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Accommodating Bicyclists - Input Needed

Accommodating Bicyclists - Input Needed

Baltimore is repaving Roland Ave and seeking community input on whether to replace the traditional bikelane with a one way Cycle Track, located between the parked cars and the curb, on each side of Roland.  The Roland Park Civic Association will be holding a public meeting at 7 pm Thursday, May 21 at Roland Park Elem, 5207 Roland Ave. The meeting will discuss the best method of accommodating bicyclists. 

       Cycle Tracks are designed for slower speeds and work best when a lot of cyclists use them.  The Tracks would have cyclists use the crosswalks at Northern Pkwy and Cold Spring Lane.

       Commuters and faster cyclists need to be represented at the meeting. Roland Ave was the City's first Bikeway and has been in use for over 35 years.  With the exception of Tom Palermo's death by a drunk driver 3 times over the limit, Roland Ave has served the needs of bicycle commuters. I talked with about 8 cyclists today, Bike to Work Day, and they all favored retaining conventional bikelanes, rather than a Cycle Track.  Unlike other arterials, like Falls Rd and Charles Street, Roland ends at Lake Ave; giving the road a local feel.

       Several questions need to be asked:

1) Are there any parallel secondary streets which can be improved for children and casual cyclists?

2)  Ask parents:  Will converting the conventional bikelanes to one way Cycle Tracks result in them allowing their children to bike to school? If so, will schools be prepared for the influx of bikes?  Will schools keep textbooks, computers, and other items kids must transport to a manageable level, so they can safely bike?  Will private schools allow students to bike?  Are their any dress code issues that may preclude students from biking to school?

3) What traffic calming measures, street markings, and motorist education is planned so turning and cross street traffic pay extra attention and look for cyclists where they don't expect to see them?

4) Will there be a separate signal phase for cyclists, who are now at the right of right turning traffic, to cross Cold Spring Lane and Northern Pkwy ?

       We should sensitize the community to the different levels of cyclists. When one is commuting 10 miles to work, travel time is important.  Also people ride to get exercise.  Restricting a cyclist who normally rides at 16 mph, and even 25+ on downhills, to the 10 - 11 mile design speed is unfair.  Because Roland Ave ends at Lake Ave; Roland is  a local road and more comfortable for cyclists
than streets like Charles and Falls Rd that go out to and access the Beltway.  People should accept that faster cyclists and long distance commuters will often need to use the travel lanes, especially on downhills.
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     Again, your input is needed at the May 21st Meeting.  Questions, call or email Jeffrey Marks at 410-358-1321; jeffreym715@yahoo.com.

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