New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that college towns are even better at encouraging bicycle commuting than the most notable big cities (Portland, Seattle, etc); even when excluding commuting for school. What is their secret?
Bike Maryland's Bike Friendly Maryland program has an upcoming Bike Friendly University Program we are hosting at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland on January 16, 2014. Come see how you can improve your school's bicycling conditions!
Read more here. (BikePortland.org)
By Gill Penalosa
Summary: "The use of the bicycle as a mode of transportation has multiple benefits to the environment, economic development, recreation, public health, as well as for transportation.
Considering that we are facing a kind of “perfect storm” with global warming, economic crisis, traffic congestion and an obesity epidemic, we must change the way we live. Cycling can and should be a part of the solution connecting places of origin to destinations, and also as a link to public transit. It must be safe for all, especially for our must vulnerable citizens: children, older adults, and novice riders."
With support from the Columbia Association, Bike Maryland previously developed three public forums with Mr. Penalosa in Maryland. He is a remarkable man and we hope you will review this document.
Read more here.
Devastating news after all the work performed to get the manslaughter bill passed in the case for Trish Cunningham a mother & avid cyclists whose life was taken by a motorist while riding her bicycle this past summer: the grand jury determined this past Friday that there was no probable cause to charge the driver with Criminally Negligent Manslaughter and that traffic tickets would suffice.
Read the full article as published by The Washington Post here.
MDOT is pleased to release the Draft Twenty-Year Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for public review and comment. The draft plan is available here.
The public comment period will remain open until December 10, 2013.
* Update to the listing below, from Michael Jackson:
"The article this was taken from incorrectly states the boundaries of US Bike Route 50. It is actually about 20 miles longer. The route extends from the DC line to the PA state line via the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage Trails. The route does not end in Cumberland but continues along the GAP trail to the PA state line."
"U.S. Bicycle Route 50 follows the established Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park through Maryland. Located along the north bank of the Potomac River, the 184.5-mile canal towpath originates in Washington, D.C., then arrives in Cumberland, Md."
Read more here.
Bike Maryland is delighted to announce the new police video to educate police throughout Maryland regarding bicycle laws and the best way to reduce crashes and fatalities. We recommend that you view this highly educational video and share it with both motorists and bicyclists. Bike Maryland partnered with the Maryland State Police, Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Motor Vehicle Association, Cycle Maryland to produce this video.
Click here to watch the video.
We would like to give special thanks to John Brandt, Bicycle Coordinator University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services, Michael Jackson, Department of Transportation Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, and Michael Sonnenfeld, Bike Maryland Board Secretary.
By: Gregory Slater
Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering
Maryland State Highway Administration
Bike Maryland has been working to promote the development and implementation of Complete Streets on the state and local level throughout Maryland. The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, or bus rider.
Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.
Instituting a Complete Streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
Click here to view "Understanding Complete Streets within MDOT’s Maryland State Highway Administration"
We’re on this road together, expect and respect is the theme of SHA’s new bicycle safety education effort geared to both drivers and bicyclists. In an expansion of past “Share the Road” efforts, the new campaign issues a plea to both drivers and bicyclists to follow the rules and laws of the road and anticipate the needs of each other. Bicycle safety is a two-way street – the safety of bicyclists not only depends upon the bicyclist, but the drivers with whom bicyclists share the road. Bicycles are less visible, quieter, and don’t have a protective barrier around them.
Read more here.
Amtrak, working with the Virginia Bicycle Federation, has agreed to a test of roll-on bike service on the Capitol Limited from Pittsburgh to DC this Tuesday. Please note: all of the available bike racks have been filled on the test train but if you would like to see how the racks work, please join for the demonstration at Union Station. The Capitol Limited arrives at approximately 1:10 p.m. Champe Burnley, President of VA Bicycle Federation states, "We're excited to have this opportunity to work with Amtrak to test roll-on service and look forward to increasing travel options for our citizens."
For real time tracking click here.
Amtrak has agreed to form a national task force to review roll-on bike service. The task force will be composed of representatives from national and state level bike groups, rail passenger reps, state DOTs and, of course, Amtrak. Our initial focus will be on routes east of Chicago.
"The roll-on issue has a lot of moving parts: there are a number of logistical, financial and equipment issues to solve but the outlook is very encouraging.
Here are some background articles detailing how Bike VA got to this point.
Our most sincere appreciation and aknowledgement to Champe Burnely, President of VA Bicycling Federation for his involvement and encouragement for this connectivity!
Bike Maryland is working with the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at Maryland Carey Law to better understand what bicycle safety laws might improve cyclist safety in Maryland. The LRC will research all Maryland statutes and regulations that relate to bicycling/bicycle safety and compare what Maryland does and does not have in place with those approaches implemented in other jurisdictions that have been successful. The LRC will then translate these statutes and regulations into more user-friendly and understandable terms, with the goal that non-legally oriented persons can easily understand them. The information will then be published on the Bike Maryland website. Furthermore, the group will research all ordinances in each Maryland County, as well as Baltimore City, that pertain to biking and bike safety.
