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Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 03:29 AM UTC
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Mass Transit vs. Bike Infrastructure

Biking Elsewhere[The following story makes me think can we really have mass transit when there are no sidewalks? Can we really have walking as transportation or an extension of mass transit with poles in the middle of the sidewalk? Can we create great places to live surrounded by car sewers? Are great places to live solely defined by all the things that you have to drive too? The attention to detail for all modes of travel especially biking and walking has to get to the planning table.]
From Washington, DC's K Street to SF's Van Ness, and East Bay/Oakland's Telegraph Ave BRT, it seems like bike infrastructure continues to get cut out of the picture not because it makes any sense to cut it, but because advocates of all stripes are all too willing to accept that bikes are not, and cannot be, 'serious transportation'. These are 'transit corridors', dontchaknow, and by definition that means stuff that pollutes and makes loud noises and can reach very high top speeds, if not very high average speeds. Oh, and it's obvious that buses always have and always will move more people than bikes can/will.

Like Le Corbu's Towers in the Park, there is a certain seductiveness to this Jetsons-like vision of high-tech transitways filled with gleaming, zooming biarticulated buses and shiny new hybrids and e-cars of various types, while relegating the humans to their rightful refuges -- aka 'sidewalks'.

But once we move this vision from the vague, happy-faced, brightly-colored, and clean-looking drawing boards out into the real and dirty world of everyday street life in the city, that seductiveness can then be seen as vanity, ego, and frivolity.

We can have transitways without the required walk and bike infrastructure, but that will not deliver us decent places to live.
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Pedestrian event makes its way from Bogota to Roland Park

Biking in Baltimore[I was on on of the Baltimore Bicycling Clubs rides through Roland Park and had a great time! It was wonderful to see a bunch of kids out and about. But seriously $4,500 for a mile of half a road closure for basically half a day, that is totally outrageous! Maybe a police officer at a major intersection, but all the minor ones as well??? I have an idea, lets charge shooters for police time and let events that promote Baltimore get police time for free.]

By Michael Dresser

For five hours of a perfect autumn morning, half of Roland Avenue went to the dogs. To the bikes. To the runners and the walkers and the stand-around-and-schmoozers. And the skateboards, baby carriages, wagons, skates, at least one unicycle and a three-wheeled, scooter-like contraption called a Trikke.

Anything but motor vehicles.

From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, the city closed the southbound lanes of Roland Park's main drag to motor vehicles – turning the busy traffic artery into a mile-long, paved park. The event was a test of a concept called "Sunday Streets" that has been imported to from Colombia and transplanted to a growing number of American cities. Organizers said that if it were successful, such street-closing events could become more frequent and larger in scale.

And judging by the smiles on the faces of the hundreds of Baltimoreans – many of them children -- who turned out for the highly mobile festival, a success it was.

For Erica McCullough of Charles Village, Sunday Streets was an opportunity to let 4-year-old son Carter get used to his bicycle with training wheels without having to dodge cars or travel to a more distant bike trail.

"It's a perfect event for him to bring it out and get going – a nice straightaway," she said. "I would love it if they could do it more often because kids need to get out more," she said.

Jonny Pike, a 16-year-old sophomore at Gilman School, was delighted that the city had allowed an event where his skateboard was welcomed rather than prohibited.

"I've gotten yelled at for trespassing in a lot of places for skateboarding," he said. Both he and his sister Lauren, 12, said they'd like to see the city do it more often.

Kim Forsyth, one of the many humans who were parading their dogs down the middle of the street, said she and her pit bull Daisy were enjoying a break from the sidewalk.
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David Byrne: Live on Two Wheels Video

Biking ElsewhereThe former Talking Heads frontman discusses his passion for bicycles and what he thinks New York City should do to become more bike friendly
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Two-wheel troublemaking: Have motorists let bicyclists' 'rights' go too far?

Biking in MarylandHave bicyclists "rights? gone too far?

For a decade, urban bicyclists have become more brash. In some cities, groups like Critical Mass organized mass rush-hour bike rides that tied traffic in knots, delaying commuters rides' home by minutes or hours. They are hardly tactics that will win sympathy from drivers.

In the aftermath and as their numbers have increased, bikers have become emboldened to take over the road. That is, instead of riding to the right or on the shoulder, some are now riding in the center of the lane. Two incidents underscore how the they are putting themselves in danger. One was a cyclist hit and killed by accident and the other was a motorist who is alleged to have tried to make bicyclists crash into his car on purpose:

In the first case, a driver on the way to work struck a St. Mary's County, Md., bicyclist earlier this month and killed him, police told the Washington Post. The driver, a 20-year-old in her Honda Accord, told police she never saw the biker. But the accident might have been prevented if the 47-year-old bicyclist had riding in the right, not in the dead center, of the lane, a major contributor to the accident.

