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Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 03:26 AM UTC
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Right on Red Enforcement Support Letter

Biking in BaltimoreTo: Alfred H. Foxx, Director Department of Transportation

I am writing on behalf of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (MBAC) to express our support for the city’s efforts to enforce current laws that govern vehicles when turning right on a red signal light at key intersections, particularly where there is significant bicycle traffic. We believe that aggressively enforcing “No Right on Red” prohibitions and the requirement for a full stop before making an authorized right turn on red is essential to protecting the safety of cyclists and pedestrians and to enhancing the livability of the City of Baltimore . The use of photo enforcement strikes us as important as it is not practical for police officers and Special Traffic Enforcement Officers to be present at all times and all locations.

The majority of intersections in the city permit drivers to turn right at a red light, after coming to a complete stop. “No Right on Red” signs are only put in place when a clear danger to pedestrians, cyclists, and/or drivers has been identified. Some “No Right on Red” signs have even been put in place as a result of accidents or fatalities at the intersection. Unfortunately, some irresponsible drivers have been ignoring the prohibition. At intersections where a right turn on a red signal is authorized, some drivers have been ignoring the requirement to come to a complete stop before turning and are “rolling” through the intersection as if at a “Yield” sign.

Cyclists waiting to proceed through the intersection can easily be overlooked by drivers because they are smaller than a motor vehicle. Thus, “No Right on Red” rules at select locations and the requirement for a full stop before making an authorized right turn on red are vital in the prevention of bicycle accidents and fatalities.

Because of the clear danger posed by their violation, we hope that the city will do its utmost to enforce “Right on Red” restrictions.

Sincerely,
Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee
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Eco Ride

Biking in the Metro Areaimage
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Join The America Bikes Coalition

Biking Elsewhere[From League of American Bicyclists and yes this is yet another alert as this moves forward.]
Take Action image
Join The America Bikes Coalition
Support Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects in the Economic Recovery Bill
Join The America Bikes Coalition to Protect Transportation Enhancement Funding
 

The House and the Senate have each passed their own version of the Economic Recovery Bill, aimed at creating jobs and stimulating the economy.  Both bills include billions for transportation infrastructure, but only the House bill includes funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects in the Transportation Enhancements program.  

The House Bill includes approximately $1.35 billion for Transportation Enhancements of which 50-60% is traditionally spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects.  The Senate Bill does not explicitly include Transportation Enhancements, so its unclear whether this funding will be in the final bill.

 

This week there will be a conference committee where several members of the House and several members of the Senate will work together to reconcile the two bills.  Conferees need to hear that Transportation Enhancements are important to stimulating the economy, creating green jobs, and moving us towards a sustainable future.

 

Please call your Senators and Representative and urge them to tell the Conferees to support Transportation Enhancements in the Economic Recovery bill. 

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Tired of unsafe passing, cyclist tries adding driver's ed to shirt

Biking Elsewhereimage
...
Mizereck was pretty sure many drivers weren't aware of Florida's law.
...
"I was riding down the road, and I thought, 'Why don't I just put something on the back of the jersey telling people what they need to do?'"

From that thought came the 3 Feet Please jersey - a vivid yellow bicycling shirt.
...
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Action: Sustainability City Council Hearing

Health & Environment

[Please tell your City Council member to vote for the Plan and attend in person if you can.]


The collective efforts of the Baltimore Commission on Sustainability, working groups, community associations, and interested citizens across the city have culminated in the creation of Baltimore ’s first Sustainability Plan.  The Plan has been approved by both the Commission on Sustainability and the Baltimore Planning Commission.

 

The next step toward final adoption is an informational hearing by the Baltimore City Council on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 5:00 PM in the City Council Chambers, 4th Floor of City Hall, 100 N. Holliday Street .

 

Because of your interest in the sustainability of Baltimore , you may wish to attend this hearing. There will be time allowed for public comments.

 

Please note that the security procedures at City Hall require that you bring photo-identification with you.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Zaleski at sarah.zaleski@baltimorecity.gov or 410-396-4556 for further information.

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Another gift for the auto industry

Mass Transit...
Mass transit needs far more stimulus help to offset local budget cuts, but cannot get it because some say buses, trolleys, and trains are not "shovel-ready." America's automakers keep getting aid, even when a bailout is only a shovel to dig their own grave.
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Why do tubes filled with CO2 go soft so soon?

Biking ElsewhereThe rate of loss

Dear Lennard,
Since a CO2 molecule is larger than either an oxygen or nitrogen molecule, why does it leak out of a bicycle tire faster?
Glenn

Dear Glenn,
Upon receiving your question, I put CO2 in a clincher tire with a Michelin butyl inner tube (latex tubes leak air quickly, as you’re probably aware). This particular tire and tube hold air pressure faithfully for weeks on one of my road bikes without needing pumping. And sure enough, within three days after inflating with CO2 to 90psi, the pressure had dropped to 45ps
...
Permeation by diffusion predicts gas leakage rates proportional to the inverse of the square root of their molecular weights. Using air as a reference the predicted leakage rates for common gases are: helium 2.7, air 1.0, nitrogen 1.02, oxygen 0.95, argon 0.85, carbon dioxide 0.81.

It turns out however that the leakage rate of CO2 is huge, and the reason is that it is actually soluble in butyl rubber and is thus not constrained to normal permeation loss, it can transfer straight through the bulk rubber resulting in severe tire pressure loss on the order of a single day.
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SRAM AWARDS $400,000 TO THUNDERHEAD AND LAB

Biking Elsewhere-> According to the Jan. 29th Thunderhead Weather Report, "SRAM has announced a grant of $400,000 to the Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists to boost the advocacy capacity of local cyclists. Jeffrey Miller, President of the Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking commented on the strength SRAM will provide to Alliance organizations working at the local level. 'Much of the progress over the past decade has been through the hard work of these dedicated advocates. This incredible support from SRAM boosts our ability to support them directly.'

