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Mid July Update

Bike Maryland updates

One Less > Car

ONE LESS CAR (OLC) MID JULY UPDATE

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.

--Thursday July 23rd, 2009 6:30PM - Volunteer Event Planning Meeting
--OLC Advocacy Task Force Meeting Update 
--Maryland's First Annual Motoring Report Card
--Tour du Port Registration is Open 
--Study Suggests Active Commuters Reap Health Benefits
--The Fall Forum - October 7, 2009
--Sponsorship/Donations 

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Drivers and Legislators Dismiss Cellphone Risks

Biking Elsewhere...
Extensive research shows the dangers of distracted driving. Studies say that drivers using phones are four times as likely to cause a crash as other drivers, and the likelihood that they will crash is equal to that of someone with a .08 percent blood alcohol level, the point at which drivers are generally considered intoxicated. Research also shows that hands-free devices do not eliminate the risks, and may worsen them by suggesting that the behavior is safe.

A 2003 Harvard study estimated that cellphone distractions caused 2,600 traffic deaths every year, and 330,000 accidents that result in moderate or severe injuries.

Yet Americans have largely ignored that research. Instead, they increasingly use phones, navigation devices and even laptops to turn their cars into mobile offices, chat rooms and entertainment centers, making roads more dangerous.

A disconnect between perception and reality worsens the problem. New studies show that drivers overestimate their own ability to safely multitask, even as they worry about the dangers of others doing it.

Device makers and auto companies acknowledge the risks of multitasking behind the wheel, but they aggressively develop and market gadgets that cause distractions.

Police in almost half of all states make no attempt to gather data on the problem. They are not required to ask drivers who cause accidents whether they were distracted by a phone or other device. Even when officers do ask, some drivers are not forthcoming.

The federal government warns against talking on a cellphone while driving, but no state legislature has banned it. This year, state legislators introduced about 170 bills to address distracted driving, but passed fewer than 10.
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MovieFest — a month-long series of FREE movies in the Cross Keys courtyard on Saturday nights throughout June

Looking for local rides(ers)The Village of Cross Keys "MovieFest" —a month-long series of free movies in the Cross Keys courtyard on Saturday nights throughout the month of June. The MovieFest line-up will feature blockbuster films, each with a Baltimore twist.

· June 6th, 8:30 pm, “Hairspray” (written and directed by John Waters)

· June 13th, 8:35 pm, “Avalon” (written and directed by Barry Levinson)

· June 20th, 8:40 pm, “The Accidental Tourist” (based on the novel by Ann Tyler)

· June 27th, 8:45 pm, “Cry Baby” (written and directed by John Waters)

The festivities will begin each Saturday evening at 6 pm with food, drink, music and prizes in the village square. Pre-movie dinner specials will be offered at each of the Cross Keys restaurants: Crossroads, Donna’s Café and Village Square Café. The retail shops will have extended hours and many will offer shopping specials. The free movies will begin at sunset. Guests are invited to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets; limited seats will be provided.

MovieFest is being produced by Extraordinary Events and sponsored by the Cross Keys shops, restaurants and businesses.

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Have bike bell or horn, then make music!

Biking in Baltimore
contemporarymuseum
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mobtown Modern Goes Guerilla for Summer Spectacle Saturday, July 18, 2009 3:00 p.m.

The Metro Gallery

1700 North Charles Street
Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Baltimore

The Contemporary Museum’s Mobtown Modern concert series will take New Music to the streets with an interactive performance of composer Mauricio Kagel’s Eine Brise (‘A Breeze’) for 111 bicyclists, on Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 3 p.m.

Riders will begin and end their trek at The Metro Gallery in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. The posse of performers will use bells, horns, and utterances and whistling to replicate the sounds of a crisp breeze during their “round the block” performance. Eine Brise begins with jingling to announce the coming breeze, climaxing with a crescendo of a frenzied chorus of “wind sound” vocalizations from performers.

Anyone with a bicycle and a bell or horn is invited to participate in this guerilla-style music making experience. To participate, e-mail info@mobtownmodern.com. Space is limited.

For more information about the Contemporary Museum and Mobtown Modern, visit www.contemporary.org or www.mobtownmodern.com.

About the Contemporary Museum: The Contemporary Museum promotes the art and culture of our time by producing and presenting new works, new thinking, and new practices that are immediately relevant. The Contemporary has earned international acclaim for its thought-provoking exhibitions, innovative programming, and unique collaborations with artists, curators, critics, and members of the community.

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UPDATE: Fatal Accident on Rt. 235 in The Area of Park Hall

Biking in MarylandLEXINGTON PARK - 7/11/2009

On July 11, at approximately 2:44 p.m., a blue 2008 Mazda M3I driven by Royal Kessick III, 47 of Richmond, Va., was traveling northbound on Three Notch Road, north of Park Hall Road. Hugo Gonzalez, 44 of St. Leonard, was riding a bicycle on the southbound shoulder of Three Notch Road heading towards Park Hall Road. Kessick's vehicle crossed the southbound travel lane, onto the shoulder and into the path of Gonzalez's bicycle. Gonzalez was struck by the vehicle and thrown into the grass adjacent to the roadway. Gonzales succumbed to his injuries. Kessick's vehicle continued towards the wood line, struck a tree, overturned once and landing upright.

Kessick was flown by Eagle 1 to Medstar. Gonzalez was wearing a bicycle helmet. Initial investigation indicates alcohol is not believed to be a contributing factor. Members of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Collision Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact DFC Timothy Reese at (301 )475-4200 ext. 9115.
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Savage Mill Trail pics

Bike Pathsimage
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Cyclist Sues for Opened Car Door

Biking ElsewhereHere’s a new skirmish between bikers and motorists: A Southeast Portland cyclist is suing a woman for opening a car door directly in her path, allegedly causing a collision and permanent injuries.