In the second case, a Los Angeles doctor is on trial for allegedly slamming the brakes on his car to cause two bikers to run into him. They did, suffering bloody injuries. The doctor, Charles Christopher Thompson, was allegedly peeved over having to slow down for three bikers blocking his path, refusing to pull to the right and flipping him off as he passed. He is on trial for having pulled in front of them and, according to testimony, hitting the brakes so that bikes were sure to hit. One biker needed 90 stitches.

For a little perspective, Drive On sought out Jeff Peel, a program specialist heading the League of American Bicycle's campaign for Bicycle Friendly Communities. His contention is that the road is "not motorist space. It's people space." Bicyclists are road users too, even if they travel at the fraction of the speed of a car. In fact, he says, that's good.

"The idea is you are slowing traffic, which may be frustrating to some motorists but making the road safer for everyone," Peel says. "Creating safer roadways and right-of-ways for all users sometimes requires taking space away from automobiles."

Taking space away from cars? Ouch. When late to work, it pains a driver to slow down for a bunch of bicyclists hogging the roadway. In the past, you might have tried to steer around them. These days, they are right in front of the car.

It will be interesting to see how far this goes, whether bicyclists are allowed to stay in the middle of the highway. As the deaths mount, maybe it will become clear they need ride to the right.
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People outraged driver who struck and killed couple won't be charged

Biking ElsewhereBEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS -- A day after a couple was killed while riding a bicycle, people are outraged that the driver who hit them probably will not face any criminal charges.

Greg and Alexandra Bruehler were riding a bicycle built for two on the shoulder of Hwy. 16, north of Helotes, Thursday morning when deputies say a man in a pickup veered off the road and hit them.

"He looked off, he was looking at something else and realized the curve in the road came a lot faster than what he anticipated," explained Deputy Chief Dale Bennett of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Both Greg and Alexandra were wearing helmets, but they did not survive their injuries. Alexandra died at the scene. Greg died at University Hospital a short time later. The couple leaves behind their 7-year-old daughter, Kylie.

Dozens of people who have written comments on News 4 WOAI's Web site ( are furious that the driver is not being charged and that deputies are calling it just an accident. It turns out, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office is also dealing with a lot of angry e-mails and phone calls.

Deputy Chief Bennett told News 4 WOAI the office's hands are tied. He said under current law, unless a driver is drunk or high, it is difficult to prove recklessness. And legally, charges can not be filed for "an unfortunate accident."

"Was he texting? Was he on the phone? What was the issue? Why was he distracted? Why did he go off the road? Driver basically what it amounts to," Deputy Chief Bennett said. "And there's nothing we can do about drivers not paying attention."

The driver's name has not been released.

"At the scene, he was a wreck," said Deputy Chief Bennett.

According to deputies, even if the driver had been texting or using his cell phone, that would not be enough to file charges against him. The deputies said until the laws are changed, there is nothing they can do.
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Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) [Non]Improvement Program

Biking in the Metro AreaFrom the League of American Bicyclists:

In 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) created the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program to fund transportation projects designed to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. Bicycle and Pedestrian projects are explicitly recognized at the federal level as eligible. Eligible projects include new bike and walking facilities and promotion projects (FHWAa, 2008).

All CMAQ projects must be part of a state’s transportation plan and region’s transportation spending plan, called the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). As with other federal funding sources, states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) that have made cycling walking priorities in their planning will have an easier time using CMAQ funds on bike/ped projects. States disperse the funds -- sometimes allocating them directly, and sometimes suballocating to MPOs -- and are then reimbursed by the FHWA after the work is complete. CMAQ typically covers 80 percent of the project cost, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the state, MPO or public/private partners.

