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Nov-25-10 12:05 am
There is growing opposition to bike lanes in New York City
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Being a city resident, I'm pleased with Baltimore City implementing its Bicycle Master Plan.  People moving into Baltimore want to have transportation options that include transit, walking, and bicycling - rather than having to drive everywhere.  Some city residents don't even own a car, and many families share one car.  They want better transportation planning that allows them to bicycle to work, school, or shop - even the new Walmart.  Has anyone tried to bicycle to Owings Mills Mall, White Marsh, or Anne Arundel Mills Mall?  And city planners do wish to calm and slow down traffic a bit to make the streets safer.  Baltimore City has had a high rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, and I applaud city planners for doing things to improve safety.  And I also congradulate young people and new residents for not blindly accepting the "Car is King" culture but actively working for full service streets.  Perhaps Baltimore County can be persuaded to follow the City's lead.
Jeffrey H. Marks

Oct-12-10 02:42 pm
publiciy for 3 ft rule
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Michael Dresser wrote a much better article, "MVA Steers a Clearer Course on Bicycle Laws" in the Oct 11 Sun.  Michael states that Young of MVA made an error and I didn't catch it when Young stated that bicyclists travelling more than 15 mph below the speed limit are impeding traffic and must move to the road edge to allow faster traffic to pass.  Young softened his previous statement, saying that it's only a guideline not a legal requirement, and that he overstated his case.  Michael went further by pointing out that cyclists who are travelling more than 15 mph below the speed limit sometimes need to take a narrow lane for safety, and  motorists should be patient.  He used Route 103 in HC as an example.  Michael went on to say that bicyclists have a legal right to use the middle of a lane if it's unsafe to stay right or on the shouder, and the bicyclist who is closer to the action is the one who gets to judge.  It's the law.

    Michael  tempered this advice with my suggestion for the bicyclist to find a safe area to let traffic pass when the road doesn't straighten up or widen within a reasonable period and traffic begins to stack up.  While  this wasn't said in the article, I encourage large groups on narrow roads to break up that endless string of riders to make it easier for cars  to pass.  Anyhow, Michael's clarification on the new 3 foot law  including dealing with curvy  narrow roads should be helpful.   and correct MVA's misinformation in the prior article.

Oct-05-10 08:38 pm
Bypassing the uphill 50 mph shoulderless portion of RT 140
Forum: Road Problems

In the old days bicyclists would commonly schedule rides to the Carroll Cty Farm Museum via Deer Pk road, whose bridge is currently closed.  Wanting to bicycle to Fall Harvest Days at the Museum, on the return to Reisterstown I found a way to avoid the hazardous shoulderless uphill portion of RT 140, just east of the Liberty Resevoir Bridge, which has a narrow 3 foot shoulder. Immediately after crossing the bridge I moved into the special left turn lane and turned left onto Glenn Falls Rd.  This quiet back road looped onto Hanover Pike (RT 30) at Woodensburg.  I then turned right and headed south onto wide shouldered RT 30, a signed bike route, back to Glyndon.  To make this return ride more interesting, I used the two remaining portions of the Old Westminster Pike from the city to Sandymount Pk and from the Rt 91 intersection to the Resevoir Bridge.  These two sections of the old pike are on the right side of eastbound 140.

    What about going from Reisterstown to Westminster?  Here the shoulderless portion of RT 140 was downhill.  So after the 2nd traffic light I picked up speed and merged into the center of the traffic lane when the shoulder ended. I used a conspicuous rear light to alert motorists.  An alternative would be to turn right at the 2nd light,make a U Turn, wait for the light to turn green stopping the traffic on 140 and turn right onto 140.  This way one will be down the hill  past the shoulderless portion of 140 once the light turns green and the traffic catches up.  I also used a short stretch of parallel road on the rightside of 140 just past RT 91.  Finally I turned left onto the Old Pike at Sandymount Pk. 

