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Hello Grand History Trail Partners!

Biking in MarylandRails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program are completing the initial planning phase of the Grand History Trail (GHT). We hope you’ll join us for our final stakeholders meeting in Baltimore this spring. Attendees will get a preview of the final web site and project report which include:

* GHT suggested route maps & GIS data
* Resource inventory of historic sites
* Media and Marketing Toolkit for trail promotion
* Trail gap analysis

The afternoon meeting will be an opportunity to make final comments and suggestions on the proposed routes and will also be a working session to gather ideas about marketing and promoting the trail.

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 from 1pm – 3pm
LOCATION: Baltimore Rowing and Water Resource Center Baltimore Rowing and Water Resource Center (Located in Middle Branch Park , 3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230, along the Gwynns Falls Trail, <a href=""></a>; Trailhead #8, T8)

Formal meeting agenda to follow.

Also, if anyone is interested in a post-meeting bike ride (bikes provided) along the Gwynns Falls Trail please let me know!

RTC will be presenting the Grand History Trail concept at the upcoming Maryland Bicycle Symposium on Wednesday, February 4th in Annapolis , MD. The symposium will bring together advocates, planners, and elected officials who want to improve the conditions for cyclists in Maryland – best of all, registration is free!
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Taking Aim at CO2 in Infrastructure Projects

Health & Environment...
A Portland-based start-up, Ecologistics, has developed a software program to help government agencies calculate the carbon dioxide costs right alongside the capital costs of their purchasing decisions when constructing or remodeling commercial buildings, bridges, roads and other infrastructure.

The software integrates a traditional life-cycle energy assessment of all the project materials — from resource extraction to installation — and compares suppliers not only according to the lowest bid, but also by the carbon dioxide emissions generated, fuel use and vehicle miles traveled, among other metrics.

“We do a pre-bid analysis of the materials supply chain and put together a footprint, so agencies can make a decision based on more than just price,” said Bryce Benge, a development coordination manager for Ecologistics, from his booth at the trade show.
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One less Car Legislative Priorities 2009

Bike Maryland updates2009 Bills to SUPPORT:

House Bill 97 Criminal Law: Manslaughter by Vehicle
* This is a very important bill – the hearing took place last week before the Judiciary Committee. If you live in committee members district - ask your delegates to support this bill that:
* Makes it a misdemeanor for a person to cause the death of another as a result of the person's driving, operating, or controlling a vehicle or vessel in a criminally negligent manner.
* This bill will make our roads inherently safer for bicyclists and pedestrians by improving the standards of justice and encouraging safer driving by conveying the message that criminally negligent driving behavior is not tolerated.
* Closes the current loophole in Maryland’s law and holds people accountable for causing the death of another as a result of driving, while sober, negligently, taking substantial risk and deviating from the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person.
* Increase the penalties and provides jail time for those who currently pay a $500 fine and do not serve any time in jail Not place the ordinary driver at risk for severe penalties
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Senate Bill 428 - Three Foot Bicycle Safety Bill
* This very important bill increases safety for bicyclist by requiring a driver of a vehicle to pass a bicyclist at a distance of 3 feet.
* Requires a driver to yield the right of way to a person who is riding a bicycle in a designated bicycle lane.
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Senate Bill 98 - No Text Messaging While Driving
* Prohibits a person from using a text messaging device to write, send, or read a text message while operating a motor vehicle.
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Senate Bill 152 - Arrest for Leaving a Scene of an Accident Involving Injury
* Requires a police officer to arrest with or without a warrant a person who the police officer has probable cause to believe has committed a specified offense of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury or death.
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Senate Bill 15 - Funding for Bike-Ped Access to Schools
* Authorizes local governments to use specified highway user revenues for sidewalk construction; specifying State policy regarding sidewalks, footpaths, and bicycle trails.
* Requires regulations that give priority to and provide financial
assistance to county boards for public school construction or public school
capital improvements that incorporate sidewalks, footpaths, and bicycle
trails that facilitate and encourage usage by students as an alternative to
transport by school bus.
* Hearing took place on 1-28 before the Budget and Taxation Committee. If you live in districts of committee members ask your senators to support the bill.
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Senate Bill 250 - SUPPORT SB 250 only with Amendment to Include Bicycles
* Authorizes the driver of a motorcycle at an intersection where traffic is controlled by a traffic control signal to proceed through a red signal under specified circumstances if a visible vehicle sensor operating the traffic control signal does not detect the presence of the motorcycle.
* Bicycles are less likely than motorcycles to be detected by sensors.
* Traffic lights are often set to skip a cycle if there is no vehicle waiting.
* A law-abiding cyclist now might have to wait through several cycles before a vehicle comes that is detected by the sensor.
* By waiting for a vehicle to come and trip the sensor, a cyclist is often put into a more dangerous situation due to conflicts with other traffic, especially turning traffic. This change in the law would allow a cyclist or motorcyclist who is not detected by a vehicle sensor to treat a red light like a flashing red light when the wait has been two minutes or one complete cycle of the light.
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2009 Bills to OPPOSE:

