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Sunday, October 23 2016 @ 07:50 AM UTC
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Biking Elsewhere-> Among the key findings in the recently released "2015 Menino Survey of Mayors" (, Mayors cited the need to fix crumbling roads, grow mass transit, and repair water infrastructure, as well as a desire to improve pedestrian and bike infrastructure: "Mayors express strong support for improved accessibility for cyclists even if it means sacrificing parking or driving lanes, in addition to naming bike infrastructure as key funding priority. More than 70% of mayors supported the tradeoff favoring improved bike accessibility in their city, even if it comes at the expense of parking and driving lanes. Democratic and Republican mayors differ in their level of support for street designs that favor cyclists over drivers, with 44% of Republican mayors and 81% of Democratic ones endorsing improved bike accessibility.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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A PSA About Biking to Work That Needs No Translation

Biking ElsewhereVia Streets Blog

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Coffee and help the ride of silence

Cyclist\'s Yellow PagesRichardson Bike Mart Silence Roast
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Don’t demonize driving—just stop subsidizing it

Biking ElsewhereBy Joe Cortright, City Observatory

At City Observatory, we try to stick to a wonky, data-driven approach to all things urban. But numbers don’t mean much without a framework to explain them, and so today we want to quickly talk about one of those rhetorical frameworks: specifically, how we talk about driving.

Our wonky perspective tells us that there are lots of problems that stem from the way we use cars: We price roads wrong, so people over use them. Cars are a major source of air pollution, including the carbon emissions that are causing climate change. Car crashes kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, injure many more, and cost us billions in medical costs and property damage. And building our cities to accommodate cars leads to sprawl that pushes us further apart from one another.

But the problem is not that cars (or the people who drive them) are evil, but that we use them too much, and in dangerous ways. And that’s because we’ve put in place incentives and infrastructure that encourage, or even require, us to do so. When we subsidize roads, socialize the costs of pollution, crashes and parking, and even legally require that our communities be built in ways that make it impossible to live without a car, we send people strong signals to buy and own cars and to drive—a lot. As a result, we drive too much, and frequently at unsafe speeds given the urban environment.
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USDOT to shut down nation’s roads, citing safety concerns

Biking ElsewhereBy Daniel Hertz, City Observatory

WASHINGTON, DC – Citing safety concerns, today Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced he was contemplating the closure of roads to all private vehicles in nearly every city in the country until he could assure the nation’s drivers that they would be safe behind the wheel.

The announcement comes on the heels of comments by Secretary Foxx that the Department of Transportation may shut down the Washington Metro heavy rail system because of ongoing safety issues.

[B' Spokes: What if our road system was run like Washington's Metro and the loss of life was a concern?]
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Biking in BaltimoreCelebrate Beautiful Baltimore!

SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2016

Bike or stroll between Roland Park and Druid Hill Park along three miles of car-free streets as you pass through some of the City’s most beautiful neighborhoods. It’s Baltimore’s longest ciclovía yet!

Local bike shops will be on hand to tune bikes and instruct children on cycling safety. Bike Maryland will organize bike safety rodeos.

Stop by the Roland Water Tower (Roland Ave and West University Parkway) and Roland Park Library from noon to 3:00 p.m. for live music and fun for kids.

Ciclovía VI is produced in cooperation with the communities of Roland Park, Rolden, Hoes Heights, Wyman Park, Hampden, Remington, Friends of Druid Hill Park, Friends of the Roland Water Tower, Bike Maryland and the City of Baltimore.
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D.C. Poised to Strike Down Law That Blames Cyclists When They Are Struck

Bike Lawsby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

When cyclists and pedestrians are injured in traffic crashes in D.C., there’s a big legal obstacle standing in the way of justice. That obstacle is a legal standard called “contributory negligence.”

Now the City Council is poised to strike down that rule and replace it with the more widely used and fairer “comparative fault” standard, report Tracy Hadden Loh and Tamara Evans at the Washington Area Bicyclists Association. Loh explains how D.C.’s current law prevented her from seeking compensation when she really needed it:

In 2008, a driver in a minivan hit me (Tracy) when I was riding my bike on Connecticut Avenue, fracturing my pelvis in three places. The driver’s insurance company denied my claim because of a law that says if you’re even 1% at fault, you can’t collect anything. The good news? DC is moving to change this.

Currently, DC, Maryland, and Virginia use what’s called a pure contributory negligence standard to decide who pays what damages after a vehicle collision involving someone on bike or foot. I wrote about contributory negligence in 2014, but the basic thing you need to know is that under this standard, if the person is even 1% at fault for a collision, they can’t collect anything from the other party (or parties).

Insurance companies benefit from contributory negligence because it makes it very low risk to deny a claim, since the legal standard a court would apply is so broad.
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Biking in Baltimore BALTIMORE, MD (March 7, 2016) - Baltimore City has unveiled its detailed initial proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Smart City Challenge.

The Smart City Challenge was announced by U.S. DOT in early December soliciting proposals from cities nationwide to develop next-generation technological innovations that address a variety of transportation challenges. Cities will compete to receive up to $40 million in federal funding for developing 'smart' ideas that will make transportation safer, convenient and more reliable. In addition, the Smart City Challenge encourages cities to develop public-private partnerships to reduce energy use and emissions, and is partnering with Vulcan Philanthropy to provide up to $10 million in additional funding to the winning jurisdiction.