Where and how much

All 50 states and the District of Columbia receive CMAQ funds. Funds must be spent in regions that do not meet national air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide levels (“nonattainment” areas) or have recently become compliant (“maintenance” areas). [Baltimore is a non attainment area]. If a state does not have these areas, CMAQ funds are treated as part of the Surface Transportation Program (STP) and can be used anywhere in the state.
Overcoming Barriers

While some MPOs are eager to spend CMAQ money on bike/ped projects, others are more resistant. According to a comparative case-study, almost 45 percent of the money spent on bike/ped in the Sacramento, Ca. area comes from the CMAQ program, while Baltimore, Md. did not spend any CMAQ funds on bike/ped projects as of spring 2009. Officials in the two locations saw bike projects very differently. In Sacramento, reviewers saw bike projects as the ideal use for CMAQ money, saying that the CMAQ program “almost earmarks money” for bike/ped projects. But in Baltimore, planners questioned the competitiveness of bicycling projects because they felt it was difficult to show their impact on air quality (McCann, 2009).
Nearly all states have under-spent their CMAQ funding. The money is there. It is a matter of priorities. Bicycle and pedestrian projects are a great choice because their cost benefit ratio is better than for other project types. [Maryland has underspent to the tune of $1.4M]
“You could spend your whole budget on a few miles of HOV lanes,” one planner said, or you could complete a number of different bicycle and pedestrian projects.
FY 2009 Baltimore, Maryland Application – November 4, 2008
Bicycling projects are grouped under ‘other’, with no bicycle specific instructions.
They ask generally for the type and description of the project, how it will reduce emissions, an estimate of reductions, and cost effectiveness calculations.
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Hearing on the Equal Rights for Bikes Task Force Summary

Biking in BaltimoreFirst off our thanks go out to City Council Persons Bill Henry and Mary Pat Clarke for their participation and interest in this topic. To highlight some of the points discussed:

* Fixing parallel storm grates
* Cycling bill of rights
* Better police participation in enforcing cyclists rights
* Crash reports for all cycling/motor vehicle crashes
* Legalizing riding on the sidewalk.
* Cyclist safety to and from Johns Hopkins Hospital
* Legalize single track Mt biking in the City Reservoirs

With the latter City Council will hold another hearing to discuss how to better serve recreational use of our reservoir areas, so stay tuned.

All cyclists in Baltimore and who use the Reservoir areas thank those who came to show support and those who testified, especially Nate Evens our Bike/Ped Planer extraordinaire in the city DOT, Gary Letteron of the Department of Planning. Also testifying, Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee, Baltimore Bicycling Club, One Less Car and Mid Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts.
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See-Click-Fix: report a bike hazard and watch it get fixed!

Biking in the Metro AreaFor Baltimore City our best place to report issues is 311, at the last Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting it was noted that even hazardous parallel storm grates can and should be reported to the 311 system.
<a href=""></a>;

If the issues is not resolved follow up here and with your City Council person.

Out side of Baltimore See Click Fix <a href=""></a>; You can report issues, you can set up watch areas and key words so you will be notified when someone posts an issue about one of your key words.
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October 2009 One Less Car Newsletter

Bike Maryland updatesOne Less > Car


One Less Car (OLC) works throughout Maryland to reduce car use. Our goal is to help people get to where they need to go happily, safely and 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.

In this issue:

Tour du Port Data and Survey Results
October 23rd: City Council Public Hearing
October 25th: Roland Park Sunday Streets (Ciclovia)!
November 2, 2009 Transportation for Maryland “Platform Launch” and “Membership Drive Kick-off”
Save the Date! February 3rd, 2010 - One Less Car Annual Symposium in Annapolis, MD
Street Smart

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Baltimore Sun has two letters supporting walkable communities

Biking in the Metro AreaFrom Baltimore Sun via One Less Car's blog:

The first letter to the editor is from Richard Eberhart Hall, Sec of Md Dept of Planning, titled &quot;Better planning needed for kids to walk to school&quot;. Mr. Hall talks about the need for school boards to design &amp; build new schools as integral parts of designated community growth areas and to reinvest in existing schools in our existing neighborhoods. He says that's Smart Growth. Giving families better options to make that walk would save public dollars, the environment - and a few pounds to boot.

The second letter is from David Marks, titled &quot; Baltimore County Could Make Schools Walkable.&quot; David focuses on his own frustration where his child and others can't safely cross Honeygo Blvd in White Marsh to walk or bike to school. He continues that the county could better scrutinize proposed developments so they connect to existing neighborhoods. David also mentions the Safe Routes to School Program and suggests creating a version of the Md Bicycle &amp; Ped Advisory Committee. He concludes that walking and bicycling go beyond physical fitness by also reducing automobile use and lower congestion. Balto County should work to make its neighborhoods accessible to pedestrians &amp; bicyclists. (David Marks is a former chief of staff at the MDOT and a former member of the Md Bike-Ped Advisory Committee).

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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