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Downtown Columbia public hearing set for Saturday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m.

Biking in the Metro AreaBelow is information on a Saturday 14 November County Council Meeting on the Downtown Columbia redevelopment plan for. Columbia Tomorrow and the Horizon Foundation are looking for people to testify — especially in the area of bicycle/pedestrian access and multi-modal (bus/bike/walk) transportation options that are needed. Chris Tsien of the BAHC Board has agreed to provide testimony for BAHC in these areas, but if any other members (especially Columbia residents) are interested in participating/testifying/attending details are provided below. We were also asked that if some bicyclists can ride to meeting and show up in spandex that would be excellent PR.

Concerns I felt are key for bicyclists (and pedestrians) in the Downtown development plan:

* Focus on both intra (Village to Village to Downtown) bike accessibility as well as inter (Columbia to recreational/commuter routes) bike routes (Little Patuxent Pkwy, Cedar Lane, Harper’s Farm, etc.). Part of this involves Columbia Association path improvements/extensions (including some possibly lighting and directional signs/maps) to modify path system for bike transportation as well as recreational use and part is County responsibility to provide bike paths on major arterial routes in and out of downtown.
* The plan should include bike racks and storage at Park and Rides on periphery of Columbia, downtown at Mall and lakeside, and at major employers (HC General Hospital, HCC, APL, etc.).
* Safe routes must link with all these locations.


Jack Guarneri

Chair Bicycling Advocates of Howard County
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Bike tour planned for visit by mayor of Columbia, Mo.

Biking in the Metro AreaArticle below is on visit of Columbia, MO Mayor Darwin Hindman on 4 November to Columbia, MD being sponsored by Columbia Tomorrow as part of their effort to make the revitalization of downtown pedestrian and bicyclists friendly. Columbia, MO is one of the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Bicycle Friendly Communities (NOTE: NO municipality in Maryland has achieved this status). BAHC has discussed with Howard County Government setting a goal of achieving this status for our area.

If you are available on 4 November please consider supporting the 9:30-11:30am bike ride (route is similar to Columbia Association annual Bike About Columbia path rides) and/or the 6:30pm dessert and/or the Howard Community College Bike Project 'I bike because ...' presentation. Both of these events are open to general public.
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Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) [Non]Improvement Program

Biking in the Metro AreaFrom the League of American Bicyclists:
...
BACKGROUND

In 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) created the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program to fund transportation projects designed to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. Bicycle and Pedestrian projects are explicitly recognized at the federal level as eligible. Eligible projects include new bike and walking facilities and promotion projects (FHWAa, 2008).

All CMAQ projects must be part of a state’s transportation plan and region’s transportation spending plan, called the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). As with other federal funding sources, states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) that have made cycling walking priorities in their planning will have an easier time using CMAQ funds on bike/ped projects. States disperse the funds -- sometimes allocating them directly, and sometimes suballocating to MPOs -- and are then reimbursed by the FHWA after the work is complete. CMAQ typically covers 80 percent of the project cost, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the state, MPO or public/private partners.

Where and how much

All 50 states and the District of Columbia receive CMAQ funds. Funds must be spent in regions that do not meet national air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide levels (“nonattainment” areas) or have recently become compliant (“maintenance” areas). [Baltimore is a non attainment area]. If a state does not have these areas, CMAQ funds are treated as part of the Surface Transportation Program (STP) and can be used anywhere in the state.
...
Overcoming Barriers

While some MPOs are eager to spend CMAQ money on bike/ped projects, others are more resistant. According to a comparative case-study, almost 45 percent of the money spent on bike/ped in the Sacramento, Ca. area comes from the CMAQ program, while Baltimore, Md. did not spend any CMAQ funds on bike/ped projects as of spring 2009. Officials in the two locations saw bike projects very differently. In Sacramento, reviewers saw bike projects as the ideal use for CMAQ money, saying that the CMAQ program “almost earmarks money” for bike/ped projects. But in Baltimore, planners questioned the competitiveness of bicycling projects because they felt it was difficult to show their impact on air quality (McCann, 2009).
...
Nearly all states have under-spent their CMAQ funding. The money is there. It is a matter of priorities. Bicycle and pedestrian projects are a great choice because their cost benefit ratio is better than for other project types. [Maryland has underspent to the tune of $1.4M]
...
“You could spend your whole budget on a few miles of HOV lanes,” one planner said, or you could complete a number of different bicycle and pedestrian projects.
...
FY 2009 Baltimore, Maryland Application – November 4, 2008
Bicycling projects are grouped under ‘other’, with no bicycle specific instructions.
They ask generally for the type and description of the project, how it will reduce emissions, an estimate of reductions, and cost effectiveness calculations.
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See-Click-Fix: report a bike hazard and watch it get fixed!

