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Jul-27-10 04:40 pm
Plan to make Columbia, county highways more pedestrian-friendly
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Simply put there is only money available when there is a budget, no budget, no money.  The city is making progress because Nate has a budget and when its spent, that's it for the year. Attaching cycling improvements to road resurfacing projects is a very economical way to improve on-road conditions for cyclists. But there are tons of obstacles for the counties. Many still feel cars "need" 12' travel lanes even after AASHTO did studies that show that 10' is preferred and improves safety for all.  Next we need dedicated staff to look at options, Fredrick Rd and Park Heights have been shifted for better cycling accommodations, someone had to look into that option and it took some serious man hours for the Fredrick Rd. shift. Other cases involve seeing/seeking if additional Right-Of-Way (ROW) exists, too many places where just one/few property overruns the shoulder making the whole route unusable, but there is no staff and no funds to correct this. Also there are places in the city and county where we have 20'+ medians or landscaped panels that could be trimmed down for better cycling conditions, again no money is being made available for this even though it is still cheaper per mile then trails and can have a higher latent demand score (i.e. more popular.)

So basically we need staff and discretionary funds. Currently we give DOTs discretionary funds but in spite State law that says then needs of cyclists *must* be considered in *all* projects we end up with next to nothing in discretionary spending, everything goes to being car centric on every road possible. We are stuck in a mentality since we can't afford to do it on all projects we will not even do it on one project, this needs to be corrected!

I still think the best course of action is to get the State to change its policies on how it administers TE funds. Since the State already is underspending these funds,  get them to open them up to the full range of projects we would like to see.  This could be the mythical carrot that gets things moving.

Arbitrary State rules that deny TE funds to the counties that need to be gotten rid of:
It has to be off-road or part of an off-road system
It has to be an expensive
It has to be a stand alone project and not part of a resurfacing project (being economical is not encouraged.)
Has to be a 50% local match in funds (highest in the nation, in contrast some states pay 100% of the project from TE funds.)

Jul-22-10 02:10 pm
Plan to make Columbia, county highways more pedestrian-friendly
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

balto charlie wrote:

Barry, you know a lot more about this stuff than I. I don't know  Ms. Schlabach but hope to meet her.  Correct me if I am wrong but there's a lot of money currently out there with the stimulus funds.  I don't believe Baltimore county was ready to start building any bike infrastructure so we get lots of road repaving.  Mont Co, DC, Balto city and PG co. all have been improving their bike infrastructure so there are some funds.  They were ready with bike projects.  Waiting for funding is too late. We need to have projects ready to roll.  Often there is an immediate "spend now or forget it" with govt funding(end of year funds).  If you're not ready you don't get the funds.  I'm still new to this advocacy world but I see significant biking infrastructure happening, just not much in Baltimore Co.

PS I also have trouble logging on.  It often takes 2 -3 times to log on

With the first round of of Stimulus spending Maryland put very little toward bike/ped projects, Montgomery County, VA had more bike projects then the whole state of Maryland. And nothing has changed as far as I am aware. Baltimore City (Nate) has been trying to get some city bike stuff funded by stimulus funding but so far no luck. The "shovel ready" criteria has really hurt us as most bike projects do not get that far in planning till there is funding available. If the criteria was to have the money spent in the next year or two bike projects would stand a much better chance as they have a very short design to construction cycle.

PG has something BaltoCo does not have and that's MNCPPC The MNCPPC has a budget to spend on trails but in BaltoCo they have to pull money out of thin air to build a trail. But I'll note PG has a trail connecting issue over a bridge. Since a bridge is not a park trail it falls on PG to pay for it and like BaltoCo they have no budget for such items so it's not going to get done even though Federal Aid exists and is unspent that could pay for 100% of this crossing and even trails in BaltoCo but MDOT will not make any such concession.

Since I started looking at these things I find it very interesting how different the Washington Metro Area is managed and the Baltimore  Metro Area. In short Washington metro has a lot of local management and Balto metro is managed at the state level. Baltimore's new circular bus is a slap in the face to the state's MTA, as they are not handling our area mass transits needs well. Similarly how bike projects are funded is not handled well by the State. There needs to be a major revision on how the State thinks that it can dictate to Balto metro what it can do and cannot do to meet alt transportation needs with little to no control from our area.

TIGER grant update: (I am listening in on a conference call as I type.) Another round of funding is being considered and to help put stress on how underfunded bikes are America Bikes is compiling a list of projects: http://nextmile.americabikes.org/

Another thing from the call; Congress is considering funding rumble strips in the shoulders everywhere. Which comes in conflict with the excellent rumble strip guidelines from LAB. I will try and keep you posted when there is something you guys can do to help prevent this. 

