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
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.
Examples of upcoming Events: check out Bike Maryland's event calander:
March 21, 2013 - Bike Maryland Bicycle Friendly University Workshop, Johns Hopkins University
REGISTER HERE! More information HERE.
Bicycle Friendly University Workshop - Baltimore - March 21, 2013
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Address: 3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD, 21218 (Homewood Campus)
Room: Mason Hall (Alumni Boardroom)
Time: 9:30am - 12:30pm
A Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) Workshop will be held on Thursday, March 21st from 9:30am to 12:30pm on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. This is a free event made possible through a grant from Performance Bicycle. The event is open to students, faculty, and staff interested in helping make their campus a more bicycle friendly place to ride for transportation and recreation.
Your input is needed! The goal of the Plan is to support cycling and walking as integral modes of Maryland’s transportation network. This will be the first of three public meetings held to gather input for this Plan.
Location: University of Baltimore
William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, Room 001 & 003
11 West Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore MD, 21201
Time: 5:00PM – 8:00PM
Discussion Topics: Current conditions for biking and walking; Progress since 2002 Plan; Input on draft goals and objectives; and Input on key priorities for supporting biking and walking
Bike Maryland will hold a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Workshop at Dawson's Market, Rockville Town Square (12 N Washington St, Rockville, MD 20850) on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 from 8:30 to 10:00am (complimentary breakfast will begin at 8:15am). This free event was made possible through a grant from Performance Bicycle and is designed to help businesses encourage and support their employees to commute to work by bicycle. Each year the League of American Bicyclists awards businesses across the country that have made significant strides in becoming a more bicycle friendly place to work. This high distinction can help employers set themselves apart by demonstrating their commitment to workplace wellness.
The BFB Workshop will give businesses in the Rockville area the tools they need to improve workplace wellness by providing a conducive environment for bicycle commuting. Workshop will include complimentary breakfast. Please direct any questions to Bike Maryland's Bicycle Friendly Maryland Program Coordinator, Anna Kelso here.
Learn more and register here.
Bike-Salisbury and Bike Maryland are hosting its first Adult Bike Commuter Workshop at Salisbury University! If you answer YES to any of the following questions, then this FREE workshop is for you!
■Are you interested in using your bike to get from your home to work or school, but concerned about riding on the road with cars?
■Do you want to ride your bike with more confidence and skill?
■Would you like to know how to pick the best route to get to where you want to go on a bike, and how to secure your bike when you get there?
■Are you interested in talking one-on-one with experienced bike commuters and learning from their experiences?
■Would you like to know how to make you and your bike more visible to motorists?
■Are you at least 16 years old?
Two scenic RecRide bicycle tours give you a close-up view of beautiful Charm City on May 19th. Start - Patterson Park, Baltimore. Fully stocked rest stop with refreshments at Druid Hill Park. Join the celebration at the end of the RecRide - stay in Patterson Park and celebrate as BikeJam 2013 plays host to Pro Bicycle Championships.
Enjoy food vendors, beer, live music and the super-fast BikeJam 2013 pro bicycle races! Enjoy the fun at the Bike and Health Expo.
Proceeds support Bike Maryland!
Learn More and Register 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.
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.
(BRTB) is currently seeking volunteers for its Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and a pedestrian volunteer for the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Group (BPAG). Obtain information on the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Group Here.
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.
Washington (CNN) -- A federal safety board called Tuesday for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. Read full article here.
