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May-09-18 07:36 pm
Motorcyclist Killed on Falls Road at Butler
Forum: Road Problems

        While taking a break at Veloccino's around 2 pm, I heard a loud noise took a look, and saw a motorcyclist lying in Falls Rd, next to the coffee shop. A retired paramedic who works across the street in the saddle shop unsuccessfully tried CPR to restore breathing.  County paramedics tried hard but were also unable to restore breathing, and the motorcyclist died.  The County police interviewed someone who saw the crash, and it appears that the motorcyclist was making a right hand turn from the southern driveway near the barbecue to go north on Falls Road, at the same time a motorist on Butler road was making a left turn into NB Falls.  The right hand portion of the car clipped the motorcyclist and sent him airborne, where he crashed into a porch support and landed in Falls Road. This old building comes right up to Falls Road, abutting a narrow bridge.

     Use caution around the area of Falls Road and Butler.  If I'm in Veloccino's and want to go NB on Falls ,or straight across Falls into Butler Rd, I use the shopping center's NB exit.  Remember the Falls Rd bridge has no shoulder.  Also, when I'm heading south on Falls Rd from the fire station and want to enter this shopping center, I purposely go past it, turn right into a driveway, and then make a left hand turn into Falls Road, so I enter the shopping center and Velocinno's from the right.  Incidentally, Marc Lefkowitz said that this was the 3rd crash this week - one involving a motorcycle and the other involving two cars.  Give this dangerous area your undivided attention, pick the appropriate exit, and utilize a U turn to avoid a hazardous left into Velocinno's.... The car driver stopped, was shaken up, and cooperated with police.  Marc called in the crash and supplied gloves and towels to the first medic.  The saddle store across the road supplied cones and directed traffic until the police arrived.  So much for a quiet spring day in the country.

      Due to rain being predicted, I'm cancelling tomorrow's Loch Raven - Gunpowder Ride.  The new ride date will be Monday, May 7.

Apr-24-18 09:38 am
Valley St in Glen Rock is closed as soon as you make left off RT 616 going over the bridge.
Forum: Road Problems

      If the Valley Street Bridge in Glen Rock goes in the north- south direction, the York Heritage Trail that runs through Glenrock would be an alternate route. 

Jeffrey H. Marks

Apr-09-18 01:27 pm
affects all of the Seven Towns/Seven Valleys rides
Forum: Road Problems

         I favor Steve Zeldin's SEVEN VALLEYS VIA BLUE HILL.  I used to ride to Codorus and took Blue Hill Rd north from Linesboro.  Steve's approach picks up Route 216 from the west near Codorus, avoiding the missing bridge.  Be sure to take both the cue sheet and map.

        There are ways to offset the extra climbing via the Blue Hill Route.  I personally like to start from the Manchester P & R and keep things simple by going north on Route 30 and turning right into the residential street that connects with Linesboro Road.Entering Linesboro, One should watch carefully for Blue Hill Rd, which will now be a left from Linesboro Rd.  You will be heading north on Blue Hill.  I follow the Bluehill route all the way to Spooks Hill Rd.  Instead of turning left onto Spooks Hill, I continue straight on Beckeysville Rd through the Prettyboy watershed. Shortly after crossing Falls Rd (RT 25), I turn right onto Brick Store Rd and then turn left onto Maple Rd back to Hanover Pike.  I then turn right on Hanover Pike for about a mile, back to the P & R on the left opposite the Sheetz store.  My easier route is just over 50 miles and avoids having to cross Pretty Boy Dam.
Jeffrey H. Marks

Apr-06-18 11:22 am
Enjoy Music at Evergreen Sat afternoon Apr 7
Category: Social

      With tomorrow's Spring Social having been postponed to late April and Saturday's weather forecast not good for cycling, I want to suggest MUSIC AT EVERGREEN;ZORA STRING QUARTET Sat afternnon, Apr 7 at 3:00 pm. (Sunpaper incorrectly listed 3:30 pm).  Cost is $20. You may purchase your ticket at the door. Evergreen Museum is a special place located at 4545 N. Charles St, between Notre Dome and Loyola College. If you need further information, call 410-516-0341.  I called and was assured that concert with go on; in spite of rain and a touch of snow on the grass.  End Cabin Fever and enjoy a nice concert.

