1.Several Bike Related Bills Pending in Annapolis
2. A Major Change for/at the Bike Coordinator Office at SHA
3. Maryland Rated at 35th Place out of 50 States in LAB Bike Friendly States Survey.
4. Major Discussion on the Curb-Lane Striping Changes on State Roads.
5. Sec. Trans John Porcari's ruling to NOT Have Bikes(ON Road) on any part of the ICC Toll Road Corridor. And
6. General Well-Being of Biking in Md.
It saddens me to say that I will be leaving my post as Executive Director of One Less Car this month. It's been a great twenty-two months and I've had a wonderful time working with all of you.
One Less Car is a very small non-profit and I would be lying if I said its been easy juggling a full schedule of events, advocacy and administrative minutiae. But looking back I see a lot for OLC members to be proud of - Bicycle racks on all MTA buses, the repeal of the state ban on bikes and peds on MdTA bridges, the OLC BRAC report, the Fall '08 Bike Summit, the Baltimore transit summits and, of course, CAM and Tour du Port.
I know that OLC will continue on a path where advocacy will be a central focus. Marylanders need a strong advocate for bike and pedestrian issues and OLC can certainly fill that role.
Carol Silldorff, a former consultant for Baltimore , will be the Interim Executive Director of One Less Car starting in Mid-December. I hope you will all join me in wishing her the best of luck.
Richard Chambers, Executive Director
Public comments on MARC and commuter bus cuts must be received by December 26th!
As you may know, the Maryland Transit Administration is proposing drastic cuts to MARC rail and commuter bus service in the Baltimore and Washington areas. Most dramatic is the proposal to cut commuter bus service from Columbia to Downtown Baltimore to the very bone.
If you use MTA commuter services, or if you just happen to think Maryland should be cutting new road projects (like the ICC) before cutting essential transit service, please contact MTA BEFORE DECEMBER 26th! Click here for information on who to send your letter or email to.
Checklist of Maryland's Bike Problems
Below is a list of some of the reasons why the League of American Bicyclists ranked Maryland a lowly 35th in their annual ranking of bike-friendly states. One Less Car strongly encourages you to read over the list and demand that the Maryland Department of Transportation address these issues. We believe that this checklist should serve as a workplan for MDOT staff as they move forward on improving bike accessibility. No 3ft or greater safe passing law Existence of a discriminatory mandatory bike lane law No Complete Streets or Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation policy (Note: the state has language encouraging bike/ped accommodations, but no plan for ensuring that these accommodations are actually built) No Mountain Biking Plan No CO2 Reduction Plan that includes bicycle usage No policy requiring bike parking at state owned facilities No system in place to determine percentage of state highways that have paved shoulders No dedicated state funding source for bicycling projects or programs No questions regarding the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists on driver's test Bicycle safety is not addressed in Highway Safety Plan No education of officers on cyclist rights & responsibilities through academy or continuing education Information on cyclists rights and responsibilities not made available to traffic judges
Last chance to stop the Intercounty Connector
In a time when billions of dollars are being taken away from sustainable transportation projects statewide Governor O'Malley has chosen to continue his support of the multi-billion dollar Intercounty Connector highway project. In case you did not know, the ICC is a proposed toll highway that will connect Laurel to Montgomery County. If built, Maryland taxpayers will be out billions of dollars that could be used on everything from schools and parks to bike infrastructure and mass transit.
Learn more about the ICC boondoggle here.
12 Steps for a safe and comfortable bike commute
Start off easy Don't feel you have to go the distance Figure out your route Test it before you commute Find a bike buddy Learn the rules of the road for bicycles Investigate parking Devise a cleanup plan Carry flat fix essentials Learn emergency adjustments Inspect your bike before every ride Perform routine maintenance
COME DRESSED IN THE COLORS OF YOUR HOLIDAY
AND WEAR LOTS OF BELLS
A HOLIDAY PARADE OF BIKES
NO LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF RIDERS
Note: This is a casual ride - not an official One Less Car Event - a cue sheet will be provided but most of the riding will be on city streets.
