Baltimore Spokes
Biking in Baltimore
Sign Up!
Welcome to Baltimore Spokes
Sunday, November 19 2017 @ 07:50 PM UTC


View Printable Version

[Cyclists] Use some common sense

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: This article forgot to mention that cyclists when using a doorway should also press their body as close to the door frame to make room for more important people to use the doorway at the same time. [/sarcasm.]

The point missed here is the travel lanes in question can only accommodate one vehicle side by side at a time. Bicycles need at least 5' of operating width, so subtract that from the roads in question and you get... motorist must change lanes to pass a cyclist and no amount of riding far right is going to change that. And PLEASE remember Maryland does have a 3' safe passing distance law, so you CANNOT just squeeze by a cyclists riding far right as implied in this article.

Re: I was raised that if a car is coming and I am in the road then I need to move as far to the side as possible,

I was raised that ignorance does not trump the law. The law clearly gives cyclists the right to the full lane when the lane is too narrow for safe side by side sharing.

Look at it this way, the law of the jungle is such the aggressive person will take advantage of the meek person every time. The defense against the aggressive personality type is not to be even more meek (ride further right) but to assert your rights.

My own point of view is if you are riding among polite and considerate drivers then riding to the right will probably work out. But if you are riding in aggressive traffic, riding far right is the last thing you want to do.

I may be over reacting to a poorly written article from someone ignorant of bicycle safety but I see this as a sign that southern Maryland is getting more aggressive drivers so you need to do the OPPOSITE of what this driver recommends and take the lane to prevent unsafe passing.

For more info on bicycle safety: <a href=""></a>;

The article to which I am reacting to: <a href=";template=southernMaryland">;template=southernMaryland</a>;
View Printable Version

New Maryland signs emphasize cyclists' right to the road

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: if there is a road where you think this sign would help contact the appropriate government agency (and cc'ing the appropriate bicycle advocacy organization would not hurt.)]
by Jim Titus, Greater Greater Washington

The meaning of &quot;share the road&quot; has evolved. For decades, the law required cyclists to keep as far to the right as practicable. This made sense when most cyclists were children proceeding slowly. But at higher speeds, riding too far to the right is hazardous. Drivers and pedestrians are not looking for fast vehicles close to the curb, and cyclists can't see them emerging from driveways, cross streets, or parked cars.

When lanes are too narrow for a car to pass a bike safely, too many drivers try to pass bikes within the lane anyway. So on those roads, it is safer for a cyclist to ride near the center of the lane, according to Maryland's Driver Manual.

Section 21-1205(a)(6) of the Maryland Transportation Code says that a cyclist may ride in the center of a narrow lane. But many drivers learned to drive (and bike) back when cyclists were supposed to simply keep to the right. And on any given road, drivers and cyclists may have different perceptions about whether the lane is too narrow to share. So &quot;drivers and cyclists often must guess what the other is going to do,&quot; says Shane Farthing, Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association.

&quot;The signs will increase safety by providing drivers with a warning about where bikes may be,&quot; says Dustin Kuzan, SHA's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. A study in Austin, Texas found that placement of similar signs has little impact on where cyclists ride. But drivers moved to the left as they passed bikes enough to increase the median passing clearance by 3 feet.

John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic agrees: &quot;These signs are a really good idea. Bicyclists have the right to use the full lane on narrow roads. As drivers, we are operating the heavier vehicle which can seriously injure a cyclist. So it is up to drivers to avoid a collision. But drivers need information about where the bicyclist might be riding, and these signs will help.&quot;

&quot;The signs may also decrease hostility between drivers and cyclists by informing all road users that cyclists have the right to be in the center of the lane,&quot; Kuzan adds.

Read more: <a href=""></a>;
View Printable Version

Share the road

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Too good not to share.]
By William Browne, Waldorf, So MD News

To answer the letter writer John Limerick [“Bicycling laws,” Maryland Independent, July 18]: It is legal for a cyclist to ride on any road in Maryland regardless of speed limit as long as it’s not strictly prohibited. Maryland law 21-1205.1 (a) (1) states: Cyclists may operate on the shoulder of a roadway where the posted speed limit exceeds 50 mph unless otherwise prohibited.

For instance, when entering I-95 signs are posted “no cyclists, pedestrians etc.” All of the roads listed in your letter are perfectly legal places to ride a bicycle. Cyclists are not excused from the rules of the road unless it’s a closed event. As far as “riding on the shoulder” goes, just because the shoulder looks safe and open while you fly by at great speed doesn’t mean it’s not littered with broken glass, debris and potholes. If that’s the case, cyclists are forced to ride near the white line.

