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Saturday, October 01 2016 @ 03:31 PM UTC

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Inside City Hall: Bikeshare program inches forward

Biking in BaltimoreA nice update on our bike share program.

<a href="http://www.baltimorebrew.com/2013/05/08/inside-city-hall-bikeshare-program-inches-forward/">http://www.baltimorebrew.com/2013/05/08/inside-city-hall-bikeshare-program-inches-forward/</a>;
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An Open Letter to the Baltimore Police Regarding Bicycle Citations

Biking in BaltimoreThe article I am responding to: <a href="https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/973a9ee48bc8">https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/973a9ee48bc8</a>;

B' Spokes: First a bit from Slate on this topic:

&quot;Something felt wrong. It wasn't injustice, exactly—all of these bikers broke the law. But was their behavior any great public-safety risk? Even after hearing about the spate of tickets, I haven't changed my behavior. What's the point of traffic laws for bikes? And if there is a point, is there any way to get me and my stop sign-flouting cohort to follow the rules of the road?&quot;
<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/transport/2009/10/stop_means_stop.html">http://www.slate.com/articles/life/transport/2009/10/stop_means_stop.html</a>;
(There's more interesting points in there as well.)

So while the article discusses &quot;If there weren't cars, we wouldn't need stop signs [or stop lights],&quot; what it misses is that if you put in bike lanes and detectors that detect bicycles you get a higher obedience to stop lights from cyclists. So what the police are really doing is ticketing cyclists for the failure of DOT to accommodate cyclists. That is an injustice!

Let's see if I can make a stronger case. Given the following (incorrect) summary of the law:
-&gt; The law says the bicyclist has the responsibility to move aside and let you pass
<a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20101012170700484">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20101012170700484</a>;
And more recently something very similar: <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20130430133239834">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20130430133239834</a>;

So what's supposed to happen at an intersection if a cyclist is the first one at a light and some motorists feel it is the cyclist obligation to let them pass? What I am trying to get to here there is a social pressure that cyclists are not welcomed at intersections and should get the heck out of there. And there is a cycling sweet spot staying behind a platoon of traffic that has been queued at a light as &quot;the bother&quot; to motorist is minimal while maintaining this position.

So I find it very ironic that we want to &quot;crack down&quot; on this behavior when there is a element in there of trying to be considerate to motorists. If the police and the state is going to put out incorrect information, you have to expect some bizarre ways of trying to deal with this. So let me conclude with the Slate article conclusion:

&quot;As a biker, my wish would be for police to crack down on more dangerous behavior, such as riding at night without a light or tearing the wrong way down a one-way street [or riding against traffic in general]. ... If cops started handing out more tickets for one-way infractions, bikers like me would probably clean up their most-outrageous behaviors. Once that happens, maybe all of us—cyclists and car people and activists and cops—could agree to leave the rolling stop alone.&quot;

-=*=-
After thought:
Let's say we totally support strict traffic law enforcement and if the police were doing their job well we would see a lot of motorists getting tickets for failing to stop before making a right turn and passing a cyclist with less than 3 feet. The fact that it seems the police let these more serious crimes go unpunished and then ticket a cyclist for crossing a street with no traffic seems like harassment of cyclists. Does that fit within the Cyclists Bill of Rights for the city? <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20110308133257644">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20110308133257644</a>;
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Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America

Biking in Baltimore6. Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore has the unlucky distinction of ranking sixth when it comes to violent crime and sixth place on the list overall. It also has a relatively high number of sex offenders per capita. Adding to their woes, Baltimore witnessed a terrifying year when a spate of makeshift firebombs randomly hit the city, creating a sense of fear and paranoia among residents.

<a href="http://www.parenting.com/gallery/most-dangerous-cities-in-america-2012?pnid=559432">http://www.parenting.com/gallery/most-dangerous-cities-in-america-2012?pnid=559432</a>;
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Study: In Baltimore, One in Six Drivers Pass Cyclists Illegally

Biking in Baltimoreby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

This is one of the worst parts of biking on a typical American street: You’re riding your bike and you hear a car coming up from behind you. It’s loud; you can tell it’s going fast. Does the driver see you?

WHOOSH … the car passes you at arm’s distance. Nothing like a little trip through the blood pressure spectrum first thing in the morning.

