Bike Maryland gathered officials from Frederick County and Brunswick, local business owners, and bicycle enthusiasts for a Bicycle Friendly Community and Business Workshop in Brunswick. A large number of attendees, nearly all of whom ride bicycles for commuting and/or leisure for over 10 years, mingled over refreshments provided by Beans in the Belfry before actively engaging in the workshop. Nestled along the C&O Canal, the city of Brunswick is working hard to improve bicycling infrastructure and access to the town from the towpath for the thousands of bicyclists riding by. Business owners and citizens voiced their desire for signage along the C&O Canal pointing to local businesses, and many desired more commuter education and safety classes for youth and adults. Prior to the workshop, most attendees had not heard of the Bicycle Friendly Community or Business awards, but all were very interested in finding ways to make Brunswick more bicycle friendly!
Hyattsville Bicycle Friendly Community & Business Workshop
Local officials, business owners, and bicycle enthusiasts gathered at the Hyattsville Library last week for the Bike Maryland Bicycle Friendly Community and Business Workshop. With a large turnout, Bike Maryland was pleased to bring together a diverse group of people from Hyattsville and surrounding communities to discuss ways to improve bicycling safety and infrastructure. Over half of attendees said they commute regularly by bicycle and the other half said they ride for recreation and fitness. The workshop featured presentations from Bike Maryland staff and local leaders. The attendees want increased number of bike lanes, signage, family friendly bicycling events, and bicyclist, motorist, and police education on safe bicycling. Ideas kept flowing and a number of people continued their discussion in the parking lot well after the library closed. When asked in a post-work shop poll if respondents were interested in becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community, all respondents said they would like to see Hyattsville receive this award!
Howard County Businesses leaders gathered at the Central Branch of the Howard County Library last Wednesday, July 17th to participate in a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Workshop. With representatives from some of Howard County's largest employers such as Howard County Government, Howard County Community College, the Columbia Association and Merkle, participants learned what it means to create a bicycle friendly workplace and how to encourage and support employees who are interested in riding their bicycles to work. Speakers at the workshop included Anna Kelso from Bike Maryland, President and Founder of Toole Design Group, Jennifer Toole, and Adelline Ntatin from the Healthiest Maryland Program within the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Bike Maryland will follow-up the BFB Workshop with area specific tools to assist employers as they strive towards improving overall workplace wellness through bicycle commuting. This workshop was made possible through a grant from Performance Bicycles and continued support from the League of American Bicyclists.
Concerned citizens gathered in Gaithersburg this past Wednesday, June 26th, for a Bicycle Friendly Community Workshop held at the Quince Orchard Valley Park Activity Building. The workshop included a Bicycle Friendly Community Presentation given by Bike Maryland's Anna Kelso (with support from the League of American Bicyclists) as well as presentations from MoCo Epic founder, Denis Chazelle and Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee Chairwoman, Nancy Breen. Attendees included a variety of interested and concerned citizens from the City of Gaithersburg including the founder of Bike Kentlands Lakelands, and two representatives from the Gaithersburg Transportation Committee. We were also very grateful to have with us Gaithersburg's Performance Bicycles store manager, Mike Mlynarczyk.
The workshop concluded with an open discussion at which time participants were able to exchange ideas and express concerns. Several conclusions were drawn from these conversations; however, it seems that the most current and pressing issue for Gaithersburg is a need to gather and connect a critical mass of concerned cyclists in order to gain the moment needed to become more bicycle friendly. Bike Maryland continues to work diligently across the state in an effort to grow and develop the bicycle friendly movement.
Many thanks to Performance Bicycles for the Better Bicycling Community Grant and to the League of American Bicyclists for their continued support.
Last Wednesday's Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Workshop held at Dawson's Market brought together a diverse group of area business leaders, elected officials, and local government. Made possible through a grant provided by Performance Bicycles, the BFB Workshop focused on encouraging local employers to create a more bicycle friendly workplace for their employees, thereby increasing the number of people in Rockville commuting to work by bike. Beginning with a warm welcome from Councilman Mark Pierzchala, the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, the City of Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee, Performance Bicycles, Dawson's Market and Bike Maryland the workshop included four key speakers. Alison Dewey, from the League of American Bicyclists, gave attendees an overview of the League's Bicycle Friendly Business Program along with guidance on how to become eligible for their national level award. Following Ms. Dewey we also heard from State Farm Agent, Darius Mark and his experience as a BFB award recipient, Katie Jones from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene presenting on the importance (and cost savings) of workplace wellness, as well as from Sandra Brecher, Chief of Commuter Services for Montgomery County, on the upcoming launch of Capital Bikeshare in Rockville. Some of the Rockville area businesses in attendance included Kaiser Permanente, BioReliance Corporation, the City of Rockville, and Montgomery College.
