Five Smart Transportation Bills Passed. It is Time to Celebrate!
It is time to celebrate - FIVE significant smart transportation/commuting bills were passed during the 2010 Maryland General Assembly!
These bills are now on the way to the Governor's office for his signature:
• SB 624 - Shoulder Rule bill - Sponsors Delegate Carr and Senator Frosh
• SB 51 - Three Foot Rule bill - Sponsors Delegate Cardin and Senators Raskin and Forehand
• HB 1155 - Transportation Transparency bill - Sponsors Delegate Lafferty and Senators Pugh and Harrington
• HB 282 - Funding for Bike/Pedestrian Access bill- Sponsor Delegate Peña-Melnyk
• SB 229/HB 710 - The General Assembly passed legislation (SB 229/HB 710) to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding to study the state’s short- and long-term transportation funding needs.
Learn more here.
Three years ago, Delegate Jon Cardin took the initiative to promote the important Three Foot Rule bill. His dedication to the bicycling community, as the sponsor of the Three Foot Rule, has been outstanding! This year, OLC will continue to develop and strengthen bicycle safety bills with assistance from fellow bicyclists and with support and the sponsorship of leaders like Delegate Bronrott, Delegate Cardin, Delegate Carr, Senator DeGrange, Senator Frosh, Delegate Gaines, Senator Haines, Senator Harrington, Delegate Lafferty, Delegate Malone, Delegate McIntosh, Delegate Peña-Melnyk, Senator Pugh, Senator Raskin, Delegate Simmons and Delegate Stein who are passionate and committed to bicycle safety. Please contact these legislators and thank them for their support! To email a thank you go HERE.
A call or email from a constituent is a big deal to to our representatives. A few minutes of your time can make a big difference in how these folks view bicyclists.
One Less Car is greatly appreciative of everyone who contributed testimony, contacted a representative, advocated for this cause and helped to make this happen.
Over the next few months, a One Less Car Legislative Agenda for the 2011 General Assembly session will be developed.
Some topics of interest are:
• Strengthening the new three foot rule
• Strong focus on the manslaughter by vehicle bill
• Bills that promote teleworking
• Introducing a bill to increase tax credits for bicyclists
• Support bills that promote safe and effective alternate means of transportation
• Reintroduce the accident vs. crash bill
• Support bills that promote funding for public transit
There will be more to add to this list and your legislative assistance is appreciatively accepted. Please read below to learn how you can take action!
The One Less Car (OLC) Baltimore Bicycle Alliance!
Please join the One Less Car Baltimore Bicycle Alliance to help OLC strengthen the Three Foot Rule, promote bicycle safety legislation are help make bicycle lanes, safety and facilities a priority in Baltimore.
OLC is asking individuals, bike clubs, bike shops and other stakeholders to join the OLC Baltimore Bicycle Alliance. The goal is for local bicyclists to play an active role in shaping state, city and county legislative decisions which affect cycling in our area. During the 2010 legislative session, a small group of bicyclists from the community met with Delegates, worked on bill language, testified at the hearings and helped to gain support from representatives. This effort helped immensely. If a few concerned citizens can help pass legislation, with more involvement from the community, we can help create a new transportation culture and infrastructure! More involvement is needed.
On April 12th the bicycling community took action! About 80 bicyclists, many who took a day off of work, biked to Annapolis on the last day of the 2010 legislative session to honor Lawrence Bensky, 43, of Owings Mills, who died on April 6 while riding his bicycle on Butler Road in Baltimore County.
This is a rural road that many of the attendees and I bike on frequently. The bicyclists also rode to Annapolis in respect to the hospitalized bicyclist that was hit along with Lawrence. Supportive Delegates and bicyclists joined me in addressing the crowd. A huge thank you goes to the bicyclists who attended, the brave wife and family members of Lawrence Bensky and the organizers of this successful event! It was truly an inspirational day. This kind of support is needed prior to and during the legislative session. A significant difference will be made if everyone interested in bike safety would contact their state or county representative and ask them to support bike/pedestrian legislation prior to, during, and after the General Assembly session. Baltimore Magazine ranks Baltimore 48 out of 50 for bike-friendliness - here. A strong active bicycle alliance will help create the change we need to be safe on the road.
One more bike is one less car! We all seek solace from the daily automobile commute that includes congestion. This congestion results in employees arriving late to work, less time with family and friends, health related diseases such as obesity and asthma, environmental damage including air pollution and degradation of our Chesapeake Bay which is both an economic and natural resource, and an increased reliance on foreign sources of fuel.
Over time, bike safety legislation and other initiatives will increase the viability of smart commuting! OLC is the only non-profit in Maryland with an active presence in Annapolis working on state bike safety legislation. The Three Foot Rule bill is only one of six bike/pedestrian/alternative transportation bills OLC promoted this session. There is much more to do to promote smart commuting and a safe environment for bicyclists in Maryland. I hope folks will join in support of this effort during the 2011 session. To join the One Less Car Baltimore Bicycle Alliance click HERE and check bicycling/walking and under message write "alliance". In the next few weeks we will schedule a meeting date.
