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Thursday, November 23 2017 @ 11:05 AM UTC
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Deadly car vs. bike accidents: Should they be a crime?

Biking ElsewhereSusanne Scaringi died after her bicycle slammed into the side of a van that abruptly pulled in front of her. The driver had failed to yield.

The driver wasn't drunk or using drugs, and didn't commit a crime under state law. But should it be a criminal offense to commit a traffic infraction that results in someone's death?

That's one question the Cascade Bicycle Club wants to ask Wednesday during a Traffic Justice Summit to be held at City Hall. The club is proposing a new state law that would aim to protect bicyclists and pedestrians, and is inviting victims and the public to weigh in during the two-hour discussion.

The advocacy group is pushing for a "Vulnerable User Bill," which would expand Washington's negligent driving law to include traffic infractions that result in death or serious injury to a cyclist or pedestrian, such as a fatal failure to yield. Such infractions then would become gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail.

The proposal is the club's top priority for the 2010 legislative session, said David Hill, Cascade's advocacy director.
The appellate court overturned the law after ruling that it didn't mesh with a state law that decriminalizes most minor traffic infractions.

"This isn't about acts of God or things that are generally unavoidable. This is about when people deliberately ignore the parameters we have established for safe operation of what is a very dangerous appliance and it results in seriously bodily injury or death," he said.
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Bikes and the bad-for-business rap (or not)

Biking Elsewhere...

As long as cities have been planning for bicycle traffic, business owners have complained that bike lanes, bike parking, and other bike-related facilities hurt their business. The thinking goes like this: Car access equals business success. Do anything to decrease that access — like remove car parking, narrow or remove car lanes for bikeways, or install traffic calming measures like medians or speed bumps — and the result is less business.

However, there are recent academic and real life examples that seem to prove that bike access is good for business.

A study based in Toronto and published by the Clean Air Partnership in February found that the removal of car parking and installation of a bike lane did not negatively impact merchants. The executive summary of that study stated:

“The spending habits of cyclists and pedestrians, their relatively high travel mode share, and the minimal impact on parking all demonstrate that merchants in this area are unlikely to be negatively affected by reallocating on‐street parking space to a bike lane. On the contrary, this change will likely increase commercial activity.”

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Police search for dump truck driver after fatal hit-and-run

Biking Elsewhere[Interesting comments compared to Baltimore's fatal hit and run which supposedly was the cyclists fault.]

REDWOOD CITY — A 58-year-old woman was killed Wednesday morning after trying to squeeze past a truck making a right turn in Redwood Shores.

The cyclist, Mary Yonkers of San Mateo, died at the scene. Police are looking for the truck driver, who left the scene and likely entered the freeway.

“It’s unknown at this point if he’s even aware he struck anyone,” said Redwood City police Sgt. Kathryn Anderson.

Police received two 911 calls at 7:51 a.m. reporting the accident at the intersection of Shoreway Road and Holly Street.

Witnesses said Yonkers was riding southbound on the right side of the road alongside the truck on Shoreway Road.

As the vehicle, alternately described as a dump truck and a tractor-trailer with red paneling, began to turn right onto Holly Street, Yonkers attempted to squeeze past, Anderson said.

“The back part of the vehicle knocked her over and some part of the vehicle ran over her,” Anderson said.

The maneuver, while legal, was unsafe, she said.

“It depends on the length of the vehicle. Some have wide turning access. It’s a dangerous move,” she said.
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America’s Transportation Leaders Embrace the East Coast Greenway

Biking in MarylandThis week, our East Coast Greenway began to move from a solely grassroots initiative to a project also backed by the most important transportation institution in the country. We have great relationships with many of the state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), but achieving federal partnership interest will effect a huge leap in our ability to make our route safe and accessible to all.

It all started last week when our Mid-Atlantic Trail Coordinator Mike Oliva emailed a note to US DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari. The note congratulated the Deputy Secretary on his appointment by Obama and mentioned that we would love to discuss our project with him. Deputy Secretary Porcari served as Secretary of the Maryland DOT before his federal appointment, so he had familiarity with our project and even worked with our Boardmember David Dionne in the state.

