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HB 426 -- Mandatory use of bike lanes

HB 426 -- Mandatory use of bike lanes

As Jeffrey Marks alerted me the other day, the Maryland state legislature is considering a bill, HB 426, that would remove the requirement that cyclists use bike lanes when bike lanes are available. Our representative need to get a LOT of letters in support of this bill.

You can find out who your representatives are and send them a message here:

http://www.mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/f … amp;popid=

It takes just a few minutes. Everyone, please do it ASAP.

I was going to post the letter I sent to my delegates, but discovered to my annoyance that the word document in which I'd saved it was empty. (My entire life is like this.) Jeffrey has kindly consented to my posting his letter here.

--------------------------------------
Dear Sen Gladden and Delegates Oaks, Rosenberg, and Carter,

      I encourage you to support HB 426, sponsored by Del Carr, and heard by the House Environment and Transporttion Committee last Thursday,, to Repeal Mandatory Bikelane Use.  Maryland is one of only 11 states that still require bicyclists to use a bikelane when available.  Many bikelanes are poorly designed, too narrow, put the cyclist in the door zone of parked cars, and end abruptly.  For example the bikelane on St Paul Street places cyclists squarely in the door zone, contradicting MDOT's advice in "Safe Bicycling in Maryland" (jYellow Pamphlet) to ride 4' from parked cars to avoid the risk of being hit by an opening car door.  Other bikelanes (Kelly Ave comes to mind) have debris, leaves, sticks, and even parallel grates that trap bicycle tires!.  On very wide roads (i.e - Md 2 in Edgewater) riding on the periphery makes a cyclist less noticeable because drivers - especially opposing traffic preparing to make a lefthand turn - focus on traffic in the center of the lane.  In other situations bikelanes are simply too narrow.  For example on the new Reisterstown Rd Streetscape between Northern Parkway and the City Line, the bikelane on Reisterstown Rd is only 44 - 48" wide.  The national standard for a bikelane adjacent to a curb is 60"..  Also the adjacent traffic lane is only 10' wide.  Reisterstown Rd is a major truck and bus route.  The combined  narrow dimensions of the bikelane and righthand travel lane mean that a large bus or truck (102' wide plus mirror) is only able to allow a cyclist 1 - 2' of clearance - in violation of Md's 3' safety standard..  The proper way for large vehicles to pass is to change lanes.  Consequently the bicyclist should be allowed to take the righthand travel lane when a large truck or bus is behind them.

          Maryland Law already requires cyclists to keep right when safe .The requirement to use a bikelane is unnecessary and places the cyclist in harms way when the bikelane is poorly designed.  While cyclists generally welcome bikelanes and use them in most instances, there's no reason why Maryland Law should mandate that cyclists use all bikelanes, including those that are poorly designed.  With Maryland being a Contributory Negligence State, it's unfair for Md Law to require cyclists to use a bikelane.  I thank you for your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey H. Marks

Janet L. Goldstein, BBC Forums Moderator
goldstein.j.mail@gmail.com

Janet Goldstein
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Re: HB 426 -- Mandatory use of bike lanes

Janet Goldstein wrote:

I was going to post the letter I sent to my delegates, but discovered to my annoyance that the word document in which I'd saved it was empty. (My entire life is like this.) Jeffrey has kindly consented to my posting his letter here.

Janet - did you mean empty, or just annoying? current/big_smile

Seriously, thanks for lighting a fire here.  I will take your advice, but limit my letter to ~1-2 sentences.

Steve

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Re: HB 426 -- Mandatory use of bike lanes

Yes. Thank you Jeffrey and Janet for bringing this to light.

Very important.

bobwag@gmail.com
4130 on 28's @ 15
http://randoramble.wordpress.com/

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