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Tuesday, February 21 2017 @ 12:39 AM UTC
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SHA Public Workshop for I-795 Pleasant Hill interchange

Biking in MarylandSHA Public Workshop for I-795 Pleasant Hill interchange
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Biking ElsewhereWarning funny link
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Bikes vs. Cars: The Rules of Engagement

Biking ElsewhereAll our sympathies go to the SWDCBlogger's roommate who was intentionally struck by a driver while riding late Friday night on 14th Street SW near Constitution Avenue. Witnesses to the incident picked up the driver's tags, so the hope is that justice will catch up with that automomaniac. Anyone else who was hanging around the Mall after 1 a.m. and saw the incident should get in contact with the [the original post].

This writer, too, has had several recent run-ins with motor drivers compelled to violence by nothing more than the inconvenience of sharing a lane with a bicyclist. It's enough to drive a person to a Matt Borlikian attitude toward anyone with car keys. Last month, for example, while I was biking on Florida Ave NW, a driver who had crowded me and honked his horn repeatedly from behind me — despite the fact that no one was using the other east-bound lane — finally passed me so aggressively and ostentatiously that he clipped my front tire, sending me off the road. And just last night, a driver on 14th Street near the Columbia Heights Metro station swerved toward me, nearly clipping my toes, when I stepped out on foot into the lane but then stepped back toward the car. So, I punched her trunk as she passed, prompting her male passenger, who was behaving in a manner consistent with being high on drugs, to hop out and, after some debate about etiquette, follow me into that terrible pollo burrito place there by the Gentrification Giant and punch me in the face. (The worst part of the exchange came later: regrettably, I ate the burrito I ordered.)

Granted, each of these respective drivers earned a flurry of middle fingers from your correspondent at various points in our conversations, but hey, that's driving. Incivility is certainly not a license to use a 5,000-lb. vehicle in order to enforce a norm of the road. Drivers: You may not assault, batter, or kill bicyclists with your vehicle, no matter how slow they seem to be going, how much lane they seem to unfairly occupy relative to their size, or how many rude digits they point in your direction.

Drivers absolutely may not strike bikers, but ... is there ever a case when it might be appropriate for bikers to hit back at drivers? No one should read this as a call for asymmetric violence by bicyclists against drivers who put them in danger, but given the "etiquette" conversation I had last night before getting punched, I'm curious: do you all think responding to vehicular assault by banging your fist down on a trunk is so wrong? And what about a well-placed U-lock to a tail light? Where do you draw the line?
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Health & Environment"...have lower prevalence of asthma;" article by Lovasi, Quinn, Neckerman, Perzanowski, & Rundle; in the July 2008 Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (62:569). Quote: "Street trees were associated with a lower prevalence of early childhood asthma. This study does not permit inference that trees are causally related to asthma at the individual level. The PlaNYC sustainability initiative, which includes a commitment to plant one million trees by the year 2017, offers an opportunity for a large prospective evaluation."
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Biking ElsewhereAccording to an Oct. 13th Tribune article, "Despite increased fuel prices, gridlock is still a problem, but more people may be working at home or traveling at non-peak times, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning researcher says. Motorists in the Chicago area are making fewer trips to gas stations, but highways are still severely congested despite a decline of almost 5 percent in miles driven this year.

"Congestion in the region is actually worse now than a year ago. Drivers hoping to reach their destinations on schedule need to budget almost double the amount of travel time that the trips should take..."

[Just to note that parents driving their kids to school has been shown to be as high as 21% of rush hour traffic. I'll assert the impact of this behavior could explain this problem.]
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Maryland Bicycle Friendly State Ranking Feedback

Biking in Maryland[Note that Maryland's ranking is 35 out of 50]
As you know, the League of American Bicyclists recently expanded our programs in our effort to build a Bicycle Friendly America. Based on our successful Bicycle Friendly Community program, the Bicycle Friendly State program began by ranking all 50 states on their bike-friendliness. You can see the overall results of the ranking here. The rankings are based on overall scores to the ranking questionnaire that was sent to your State Bike Coordinator. Below is the feedback give to the Coordinator on areas that your state can work on to improve its ranking, and most importantly improve conditions for bicycling. We encourage you to use this feedback as a checklist of relevant to-do items when working with your State Coordinator, Department of Transportation and state legislature.

