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News and Resources


April 2014 - Updates to the Gwynns Falls Trail Website

Updates and corrections on the Gwynns Falls Trail website have been made! The Gwynns Falls Trail is a unique 15 mile, urban hiking and biking Trail providing access to a scenic and historic greenway stream valley in Baltimore City.

Check out the new Gwynns Falls Trail Map and Information Guide or view special points of interest and activities along the Trail. Paper maps are available at most Trailheads or contact the Parks & People Foundation.

More information here


April 2014 - Maryland Land Preseration and Recreation Plan

The Land Preservation and Recreation Plan is prepared every five years to identify essential and contemporary issues impacting outdoor recreation and natural resource protection in Maryland. This Plan was developed using public input gathered through surveys, stakeholder meetings and thorough analysis of national, state and local issues impacting recreation and natural resource conservation.

Bike Maryland's Executive Director, Carol Silldorff sits on the Department of Natural Resources Trail Committee and has been committed to making access to bicycling a priority! Thank you to the many other advocates that sit on the committee and to everyone who participated in the recreation surveys.

Final approval of the Land Preservation Recreation Plan from the National Park Service has been received.

The Land Preservation and Recreation Plan will help guide land conservation and development of outdoor recreation opportunities over the next five years and builds upon the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to include proactive approaches to address critical issues identified in the planning process. The Plan aims to: provide Maryland’s citizens and visitors with safe and easily accessible amenities; encourage the enjoyment and stewardship of Maryland’s natural world; and balance outdoor recreation land use with natural and cultural resource protection. It also serves as Maryland’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan and qualifies the state to receive funding through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

See the Maryland Land Preseration and Recreation Plan here.


March 2014 - Maryland House OK's Jail Time for Negligent Drivers who Kill

The House of Delegates approved a bill Friday that would allow a judge to give up to a year's sentence The 111-25 vote on the legislation known as Jake's Law sends the measure to the Senate. The bill was named after 5-year-old Jake Owen, who was killed in a crash in 2011 caused by a driver police found to have been using a cell phone when he struck Jake's family's car. The driver was acquitted of reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter and convicted of traffic charges that led to a $1,000 fine. Proponents said the bill will fill a gap in the law between traffic counts and the manslaughter charge, which carries a maximum term of 10 years.

Bike Maryland supports Jake's Law, read more on our 2014 Legislative Agenda here

Read more from the Baltimore Sun here.


March 2014 - Towson's 'Bike Beltway' To Open in June

Construction on the Towson "Bike Beltway", which uses a set of bike lanes and signage to demarcate the 4.2 miles of roads around downtown Towson, will begin this year and should be completed by June, according to a county public works official. Stephen Weber, chief of Baltimore County's Division of Traffic Engineering said Tuesday after a meeting of the

Baltimore County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee that the contract for the work was signed last month.
The Maryland Bikeways Program gave Baltimore County a $100,000 grant — with a commitment by the county to match 20 percent of that —in July 2012. The grant was given following a proposal from the 5th District Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and creates a 4.2-mile loop that connects Towson's shopping centers, schools and downtown area.

Read more here.


March 2014 - Supreme Court Decision: How Does It Affect Rail-Trails?

Read the full article from Kevin Mills, Senior Vice President of Policy and Trail Development at Rails to Trails Conservancy

"On March 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case involving a rail corridor formerly on federal land that is now privately owned (Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust et al. v. United States).

The U.S. Supreme Court decision was undoubtedly disappointing for supporters of rail-trails. But after examining the Court’s decision, it is clear that its reach is much narrower than has been reported in the press. The main questions on your mind may be: Does this decision mean that my rail-trail or trail project will go away? What effect will this decision have on the broader rail-trail movement? To answer the first question, the vast majority of current and planned rail-trails will not be affected.

Click here to see the infographic!


March 2014 - RecRide Registration Now Open!

Bike Maryland encourages you to participate and bring your friends, family and colleagues to our 4th Annual RecRide at BikeJam out of Patterson Park in Baltimore City, Maryland. This event hosts two bicycle tours, 12 and 30 miles that are specifically designed to maximize safety, fun and a close-up view of Charm City!

All proceeds support Bike Maryland's efforts to improve bicycling. Registration is $16 for students and childen and $34 for adults. Early bird prices jump on May 5th and on-site registration will be available on the morning of the ride.

Join us for our first ride of the year and stay in the park afterwards for the excitement at BikeJam: professional cycling races, food trucks, craft beer, exhibitors, music and more! Register here!


February 2014 - Baltimore Regional Transportation Board Seeks Public Comments for the Fiscal Year 2015 Unified Planning Work Program

A public comment period on the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is now open until Thursday March 20th. The UPWP details projects, studies and other activities to be completed by BRTB members in the upcoming fiscal year, which runs July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. Those BRTB initiatives represent the transportation needs in the City of Annapolis, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.