Additionally, the group is determining what states have legislation clarifying that it is legal to cross the double yellow line, when safe to do so, to give a bicyclist 3 feet of passing distance. Bike Maryland worked successfully in pursuit of a 3 foot passing distance law. We will also learn if any other states or localities, in addition to Pennsylvania, have a 4 foot passing law.
Bike Maryland looks forward to the LRC research findings! We profusely thank Kathleen Hoke (Maryland Carey Law Professor and LRC Director), Erin Penniston, (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Grant Program Manager who brought this partnership to fruition), Will Tilburg (LRC Deputy Director), Brett Baulsir (LRC Legal Fellow), Travis Chance (3rd Year Law Student), and Emma Currin (3rd Year Law Student).
(Photo Courtesy of BmoreBikes)
Bicycle riders in Baltimore County will have over 23 miles of new bikeways thanks to $229,600 in grants awarded to Baltimore County from the Maryland Department of Transportation Bikeways Program. "In this era of high gas prices, traffic congestion and a renewed emphasis on physical fitness, designating bike routes really make sense," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "We thank the State for its support of our growing network of trails and bikeways." New or expanded bicycle routes are planned for Dundalk, Towson, Lansdowne, Baltimore Highlands, Woodlawn, Catonsville and Arbutus.
Improvements The improvements are based on current pedestrian and bicycle access plans, and include striped bike lanes, bike route signs, and "share the road" pavement markings. The Baltimore County departments of Planning and Public Works will be meeting with community groups to review and refine each community's improvements before implementation.
Press release here.
Read the full article here.
Thanks to the Department of Transportation and Parking Authority, new secure card-access bicycle parking is now available in the Lexington Street garage in downtown Baltimore City. Monthly contracts are now available (which include car parking for a limited number of days each month) and day passes are coming soon.
Applications for the parking spaces are available here.
AAA Mid-Atlantic (and Bike Maryland) applaud the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for their announcement that it has charged 20-year-old Elizabeth Haley Meyers, of Severn, MD with vehicular manslaughter, criminal negligent manslaughter, reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to yield right of way and text messaging while driving in connection with a fatal crash that occurred in Gambrills this March.
Based on preliminary Maryland motor vehicle crash data for 2012, approximately 58 percent (52,136) of the 89,655 total vehicle crashes involved a distracted driver, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office. Nearly half (246) of the estimated 511 total fatalities on Maryland’s roads in 2012 were due to a distracted driver. Approximately 64 percent (28,515) of the estimated 44,027 injuries statewide were the result of crashes involving a distracted driver.
For complete press release from AAA Mid Atlantic, view here.
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Baltimore region, seeks public review and comment through Friday, October 18 on $3 billion in funding detailed in three major transportation documents: the 2014 - 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP); amendments to Plan It 2035 - the region's long-range transportation plan; and an Air Quality Conformity Determination.
Those interested in commenting on the projects may do so publicly during the following Baltimore region meetings:
Tuesday, October 8th 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Owen Brown Community Center (800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia)
Thursday, October 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Towson Public Library (320 York Road, Towson)
Thursday, October 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Patterson Park Enoch Pratt Library (158 N. Linwood Avenue, Baltimore)
Tuesday, October 22 at 9 a.m. BRTB meeting, Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Comments may also be submitted by mail to the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board, Offices @ McHenry Row, 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230; by fax at 410-732-8248; by email; or by tweeting @bmoreinvolved or @PlanIt2035, #BRTBlistens.
Click here for more info.
During the shutdown, the C&O Canal National Historical Park is closed. This includes the towpath and all facilities. Visitation is strictly prohibited. Visitor traffic, whether on foot, bike, or horse, is strictly prohibited. Bicyclists planning rides from Pittsburgh to DC on the GAP and C&O Canal should plan to turn back at Cumberland. The only Park staff that will be on duty will be law enforcement rangers. The portion of the Capital Crescent Trail that runs parallel to the towpath in DC is managed by the C&O Canal NHP and is CLOSED. All access roads to the Park are CLOSED.
On Tuesday October 8th, the Alliance for Biking & Walking hosted a Mutual Aid Call titled: Federal Policy Update: Shutdown Edition. For archived and future Mutual Aid Calls, open to members and the general public, view schedule here.
Register your bike with the Howard County Police Department. This is a free service for Howard County residents allowing you to manage your bike information and report a stolen bicycle. Upon registration, the Department will mail the resident an assigned serial number to identify their bicycle.
Learn more and register here.
