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Tough times should not stop innovation in transportation

Biking ElsewhereState Senator Creigh Deeds and River ‘Car Less Brit‘ Laker discuss mass transit, intermodal (roads-to-rails) and urban bike culture

By 2010, all federal and state transportation dollars will be needed to maintain our crumbling highways and closed rest areas leaving precious few funds for transportation improvements elsewhere in the Commonwealth. In fact, the Commonwealth may actually lose federal dollars because the General Assembly can’t provide required matching funds.

Both candidates for governor tout Virginia as the best place in the United States to do business and yet portions of the state’s transportation infrastructure are rapidly deteriorating and agencies lack funding necessary to attract new industry.

For example, Maersk Sealand, which just built a new container terminal on Craney Island in Portsmouth, needs help to increase road or rail capacity to serve the total build-out planned by Maersk. But Virginia cannot offer that help.

Last month, we sent 8 very specific questions regarding the sorry state of Virginia’s transportation infrastructure to both campaigns.

Until last weekend, we had not heard from either campaign; however, during a whirlwind tour through the Roanoke and New River Valleys on Saturday, State Senator Deeds gave SCH’s foreign correspondent River ‘Car Less Brit’ Laker about 10 minutes of face-time to address some of our transportation questions.
Why do conservatives loathe bikes and public transit?

Rush Limbaugh says, “Frankly, if the door opens into a bicycle rider I won’t care. I think they ought to be off the streets[.]”

The Virginia Bicycling Federation has called Congressman Eric Cantor on the carpet for his vehement opposition to bike-ped: “Cantor also added the expansion of the Smart Bike program- the first bike-sharing system of its kind in North America- as an additional example of wasteful stimulus spending” (source: LAB).

And FoxNews reports that Congressional Republicans have taken aim at funding in the Recovery Act specifically earmarked for alternative transportation, including increased bike paths as part of the Safe Routes to School program.

To his credit, and given the immense popularity of the Roanoke Valley Greenway system, Representative Bob Goodlatte has broken with Congressional conservatives to provide additional funding to complete the Roanoke River Greenway.

The League of American Bicyclists has reported that

It has been proven that dollar for dollar, bike infrastructure has a higher return on investment than road expansion. In fact, for every $1 million invested in an FHWA-approved paved bicycle or multi-use trail, the local economy gains 65 jobs. The modest expansion of the Smart Bike system will not only reduce co2 emissions by 1.5 tons every day (based on current usage rates), it will stimulate job growth. In addition to the numerous construction jobs created, the system expansion will not only create 20 new full-time jobs, they’ll also be green jobs that contribute to a healthier, more environmentally sound Washington. Another tourist-heavy area saw a 9 to 1 return on its investment in bike related infrastructure.

Deeds: Investments in our transportation infrastructure, from bike paths to intermodal (road to rail), make economic sense
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Baltimore's Bikeability - Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast

Biking in BaltimoreSegment Originally Aired May 13, 2009
Play now (11:36)
Biking your commute is better for you and for the environment, but just how easy is it to do in Baltimore? Our producers bring us along as they do their best to bike into work. Baltimore City's Bike Planner Nate Evans, and the president of one less car Greg Cantori also join us to talk about how bike-able Baltimore is.

Baltimore's biking scene continues to grow! You can bike around Baltimore on the upcoming Tour Du Port Bike ride on October 4th. The Harford Road Beautification Project might be putting bike lanes in their community, you can find out more at their community meeting on August 26th.

External Links:
Tour Du Port Ride
Harford Road Beautification project Meeting (PDF)
Biking Baltimore
One Less Car
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Share the Road/Support Safe Cycling official Maryland license plates

Biking in Marylandimage
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Cycle of Justice

Biking ElsewhereIt's not uncommon for bicycles to go missing on the University of Washington campus. Fancy $5,000 road bikes, busted $50 beaters—all of them end up in the hands of thieves, and usually at a faster clip during the summer months, when more people ride instead of drive and bike lifters have plentiful prey. Snipping through cable locks and snatching untended cycles, they make off with about 125 bikes annually, according to UW police.