Jeffrey H. Marks

Mar-13-18 01:05 pm
Discuss Options Presented by City to Improve Safety on Roland Ave
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

        This March 20 Public Meeting follows the Dec Meeting between the Roland Park Imp Assoc, Bikemore, Eddie's of Roland Park, and interested cyclists to improve safety on the narrow Cycle Track.  Everyone agrees that the Cycle Track wasn't working, though Bikemore had reservations about restoring curbside parking and reverting back to  a conventional bikelane between the parked cars and moving traffic.  The City agreed to restore curbside parking in the block by Eddie's.  The City also agreed to consider removing a lane of traffic to provide additional room for bikes.  If a lane of traffic is removed, there are two scenarios for accommodating bikes.  One is to widen the narrow 6' Cycle Track and to also have a traditional bikelane, giving cyclists the choice of where to ride.  The other is to restore curbside parking and have a wide area between the parked cars and the traffic lane for cyclists.  Rubber humps would provide separation to keep cars from encroaching on the bike area.
       To learn about this innovative approach and be part of the planning process, come to the March 20 Public Meeting, at 6 pm, at Roland Park Elem School, one block north of Eddie's and Starbucks.
Jeffrey H. Marks

Mar-09-18 04:34 pm
Complex 17 Page Bill Would Segregate Street Space Between Cars and Bikes
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

      Councilman Ryan Dorsey has filed a detailed 17 page Bill that would segregate space on City Streets between Bikes and Cars.  The separate space requirement for bikes would be required for both redesigned streets and repaved streets.  Among other provisions the Bill would establish MAXIMUM lane widths of 9' on non arterial streets, 10' on Arterials, and 11' on bus and truck routes.  This Bill references many complex documents, has detailed reporting requirements, and mandates the segregated space for bikes.  Bikemore is the Bill's leading advocate.  Before commenting, I encourage you to look at this complex Bill: Baltimore City Complete Streets Bill #17-0102.

       Baltimore City is an older blue collar community, with narrow streets and limited off street parking.  Also, the streets have many intersections and driveways, making the design of Cycle Tracks difficult.  We have already seen problems between motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians develop from the Roland Park Cycle Track.  I understand that like Traffic Circles, some people love and others hate Cycle Tracks.  I'm not going to debate the pros and cons.  However, there's a need for critical thinking on this Bill, that if passed, would take away the discretion and engineering expertise of traffic engineers.  This Bill would make traffic planning more difficult - and costly - in a City already struggling with crime, public schools, drug addiction, and a decreasing tax base. 

      Baltimore City already has a Bicycle Master Plan that prominently includes Cycle Tracks.  These Tracks are currently being implemented on a case by case basis after an engineering and feasibility study.  Examples are Roland Ave, Maryland Ave, Canton street, and certain downtown streets. The Master Plan allows the City to select the best method of accommodating bicyclists - whether it be a traditional bike lane, paved shoulder, wide curblane, Cycle Track, separate path or share the road sharrows.  This new Bill is not needed and would slant City Transportation Planning toward Cycle Tracks to the detriment of motorists and experienced bicyclists.  Cycle Tracks; with many intersections, narrow widths, and pedestrians entering/exiting parked cars; are designed for slow speeds.  With electric bikes capable of speeds of 20 - 28 mph; exchanging wide curb and traditional bike lanes for Cycle Tracks will lead to more crashes and increased tensions between motorists and cyclists.  Let's stick with the Bicycle Master Plan that grants flexibility to traffic engineers and not mandate a Cycle Track every time a street is repaved.
      Jeffrey H. Marks

     

Aug-31-17 08:40 pm
Grist Mill Trail from swinging bridge to River Road closing for 18 months beginning Tuesday,...
Forum: Road Problems

       Beginning Tuesday, Sept 5  the paved Grist Mill Trail in Patapsco St Pk will be closing for 18 months for a sewer line relocation; in preparation for removing the Bloede Dam.  This Dam has been a obstacle for fish and a serious hazard to swimmers.

