Bike-Phobic Colorado GOP May Lose Major Party Status

Remember the crazy guy from Colorado and his UN conspiracy theory and the evils of promoting bicycling? Well recent poles show him having 9% of the vote and if that wasn't enough of a zing against being anti-bike, the GOP may be demoted to minor party status in Colorado until 2014 if he fails to get 10% of the vote.

Hopefully this will send a message to other politicians being anti-bike is not a good thing.

More info in Streetsblog Capitol Hill blog

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Tom Quirk for Baltimore County Council 1st Council District

Walkable Communities

Necessary for the success of Smart Growth policies and the health and safety of our children is greater awareness of the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Walkable communities mean

  • Safe streets for our children to walk to school or to the park
  • Decreased traffic congestion
  • Decreased emissions
  • Increased demand for local businesses
  • Improved public health

Tom chose to locate his office on Frederick Road just a mile from his home because he believes in walkable communities and vibrant local business corridors.

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Martin O'Malley for Maryland Governor

from Greater Greater Washington

by Cavan Wilk

Because of his firm stances on major issues that will shape Maryland's future, Greater Greater Washington is happy to endorse Governor Martin O'Malley for a second term.
Governor O'Malley has been a consistent champion of the Purple Line and the Baltimore Red Line. Both projects would provide acres and acres of smart-growth formatted economic development opportunities. Those opportunities will include places that are currently economically vibrant and ones that are desperately in need of new investment.
During the current 2010 election, Mr. Ehrlich has gone on record opposing the Purple Line. During debates in Baltimore, he expressed similar opposition to the Baltimore Red Line.

Finally, Mr. Ehrlich was a huge proponent of the ICC. Little good will come out of this project, except the unintended sticker shock (i.e. the highest toll rate per mile <a href=""></a>; ) that is leading to Marylanders realizing the actual costs of expensive new highways.

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Environment Maryland endorses Gov. O'Malley

From Brad Heavner - Environment Maryland

I couldn’t stand by with Bob Ehrlich calling himself an environmentalist in this year’s campaign. I was there when he fought us on the renewable energy standard, Program Open Space, and many other environmental initiatives. We can’t forget.

A couple of those stories are in our new video. Please take a look and share it with your friends and family.

You can watch it here.

The video talks about Gov. Ehrlich’s lobbying efforts to kill legislation to reduce pollution from power plants. It also describes his attempt to sell land that was protected with taxpayer dollars to a developer to build luxury homes. The video was shot on the property involved in the controversial land deal in St. Mary’s County.

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Vallario has been blocking unsafe driving penalties

Del. Joseph Vallario (D-Calvert, Prince George's) doesn't care about the needs of Maryland citizens, or for the democratic process.

Vallario is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in Annapolis, which is charged with voting on numerous bills that would make Maryland safer and protect its citizens. Only many of those bills never make it to a vote in the committee because Vallario makes a single-handed determination as chairman to keep them from being voted on. There are 21 other delegates in the committee who are unable to express their opinions because Vallario thinks he knows best and doesn't give them a chance.

Here is what happened to my family: In 2008 our 15-year-old son was killed by a person speeding over twice the speed limit in Baltimore County.

This person was deemed reckless to the point where the state's attorney wanted to charge him with automobile manslaughter, which could involve a jail sentence.

However, Maryland doesn't have an adequate law to enable this to happen. Therefore the driver was charged with five driving violations and paid a fine of just over a thousand dollars.

Our family is destroyed, but the driver is free to go. It is true and happens many times each year.

For the past five years, legislators have introduced bills to establish an appropriate punishment for speeding and killing, and every year Vallario refused to let the committee vote on it. He is a defense attorney and often defends this kind of person, making lots of money. Is there a connection?

My wife and I went to testify for the bill's passage this past spring, and Vallario walked out on our testimony. He ignored the pleas of state troopers and the state's attorneys. Afterwards, I met separately with Vallario and he gave no reason other than that he doesn't believe there should be a bill like this. He didn't care that the speeders/killers went unpunished, or that the members of his committee didn't have an opportunity to vote for their constituencies.

Joe Vallario needs to step down from this very important position and hand the reins over to someone who believes in the democratic process and who cares about the safety of Maryland citizens.

Ed Kohls, Baltimore

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Mother to replace Green Party nominee for Senate Kenniss Henry steps in after daughter Natasha Pettigrew was killed in accident

By Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore Sun

The Maryland Green Party has nominated Kenniss Henry to replace her daughter, Natasha Pettigrew, on the ballot for U.S. Senate, the party announced Wednesday. Pettigrew died this month after a sport utility vehicle struck her while she was cycling in Prince George's County.

Henry's name was submitted Monday to the Maryland State Board of Elections for the seat long held by Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The party's coordinating council voted unanimously Sunday night to nominate Henry.

&quot;Natasha's supporters will still have an opportunity to make their voice heard by casting a vote as her mother carries her message forward to the election,&quot; Karen Jennings, co-chairwoman of the Maryland Green Party, said in a statement. &quot;Even in her death, Natasha's voice and passion will carry on.&quot;

Henry said she is honored to run her &quot;daughter's race to the finish line.&quot; She said in a statement she would continue her daughter's theme of campaigning &quot;for the people.&quot;

Pettigrew, a 30-year-old law student at the University of Miami, was training for a half-triathlon when she was killed. In honor of her daughter, the Green Party said, Henry seeks to bring attention to bicycle safety and the need for bicycle lanes on all Maryland roadways.