House Bill 187 Mandatory Helmet Law
* HB 187 would extend current law requiring helmets for cyclists under age 16 to cyclists and motor scooter drivers of all ages. It also defines a mo-ped as being a bicycle. It looks like someone wanted to make sure the bicycle helmet law includes mopeds and motor scooters, and while at it they removed the “under 16” so it would apply to everyone. If passed, this would make Maryland the first state with a statewide mandatory helmet law for adult cyclists.
* Instead of this bill, bicycle education opportunities and low cost or free helmets are needed.
* The bill does not have a provision stating, &quot;failure to wear a helmet may not be used as evidence of contributory negligence.&quot; Any helmet bill should have language similar to the &quot;contributory negligence&quot; clause in the seat belt law.
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House Bill 25 Scooter Road Restriction
* This bill prohibits motor scooters from roads where the posted speed limit is over 30 mph, which will reduce opportunities for people to travel by means other than automobile. Some people depend on motor scooters for basic transportation necessary to get to work, school and shopping.
* Current law prohibits bicycles and motor scooters from roads where the speed limit is over 50 mph.
* There is concern that changing the law to prohibit motor scooters where the posted speed limit is over 30 mph could lead to the same prohibition on bicycles.
If the intent of the bill is to reduce the reckless use of motor scooters, there are existing laws on reckless driving that could be better enforced.
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ACTION: Mandatory Helmet Law - oppose

Bike LawsHB 187 would extend current law requiring helmets for cyclists under age 16 to cyclists and motor scooter drivers of all ages. It also defines a mo-ped as being a bicycle. It looks like someone wanted to make sure the bicycle helmet law includes mopeds and motor scooters, and while at it they removed the “under 16” so it would apply to everyone. If passed, this would make Maryland the first state with a state-wide mandatory helmet law for adult cyclists.
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Maryland Bicycle Symposium Schedule

Bike Maryland updatesFor directions and a map to the symposium, see <a href=""></a>;.

Symposium Schedule (tentative):

7:30 am Exhibitor Setup

8:30 am Registration

9:00 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Greg Cantori – President, One Less Car
Delegate Jon Cardin - Chairman, Maryland Legislative Bike Caucus
John Porcari - Maryland Secretary of Transportation

9:30 am The Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MBPAC)
Jim Swift – Chairman, MBPAC

10:00 am Building Complete Streets
Charlie Denny – Senior Associate, ALTA Planning + Design
Stephanie Yanovitz – Maryland State Highway Administration
? – Toole Design

11:15 am Grand History Trail
Stephen Miller – Coordinator of Trail Development, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Kelly Pack – Manager of Trail Development, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Noon Free Lunch and 2009 Legislative Award

1:15 pm Enforcement: the Third Rail of Bicycling Advocacy
Eric Gilliland – Executive Director, Washington Area Bicycle Association
Chris Davala – International Police Mountain Bike Association

2:30 pm Bicycling as part of the Transportation Reauthorization Bill
Caron Whitaker – Campaign Manager, America Bikes
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Law enforcement officials urge passage of negligent driving bill

Biking in MarylandSTEVE LASH - Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer - January 28, 2009 6:12 PM

ANNAPOLIS — Law-enforcement officials urged Maryland legislators to close a “gaping hole” in state law that allows some drivers to escape with only a traffic citation after causing a fatal collision.