Two years ago, at the urging of a coalition of bicyclists and motorists, Maryland created a new crime: Vehicular Negligent Homicide, which allows prosecutors to seek criminal penalties when a sober-but-aggressive driver causes an accident that kills someone. Bike Maryland worked for 7 years with our partners, AAA Mid Atlantic, the Washington Area Bicycle Association (WABA) and many other bicycle enthusiasts to bring this law to fruition. The Maryland legislature put the 2011 criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter law on the books to fill a glaring gap between gross negligence and traffic offenses. To our knowledge, no one has yet prosecuted a driver who killed a cyclist under this new statute, but Anne Arundel County should do so following the death of Patricia Cunningham, an Annapolis high school coach who was killed last week on Riva Road.
Click here to send a letter to the State's Attorney's Office.
The Maryland General Assembly created the offense of criminally negligent vehicular homicide with a maximum sentence of three years for precisely this sort of case.
With a possible crime and a reluctant prosecutor, the tie breaker for prosecutorial discretion may be public comment. What bothers citizens more: The possibility that aggressive driving might land you in jail? Or that killing someone doesn't land you in jail? Your preferences only matter if you speak up.
Tom Blanks was cycling early in the morning on July 16th and was struck by a hit and run driver. He was thrown 35 ft. Fortunately, an early morning postal worker noticed a bike on the side of the road with no rider and investigated. Tom was found a good distance from the road. He sustained massive injuries, and was airlifted to a near by hospital.
Tom is a loving husband of 13 years to Blair and father to their three children. Cycling is an integral part of Tom’s family life as he shares his passion with his children. Tom and his son have been building a racing bike together, with plans to race together in the fall, plans which have been cancelled.
Tom’s injuries are extensive, he sustained a broken pelvis and fractures to his sternum, ribs, and both lumbar & thoracic vertebraes in his spine. He will remain in a back brace and unable to walk without crutches for many months and hopes of riding a bike again will certainly require hours of painful therapy. Despite his injuries, Tom has amazed his family, friends and hospital staff with his positive attitude and strength of character.
Making the roads safer for cyclist is a huge part of who Tom is. He is an active member of Rodgers Forge's Safe Routes to School committee, which promotes safety for the neighborhood's students who walk to school and he has served on the board for the advocacy group, Bike Maryland.
Tom’s passion for cycling is matched only by his drive to provide for his family. It is not hard to imagine the strain the careless acts of a reckless driver has placed on the Blanks family. The family was on vacation when the accident occurred. Toms' wife Blair remains by his side commuting from a nearby hotel, they are unable to transport him back home to Maryland for care at this time.
It may not seem like a lot but $5 here, $10 there, EVERY donation counts - even if Tom is a stranger to you - he is someone's husband, father, son and friend. The kindness of strangers is a powerful thing! Every donation is so appreciated.
Support Tom here.
Friday, May 17 2013
Biking in Maryland - "The communities that embrace the bicycle and all the goes with it NOW will be the successful communities of the next generation." -- Alex Obriecht, President Bike Maryland & Race Pace Bicycles
By German Lopez · May 2nd, 2013
To cyclists, it’s a given that Cincinnati desperately needs more bike lanes. But recent research shows bike lanes don’t just pose advantages for cyclists; they can also help local economies and public health.
Anyone who’s traveled downtown on a bicycle can attest to how scary the roads and sidewalks can be at times. Cyclists know cars and pedestrians will rarely accommodate anyone on a bike, even a person who’s just trying to get to work, go to a bar or exercise. Not only can that lead to injuries, but it can also diminish cyclists’ will to go out altogether
Read full article here.
Using inmate work crews to save money and a $90,000 grant for signal light for a trail crossing... just a couple of highlights. Full article here.
By Ashley Halsey III, Washington Post
10 things every driver should know about sharing the road with cyclists:
Please view the full article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/what-drivers-should-know-about-sharing-the-road-with-bicyclists-and-vice-versa/2012/09/15/4b8c9426-fe72-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_story.html
Now available at the iTunes store. The Parks & People Foundation teamed up with International Mapping to create this interactive navigation application now available from itunes. We surrounded a detailed trail map database with a variety of navigational tools and personal customization features to help make your next visit along the trail more enjoyable, memorable and fun. Click here to read more
Read the full article at http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20120916171356611
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board is currently accepting comments on amendments to the 2012-2015 Transportation Improvement Program for the following through September 17, 2012 (unless otherwise indicated). Learn more here.
As the number of bicyclists on Philadelphia streets has risen, cyclists and city officials have seen a counterintuitive result: The number of bike crashes and deaths has declined.
This "safety in numbers" phenomenon has been documented elsewhere, and safety experts believe it is because motorists become more alert to cyclists when there are more of them.