Those who would like to make a comment may do so through email at comments@baltometro.org; on Twitter @baltometroco or @bmoreinvolved, using #BRTBlistens; by fax at 410-732-8248; or by mail at:

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board
Offices @ McHenry Row
1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21230

All mailed comments must be received no later than March 20th. Comments also may be shared during the public comment at the Baltimore Regional Transportation Boards's March 25th meeting at 9:00 AM; or the April 29 meeting at 4:00 PM.

View the full press release here for more information.


February 2014 - Second Annual Community Input Meeting from Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee to be held on Tuesday March 11 in Towson

Baltimore County’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) is seeking community input to help identify the next round of pedestrian and bicycle projects to be targeted for implementation. Members of the public are invited to voice their preferences on which projects to fund at a Citizen Input Meeting to be held: Tuesday, March 11 at 5 p.m. Jefferson Building Hearing Room (Room 104) 105 West Chesapeake Avenue Towson, MD 21204.

The PBAC is looking for projects that will provide County citizens with the greatest benefit at the lowest cost, using state, federal, and private grants. Projects should be ones that have been recommended by Baltimore County’s Eastern and Western Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plans (available here ), and have the following characteristics: relatively low in cost, link to significant destinations and community support. 

For more information, please email Kathy Schlabach, Department of Planning or call her at 410-887-3521.


February 2014 - Cumberland Awarded $75,000 Bikeways Grant

By Greg Larry, Cumberland Times-News CUMBERLAND: A new $75,000 grant, with plans to add bicycle lanes to Frederick and Bedford streets, has been awarded to the city from the Maryland Bikeways Program. ... “We have now become a place where a lot of bikers come,” said John DiFonzo, city engineer. DiFonzo said that cyclists come mainly for the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage. “But they are also riding our streets,” said DiFonzo.

Read more here


February 2014 - $16 Million Available for Key Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trail Projects

In 2014, $16 million in grant funding will be available for Maryland projects that enhance walking, biking, pedestrian safety and recreational trail and federal lands access. Staff from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and State Highway Administration (SHA) will hold regional workshops to detail four programs that provide funding for bicycling, pedestrian and recreational trail projects throughout Maryland: Bikeways, Safe Routes to School, Transportation Alternatives, Federal Lands Access Program and Recreational Trails.

The free workshops are geared toward local governments and non-profit organizations and will be held at various locations on various dates, listed on the Bike Maryland Event Calendar

View press release here.


Feburary 2014 - Take Action for a Bike-able Susquehanna River Bridge

Please take a minute to ensure that the new Amtrak Susquehanna River Bridge will accommodate cyclists. At this time there is no safe way for bicyclists or pedestrians to cross the Susquehanna River and your help is needed to bring attention to the importance for safe crossing that will serve multiple modes of transportation. 

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been awarded $22 million to design this bridge’s replacement. Please join us as as we urge MDOT to build a bridge that is bicycle friendly!

Sign the petition here

February 2014 - Advocates Push for Smart Growth in Prince George's County

Prince George’s County and regional smart growth advocates sent a letter today to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker urging him to rethink transportation priorities to fulfill the County’s efforts to foster transit-oriented economic development. This letter was sent in anticipation of Prince George’s County renewing its request for state funding for priority transportation projects in early 2014. Signers included the Coalition for Smarter Growth. 

Read the press release here.


January 2014 - $2 Million Granted for Jones Falls Trail Extension in Baltimore 

Baltimore will spend more than $2 million to extend the Jones Falls Trail by another 3.1 miles from the Cylburn Arboretum to the Mount Washington Light Rail stop under an agreement approved by the city's spending panel. Construction on the latest phase of the trail is expected to begin in September after the city receives final plan approval from the State Highway Administration and settles right of way issues. Completing the phase should take 18 months.

The next portion of the trail will include a bike and pedestrian bridge over Northern Parkway and two 40-foot long timber bridges over streams and wetlands. When finished, the trail will connect 20 neighborhoods with the harbor, Druid Hill Park and Lake Roland in Baltimore County, according to Maryland Greenways Commission. The first portion of the trail from Penn Station to Wyman Park Drive opened in 2005. The trail continues through Druid Hill Park along the reservoir loop to Clipper Mill at Woodberry, for a total of 4.25 miles.

Read the Baltimore Sun article here


January 2014 - Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Bicycle Safety Webpage

"Bicycles are considered vehicles in Maryland, and as such, cyclists must devote as much attention to riding a bike as they would when operating an automobile. Equally as important, motorists must allow cyclists the same respect and caution they would allow another automobile."

Check out this educational resource for bicyclists and motorists from the MVA that offers fast facts, national statistics, a list of traffic laws for motorists and bicyclists, links to active campaigns in the state, tips for bicyclists and motorists and also a handful of links to related websites. 

View the page here


January 2014 - Great Review of Bike Maryland Bicycle Friendly University Workshop

On January 16th dozens of representatives from college campuses and transportation planning offices met at the Bike Maryland Bicycle Friendly Univeristy Workshop at Hood College. Read the review by the Frederick-News Post here.


January 2014 - Bike Maryland Legislative Agenda

View the ROBUST Bike Maryland 2014 Legislative Agenda here, including pro-bicycle legislation bills that will strengthen the three feet to pass law and other very important pro-bicycle infrasturcture needs!

