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Apr-10-10 06:36 pm
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

I plan on riding down but at a bit slower pace. I'm leaving my house @ 7 will be by Starbucks on Roland ~7:20 and I am meeting Rod at the BWI Trail and Hamonds Ferry @ 8:45. That's my best guess at my speed and allowing time for a break before getting into Annapolis.

I'm not sure about parking at Cromwell as I have only been there on weekends. I would guess there would be few spots open, if not parking in the neighborhood should be doable.

I've been taken Warner St to Haines St (@ T) then cut thru the gas station on Russel St to sidewalk/JFT to get on Annapolis Rd. It's a little more straight forward but watch those RR tracks!

Joe, Do you know Rod B? He lives near Federal Hill and is taking the light rail down.

Apr-10-10 01:27 pm
Support the bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

For those of you who want to drive most of the way and ride the rest here is parking lot near Annapolis http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& … =39.010581,-76.489305&spn=0.05142,0.077162&z=14&msid=116280672157870197546.000483e4053f7ac2231f1

I will also note there is a couple of staple bike racks on the side of the building on the southeast corner of the mall (just north of the State House.)

Apr-09-10 05:37 pm
Bike rally to Annapolis to support passage of House Bill 461 into law
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

If people do ride down, lunch time (11:30-1:30) might be a good time to be out and about as many of our legislatures walk to lunch.

Apr-08-10 10:57 pm
Designated Cycling Routes
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Don't be scared unless you have won the big Lottery jackpot 5 times (~ the same odds as dying by bicycle in Maryland.) There is something about human nature that blows a rare event out of proportion. Two people die in car crashes every single day (on average) in Maryland yet somehow 7 cycling deaths a year makes people think cycling is the dangerous thing to do.

I wrote this article for One Less Car "Cycling is safe - a point of view" http://onelesscar.org/page.php?id=293 which I hope will remove some of the scary aspects about cycling.

Apr-08-10 12:55 pm
Designated Cycling Routes
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Input to the Western Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan is going on now! http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 5173706237

Personally I would like to see some "Bikes may use the full lane" signs and improve our Drivers' Manual and test.

Mar-23-10 02:05 pm
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

I could nit pick some factual errors in Galen's post but while better traffic enforcement may seem desirable  but already we have cyclists at fault for riding too far left and at fault for riding too far right. Better safety education, again sounds nice but look at what the "experts" came up with to reduce our high pedestrian fatality rate:
http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs416.snc3/25110_370611053075_513493075_3545426_1626175_n.jpg

Mar-23-10 10:31 am
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

From the Baltimore Sun:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinio … letter0322,0,1125997.story

I wish to respond to the commentary published in the Sunday, March 21 eddition of The Sun entitled "Give Them Room" by Gregory T. Simmons. While Mr. Simmons hits all the in-vogue talking points with regard to bicycle transportation in and around Baltimore, unfortunately, these very same talking points help to perpetuate a host of fallacies. First, that riding a bike on a public roadway is inherently unsafe. It isn't. Second, that bike lanes advance the use of bicycles and safety of bicyclists. They don't. And third, that any form of feel good legislation aimed at errant motorists to supposedly benefit bicyclists will have its intended effect. Not a chance.

Mr. Simmons and those of his mindset propagate a form of mild psychosis best known as the bicyclist inferiority complex. People who suffer this psychosis think every motorist is out to run them off the road and that in order to ride a bicycle anywhere, a full set of private bicycle accommodations are necessary. The fact is that other than railways, bicycling is the safest form of land transportation in the U.S. In 2006, the National Safety Council reported that 928 people died while riding a bike. This compares with 45,316 motor vehicle deaths and 6,162 pedestrian deaths for the same year. Considering the fact that roughly half of the reported bicycle deaths each year are children who inadvertently ride out into traffic and another large percentage are wrong-way cyclists or non-illuminated nighttime riding deaths, the safety of an adult rider of a bicycle conforming to vehicular riding principles becomes even more pronounced. The cases of a motorist simply running into a bicyclist who is safely riding are so small as to be almost statistically insignificant. Yet those who clamor for more laws, mandatory helmet use and segregated bicycle facilities think nothing of driving their car -- a much more lethal activity.

This by no means translates into every bike ride in traffic being a walk in the park. It's not, nor should one expect it to be. A bicycle is a vehicle which requires operator knowledge and expertise like any other vehicle. Similar to a motorcycle or powered scooter, the fact that the rider is out in the open and the vehicle must be balanced demands a higher degree operator skill and vigilance than a four-wheeled vehicle. But that knowledge is readily available and the skills easily learned.