The cycling event you are refering too was probably Bike MS, an event that raises money for multiple sclerosis research. Like any large event, permits are granted and roads closed and cyclists/motorists protected by police during these events.

Not everyone in Southern Maryland is blessed with an automobile. Some people are forced to walk or ride a bike and some choose to do this because they want to be healthy or like to help the environment out.

I would suggest getting on a bike and riding to the local grocery store and back home. See how difficult it is and how abused you feel at the end of your trip. You are just one of hundreds of motorists who whiz by, yell obsenities, throwing things and performing dangerous maneauvers with their vehicle all because you have been incovenienced for 15 seconds by the scourge of the earth “cyclists with attitudes.” How dare they infringe on you.

This is a small example of what’s wrong with our country today. No one can be inconvenienced by another party without taking it personally or berating that group altogether.

<a href=";template=southernMaryland">;template=southernMaryland</a>;
View Printable Version

FARS 2010 DATA (Maryland is still in the top 10 (worst))

Biking in MarylandPercentage of Road Fatalities that are Bike/Ped National Maryland Ranks #8 (worst)
Listing of Counties from worst to best with the total line sorted in to show who is above and below the state norm. (Counties with no bike/ped fatalities not shown.)
County Person Type Total Killed
Driver Passenger Motorcyclists Pedestrian Pedalcyclist Other/Unknown Total
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent bike/ped percent
ANNE ARUNDEL (3)1338.2514.7514.71132.400003410032.4
MONTGOMERY (31)1634919.1714.91429.812.1004710031.9
BALTIMORE (5)2440.7813.61016.91627.111.7005910028.8
BALTIMORE CITY (510)1128.2923.1820.51025.612.6003910028.2
CARROLL (13)1055.600316.7422.215.6001810027.8
ST. MARY'S (37)654.5218.200327.300001110027.3
QUEEN ANNE'S (35)654.5218.20019.1218.2001110027.3
PRINCE GEORGE'S (33)4247.21415.71011.22224.711.1008910025.8
WASHINGTON (43)637.5425212.542500001610025
HARFORD (25)626.114.31252.2417.400002310017.4
CHARLES (17)633.3527.8422.2316.700001810016.7
WORCESTER (47)433.3541.718.318.318.3001210016.6
CALVERT (9)337.5112.5337.5112.50000810012.5
CAROLINE (11)450112.5225112.50000810012.5
FREDERICK (21)1041.7520.8625312.500002410012.5
GARRETT (23)562.522500112.50000810012.5
CECIL (15)952.9423.5211.8211.800001710011.8
Last Year
Pedestrian Fatality Rate National Maryland Ranks #8 (worst)
RankCountyPedestrians KilledPopulationPedestrian Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population
1GARRETT (23) 1 30,063 3.33
2CAROLINE (11) 1 33,093 3.02
3ST. MARY'S (37) 3 105,786 2.84
4WASHINGTON (43) 4 147,558 2.71
5PRINCE GEORGE'S (33) 22 865,271 2.54
6CARROLL (13) 4 167,241 2.39
7QUEEN ANNE'S (35) 1 47,899 2.09
8ANNE ARUNDEL (3) 11 539,198 2.04
9CHARLES (17) 3 147,086 2.04
10BALTIMORE (5) 16 805,709 1.99
11CECIL (15) 2 101,199 1.98
12WORCESTER (47) 1 51,431 1.94
13HARFORD (25) 4 245,177 1.63
14BALTIMORE CITY (510) 10 620,583 1.61
15MONTGOMERY (31) 14 976,203 1.43
16FREDERICK (21) 3 234,122 1.28
17CALVERT (9) 1 88,936 1.12
18ALLEGANY (1) 0 75,021 0.00
19DORCHESTER (19) 0 32,650 0.00
20HOWARD (27) 0 288,376 0.00
21KENT (29) 0 20,222 0.00
22SOMERSET (39) 0 26,481 0.00
23TALBOT (41) 0 37,834 0.00
24WICOMICO (45) 0 98,843 0.00
Last Year
View Printable Version

Our View: Bicycles are going mainstream

Biking in Marylandvia DelmarvaNow.Com

Each bicycle trip that serves a useful purpose translates to one less motor vehicle on the road. Cumulatively, this correlates to less wear and tear on roads and other infrastructure, less traffic congestion on some roads, less gasoline consumed and lower levels of emissions in the air. Over time, individuals using bicycles on a fairly regular basis to go places to which they otherwise would have driven a motor vehicle become more physically fit and healthier, which could lead to a reduced need for medical interventions and medications. That means whatever money the individuals might have spent on health care services remains available for discretionary spending. That can be thousands of dollars a year per household, enough to make an impact that's sustainable as long as the activity level is maintained.