Re: Often there is an immediate "spend now or forget it" with govt funding(end of year funds)
In Maryland this sentiment is tainted with get big expensive projects out the door as we can always do cheaper projects later but later never comes. Every year there is (as best as I can determine) $20-$40 million sloshing around unspent in MDOT's $4 billion budget as there is nothing "worthwhile" to spend it on. Yet our 6 year long range plan has only $19 million in trails statewide. So basically MDOT is only spending a small portion of their pocket change on trails. There is room to make revisions in policy that will have very little noticeable effect on what the state is already doing.

http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 4194611427

We have an update on our previous alert "Accidents Involving Pedestrians Rise In Balt. Co."

It seems that WJZ totally misrepresented the facts in the recent Baltimore County bike crash. Besides the confusing manner of starting off talking about a bike crash then switching to pedestrains crashes and how pedestrains (not cyclists) are generally at fault and then switching to the bike crash and the so called police report which WJZ summarized as:

    The police report shows the truck driver in Tuesday's crash may not be at fault.

    Police say the bicyclist wasn't wearing a helmet, and they believe he was riding in the middle of the car lane. They also say the driver probably had a blind spot when he came over the hill.



Read the Baltimore County Police response to see why we are upset over the misrepresentation by WJZ and are asking for a correction. Sample letter and who to contact after the fold.

The rest is here: http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 4194611427

Apr-11-10 01:53 pm
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

revdesignwrks wrote:

Also, is there a reason, other than some obvious ones, why this will not be BBC official or sanctioned? I think it would come across better if there was an actual group or club behind it rather than just a *perceived* semi-organized gaggle of riders. Thoughts?  I did send an email to the contact listed at One Less Car but perhaps Barry has already done that. I'll see what's up at Light Street when I walk over to the game.

The Jack Yates memorial ride was very successful with just a gaggle of riders. In a lot of ways having average Joes show up is a lot more compelling then Lance wannabes racing team showing up or other media negative spin terms. I don't understand why club members are considered fanatics when there would be no club if it did not appeal to average people but sometimes that is the way the press perceives us.  My 2 cents is; clubs are certainly welcome to have reps on the ride but the ride should be by the community of concerned cyclists.

Apr-11-10 01:26 pm
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

On the post I responded to had a 9:30 start times for both Marley Station and Cromwell Light rail Station. That was my confusion.

So working backwards (at my pace) and leaving some time for the slower riders to pull in by noon: Annapolis 11:30 - 14mi/1 hour = Marley Station 10:30, - 3mi/15min = 10:15 Cromwell Station

I just got off the phone with Harry and the set times as far as he is concerned is 8:00 Starbucks on Roland and 9:30 Cromwell Station. So basically we have 45 minutes to play with. So tentatively say Cromwell @9:30 (but leave 9:45.) Say Marley @10:00 (but leave 10:15)

That's my 2 cents


(BTW I had a brain fart calculating Warner and Haines St time... make that like ~8:20 )

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

revdesignwrks wrote:

Harry - let me know when you'll be coming through the south side of the city, approximately and I'll join you then.

Joe

So far Harry's estimated travel times and mine are the same just he's planning on leaving an hour latter so I would guess 9:10 and I am leaning toward going with Harry.

Apr-11-10 09:58 am
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

cctrekker wrote:

What I just posted on the Facebook event page.

Start points are varied. If you start at the beginning, plan on riding out from W Lake and Roland Ave at 8 AM. Next pick-up point is Hammonds Ferry and the BWI trail at 8:45 AM. Prefer to meet at Cromwell Lightrail Station? Then plan on riding out at 9:30 AM from there. Nigel and I will be ready to meet up on the Baltimore & Annapolis trail from Marley Station Mall (north end) also at 9:30 am.

Race Pace (Owings Mills store) is getting involved and leading a group out from their store. Talk to Marc at Race Pace to find out when they are leaving.

Updates as they become available.

Shouldn't that be 9:45??? If so all your travel times are the same as mine so I am thinking of joining Harry.  I'll have to forgo my half hour rest stop on the trail but hay, it's for a cause.

Apr-11-10 09:38 am
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Start thinking about some sound bites for the news media.

Apr-10-10 09:28 pm
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

revdesignwrks wrote:

Sounds good Harry. I'll wait to see what you post for the route and then post back where I'll meet you. I might start out early and catch you along the way. Probably not as early as Barry - though Barry - when do think you'd be coming through Warner/Haines? I haven't meet Rod but keep hearing the name.

Is there any plan to make signs/etc to be wearing to advise what we are doing? Just a thought.

Joe

Warner/Haines - I would guess 8:10

Signs would be a great idea, Harry any thoughts???

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