Since 2002, the number of cyclists on many Center City streets has more than doubled, according to tallies at key intersections, and the percentage of bike commuters has also doubled. In 2002, there were six bicyclists killed in accidents with motor vehicles; last year, there were two such deaths.
Traffic crashes involving bikes in Philadelphia have fallen from a high of 1,040 in 1998 to 553 in 2010.
"Where cars expect to find bicyclists and pedestrians, drivers are more cognizant of cyclists and pedestrians," said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. He cited a study in Portland, Ore., that found a doubling of the number of bicycles reduced the crash risk by one-third.
"I know I get better treatment now than I did 10 years ago, or even five years ago," Doty said. "Drivers have a better idea what to do. Though there is still quite a bit of room for improvement."
The correlation was reported in 2003 by the medical journal Injury Prevention, when it published what it called an "unexpected result" of a safety study: The likelihood of a cyclist or pedestrian being hit by a car "varies inversely with the amount of walking or bicycling."
The journal's study concluded that "policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling."
In Philadelphia, the Nutter administration has created dozens of bike lanes and bike routes, trying to carve out more space for cyclists in a city not known for its bicycle bonhomie.
The safety in numbers phenomenon "is really playing out" in the city, said Stephen Buckley, director of policy and planning in the mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities. The city has about 220 miles of bike lanes, he said, and the administration hopes to increase that to about 300 miles.
The city's goal is to boost the percentage of commuters who travel by bike from the current 2 percent to 5 percent by 2020 and to reduce injuries and fatalities by 50 percent.
If more biking means safer biking, safer biking is likely to produce more biking.
Street Smart, a periodic public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign, was launched in the Baltimore area in the fall of 2009. The campaign emphasizes safety and obedience to existing laws by everyone who shares public streets and sidewalks – drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. The Street Smart campaign in the Baltimore region is coordinated by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council with support from the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Maryland Highway Safety Office.
Learn how to be Street Smart at BMoreStreetSmart.com
Bike sharing seems to be positioned as the solution for smart growth and urban development. But one major problem exists with these large-scale systems: the price tag. The District's Capital Bikeshare has required upwards of $13 million to build & install so far, and takes close to $1 million to operate annually.That's a challenge the D.C.-based start-up, weBike, has taken up over the past five years.
Read More (Huffington Post) by Allie Armitage. Co-founder and marketing director, weBike
HANOVER, MD – As part of the O’Malley Administration’s Cycle Maryland Initiative, Governor Martin O’Malley today announces 28 winners of the Bikeways Program Grants. The Maryland Bikeways Program, administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation, was established in November 2011 as a program to support planning, design and construction of projects that create and improve bicycle connections in Maryland to key destinations, like work, school and shopping. Governor O’Malley’s program is providing $3.13 million for this round of grants to seven counties, Baltimore City and 12 other municipalities for a variety of projects in different stages of development from feasibility assessment and design to construction. These grant recipients are the second set of awardees announced this year bringing the total to 48 bikeways grant recipients and $5.63 million for 2012.
“I am pleased to see such a great interest in working together to build a more comprehensive bike network statewide that will benefit our citizens,” said Governor O’Malley. “These grants will help local jurisdictions build key connections that make bicycling a true transportation option. Bicycling is a win-win for all of us by helping us learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land, improving our fitness and well-being, and enhancing our quality of life.”
The grant winning projects include: on and off-road bicycle route connections, bike route signage, bike racks and safety improvements. View projects here.
Some of the winning projects are:
City of Brunswick’s bike route, connecting the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal Trail, the MARC train station and Main Street
Baltimore County’s Towson Bike Beltway, installing bike lanes and bike route improvements
Baltimore City’s downtown bike network, supporting design and construction of a cycle-track and bike lanes
Laurel’s bike connection project, installing a bike lane on Lafayette Avenue and connecting it to the Laurel MARC station
Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County’s Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Trail (WB&A Trail), providing feasibility assessment and preliminary design of a trail bridge over the Patuxent River
Salisbury’s on-road bikeways, connecting Salisbury University and local businesses
Shore Transit on the Eastern Shore, providing bike racks on buses and at key stations
The Maryland Bikeways Program grant applications are reviewed with the goal of awarding grants to support plans and projects that: maximize the use of Maryland’s existing bicycle facilities, make needed connections and support Maryland’s bike sharing efforts. The Bikeways Program will address key funding gaps for bicycle projects. Program flexibility ensures that the best possible bicycle routes can be developed, by utilizing local and state roads, off-road trails, parks and other available pathways. Through strategic investment in the bicycle network, Maryland and our partners hope both to stimulate the economy and to achieve cost savings for households and government agencies.