According to a lawsuit filed July 8 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Kristin Ragnarsson was riding eastbound on Southeast Stark Street on July 3, 2008.

As Ragnarsson passed the intersection with Southeast 28th Avenue, the lawsuit says, Judith Latourette-Meyers of Clackamas County had her vehicle parked at the curb on the south side of Stark. According to the lawsuit, Latourette-Meyers opened her driver-side door “directly into the path” of Ragnarsson’s bike.

Ragnarsson suffered injuries to her head, back, left hip and right hand, the lawsuit says, including a cut to her right index finger and a broken metacarpal. The injury to her right hand is permanent, the lawsuit says.

The suit, filed by Vancouver lawyer Daniel Jacobs, seeks $12,765.96 for medical bills, plus up to $100,000 for pain and suffering.

Latourette-Meyers could not be reached for comment.
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Cuba Road and Shawan Road Intersection Issue:

Biking in Maryland[Note: The plan on the table is to have more turning lanes and widen the intersection part of Cuba Rd allowing more cars to go through on a shorter green light phase so Shawan Rd can have a longer green light phase. One of the problems is that a wider mouth to Cuba Rd will invite more traffic onto Cuba Rd decreasing bicycle and pedestrian comfort/safety along Cuba Rd. So if you have constructive input ]

I want to re-confirm that the Department of Public Works will hold an open meeting on proposed improvements to the Cuba Road - Shawan Road Intersection Tuesday, July 28 at Oregon Ridge Park. The meeting is scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Sequoia Room of the Park Lodge on Beaver Dam Road.

As you know, this meeting is part of a series of conversations with the community to craft a road design that will satisfy both local community goals and area transportation needs. The program, which as I said begins at 6:00, will start with an historical view of traffic problems and lay out the County's solution based on numerous public meetings. Between 6:30 and 7:00, the public will have an opportunity to individually address the group from the podium and offer constructive input. Between 7:00 and 8:00 public works engineers and their consultants will be available to discuss specific points with individuals in a workshop setting.

Because there has been considerable interest and constructive input during the past few weeks, I am taking every step to insure that all voices are heard, whether they come from the podium, the comment cards, conversations with my staff during the workshop, or (after the fact, for those who can't make the meeting) by email to our address: publicworks@baltimorecountymd.gov.

I am also aware of recent requests to postpone our meeting until September, but due to the level of interest and the number of substantive suggestions we've received I do not want to lose this opportunity to forge ahead. Our meeting on the 28th will provide a setting for these ideas to percolate, and all of the suggestions and comments will then be evaluated and posted on the County's website.

Thanks for your interest, input and support.

Edward Adams, Director
Edward C. Adams, Jr., P.E.
Director
Department of Public Works
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A Strategy for Traffic Safety

Biking Elsewhere[Baltimore Spokes: Something very similar could be written about Baltimore.]

Despite acres of new pedestrian space and a 1,800-mile bicycle network in development, in 2007 there were still 79,510 car crashes in our city, including 11,035 incidents of a motor vehicle hitting a pedestrian. In 2007, 273 people were killed in car crashes and the majority of them were pedestrians. Being struck by a car while walking remains the number two cause of injury-related death for New York City adults over 45, second only to an accidental fall, and it is the number one injury-related cause of death for New York City children under 14. It is increasingly evident that the fatal consequences of New York City streets are reliant on more than infrastructure. What good is a crosswalk with a car blocking it? What use are red lights when 1.23 million vehicles speed through them every day? This everyday behavior terrifies New Yorkers. The lack of action to counter this behavior is a problem. As the number of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers killed in New York City car crashes remains unchanged, the number of summons issued for the most dangerous traffic violations is actually declining. Transportation Alternatives’ Executive Order: A Mayoral Strategy for Traffic Safety outlines the breadth of the problem, and on the basis of our expertise, offers extensive recommendations towards a solution. Mayor Bloomberg, we strongly urge you to recognize the problem of traffic safety; please read, consider and act on the recommendations outlined herein.

In the month of October 2008, there were 16 reported instances in which a vehicle crashed into a person. Between October 1 and October 24 alone, seven people were struck by cars and were fortunate enough to survive. In those same 24 days, motor vehicle drivers killed 11 pedestrians and 2 cyclists: five of the drivers hit and ran; one drove on a suspended license; none of the drivers were charged with a crime. Had the moving violations that caused these deaths, the speeding, red light running and failure to yield not resulted in a crash, it is extremely unlikely that any of the drivers’ illegal actions would have been caught. However these fatalities are not the only disastrous effect of the failure to enforce moving violations. For every fatality, there are hundreds of crashes that cause debilitating injury, for every injury there are thousands of terrifying crashes, and for every crash there are millions of New Yorkers whose quality of life suffers under the toll of dangerous traffic in their community.

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Weekend in Lancaster September 25, 26 & 27, 2009

Cyclist\'s Yellow Pagesimage
• Three days of cycling the scenic, rolling roads of the Amish heartland, with rides ranging from 16 to 61 miles.
• Lodging on Friday and Saturday nights at the Mill Stream Country Inn. All rooms have two queen beds and cable TV. An indoor storage room for bikes is provided.
• Wine, cheese and dessert parties in the Mill Stream’s hospitality room on Friday and Saturday evenings.
• Deluxe continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday at the Mill Stream Country Inn.
• Buffet dinner on Saturday at the Bird-in-Hand Restaurant. (Friday dinner is on your own.)
• Complimentary rooms for showering on Sunday
• All taxes and gratuities are included.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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