Biking in the Metro AreaFor Baltimore City our best place to report issues is 311, at the last Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting it was noted that even hazardous parallel storm grates can and should be reported to the 311 system.
<a href="https://baltimore.customerservicerequest.org/web_intake_balt/Controller">https://baltimore.customerservicerequest.org/web_intake_balt/Controller</a>;

If the issues is not resolved follow up here and with your City Council person.

Out side of Baltimore See Click Fix <a href="http://www.seeclickfix.com">http://www.seeclickfix.com</a>; You can report issues, you can set up watch areas and key words so you will be notified when someone posts an issue about one of your key words.
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Baltimore Sun has two letters supporting walkable communities

Biking in the Metro AreaFrom Baltimore Sun via One Less Car's blog:

The first letter to the editor is from Richard Eberhart Hall, Sec of Md Dept of Planning, titled &quot;Better planning needed for kids to walk to school&quot;. Mr. Hall talks about the need for school boards to design &amp; build new schools as integral parts of designated community growth areas and to reinvest in existing schools in our existing neighborhoods. He says that's Smart Growth. Giving families better options to make that walk would save public dollars, the environment - and a few pounds to boot.

The second letter is from David Marks, titled &quot; Baltimore County Could Make Schools Walkable.&quot; David focuses on his own frustration where his child and others can't safely cross Honeygo Blvd in White Marsh to walk or bike to school. He continues that the county could better scrutinize proposed developments so they connect to existing neighborhoods. David also mentions the Safe Routes to School Program and suggests creating a version of the Md Bicycle &amp; Ped Advisory Committee. He concludes that walking and bicycling go beyond physical fitness by also reducing automobile use and lower congestion. Balto County should work to make its neighborhoods accessible to pedestrians &amp; bicyclists. (David Marks is a former chief of staff at the MDOT and a former member of the Md Bike-Ped Advisory Committee).
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Bicycle access across the Hatem Bridge anyone?

Biking in the Metro AreaFrom the MBPAC meeting minuets:
Jeff also recalled a meeting with Harford County transit officials, Kevin and himself on getting transit service extended across the Hatem Bridge to Perryville but at this point this request is unlikely to be granted. Jeff also mentioned a telephone conference call conversation with, Judy Grillo, Michael Jackson and his immediate supervisor, Don Halligan, regarding improvements in SHA’s delivery of services to bicyclists and pedestrians. Greg stated that the East Coast Greenway would be sending a letter to Maryland Transportation Authority Acting Chair, Beverley Swaim-Staley seeking the lifting of the prohibition of bicycle access across the Hatem Bridge.
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SHARROWs Make Roads Safer for Bicyclists and Motorists

Biking in the Metro Area image A SHARROW or shared lane pavement marking is a bicycle symbols that is placed in the roadway lane, reminding motorists they should expect to see and share the lane with bicycles. Unlike bicycle lanes, they do not designate a particular part of the roadway for the use of bicyclists.

What does a SHARROW mean for motorists and bicyclists?

Motorists:

  • Expect to see bicyclists on the street
  • Remember to give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing
  • Follow the rules of the road as if there were no SHARROW
 Bicyclists
  • Use the SHARROW to guide where you ride within the right hand side of the lane and with the direction of traffic
  • Remember not to ride too close to parked cars
  • Follow the rules of the road as if there were no SHARROW
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The Bike Project: A Visual, Literary and Cinematic Celebration of Biking in Our World

Biking in the Metro AreaOpens October 8 at Howard Community College

Released October 2, 2009

(Columbia, MD) – Howard Community College (HCC) features “The Bike Project: A Visual, Literary and Cinematic Celebration of Biking in Our World,” from October 8 to November 15, 2009 in the Rouse Company Foundation (RCF) Gallery on the campus of HCC. The project includes multimedia exhibitions and a film festival. A reception will be held on October 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the RCF Gallery, located inside the Horowitz Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The exhibition, reception, and film festival are free and open to the public.

The Bike Project: A Literary Exploration explores biking through writing. Bikers often share the joys and challenges that they experience from the physical, social and emotional aspects of biking through writing, in blogs, sports publications and online forums. Based on the NPR writing project titled, “This I Believe...”, bikers were asked to respond, in writing, to the theme, “I bike because…” Over 50 riders, most of those whom are not writers, responded. Their candid, insightful and creative responses express a well rounded and poignant picture of the power of biking in their lives, and those around them. Copies of their writings are available at the galleries.

