Baltimore Spokes
Biking in Baltimore
Sign Up!
Welcome to Baltimore Spokes
Friday, March 31 2017 @ 12:31 AM UTC


View Printable Version

Really, only 15% of our major roads have sidewalks?

Biking in Marylandimage

From: Draft of Maryland's Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan
View Printable Version

Maryland U.S. Bike Route 50 Approved

Biking in Maryland
"U.S. Bicycle Route 50 follows the established Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park through Maryland. Located along the north bank of the Potomac River, the 184.5-mile canal towpath originates in Washington, D.C., then arrives in Cumberland, Md."

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

The road that killed 18 miles of a master planed bikeway

Biking in MarylandWhere’s the traffic? Critics point to the Intercounty Connector’s often empty travel lanes, like these at the Route 29 interchange in Silver Spring, as proof that the road was unnecessary.

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

[B' Spokes: For this we sacrificed a bikeway???]
View Printable Version

Bicyclists embark on road to local healthy living

Biking in MarylandBy Rebecca J. Barnabi, SoMd News

More than 200 bicyclists rode from Gilbert Run Park on one of five routes to local farms in the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission’s second Crop Hop on Saturday.

“I was diagnosed with diabetes in November,” Tena Branstetter said. “I wanted a way to lose weight and get in shape.”

She has lost more than 65 pounds and so far is able to control type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, she said. Most of her exercising consists of bicycling, and she said her endocrinologist said she has never had a patient come so far.

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

A Reminder about Bicycle Safety [by Maryland State Police] [video]

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: Overall very good but 33 minutes is rather long.

A few nitpicks: I wish they got into the whole cyclists impeding traffic thing as we have a on going history of MVA and police getting that wrong. Though they did mention cyclists are excluded from "laws that begins, the driver of a motor vehicle may not do some behavior " - OK that covers (I hope) the misapplying of § 21-804 "a person may not willfully drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic." But we do have that we may not ride two abreast if we are impeding traffic. Does that mean anytime we are not going the speed limit (I hope not) or if traffic starts to back up (at least two cars) and cyclists are still riding two abreast? It would have been nice to see some sensible direction on enforcement of this law as it has come up from time to time.

I am very disappointed that there was no mention to get the cyclist' statement after a crash. I hear about officers doing this too often and I encourage that if it happens to you request an amended police report. Though the video did mention to treat crashes involving cyclists just like two car crashes but I'm not sure if that would be enough to get rid of the outrageous behavior of not interviewing the cyclist at all.

I would have loved to see a bit more stress on warning/ticketing drivers parking in bikeways. It seems implied but they never come out and say it. Can we use this to encourage BCPD to do just that? As I said a little wishy washy with the wording.

Summary: Very good background and reasons given for the video. A must watch for that alone.]

View Printable Version

Md. State Police make 1,400 stops in 'move over' crackdown

Biking in MarylandPIKESVILLE, Md. — Maryland State Police made more than 1,400 traffic stops in one day during a crackdown on drivers who fail to move over or slow down for emergency vehicles.

Police say about 1,411 traffic stops on Monday led to 335 citations and 484 warnings for violations of the move over law.

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

[B' Spokes: Now if we could only get similar action and news coverage over enforcement of our 3' safe passing law or our crosswalk laws or... Something that affects them they enforce, if it affects others, who cares. :/ Seriously?]
View Printable Version

The most common damage to cars is from shopping carts and car doors in parking lots

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: I made up that headline to point out the absurdity of this quote:

&quot;Michael Jackson, director of bicycle and pedestrian access for the Maryland Department of Transportation, said the most common cycling injuries statewide result from people falling off their bikes. Most of those injured are men above age 40, Jackson said.&quot;
<a href=""></a>;

If there is some such statewide report I have not seen it and that in itself is worrisome. I do however recall some study done somewhere of emergency room visits that had a similar conclusion but I question the methodology of the survey. For example I wonder if the following qualify for just &quot;falling off a bike&quot;:

* Wheel trapped in hazardous storm grate
* Back tire slid out from a narrow approach to a driveway with a bike unfriendly lip
* Trying to turn on a trail that does not have the proper turning radius
* Trying to ride on a shoulder and suddenly the width disappears (very common on right turns)
* Getting the wheel trapped by exposed railroad tracks
* Poles and bollards placed in the middle of the trail.
* Cracks in the pavement along the seam between two panels of asphalt
* Riding as far right as possible (That's what the law says right? - While too many think that's what the law says, it is in fact not what the law says.)

Well that paints a completely different picture and gets to the point I would like to make:

Stop blaming the victim!

Sure cyclists should be trained to avoid these things but does this list even exist in training materials for cyclists? That to me is a big issue, we pretend that these things do not exist or that cyclist can &quot;easily&quot; avoid them. But the fact is these things are treated as some sort of oral tradition that cannot be written down or worst as some sort of hazing ritual. But worst of all for the same money these things could and should be completely eliminated but instead the state implies that it is the cyclists fault.

Now getting to my headline, imagine a deadly car crash, and not only deadly the crash involves some issue that you as a driver care deeply about, drunk driving, speeding or some such thing. And a spokesperson for the state in response to this tragedy &quot;The most common damage to cars is from shopping carts and car doors in parking lots.&quot;

That's a little outrageous in my book. Initially I was not going to say anything as the article goes into other things so this could just be a reporter issue picking the wrong quote to highlight but I saw another blog pull this quote out so I thought I would address it here.