Porcari emailed us back the next day with an interest to meet. He saw the potential of the DOT supporting the East Coast Greenway as a pilot for establishing an interstate trail network nationwide. This past Monday, I got a call during a work trip in Rhode Island that the meeting was set for the next day, from 2:45-3:15 in the afternoon. The meeting grew to include Assistant Secretary of Policy, Polly Trottenberg, as well as DOT Chief Economist, Jack Wells.

Mike Oliva and I raced down to Washington Tuesday morning in our suits, enjoying the East Coast Greenway signs along The Mall on our way to the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE. Once in the building, we were escorted up to the Deputy Secretary’s conference room.

Since Porcari had familiarity with sections of the East Coast Greenway in Maryland and of our overarching vision, he asked for an update on our progress and then we jumped into a brainstorming session on how the US DOT can get involved to ensure success for the project. This was inspiring. Obama had clearly hired a great crop of transportation leaders. They understand our transportation system must play its role in reducing carbon dioxide and other emissions, lowering our expensive dependence on foreign oil, and decreasing obesity rates that are hurting our people’s health.
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Google - Your world, your map

Biking Elsewhere...
The best part about this new dataset is that we've been able to add a lot of new, detailed information to Google Maps - information that helps people better explore and get around the real world. For example, college students will be pleased to see maps of many campuses; and cyclists will now find many more trails and paths to explore. Soon we even plan on providing you with biking directions to take advantage of this new data.
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73mph "bicycle"

Biking Elsewhereimage
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Bike Baltimore E-Newsletter, October 2009

Biking in Baltimore

Bike Baltimore , Vol. 1, Issue 4


Thank you for subscribing to the BIKE BALTIMORE e-newsletter distributed by the Baltimore City , Department of Transportation.  Here you will find the latest information regarding the city’s efforts to make Baltimore a safer and more enjoyable place to bike.





The Baltimore City Council will conduct a hearing on

the Equal Rights for Bikes Task Force

Friday, October 23rd at 12:30 pm.

Du Burns Council Chamber, 4th floor, City Hall


While this Task Force is a good idea, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (MBAC) are already fully engaged in many of its goals.  DOT has since submitted a list of other laws that would help improve cycling in Baltimore :  Complete Streets, mandatory bike parking, Cyclists’ Bill of Rights among others


Please attend this important hearing to make Baltimore a better place to bike!


  • The Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, October 20th at 6pm in the Department of Planning Conference Room ( 417 E. Fayette St , 8th Floor).  If you want to have comments submitted to City Council on the 23rd, please attend this MBAC meeting!



  • The Baltimore Metropolitan Council has completed the BICYCLE COMMUTER RESOURCE GUIDE for the Baltimore Region.  The guide contains an array of information road rules, outfitting your bike, and where to ride.  The guide also contains information for employers on how to encourage employees to commute by bike.  The guide is now available online.



  • The on-street bike parking in Charles Village will return after St. Paul Street is resurfaced within the coming months.  Along with the bike parking's return will be new bike lanes!!!


  • The bike lanes on Fallsway will be unavailable for a couple days over the coming weeks as they will undergo "improvements." 


  • The biking community of Baltimore welcomes Richard Layman as the new bicycle pedestrian planner for Baltimore County !  Richard will be developing the Western County Bike & Pedestrian Plan as well as focused planning in the Towson area.






  • Tour du Port, Baltimore 's premier bicycle event, took place October 4th with nearly 2000 riders!!! Congratulations to Carol Silldorff and ONE LESS CAR on the Tour's success.  All proceeds from the Tour go directly to advancing the programs and advocacy efforts of One Less Car, a non-profit dedicated to walking, bicycling and mass transit in Maryland .


  • Baltimore's first CYCLOVIA event will be Sunday, October 25th in Roland Park!!!  Sponsored by the Roland Park Civic League, Roland Ave will be transformed into a temporary park from 8am - 1 pm between Cold Spring Lane and Northern Parkway .  For more information or to volunteer, email Mike McQuestion at


  • The Southeast BIcycle Network will be unveiled Wednesday, October 28th 6:30 pm at the Southeast Anchor Library.  See what new bike facilities will be coming to Highlandtown, Canton , Fells Point, Little Italy and points in between.


  • The annual Baltimore Halloween Bike Ride (Critical Mass) will take place on Friday, October 30th starting at the Washington Monument at 7pm.