To Mr. Simmons request for legislation, there are already laws on the books that make it illegal to pass any other vehicle in a dangerous manner. There are a host of laws on the books that apply to all vehicles equally that prohibit a number of infractions with regard to overtaking another vehicle, yielding, right-of-way -- anything and everything associated with proper vehicle operation on a public road. The problem has nothing to do with how the laws are written; it's a lack of enforcement. There simply is no pro-active traffic law enforcement to speak of. When the government installs speed cameras and then mollifies the objectors by giving speeders 12 miles-per-hour grace above the posted limit, they effectively raised the speed limit of that roadway by 12 miles per hour. The average speed on the interstate system is routinely 20 miles per hour above the posted limit. While traveling by bike or by car, it would seem that the yellow line dividing opposing lanes of traffic simply does not exist for some motorists. Whether it's a same-direction motorist overtaking me when I am on my bike, or an opposite-direction motorist wishing to get around a the mail vehicle stopped on their side of the road, a percentage of motorists seem to have no qualms about crossing over the dividing line and forcing oncoming traffic to take evasive action instead of waiting for the lane to clear. I have even witnessed the local police doing this. So writing into law a three-foot passing margin will have no effect on how some people drive without enforcement. There are simply a percentage of motorists who don't follow the laws.

If the people of the state of Maryland via their elected representatives wish to make the roads safer for all users it's really quite simple: Enforce the existing traffic laws. If alternative forms of surface transportation other than the automobile are to be promoted, it's also not that difficult: Make it more exacting to gain and keep a motor vehicle operator's license and incorporate how to safely overtake a slow moving vehicle into the licensing education and testing process. Teach proper bicycle operation at a young age -- late middle school would be a good time. Maintain the road surfaces in good order for all users. To further encourage utilitarian bicycle use in urban areas where they are best suited, localities could reduce the speed limit to 30 miles per hour -- as fast as anyone need drive in an urban environment anyway.

Galen Wallace, Towson

To be a little bit more clear... this was a radio broadcast in the DC area so it was heard here in Maryland.

Unofficial transcript and who to contact to complain are copied over from WashCycle here: http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 1211282831

Mar-15-10 07:13 pm
Bicycle master plan involvement
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

It is important to have a goodly number of people come out to the meetings, to demonstrate the importance and interest in walking and bicycling as transportation.  If some of your members are able to attend, we can be assured that proponents of walking and bicycling will shape the discussion.

Note that we are trying to lay out improvements on five scales:

- 1 mile walk zones around schools and transit stops
- 3 mile zones of town centers
- clusters of town centers (3-12 miles)
- cross-county connections
- regional connections (Baltimore City, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County abut the study area)

And if you have any suggestions for who else should get this request, please let me know.

Thanks.

Richard Layman
Project Manager


The Western Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan will be an "action plan" for constructing pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the urban area of the western side of Baltimore County in the First, Second, Third, and Fourth County Council Districts.  The plan is being developed by an advisory committee composed of representatives from the community and county and state government, and will be based on the needs and desires expressed by the citizens who live or work in the area. It will identify specific projects to be implemented and provide recommendations for phasing and funding.

We Need Your Help!

Your help is needed to identify improvements to the pedestrian and bicycle network in your area. Please attend one or more of the workshops listed below to share your ideas. Following an introductory presentation, and a survey about your experiences, you can sketch out your suggestions on maps. Members of the Action Committee will facilitate the discussion and record your comments.  Your ideas will help make the Western County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan responsive to your needs. Show your support for improving the environment for walking and biking, provide your input, and encourage others to participate as well.  A flyer (PDF) is available for you to share with others who may be interested in attending.

Workshop Schedule (All start at 7 p.m.)
Tuesday, April 6 (District 4)
Randallstown Community Center
3505 Resource Drive, 21133

Thursday, April 8 (District 2)
Pikesville Library
1301 Reisterstown Road, 21208

Wednesday, April 21 (District 3)
*censored*eysville Middle School
10401 Greenside Drive, 21030

Tuesday, April 27 (District 1)
Catonsville Library
1100 Frederick Road, 21228
http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/bin/z/t/WesternWorkshopMap.jpg

http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 5173706237

Mar-13-10 01:52 pm
Legislative alert for a bike bill
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Basically House Bill 388 and Senate Bill 870 is still in committee (a different committee then the one we usually get stuck in) but still constituent support would be helpful. Which is to say if your rep is not on a Judiciary committee then don't write (at lest not yet.)   

Personal stories are the best but a short note expressing support is also very welcomed.

Full alert here: http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article. … 3115139411

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