-no 3ft or greater safe passing law
-cannot legally signal with right hand
-bicycle equipment code not consistent with the language in UVC or its intent
-discriminatory mandatory bike lane law
-far to right as practicable code does exclude right turn lane

Policies & Programs
-no Complete Streets or Bicycle and Pedestrian Accomodation policy
-no Mountain Biking Plan
-no CO2 Reduction Plan that includes bicycle usage
-no policy requiring bike parking at state owned facilities

-no system in place to determine percentage of state highways that have paved shoulders
-no rumble strip policy with a minimum 4ft. of clearance for bicycles
-no dedicated state funding source for bicycling projects or programs
-no safety funding spent on bicycling in past 3 years

Education & Encouragement
-no questions regarding the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists on driver’s test
-no questions regarding the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists on driver’s manual
-no questions on motorists responsibilities to cyclists on CDL test

Evaluation & Planning
-information on bicycle usage rates not included in SCORP
-bicycle safety is not addressed in Highway Safety Plan

-No education of officer on cyclist rights & responsibilities through academy or continuing education
-information on cyclists rights and responsibilities not made available to traffic judges
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Biking in the Metro AreaAccording to an Oct. 14th Gazette article, "State Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Dist. 21) of College Park and state Del. William Bronrott (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda say they hope a proposed bill will make walking and biking to school safer for children across the state. Under the proposed legislation, school construction funds could possibly be used for adding or widening sidewalks, adding traffic lights, countdown walk signals, crosswalks and increasing the time of walk signals at intersections.

"The bill was announced Oct. 6, a day before Walk to School Day, a Prince George's County effort to encourage students to walk to school and to identify areas along their routes that need improvement. According to the State Highway Administration, there were 110 deaths involving pedestrians statewide in 2007, 28 of which occurred in Prince George's. The SHA did not have specific information on the ages of those killed. Rosapepe said Route 1 creates a dangerous walking atmosphere for College Park pedestrians..."
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Biking ElsewhereAccording to a Sept. 23rd Independent article, "After a close friend was killed by a motorist, Fair Haven Alderwoman Erin Sturgis-Pascale vowed to change street culture so these 'accidents' wouldn't happen again. Monday, in the culmination of what has become a surging, citywide safe streets movement, she found widespread support for her quest. A Complete Streets proposal, introduced by Sturgis-Pascale and East Rock Alderman Roland Lemar, met unanimous approval from the aldermanic Legislation Committee at City Hall Monday night.

"The proposal would create a Complete Streets Steering Committee to guide the development of a policy to ensure equal, safe access for all motorists, cyclists and pedestrians; a design manual to implement it; a process to include community members in the planning; an educational campaign; and traffic enforcement. Pascale said she'd like to see the city's streets evaluated not by the number of lanes or traffic lights, but by other measures. [***->] "Are our streets being used for people to socialize? Are our children playing in the streets safely? Are they able to ride their bicycles? Are we welcoming people with disabilities? Are we protecting our seniors on our streets?..." [<-***]
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Lance Armstrong Nike Commercial

Biking ElsewhereAccording to this commercial features a Lance lookalike but none the less it captures something wonderful about bicycling.
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Health & EnvironmentAccording to the Oct. 8th Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network newsletter, "Adults gain substantial health benefits from two and a half hours a week of moderate aerobic physical activity, and children benefit from an hour or more of physical activity a day, according to the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The comprehensive set of recommendations for people of all ages and physical conditions was released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"The guidelines are designed so people can easily fit physical activity into their daily plan and incorporate activities they enjoy. Physical activity benefits children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group, the report said."

[Note: A small sampling of Maryland Schools reveals a policy of less then a half hour of aerobic physical activity per *week* is provided for school age children.]

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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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