On a different note - it is time to celebrate! I returned from Annapolis a few hours ago where FOUR significant Bike/Ped/Transportation bills passed! The following bills are on the way to the Governor's Office for his signature:
· SB624 - Shoulder Rule bill
· SB51 - 3 Foot bill
· HB 1155 - Transportation Transparency bill
· HB 282 - Funding for Bike/Ped Access bill
I will produce a list of those Delegates and Senators (Cardin, Carr, Lafferty, Raskin, McIntosh, Malone, Pena-Melnyk and more) we will want to thank for their support of these important bike safety and bike/ped funding bills. A call or email from a constituent is a BIG deal to them – a few minutes of your time can make a big difference. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed testimony, contacted a Delegate, advocated for this cause and helped to make this happen.
We must remember Larry and work together during the 2011 General Assembly session to make Maryland a safer place to live, work and play.
In the next few months I will develop the One Less Car legislative agenda for the 2011 General Assembly session. A few items of interest are:
• Strengthening the new 3 foot rule
• Strong focus on the manslaughter by vehicle bill
• Introducing a bill to increase tax credits for bicyclists
• Reintroduce the accident vs. crash bill
• There will be more to add to this list and your legislative assistance is appreciatively accepted.
To learn more about One Less Car events, volunteer opportunities and our legislative agenda please visit <a href="http://www.onelesscar.org">www.onelesscar.org</a> and go to the contact header.
Thank you all and please spread the word!
One Less Car
Thanks so much to the organizers and participants of tomorrow’s bike ride from Annapolis to Baltimore in support of the bicycle safety bills!
HB461/SB51, the 3 foot rule, has already passed both the House and Senate floors! One Less Car is pleased that Maryland has finally moved in the direction of promoting bicycle safety. We hope it will be easier to strengthen the 3 foot law next session than it was to get this important bill passed.
Additionally, HB282 - Delegate Pena-Melnyk and Bobo’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, Funding and Reporting bill passed both floors!
Tomorrow, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the shoulder rule, HB1193, will be voted upon favorably by the House. This important law already exists in 46 states. I will be in the gallery tomorrow watching the vote. I hope you will join me!
Please take special care as you bicycle tomorrow to follow all laws (stop at stop signs etc.). One of the biggest arguments I heard from Delegates was that bicyclists don’t follow the law. I know the tragic death of Larry Bensky is on our minds and our emotions are strong. Please be as courteous and professional to all Delegates – we won’t be able to pass additional bicycle safety legislation without courtesy and professionalism on our side.
To learn more about bicycle safety initiatives please visit <a href="http://www.onelesscar.org">www.onelesscar.org</a>. One Less Car is the only non-profit in Maryland with an active presence in Annapolis promoting bicycle safety legislation. We would greatly appreciate your support now and next session to make Maryland a better place to live, work and bike.
One Less Car
Cycling advocates, urban planners and state officials united this month to brainstorm about alternative transportation at the annual One Less Car Smart Transportation and Bicycling Symposium held in Maryland.
Sustainable and safe bicycle access rose to the top of their list.
“The Symposium is the perfect setting to inform our state delegates and senators that Maryland communities need smarter commuting opportunities,” said Carol Silldroff, executive director of One Less Car. “Those who attend want more bike lanes, better sidewalks, more trails, a statewide Complete Streets policy and access to a variety of modes of efficient transportation for everyone.”
One Less Car works throughout Maryland to reduce automobile congestion and pollution by decreasing car usage.
“We work to increase biking, walking, carpooling, public transit, telecommuting, and flex scheduling opportunities,” Silldroff added. “These smart transit choices promote physical activity, emotional and physical well-being, social interaction, livable communities, equity and environmental stewardship.”
The organization depends on its volunteer board of directors to promote these alternatives through education, lobbying, and facilitation between communities, governments, and state and local representatives.
