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Garden State Safer for Walkers in 2010

by Michelle Ernst

Fewer pedestrians and cyclists are dying on the Garden State’s roads,
Obviously there isn’t enough data to show causality between the decline in fatalities and New Jersey’s recently passed law requiring drivers to “stop and stay stopped” for pedestrians in crosswalks, or the ensuing crackdown on motorists who fail to yield . But the numbers certainly help allay concerns that the law would increase pedestrian fatalities by emboldening people to – horror! – cross the street.
B' Spokes: What no crack down on j-walkers like what we do here. Maryland's pedestrian fatality rate is climbing and yet government continues to blame the victims of overly car centric roadways and self centered drivers.

Now remember Maryland pedestrians you can't j-walk and you can't step into the crosswalk if the motorist cannot or will not stop. After all we are shooting for the #1 slot of having the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation. Go Maryland!

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State asks people to go car-free from Sept. 18-24

[B' Spokes: Don't panic it's not here and probably never will be.]
From The Enterprise

The governor is asking residents to leave their cars in the driveway and try bicycling, walking, public transit, carpooling, or vanpooling, for Massachusetts Car-Free Week, Sept. 18-24. Massachusetts will join more than 1,000 cities in 40 countries to show the benefits of reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
Going car free on Sunday? Tell us how you will do it....

“Massachusetts Car-Free Week enhances the GreenDOT mission by raising awareness about the environmental benefits of reducing vehicle emissions in our communities,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey.

GreenDOT, a state program runn by the state DOT, aims to reduce greehouse gas emissions under Gov. Deval Patrick's 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act. This law requires a reduction in emissions of 25 percent by 2020, and an 80 percent cutback by 2050. Transportation generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts.

Every Sept. 22, cities and towns around the world promote car-free travel. World Car-Free Day began in Europe and has quickly spread as a way to promote the environmental, financial, community and health benefits of using public transportation, carpooling, bicycling and walking. Several U.S. cities hold events on World Car-Free Day; however, no other state in the nation has proclaimed a statewide Car-Free Day celebration. This year, Massachusetts will be celebrating an entire week of going Car-Free.

For more information about Massachusetts Car-Free Week, visit <a href="http://www.mass.gov/massdot/carfree">http://www.mass.gov/massdot/carfree</a>; .

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Delaware General Assembly Votes Millions for Bicycling

[B' Spokes: This is filed under News you will not see in Maryland. I would also like to point out State Law:

§ 2-604.(c) Duties of Director. -- To carry out the purposes of this subtitle, the Director shall: (3) Initiate a program of systematic identification of and planning for projects related to bicycle and pedestrian transportation that qualify for funds under Federal Highway Administration guidelines;

This does NOT say the state is allowed to make up extra rules that make accesses to federal funds for bike/ped projects really really hard. This does NOT say ONLY trails can qualify for bicycle transportation. This does NOT say the director can completely ignore this law while bicycle and pedestrian crashes/fatalities are on the rise and our bike modal share is way below normal. ]

from Bike Delaware by James Wilson, Executive Director

In September of 2010, Bike Delaware began a campaign to increase state funding for walking and bicycling. Nine months later in June of 2011, the Delaware General Assembly voted $5 million in new dedicated funding for bicycling in Delaware for FY2012, more money than the state has ever allocated before.

To paraphrase Delaware's former senior Senator, "this is a big deal!"

We at Bike Delaware owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our coalition allies, including Delaware Greenways, the Delaware Bicycle Council and, especially, Nemours Health and Prevention Services; and to the co-sponsors of "Walkable, Bikeable Delaware", especially its prime sponsors Senator Catherine Cloutier, Representative Deborah Hudson and Representative David Wilson.

We'd also like to salute the two truly indispensable individuals whose visionary leadership made this revolution for bicycling happen: Robert Venables and Jack Markell. Senator Venables is the author of "Walkable, Bikeable Delaware" and secured its unanimous passage in the General Assembly in May. And Governor Markell - the only governor to ever speak at a National Bike Summit - seized the opportunity that Senator Venables and the General Assembly offered. In other words, Bob Venables loaded the bases. And Jack Markell hit a grand slam.

space space Markell space space

June 23, 2011 - Governor Markell endorses "Walkable, Bikeable Delaware"

One of the reasons that Friday's vote is a big deal is that these state funds can be used to leverage federal matching funds at a ratio of 4:1 [In Maryland the made up rule is a ratio of 1:1.5 , "to help the money go farther." Complete opposite of the assertion in this article.]. If we are able to leverage the entire $5 million (a big if, but we are going to try), this would mean not $5 million, but $25 million for bicycling in Delaware. [Meanwhile back in Maryland we have $31 million in unspent federal money that should have been spent on bike/ped projects but the money is just not going out the door year after year with no reasonable explanation given.]

We are enormously proud of our state, impressed by its visionary leadership and optimistic about Delaware's future. We can't wait to see what happens next.

James Wilson, Executive Director

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Tips for motorists about bike lanes.

[B' Spokes: One of the issues I've been pushing is to get more info out there on how motorists are supposed to turn around bicyclists in bike lanes. The current road block: the law does not spell it out crystal clear that this is "required." Even though we have consensus this is the safe way to have motorists turn across bike lanes... hence this is posted in "News you will not see in Maryland."]
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Crossover Mirror Bill Takes Effect in NYC but nothing close here

The Cross Over Mirror, on the right, allows truck and school bus drivers to see in front of their hood. Photo: __.