To learn more about the Bike Maryland 2014 Legislative Agenda please consider attending the free Bike Maryland Bicycle Symposium on Tuesday February 11th at the Senate Miller Building in Annapolis. 


December - New Signs Up On Rossback Road, Anne Arundel County

New "Bicyclists May Use Full Lane" sign on Rossback Road in Anne Arundel County. Bike Maryland gives a thumbs up to this signage that will help educate motorists.

See the image here


December - City of Baltimore Bill for Special Traffic Enforcement Officers

Last week, City of Baltimore Council Bill 13-0262 - Special Traffic Enforcement Officers (STEO) – Citywide Jurisdiction was voted upon favorably. Click here to view bill.

Carol Silldorff, Bike Maryland Executive Director, testified that allowed use of STEOs will provide opportunities to increase bicycling in Baltimore as this will reduce costs for groups like Bike Maryland and Be More Streets for People to open streets for bicyclists that are free of motorists during special events. This will allow families, children, new and experienced bicyclists to enjoy riding on streets without any potential vehicle conflict. Bicycling reduces congestion, pollution, obesity related diseases and betters the economy through increased tourism dollars!

Reducing costs that are associated with bicycle related events is an important step in promoting a bicycle friendly Baltimore.  We thank the Council, Department of Recreation and Parks, Police Department, and the Department of Transportation for supporting this important legislation.


December 18 - Baltimore County Council Passes Complete Streets Policy

December 16, the Baltimore County Council passed a resolution that implements a "Complete Streets" policy, as recommended by the Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. The resolution was sponsored by Councilman Tom Quirk and cosponsored by Councilmen David Marks and Ken Oliver. Bike Maryland Executive Director Carol Silldorff is a member of the counci that developed the complete streets policy and was present at the meeting to testified in favor of complete streets

"Complete Streets" aims to develop an intermodal transportation system, one accessible by drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.   The idea is simple:  streets should serve multiple modes of travel equitably, not just move highway traffic.
"To the greatest extent possible, Baltimore County should have a transportation system that is accessible to all of its citizens," Councilman Quirk commented.   "I would like to thank the Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and transportation advocates for their hard work on this resolution."

"We have made tremendous progress over the past three years in Baltimore County, from bike lanes in Catonsville and Towson to new trails throughout the county," Councilman Marks added.  "We have very little land for new roads and need to use existing transportation capacity as wisely as possible."


December 14 - New Road Signs up in Anne Arundel County

New "Bicyclists May Use Full Lane" sign on Rossback Road in Anne Arundel County. Bike Maryland gives a thumbs up to this signage that will help educate motorists.

See the image here


December 10 - Special Traffic Enforcement Officers Bill in Baltimore City

City of Baltimore Council Bill 13-0262 - Special Traffic Enforcement Officers (STEO) – Citywide Jurisdiction was voted upon favorably. Click here to view bill.

Carol Silldorff, Bike Maryland Executive Director, testified that allowed use of STEOs will provide opportunities to increase bicycling in Baltimore as this will reduce costs for groups like Bike Maryland and Be More Streets for People to open streets for bicyclists that are free of motorists during special events. This will allow families, children, new and experienced bicyclists to enjoy riding on streets without any potential vehicle conflict. Bicycling reduces congestion, pollution, obesity related diseases and betters the economy through increased tourism dollars!

Reducing costs that are associated with bicycle related events is an important step in promoting a bicycle friendly Baltimore.  We thank the Council, Department of Recreation and Parks, Police Department, and the Department of Transportation for supporting this important legislation.


December 6 - Four Things US College Towns Could Teach Planners about Biking

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that college towns are even better at encouraging bicycle commuting than the most notable big cities (Portland, Seattle, etc); even when excluding commuting for school. What is their secret?

Bike Maryland's Bike Friendly Maryland program has an upcoming Bike Friendly University Program we are hosting at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland on January 16, 2014. Come see how you can improve your school's bicycling conditions!

Read more here. (BikePortland.org)


December 3 - The Benefits of Bicycling

By Gill Penalosa

Summary: "The use of the bicycle as a mode of transportation has multiple benefits to the environment, economic development, recreation, public health, as well as for transportation.

Considering that we are facing a kind of “perfect storm” with global warming, economic crisis, traffic congestion and an obesity epidemic, we must change the way we live. Cycling can and should be a part of the solution connecting places of origin to destinations, and also as a link to public transit. It must be safe for all, especially for our must vulnerable citizens: children, older adults, and novice riders."

With support from the Columbia Association, Bike Maryland previously developed three public forums with Mr. Penalosa in Maryland.  He is a remarkable man and we hope you will review this document.

Read more here


November 25 - Manslaughter Bill - No Charge

Devastating news after all the work performed to get the manslaughter bill passed in the case for Trish Cunningham a mother & avid cyclists whose life was taken by a motorist while riding her bicycle this past summer: the grand jury determined  this past Friday that there was no probable cause to charge the driver with Criminally Negligent Manslaughter and that traffic tickets would suffice.