The Maryland State Police are investigating the Sept. 19 accident. Police said the driver of the Cadillac Escalade that struck her before dawn on Route 202 drove off, thinking she'd hit an animal. The woman called the police when she arrived home and found a bicycle lodged under her vehicle.

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Equity Caucus at Transportation for America Launches in Washington, DC

By Alex Goldschmidt

Representative Elijah Cummings, from Maryland’s 7th District, gave the keynote speech. He explained that growing up in a poor neighborhood of Baltimore, his whole family relied on public transportation to get to school, jobs, or anywhere else they needed to go:

When I think about a Chris Cager and Elijah Cummings traveling from one side of Baltimore to the other, somebody had to construct a line so we could get to school. And now Chris is very successful, I’m doing ok, but the fact is that somebody had to plan for that. Somebody who did not even know our name, didn’t know who we were. All they knew is that there were some people who had to move from one point to another. They did not know Ruth Cummings’ name. They didn’t know that she could not afford a car, but had to put twenty-five cents in a container on a bus so she could go and make seven dollars a day and car fare. That’s what this is all about. This is bigger than us.

Rep. Cummings spoke at length about the benefits of making public transportation more affordable, noting that it’s not just about improving the lives of individuals, but of whole families and communities:

I have people in my district – they would get a job, but they couldn’t get to the job. They were reaching, trying to get to the job, and maybe the first two or three days they could get a hack – oh, I’m sorry – ‘hack’ means like a car service. I thought maybe that was just a Baltimore term. One young man he told me he said, “Congressman, I got this job, I had the job for like three days, man. And the hack was costing me ten dollars a day, and I was only making seven dollars an hour.” So he could not get to his job. That’s why I say this is bigger than you. And if that young man could have been able to get to his job he would have been able to do for his family. It’s bigger than you.

Improving access to transportation is a big part of improving job opportunities for working families, which is in turn a crucial part of improving local economies. Thank you to Representative Cummings for his personal, poignant address, and to all the organizations who were able to attend last night. Particular thanks to our coalition partner PolicyLink, for doing such a great job putting together the event.

Want to see equitable transit systems a priority in federal transportation policy? Endorse the Equity Caucus’s principles for reform.

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Jim Smith reminds Balto Co voters about Ehrlich snub

by Annie Linskey - Baltimore Sun

Gov. Martin O'Malley's campaign team distributed door hangers in Baltimore County this week touting support from County Executive James T. Smith, Jr. and hitting a familiar theme from 2006.

In a quote featured on the campaign piece Smith blasts O'Malley's Republican challenger, Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., for a very long snub. &quot;I served with the previous governor who NEVER returned my phone calls during his last three years in office. NOT ONCE!&quot; Smith says on the flier. &quot;Martin O'Malley always calls back.&quot;

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Natasha Pettigrew, Maryland Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: Pettigrew's mother, Kenniss Henry, tells ABC 7's Brad Bell that she plans to hold a vigil for her daughter later this week, likely Thursday or Friday. In addition to remembering Pettigrew, Henry hopes to raise awareness about bike safety and sharing the road with bicyclists.

The Maryland State Police say their investigation into the collision is continuing. The results of the probe will be forwarded to the state's attorney's office.

UPDATE 11:16 a.m., Sept. 21: Maryland State Police say Pettigrew died last night from her injuries.

Original coverage:

Some competition for Senator "Car Tax Credits While Transit Burns" Mikulski?
Natasha Pettigrew Personal

During my free time I enjoy swimming, biking, and running. I was never happier than when I found out about triathlon, which puts all three sports together at once as a sporting event. When I am not training for a triathlon, I enjoy knitting and crocheting blankets to give to those who need them, and I enjoy reading. When our schedules allow, I spend as much time as I can with my friends. However, law school sometimes makes that difficult. My greatest joy is spending time with Bill. No matter how stressful a day gets, his wagging tail and pure joy about everything in life make me smile.

Vote For Natasha Pettigrew

What got my attention is that she was in a bike accident this weekend. I hope she has a speedy recovery and she will be in my prayers.

A 30-year-old Maryland Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate was critically injured early Sunday morning after she was hit by an SUV while riding her bike on Route 202 in the Largo area, authorities said.

Natasha Pettigrew was training to compete in a triathlon about 5:30 a.m. Sunday when she was struck by a Cadillac Escalade headed south on Route 202 near the intersection with Campus Way, said Cpl. Darryl Clark, the duty officer at the Maryland State Police’s Forestville barrack.

Pettigrew’s bike was trapped underneath the SUV, and the driver traveled all the way home to an address in Cheverly apparently thinking “they ran over a deer,” Clark said.

Pettigrew was not dragged by the SUV, Clark said, though she was critically injured. He said she remained hospitalized and alive Monday morning.

Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, said in an e-mail that the driver reported the crash to Prince George's County police sometime before 6:30 a.m., and officers there reported it to state troopers. He said "while the investigation is continuing, there is no indication at this time alcohol or drug use was involved in this incident."

No one has been charged or cited, Clark said.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

-- Matt Zapotosky

Additional coverage:

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Delegate Al Carr

is pleased to have received the endorsement of MoBike, a group of Montgomery County Bicycling advocates! As a legislator who is also a cyclist, I have enjoyed working with them to advance more sensible policies to encourage safe bicycling.
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