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Friday, March 31 2017 @ 12:33 AM UTC
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Our Roads are Killing Our Streams

Biking in Maryland[Baltimore Spokes: To many times I hear from those who oppose bike trails and extra width on the road for cyclists it is because of concerns for the environment and extra impervious surface, yet too often they do nothing about the outrageous storm water management used on our roads, parking lots and driveways. We need to raise awareness it is our over accommodation of cars at the expense of everything else that is wholesome that is the major problem.

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Runoff from roads contributes millions of pounds of nitrogen and sediment, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of phosphorus each yearDid you know that our roads are killing our rivers and streams? Every time it rains, stormwater from our roads and highways dumps tons of pollutants into our waterways. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, runoff from roads contributes millions of pounds of nitrogen and sediment, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of phosphorus each year.

CBF understands that if we are to restore our rivers, streams, and the Bay any time soon, we must address this problem. And, in fact, we are trying to. We are working with advocates across the nation on federal legislation to limit the amount of polluted runoff from federally-funded roadways. We are asking Congress to include language in the reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act, commonly called the Federal Highway Bill, which would create new stormwater guidelines that require federally-funded roadways to mitigate stormwater runoff pollution. If we are successful, it will create for the first time, a nationwide requirement for the management of polluted runoff from these roadways.

Your Congressperson was one of 34 members of the House of Representatives who signed a letter to the Chairman and Ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of this new approach to cleaning our waterways. Now we need to thank our leaders for their support and urge them to maintain that support for strong stormwater measures in the Federal Highway Bill as it moves through committee.

Please take a minute to send a message to your representative thanking your leader for supporting a change in how we address highway pollution. Our leaders appreciate the acknowledgement for the good work they do, and it encourages them to continue supporting actions their constituents care about.

For more information, read the letter and CBF's position on stormwater and the Federal Highway Bill.

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Doctors prescribe smarter growth

Biking ElsewherePOLICY STATEMENT
The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children
Committee on Environmental Health

An estimated 32% of American children are overweight, and physical inactivity contributes to this high prevalence of overweight. This policy statement highlights how the built environment of a community affects children's opportunities for physical activity. Neighborhoods and communities can provide opportunities for recreational physical activity with parks and open spaces, and policies must support this capacity. Children can engage in physical activity as a part of their daily lives, such as on their travel to school. Factors such as school location have played a significant role in the decreased rates of walking to school, and changes in policy may help to increase the number of children who are able to walk to school. Environment modification that addresses risks associated with automobile traffic is likely to be conducive to more walking and biking among children. Actions that reduce parental perception and fear of crime may promote outdoor physical activity. Policies that promote more active lifestyles among children and adolescents will enable them to achieve the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. By working with community partners, pediatricians can participate in establishing communities designed for activity and health.
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Letter to the Editor Support Speed Cams

Biking in the Metro AreaDear HoC0 Times Folks, I would like to add my comments and support for the newly passed legislation for Speed Cams in Howard Co. where there is a shown need to slow auto traffic down. I live off of Bethany Lane(30'wide two lanes Rd. no shoulders or sidewalks) just around the corner from the Harbin Farms Fruit Stand, which we the neighbors greatly appreciate and support. The speed limit on Bethany from Rt. #99 to Rt. #40 is posted at 30 MPH and traffic/police reports show most cars are exceeding over 40 MPH. Constant Police Radar Enforcement slows the autos down while the police are there, but the speeding returns when our busy police are not enforcing the 30 MPH Speed Limit. I would suggest and hope that Bethany Lane be a spot for a speed camera(two Church Schools/ Many School Bus Stops/USPS Mail Boxes/ Many children on Bethany) and a great need to slow traffic down on this busy road.

Many talk about speed cams as a Money Maker, but I would like add from my 27 years as Firefighter in Washington, DC that the safety of our neighbors outside their autos Bike/Ped are the Real Safety Issues. We have found in our Safety Experiences that if you are hit by an auto(Outside your Car) going 25 MPH you have a 90% of survival and if hit by an auto 40 MPH you have a 90% chance of being killed.

The Speed Cams Law allows you to go 42 MPH on a 30 MPH Road before you are ticketed (A 40% Leeway) which I feel is more than acceptable). My view and support for Speed Cams is to obey the Posted Speed Limits and drive comfortable and not fear the Speed Cams and keep our communities safe for all the users of our busy roadways. I have contacted my Councilman Greg Fox and told him along with our fine Police Chief William McMahon that we need Speed Cams on Bethany Lane. Speed Cameras are about Safety, allowing our police officers to spend more of their valuable time on other important police matters and not Radar Duties as the Speed Cameras work 24 hours and work without police minding them. If there is revenue money left over the funds are to be directed to Public Safety Enhancements not the General Funds.

The time has come to take back our streets and have modern technology work for us. Your help and assistance in this important matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Bill Kelly
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San Francisco unveils first solar-powered bus shelter/wireless hot spot

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The first of 1,100 planned solar-powered bus shelters has been unveiled in San Francisco. The other 1,099 will be installed across the city over the next four years.

The roof of the bus shelter is made up of thin-film solar panels embedded in a 40 percent post-industrial recycled polycarbonate material in a rolling wave shape. The structure of the shelter is made of recycled steel and other materials.

The solar roof powers an intercom, LED lighting and wireless routers, so that the bus shelters will become wireless hot spots around the city. The shelters will feed any excess energy generated by the solar panels to the city grid.