“We meet with various environmental, sustainability, hospital groups and many more organizations to promote smart commuting,” Silldroff said. “We are developing and holding bike instructional series. Additionally, we are promoting a program called ciclovia/BMore Streets to open streets for all to ride, walk and play on without the fear of vehicle distractions. Each additional bike is one less car.”
One Less Car is supporting ten legislative bills. House Bill 461 ‘the 3-foot rule’, which is an important bicycle safety bill set in place in over 20 other states. Senate Bill 870 and House Bill 388 ‘Manslaughter by Vehicle’ bill that is currently legislated across muchof the United States but not in Maryland.
Others include Senate Bill 624 and House Bill 1193 covers bike safety legislation. They are designed to protect cyclists by enforcing the rules of the road and recognize cyclists as legitimate road users. Senate Bill 760 and House Bill 1155 requires the Maryland Department of Transportation to evaluate state-funded transportation projects and create less costly modes of transportation for the public and the environment.
“Some of the bills were voted upon favorably by either the House or Senate but none have yet been voted upon favorably by both which is necessary to make a bill a state law,” Silldroff said. “The session ends in April so until then we keep working to obtain support for the bills.”
“We believe that Maryland can be an example of the economic and social good that comes from a society where everyone, regardless of age, physical condition or economic background has the opportunity to bike, walk or use mass transit to get where they need to go.”
The 3 foot rule passed unanimously by the Senate requiring vehicles to give 3' of space when passing a bicyclist. However, without passing the House - this bill will not become law.
Your support matters. As a constituent, you can make a big difference. A one-minute call to your legislator is taken seriously -please take action now.
When you are riding a bike, do you want vehicles to give you a minimum of 3 feet when passing you on the road? Of course you do! If you live in the following Districts, please take a moment and contact your Delegate and ask that they support House Bill 461, the 3 foot rule, which is an important bicycle safety bill already in existence in over 20 other states. To view the bill go here: <a href="http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/billfile/hb0461.htm">http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/billfile/hb0461.htm</a>
If you live in the following districts then please contact your Delegate:
Due to the heavy snow that fell during the previous night, the symposium got a late start and some speakers were not able to attend. Nevertheless, it was a good chance to network with other advocates and hear about the latest Maryland bike news. Here are some highlights from the day:
Several Maryland state legislators spoke in support of bike facilities: Senator Pugh (Baltimore Co), Delegates Cardin (Baltimore Co, Chair of the MD Legislative Bike Caucus), Carr (Montgomery Co), Bronrott (Montgomery Co). Secretary of Transportation Swaim-Staley spoke about funding for the Great Allegheny Passage trail.
Public Health and Transportation: Exploring the Inextricable Link - Dr. Keshia M. Pollack discussed the health impacts of our transportation choices including the linkage between obesity and driving, and the healthcare costs of obesity, auto crashes, and respiratory problems. A study conducted during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta showed there was a 42% drop in asthma-related emergency visits when traffic was banned from the downtown area. She advocates for more "health people in healthy places".
Transportation FOR Maryland, Jennifer Bevan-Dangel of 1000 friends of Maryland discussed this statewide coalition of approximately 30 groups trying to reform transportation planning in the state. "This means planning our transportation systems–and our development patterns–to ensure that there are convenient and affordable travel options available to everyone, in every community, at every stage of life." A main focus is to expand traffic impact studies for large developments to include regional impacts on all modes of transportation.
Bicycling Advocates of Howard County (BAHC), Chairman Jack Guarneri talked about the great work being done by this coalition of bike groups in Howard County, which includes Columbia, MD. Their goals are similar to FABB's and inlcude:
- Developing a Howard County Bicycling Master Plan
- Supporting physical road improvements (better shoulders turn lanes,etc.) and additional share the road signs
- Fostering driver and bicyclist education and communication initiatives
Safe Routes to School in Maryland—Joe Pelaia, the Maryland Safe Routes to School (SRTS) coordinator noted that 270 schools and 112,000 students have been involved in SRTS programs in Maryland since 2007. WABA receives funds from the program for conducting bike ed classes. Patrick McMahon, the new Maryland Safe Routes to School National Partnership state network organizer, said a few words about his plans. He was hired by WABA in January. He also gets the award for longest job title.