        The Grist Mill Trail is part of the popular bike route linking the Catonsville - Relay areas with River Road and historic Ellicot City.  If you haven't done this easy loop and enjoyed the Grist Mill Trail, I encourage you to do so in the next few days.  I usually start on Edmondson Ave, just outside the Beltway.  I head west on Edmondson and about a half mile later turn left ( south) to reach Route 144. I then turn right ( west) on 144 and about a mile later turn left at the light onto Rolling Rd south. Following Rolling Rd's twists and turns, I turn right at the park entrance, just before Route 1.  I ride the park road (no charge for bikes) to the swinging bridge, walk my bike over this short bridge, and make a left onto the soon to be closed Grist Mill Trail.  When the trail ends after a narrow bridge crossing the Patapsco, I go right and follow the Patapsco River on my left to Old Frederick Rd, Route 144.  After turning left I take 144 to Ellicott City, where most of the shops are now open after last year's July flood. Bean Hollow is good for coffee or lunch.  I then reverse directions, recross the Patapsco, and take the 2nd left to pick up the Trolley Trail.  I take this Trail to the north end at Edmondson Ave, where I make a right to return to the Edmondson Ave start, just outside the Beltway.  CHECK OUT THIS RIDE FRIDAY or DURING THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND.  I advise going early to avoid the Labor Day crowds.

Aug-16-17 11:24 am
Stanley's life including BBC
Category: Social

      Former BBC member Stanley Morstein died on Aug 7 at age 87.  Stanley was a sports lover who enjoyed canoeing, camping, and bicycling.  I have good memories of doing a self contained overnight bicycle trip with Stanley to Bear's Den Hostel, the stone castle overlooking the Shenandoah River. Stanley also rode the Cycle Across Maryland several times and participated in the Senior Olympics. 

      As an attorney and member of the American Bar Association, Stanley testified in Annapolis for bicycle advocacy legislation, and helped bicyclists move a stalled bill out of committee and onto the house floor, where it became law, thereby allwing bicyclists to use many major roads with paved shoulders.

        Stanley is best known for his acting and major role in plays. Yesterday's Baltimore Sun (Aug 15) has an excellent obituary describing Stanley's life.  A memorial gathering will be held at noon Sept 9 at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, next to the Jewish Community Center at 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave, Owings Mills.

Jun-13-17 07:56 pm
Roland Park Civic League Track Committee highlights flaws in Cycle Track
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

The Roland Park Civic League at its May 24 Annual Meeting voted to scrap the controversial Cycle Track and restore curbside parking.  The Civic League recommended a wider, conventional bikelane located between parked cars and the traffic lanes. The Civic League acknowledged the design flaws in the Cycle Track.  The Track consisting of a 4' bikelane and a 2' buffer is narrower than design specifications, which call for a 6' bikelane and a 2 - 3 ' buffer.  Consequently this narrow Track forces cyclists to ride in the door zone, and cyclists have no room to avoid car doors and pedestrians, especially   at Eddie's and St David's Church and Pre School.  Also the parking lanes have been narrowed to 7', notwithstanding the fact that some vehicles are wider than 7' or not everyone parks an inch from the curb.  Five residents cars have been totaled, and five cyclists have collided with right turning vehicles. 

     Also, leaves, sticks, and debris accumulate in the Cycle Track.  The Civic League points out that verbal conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians have increased.  (From personal experience, motorists have told me to use the Cycle Track when I chose to ride in the traffic lanes.)

     The Committee didn't forclose  studying an alternative solution, like removing a lane of traffic.  However, in the interim the Committee recommended that the City remove the Cycle Track, restore curbside parking, and go with a conventional, wider bikelane.

Jeffrey H. Marks

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