Of current interest is the following Baltimore City Bicycle Legislation – which will be heard at Baltimore City Hall on Thursday, May 6th at 4 pm.
• 09-0429 - Required Parking for Bicycles
• 09-0430 - Transit and Traffic - Bike Lanes
• 09-0431 - City Streets - Bike-Safe Grates
• 09-0433 - Street and Transportation Projects - Complete Streets
Please attend to show support - learn more here.
Charm City Circulator Reaches 100,000th Passenger (4/5)
The 100,000th Circulator patron, Tyrone Harris of Baltimore, boarded the Charm City Circulator Thursday April 1. Since the free bus service began in January, ridership has averaged more than 1,200 passengers per day. In fact, ridership has exceeded initial projections. Charm City Circulator buses are designed to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gases, while offering a reliable and convenient mode of transportation. Learn More Here.
One Less Car has a new Program Coordinator
Rachel Myrowitz is OLC's new part-time Program Coordinator. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. See her short bio HERE. Rachel is currently focusing on the Tour du Port and the OLC Baltimore Bicycle Alliance.
Tour du Port - Sponsorship Opportunities and Volunteers Needed for Numerous Activities
The Tour du Port will be held on October 3rd, 2010. Registration will open in May/June. Tour du Port is Baltimore's Premier Bicycle Event. Join thousands of riders at Baltimore's Canton Waterfront Park to kick off the 17th Annual Tour du Port! The Tour route travels through many historic neighborhoods, waterfront areas and parks. This fully supported Tour includes lunch, refreshments at rest stops, map, SAG and a post-ride celebration at the Tour's end. The Tour is One Less Car’s annual fundraiser - all fees go directly to advancing the programs and advocacy efforts of One Less Car, a non-profit organization dedicated to walking, bicycling and mass transit in Maryland.
OLC is forming an event committee to organize volunteers for the event. Volunteers are needed to assist with a variety of tasks such as social networking, community outreach, fund-raising and recruiting additional volunteers for the day of the Tour du Port when 100 volunteers will be needed. Would you like to see more folks commuting by bicycle and less cars on our roads? OLC is seeking volunteer instructors to teach small groups how to ride a bike (there are adults who never learned how to ride who would like a mentor), bike commute and more.
OLC's sponsorship and advertising opportunities are a significant & unique way to market your organization. The benefits are fantastic! Formalizing your sponsorship early allows us to maximize recognition of your company with marketing and public relations activities within and outside of the bicycling community. To learn more about One Less Car volunteer or sponsorship opportunities please contact Rachel Myrowitz.
The One Less Car Event Calender - Chock Full of Ways to Take Action and Fun Activities!
Learn to ride a bike, attend a Plan Maryland public forum, attend an event party, learn how to maintenance your bike, socialize during a B'More Streets for People program, learn about the Baltimore Bicycling Club series of free Instructional Bike Rides, attend a Safe Kids Day event, participate in a bike planning workshop, attend Bike to Work Day and much more! Learn what is happening on our regularly updated calender HERE.
Please Donate Your Used Car to One Less Car!
Don't We All Love Congestion? Yes, Traffic Really is Getting Worse.
The Baltimore Beltway makes Baltimore-area congestion 16th-worst in the nation. That economic strength has vaulted Baltimore's congestion level past that of several formerly booming cities of comparable size. Read the full article here by Michael T. Dresser, Baltimore Sun, February 25, 2010
Improve Your Bottom Line and Make Our Region a Better Place! More and more businesses are realizing bottom-line benefits from structured telework programs. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council and the Maryland Department of Transportation to promote telecommuting.
Their goal is to reduce both traffic congestion and air pollution by helping employers realize the benefits of a formal telework program—at no cost to them! Benefits from telework can include:
- Improved employee satisfaction resulting in improved employee retention
- Increased interest among potential employees along with improved employee retention resulting in reduced recruiting and training costs and a competitive advantage in finding outstanding employees
- Reduced employee effort and time spent in commutes resulting in improved productivity
- Decreased pressure and increased flexibility on office space needs resulting in reduced office space costs
- Other benefits are possible such as diminished parking needs, reduced overhead and others.
Find out how your business can benefit from telework. Get the materials and advice that will help you start a successful telework program. Learn More Here.
Please Support One Less Car Through Sponsorship and Donations - Click Donation Button to Learn More.
One Less Car works throughout Maryland to reduce automobile congestion and pollution by decreasing car usage. Our goal is to help people get to where they need to go efficiently. OLC works to increase walking, biking, carpooling, public transit, telecommuting, and flex scheduling opportunities. These smart transit choices promote physical activity, emotional and physical well-being, social interaction, livable communities, equity and environmental stewardship.