These events and more can be found on the Bike Baltimore website at

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B.A.D.D. Bumper Sticker

Biking Elsewhereimage
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Another Maryland Bicyclist Fatality

Biking in Maryland[Email letter from the state police in response to emails, etc sent from various sources.]

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009, 4:19 PM

To Whom It May Concern:

This is in response to a number of e-mails and citizen inquiries following the death of Curtis A. Leymeister, who was killed while operating a bicycle on Clarks Landing Road on October 5, 2009. I would like to provide the following information to clarify many misconceptions about this tragedy.

First and foremost, please let me convey my deepest sympathies to the entire Leymeister family regarding this tragic loss. As the commander of the Leonardtown Barrack, I spent nearly four hours on the scene of this collision personally notifying the family of the loss of Curtis and making sure all the evidence was being collected to complete a thorough and objective investigation. The Maryland State Police has a long standing history of conducting strict traffic enforcement with the highest hopes of reducing the number of fatal and serious motor vehicle collisions that occur throughout Maryland . The members of my command take this responsibility very seriously and are certainly personally affected whenever they are on the scene of a fatal collision.

The initial investigation would reveal that Mr. Leymeister was struck while he was traveling westbound on Clarks Landing Road, east of Scotch Neck Road, Hollywood, St. Mary’s County, MD. Clarks Landing Road is a single lane road with a posted 40 mph speed limit. On the westbound portion of Clarks Landing Road where the collision occurred, there is an improved shoulder that is 3 feet 4 inches wide at the point of impact. Mr. Leymeister’s bicycle was 4 feet 8 inches left of the white edge line in a lane of travel that is 9 feet 7 inches wide. This places Mr. Leymeister’s bicycle a full 8 feet from the right edge of the pavement when he was struck. It would therefore be inappropriate for a bicycle to commute/travel that far into a designated lane of travel and certainly be classified as one of the primary causes of this collision.

Department of Maryland State Police policy calls for a “Detailed Crash Investigation Report” to be completed following most fatal collisions. This report will encompass many of the items you have mentioned to include detailed diagrams of the scene, photographs, driver statements, toxicology reports, cell phone records of the vehicle operator and a detailed account of any contributing factors to this accident. Unfortunately a press release cannot contain answers to all of the questions that have been posed. Once the entire investigative packet has been completed, it is reviewed and approved by the Maryland State Police Department Reconstruction Coordinator. Subsequently, the case will be presented to the St. Mary’s County States Attorney to determine if charges should be filed.

In regards to the bicycle being struck 4 feet 8 inches left of the edge line, the Maryland Vehicle Law Annotated Code states the following: Title 21-1205(a) Riding on roadways or highway, each person riding a bicycle or a motor scooter at a speed less than the speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing on a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and safe. Except when making a left turn, operating on a one-way street, passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle, avoiding pedestrians or road hazards, the right turn lane is a right turn only lane or operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane. At this point in the investigation, there is no apparent reason why Mr. Leymeister would be that far left of the white edge line.

Mr. Leymeister was not wearing a helmet at the time of this accident. Could the helmet have lessoned his injury to the point he would not succumbed to his injuries? The autopsy report may shed some light on this question. It should also be noted that Mr. Leymeister was not wearing any reflective clothing at the time of this collision.

This tragic incident further illustrates the need to educate the public on traffic safety. The Maryland State Police extends their support to those in the bicycling community and continues to be involved in discussions that target the concerns of everyone.

I hope this letter clears up any confusion on the unfortunate events that led to this tragic accident. The Maryland State Police are committed to all citizens of the State of Maryland in keeping our roadways safe for all of us.


Lieutenant Michael Thompson
Commander, Barrack "T" Leonardtown
23200 Leonard Hall Drive
Leonardtown , MD 20650
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Cyclist pepper-sprayed for not wearing helmet

Biking ElsewhereA Nelson police officer is to stand trial on assault charges after pepper-spraying a cyclist not wearing a helmet and then ramming him into a bank with his patrol car.

Justices of the peace Donald Horn and Mary Harley yesterday committed Senior Constable Garry Dunn to trial after a two-day depositions hearing in Nelson District Court. Dunn, who faces two charges of assault, has been stood down from duty on full pay.

Nelson chef Shaun Robert Taylor told the court Dunn used excessive force against him for not wearing a helmet on February 10 this year.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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