The benefits of accommodating bicyclists are clear: Healthier people, lower emissions, fewer motor vehicles using the road, less wear and tear on both roads and motor vehicles, and more money in people's pockets. If there is a downside, it's not immediately obvious.

This increasing use of bicycles is a movement we'd like to see gain momentum.

<a href=""></a>;
View Printable Version

Press Release: Performance Bicycle Awards $30,000 in Grants - Bike Maryland gets $3,000

Biking in Maryland
  Performance Bicycle ® Announces its 
'Better Bicycling Community' Grants Winners
Nation's Largest Independent Cycling Retailer Awards
10 Local Communities With $3,000 Grants 
CHAPEL HILL, NC (Aug. 1, 2012) - Performance Bicycle®,the nation's largest independent cycling retailer, is proud to announce the winners of its $30,000 in "Better Bicycling Community" grants. Ten community organizations from across America were chosen to receive a $3,000 grant to support local efforts in making cycling more accessible.
"It was a tough decision to narrow it down to 10 recipients," said Performance Bicycle Chief Executive Officer David Pruitt. "We want to thank all the terrific organizations dedicated to making cycling more accessible. Each one is a vital part of their community and we appreciate their hard work and commitment."
From rejuvenating a mountain bike trail to raising support for better bike lane infrastructure, each grant will address a critical local cycling need. The grants will be administered in collaboration with the Alliance for Biking & Walking.
"It's been great working with Performance on this initiative," said Alliance for Biking & Walking President / CEO Jeff Miller. "Promoting safe and enjoyable bicycling is one of our top priorities, and to have a company like Performance help advance cycling at this level is fantastic. We are honored to be working with each of the community groups and looking forward to seeing the final results of their efforts."
The ten organizations that will receive a Better Bicycling Community grant are spread across the country. Each will involve the community and will work with their local Performance store to achieve their grant goals. . The funded campaigns are as follows:
Bike Maryland (Baltimore, Maryland): Bicycle Friendly Maryland Campaign
Bike Maryland is devoted to improving the overall bikeability of Maryland by implementing the guidelines laid out by the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) program. Working closely with businesses, universities, and communities throughout the state, they strive to make Maryland a more bicycle friendly place to live, work, and play.

About Performance Bicycle®:
Performance Bicycle® is the No. 1 specialty bicycle retailer in the U.S. and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Performance Inc. Performance provides a multi-channel cycling retail experience that spans more than 100 stores nationwide, and, all catering to both the avid cycling enthusiast and the recreational rider. Performance Inc. is majority owned by North Castle Partners of Greenwich, Conn. For more information about Performance Bicycle, please visit
About the Alliance for Biking & Walking:
The Alliance for Biking & Walking is the coalition of more than 200 state and local bicycle and pedestrian organizations working together to promote bicycling and walking in North American communities. To learn more about the Alliance, visit 
View Printable Version

MD Streets Rank No. 8 in Bicycle Safety

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: (In reaction to the Silver Spring Patch article of the same name.) Er... no. LAB's ranking has nothing to do with safety, especially the overall ranking of all the following areas combined: Legislation and Enforcement, Policies and Programs, Infrastructure and Funding, Education and Encouragement, Evaluation and Planning.

I will also highlight LAB's feedback (note the last item in regards to safety.)

• Develop a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) curriculum for bicycling enforcement both for new officers and continuing education – focus on laws related to bicyclists, interactions between motorists and bicyclists, and bicycle collision investigation.
• Adopt federal funding project rating criteria that incentivize bicycle projects and accommodations. The state is spending a low amount, less than .50 percent, of federal funding on bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly on transportation enhancements.
• Bicycle ridership, while good, must continue to increase. Determine barriers that people face when bicycling and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce barriers and increase ridership.
• Add bicycle safety as an emphasis area in the state Strategic Highway Safety Plan and aggressively fund bike safety projects.

