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Saturday, June 24 2017 @ 10:26 AM UTC
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Circuit Court bike rack

Biking in Baltimore[From our mail bag:]

I am writing to let you know that the bike rack in front of the circuit court house is COMPLETELY UNSAFE. My bike and I suspect others were stolen on August 3rd, 2009 while I was having breakfast a block away. I reported for jury duty and since I live in Charles Village I always pedal downtown. I choose to pedal most of the year as regular transportation even though I own a motorcycle and a work truck.

The racks around town, I understand, are park at your own risk. However, there is a tremendous false sense of security at that particular one. When the police showed up we looked in the trash can next to the rack and there was another cut heavy duty cable lock there. My lock, I suspect was taken with the thief. I actually chased him, but he was too far away to catch and on two wheels. I believe this person is targeting that rack because people think their property will be reasonably safe with a dozen or so law enforcement officers all around. Big mistake. Also, this thief or thieves have figured out that the theft won't even be reported to police until at least lunch time.

I also wrote the mayor and I sincerely hope something is done to address this. People shouldn't lose their days pay from work to serve jury duty and have their property stolen from a city owned bike rack in front of so many police officers and a circuit courthouse.

- RB
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biking to Hopkins

Biking in BaltimoreWhat will it take for the city to wake up? I have been biking to this campus for 4 years now and have been repeatedly assaulted. Now when it happens I don't even call the cops. Its no use.
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Federal Hill resident seeks approval for wind turbine

Health & EnvironmentLooking to lower her carbon footprint, and offset the rising cost of her BGE bill, Marsha Vitow is endeavoring to become the first Baltimore City resident to install a wind turbine on her roof.

It may seem like a logical next step in a city whose mayor has pushed a "cleaner, greener" agenda. But as eco-friendly as Baltimore is striving to become with extra tree plantings and recycling pickups, Vitow has run into some old-fashioned problems: decades old zoning laws don't account for a wind turbine and some of her Federal Hill neighbors don't want to look at it.

The matter will be decided Tuesday, when Vitow goes before the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals for a variance to build above the 35-foot residential height limit. Officials, who routinely approve roof decks, and additions, can't say how it will go.
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Bike Accidents Decline As Ridership Rises

Biking Elsewhere

Cyclists

More bicycles on the road means more chances for drivers yakking on cell phones or gorging on McFood to hit one, right? Wrong.

According to a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales, the number of collisions decreases as the number of bicycles in traffic increases. It sounds like a paradox, they say, but motorists are more likely to drive carefully and respectfully when there are more cyclists on the road.

"It’s a virtuous cycle," says Dr Julie Hatfield. "The likelihood that an individual cyclist will be struck by a motorist falls with increasing rate of bicycling in a community. And the safer cycling is perceived to be, the more people are prepared to cycle."

The researchers say studies in several countries have shown the incidence of motorists colliding with cyclists or pedestrians actually declines as more people ride or walk. The reason, they say, is simple — the more cyclists motorists see, the more aware they are of cyclists in general and more safely they drive. Rising cycling rates mean motorists are more likely to be cyclists, and therefore be more conscious of, and sympathetic towards, cyclists.

The findings run counter to conventional thinking, which holds that more cyclists means more chances for collisions.
While the numbers do increase in absolute terms, a city that doubles its cycling numbers can expect a one-third drop in the per-cyclist frequency of a crash.

When that news gets out, it could create a long-term cyclist friendly cycle: If people perceive biking to be safe, more of them will do it.
More cyclists means better motorist behavior and greater likelihood of communities passing bike friendly laws, further proving H.G. Wells was right when he said cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.

Photo by Flickr user swankalot.

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Bikes ride here

Biking ElsewhereOK, I just really like the picture:
image
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Your tax dollars at work to sell more cars

Biking Elsewhere"The House has voted to rush an additional $2 billion into the popular but financially strapped "cash for clunkers" car purchase program."

So we have to ask why not a "Cash for beater bike" program? The car industry is not the only industry hurt by the recession and if you want to talk about reducing our dependence on oil and curb global warming nothing works like the bicycle. Riding a bike 1.5 times a week or for 2.5 months out of the year would be the equivalent of trading in a 18mpg clunker for a 22mpg new car. Now if car qualifies for a $3,500 check from Uncle Sam shouldn't a bike used for similar reductions also qualify for a $3,500 check? (Eying the top end bikes at my LBS.) Heck, even a $350 check would help get people to buy a bike and would help ten times the number of people in reducing dependence on oil and curb global warming. Think about this; ten people riding a bike (instead of a car) for just one week out of the whole year is equivalent of one person buying a more fuel efficient vehicle.