Governor O’Malley kicked off his Cycle Maryland Initiative to consolidate and coordinate bicycle programs in Maryland in an effort to make bicycling a true transportation alternative and to encourage more Marylanders to get out and ride. The goal is to support Maryland’s economy, to provide a cleaner environment and to encourage a healthier lifestyle and a better quality of life for all Marylanders.
For more information on Cycle Maryland efforts and great bicycling resources, please visit www.cycle.maryland.gov or contact MDOT, Jack Cahalan or Erin Henson at 410-865-1028.
From May 15 to May 17, during Bike To Work Week, 33 volunteers tracked overall bicycle commuter traffic as well as gender, helmet use and direction of travel. The bicycle counts indicate an 8% increase in Baltimore bicycle commuter rates from 2011 to 2012. A total of 2,763 cyclists were counted. During the period from 2009 to 2011, Baltimore experienced a 40% increase in bicycle commuter rates.
Bicycle counts are always performed at the same intersections and at the same time of day. Counts were collected at Falls Road and Maryland Avenue, Guilford Avenue and Mt. Royal Avenue, Aliceanna Street and Boston Street, Aliceanna Street and President Street, Keswick Avenue and Wyman Park Drive, Pratt Street and Market Place and the bike racks at Penn Station. Results show a 30% increase in bicycle commuters along Pratt Street at Market Place where a total of 173 riders were counted during a 2 hour period. A special thanks to all of the bike traffic verifiers who gathered this important data. The next bike count will take place from September 11th – 13th, 2012.
State Approves Grant for Towson 'Bike Beltway'
The grant was among $3.13 million in grants announced Tuesday by the Maryland Department of Transportation. A proposed Towson "bike beltway" was among 28 projects awarded grants on Tuesday from a Maryland Department of Transportation cycling initiative.
The $100,000 grant will go towards construction and signage on the bike loop around central Towson.
"These grants will help local jurisdictions build key connections that make bicycling a true transportation option," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement announcing Tuesday's grants. "Bicycling is a win-win for all of us by helping us learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land, improving our fitness and well-being, and enhancing our quality of life.”
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, a transportation consultant and former MDOT staffer, said he was "thrilled" to hear of the grant approval. Read article here.
There are numerous paved and unpaved off–road shared use trails throughout Maryland. We have listed only a few. Trails are typically under a local jurisdiction, the Department of Natural Resources (state parks) or local recreation and parks agencies.
Wednesday, April 11 2012 @ 03:27 PM EDT
Contributed by: B' Spokes
By C.J. LOVELACE, Herald-Mail Hagerstown has won a pair of grants worth nearly $90,000 that will be used to add bicycle lanes and trees to help meet the city’s Community Greening Grant Program goal. The city was selected as one of the winners of Maryland’s first bikeways grants, worth $60,000, as well as an additional $27,000 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for the costs associated with planting new trees, according to a city news release. The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a grant agreement with the bay trust. The program strives to improve the quality of life in urban areas by increasing the forest canopy and bettering air quality. The bikeways grant was developed as part of the Cycle Maryland Initiative under Gov. Martin O’Malley, which includes programs that support the development of bicycle path connections to work, school and shopping. “These grants are a great way to help local jurisdictions make key connections to build a more comprehensive bike network that will benefit our citizens,” O’Malley said in the release. “By getting out and taking a bike ride, we can learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, help reduce the impact on the land, improve our fitness and well-being, and enhance our quality of life.” ... http://articles.herald-mail.com/2012-03-28/news/31252377_1_bike-lane-bikeways-chesapeake-bay-trust. Read the full article at http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=2012041115271581
CA is developing Connecting Columbia: an Active Transportation Action Agenda to create a more interconnected and comprehensive bicycling and walking circulation system for health, recreational and transportation purposes.
This project will result in a list of action items that will improve safe pedestrian and bicycle connections throughout Columbia, with an emphasis on CA's pathways. This project will be coordinated with the County's Bicycle Master Plan initiative, which will focus more on the county's roadways. The CA is seeking the community's help in identifying needs, potential solutions, and areas of concern. Public workshops, meetings, walk and biking tours, and an on-line commenting tool will all provide ways to be involved.
Commuters who bike to work can join GRH program for free. If you carpool, vanpool, take transit, bike or walk to work at least twice a week and you are registered, you are eligible to receive four free rides home per year in case of personal illness, family emergency or unscheduled overtime while at work. The FREE rides home could be in a taxi, on transit or in a rental car. Having Guaranteed Ride Home will encourage more commuters to bike to work.
Folks can sign up by going to www.commuterconnections.org or by calling 1-800-745-RIDE.