The New York Times had this bit of info:

&quot;She and her colleagues reviewed hospital and police records for 2,504 bicyclists who had been treated at San Francisco General Hospital. She expected that most of these serious injuries would involve cars; to her surprise, nearly half did not. She suspects that many cyclists with severe injuries were swerving to avoid a pedestrian or got their bike wheels caught in light-rail tracks, for example. Cyclists wounded in crashes that did not involve a car were more than four times as likely to be hurt so badly that they were admitted to the hospital. Yet these injuries often did not result in police reports — a frequent source of injury data — and appeared only in the hospital trauma registry.&quot;

<a href=";_r=2">;_r=2</a>;
View Printable Version

Roll-up bike carriage tested on Capitol Limited

Biking in MarylandBy Malcolm Kenton, National Association of Railroad Passengers

On today’s eastbound Capitol Limited (yesterday evening’s Chicago departure), Amtrak conducted its first over-the-road test of vertically-mounted bicycle restraints installed in the lower-level baggage area of one Superliner coach. This represented the first time unboxed bikes were carried on a Superliner-equipped train since they were carried on the Cardinalbefore the train was re-equipped with single-level cars in 2002.

A selected group of cyclists, myself included, boarded with their bikes at Pittsburgh, Connellsville, Harpers Ferry and Rockville. Some detrained at Harpers Ferry, the rest at Washington. At each station, the side door to the previously unused baggage area was opened, cyclists hoisted themselves and their bikes onto the train, and secured their bikes on the racks by first hooking the front wheel to a padded metal hook, then sliding the rear wheel into a U-shaped metal restraining device that springs up from the floor to prevent the bike from shifting side-to-side as the train moves. Below are photos from my experience.

The test went off without a hitch.

Amtrak is interested in allowing passenger to carry unboxed bikes on long-distance routes, and figures the Capitol Limited is a logical one to start with as its route parallels the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&amp;O Canal towpath, two internationally popular bike trails (the former was once a railroad right-of-way that roughly paralleled the tracks the Capitol Limited uses). One concern is that the six bike racks in the Superliner baggage area would not be enough to handle demand in the summer, when thousands of cyclists use the trails between Pittsburgh and Washington.

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


Biking in MarylandFrom MDOT!!!

Respect Banner - We're on this road together.

We’re on this road together, expect and respect
is the theme of SHA’s new bicycle safety education effort geared to both drivers and bicyclists.  In an expansion of past “Share the Road” efforts, the new campaign issues a plea to both drivers and bicyclists to follow the rules and laws of the road and anticipate the needs of each other.  Bicycle safety is a two-way street – the safety of bicyclists not only depends upon the bicyclist, but the drivers with whom bicyclists share the road. Bicycles are less visible, quieter, and don’t have a protective barrier around them.
We're on this road expect and respect together.As the popularity of bicycling grows as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to commute, as well as exercise, SHA is committed to providing “Complete Streets” in Maryland.  With each roadway resurfacing project, SHA evaluates the road for bicycle markings and amenities. 
Most drivers tend to look for other drivers, and may unintentionally overlook our friends on two-wheels. Even the slightest mistake on the part of the driver can result in tragic consequences for the bicyclist. 
Bicyclists fare best when they act like and are treated as drivers of vehicles.  By Maryland law, bicycles are vehicles, and bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles.  Staying visible to drivers is key, so bicyclists need to ride in a predictable manner and take important steps to wear the proper gear and equip bicycles appropriately.
Drive Smart!Tips for drivers:     
  • Expect bicyclists on the road.
  • Always keep a safe following distance.
  • In certain conditions, bicycles may position in the center of the lane.
  • Allow at least 3 feet when passing.
  • When turning, yield the right-of-way to bicycles as you would other vehicles.
  • Merge into bike lanes before turning right.
  • Look for bicyclists before opening a car door.
  • Be vigilant when pulling out of driveways or side streets.
  • Watch for children.
  • Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road.  It’s illegal to text and use hand held devices while driving.
  • Use turn signals and obey the speed limit.
Tips for bicyclists:
  • Bike Smart!Bikes are vehicles; obey the rules of the road.  Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
  • Ride defensively – expect the unexpected.
  • Ride with traffic, never against it.
  • Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
  • Stop for pedestrians.
  • Pass on the left when overtaking a vehicle.
  • Use marked bike lanes when present.
  • Never ride more than two abreast.
  • Maryland law restricts bicycles on sidewalks, except where allowed by local ordinance.
  • Make yourself visible day and night with lights, reflectors and gear.
  • Wear a helmet correctly – not tilting back. 
View Printable Version

8-9-13 MBPAC Meeting Minutes Comments

Biking in Maryland

Jim Swift noticed that there were a couple of outdated laws in the current version of the fine or penalty deposit schedule for violations of vehicle laws as published by the District Court of Maryland. The outdated laws were the requirement that bicyclists must use shoulders and have bells on their bicycles. Peace officers rely on this fine schedule when writing traffic citations. He proposed that MBPAC send a letter to the District Court requesting that the fine schedule be revised to show the current laws.

[B' Spokes: I thought that was interesting.]

(The above will be posted soon on this page:

And this from the Government and Legislative Affairs Subcommittee:

[B' Spokes: I find it rather ironic that WMATA is not a Maryland state agency while MTA is a state agency (which MBPAC can advise) and has no such pointed understanding of bicycle and pedestrian issues that is given to Baltimore Metro bus drivers. Not that there is anything wrong with pointing out something nice happening within the state but still I for one would like to see more support of at least getting Baltimore Metro area bus drivers up to the same level of bicycle friendliness I see in DC and Montgomery County.]

My Account

Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?


Site Map


There are no upcoming events

Older Stories

Sunday 12-Mar

Saturday 11-Mar

Friday 10-Mar

Monday 06-Mar

Sunday 05-Mar

Tuesday 28-Feb

Sunday 26-Feb


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 4812 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 | 1,213 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 | 1,216 votes | 3 comments

Who's Online

Guest Users: 202

What's New

No New Items