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County should get behind bicycle safety initiatives [Editorial]

Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County has the distinction of ranking among the top 10 jurisdictions in the country based on the Complete Streets policy the County Council initiated that takes into account the use of roads by cyclists and pedestrians, as well as motorists.

[B' Spokes: While special thanks to Tom Quirk and David Marks are in order, I really must highlight the large discrepancy between near the best in policies and near the worst outcomes for cyclists and pedestrians. We also have this problem on the state level, maybe we should get some award for the best double talking politicians or something. LAB loves our policies`at the state level but the results on the ground are still a bit different, like a bike mode share less than the national average (just one quick stat among several), not bad for being in or near the top 10 bike friendly states. :/]
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Bicycle safety advocates call for road improvements

[B' Spokes: This all sounds good till you realize we had the same conversation in 2002 and since that time the state's own survey of bicycling improvements (Bicycle Level of Service) has remained virtually unchanged since then. And please, please, please get rid of the signs that say "Bikes Share the Road"]

On Monday, members of bike advocacy groups brought their concerns about creating safer bike lanes to Maryland highway officials. The advocacy groups are talking to the state about a specific project but want to ensure all major transportation projects include safe bicycle routes.

Cycling advocates don't think "share the road" signs, like ones on Maryland Route 170 in Linthicum, are enough. They want a buffer built to better protect bicycle lanes as the state prepares to make improvements along Route 170.

<a href="http://www.wbaltv.com/news/bicycle-safety-advocates-call-for-road-improvements/30540456">http://www.wbaltv.com/news/bicycle-safety-advocates-call-for-road-improvements/30540456</a>;
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Annapolis woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for hitting cyclists with car

Robin Colbert of Annapolis was sentenced to 18 months in jail for hitting two cyclists while driving drunk last summer.

<a href="http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/for_the_record/ph-ac-cn-drunken-driving-1223-20141222,0,971360.story">http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/for_the_record/ph-ac-cn-drunken-driving-1223-20141222,0,971360.story</a>;
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Biking to Campus; Jumping the hurdles


You are invited to participate in a survey of students, faculty, and staff in colleges and universities in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. This survey is conducted by a research team from Morgan State University.

The objective of the survey is to identify barriers of bike-to-campus. Your responses will help us to understand your concerns on biking, and find desirable policies to overcome hurdles and improve rate of biking. Completing the survey would take about 10-15 minutes. This survey is completely voluntary.

There is no risk associated with your participation. Your responses will be anonymous and confidential.

If you're interested to participate please access the survey using below link:
(Please copy &amp; paste below link in your browser to join the survey!)

<a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tKzXEX4pHH9J8rZvJiUZzJH87WImR9UKluefi4pRR3o/viewform?usp=send_form">https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tKzXEX4pHH9J8rZvJiUZzJH87WImR9UKluefi4pRR3o/viewform?usp=send_form</a>;

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Tell HoCo app

[B' Spokes: Old news but still I want to make sure you saw it. So that makes two jurisdictions that make reporting bike/ped issues a little easier. (Baltimore City is the other.)]

September 3, 2014

Media Contact:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

Executive Ulman Launches “Tell HoCo” app, first in state that allows non-emergency issues to be reported 24-7

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Ken Ulman today unveiled Howard County’s newest tool for connecting citizens with their government: a mobile and web-based application called “Tell HoCo.”

“Tell HoCo” allows Howard County residents and visitors to report non-emergency problems – such as potholes, graffiti, downed tree limbs and traffic signal issues, among others – to the appropriate county government representative, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Via the app, citizens can use their smart phones to snap a photo, send a report, and track its progress.

“Today, we are taking the step to make Howard County more responsive, more innovative, and more efficient, than ever before,” said Executive Ulman. “We will be crowd-sourcing a better County.”

Added Howard County Councilperson Courtney Watson: “This is a great tool to help our communities connect better with their government. Howard County’s hard-working employees, as always, are ready to help as much as they can.”

The “Tell HoCo” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store or from Google play. Users can make anonymous reports if they desire, after they register. Additionally, links to the web version of “Tell HoCo” will now be prominently included on the Howard County government website.

Once issues are identified, the person making the report receives updates on its progress. Users can also check to see what issues have been reported in their communities.

“The ‘Tell HoCo’ app is also a perfect internal management tool,” Executive Ulman said. “Our public works department and recreation and parks staff have been using it for a couple of months to track their work and monitor their progress. This is eliminating paperwork, and making our crews more efficient.”