The Maryland Bikeways Program is a Cycle Maryland initiative to support planning, design and construction of projects that create and improve bicycle connections in Maryland. The objective of this program is to facilitate travel by bicycle in Maryland, by better connecting communities with key destinations, like work, school and shopping. The Maryland Bikeways Program supports the Governor’s Cycle Maryland initiative to promote biking as a fun, healthy transportation alternative that is great for our environment. The Bikeways Program provides technical assistance and grant support for a wide range of bicycle network development activities. http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/Bike/Bikeways.html This program includes trails and there may be the possibility of on-road cycling facilities only to connect trails like what we have had in the past. Application materials for the Maryland Bikeways Program will be posted in March 2012. Completed applications will be due May 2012. $10 million is available over the next three years.
Sharrows, or shared lane markings, have become increasingly popular for cities nationwide as a politically easy and low cost way to begin accommodating bikes in the flow of traffic. Seattle, for instance, has so many of them that a bike blogger there describes the city's streets as almost "polluted" with them. The problem, in that case, is that the markings start to mean nothing. This piece delves into questions of whether sharrows work and where things might be headed next. Which, in Seattle's case, might be to "neighborhood greenways," or designated networks of residential streets that discourage fast driving and using traffic calming where pedestrians cross streets. Read More (Nov. 17, 2011 Grist)
Baltimore County's new Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee met for the first time last week to start fleshing out their agenda for making the county easier to travel on foot and by bike. While the group's agenda for the first meeting was modest, the 11 committee members showed zeal for their mission, agreeing to meet against next month so that they can coordinate fundraising efforts in conjunction with the General Assembly session that begins in January. The interest in seeking federal grants and other outside funding reflect the goals of David Marks and Tom Quirk, the two county councilmen who co-sponsored legislation to create the panel. In fact, budgetary limits colored discussion of some of the projects members said they'd like to target, such as connecting existing trails and bike paths in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Read More.
Sunday, September 18 2011 @ 06:07 PM EDT - Contributed by: B' Spokes
Biking in Maryland-By Matthew Bieniek -Cumberland Times-News - View here.
The company will prepare the Allegany County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan is designed to connect bikers, pedestrians and local transportation systems into a network throughout Allegany County, county planning staff have said.
The selected consultant will meet with members of the Cumberland Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s technical committee to nail down the scope of the work, the request for proposals stated.
An integrated plan could make more recreational opportunities available for residents and tourists, Siera Wigfield, a county planner, has said.
Ideally, the plan would provide a way to use the county’s transit buses to carry walkers, hikers and bikers from one path to another when direct access is limited. And it’s not only about recreational uses, the plan would also aid those walking or biking to work or to shop, Wigfield said.
A seldom discussed element of Smart Growth involves trail corridors and the ability of communities large and small to create profitable businesses, home-grown employment opportunities and a renewed sense of place along abandoned rail lines and other newly developed multi-purpose trail corridors.
An exceptional example of rural recreational tourism-related Smart Growth can be found in the communities along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Trail in Southwestern Pennsylvania and Allegany County, Maryland. Please read this exceptional article here.
Plan Objectives • Identify best practices for bicycle transportation and their possible use in Cecil County. • Evaluate existing bicycle conditions and identifying gaps in the network. • Identify potential bike routes that include links to other modes of transportation, including bus and rail service, pedestrian connections and park and ride lots. • Propose policies, programs and projects for achieving the plan goals. • Develop an implementation plan, including funding sources and partnerships. • Identify action steps for the County to continue integrating bicycle planning into community and transportation planning processes, and to complete identified projects http://wilmapco.org/BikeCecil/CCBP_Scope_of_Work.pdf
Read the full article at http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=2011091301304438
The League of American Bicyclists announces a new round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations that includes 11 new and 14 renewing communities today at the Interbike Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. “The League congratulates all of our BFC winners for implementing successful, long‐term bicycle plans and programs that provide quality of life improvements for their citizens,” said League President Andy Clarke. “Cities are choosing investment in bicycling, even in tough economic times, as a key to building the places people want to live, work and visit.” There are now 190 BFCs in 46 states.
Hagerstown Master Bike Plan and New Map - go here: http://www.hagerstownmd.org/Engineering/BikePlan.asp
By Michael Dresser The Baltimore Sun; August 22, 2011
Sometimes the best thing a columnist can do is make way for the good sense of others. This is one of those times.
In this case, that common sense is provided by an unlikely source — the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.
Now the MVA does a lot of things wrong. Who of us has not griped about waiting in line at one of its offices? (To be fair, on my last visit, I was in and out with a replacement driver's license in 10 minutes.) But the MVA has a new version of its Maryland Drivers Manual out on the street, and the section on bicycles is clear and well-stated.
Many of us received our licenses at a time when driver's education hardly mentioned the subject of co-existing with bicycles. So what the MVA wrote is worth reviewing.