What is incredibly uncommon is for one of these stolen bikes to be recovered—and even more uncommon is for such a bike to be recovered by a 25-year-old bioengineering grad student who has taken the law into her own hands, stalked her stolen property on Craigslist, jawboned authorities in two states into action, and even tried to set up a Wal-Mart parking-lot sting operation, all to recover a Redline Conquest Pro (a cyclo-cross bike) that she bought used last fall for $850. "I'm not one to give up easily," explained the student, Michelle McCully.
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Portland's Green Dividend

Biking ElsewhereWhat if you could add $2.6 billion annually to your local economy? That's what Portland has effectively done by getting its citizens to drive just 4 fewer miles a day, according to a briefing paper by our colleague Joe Cortright called Portland's Green Dividend. What Joe found has big implications for urban leaders across the country. As a result of enacting a growth boundary, increased density, mixed land uses, and investments in public transportation, walking and biking, Portlanders are saving time and money on transportation that gets funneled back into the local economy. Critics have long characterized Portlanders as "depriving themselves in the name of saving the environment." Some have argued that "planning, policies and regulations that restrict use or access to resources impede growth and lower household income." But the new study found that assumption is simply not true. There is, in fact, a Green Dividend that accrues to cities willing to make certain choices about urban form and transportation.
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PPTC Back Roads Century, September 20, 2009

Biking in Marylandimage
Planning has already begun on the PPTC Century Ride in historic Berryville, VA. Nearly 100 volunteers are organizing to: mark routes, serve snacks, hand out t-shirts, copy cue sheets, and perform myriad other tasks to carry out a club signature event. The ride start will be at the Clark County High School, which graciously provides us space and facilities, and there will be four rest stops, including the Burwell-Morgan Mill. Stroll into history at this charming well shaded site. We also stop at the White Post Antique Restoration site where you might spot an antique treasure. The White House rest stop will be moved to the elementary school in 2009, for better accessibility.

Last year over 800 riders participated, and we hope to increase the numbers in 2009. There will be 25, 50, 66(metric century), and 100 mile(English century), routes through rolling countryside on lightly traveled roads. PPTC has done this ride for nine years and has received accolades for a great SAG support system. Bike repair vans will be available at rest stops, and we will have local emergency support on call at all times.

The Boy Scouts will again offer breakfast at the start and will be making sandwiches this year. There will be some surprises in snacks and lunches, with some local groups working with us. We will try to keep all the goodies of last year: the tomato sandwiches, potatoes, and energy bars, and add some new twists.
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European Junior Championships Indoorcycling

Biking Elsewhere
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Police determine bicyclist at fault in fatal accident

Biking in BaltimoreThe Baltimore Sun picked up on our story (<a href=""></a>; ) and added some additional information:

&quot;This tanker truck was filled with fuel, making the back very, very heavy,&quot; Guglielmi said. &quot;It would have been impossible for him to realize he would have done this.&quot;

The spokesman also said Friday that surveillance video capturing the crash shows the cyclist was at fault, but Guglielmi declined to comment further until the report on the accident is complete. Results of the forensic testing should take three to six weeks, he said.

Steven D. Silverman, an attorney representing the Yates family, said they were awaiting public disclosure of the driver and the vehicle. Although the driver may not face criminal charges, he still could be found civilly liable for Yates' death, the lawyer said.

Based on the video, Silverman said the driver did not signal he was making the right turn and did so when the path was not clear.

&quot;Whether Mr. Yates was in the blind spot is something that needs to be determined,&quot; Silverman said. However, &quot;that doesn't absolve [the driver] of civil liability,&quot; he said
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Staten Island cyclist assaulted by motorist for being in bike lane

Biking ElsewhereSome Staten Island motorists are, in fact, in favor of bike lanes--as long as they get to drive in them, too.

This morning at 9 AM, cyclist Gregory DeRespino incited road rage among his motorist peers for merely sitting at a stop light in the bike lane on Father Capodanno Boulevard, SI Advance reports. Apparently, DeRespino's presence prevented them from using the bike lane as a turn lane to make a right on red.
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Mayor Dixon to Cycle Through Baltimore with Families

Looking for local rides(ers)WHAT: Mayor Dixon to cycle through Baltimore to Lake Montebello and bike with children and parents from the Belair-Edison and Coldspring-Homestead-Montebello (CHUM) communities.

WHEN: 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Ride Begins on the City Hall Cobblestones, Baltimore

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