Howard County Councilperson Jen Terrasa said it was important for the County to embrace technology to help citizens. “We need to stay on the cutting edge, and this app will help us work together toward a better future,” she said.

Video from today’s launch of the “Tell HoCo” app can be found at <a href="http://youtu.be/ul4SUGJxQOI">http://youtu.be/ul4SUGJxQOI</a>;

An online version of the reporting tool can be found at <a href="http://www.howardcountymd.gov/iframetemplate.aspx?id=6442474544">http://www.howardcountymd.gov/iframetemplate.aspx?id=6442474544</a>;
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Baltimore woman pleads guilty in DUI crash that injured two cyclists in Annapolis

Via The WashCycle

Sentencing will happen Dec 18th 

Prosecutors said Colbert hit bicyclists  Katie Pohler, 23, and Todd Green, 27, while she was driving on June 28 on Route 450 near Brice Lane in the Annapolis area. Officials said the victims were in the dedicated bike lane and that Colbert drifted into them.

Pohler and Green were flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, where Pohler underwent treatment for critical injuries. Green was treated and released, but Pohler is still recovering.

Officials said Colbert had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 at the time, which is nearly double the legal limit. She had also been driving with a 3-year-old relative in the car, prosecutors said.

Frankly, she was lucky that her two victims were young and healthy. Some other cyclists might not have survived. In fact, if one of them later dies from complications due to their injuries, I suppose she could be charged with some form of homicide. 

She was orginially indicted on 11 charges

The woman has been indicted on 11 charges, including two counts of second-degree assault as well as driving while impaired by alcohol while transporting a minor.

But the plea is for only 2 of those charges - causing a life-threatening injury while under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor

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This should be everywhere not just in Howard county

. . .
In addition, BAHC presented a plaque to Captain (retired) John McKissick for his 5 years serving as the bicycling liaison to the HC Police Department. Captain Mike Yetter John's replacement was introduced at the Forum and will be an excellent replacement for John (he was even a bicycle policeman at one time in his career). He reiterated what we have put out in the past:

* call '911' if you experience any harassment or near accident as soon as possible with as much identifying information as possible.
* If you are reporting an incident at a later time you can also file a report on the HCPD non-emergency numbers: 410-313-2200 or 410-313-2929.

Captain Yetter emphasized that the police do reposed to every complaint with at least a letter if not a personal visit to the registered driver. If we don't go through the effort of filing a complaint they can't enter in the Police data base to look for individuals with a history of harassment or distracted driving.

Again thanks to everyone that attended and to Chris Eatough, Dave Cookson and Mike Yetter for presenting.

Jack Guarneri

<a href="https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FriendsofBAHC/conversations/messages/731">https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FriendsofBAHC/conversations/messages/731</a>;
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New Route 7 bridge in Belcamp is open to (bicycle) traffic

B' Spokes: A new bridge on route 7 has bicycle compatible shoulders. SHA is doing some things right!

Via: <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/abingdon/ph-ag-route-7-bridge-open-brief-1015-20141015-story.html">http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/abingdon/ph-ag-route-7-bridge-open-brief-1015-20141015-story.html</a>;
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County joins with cycling enthusiasts for 100-mile ride

By Ben Weathers, Capital Gazette

Local cyclists are launching a 100-mile bike ride next week to raise money for local charities.

The inaugural Lifeline 100 Century ride will start and end at Kinder Farm Park in Millersville on Oct. 19. Proceeds will benefit local nonprofits, including the Crisis Response System, Recreation Deeds for Special Needs, and Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, or BikeAAA.

The event will be the culmination of months of planning involving local nonprofits, county police and the county Department of Recreation and Parks, said agency spokeswoman Colleen Joseph.

Recreation officials had been considering such a bike ride for the past few years, but implementation didn't start until the idea was broached to Police Chief Kevin Davis, Joseph said.

Traffic issues were longtime obstacles to getting the ride to move forward. Joseph said Davis was thinking of a similar event and the county linked with BikeAAA to make it a reality.

Rides of 56 and 15 miles also will be held the same day, Joseph said.

A free children's bike rodeo and family fun ride will be held at Kinder Farm Park on the day of the event.

The ride will coincide with the Making Health Happen Community Health Fair at the park, featuring 20 vendors.

The health fair will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature activities for kids and families, as well as health screenings.

<a href="http://touch.capitalgazette.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81636377/">http://touch.capitalgazette.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81636377/</a>;


<a href="http://bikeaaa.org/lifeline-100/">http://bikeaaa.org/lifeline-100/</a>;
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