Testifying Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Montgomery County Police Cpl. Greg Lewis voiced frustration that all too often his only recourse is to issue traffic citations to a driver whose extreme carelessness took another person’s life.

“I prosecuted them to the fullest extent of the law,” Lewis told the committee. “I wrote them [traffic] tickets.”

Maryland law treats vehicular manslaughter — a wanton or reckless disregard for human life — as a felony, while any motorist offense short of that, absent alcohol or drugs, is regarded as a traffic violation.

Lewis testified in support of House Bill 97, which would close what he called “that big gaping hole” between felony and traffic violation by making it a misdemeanor when a driver kills someone through a “substantial deviation from the standard of care … exercised by a reasonable” motorist.
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BikePed Beacon -- January 2009

Biking in the Metro Area

The following newsflash from the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board details current news, events, etc. 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.

Or it could inspire a bike ride or a walk...

Amber Blake
BikePed ED

  Upcoming BRTB Committee Meetings 
Baltimore Regional Transportation Board 
    Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at  9:00 a.m.

Technical Committee

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.

Citizens Advisory Committee 
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.

Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Group
    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.

All BRTB Committee meetings are held at the BMC offices (2700 Lighthouse Point East, Suite 310, Baltimore), MD 21224) and are open to the public.

>> View Upcoming Meeting Agendas   >> Read Recent Meeting Minutes  

Transportation Outlook 2035After several months of public outreach and involvement, the BRTB has recently released for public review and comment, the draft preferred alternative for the amendment to the Baltimore region's long-range transportation plan, Transportation Outlook 2035.

This draft preferred alternative proposes $225 million in funding for regional transit projects, beginning in 2020, including:
  • Green Line Transit
  • Park-and-Ride spaces
  • Carroll County Transit
  • Intermodal Facilities / MARC stations / Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
  • Dedicated bus lanes
In response to public comment, the projects included in this amendment focus on ways to make the regional transit system more user-friendly and attractive to a broader segment of the region's population and workforce.

A public input period will run through Friday, January 23, 2009. During this time, public comments will be accepted by mail, fax, or online using our public comment form.

Comments may also be submitted in person at a public meeting on Thursday, January 15, 2009 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. or 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the BMC offices located at 2700 Lighthouse Point East, Suite 310, Baltimore, MD 21224.

Proposed Rendering of Bike ParkingJudges have selected eight finalists, including three Maryland Institute College of Art students, to design and build eight one-of-a-kind bike racks to be installed by next spring in Baltimore's Station North district.

The designs were submitted as part of the Station North Bike Rack Project, a competition held this fall to help raise the bike rack to an art form and make Baltimore a more bike-friendly city.

A public display of the 79 designs was held on Dec. 12 at 20 W. North Ave. The winners will each receive $4,000 to execute their designs for locations to be determined.

The finalists are: Sanjit Roy, Ethan Rochmis, Irina Dukhnevich, Chris Shea, Andrea Dombrowski, Daniel Raimond, Paul Capetola and Nick Trincia. Dombrowski, Dukhnevich and Capetola are MICA students. 

 >> See Photogallery

Photo Source: Urban Palimpsest

bikerackAside from "Share the Road" signs, bike racks are the #2 contributor to increased bike ridership.  Baltimore City's DOT purchases and installs bike racks in conjunction with the development of the bike network to allow bicyclists to park at key destinations and they are seeking new locations for new bicycle racks.  Details are listed below. 
Installation & Maintenance process
  1. Property owner requests a rack (or racks) for installation
  2. Bike racks are purchased and installed by DOT on a first-come/first-served basis
  3. If racks require maintenance, DOT will replace the existing rack in kind.

