Friday, November 5, 2010
Hearing: Community Development Committee
12:00 PM Du Burns Council Chamber, 4th floor, City Hall
09-0176R The Cyclists' Bill of Rights
09-0433 Street and Transportation Projects - Complete Streets
A COUNCIL RESOLUTION concerning
The Cyclists' Bill of Rights
FOR the purpose of reaffirming support for efforts to improve conditions for cyclists and encouraging more widespread awareness of the "Cyclists' Bill of Rights" .
The widespread use of bicycles brings many benefits to a community. Cycling improves people's health, increases public safety, encourages greater involvement in communities, reduces traffic congestion, improves air quality, reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, and generally is better for the environment than alternate methods of travel.
The City of Baltimore has long recognized these myriad benefits and has therefore consistently sought to encourage cycling. In these efforts, the City has been blessed with a strong and vibrant local cycling community eager to serve as a partner. Many in the cycling community throughout the nation have begun to promote a "Cyclists' Bill of Rights" that they feel encapsulates the treatment that cyclists should be able to expect from government.
This "Cyclists' Bill of Rights" expresses the following tenets:
1. Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.
2. Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.
3. Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.
4. Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure, or kill cyclists will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
5. Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.
6. Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development, and design that enable and support safe cycling.
7. Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage, and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.
8. Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the planning and implementation of roadway and transit projects.
9. Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit.
10. Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.
11. Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
12. Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The City has repeatedly signaled its agreement with these principals in the past - notably, by including policies that further the goals articulated in the "Cyclists' Bill of Rights" in its Bicycle Master Plan. Today, the City Council reaffirms its support for efforts to improve conditions for cyclists by encouraging more widespread awareness of the "Cyclists' Bill of Rights" among government agencies and the general public.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE, That this Body affirms its support for the principals contained in the "Cyclists' Bill of Rights" and encourages all citizens to have a greater appreciation for the rights of cyclists.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be sent to the Mayor, the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Bicycle Coordinator for Baltimore City, the Director of the Office of Sustainability, the Director of Public Works, the Director of Transportation, the Police Commissioner, the Planning Director, the City Solicitor, the Director of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, the Executive Director of the Parking Authority, and the Mayor's Legislative Liaison to the City Council.
[Complete Streets after the fold.] *********************************************************************************************************
A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL concerning
Street and Transportation Projects - Complete Streets
FOR the purpose of directing the Departments of Transportation and Planning to apply "Complete Streets" principals to the planning, design, and construction of all new City transportation improvement projects; providing certain exceptions; requiring annual reports on the implementation of "Complete Streets" principals; and generally relating to transportation improvement projects.
Baltimore's streets provide the critical framework for current and future development while playing a major role in establishing the image and identity of the City. Recognizing this, City planners and transportation officials have made consistent efforts to improve the streetscape and make the City's transportation network responsive to the changing needs of our citizens. These efforts have included an expanded focus on measures to make streets more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians.
While these efforts have borne fruit, allowing Baltimore to rank above many southern and western cities in pedestrian safety, a recent study showed that Baltimore was still more dangerous for pedestrians than many peer cities in the Northeast and Midwest. Maryland as a whole also ranks near the bottom in spending on street accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians.
In recognition of the fact that any effort to create more liveable neighborhoods in Baltimore must include further improvements to the streets that are such a critical component of public space, a more systematic approach to inviting all people to make use of the streets must be adopted. "Complete Streets" principals require that the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and people of all abilities, as well as freight and motor vehicle users, be taken into account when designing and implementing changes to transportation networks. The systematic application of these principals to all transportation projects would create a comprehensive framework to open up all streets to the full range of diverse users present in Baltimore, by encouraging walking, bicycling, and transit use while promoting safety for all street users.
Adoption of a "Complete Streets" philosophy for transportation projects is especially advantageous in an urban area such as Baltimore where many people do not have regular access to a car. Ensuring that the needs of all citizens are met by applying "Complete Streets" principals across the board will improve access to communities throughout Baltimore, make the City more liveable, encourage healthy behaviors, and reduce negative environmental impacts city-wide.
SECTION 1. BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE, That the Department of Transportation and the Department of Planning are directed to plan for, design, and construct all new City transportation improvement projects to provide appropriate accommodations for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists, and persons of all abilities, while promoting safe operation for all users.
SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Department of Transportation is directed to incorporate Complete Streets principals, as applicable, into all Department plans, manuals, rules, regulations, and programs.
SECTION 3. AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the application of Complete Streets principals may be waived for a specific project if the Director of Transportation issues a documented exception concluding that application of Complete Streets principals would be contrary to public safety.
SECTION 4. AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Complete Streets may be achieved through single projects or incrementally through a series of smaller improvements over time. It is the Mayor and City Council's intent that all sources of transportation funding be drawn on to implement Complete Streets.
SECTION 5. AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Department of Transportation is directed to report to the Mayor and City Council annually, on the anniversary of the effective date of this Resolution, on the Department's progress towards implementing Complete Streets throughout Baltimore. These reports must incorporate performance measures established to gauge how well streets are serving all users.
SECTION 6. AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this Resolution takes effect on the 30th day after the date it is enacted.
Subcommittee: Community Development
William H. Cole – Chair <a href="http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/District11/default.htm">http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/District11/default.htm</a> William.Cole@baltimorecity.gov
Helen Holton <a href="http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/District8/default.htm">http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/District8/default.htm</a> Helen.Holton@baltimorecity.gov
Carl Stokes <a href="http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/District12/default.htm">http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/District12/default.htm</a> Carl.Stokes@baltimorecity.gov
Note: It might be worthwhile to read about the council member and tailor your appeal to their interests. Also extra bonus points if you live in their district so mention that. If you don't know your district <a href="http://cityservices.baltimorecity.gov/citycouncil/">http://cityservices.baltimorecity.gov/citycouncil/</a>