   With Westminster being the County seat, an arts center, many of our rides and special events starting there or slightly beyond, I feel that bicyclists should know about a safe and legal route.  Of course if State Hwy hadn't sacrificed the shoulders on this one mile hill to add a climbing lane, the route would be much easier to follow.
       Jeffrey H. Marks

Jul-19-10 04:58 pm
Plan to make Columbia, county highways more pedestrian-friendly
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Baltimore City and Howard County, along with the State of Md, are taking the lead in implementing small but necessary steps toward making our region greener and more bike-friendly.  As Jim Gagne points out, Howard County traffics engineer and planning officals are bicycling to learn first hand about roads from a bicyclist standpoint.  HC Executive Ulman has vowed to improve things for bicyclists and take cyclists needs into account when planning new roads and redoing existing roads.  See the Editorial in the July 19 Baltimore Sun and article by Larry Carson for details.

      Baltimore City has an active bike-ped coordinator Nate Evans who is working on getting bicycle counts and turning a stretch of Guilford Ave from Mt Royal into Univ Pkwy into a "bicycle boulevard".  The city has also received funding to continue the Jones Falls Trail north to Mt Washington.  Attended bicycle parking was available at Artscape. 
   Carroll Cty has been bike friendly, but with increasing development care needs to be taken to provide for bicyclist's needs.  Last but not least, Baltimore County elected officals will need calls from their constituents to implement the eastern and western side bicycle plans and make them more balanced with improved on road accomodation.  It's an exciting time when Maryland is finally showing signs of becoming more bicycle friendly.
                                   Jeffrey H. Marks

With many streets blocked off to cars and car parking scarce, be green and ride your bike to Artscape.  The bicycle parking is located on the NE corner of Maryland Ave and Mt Royal, next to the mobile police command post.  Pick up a free copy of Baltimore City's new Bike Map and chat with bicycle advocates.  Catch up on the latest city happenings -  the city just received $4 million federal funds to extend the Jones Falls Trail to Mt Washington's Light Rail stop. The bike parking will be open to 10 pm Friday evening and from 10am to 10pm Sat and 10am - 6pm Sunday.  Remember to bring a lock.

                                             Jeffrey H. Marks

Jul-14-10 11:12 pm
Brain Injury Association Sponsors this fundraising ride out of Westmin

The annual Eat A Peach Ride will leave from the Westminster Agricultural Ctr (site of Bicycle Swap Meet).  Pledges are optional, and individuals who join onto team "Freestaters" may register for $40.  One has a choice of whether to do a 33, 40, 62, or 100 mile ride. 

           This ride is lots of fun, and medical personnel from different hospitals compete to have the best rest stop.  The scenery is great.  Support a worthy cause, and have lots of fun.  To register, check the "Eat A Peach Carroll County Website. 

                              Jeffrey H. Marks

I also support removing the Blackout Date for the Flatlands Ride.  First, many BBC members have families and responsibilities; thereby only allowing them a limited time to ride. Secondly, many members are tired of spending 2-3 hours each day driving back and forth to work and prefer to enjoy the day cycling instead of another 3 hour roundtrip commute to the ride start.  Thirdly, believe it or not, there are cyclists who either don't own a car and one car families. And with the Gulf Oil Disaster highlighting our addiction to oil, some people would like to see bicycling be part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem.  With Sunday's temps predicted well in the 90's, many people would like a local ride on the more pleasant Saturday.  And I do contribute both to improving bicycling in Baltimore and volunteer for the extra special moCivil War Century.
Jeffrey H. Marks

Apr-11-10 12:58 am
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

I plan to join Monday's Ride to Annapolis, starting at the Cromwell Lightrail Station at 9:30am.  From previous experience, I've always found plenty of parking there.

                       Jeffrey H. Marks

Apr-02-10 01:27 am
Cost and Restrictions by Airline on Travel With a Bike
Category: Technical

Thanks Stuart for summarizing the various airline charges for bicycles.  I wish their high fees were an April Fools Day joke.  At this point it looks like Southwest at $50/each way and maybe Jet Blue at $50 each way are the best deals.  And, if someone has a destination to ship to and is willing to do without the bike a week to 10 days one can ship the bike ahead via UPS or FedEx.  The airlines used to be more reasonable, but those days are gone.  Anyhow, hope you got to do some good riding in sunny southern CA.  And you brought back great weather.
                                 Jeffrey H. Marks

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