Less Car Presents the 13th
Smart Transportation and Bicycle Symposium
February 3rd, 2010 President's
Conference Center East, Miller Senate Bldg., Annapolis
The 2010 13th Annual One Less Car Smart Transportation and Bicycling Symposium in Annapolis will be a little different this year! The Symposium will be more inclusive covering many bicycle and pedestrian topics, as well as, presentations on smart commuting/alternative transportation initiatives.
Attendees will learn about the link that exists between our reliance on the automobile, climate change, public health concerns, land use planning, alternative transportation opportunities, livable communities and more.
This Annual Symposium is an outstanding opportunity for people to meet and share information with advocates, planners, state and local officials, and community leaders who want more bike lanes, better sidewalks, more trails, a statewide Complete Streets policy and access to a variety of modes of efficient transportation for everyone. The Symposium is the perfect setting to inform our state Delegates and Senators that Maryland communities need smart commuting opportunities and safe bicycle and pedestrian access to be fully sustainable and livable.
This free event includes educational exhibits and presentations throughout the day! A continental breakfast and pizza lunch will be provided.
One Less Car (OLC) works throughout Maryland to reduce automobile congestion and pollution by decreasing car usage. Our goal is to help people get to where they need to go efficiently. OLC works to increase walking, biking, carpooling, public transit, telecommuting, and flex scheduling opportunities. These smart transit choices promote physical activity, emotional and physical well-being, social interaction, livable communities, equity and environmental stewardship.
In this issue:
One Less Car Legislative Task Force
OLC Event Calendar
Dangerous by Design - Transportation For America's Report
By Popular Demand - T-shirts Available
City Council Public Hearing
Seeking "3Ts" - Board Members
MBPAC Resolution and Cover Letter to Maryland State Police
One Less Car (OLC) works throughout Maryland to reduce car use. Our goal is to help people get to where they need to go happily, safely and efficiently.
OLC works to increase walking, biking, carpooling, public transit, telecommuting, and flex scheduling opportunities. These smart transit choices promote physical activity, emotional and physical well-being, social interaction, livable communities, equity and environmental stewardship.
In this issue:
Tour du Port Data and Survey Results
October 23rd: City Council Public Hearing
October 25th: Roland Park Sunday Streets (Ciclovia)!
November 2, 2009 Transportation for Maryland “Platform Launch” and “Membership Drive Kick-off”
Save the Date! February 3rd, 2010 - One Less Car Annual Symposium in Annapolis, MD
I am writing to you to encourage you to cosponsor S. 584, the Complete Streets Act of 2009. As the Executive Director of One Less Car, a Maryland non-profit organization with over 12,000 members, I strongly believe in the importance of providing a wide variety of transportation options. At One Less Car, we are working to make Maryland an example of the economic and social good that comes from a society where everyone regardless of age, physical condition or economic background has the opportunity to bike, walk or use mass transit to get where they need to go. The Complete Streets Act is an important first step in making that happen.
I strongly encourage urge you to co-sponsor the Complete Streets Act and support complete streets throughout the development of the next transportation authorization bill. This important piece of legislation would ensure that future transportation investments made by state Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) create appropriate and safe transportation facilities for all those using the road motorists, transit vehicles and riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
As you may know, the Complete Streets Act of 2009 is based on existing successful state and local policies. The bill directs state DOTs and MPOs to adopt such policies and apply them to upcoming transportation projects receiving federal funds. The resulting policies will be flexible and cost effective, with a process that clarifies appropriate situations in which a street would be exempted from being covered under the policy, including issues of prohibitive costs. Streets designed for all users are safer, can ease congestion, are less costly in the long run, and spur economic development. Complete streets also make important contributions towards alleviating the serious national challenges of energy security, climate change and obesity. Complete streets promote clean air, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help children and adults get more physical activity by providing safe, convenient alternatives to driving.