Baltimore City, the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative, and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) worked to develop the proposal. The University of Maryland's National Transportation Center led the technical team with contributions from several additional University of Maryland units and from the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Government Excellence. In total, 52 public-sector, private-sector, and nonprofit partners supported the B'Smart proposal including BMC and the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Baltimore region.

The City of Baltimore and its partners have developed a comprehensive approach toward the goal of "Connecting Communities to Opportunities." At its core are the Smart Community Hubs, where traditional transit services meet smart mobility services, enabled by connected/automated/electric vehicles and the sharing economy, to provide low-cost options to connect users to transit hubs and final destinations. These hubs will also house electric vehicle and smart grid infrastructure, public Internet/Wi-Fi/smartphone portals, next-generation city logistics operations, on-site job training opportunities and additional features that will attract new businesses and spur economic development.

The B'Smart proposal has enabled Baltimore City to create potential partnerships with major electronic corporations and automobile manufactures, as well as smaller startup companies. These partnerships will focus on Intelligent Transportation Systems, automation, connected vehicles, smart infrastructure, urban analytics, electric vehicles, smart grid, freight movement and other innovative elements which are outline in the B'Smart Proposal.

DOT will select five finalists in this nationwide competition on Saturday, March 12, 2016 and is expected to announce the final winner in June 2016.

Check out the full proposal.

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5 Strategies for Equitable Active Transportation Planning and Advocacy

Biking Elsewhereby Naomi Doerner, Streets Blog

[B' Spokes: Just the headings]

Acknowledge that bicycle infrastructure is wrapped up in larger development processes spurring gentrification, which has in many cases been done on purpose.

Engage people and communities in a real way.

Be an advocate for communities, not just bikes.

Advocates and planners need cultural competency training and education.

“Stay Woke or Wake Up”
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Why Isn’t It a Crime To Kill a Cyclist with a Car?

Biking ElsewhereBY Andrew Zaleski, Next City

His fear would soon turn to anger when he realized that local police had no interest in pursuing charges against the woman who nearly killed his wife. After the State Highway Patrol’s investigation concluded that there were no grounds for felony charges, the district attorney also demurred from pressing charges.

“As far as the state of Mississippi goes, you could be an armadillo hit on the road, and the state treats you just the same as a… cyclist,” Morgan says.

“When we turned around. Her boyfriend was screaming, ‘Oh my God, she’s run over her!’”

“She should not have been found guilty of a crime because she did not commit a crime,” said Norton’s attorney, C. Marty Haug. “Criminal law punishes bad intentions and bad acts, not traffic accidents.”

In a country where the national highway system was designed for the automobile, it’s unsurprising that the legal system also prioritizes the car. Still, the number of Americans who commute by bicycle jumped by 64 percent — to 765,703 — between 1990 and 2009, and in many parts of the country cyclists ride on dedicated bike lanes and lock up on publicly subsidized bike racks. But the laws protecting them lag behind. In most states, for instance, the only law explicitly addressing bike safety is a safe passing law requiring drivers to give cyclists a cushion of anywhere from two to four feet. In only three states is it a felony offense to maim or fatally injure a biker or pedestrian if you are behind the wheel of a car. And in nearly every state, getting police or the courts to prosecute a negligent driver for harming a cyclist is a serious challenge, attorneys and cycling advocates say.

By all indicators, New York’s low prosecution rate is not an anomaly, but rather a reflection of national patterns. Yet there is no sure way to know. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps track of cyclists killed by motorists — 726 in 2012 — there’s no corollary database of how motorists were charged, if at all. For state governments, there are no guarantees that transportation officials are in touch with law enforcement officials who track court cases.

“Many states do not aggregate citation statistics in a manner that makes it easy to understand how laws protecting cyclists, such as three-foot laws, are being enforced,” says Ken McLeod, a legal specialist with the League of American Bicyclists.

The absence of data, compounded with the patchwork of local laws and varying understandings of cyclist rights across the country, means few solid protections for the Jan Morgans of the world. A fine of $100 is the penalty for a first-time offense of the three-foot rule in Mississippi, even if the offense endangered a life. For a third offense, a $2,500 charge is levied along with seven days in the county lockup if, that is, the police and courts decide the charge is worth the time. Even with the law, however, there is no state database keeping track of three-foot violations and subsequent enforcement.

“What happened to Jan is not an accident,” says Peter Wilborn, a trial lawyer and founder of Bike Law, a South Carolina-based firm that represents cyclists in court. “This is what happens when drivers are lawless.”

“Generally, our lawmakers, our judges, our officers tend to just think that car accidents happen — they’re the inevitable product of living in a modern society with cars and trucks,” says Juan Martinez, general counsel at Transportation Alternatives, a New York-based non-profit that advocates for better road safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

Martinez argues that traffic accidents are entirely preventable, if only the causes of them were actively enforced. The New York City Police Department, for example, issued more than 96,000 citations to drivers in 2012 for excessive window tinting, which wasn’t an influence in any fatal or injurious crashes. By comparison, according to a October 2013 Transportation Alternatives report, the NYPD issued fewer than 12 summonses a month in 2012 to drivers who failed to yield, one of the leading causes of injurious crashes in New York.

“I can’t walk into a courtroom and expect twelve jurors to be sympathetic to a cyclist. The first thing that goes through their mind is: What did the cyclist do wrong?”
[B' Spokes: Combonded with some think (not artticulated) the law is, where ever a cyclists was if they could have been somewhere else out of the way then the cyclists is at fault.]
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