Be warned. If you are a pedestrian on O'Donnell Street in East Baltimore, the vast majority of the drivers there would rather run you down and kill you dead, dead, dead than slow down even a smidgen to let you use the crosswalk in which you have the legal right of way.
This is not hyperbole. I spent several hours last week observing the behavior of the drivers in the vicinity of the midblock crosswalk linking the old National Brewery with the building that now houses Elder Health. I crossed and recrossed O'Donnell Street dozens of times to see whether drivers would stop for foot traffic.
Fat chance. More than 90 percent ignored the signs and blew through the crosswalk without pause - even if a pedestrian was stepping off the curb. Some grudgingly slowed. A few actually stopped. But most made it clear through their actions that you proceeded into the crosswalk at your peril.
This included supposed professionals. As I stepped off a curb, a FedEx driver - with plenty of room in which to brake - showed a steely determination to accelerate over my dead body if necessary. A little later, a UPS driver exemplified that company's competitive spirit by doing the same.
Couldn't the city do something about it? It already is. The city government van that rumbled through the crosswalk nearly achieved an O'Donnell Street speed record as a uniformed public servant glared down at the pedestrian who had the temerity to think of crossing.
TRAILL'S END MT. BIKE CAMP has opening for this summer. The camp is offered 2 separate weeks. The 1st session is June 25th -June 29th, the second sessions is July 16th - July 20th. The ages are 12-16. Kids do not have to know how to Mt. Bike( we teach them ) however they do need to be very comfortable riding a bike. And they need to have a bike shop quality Mt. Bike. The cost is $359.00 per session. We provide lunch, all drinks, and lots of great prizes. Check out www.mtwashingtonbikes.com for more info!
The fifth annual "Tour dem Parks, Hon!" bicycle ride happens Sunday, June 10 from 8:00 a.m.-12 noon. This is a fun ride for anyone who would like to see Baltimore's better-known parks and neighborhoods as well as those that are quietly tucked away. It is a chance to bike ride with family and friends, both old and new. Riders can choose from 10, 20, or 30 mile routes, all starting and ending at Carroll Park in southwest Baltimore. If you have been thinking about taking a ride but are not feeling as energetic as you need to be out there on the streets, this is a great opportunity to cycle with others and learn new routes. The ride promotes cycling in Baltimore and awareness of its many lovely green spaces, with proceeds going to parks groups throughout the city. Early registration is $25, day of $30. Kids under 10 ride for $5; teens, for $15. Register online at www.tourdemparks.org. For more information, call Gary at (410) 396-4369.
Chip Franklin, a talk show host on WBAL AM 1090, hosted an anti-bike rant this morning. We heard about it from some Baltimore Spokes people, but the radio station is not releasing transcripts or audio files of this morning
Where: Gwynns Falls Trail in Baltimore.
Why: What a hoot, architectural antiques and a stadium for the birds.
How Far: About 15 miles from start to finish.
Shhh, can you keep a secret? Gwynns Falls Trail.
"It's one of those well-kept secrets," says Alex Pilecki, a Baltimorean who exercises his greyhounds along the path in Leakin Park.
"When you're on it, you don't think you're in a city for much of the time," says Bob Moore, a member of the Gwynns Falls Trail Council, "because it's so parklike and so green."
"There are so many hidden treasures in this park and along the trail," says Michael Strawbridge, trail manager for the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.
And more could be coming. According to plans, the path will be connected to Maryland's popular BWI Trail within the next five years, and the stretch of waterfront between Kloman Street and the Patapsco River is slated for redevelopment. If that happens, the secret of Gwynns Falls Trail will certainly be out.
Too often in life, the best solution to an ongoing problem is not a
cure, but prevention. Heart and lung diseases are as preventable as
they are terrible. I believe it is the responsibility of government to
provide outlets to citizens who want to live healthier lives. This
week, I had the pleasure to be involved in events that are helping to
make Baltimore healthier.
All week long, Baltimore has joined cities around the country in celebration of National Bike week to promote a fit, environmentally-friendly community. On Monday, I rode from City Hall to Fort McHenry with my cabinet to kick-off the week's activities.
I also announce that I have opened up the Inner Harbor Promenade for cyclists for the first time. The promenade is now opened to cyclists Monday to Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and Sundays from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00a.m.
Bike to Work Week is important to the health of our city. Biking improves personal fitness. In fact, a 30-minute bike commute meets the Surgeon General's recommended minimum for exercise and burns around 250 calories, whereas sitting in your car for 20 minutes burns only 25. Biking to work also reduces traffic congestion and air pollution. During the summer months, we hear of Code Orange and Code Red Action Days when ground level ozone makes the air dangerous to breath. Single occupancy vehicles contribute 20% of the pollutants that cause ground level ozone.
"It's kinda like going to the gym...but you're doing something..saving money on gas and doing something for the environment," said Chris Nystrom, a biker.
It's called "Ride Your Bike To Work." Friday capped off the last day for some. But for others a bike is always a smart commute.
The Associated Press
"You don't want to know what I've seen," Pinto said. "I've seen everything. I'm from L.A., and we don't see the crazy drivers that you see here."
The most courteous drivers can be found in Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh; the Seattle-Tacoma area; St. Louis; and Dallas-Fort Worth, the survey found.
The most frequent cause of road rage cited in the survey was impatient motorists. Drivers also said road rage can stem from poor driving in fast lanes and driving while stressed, frustrated or angry.
Not only did Mayor Sheila Dixon kick off Bike to work week she also announced that bikes are now allowed on the Inner Harbor Promenade from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday (special thanks to Eva Khoury for making this happen.)
Baltimore Sun coverage and more photos
When the ride was supposed to be over Mayor Sheila Dixon said she was just getting warmed up and started off to Fort McHenry. At this point some of the riders turn back to City Hall and others tried to keep pace with the Mayor. I also want to give special credit to those who were in the rear for their determination to finish the ride and their commitment to healthily life style choices (or was it just because they were out of the office having fun? We may never know for sure.)
Special thanks to Broadway Bikes and Light Street Cycles for their support!!!