Please make your voices heard at the July 10th Montgomery County Planning Board hearing on the Intercounty Connector Trail! Let them know you do not want any sections of the trail to be eliminated from the county master plan! If you can\\\'t testify, please send letters and emails to the Planning Board and cc the County Council. See contact info at the bottom of this message.
In what would be a very short-sighted decision, the Planning Board may forever eliminate important sections of the planned trail along the Intercounty Connector highway by removing them from the county master plan. The Planning Department (led by the Board) is making the argument that the trail would cause irreparable environmental damage in natural park areas, despite the six-lane highway next door! Incredibly, this is the same Planning Board that endorsed the highway in 2005. Staff is saying the trail may be the \\\"straw that breaks the camel\\\'s back\\\", ignoring the tons of highway the camel will already be carrying.
The Planning Board would replace the removed sections of trail with sidepaths along busy roads, including New Hampshire Avenue, East Randolph Road, Fairland Road, Briggs Chaney Road, Bonifant Road and Notley Road. The detours are circuitous and force trail users to cross several major intersections and countless streets and driveways where cyclists must be extremely careful. That is inappropriate for a trail meant to serve inexperienced riders and families, and it undermines the promised transportation value.
Removing this trail from the master plan would be a death knell, making it extremely difficult to ever finish the trail even 20 years from now, when gas prices have hit $12 a gallon and global warming has ruined sensitive areas the size of Alaska. Even if the ICC trail isn\\\'t built right away, we MUST keep the entire route in the master plan. Highways attract development and employment sites that must be served by good bike routes. Just imagine if I-270 had a parallel bike path. That highway was also planned to have a path, but it too was canceled -- by the state -- 20 years ago.
Trails through parks and along highways were planned to be the skeleton of the county bike trail network, providing efficient mobility for cyclists by virtue of their length and location away from street crossings and traffic lights. The ICC trail was meant to be the backbone of that skeleton, linking together many north-south trails. Unfortunately the Planning Board has removed several park trails from the master plan over the years. This trend must stop.
The worst and longest detour being discussed is the one circumventing the Paint Branch Stream Valley Park. This would eliminate three miles of trail and replace it with five miles of detours. But trail impacts in that region have not even been studied. Changing a master plan should never be done without adequate study. Please insist that the Planning Board fully study the trail (how to build it, not just why we shouldn\\\'t) for ALL the detour sections.
We are 8 years into the State's 20 year master plan to make Maryland the best state for bicycling and walking. How are we doing in planning and building comfortable bike routes to work, shopping centers or even make biking to a trail a pleasant experience?
What is the State's policy in planning and funding extra road width to comfortable accommodate cyclists using the best engineering practices? What is the State's policy in following federal guide lines in utilizing Federal Funding to address the "needs" of bicyclists? Is the state listening to the needs and concerns of bicyclists?
What I have uncovered is truly shocking and has to change! This is a rare opportunity to address the State's implementation of Federal policies and dispersement of Federal Transportation Funds.
Please try and come if you can.
I hope everyone has seen the SHARE the ROAD signs up on the Columbia tri route and on Carrs Mill Rd that Bicycling Advocates encouraged the county to install. Bicycling Advocates also hopes to do *cyclists education*.
Our thinking is the more polite cyclists in Howard county are to motorists the more influence we will have on motorists to be considerate of us. In the next couple months leading up to the Iron Girl triathlon, the Princeton Sports Tues night ride has many newbie inexperienced cyclists. It's a very large ride with many cyclists. To help educate them on how to bike safely and courteously, we are looking for a few VOLUNTEER ROAD MARSHALS to bike along with them on the Tues night ride from Princeton Sports.
Please help these new cyclists learn how to bike safely and do a nice ride too!!!! Princeton plans to eventually provide *yellow jerseys* to road marshals.
If you are interested in being an occasional road marshal, please contact Mike Carney (Mcarney "at" cfmortgagecorp.com). He is coordinating volunteer road marshals. We only need a couple each week. Thanks again for all your interest in helping bicycling in Howard County!
Thanks to Gordon Peltz, Howard Kaplon, and Gary Brandon for a great 2008 BBC Instructional Ride Series
The participants from the 2008 BBC instructional ride series (and previous years) want to thank Gordon, Howard, and Gary for leading this year's class and rides. The three leaders took a rag tag bunch of bicyclists from all levels and turned us in to a rag tag bunch of better bicyclists. Gordon, Howard, and Gary did it with grace, good humor, dedication, and lots and lots of patience.
We gave the ride leaders each a bicycle-related gift and made a separate donation to One Less Car in their honor.
On the south lawn of the White House, on a gloriously sunny spring day, as President George W. Bush shook the hands of 25 brave vets on bicycles who had lost various limbs in Iraq, I began to cry. I had been invited to be a part of the Wounded Warrior Project, and this gathering in our nation
May 16, 2008 is bike to work day. Mark your calendars, or better yet, REGISTER ONLINE.
The first 225 will receive a canvas bag and T- shirt. The first 500 registrants will receive a T- shirt.
This year's Grand Prize will be a trip for 2 with Adventure Cycling on the C&O Canal. For trip information Click Here
We are currently gearing up to make 2008 our most successful event. If you are interested in volunteering, have any new innovative ideas, or would like more information on how to participate, please visit the BMC Bicycle Commuting page or e-mail Jamie Bridges at email@example.com.
Working on your bike can be a daunting task, but fear not, REI is here to help! Join up with one of REI?s bike techs to learn the basics of bike maintenance such as a how to fix a flat, lube a chain, and other adjustments that will keep your bike in good running order. In addition, the clinic will provide insight on overlooked yet simple maintenance techniques that will improve your riding experience. This clinic is a great lead-in class to other advanced bike maintenance classes.
Location: REI - Timonium
Contact: Customer Service at 410-252-5920
Registration Required? No.
Watch between 5:15 and 6:50am.
Since late last year, *many of the leaders from *all* the bike groups in Howard County *have been working together on a new committee called *Bicycling Advocates of Howard County (BAHC). * :) Jack Guarneri is chairing the group and doing an awesome job!!! Some of the clubs involved are the Glenelg Gang, HoCoCyclists, APL Cycling Club, Mid Maryland Triathlon Club, Baltimore Bicycling Club etc.
The goal of Bicycling Advocates of Howard County as an organization is to work with the Howard County Government, and other government agencies when needed, to improve the safety of roads in Howard County that are the most heavily used by bicyclists