Bike Rack options

  1. Standard 36" x 30" powder-coated inverted "U" racks, typically installed in sidewalks and parking lots. Each rack holds 2 bicycles.
  2. "Meter racks" installed on top of parking meter poles once meter heads are replaced. Each rack can hold 1-2 bicycles.
  3. "On street parking" converted an existing on-street car parking place to accommodate 8-12 bicycles.  On-street bike parking is reserved for commercial areas.

Please contact Nate Evans in the Department of Transportation's Planning Division at 410-396-6586 or if you are interested.

  A million bikesThe City of Baltimore Department of Transportation (DOT) has been working hard to implement the May 2006 Bicycle Master Plan.  Bicycle lanes and sharrows are being integrated into city streets, storm grates are being improved, and bicycle racks are being places, along with other improvements.     
Now that Baltimore is becoming more bicycle friendly, it is necessary to inform citizens and visitors about safe bicycling practices and the city plans to do just that at a bicycle summit, to be held in Druid Hill Park this Spring. 
  The summit will bring together both public and private partners and include discussions on: Teaching safe cycling practices Encouraging bicycle commuting through mentoring and other programs Getting people on bikes including new information on how to find the right bicycle for you! Fostering public/private partnerships to promote bicycling and active livingIf you are interested in volunteering at or sponsoring the event please contact Traci McPhail at or Nate Evans at >;> View Baltimore City's Bicycle Master Plan


Cyclist on Bridge

A 5 minute preview of the recently released DVD - Geared Up The Essentials of Adult Bicycling - is now available on the web site.

With so many adults bicycling, this DVD is very timely. Competence, Confidence and Safety is the message. Please take a moment to view the video or share with others.


Transit Oriented Development Summit II - January 27, 2009On Tuesday, January 27, 2009 from 7 to 9 p.m. several area organizations will host a 2nd Transit Oriented Development Summit at the Thumel Business Center Auditorium (11 W. Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201).  

Topics to be discussed include Central Maryland's opportunities and challenges for TOD, new initiatives and advances in local TOD planning, and an emerging national agenda to promote smart investment in infrastructure and innovation.

The event is free and open to the public and is accessible by MTA Bus Lines 3, 11, 21, 61, 64, Light Rail and MARC Train.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Brian O'Malley at or 410-332-4172 ext. 122.

>;>> Download a flyer

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              Amber Blake
              Baltimore Metropolitan Council
              410-732-0500 x1030
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If kids could only walk or bike to school

Biking ElsewhereIf the number of kids who walk and bike to school was restored to 1969 levels, our nation would cut 3.2 billion vehicle miles, 1.5 million tons of CO2, and 89,000 tons of other pollutants annually. This is the equivalent of keeping more than 250,000 cars off the road for a year.
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Cyclist\'s Yellow PagesThe mid-Atlantic’s largest indoor bicycle swap and consumer expo series! If you’ve never made it to the SWAP don’t miss out in 2009!

What will you find at the SWAP.... thousands of discounted cycling and fitness products, FREE consumer seminars on topics like women's cycling, bike fit, bicycle touring, fitness training, basic maintenance and more, product demos, prizes and giveaways, special events and so much more…. Be one of the first 500 consumers through the door and receive a FREE goodie bag!

Beat the cold and kick-off your Spring cycling season at the SWAP! Admission is still only $5 and includes thousands square feet (yes, it's all indoor and heated) of everything that cycling has to offer. Whether you’re looking for road, mountain, triathlon, BMX, vintage, new or used, there’s something for everyone!

Westminster, Maryland. Sunday, February 8th, 2009 9:00 am—2:00 pm

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
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  •  Undecided
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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
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