Read the full article as published by The Washington Post here.


November 15 - Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan

MDOT is pleased to release the Draft Twenty-Year Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for public review and comment. The draft plan is available here

The public comment period will remain open until December 10, 2013.


November 8 - Maryland U.S. Bike Route 50 Approved (updated Dec 1)

* Update to the listing below, from Michael Jackson:

"The article this was taken from incorrectly states the boundaries of US Bike Route 50. It is actually about 20 miles longer. The route extends from the DC line to the PA state line via the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage Trails. The route does not end in Cumberland but continues along the GAP trail to the PA state line."

"U.S. Bicycle Route 50 follows the established Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park through Maryland. Located along the north bank of the Potomac River, the 184.5-mile canal towpath originates in Washington, D.C., then arrives in Cumberland, Md."

Read more here.


October 28 - New Law Enforcement Bicycle Safety Video

Bike Maryland is delighted to announce the new police video to educate police throughout Maryland regarding bicycle laws and the best way to reduce crashes and fatalities. We recommend that you view this highly educational video and share it with both motorists and bicyclists. Bike Maryland partnered with the Maryland State Police, Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Motor Vehicle Association, Cycle Maryland to produce this video. 

Click here to watch the video.

We would like to give special thanks to John Brandt, Bicycle Coordinator University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services,  Michael Jackson, Department of Transportation Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, and Michael Sonnenfeld, Bike Maryland Board Secretary.


October 18 - A Formal Maryland Complete Streets Policy is Developed

By: Gregory Slater
Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering
Maryland State Highway Administration

Bike Maryland has been working to promote the development and implementation of Complete Streets on the state and local level throughout Maryland. The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, or bus rider.

Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.

Instituting a Complete Streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

Click here to view "Understanding Complete Streets within MDOT’s  Maryland State Highway Administration"


October 16 - SHA " We’re on this road together, expect and respect"

We’re on this road together, expect and respect is the theme of SHA’s new bicycle safety education effort geared to both drivers and bicyclists.  In an expansion of past “Share the Road” efforts, the new campaign issues a plea to both drivers and bicyclists to follow the rules and laws of the road and anticipate the needs of each other.  Bicycle safety is a two-way street – the safety of bicyclists not only depends upon the bicyclist, but the drivers with whom bicyclists share the road. Bicycles are less visible, quieter, and don’t have a protective barrier around them.

Read more here


October 15 - Amtrak Roll Will Test Roll-On Bike Service - Update 12/6/13

Amtrak, working with the Virginia Bicycle Federation, has agreed to a test of roll-on bike service on the Capitol Limited from Pittsburgh to DC this Tuesday. Please note: all of the available bike racks have been filled on the test train but if you would like to see how the racks work, please join for the demonstration at Union Station. The Capitol Limited arrives at approximately 1:10 p.m. Champe Burnley, President of VA Bicycle Federation states, "We're excited to have this opportunity to work with Amtrak to test roll-on service and look forward to increasing travel options for our citizens."

For real time tracking click here.

UPDATE from 12/5/2013: 

Amtrak has agreed to form a national task force to review roll-on bike service.  The task force will be composed of representatives from national and state level bike groups, rail passenger reps, state DOTs and, of course, Amtrak.  Our initial focus will be on routes east of Chicago.

"The roll-on issue has a lot of moving parts: there are a number of logistical, financial and equipment issues to solve but the outlook is very encouraging.
Here are some background articles detailing how Bike VA got to this point.

http://www.vabike.org/bike-test-amtrak-capitol-limited/
http://www.vabike.org/amtrak-roll-on-task-force-thanks/
http://www.vabike.org/bikes-amtrak-ordeal/
http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/positive-amtrak-news/

Our most sincere appreciation and aknowledgement to Champe Burnely, President of VA Bicycling Federation for his involvement and encouragement for this connectivity! 


Bike Maryland partners with the University of Maryland Carey School of Law (Maryland Carey Law)

Bike Maryland is working with the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at Maryland Carey Law to better understand what bicycle safety laws might improve cyclist safety in Maryland. The LRC will research all Maryland statutes and regulations that relate to bicycling/bicycle safety and compare what Maryland does and does not have in place with those approaches implemented in other jurisdictions that have been successful. The LRC will then translate these statutes and regulations into more user-friendly and understandable terms, with the goal that non-legally oriented persons can easily understand them. The information will then be published on the Bike Maryland website. Furthermore, the group will research all ordinances in each Maryland County, as well as Baltimore City, that pertain to biking and bike safety.

Additionally, the group is determining what states have legislation clarifying that it is legal to cross the double yellow line, when safe to do so, to give a bicyclist 3 feet of passing distance. Bike Maryland worked successfully in pursuit of a 3 foot passing distance law. We will also learn if any other states or localities, in addition to Pennsylvania, have a 4 foot passing law.

Bike Maryland looks forward to the LRC research findings! We profusely thank Kathleen Hoke (Maryland Carey Law Professor and LRC Director), Erin Penniston, (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Grant Program Manager who brought this partnership to fruition), Will Tilburg (LRC Deputy Director), Brett Baulsir (LRC Legal Fellow), Travis Chance (3rd Year Law Student), and Emma Currin (3rd Year Law Student).