The Bike Project: An Exhibition is invitational exhibition held in The Rouse Company Foundation Gallery. While the literary component of The Bike Project focused on bikers, who are not necessarily artists or writers, the exhibition does the opposite. Established artists—painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic artists, printmakers, etc—who are not necessarily avid cyclists, were asked to create bike related artwork. An exciting number of artists (46) took on the challenge. The resulting artwork will be displayed in the galleries from October 8 to November 15, 2009.

The Bike Project: Did You Get That? Great Moments On (and Off) the Bike, Photos by Bikers is an open exhibition where bikers were asked to submit up to three photos of their choosing that depict their biking experiences. It will be shown in the Art Department Gallery of McCuan Hall (MH) October 8 to November 15, 2009.

The Bike Project – A Film Festival, runs October 19 to 23 in the Monteabaro Recital Hall of the Horowitz Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The Monday, October 19, 7 p.m. screening features two films: “Off Road to Athens,” which captures the personal struggles and sacrifices of eight cyclists trying to make the U.S. Olympic team, and “24 Solo,” which follows Howard County resident and 24 Hour Solo World Champion Chris Eatough on his quest to a seventh consecutive title.

The Wednesday, October 21, 7 p.m. screening features three films -- “The Collective,” “Roam,” and “Seasons” -- that portray the newest and cutting edge images of the freeride progression while exploring thoughts and personalities of the riders leading to the progression, as well as following seven of the world’s best mountain bikers through the course of four seasons of one year.

The Friday, October 24, 7 p.m. screening features “Klunkerz,” a thoughtful and accurate portrayal of the cycling enthusiasts of Northern California’s Marin County, where mountain biking originated among a diverse group of cyclist racers and fun-loving hippies looking for a way to commune with nature. Their original hefty steeds were affectionately knows as Klunkerz.

Exhibit viewing hours are Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Rouse Company Foundation Gallery is located in the Horowitz Arts Center on the Howard Community College campus at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044. For more information about the exhibition and gallery programs, visit <a href="http://www.howardcc.edu">www.howardcc.edu</a>; or email RBafford [at] howardcc.edu.
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Bicycle safety event in Annapolis, October 29th - register now

Biking in the Metro AreaThe City of Annapolis in partnership with the Annapolis Bicycle Racing Team (ABRT) invites you to join us at the…

BE BRIGHT, BE SEEN Safety Rally

City Dock, Market House

Thursday, October 29, 2009, 4:30 - 6:30 PM

REGISTER AT: <a href="http://www.annapolis.gov/BikeAnnapolis">www.annapolis.gov/BikeAnnapolis</a>;

· The first 80 registrants to attend* will receive a bicycle light set (front and rear light).

· Free bicycle tune-ups and assistance mounting light set provided by local bike shops

· See latest cycling products for the new season

· Door prizes and discount coupons for bicycle safety items

· Refreshments courtesy of Hard Bean Coffee &amp; Booksellers and A*censored*ers.

*An additional 20 light sets will be distributed at random to all remaining registrants at the event at 6:00pm.

Register in advance until October 28th at: <a href="http://www.annapolis.gov/BikeAnnapolis">www.annapolis.gov/BikeAnnapolis</a>;

On-site registration available but pre-registration is encouraged!

For further information, contact Iain Banks at ibanks@annapolis.gov

MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE SAFE WHEN RIDING AT NIGHT, USE LIGHTS AND REFLECTIVE CLOTHING.
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Keep Gym in School Program

Biking in the Metro Area[This is a nice start but still I would like to see the public demand that bike riding should be safe for kids, as a healthy and active life style cannot be contained just to school grounds and school hours.]

GLEN BURNIE, MD (September 29, 2009) –NFL Network teamed up with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Verizon FiOS TV and the Baltimore Ravens today to kick off the Keep Gym in School program in Anne Arundel County public schools and officially inaugurate newly-refurbished Physical Education facilities at Corkran Middle School in Glen Burnie.
...
“The health of our children is among our highest priorities, and we all hold a responsibility to address issues like childhood obesity,” said Governor O’Malley. “We’re working hard to reverse the trend here in Maryland and welcome the support of NFL Network through its comprehensive Keep Gym in School program. We’re laying the groundwork now for a bright and healthy future.”

“The numbers can’t be ignored – childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980. We have to make it a priority now to teach young people how to be healthy and fit. And one of the best places to reach them is in school,” said Jamie Dukes. “That’s why NFL Network is expanding the reach of ‘Keep Gym in School’ to help more kids have access to physical activity in school.”
...

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