On December 6th a group will leave David's house on 519 W. 40th Street to take a ride to the Fells Point Christmas Celebration. The departure time is 10:00 AM (giving the sun enough time to wake up) as long as the temperature at 9:00 AM is over 35 degrees and it is dry outside. If you are interested in riding please send an E-Mail to d.schapiro"at"att.net, There is no cost to ride for OLC members or to anyone who purchases a raffle ticket on the morning of the ride (available at the starting location).
The mile toll road currently under construction in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. This enormous highway project will cost Marylanders more than $3 billion dollars to build and will destroy thousands of acres of forest, farm land and wetlands. It's construction will also lead to hundreds of people losing their homes. (ICC) is an 18.8
Exactly why Marylanders need this road is not entirely clear. The concept that traffic congestion can only be alleviated by more highway construction is a 1950's era belief that has - for some strange reason - continued to flourish among our business leaders and in the halls of power in Annapolis. Maybe they forgot that the Baltimore and D.C. beltways, I-270, I-83 and just about every other major road project in the state was supposed to make traffic jams a thing of the past. They told us that more roads would mean less time stuck in our cars. Were they right?
Even more wrongheaded is the claim from the state's business leaders that the ICC will bring greater economic growth to Central Maryland. This is a flawed assumption at best and fails to recognize the enormous environmental and social ills that come from putting more cars on our roads.
What makes the ICC even more of a risky gambit is our state's current financial situation. Due to a major projected budget shortfall, Governor O'Malley cut $1.1 billion from transit and road projects and $300 million more from education, public safety, health and environmental protection. The MTA system alone is slated to see dramatic cuts to commuter bus and rail service (see next article). But for some reason Maryland keeps throwing millions in taxpayer dollars at the ICC.
In FY 2009, the Governor plans to take $65 million from the General Fund (which should fund schools, health, safety and other needs), and $30 million from the Transportation Trust Fund, and put it towards the ICC. This money should instead be used to shore up the MTA.
Although the State has already begun to clear cut forests and bulldoze houses for the ICC, the Governor and the can still cancel this destructive, wasteful project and liberate billions in funding and debt capacity to invest in real .
If you think here. Or you could call his office at has better priorities than building destructive highways, tell Governor O'Malley. You can send him an email
If you would like to tell you local state delegate or state senator how you feel, please send them an email as well. You can find your state representatives in Annapolis here.
Richard Chambers, Executive Director
To register or for more information visit our website <a href="http://www.onelesscar.org/TDP/2008/">www.onelesscar.org/TDP/2008/</a>
Remember - This year's ride will begin at the Canton Waterfront Park at 3001 Boston Street in Southeast Baltimore. The park is located right on the water with a view of the city and the big ships that make the Port work. JOIN US FOR A GREAT DAY IN THE CITY!
AND REMEMBER! All registration fees and t-shirt sales help our effort to get more cars off Maryland's congested roads and neighborhood streets.
No more long waits at the registration table in the morning. Everyone who registers online will soon be getting a paper ride number in the mail. The number will identify you as a TDP rider. When you show up on the morning of the event just have the number visibly attached to your clothing and you will be ready to go!
The food and entertainment will be REAL good. When you get back from your ride you'll be treated to a pizza party provided by S'ghetti Eddie's, one of North Baltimore's best places for tasty comfort food. And we've ditched the D.J. in favor of a cool live band!
Location, Location, Location. This year's ride will be at the Canton Waterfront Park at 3001 Boston Street. We'll be right on the waterfront and just a few minutes ride from all the goings on at the annual Fell's Point Fun Festival.
Baltimore's "cyclist in chief" Mayor Sheila Dixon will be our Grand Marshall. You can join the Mayor as she leads the riders out at 7:30AM. Will you be able to keep up with the leader of our fair city?
So, if you haven't signed up, now is the time! We will close registrations at 2000 participants. The last day to register online is September 30th. Click here for the Tour du Port 2008 site. We hope to see you there! <a href="http://www.onelesscar.org/TDP/2008/">http://www.onelesscar.org/TDP/2008/</a>
And remember - all registration fees go towards One Less Car's statewide advocacy efforts!
Richard Chambers, Executive Director