October 8 - Kamenetz Announces 23 Miles of New Bicycle Routes

Bicycle riders in Baltimore County will have over 23 miles of new bikeways thanks to $229,600 in grants awarded to Baltimore County from the Maryland Department of Transportation Bikeways Program. "In this era of high gas prices, traffic congestion and a renewed emphasis on physical fitness, designating bike routes really make sense," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "We thank the State for its support of our growing network of trails and bikeways." New or expanded bicycle routes are planned for Dundalk, Towson, Lansdowne, Baltimore Highlands, Woodlawn, Catonsville and Arbutus.

Improvements The improvements are based on current pedestrian and bicycle access plans, and include striped bike lanes, bike route signs, and "share the road" pavement markings. The Baltimore County departments of Planning and Public Works will be meeting with community groups to review and refine each community's improvements before implementation. 

Press release here

Read the full article here.


October 8 - Secure Bicycle Parking In Baltimore City

Thanks to the Department of Transportation and Parking Authority, new secure card-access bicycle parking is now available in the Lexington Street garage in downtown Baltimore City. Monthly contracts are now available (which include car parking for a limited number of days each month) and day passes are coming soon.

Applications for the parking spaces are available here.


October 8 - Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Recent Charges In Distracted Driving Bicyclist Fatality

AAA Mid-Atlantic (and Bike Maryland) applaud the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office for their announcement that it has charged 20-year-old Elizabeth Haley Meyers, of Severn, MD with vehicular manslaughter, criminal negligent manslaughter, reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to yield right of way and text messaging while driving in connection with a fatal crash that occurred in Gambrills this March.

Based on preliminary Maryland motor vehicle crash data for 2012, approximately 58 percent (52,136) of the 89,655 total vehicle crashes involved a distracted driver, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office. Nearly half (246) of the estimated 511 total fatalities on Maryland’s roads in 2012 were due to a distracted driver.  Approximately 64 percent (28,515) of the estimated 44,027 injuries statewide were the result of crashes involving a distracted driver.

For complete press release from AAA Mid Atlantic, view here


$3 Billion in Transportation Investments Open for Comment Through October 18

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Baltimore region, seeks public review and comment through Friday, October 18 on $3 billion in funding detailed in three major transportation documents: the 2014 - 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP); amendments to Plan It 2035 - the region's long-range transportation plan; and an Air Quality Conformity Determination. 

Those interested in commenting on the projects may do so publicly during the following Baltimore region meetings:

Tuesday, October 8th 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Owen Brown Community Center (800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia)
Thursday, October 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Towson Public Library (320 York Road, Towson)
Thursday, October 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Patterson Park Enoch Pratt Library (158 N. Linwood Avenue, Baltimore)
Tuesday, October 22 at 9 a.m. BRTB meeting, Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Comments may also be submitted by mail to the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board, Offices @ McHenry Row, 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230; by fax at 410-732-8248; by email; or by tweeting @bmoreinvolved or @PlanIt2035, #BRTBlistens.

Click here for more info.


Howard County Police Offer Free Bike Registration System

Register your bike with the Howard County Police Department. This is a free service for Howard County residents allowing you to manage your bike information and report a stolen bicycle. Upon registration, the Department will mail the resident an assigned serial number to identify their bicycle.

Learn more and register here.


Tell the State's Attorneys that Killing on the Roadway should have Consequences

Two years ago, at the urging of a coalition of bicyclists and motorists, Maryland created a new crime: Vehicular Negligent Homicide, which allows prosecutors to seek criminal penalties when a sober-but-aggressive driver causes an accident that kills someone. Bike Maryland worked for 7 years with our partners, AAA Mid Atlantic, the Washington Area Bicycle Association (WABA) and many other bicycle enthusiasts to bring this law to fruition. The Maryland legislature put the 2011 criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter law on the books to fill a glaring gap between gross negligence and traffic offenses. To our knowledge, no one has yet prosecuted a driver who killed a cyclist under this new statute, but Anne Arundel County should do so following the death of Patricia Cunningham, an Annapolis high school coach who was killed last week on Riva Road.

Click here to send a letter to the State's Attorney's Office.

The Maryland General Assembly created the offense of criminally negligent vehicular homicide with a maximum sentence of three years for precisely this sort of case.

With a possible crime and a reluctant prosecutor, the tie breaker for prosecutorial discretion may be public comment. What bothers citizens more: The possibility that aggressive driving might land you in jail? Or that killing someone doesn't land you in jail? Your preferences only matter if you speak up.


The Return of Neighborhood Bicycle Shops: A Sustainable Community Indicator

Friday, May 17 2013

Biking in Maryland - "The communities that embrace the bicycle and all the goes with it NOW will be the successful communities of the next generation." -- Alex Obriecht, President Bike Maryland & Race Pace Bicycles

http://smartgrowthmd.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/spoke-shops-signal-smart-growth/


The Many Merits of Cycling Infrastructure

By German Lopez · May 2nd, 2013 

To cyclists, it’s a given that Cincinnati desperately needs more bike lanes. But recent research shows bike lanes don’t just pose advantages for cyclists; they can also help local economies and public health.