The Patch article: <a href=""></a>;
LAB's report card for Maryland: <a href=""></a>;
View Printable Version

Continue progress

Biking in Marylandimage
- Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
View Printable Version

Bike Parking Regulations For Private Businesses Are They Kosher?

Biking in MarylandImagine driving your car to do some business with a company and you park your car in a parking space out front and while you are inside shopping they tow your car away and smash your driver side window.

The business you were shopping at claims they can do this because of some internal memo or obscure thing on the web and since it is private property they can do whatever they want.

That would be total outrageous so why do we put up with that when talking about bicycle parking? In my experiences there is too much "You can't park here." along with "No I don't know where you can park." as well as "I can make up whatever rules I feel like when it comes to bicycles."

I will strongly assert provide good bicycle parking per the guidelines and you will not need draconic policies that involve breaking locks and removal of the offending bicycle. A friendly note on the handlebars asking them to park in the designated area next time should be all that is needed.

Now if a cyclist parks somewhere you don't want and there is decent available bike parking within 500 feet [should have been 120 feet] then I can understand going all medieval on the bike but I don't think that is the normal situation. What seems to be the case is: Cars littering vast tracks of the landscape are "pretty" and necessary but bikes scattered all willy nilly is "ugly" and must be dealt with by extreme measures. This is just the wrong kind of thinking! If cyclists become such a "problem" then that shows that they need more accommodations, not "Let's go medieval on those barbarians and hope they go away."

Note: I have had my lock sawed through and my bike confiscated by a business. And I'm sorry but returning my bike with a broken lock is not an all's well that ends well type of situation. Without the ability to lock my bike, my mode of transportation was turned into a toy that I could only ride around my house and do nothing useful with it (other then just exercise.) That's why I included breaking the car window in my opening analogy, the usefulness of a car is diminished with a broken window, just as my bike's usefulness was diminished without a lock.

Reacting to University of Maryland Bicycle Parking and Impoundment Regulations

Bicycles shall be parked in accordance with federal, state, and local fire and safety regulations. Bicycles shall not be parked or stored in the following areas:
B. Against or fastened to any tree, plant, bush, or other landscape item [Not against federal, state, and local fire and safety regulations]
C. Against or fastened to any ..., fence, ..., railing, ... ...
D. Upon or attached to any ingress/egress ramp, stairway or stairwell railing or otherwise fastened to ... any exit/entrance to any University building [As long as not impeding pedestrian movement, this too is not against federal, state, and local fire and safety regulations, unless the local fire department has gone anti-bike as well.]
UMCP maintains the right to impound, and will remove security devices at the expense of the owner/operator, any bicycle that is ... parked in violation of these regulations. [UMCP wants the right to break the law? That's laughable, see the following]

§ 21-1206.(c) Tampering with bicycle, motor scooter, or EPAMD. -- A person may not remove, ride on, or tamper with any part of a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter without the permission of its owner.

It its never a legal remedy to react to illegal behavior with illegal behavior, so it is even more erroneous to react to legal behavior with illegal behavior. So with the exception of abandoned bikes or bicycles parked in such a way to cause a legitimate safety concern (which I'll talk about both in a bit) the UMCP is breaking the law by impounding bikes.

So let's look at where the state prohibits bike parking:
§ 21-1208. Securing bicycle, motor scooter or EPAMD to certain objects
  • (a) Prohibition. -- A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter to a fire hydrant, police or fire call box, or traffic control device.
  • (b) Poles, etc., within bus or taxi-loading zones. -- A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter to a pole, meter, or device located within a bus or taxi-loading zone.
  • (c) Poles, etc., within 25 feet of intersections. -- A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter to a pole, meter, or device located within 25 feet of any intersection.
  • (d) Poles, etc., having notices forbidding securing of bicycles. -- A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter to a pole, meter, or device on which notice has been posted by the appropriate authorities forbidding the securing of bicycles.
  • (e) Obstructing or impeding traffic or pedestrian movement. -- A person may not secure a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter to any place where the securing of a bicycle or a motor scooter would obstruct or impede vehicular traffic or pedestrian movement.
  • (f) Securing to parking meter. -- A bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter may be secured to a parking meter, without payment of the usual fees, if it is entirely removed from the bed of the street normally used for vehicular parking.

So this is the rub, you can be parked legally per state law (just like you would anywhere else in this state) yet in the eyes of UMCP you will be parked illegally and can suffer the consequences. Can anyone override state law without going through the law making process? Umm, see below. (Note: an astute reader could find more items that are legal per state law but illegal per UM policy then what I have pointed out here, as I just pointed out the more blatant items.)

