County Council: While 5 of 9 councilmembers are term-limited, one of the outstanding members is running for a second term: Eric Olson, representing District 3 (College Park, Riverdale, Lanham-Seabrook, New Carrollton). He has won accolades from all corners.
Mr. Olson is a champion for pedestrian and bicycle issues, and transit-oriented development. He has also been willing to take the unusual and often lonely action of voting against sprawl developments in other parts of the county. He has also advanced the use of density bonuses for affordable housing in the New Carrollton Metro station development plan.
I’m writing because I know you are interested in making Montgomery County more bike-friendly, and I wanted to call your attention to Hans Riemer, who is making support for two-wheeled transportation a major part of his campaign for at at-large seat on the County Council.
Hans has an excellent chance of winning, and I can personally attest to his commitment to all forms of bicycling, as I have joined him on many hours of riding the streets of DC, the mountain bike trails of Virginia, and just about every part of Montgomery County. Here’s what Hans has said about bicycling:
"I will make biking, walking, and transit a centerpiece of my agenda on the County Council. For too long, our elected leaders have given little more than lip service to alternatives to driving. I am already a regular bike commuter, so you don't have to wonder whether I will take the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians seriously. If I'm elected to the County Council, I am fully committed to shifting the county's transportation priorities to give people high quality choices in transportation. Here's how:
* Target key bike facilities for priority funding. The county has made incremental progress on improving its bicycling and pedestrian facilities in recent years, but it has failed to move forward on crucial projects such as the Metropolitan Branch Trail to connect Silver Spring to the Capital Crescent Trail and the District of Columbia and improvements to the Bethesda Trolley Trail abutting NIH. In a time when budgets are excruciatingly tight, we can't afford to build all of the bike infrastructure we would like, but we can certainly get these critical connections finished. Without safe and convenient ways to ride through downtown Silver Spring or between Rockville and Bethesda, many people who are otherwise open to bicycling will never seriously consider riding their bike to work.
* Build the Purple Line. I strongly support the Purple Line and the accompanying improvements to the Capital Crescent Trail, including grade-separated crossings for bikers and walkers at Connecticut Avenue, Jones Bridge Road, and 16th Street. I believe that high quality walking and biking infrastructure can co-exist with a light rail line, and with careful planning both transit and the trail will benefit.
* Finish the park trails network. Paved and unpaved trails in the park system are a critical component of any strategy to make biking and walking an attractive option for recreation and transportation. The county's decision to cut the promised ICC hiker-biker trail into pieces, with large sections left incomplete or diverted onto busy roads corridors, was the wrong choice. The claim that a six-lane highway running through parkland is environmentally acceptable while adding a parallel bike trail is too environmentally destructive simply does not make sense. And unfortunately, the ICC trail is far from the only major walking and biking trail to be delayed, scaled back, or abandoned. I will fight to finish the trail network and connect it to roads with bike lanes or safe, signed bike routes.
* Commit the county to achieve specific targets for the share of all trips taken by transit, walking, or biking. I think 30 percent by 2030 would be an ambitious but achievable goal.
* Reform our Department of Transportation's mission to focus more on making great places to live. A community that is bikable and walkable is a community with a high quality of life. How many people would ride bikes if it were more safe and convenient? We should find out. Not only do we need connected, safe, separated bike lanes and trails county wide, but we should see just what we can accomplish in a city like Rockville, Bethesda or Silver Spring if we made biking a real priority. Let's build a test case for a new vision."
Dear Friends, As you may know, I am campaigning for a second term in the Maryland Statehouse. Because of my progressive record as a legislator, I've been endorsed by organizations like the Sierra Club, Montgomery County Teachers, Equality Maryland, the SEIU and many more.
You can find out more about my legislative successes at <a href="http://www.alcarr.org">www.alcarr.org</a>.
Please consider making an online donation to my campaign.
By donating to my campaign, you will help get the word out to voters so that I can continue my work on important issues like improving education, cleaning up our environment and building a more inclusive community. Even a small amount will help.