"'SRAM's generosity builds on what is best about the League and the Alliance: trusted and practical programs for increasing bicycle-friendliness and effective, passionate advocacy for change,' says Andy Clarke, President of the League. The broadening partnership of the Alliance and the League will allow the two organizations to not only provide technical and training assistance to grassroots organizations, it will also create a new grant making program. Details of this new program will be announced in the weeks to come..."
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"Vehicular Assault of a Bicyclist or Pedestrian." & KY House Bill 88

Biking ElsewhereBelow is some background information, written by and used with permission of Dr. Barry Zalph, Expectative Director of Bicycling for Louisville, about Kentucky House Bill 88. Barry and the staff of Bicycling for Louisville and several attorneys drafted HB 88 which will create the new law of &quot;Vehicular Assault of a Bicyclist or Pedestrian.&quot; I've included a link to the HB 88 and a link to allow you to contact members of the Kentucky Legislature to express your views about the bill. I would also be interested to hear your comments and answer any questions you may have about HB 88. E-mail your comments or questions to me at RMLCI at aol dot com. The link to HB 88 is: <a href="http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/09RS/HB88.htm">http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/09RS/HB88.htm</a>; and the link to contact Kentucky Legislators is: <a href="http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Legislators.htm">www.lrc.ky.gov/Legislators.htm</a>;

Here's some background:
As in many (but not all) other states, Kentucky law generally does not allow law enforcement officers to issue citations or make arrests for non-felony traffic violations not witnessed by the officer. Kentucky law makes exceptions for DUI and hit-and-run. Felony charges are very rarely leveled against drivers unless alcohol or drugs are involved and a fatal or crippling injury results. Because most crashes occur when no officer is on hand to witness them, criminal charges are rarely filed in connection with the crashes. This means that a bicyclist can be obeying all of the traffic laws and minding her or his own business, get crippled or killed by a reckless driver, and have no legal recourse except through a lengthy civil (lawsuit) process. The news accounts say, &quot;No charges will be filed,&quot; giving the impression of a tragic accident for which nobody is at fault. This is equally true if physical evidence and eyewitness testimony shows that the driver was speeding, passing illegally, failing to yield right of way, running a red light, etc. at the time of the crash. From a public policy perspective, the lack of enforceable criminal penalties sends the message that these crash-causing driving violations are of no concern to the Commonwealth, and that it is merely a private (civil) matter for the involved parties to resolve among themselves. This helps to perpetuate the attitude that Kentuckians' convenience as car drivers trumps any responsibility that they have for the safety of other road users - as long as the driver is not intoxicated.

The central portion of our bill creates a new offense, vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian, defined as a vehicle operator (and yes, this can be a bicyclist as well as a motorist) hitting a bicyclist or pedestrian while operating her or his vehicle in a reckless manner. Reckless, according to long-standing Kentucky law, means a combination of two things: 1) failing to avoid a substantial and unjustifiable risk; and 2) grossly deviating from the standard of care exercised by a reasonable person under those conditions. To convict someone of this crime, the prosecutor would need to prove recklessness. This provides a large degree of protection for vehicle operators who hit someone through little or no fault of their own. Our bill would specifically empower law enforcement officers to issue a citation or make an arrest for this crime on the basis of &quot;probable cause,&quot; another well-established legal term that means good reason to believe that the person committed the crime, regardless of whether the officer witnessed it. This means that if an officer arrived at the scene of a car-bike or car-ped crash, looked at the evidence, and had strong reason to believe that one party to the crash caused it by driving recklessly, the officer could charge that person with vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian. In my opinion, this charge would have been appropriate in three of the four most recent car-caused bicyclist fatalities in Louisville. Under current law, no charges were filed in any of those cases.
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Senate amendment would strip bike funding from stimulus bill; Blumenauer responds

Biking Elsewhere[From Bike Portland]
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced an amendment last night that would prohibit funding of “bicycle routes” and paths from the economic stimulus package that’s working its way through Capitol Hill right now.

According to staffers in Representative Earl Blumenauer’s office who are following the bill closely, Sen. DeMint’s amendment was supported in a speech by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)

DeMint is chair of the Senate Steering Committee. On Tuesday, he told Newsmax.com:

“When people see bike trails and hiking trails and golf courses, they know this is not designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs. It’s just basically special-interest pork barrel spending.”

Here is the amendment:

image

And the text reads:

Prohibition on use of funds for trails and off-road vehicle routes. None of the funds made available under this Act shall be used for bicycle, walking, or wildnerness trails, or off-road vehicle routes.

And Blumenauer, like he has done many times in the past, has issued a response (emphasis mine):

“Republican amendments and assertions that the creation of hike and bike trails in the recovery plan will not create jobs or stimulate the economy shows us just short-sighted and out of touch they are.

Investment in bike paths will not only improve our economy, and take our country in the right direction for our future; it is precisely the kind of investment the American people want. American families have indicated time and again in the passage of bond measures across the country that they favor spending on alternative transportation, such as bicycles and mass transit, over spending on more highway capacity.

Americans want a real solution to the economic crisis, not just a band-aid fix. These investments will stimulate the economy in the present and point our nation toward the economic and environmental realities of the future.”

We’ll keep you posted on the status of this amendment.

UPDATE: The League of American Bicyclists has addressed the DeMint statement and amendment in their “Trash Talk” section.

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