Maryland Declaration of Rights: Art. 9. That no power of suspending Laws or the execution of Laws, unless by, or derived from the Legislature, ought to be exercised, or allowed.

Keep in mind all they have to do is put up a sign in the areas they don't want bike parking, if the problem is not pronounced enough to justify the cost of the signs, then it is also not significant enough for draconic policy, just tell people that you would prefer them not to park in the areas that I highlighted and leave it at that.

Bicycle registration is mandatory for all bicycles parked or stored on campus.
While it is possible to make this mandatory of students and facility, again, UMCP cannot create laws such as this for visitors of the campus.

Some sampling of bike parking around Maryland:

This would be illegal per UMCP. This is the bike parking at the Senate building in Annapolis as the building has no bike racks. There is a bike rack somewhere on the capital campus but good luck in finding it, it really is in an out of the way place.

This would be illegal per UMCP. Another building with no bikes racks but the fencing provides ample parking for cyclists.

UPDATE: I just found this on the web and the response from the collage is so cool. Also note how the bike is 100% out of the way of pedestrians but illegal per UMCP:
"Our bike racks are an option not a requirement." - Broome Community College

So people who are used to parking their bikes in a usual (and legal) manner for Maryland are suddenly subjected to being treated like trespassers and wanton criminals all because of the lack of adequate bike parking.

§ 21-1008. Bicycle accommodations
By fiscal year 2000, each public institution of higher education and State employment facility shall provide reasonable accommodations necessary for bicycle access, including parking for bicycles.

So I have to ask is reasonable parking being provided if they have to resort to such drastic measures to deal with the bicycle parking "problem?"

§ 10-209.(c) Duties. -- The University System of Maryland shall:
(6) Increase access for economically disadvantaged and minority students;

Does paying for citations, impound fees and storage fees for a legally parked bicycle sound like increasing access for economically disadvantaged students???
View Printable Version

What we need are "Ghost Cars"

Biking in MarylandAs we have have Ghost Bikes I feel we need Ghost Cars as a reminder that cars are not as safe as we think. Does any really think texting will be a problem after passing this along side the roadway?

Maryland has 97,023 auto crashes a year (5 year average), that works out to be about 3 auto crashes per every mile of roadway in Maryland every year! Can you imagine what our roads would look like if these crashes stuck around for at least a year?

But Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) saves "Marylanders approximately $1.4 billion in vehicle travel costs in CY2010" by (CHART) providing quick response to traffic incidents through emergency response and road/debris clearing. Um, maybe would could save even more by not having an accident in the first place? I think it would be a good educational tool to move a wrecked automobile to an entrance ramp (or other visible but out of the way public place) and let it sit there a while with a sign saying something like "Pay attention and drive safe. Don't let this happen to you." But instead we sterilize the roadway making it seem like nothing ever bad happens there. Denying a problem exists is the first step in making it worse.

My Account

Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?


Site Map


There are no upcoming events

Older Stories

Monday 30-Oct

Sunday 29-Oct

Friday 27-Oct

Monday 23-Oct

Friday 13-Oct

Thursday 12-Oct

Sunday 17-Sep


Order: New Views Posts
Latest 5 Forum Posts
Re: Butcher's Hill t..
 By:  B' Spokes
 On:  Sunday, June 14 2015 @ 02:59 PM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Butcher's Hill to St..
 By:  jparnell
 On:  Wednesday, June 10 2015 @ 06:29 PM UTC
 Views 6033 Replies 1
Re: Trader Joes Park..
 By:  abeha
 On:  Friday, March 27 2015 @ 06:46 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Netherlands Bike..
 By:  HBK
 On:  Monday, February 09 2015 @ 04:55 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Seeking route op..
 By:  William888
 On:  Tuesday, February 03 2015 @ 06:53 AM UTC
 Views 0 Replies 0

Mailing Lists

General Talk
Subscribe Archives Announcements
Subscribe Archives


Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

  •  Strongly agree
  •  Mostly agree
  •  Undecided
  •  Mostly disagree
  •  Strongly disagree
This poll has 0 more questions.
Other polls | 1,214 votes | 0 comments

The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

  •  Off-road bike trails
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on State roads
  •  On-road bike accommodations only on County roads
  •  All of the above
This poll has 0 more questions.
Other polls | 1,217 votes | 3 comments

Who's Online

Guest Users: 201

What's New

No New Items