The first pre-primary campaign finance report is due soon and includes donations received through MIDNIGHT on AUGUST 10, 2010, so. This is a critical filing deadline so please act now!
I appreciate your support!
"Governor O'Malley wants to hear from you! Post your questions here or on twitter with #askomb and Governor O'Malley will answer as many questions as he can each week."
While I am more supportive of O'Malley then the other guy this is my question:
Do you have any plans to change MDOT's draconic policies that hinder the localities from receiving a fair share of Federal Transportation Enhancement money for bicycle and pedestrian enhancements that are allowed per Federal policy but not the State's? more info: <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20100618153759192">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20100618153759192</a>
Additionally there is something disturbing on the what and why of what got dropped from Baltimore Counties Bike Master Plan: <a href="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20100805172549127">http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20100805172549127</a>
(On the plus side there is some talk about changing how the State handles the Federal Recreational Trail Program at least.)
So feel free to tweet this or any other issue you might have. Or a more appropriate tweet might be:
#askomb Are you going to fix this <a href="http://bit.ly/dy3KnD">http://bit.ly/dy3KnD</a> or this <a href="http://bit.ly/bQKA2w">http://bit.ly/bQKA2w</a> ?
O'Malley's Face book page: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/MartinOMalley">http://www.facebook.com/MartinOMalley</a>
"Gregg Bernstein, leading candidate for Baltimore City States Attorney, is a bicyclist."
I believe there is something about exercise and fresh air that gives extra oxygen to the brain that feeds the best and brightest of us. Additionally the incumbent has sent out a press release letting us know that the city's police commissioner has a Gregg Bernstein campaign sign on his front lawn. Cool, thanks for letting us know.
From Baltimore Brew:
“There’s a leadership problem,” he said, “and, absolutely, the state’s attorney’s office is part of it.”
Indeed, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy was at the Thursday evening vigil but she stayed on the periphery, wisely perhaps, since the restive crowd hissed and jeered when Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake mentioned her name.
Ted Levin is on the move.
When he’s not riding his motorcycle in the area, it’s hard to miss Mr. Levin. He might be jogging, greeting friends in an area eatery (Goldberg’s Bagels is a favorite) or walking the beat of “my precincts” while handing out fliers.
He is gregarious and experienced, having served 20 years in the Maryland House of Representatives while representing the Pikesville-Owings Mills-Randallstown areas.
His main issue: creating more livable communities.
Take, for example, the district’s commercial heart — Reisterstown Road, which stretches from the county-city line to Reisterstown.
“You have businesses and the only way to connect with them is if you hop in your car, and that’s particularly not good for business or for Pikesville people who say I don’t want to hop in the car and drive there,” he said. “We want people to be able to walk; Baltimore City is doing this and communities in Florida are doing this. They have the Circulator bus, where it’s no cost or minimal cost. There’s no bus service here that strictly serves the local area. Let’s say you could hop on a bus and go from Giant to the Trader Joe’s. You can’t do it now.”
He also wants a series of bike paths and sidewalks. In particular, that will help the area’s Orthodox community, which he said stabilizes Pikesville with young families.
If needed, he added, the county can make that happen by applying eminent domain laws to take “little strips of land.”
He continued, “My approach to Owings Mills is coming in and redeveloping the area. You have got Jim Smith and a countywide issue in Catonsville, Dundalk, Essex, where they come in and update retail establishments and get a box store, but the fundamentals have not changed. It’s the old model.
“You have to come in and say to heck with all this long-term solutions,” he said. “You have to talk to real estate planners. You plan it out long-term, but there’s a contradiction because things are done very innovatively and then every four years you have the zoning process, which can put in variances. … In Owings Mills the county is very proud of what it’s done. They have a corporate center and that’s great, but where do the people live?”
To counter such situations, he wants four- and five-story residences above stores in Pikesville, “like in the old East Baltimore days.”
It can happen, he said, because colleagues on the Council will let it happen.
“There’s a huge deference on the Council by others to the district [of the councilman making a suggestion,],” he said. “So there’s a tremendous opportunity to do good or evil and I’m looking to do good.”