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Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 03:18 AM UTC
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UN CALLS FOR 20% OF TRANSPORT BUDGET FOR WALKING & CYCLING

Biking Elsewhere-> In a new report, the UN Environment Program calls on countries to invest at least 20 percent of their transport budgets in walking and cycling infrastructure to save lives, reverse pollution and reduce carbon emissions, which are rising at over ten per cent a year. (Global Outlook on Walking and Cycling: Policies & realities from Around the World: http://bit.ly/2fcs8h9) Lack of investment in safe walking and cycling infrastructure is contributing to the deaths of millions of people and overlooking a great opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change. The report surveyed the progress towards safer walking and cycling infrastructure in 20 low- to middle-income countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, where compared with high-income countries, twice as many more people die in road traffic accidents. For example, in Malawi, 66 percent of all road fatalities were pedestrians and cyclists. http://bit.ly/2fcqgVz

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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The way Baltimore install pedestrian "beg butons" is wrong

Biking in BaltimoreBy B' Spokes

National Association of City Transportation Officials released this information: Fixed vs. Actuated Signalization http://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/intersection-design-elements/traffic-signals/fixed-vs-actuated-signalization/

The first thing I noticed there is no separate mention of actuation for cars and actuation for pedestrians. There's a world of difference! Automatic detection for cars and try to find the hidden, hard to get to push button for pedestrains. Nor is there mention to mix things up like set timing for cars but make pedestrains be detected. The latter is from what I can tell is something the city standardizes on, unbeiveable.

Now for some quotes and then comments:
"In general, fixed-time signals are the rule in urban areas for reasons of regularity, network organization, predictability, and reducing unnecessary delay. In certain, less-trafficked areas, actuated signals (push buttons, loop detectors) may be appropriate; however, these must be programmed to minimize delay, which will increase compliance."

I have witnessed the city "fixing" a trail crossing button that once pushed would give cross traffic a yellow light to requiring 90 second delay before the yellow light. The funny thing is cross traffic was so light that a good break in traffic would always happen before the 90 seconds was up so you would cross anyway without the light. In comparison a ped signal to cross York Road mid block I have yet to wait more than 45 seconds, Half the time with a lot more traffic (ADT). Basically the city does not accommodate pedestrians so pedestrians do not use accomidations. The city traffic engineers what pedestrians to play the "Mother may I" game so they can laugh when they don't get normal and expected acomidations.


"Actuated signals in general are not preferable because of the maintenance requirements and upkeep of the detection on the street."

Beg buttons have a life of so many pushes and I will assert since there is no acknowledgment that you pressed the button, you bang it again reducing it's useful life in half. I will also mention that this is a complete failure in human design interface. The next issue is does the city have a good maintece in place or is it still relying on complaints from citizens on the 311 system? There was a time when about half the buttons I pushed never worked. That's a crazy number and shows the city needs to do more to keep the buttons they have working.


"Drivers and others at downstream unsignalized intersections benefit from a series of fixed-time signals, as they produce routine gaps in traffic that may be used to turn onto or cross the street. Fixed-time signals help make pedestrians an equal part of the traffic signal system by providing them with regular and consistent intervals at which to cross."

I will note allowing right-on-red a known major source of pedestrian death also reduces this down stream benift. One day I hope they realize for every one the give extra convenience to also delays more than one person, so the net gain is negative. Back to point, there is a benefit to giving pedestrians green walk signs before they pressed a beg button and before making them wait 90 seconds after pusshing. Think of needing to cross two legs of an intersection crosswalk (often required in Marlyland) but crossing one side than the next is not automated so one extra light signal maybe required to complete your journey. Which is fine I guess because it does not violate the traffic engineers rule "The fast mode must go faster and slower modes do not mind going even slower."


"Many existing traffic signals controllers have the capacity to reduce delay, but remain in coordination rather than a free setting. Coordination, paired with long signal cycles, can result in delays of 80 seconds or more, reducing pedestrian compliance, increasing risk-taking behavior, and creating the impression that a push button is either non-responsive or malfunctioning."

And I believe Baltimore standardizes on a delay of 90 seconds for pedestrians. Someone needs to get BDOT unstuck from the 1960s. Oh and stop blaming pedestrians for risky behavor, BDOT is doing all they can to encourage this.



