#17 <a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bp-broch.htm">http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bp-broch.htm</a>;
#18 Bicycle and pedestrian projects are broadly eligible for funding from almost all the major Federal-aid highway, transit, safety, and other programs. Bicycle projects must be &quot;principally for transportation, rather than recreation, purposes&quot; and must be designed and located pursuant to the transportation plans required of States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations.
<a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bp-broch.htm">http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bp-broch.htm</a>;
#19 Per FHWA:
Bicycle and pedestrian projects may be on- or off-road facilities...facilities that serve a transportation function...
<a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/inter.htm">http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/inter.htm</a>;
Facilities may include offroad trails; trailheads; bike parking; bike lane striping that is part of an offroad system; bike and pedestrian bridges; and underpasses.
<a href="http://www.sha.state.md.us/OPPEN/tep_chap2.pdf">http://www.sha.state.md.us/OPPEN/tep_chap2.pdf</a>;
#20 <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20081203212743845">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20081203212743845</a>;
#21 <a href="http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/lh/crime.htm">http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/lh/crime.htm</a>;
<a href="http://www.ncdot.org/programs/GHSP/lenforcement/summits/MichaelHaiglersLetter1.pdf">http://www.ncdot.org/programs/GHSP/lenforcement/summits/MichaelHaiglersLetter1.pdf</a>;
<a href="http://www.bowiestar.com/stories/09172008/damanew230209_32488.shtml">http://www.bowiestar.com/stories/09172008/damanew230209_32488.shtml</a>;
#22 <a href="http://www.sha.state.md.us/exploremd/bicyclists/OPPE/laws/acom_bike_laws2.pdf">http://www.sha.state.md.us/exploremd/bicyclists/OPPE/laws/acom_bike_laws2.pdf</a>;

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