Anyone who’s traveled downtown on a bicycle can attest to how scary the roads and sidewalks can be at times. Cyclists know cars and pedestrians will rarely accommodate anyone on a bike, even a person who’s just trying to get to work, go to a bar or exercise. Not only can that lead to injuries, but it can also diminish cyclists’ will to go out altogether

Read full article here.


Salisbury, State Formalize Bike Path Details

Using inmate work crews to save money and a $90,000 grant for signal light for a trail crossing... just a couple of highlights.  Full article here.


What drivers should know about sharing the road with bicyclists

By Ashley Halsey III, Washington Post

10 things every driver should know about sharing the road with cyclists:

  • You look for pedestrians when you’re making a turn, right? Why not take a couple of seconds longer to look for a cyclist? The rider has the right of way if he’s going straight and you’re turning right.
  • The bike lane serves a purpose, and it isn’t for you to park in, even for “just a couple of seconds.” When you do that, cyclists have to swerve into traffic lanes — lanes in which drivers don’t expect them because there is, after all, a bike lane.
  • You may never feel more powerful than when your foot’s on the gas pedal, but if you are at fault in a collision with a cyclist — even if you just “brush” against the biker — you might lose your driver’s license for a while and your private auto insurance forever. You could be looking at criminal charges, too.
  • Riders go through stop signs. It’s illegal, and it can be annoying if they do it cavalierly. Other cyclists slow down, look both ways and then roll through. Usually it’s because their shoes are mechanically attached to the pedal. Yes, they can clip out, but they opt not to.
  • Don’t count on a cyclist to hear your car coming from behind. A rider is hearing a lot more noise than you are inside the car with the windows rolled up. And some foolishly listen to music while they ride. But don’t lean on the horn.
  • Wonder why that bike rider stays five feet away from the row of parked cars as you’re trying to navigate a narrow street? Cyclists call it being “doored.” If someone swings open the door of a parked car, the cyclist who is too close goes down. With many drivers pausing to check text messages or finish phone calls before they get out of a car, there’s no telling when a door will pop open.
  • It would be great if every street had a bike lane and every road had a wide shoulder, but they don’t. Even when they do, there are things that you might not notice that push cyclists into the traffic lane. It’s stuff you roll over — potholes, sewer grates, pavement cracks, branches, broken glass, junk that falls off cars or out of trucks and the McDonald’s bag somebody tossed out the window.

Please view the full article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/what-drivers-should-know-about-sharing-the-road-with-bicyclists-and-vice-versa/2012/09/15/4b8c9426-fe72-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_story.html


Hiking or Biking the Gwynns Falls Trail? We’ve Got an App for That!
Contributed by: B' Spokes

Now available at the iTunes store. The Parks & People Foundation teamed up with International Mapping to create this interactive navigation application now available from itunes. We surrounded a detailed trail map database with a variety of navigational tools and personal customization features to help make your next visit along the trail more enjoyable, memorable and fun. Click here to read more

Read the full article at http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20120916171356611


Comments Sought On Regional Transportation Improvements

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board is currently accepting comments on amendments to the 2012-2015 Transportation Improvement Program for the following through September 17, 2012 (unless otherwise indicated). Learn more here.


More bicyclists means fewer accidents, Philadelphia finds!
By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer

As the number of bicyclists on Philadelphia streets has risen, cyclists and city officials have seen a counterintuitive result: The number of bike crashes and deaths has declined.

This "safety in numbers" phenomenon has been documented elsewhere, and safety experts believe it is because motorists become more alert to cyclists when there are more of them.

Since 2002, the number of cyclists on many Center City streets has more than doubled, according to tallies at key intersections, and the percentage of bike commuters has also doubled. In 2002, there were six bicyclists killed in accidents with motor vehicles; last year, there were two such deaths.

Traffic crashes involving bikes in Philadelphia have fallen from a high of 1,040 in 1998 to 553 in 2010.

"Where cars expect to find bicyclists and pedestrians, drivers are more cognizant of cyclists and pedestrians," said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. He cited a study in Portland, Ore., that found a doubling of the number of bicycles reduced the crash risk by one-third.

"I know I get better treatment now than I did 10 years ago, or even five years ago," Doty said. "Drivers have a better idea what to do. Though there is still quite a bit of room for improvement."

The correlation was reported in 2003 by the medical journal Injury Prevention, when it published what it called an "unexpected result" of a safety study: The likelihood of a cyclist or pedestrian being hit by a car "varies inversely with the amount of walking or bicycling."

The journal's study concluded that "policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling."

In Philadelphia, the Nutter administration has created dozens of bike lanes and bike routes, trying to carve out more space for cyclists in a city not known for its bicycle bonhomie.

The safety in numbers phenomenon "is really playing out" in the city, said Stephen Buckley, director of policy and planning in the mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities. The city has about 220 miles of bike lanes, he said, and the administration hopes to increase that to about 300 miles.