Yes there is opposition, but TheWashCycle has a good rebuttal: http://www.thewashcycle.com/2011/12/annapolis-city-council-considers-bike-plan.html
Read the full article at http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20111221203535124
[Press Release] The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) was awarded a bronze Bicycle Friendly Business Award by the League of American Bicyclists in a ceremony on its Laurel, Md., campus today. Recognized for its investment in bicycling to promote employee health and social responsibility, APL has an active cycling club, showers, locker rooms, secure bike parking and a personal fitness financial incentive. "Cycling is something that contributes to the health of our staff," said APL Director Ralph Semmel. "By taking care of ourselves, we reduce our health costs and can pass this on to our sponsors. We will continue our efforts to make APL a welcoming place for cyclists." The largest of three Maryland organizations honored by the League, APL was chosen from a field of 155 applicants nationwide. The Laboratory joins other notable national winners such as Microsoft, General Mills and Random House. The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle‐friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. The award ceremony was held on APL's campus in the new Building 200, which opened last month. The state-of-the-art facility houses APL's space department and features 48 covered bicycle parking spaces and four showers. Throughout its 399-acre campus, APL has additional bike racks and shower facilities. A new bike lane segment in front of the building on Johns Hopkins Road was added by the county in October 2011. "Some of the most successful companies in the world are showing that investing in bicycling is not only good for health and sustainability but also the bottom line," said League president, Andy Clarke. "With over 280 people active in cycling activities at APL and a growing number who commute to campus regularly on their bikes, APL's cycling amenities help make biking increasingly popular" said Fran Horan, APL Cycling Club president. "The new bike lane, covered parking, and showers at Building 200 are a bicycle commuter's dream." The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu. http://jhuapl.edu/newscenter/pressreleases/2011/111207.asp Related: Bicycle Friendly Business Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory | Bronze Level - LAB Pictures
"Under the agreement, Baltimore County will accept the 22.5-acres as a donation and take over maintenance of the trail in 10 years. In the interim, Catonsville Rails to Trails will complete construction on the 2.2-mile trail and maintain it until the 10-year period is up." http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/baltimorecounty/news/community/ph-ca-railstotrails-20111206,0,5434782.story
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.
Tuesday, November 22 2011 @ 10:42 PM EST; Contributed by: B' Spokes;Biking in Marylandfrom TheWashCycle by Jim Titus
Prince George’s County’s bicycle and trail advisory group (BTAG) has asked state officials to meet with them about a possible state role for resolving a decade-old disagreement between Prince Georges and Anne Arundel counties over the best location for a proposed trail bridge across the Patuxent River.
In a November 10 letter to Don Halligan, MDOT’s Director of Planning and Capitol Programming, the advisory group said that Prince George’s County wants the trail linking Bowie to Odenton to cross the Patuxent River “on, or very close to, the abandoned railroad right-of-way” of the former Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis (WB&A) Railroad. BTAG opposes a northern detour, which was originally proposed by the late Buz Meyer, a naturalist and hunting safety expert who lived along the proposed route of the trail. Anne Arundel has long favored the northern detour to accommodate the wishes of Mr. Meyer that no trail be built near his land. Read more.
The city of Annapolis is winning the praise of bicyclists for its new plan to create a network of 34 miles of marked bike routes that would include bike lanes on city streets, shared-use lanes - or "sharrows" - for cyclists and drivers and off-road paths. The 86-page plan gets at the problem that despite the city having six miles of bike trails, there are few connections between them and almost no markers to point out routes to popular destinations. In addition to mapping out routes that avoid the busiest sections of roads, the plan calls for bicycle parking, safety and education programs and the promotion of cycling. The problem is the projected cost of making it all happen: $2 million in the first five years and a total of $3.4 million over a decade. Mayor Josh Cohen hopes to see minimal funding in place next year to seek matching grants and he notes that some improvements, such as pavement markings, could be completed as part of other capital projects. Read More (Nov. 19, 2011 - The Baltimore Sun).
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.
After delaying a move to bring bike-sharing to Baltimore City last spring, the Rawlings-Blake administration has entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Denver-based B-cycle to run a 250 - 300 bike network for residents and visitors. The agreement gives the company exclusive rights to negotiate a deal with the city as long as no operating subsidies are required. The idea behind bike-sharing is to encourage their use in place of cars and buses for short trips, with bikes made available for short-term rentals through computer-controlled kiosks and the first 30 minutes being free. B-cycle will need to raise about $1.2 million in private funds to build the bike network. The company hopes to raise that capital through corporate sponsorships and individual membership fees, according to Nate Evans, who oversees the city's bicycling programs. He said the agreement costs the city nothing, and if all goes as planned, the first phase of the program -- with 25 kiosks and up to 300 bikes -- will be launched next September. Read More.