While solar-powered bus shelters are not a new concept, it's cool to see an American city deploying them, especially using them to spread wi-fi throughout the city. San Francisco is once again setting a great example.
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D.A. Debate - traffic justice

Biking ElsewhereNYC - The race to replace Robert Morgenthau, who has served as Manhattan's District Attorney since 1975, heated up yesterday at a candidate's debate sponsored by Transportation Alternatives and the Criminal Justice Society of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Those seeking to replace the nearly nonagenarian Morganthau talked about an issue close to our hearts and minds: traffic justice. Cyrus Vance, Richard Aborn and a representative of Leslie Crocker Snyder discussed their views on vehicular crimes and the role of the District Attorney's office in protecting New Yorkers from reckless and dangerous drivers.

Some of the topics discussed included: the creation of a specific Bureau Chief for vehicular crimes; an approach to traffic justice that reflects its substantial impact on the safety and well being of New Yorkers; a nip-it-in-the-bud approach to lawless behavior such as the offense of reckless driving, which often precedes more dangerous behaviors; and a shift away from fixed, rigid notions of what constitutes an actionable case, often manifested in potential criminally negligent homicide cases.

We were very impressed with what each candidate had to say and believe that new blood will bring great changes to the Manhattan District Attorney's office. We wish each candidate the best of luck and are thrilled that these issues are finding a place in mainstream dialogues. Only time will tell if that can bring safer streets to the millions of people who travel through Manhattan each year.
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Curitiba’s BRT: Inspired Bus Rapid Transit Around the World

Mass TransitCuritiba, Brazil first adopted its Master Plan in 1968. Since then, it has become a city well known for inventive urban planning and affordable (to the user and the city) public transportation.

Curitiba's Bus Rapid Transit system is the source of inspiration for many other cities including the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia; Metrovia in Guayaquil, Ecuador; as well as the Orange Line of Los Angeles.

This video illustrates how Curitiba's public transportation system operates and the urban planning and land use principles on which it is based, including an interview with the former Mayor and architect Jaime Lerner. Current city employees also discuss the improvements that are being made to the system to keep it up to date and functioning at the capacity of a typical subway system. Curitiba is currently experimenting with adding bypassing lanes on the dedicated BRT routes and smart traffic lights to prioritize buses. They are even constructing a new line which will have a linear park and 18km of bike lane that parallels the bus transit route.
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Safety in Numbers

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New data now reveals that there are 185,000 daily cyclists in New York City, an increase of more than one third from just four years ago. This staggering surge is not only a testament to the infrastructure improvements that have been implemented in the last couple of years, but also a contributing factor to the increased safety of cyclists throughout the city.

It's a well established fact that for bikers there is safety in numbers. With more cyclists out and about, more drivers are accustomed to sharing the road. In fact, cycling in New York City is safer now than it has been at any time in recent memory, so spread the word and hit the streets.
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Transportation Bill Timing & Attack on Biking and Walking

Bike LawsThe latest here in Washington is an update on the timing of the Transportation Bill and attacks on biking and walking programs.

First, we have been hearing that the Transportation Bill was likely to be out in about a week, but our newest intelligence is that it will be later. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be releasing some white papers on the bill in the next few weeks with a related press conference highlighting key points. It is still possible that a bill will be out through a sub committee this month, but Majority Leader Hoyer has stated that the transportation bill will not hit the floor before the July 4th recess.  And on the Senate side, word is still pessimistic that there will even be a bill in 2009.

The second bit is that the House Republican leadership is unfortunately taking the position that all funding for Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and non-motorized transportation projects should be totally eliminated, saying that these projects are more appropriately funded by state and local governments. We are reaching out to Ohio and Virginia advocates (and encourage you to reach out to any contacts, friends or family you might have) in the districts of Rep. John Boehner (OH 8th - West of Dayton) and Rep. Eric Cantor (VA 7th - Richmond and North) why biking and walking are good investments.  An article is pasted below and you can also read the 22 page proposal at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/newsroom/6.4.09%20Budget%20Savings%20Proposal.pdf

Finally, we will be having our Federal Transportation Bill conference call next Wednesday, June 10th at 1pm EDT.  To join us for the call please sign up at:

Thanks!

Jeff
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Everyone Share the road

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Whether we’re traveling on four wheels or 16; two feet or two wheels, we all have something in common: we are on this road together.  Sadly, the toll of sharing the road together has cost too much, and lost lives is a price too dear for just getting from here to there.  Here’s a review of the rules of the road whether you’re walking, bicycling, motorcycling – or driving around pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles or large trucks.  The good news is that you’re in control and have a choice – to choose safety for life!

Pedestrian Safety – Tips for Pedestrians and Sharing the Road with Pedestrians Every time you get out of your vehicle, you become a pedestrian too.  Share the road with pedestrians.

Bicyclists, do in fact, belong on the road, and not the sidewalk.  Did you know that bicyclists are subject to the same vehicle laws as drivers? Rules for bicyclists and vehicles sharing the road with them.

Motorcycles – Tips for motorcyclists and Sharing the Roads with Motorcyclists

Commercial Vehicles - Sometimes roadway bullies are not the biggest on the block, drive cautiously around large vehicles.  Commercial truck drivers will return the favor.

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Another day, another bike rack, on the food network?

Biking in BaltimoreThis one at Charm City Cakes just might make it:
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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