The crossover mirror, on the right, allows truck and school bus drivers to see in front of their hood. They will be required on large trucks driving on New York City streets starting next January. Photo: Moblog.


[B' Spokes: Remember Jack Yates.]
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Cuomo To Turn Truck Mirrors Requirement Into State Law

[B' Spokes: Filed under news you will not see in Maryland as it's always the cyclists fault when trucks turn right across the cyclist path.::( ]
Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign a bill into law this week that requires large trucks to install special mirrors so they can see pedestrians near blind spots.
The bill will require trucks to attach convex &quot;crossover&quot; mirrors that should help the driver see around the truck better. Those mirrors will cost truck owners and operators a few hundred dollars each.

Momentum for the bill grew after a Brooklyn boy died when he was hit by a truck while riding his tricycle in Brooklyn.

Police said the driver never saw the child.

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YPD bicycle patrol to start downtown

[B' Spokes: Something we don't want to see in Baltimore neighborhoods. [/sarcasm]]
Bikes are also good because they can get in some areas a car can not, and they are also good because they make less noise than a cruiser and can surprise criminals.

''You can patrol an area silenty,'' Ross said. ''They have no idea the police are coming.''

Members of the unit, besides Ross and Miller, are officers William Ward, Michael Bodnar, Sonya Wilson and Shakir Perkins.

Ward said bikes gives officers chances to interact and stop crime they do not get on foot or in a cruiser.

''It combines the best of walking beats with high mobility,'' Ward said. ''You get to hear and see stuff you usually don't see.''

Ross said response has been positive. Mary Farragher and Amy Lisi, who help to run the Lemon Grove, both said they welcome the patrols.

''Just having them (police) walking and biking will keep us all safer,'' Lisi said. ''The more visible they are, the safer we all feel, and the safer we all are.''

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Officer on bike busts suspected drug dealer

[B' Spokes: Filed under news you will not see in Maryland.]

York, PA - A York City police officer on bike patrol arrested a York man suspected of selling marijuana and crack cocaine Friday night.

The officer, Michael Fissel, was on routine patrol with another officer at 9:14 p.m. when he saw the man, Laquan Beatty, 19, of the 100 block of South Duke Street, leaving the backyard of a house in the 100 block of Lafayette Street and getting into a car, according to the police report.

Fissel approached Beatty and asked him about being in the backyard, the report said. Beatty appeared nervous, according to the report, and was apparently looking for a way to run.

The officer took him into custody and a search turned up $173 in cash and baggies containing crack cocaine and marijuana, the report stated.
Beatty was taken to Central Booking for arraignment Saturday morning.

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$5 million dedicated to Bicycling in Delaware — ready to match with federal funds

[B' Spokes: Even though League of American Bicyclists rated Maryland above Delaware (MD rank 10 vs DE rank of 18.) And Maryland's Polices and and Programs were graded A vs Delaware's B. I'm still filling this under News you will not see in Maryland.]
from Bikeleague.org Blog by Darren

Bike Delaware has scored a major victory. On Friday, the Delaware General Assembly voted to dedicate $5 million in new funding for bicycling in Delaware.  That’s “more money than the state has ever allocated before,” according to Bike Delaware’s announcement.

Bike Delaware launched their campaign to increase state funding for walking and bicycling this winter. “We recognized the desperate need for direct and strategic funding for bikeway infrastructure and we thought we had a chance of success,” Executive Director James Wilson said, “And we weren’t afraid to fail.”

Delaware Governor Jack Markell endorses “Walkable, Bikeable Delaware” legislation in June (Photo from Bike Delaware)

Bike Delaware worked with several groups, including Delaware Greenways, the Delaware Bicycle Council and, especially, Nemours Health and Prevention Services, to generate support for the new funding. The turning point came, Wilson said, when Senator Venables, a senior and influential state legislator, agreed to write and champion the legislation. Then Governor Jack Markell, a bicycling supporter who once spoke at the National Bike Summit, provided crucial support for the bill. “In other words, Bob Venables loaded the bases. And Jack Markell hit a grand slam,” Wilson wrote in an email to Bike Delaware members.

We are thrilled to see that Bike Delaware is now undertaking a campaign to ensure that the $5 million is used as a local match to leverage federal funds. Federal funds typically require a 20 percent match, which means the $5 million provided by the state could mean $25 million for bicycling in Delaware. We at the League and Alliance for Biking and Walking – the Advocacy Advance Team – are excited to support Wilson and Bike Delaware to make this happen. This is a prime example of a savvy state group working aggressively to increase bicycling and walking spending and leverage federal investments.

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Driver tells police about inconsiderate cyclists and gets arrested for assault with a deadly weapon

Filed under news you will not see in Maryland. The highlight of the story:

When deputies questioned Cox, he said that he was driving to work when he approached a pair of cyclists who he believed were in his lane and not being considerate of drivers. Cox said that he drove close to the right shoulder and yelled at them, and then encountered two more cyclists and attempted to confront them about their cycling manners, according to the report.

Cox told deputies he stopped his car directly in front of the cyclists.

According to the report, deputies said that Cox displayed “road rage” and had complete disregard for the safety of the cyclists. The deputies said that Cox showed no remorse for his actions.

Police said based on the dangers of the Angeles Crest Highway - three motorcyclists have died in the last few weeks - and the potential for Cox’s actions to have caused a traffic hazard, they arrested him. Cox was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

<a href="http://sierramadre.patch.com/articles/alleged-angeles-crest-road-rage-incident-involves-cyclists-3">http://sierramadre.patch.com/articles/alleged-angeles-crest-road-rage-incident-involves-cyclists-3</a>;
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