The city's goal is to boost the percentage of commuters who travel by bike from the current 2 percent to 5 percent by 2020 and to reduce injuries and fatalities by 50 percent.

If more biking means safer biking, safer biking is likely to produce more biking.


Pedestrian fatalities comprise about 20 percent of all traffic deaths in Maryland. Drive Like Their Lives Depend On It - Be Street Smart!

Street Smart, a periodic public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign, was launched in the Baltimore area in the fall of 2009. The campaign emphasizes safety and obedience to existing laws by everyone who shares public streets and sidewalks – drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. The Street Smart campaign in the Baltimore region is coordinated by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council with support from the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Maryland Highway Safety Office.

Learn how to be Street Smart at BMoreStreetSmart.com


The Future of Bike Sharing

Bike sharing seems to be positioned as the solution for smart growth and urban development. But one major problem exists with these large-scale systems: the price tag. The District's Capital Bikeshare has required upwards of $13 million to build & install so far, and takes close to $1 million to operate annually.That's a challenge the D.C.-based start-up, weBike, has taken up over the past five years.
 
Read More  (Huffington Post) by Allie Armitage. Co-founder and marketing director, weBike


Provide Key Bike Network Connections
Maryland Department of Transportation

HANOVER, MD – As part of the O’Malley Administration’s Cycle Maryland Initiative, Governor Martin O’Malley today announces 28 winners of the Bikeways Program Grants.  The Maryland Bikeways Program, administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation, was established in November 2011 as a program to support planning, design and construction of projects that create and improve bicycle connections in Maryland to key destinations, like work, school and shopping.  Governor O’Malley’s program is providing $3.13 million for this round of grants to seven counties, Baltimore City and 12 other municipalities for a variety of projects in different stages of development from feasibility assessment and design to construction.  These grant recipients are the second set of awardees announced this year bringing the total to 48 bikeways grant recipients and $5.63 million for 2012.

“I am pleased to see such a great interest in working together to build a more comprehensive bike network statewide that will benefit our citizens,” said Governor O’Malley.  “These grants will help local jurisdictions build key connections that make bicycling a true transportation option.  Bicycling is a win-win for all of us by helping us learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land, improving our fitness and well-being, and enhancing our quality of life.”
The grant winning projects include:  on and off-road bicycle route connections, bike route signage, bike racks and safety improvements. View projects here.

Some of the winning projects are:

City of Brunswick’s bike route, connecting the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal Trail, the MARC train station and Main Street
Baltimore  County’s Towson Bike Beltway, installing bike lanes and bike route improvements
Baltimore City’s downtown bike network, supporting design and construction of a cycle-track and bike lanes
Laurel’s bike connection project, installing a bike lane on Lafayette Avenue and connecting it to the Laurel MARC station
Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County’s Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Trail (WB&A Trail), providing feasibility assessment and preliminary design of a trail bridge over the Patuxent River
Salisbury’s on-road bikeways, connecting Salisbury University and local businesses
Shore Transit on the Eastern Shore, providing bike racks on buses and at key stations

The Maryland Bikeways Program grant applications are reviewed with the goal of awarding grants to support plans and projects that:  maximize the use of Maryland’s existing bicycle facilities, make needed connections and support Maryland’s bike sharing efforts. The Bikeways Program will address key funding gaps for bicycle projects. Program flexibility ensures that the best possible bicycle routes can be developed, by utilizing local and state roads, off-road trails, parks and other available pathways. Through strategic investment in the bicycle network, Maryland and our partners hope both to stimulate the economy and to achieve cost savings for households and government agencies.

Governor O’Malley kicked off his Cycle Maryland Initiative to consolidate and coordinate bicycle programs in Maryland in an effort to make bicycling a true transportation alternative and to encourage more Marylanders to get out and ride. The goal is to support Maryland’s economy, to provide a cleaner environment and to encourage a healthier lifestyle and a better quality of life for all Marylanders.

For more information on Cycle Maryland efforts and great bicycling resources, please visit www.cycle.maryland.gov or contact MDOT, Jack Cahalan or Erin Henson at 410-865-1028.


Baltimore Commuter Rate Increases by 8% from 2011 to 2012!

From May 15 to May 17, during Bike To Work Week, 33 volunteers tracked overall bicycle commuter traffic as well as gender, helmet use and direction of travel. The bicycle counts indicate an 8% increase in Baltimore bicycle commuter rates from 2011 to 2012. A total of 2,763 cyclists were counted. During the period from 2009 to 2011, Baltimore experienced a 40% increase in bicycle commuter rates.

Bicycle counts are always performed at the same intersections and at the same time of day. Counts were collected at Falls Road and Maryland Avenue, Guilford Avenue and Mt. Royal Avenue, Aliceanna Street and Boston Street, Aliceanna Street and President Street, Keswick Avenue and Wyman Park Drive, Pratt Street and Market Place and the bike racks at Penn Station. Results show a 30% increase in bicycle commuters along Pratt Street at Market Place where a total of 173 riders were counted during a 2 hour period. A special thanks to all of the bike traffic verifiers who gathered this important data. The next bike count will take place from September 11th – 13th, 2012.


