Bikes taking over Annapolis this Wednesday


ANNAPOLIS The ninth annual Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Symposium will be held on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 from 8:30 am to 4 pm at the President's Conference Center, West, Miller Senate Office Building.

Attendees will learn about the recently passed federal transportation bill SAFETEA-LU and how it will affect transportation funding for Maryland.

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Random thoughts

Pedestrian injuries are the norm, not the exception, on city streets big and small.

The best way to build forgiving streets is to erect buffers, in both space and time, between fast-moving drivers and much more vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians.

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It's the Law in Maryland

  • Yield the Right-of-Way to Bicyclists.
  • Bicycles are treated as vehicles in Maryland.
  • Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists.
  • Do not attempt to share the lane with bicyclists.
  • If you are unable to safely pass them, reduce your speed, and follow the bicycle at a safe distance. Wait for a safe opportunity to pass, allowing adequate clearance, about three feet from the side of your vehicle, and return to your lane when you can clearly see the bicyclist in your rear view mirror.
  • A bicycle is not restricted to the right side of the road.
  • Share the road and do not use your horn. The bicyclist can usually hear an approaching vehicle and loud noises can startle the bicyclist and may cause an accident.

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  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety is not getting its fair share.

    <img width="124" height="120" align="left" src="" alt="">Bicyclist and pedestrians are over-represented in traffic fatalities: ten percent of trips are made on foot or bicycle, yet 13 percent of traffic deaths nationwide are pedestrians or bicyclists. Yet federal transportation safety dollars have not been used to address this problem.

    In Maryland on average ~ every two hours a pedestrian or cyclist bounces off a car and ends up injured or dead.

    <a href=""></a>;

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    Most officers have never received any bicycle specific training.

    -Most officers have never received any bicycle specific training. How do police officers know which laws to enforce, both for bicyclists and motorists, to improve bicycle safety if they do not know about the leading causes of bicycle crashes?

    -By increasing knowledge of the rules of the road for bicyclists and for motorists relating to bicyclists, law enforcement officers can better serve the community and potentiallly save a life.

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    Human beings are not road kill

    Is it OK to kill cyclists not &quot;as far to the right&quot; on the roadway

    Imagine for a sec you are in your car about to make a left turn and you get rear ended and the police cite you at being at fault for going slow in the fast lane.

    Well that is the case if you are a cyclist.

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    SENATE BILL 551 Vehicle Laws - Bicycles and Motor Scooters - Exceptions to

    <a href=""></a>; sent out an alert about Senate Bill 551.

    Summary: SB 551 would provide that bicycles and motor scooters can ride
    anywhere in a traffic lane if they are traveling at the &quot;normal&quot; speed of
    traffic. It also would add several other circumstances (the avoidance of
    pedestrians or road hazards, approaching locations where right turns are
    authorized, and operating in a lane that is too narrow to travel side by
    side with other traffic) under which these vehicles need not be ridden to
    the far right of the roadway, even when traveling slower than the normal
    speed of traffic.

    Click on read more to find out how you can help.

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    National Bike Summit

    Registration for the National Bike Summit, March 16-18th, is now open.

    The summit is a really worthwhile event which I encourage you to attend.

    The program is 2 days of sessions and speakers on legislative priorities and
    notable projects and programs which we can use as models, and 1 day on
    Capital Hill meeting with our congressional delegation to talk about the
    issues which are important to bicyclists and pedestrians, and the federal
    programs which are essential in the effort to build safe streets and healthy

    Even if you can\'t make the whole conference, I encourage you to join us on
    Thursday when we meet with Maryland\'s members of Congress to talk about
    local priorities.

    As a special incentive, the first 125 people to register before Dec. 31 not
    only get an early bird registration price, but could win a refund and other
    valuable prizes. So sign up early and save.

    Details and registration online at:

    Let me know if you have questions about the Bike Summit, or if I can help
    convince you of the importance of this effort in DC.


    Mark Counselman
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