Part 2 of this commentary is if the Highway Trust Fund is financially strapped because of a 4.4% decrease in gas tax revenues how is a 20% reduction in the purchase of gas going to help? We need to put an end to the non driving public directly subsidizing the driving public.
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The big, fat truth about Americans

Health & Environment... raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside.
...
This week, researchers published a study in the journal Health Affairs that found that as obesity rose 37 percent over the last decade, the cost of obesity to the nation has nearly doubled from $78.5 billion a year to $147 billion a year. Obesity now accounts for nearly 10 percent of all healthcare spending. The per capita cost of medical care for someone who is obese is $1,429 a year, 42 percent more than for the care of someone of normal weight.
...
The money we now lose in just one year to obesity is five times the budget of Massachusetts. It is nearly 16 times what the federal government has made available to states from 1992 to 2008 for transportation enhancements such as bicycle and pedestrian paths.
...
But just as Americans need him [Obama] to bluntly tell us we’re fat, Capitol Hill has to ... support cities and suburbs in redesigning streets and parks to support people who want to cycle or go out for a run and children who want to play outside. In a crusade against fat, flabby politics will not do.
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A few things from the bike shop. (best of craigslist)

Biking in BaltimoreWhoo-hoo Seattle, the sun is out! Let's discuss a few things before you fumble with swapping the unused ski rack for the unused bike rack on the Subaru.

So yes, you've noticed the sun is out, and hey!- maybe it would be cool to to some bike riding. Let's keep in mind that the sun came out of all 600,000 of us, so for the most part, you're not the only one who noticed. Please remember that when you walk into my shop on a bright, sunny Saturday morning. It will save you from looking like a complete *censored* that huffs "Why are there so many people here?"

Are we all on the same page now about it being sunny outside? Have we all figured out that we're not the only clever people that feel sunny days are good for bike riding? Great. I want to kiss all of you on your forehead for sharing this moment with me. Put your vitamin D starved fingers in mine, and we'll move on together to some pointers that will make life easier.

SOME POINTERS FOR THE PHONE:

- I don't know what size of bike you need. The only thing that I can tell over the phone is that you sound fat. I don't care how tall you are. I don't care how long your inseam is. Don't complain to me that you don't want to come ALL THE WAY down to the bike shop to get fitted for a bike. I have two hundred bikes in my inventory. I will find one that fits you. Whether you come from the north or the south, my shop is downhill. Pretend you're going to smell a fart, ball up, and roll your fat ass down here.

- Don't get high and call me. Write it down, call me later. When I have four phone lines ringing, and a herdlet
of people waiting for help, I can't deal with you sitting there "uuuuhhh"-ing and "uuummm"-ing while your brain tries to put together some cheeto-xbox-fixie conundrum. We didn't get disconnected, I left you on hold to figure your shit out.

-I really do need to see your bike to know what is wrong with it. You've already figured out that when you car makes a noise, the mechanic needs to see it. When your TV goes blank, a technician needs to see it. I can tell you, if there is one thing I've learned from you *censored*ing squirrels, it's that "doesn't shift right" means your bike could need a slight cable adjustment, or you might just need to stop backing into it with the Subaru. Bring it in, I'll let you know for sure.

- No, I don't know how much a good bike costs. For some, spending $500 dollars is a kingly sum. For others, $500 won't buy you one good wheel. You really need to have an idea of what you want, because every one of you raccoons "doesn't want to spend too much".
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75-year-old woman charged in hit-and-run

Biking ElsewhereBy Bonnie L. Cook - INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Lower Merion police filed charges today against a 75-year-old Villanova woman they said is responsible for a hit-and-run accident July 15 that injured a Bryn Mawr teenager.

Suzanne K. Lammers, 75, of the 1600 block of Hepburn Drive, was charged with causing an accident involving personal injury, a felony, and failure to stop and render assistance, a summary offense. The felony carries a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Lammers was arraigned via video camera at the Police Administration Building in Ardmore; the charges were lodged with Magisterial District Court Justice Kathleen Valentine several blocks away.

Lammers was released after posting 10 percent of $50,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Police Superintendent Michael J. McGrath said.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the accident happened on New Gulph Road near Morris Avenue in Bryn Mawr. Andrew Mallee, 13, was riding his bicycle on New Gulph when he was struck by a car described by witnesses as a gold Volvo station wagon. Both the car and bike were heading west. The car didn't stop, the affidavit said.

Mallee was treated at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for head injuries, but is expected to make a full recovery, McGrath said.

Detectives working from an anonymous tip went to Lammers' home Tuesday. She offered to show them her Volvo, parked in a garage, and said the car was damaged when she struck a deer.

"Mrs. Lammers stated she continued to travel west in order to turn around, and when she heard sirens, she decided that she should go home, because she was not sure what happened," the affidavit said.

Detectives who ran forensic tests on Lammers' car said the damage matched the circumstances of the hit-and-run accident, according to the affidavit.
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BikePed Beacon -- July 2009

Biking in the Metro Area

The following monthly newsflash from the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board details current news and events in regards to biking and walking both in and around the Baltimore region.

The information found in the newsflash is informative; it could inspire some to become more involved in the process of improving conditions for biking and walking.  
There is much to enjoy for everyone in this newsletter.  There is always plenty of information and resources available but the BMC tries to make all that information just as enjoyable as riding a bike or taking a walk.

You may peruse the newsletter highlights below but be careful not to miss anything.
 
Thank you, and Enjoy!
 
Stephanie Yanovitz
BikePed Beacon Editor

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