Listen to the Story - All Things Considered
Cities across the country are investing more money in infrastructure to make roads safer for bikes. Last week, a highway bill faced resistance from lawmakers who saw those kinds of projects as an inappropriate use of federal funds. Learn More.
Top 70 Cities Data Compiled by the League of American Bicyclists www.bikeleague.org. For more information contact Darren Flusche at darren at bikeleauge dot org. View results here.
The Roland Park Cyclovia IV, which had been planned for this Sunday, has been called off, according to the Baltimore Department of Transportation.
The event, a street festival in which at least part of a broad city avenue is closed to vehicle traffic so that walkers and bicyclists can have unfettered use of the roadway, was to have taken place between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Roland Avenue and University Parkway. Kathy Chopper, a department spokeswoman, said she did not know the reason for the cancellation.
Carol Silldorff, executive director of Bike Maryland and an organizer of the event, said it was called off because of delays in receiving an answer from the city's permit office regarding the cost. She said that after the decision was made to scrap it, organizers found the city intended to charge $5.000 -- more than they were prepared to pay. She said she hopes the Cyclovia can be rescheduled for October.
Cyclovia is based on a concept developed in Bogota that has been adopted by several U.S. cities.
Sophie Chan-Wood didn't know Cheverly resident Natasha Pettigrew, but when the avid cyclist heard about a Saturday morning memorial ride honoring Pettigrew, Chan-Wood saw an opportunity to ride to Prince George's County via the Watts Branch Trail from Washington, D.C.
However, it wasn't until Chan-Wood, of Rockville, was hundreds of feet from the site of the hit-and-run in September 2010 that claimed cyclist Pettigrew's life that the car honking began, a reminder that both motorists and bicycles should be able to share the road. Read full article here.
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.
Race Pace Bicycles has set up a blog to be a mechanic's forum where anyone can ask questions about their bike or riding needs. The questions can range from appropriate clothing for the weather, to what roads or trails are fun to ride. Maybe you want to start commuting to work, school or the grocery store or maybe even try a cycling vacation. If you need to trouble shoot a mechanical issue or want to know what products will make your ride more enjoyable feel free to ask questions on this link and follow the blog. We will also have reports on local trail conditions. Click here to link to the blog.
New Bike Parking – The Department of Transportation’s Maintenance Division has installed a total of 107 bike racks this year! The communities of Highlandtown, Belair-Edison, Waverley, Remington and Hamilton are some of the areas where the new racks are installed. To request a bike racks, visit the online form HERE. New Bike Routes are being planned for Bolton Hill, Reservoir Hill and Lake Avenue. These routes will connect existing and proposed bike routes and will provide safer corridors for cyclists.
The Alliance for Biking and Walking releases the updated guide to Complete Streets, an update since their 2006 guide. In the past four years more than 100 state and local jurisdictions have adopted new policies that require transportation projects to include safe accommodations for all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Complete streets cater to all road users, not just motorists, so we can share the road safely and efficiently. To learn more about complete streets check out the National Complete Streets Coalition and the Alliance's updated guide.
Some commuting/touring bicyclists have been working on a website, bicycle touring on car free paths, on how to do the great long-distance car-free bike paths in North America -- where the paths are, narratives on their settings in nature and history, information on lodging and camping, restaurants and food, ice cream and beer, bike shops and shuttle services -- basically, what the touring cyclist would want to know to plan a trip that could be across the state or across the continent. The idea is to make the site maximally useful by inviting touring bicyclists to add content continually -- their own suggestions for doing the trips as well as pictures -- to keep it current and expand it out. Paths covered include the C&O Canal, Great Allegheny Trail, Greenbrier River Trail, Mickelson Trail, Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga, P'tit Train du North, Kettle Valley Trail, the Coeur d'Alenes, and the Katy Trail. At this point, some paths are covered in more detail than others, a shortcoming we hope updates from touring cyclists will correct. Click Here to Learn More!