Credit should go to the agency for reaching out to bicycle advocacy groups for help in drafting this section. Take it away, MVA:
Right of Way
By Maryland law, bicycles are vehicles. Bicyclists are authorized users of the roadway, and have rights-of-way and the same duty to obey all traffic signals as motorists. But bicyclists are less visible, quieter, and don't have a protective barrier around them. Motorists must drive carefully near bicyclists: Even a slight mistake can result in serious injury or even death.
Includes suggested cycling routes throughout Dorchester County, from 5 miles to 80 miles. Cycle through unspoiled landscapes and discover beauty and history around every bend. Order your Dorchester guide at info@TourDorchester.org (with the subject line "Dorchester cycling guide") or pick one up at the Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place in Cambridge. More here.
Interesting study follows that analyzes employment that results from the design and construction of various types of transportation projects. The employment generation findings are revealing.
Political Economy Research Institute
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The findings from this UMASS-Amherst research study should be explored further since very little research exists on this topic.
See Table 2 on Page 11: National Average Employment Impacts by Project Type
Bicycle Infrastructure Only generates more total jobs per $1 million than any other type of transportation project.
Pedestrian Infrastructure Only generates nearly the number of jobs per $1 million as Bicycle Infrastructure Only projects.
Road Infrastructure Only (no bicycle or pedestrian components generates less jobs per $1 million than any other transportation project studied.
Also – Take a look at the Table for Baltimore, MD on page 12
Bicycle Infrastructure in the Baltimore Studies created more Direct Jobs and Indirect Jobs than other transportation infrastructure.
Pedestrian Infrastructure in Baltimore created a higher number of Direct and Indirect Jobs as Road Infrastructure.
CONCLUSION (from the study)
The U.S. is currently experiencing high unemployment, unsustainable use of carbon-based energy, and a national obesity epidemic. All three of these problems can be partly addressed through increased walking and cycling. Providing pedestrian and cycling infrastructure for the purposes of commuting, recreation, and fitness, is arguably more important than ever before. In addition, this study finds that designing and building this infrastructure can also address the problem of unemployment, by creating jobs for engineers, construction workers, and workers who produce the asphalt, signs, and other construction materials. More research is needed pertaining to this topic, although these findings are quite different than what is often heard from economic development officials who focus on road capacity over most other forms of transportation infrastructure projects. Basically, bicycle and pedestrian projects cost significantly less than highway capacity projects while providing more job creation per dollar of outlay.
Maryland Statewide Student travel policy survey is completed and can be found at:
http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/Bicycle/Documents/School_Survey_Report.pdf Good guide for bicycling enhancements - NACTO: http://nacto.org/print-guide/ Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle and Road Infrastructure: Case Study: Baltimore - View Study. Political Economy Research Institute; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; December 2010
Economic Effects of Traffic Calming on Urban Small Businesses, by Emily Drennen, includes results of Valencia Street Bike Lane Merchant Survey.
http://www.bikewalk.org/2004conference/sessions/28_Business_calm/TrafficCalming_summary.pdf Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business: A Study of Bloor Street in Toronto’s Annex Neighborhood
From May 10th through May12th, 34 volunteers took to the streets of Baltimore to verify the city’s bicycle traffic. This season’s bike counts took place at the usual locations of Falls & Maryland, Guilford & Mt. Royal, Aliceanna & Boston and Frederick & Gwynns Falls Trail. DOT expanded the count locations to include new and proposed bike facilities such as St. Paul & Centre, Fleet & President, Keswick & Wyman Park and Frederick & Athol. Bike parked at Penn Station were also counted.
Overall, bike traffic increased at these locations by 0.5-2% compared to September 2010. That’s a significant increase in just 8 months considering bike traffic nationwide is typically higher in September compared to May. The biggest increase was at Guilford & Mt. Royal which saw a 9% increase! This intersection is due for major bicycle improvements over the coming year with the Guilford Ave Bicycle Boulevard project and the Jones Falls Trail (Phase II) construction.May 2011 Baltimore update
1. The Guilford Avenue Bicycle Boulevard construction should begin within the coming weeks. This will be Baltimore's first bicycle boulevard.
2. The Jones Falls Trail, Phase 2 begins construction soon as well. With these 2 projects, cyclists can travel continuously from the Collegetown Bike Network to the Inner Harbor (and out the Gwynns Falls Trail). Baltimore's bike network IS becoming a network.
3. This year, DOT has installed 42 bike racks! Look for these new racks at Joe's Bike Shop in Fells Pt., Milk & Honey Market in Mt. Vernon, the Station North Thrift Shop and Thomas Johnson Elementary School. More HERE.
In the springtime bicyclists flood the streets, some hauling their bikes out of winter storage, other hardy souls simply changing their riding garb.
As the number cyclists increases, so do the chances of crashes. In Maryland over the last five years there was an average of 773 bicycle crashes resulting in 644 injuries and eight fatalities each year. Forty percent of these police-reported bicycle crashes occur in the late afternoon and evening, between four and eight o’clock. Twenty-four percent happen in Baltimore City. These data come from the State Highway Administration. etc...