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Miserable at work? Your commute might be the culprit

Biking ElsewhereBy Tania Kohut, Global News


People who cycle to work or school are likely to have sunnier dispositions than those who drive or take transit, according to a new study out of McGill University.
...

“We need to start having much stronger programs to encourage people to cycle,” said El-Geneidy.

“In some cases, cycling is not the best — not everybody is going to cycle in the winter — but let’s try for the rest of the year.”

Parents can start by encouraging their children to cycle, said El-Geneidy. Meanwhile, it’s a no-brainer for employers to offer incentives for employees to bike to work.
...

http://globalnews.ca/news/3150222/miserable-at-work-your-commute-might-be-the-culprit/
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Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Law and How It Can Prevent an Accident Victim’s Recovery

Bike LawsVia Lebowitz & Mzhen

...
After the trial, the jury determined that Turturro was 10% at fault for the accident, the City 40% at fault, and the driver 50% at fault. The City appealed the verdict, unsuccessfully arguing that it was entitled to government immunity. However, had this case arising in Maryland, the plaintiff would have been awarded nothing, due to Maryland’s application of the strict contributory negligence doctrine.
...

http://www.marylandmotorcycleaccidentlawyerblog.com/2017/01/marylands-contributory-negligence-law-can-prevent-accident-victims-recovery.html
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10 Things cyclists wish drivers understood

Biking ElsewhereVia Cyclescheme

[Just the headings]
1. We're not meant to ride close to the kerb
2. Bike paths are optional
3. We do pay for the roads
4. Sometimes we wobble or swerve
5. We're not telepathic
6. We're moving faster than you think
7. Anger is often fear
8. Close passes are dangerous
9. That cyclist who annoyed you? We're not them
10. It's other drivers that slow you down

https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/community/featured/10-things-cyclists-wish-drivers-understoof?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Cyclescheme-Social&utm_source=10-Things-cyclists-wish-drivers-understood
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PLANNING JARGON TO DELETE?

Biking in Baltimore-> Read Next City's a list of eight commonly used planning words best left behind and their rationales for doing so: stroad, smart cities; livability, smart growth, road diet, cycle track, cyclists, pedestrian; and shared mobility. http://bit.ly/2ibtTzc

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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RIDICULOUS LAWS FOR CYCLISTS

Biking ElsewhereBike Radar offers examples of ridiculous laws for cyclists from around the world. No gargling while cycling in Peridot, AZ. No "wanton or furious" cycling in the UK. No cycling without a shirt in Thailand. No cycling with a slingshot in your pocket in Bellingham, WA. http://bit.ly/2icDcio

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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TRANSFORMING UGLY URBAN UNDERPASSES TO PUBLIC PARKS

Biking in Baltimore-> Curbed reports many cities are turning transit underpasses into public parks, replacing trash, overgrown weeds, and dark passageways with art installations, funky lights, and pedestrian thoroughfares. Check out 7 creative examples that have been transformed, are still under construction or in the process of becoming public parks. http://bit.ly/2j05jyN

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

[B' Spokes: I put this in Biking Baltimore because the area to the east of Druid Lake is underutilized and something like this would be marvelous.]
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MD DOT: INCREASING CYCLIST SAFETY ON HIGH-SPEED ROADWAYS

Biking in Maryland-> A Maryland DOT study investigated bicycle infrastructure design options and treatments to facilitate safe accommodation of bicyclists on high-speed roadways. They studied a design called "rumble-buffered" bike lane as a means to help mitigate the inherent hazards to bicyclists associated with limited separation from motor vehicles where separated facilities are not feasible. http://bit.ly/2iZ02HC

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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NASHVILLE, TN: TEENS MAP ROUTES, IDENTIFY MOBILITY OPTIONS

Biking Elsewhere-> To make the case for better neighborhood mobility, a class of middle and high school students in Nashville, TN mapped their movements around North Nashville, tracking the spaces they visited most and the barriers that kept them from getting around, such as the lack of crosswalks and paths. They developed suggestions for connecting North Nashville to the rest of the city, eventually sharing their findings with urban planners. After meeting with the class, city planners incorporated a new bicycle lane along Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. Although the lane stretched only 2 miles, it created a bicycle route across the interstate, connecting North Nashville to downtown. http://bit.ly/2j0DBBT

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

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