Patch Newsletter; Editor Tyler Waldman tyler@patch.com

State Approves Grant for Towson 'Bike Beltway'

The grant was among $3.13 million in grants announced Tuesday by the Maryland Department of Transportation.  A proposed Towson "bike beltway" was among 28 projects awarded grants on Tuesday from a Maryland Department of Transportation cycling initiative.

The $100,000 grant will go towards construction and signage on the bike loop around central Towson.

"These grants will help local jurisdictions build key connections that make bicycling a true transportation option," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement announcing Tuesday's grants. "Bicycling is a win-win for all of us by helping us learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, reducing the impact on the land, improving our fitness and well-being, and enhancing our quality of life.”

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, a transportation consultant and former MDOT staffer, said he was "thrilled" to hear of the grant approval. Read article here.


BICYCLE TRAILS IN MARYLAND - learn more here.

There are numerous paved and unpaved off–road shared use trails throughout Maryland. We have listed only a few. Trails are typically under a local jurisdiction, the Department of Natural Resources (state parks) or local recreation and parks agencies.


Google has added bicycle directions and a bicycle layer to Google Maps for US cities! And now some Canadian cities!  Go here to view options.


Dorchester Cycling Guide

Includes suggested cycling routes throughout Dorchester County, from 5 miles to 80 miles. Cycle through unspoiled landscapes and discover beauty and history around every bend. Order your Dorchester guide at info@TourDorchester.org (with the subject line "Dorchester cycling guide") or pick one up at the Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place in Cambridge. More here.


 

Reports

Maryland Statewide Student travel policy survey is completed and can be found at:

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/Bicycle/Documents/School_Survey_Report.pdf Good guide for bicycling enhancements - NACTO: http://nacto.org/print-guide/ Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle and Road Infrastructure: Case Study: Baltimore - View Study. Political Economy Research Institute; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; December 2010

Economic Effects of Traffic Calming on Urban Small Businesses, by Emily Drennen, includes results of Valencia Street Bike Lane Merchant Survey.
http://www.bikewalk.org/2004conference/sessions/28_Business_calm/TrafficCalming_summary.pdf Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business: A Study of Bloor Street in Toronto’s Annex Neighborhood
http://www.cleanairpartnership.org/pdf/bike-lanes-parking.pdf

 


Cities release Bikeway Design Guide

... “The City of Baltimore is proud to have contributed to NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide,” said Khalil Zaied, Director of Transportation for the City of Baltimore. “Having implemented our Bicycle Master Plan over the past 4 years has helped us learn what bike facilities work and what’s needed to get more citizens to choose cycling over driving. Baltimore’s Department of Transportation looks forward to utilizing this design guide as we move continue to promote cycling and alternative transportation.” Read the full article here.


Trail Information

New website for Catonsville Rails to Trails! http://www.catonsvillerailstotrails.org/

Gwynns Falls Trail - Access to a scenic and historic green-way stream valley in Baltimore City - Learn More.


Resources/Additional Information

Problems with vehicles parked in bike lanes? If so, contact: http://www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/AgenciesDepartments/Transportation/Divisions/SafetyDivision.aspx  This issue should be addressed by DOT’s Safety Division (Parking Control) who should be enforcing the new “No Parking in Bike Lanes” law.

Advocacy Advance Report on the economic impacts of investments in bicycling infrastructure:
http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/reports/pdfs/economic_benefits_bicycle_infrastructure_report.pdf

See Advocacy Advance Reports:
http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/reports/  


Amtrak Bicycle Service

Amtrak officials announced that they would begin offering roll-on/roll-off bicycle service on the Capitol Limited by the end of June 2011! This means that cyclists boarding at Pittsburgh, Connellsville, Cumberland, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg, Rockville, or Washington, DC will be able to roll their bikes onto the train(reservations will be required; spaces will be limited at first), put them in a rack, and get off at any of these stops. Amtrak will be retrofitting several cars and needs to work out operational issues before the service can begin. This is great news for all the towns along the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal towpath. This will add a great convenience and extra excitement to tourists who want to bike our great trail system.

Watch for more announcements about this service, but likely not until next spring. Other good news is that the Great Allegheny Passage is closer to completion with the installation of two new bridges close to Pittsburgh ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv8B8aZx_RE).


Bicycle Commuter Resource Guide

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council has completed the Bicycle Commuter Resource Guide for the Baltimore Region. The guide contains an array of information road rules, outfitting your bike, and where to ride. The guide also contains information for employers on how to encourage employees to commute by bike. The guide is available on-line HERE.


Baltimore Bicycling Manual

The Baltimore Bicycling Manual is full of easy-to-read practical advice intended for new bicyclists in charm city, or those who are considering the bicycle as a hobby, occasional ride, commute, or regular mode of transportation. Advice on best practices during inclement weather and night-time riding, suggested equipment, types of bikes you might consider, and even suggestions on taking long-distance bike rides is included in the manual. Download the manual here.