Education and publicity are the most effective tools we have. One idea, offered up by the cycling group Bike Maryland, is for state motor vehicle administration to include a sheet in driver’s license renewal forms that would spell out how to safely pass cyclists, reminding them to give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing, in accordance to a state law passed last year, and not to drive, park or stop in designated bike lanes. Putting more signage on roadways heavily used by cyclists is another smart suggestion. Training police officers on the rights of cyclists is yet another. etc.... View article.
A bill that proponents contend would close the gap between a traffic ticket and a felony vehicular manslaughter charge for drivers responsible for the deaths of others has won approval from the House committee where it had languished for many years. etc....
The bill's advance cheered advocates for bicyclists' groups such as Bike Maryland, who are among the most vocal supporters of the legislation. But their joy could be short-lived because even if the bill passes on a final vote in the House, it faces a skeptical reception in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. etc.... View article.
... “The City of Baltimore is proud to have contributed to NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide,” said Khalil Zaied, Director of Transportation for the City of Baltimore. “Having implemented our Bicycle Master Plan over the past 4 years has helped us learn what bike facilities work and what’s needed to get more citizens to choose cycling over driving. Baltimore’s Department of Transportation looks forward to utilizing this design guide as we move continue to promote cycling and alternative transportation.” Read the full article here.
Speaking of how government systems work... Baltimore County is very much a motor vehicle oriented community. Fewer than 7% of residents commute by transit, walking, or biking, many streets don't have sidewalks, and arterial roads can be quite narrow, making bicycling difficult. The Baltimore Beltway (1-695), I-83 (Jones Falls Expressway), I-95, I-70, and I-795 (Northwest Expressway) are major arteries for county residents, and it can be easier to get around the county by driving the freeways, rather than on arterials. Last night, the Baltimore County Council passed unanimously Bill 2-11: Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. Learn More Here.
New website for Catonsville Rails to Trails! http://www.catonsvillerailstotrails.org/
Gwynns Falls Trail - Access to a scenic and historic green-way stream valley in Baltimore City - Learn More.
Problems with vehicles parked in bike lanes? If so, contact: http://www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/AgenciesDepartments/Transportation/Divisions/SafetyDivision.aspx This issue should be addressed by DOT’s Safety Division (Parking Control) who should be enforcing the new “No Parking in Bike Lanes” law.
Advocacy Advance Report on the economic impacts of investments in bicycling infrastructure:
See Advocacy Advance Reports:
Amtrak officials announced that they would begin offering roll-on/roll-off bicycle service on the Capitol Limited by the end of June 2011! This means that cyclists boarding at Pittsburgh, Connellsville, Cumberland, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg, Rockville, or Washington, DC will be able to roll their bikes onto the train(reservations will be required; spaces will be limited at first), put them in a rack, and get off at any of these stops. Amtrak will be retrofitting several cars and needs to work out operational issues before the service can begin. This is great news for all the towns along the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal towpath. This will add a great convenience and extra excitement to tourists who want to bike our great trail system.
Watch for more announcements about this service, but likely not until next spring. Other good news is that the Great Allegheny Passage is closer to completion with the installation of two new bridges close to Pittsburgh ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv8B8aZx_RE).
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council has completed the Bicycle Commuter Resource Guide for the Baltimore Region. The guide contains an array of information road rules, outfitting your bike, and where to ride. The guide also contains information for employers on how to encourage employees to commute by bike. The guide is available on-line HERE.
MTA has bike racks on ALL buses, now giving cyclists more options. Learn More HERE.
Baltimore Bike Map - Order your free copy!
The map includes existing and upcoming bike routes, as well as information on safe cycling, securing your bike, taking your bike on transit, and more. FREE! Call 410-396-6856 to order or visit the link below to download soon. www.baltimorecity.gov/bike
Annapolis Bike Map Now Available!
The City of Annapolis is pleased to release its new bicycle map, helping cyclists navigate Annapolis. On the map, you will find local attractions, scenic routes, Maryland bike laws, how to take your bike on Annapolis buses, local bicycle tours and much, much more. You can pick up the map at City Hall, Capital Bicycle on Chinquapin Round Road, Bike Doctor on Jennifer Road or at the Conference and Visitors Bureau on West Street. Visit www.annapolis.gov.
The Baltimore Bicycling Manual is full of easy-to-read practical advice intended for new bicyclists in charm city, or those who are considering the bicycle as a hobby, occasional ride, commute, or regular mode of transportation. Advice on best practices during inclement weather and night-time riding, suggested equipment, types of bikes you might consider, and even suggestions on taking long-distance bike rides is included in the manual. Download the manual here.