Discourteous, dangerous and illegal passing by cars is uncomfortably common, according to a new study out of Baltimore [PDF], even as three-foot passing laws are beginning to become the norm. But it looks like plain old painted bike lanes make a difference. Seth at Baltimore Velo files this report:

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health published a study this week that takes a look at how well the law is being followed by vehicles. Unfortunately, the answer is not very well.

Here are some key findings of the groundbreaking study:

  • Overall, bike lanes in Baltimore improve cyclist safety
  • Without bike lanes, drivers had trouble sharing the road with cyclists
  • One in six Baltimore drivers, or about 17 percent, violated the 3-foot law
  • Researchers found a 20 percent increase in motorist adherence to the 3-foot law for bike lane streets compared to standard streets

Having this quantifiable data makes a very compelling case for the city to continue (and increase) its funding for dedicated bike lanes around the city.



http://streetsblog.net/2012/04/13/study-in-baltimore-one-in-six-cars-pass-cyclists-illegally/
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So this is the question, does MD's 3' law allow unsafe passing in this situation or not?

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: From testimony it appears that tucks want to be able to pass cyclists in this situation without crossing the double yellow. While their testimony mentioned "safe" passing I don't see how that's even possible with a truck. So while other places make trucks pass cyclists with greater clearances, Maryland seems to want to say to motorists anytime you can't safely pass a cyclist you can still pass. An interpretation I don't think will hold up in court, BTW.] image
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Dinner & Bikes with Elly Blue!

Biking in Baltimoreimage

Monday, May 20, 2013 7:00pm until 9:00pm in EDT
1 West North Avenue Baltimore, MD

Buy tickets here: http://dinnerandbikesbaltimore.eventbrite.com/

Please join us on May 20 from 7pm to 9pm for a traveling road show of vegan food and bicycle inspiration. Joshua Ploeg will delight with a vegan and gluten free buffet dinner, Elly Blue will present about transportation equity, and Joe Biel will show a near-complete excerpt from Aftermass, his forthcoming documentary about the history of bicycle activism in Portland. The event is followed with a book signing and time for questions, discussion of local issues, and perusing the traveling bookstore.
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Baltimore Velo is Over

Biking in BaltimoreB' Spokes, so sad. I was really hoping I would be supplanted by these guys and I could be the one to shut down. They will be missed.

<a href="http://baltimorevelo.com/2013/04/25/baltimore-velo-is-over/">http://baltimorevelo.com/2013/04/25/baltimore-velo-is-over/</a>;
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10 Things You Did Not Know About Prospect Park

Biking in BaltimoreSome info about Baltimore's Park.

<a href="http://southslopenews.com/blog/history/10-things-you-did-not-know-about-prospect-park">http://southslopenews.com/blog/history/10-things-you-did-not-know-about-prospect-park</a>;
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How to Bike To Work, Baltimore Style

Biking in BaltimoreGreat post from our friends at Bmore Bikes.

<a href="http://www.bmorebikes.com/how-to-bike-to-work-baltimore-style/">http://www.bmorebikes.com/how-to-bike-to-work-baltimore-style/</a>;
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Baltimore Bikeshare needs a Tango Partner: Better Bicycle Infrastructure

Biking in BaltimoreVia Comeback City

MDOT is requesting $882,000 for the implementation of “Charm City Bikeshare.” 44 stations and 425 bicycles are envisioned. Great news! However, it takes two to tango, and Baltimore will still need better bicycle infrastructure to create a beautiful dance in Charm City. Baltimore has made strides, but Bicycle Magazine is probably on target ranking Charm City 48th out of its top 50 US bicycling cities. Baltimore falls right behind Fargo, North Dakota and Anchorage, Alaska on the list.

To leap ahead of our frost covered competition, Baltimore should build a bike friendly infrastructure network, focusing on its destination rich center to complement Bikeshare. Envision a resident or a visitor starting their Charm City Bikeshare experience in Inner Harbor East. “Sharing” a bike to reach the Convention Center, Camden Yards, University of Maryland Baltimore/Hippodrome, or Penn Station, are all indirect awkward bicycle trips. However, these are the kind of bread and butter trips that make for a successful Bikeshare system.
...

<a href="http://comebackcity.us/2013/04/23/baltimore-bikeshare-needs-a-tango-partner-better-bicycle-infrastructure/">http://comebackcity.us/2013/04/23/baltimore-bikeshare-needs-a-tango-partner-better-bicycle-infrastructure/</a>;

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