Bike Maryland is most grateful for the support we have received from Performance Bicycles and we look forward to our continued work within the Rockville business community. The next BFB Application cycle is due on June 20, 2013!!!
Bike Maryland's Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) Workshop, held on the campus of Johns Hopkins University, brought together a number of representatives from colleges and universities in the Baltimore area as well as transportation officials at the local and state level. Beginning with a presentation provided by the League of American Bicyclists, the workshop set into motion a forum for future developments in making college campuses more bicycle friendly for students, staff and faculty. In addition to hearing from the League's, Alison Dewey, presenters also included Aaron Roppolo (Maryland Institute College of Art), Greg Smith (Johns Hopkins University, Beverly Malone (University of Maryland, College Park), Dominic Dorse (Performance Bicycles), and Yvette Hess (Bikes for the World).
We are tremendously grateful to Performance Bicycles for their support and to Johns Hopkins for being our gracious host. Bike Maryland looks forward to continuing the energetic conversations and collaboration that began at yesterday's BFU Workshop. Many thank to the League of American Bicyclists, Johns Hopkins University, and Performance Bicycles!
Links to BFU Presentations:
The Annapolis Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Workshop pulled together a diverse crowd of concerned citizens, bicycle advocates, transportation specialists, engineers, and state officials this past Wednesday, July 11th at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center. Working closely with the Annapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner, Iain Banks and the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Maryland put together the workshop in an effort to help the City of Annapolis work toward their goal of becoming a BFC after receiving an honorable mention during the last award cycle.
Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists and Anna Kelso of Bike Maryland opened the workshop with a presentation on the League's BFC program providing background information on BFC criteria and examples of effective applications of this criteria in communities across the country. Anna and Bill also provided feedback from the Annapolis BFC application submitted early in the year, calling attention to very specific key opportunities for improvements in the community.
We were also very grateful to have with us MaryLynn Hinde, Chair of Frederick's Ad Hoc Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), who presented on Frederick's BAC highlighting how they were formed , what they have done since they were formed, and how these efforts resulted in Frederick's recent bronze level BFC award. Many thanks to MaryLynn for coming to Annapolis!
After a brief pizza break, we reconvened to begin brainstorming on specific things Annapolis can do to become more bicycle friendly according to the League's Five E criteria (Engineering, Encouragement, Education, Enforcement, and Evaluation/Planning. From this session we compiled a list of action items to be accomplished in the short and long term. Bike Maryland will continue to work closely with workshop attendees in an effort to finalize a formal action plan and continue working towards a more bicycle friendly Annapolis.
ANNAPOLIS BRAINSTORMING SESSION
- establish a branded bike route and also leverage signage from the B&A Trail into town
- bike boulevards from trails to dock
- connect city, county and state routes (need more coordination)
- more signage on Eastport Bridge (share the road signs)
- address high crash rate on West Street and improve understanding of management (city or state)
- provide covered in-town bike parking and install on-street bike parking on main st (exchange two parking spaces for bike parking)
-establish a Bicycle Advisory Committee within the Transportation Advisory Board
- provide incentives for city employees to use alternative transportation (possibly use CMAQ fund for bike parking)
- establish a History Loop similar to Frederick's (work with Convention and Visitor's Bureau)
- start a corporate bike challenge among state agencies in Annapolis
Evaluation & Planning
- establish a plan for working with local colleges and state government
- provide more adult bike education
- establish a Safe Routes to School Program at Eastport and Germantown Elementary schools
-update the MVA to provide more bicycle education and cyclists' rights to the road
-hold more LCI seminars through
-provide bicycle education to city council
- establish diversion programs
Salisbury BFC Workshop a Huge Success!
With over 60 people present at last night's Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Workshop in Salisbury, MD, the event brought together a wide array of stakeholders from the community as well as the surrounding areas. Those in attendance represented local businesses (both large and small), Salisbury University, local and state government (thanks for making the trip Michael Jackson!), as well as several bike and environmental organizations. We were especially honored to have Mayor Jim Ireton with us. His opening words of support and encouragement set the tone for a productive evening of bicycle advocacy.
The workshop is the result of a combined effort from Bike Maryland, the League of American Bicyclists, and bike-SBY. Together the three bicycle organizations worked to put together an evening aimed at educating the public on the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Community Program, identifying key priority areas in need of improvement in the community, and putting together an action plan as the community puts the BFC process into motion.
Salisbury is certainly not in need of energetic citizens dedicated to making tangible improvements in the community. At the close of the evening workshop participants put together a hefty list of action items to tackle in the long and short term. Bike-SBY founder, Matt Drew, is the spearhead behind the movement in Salisbury and with his leadership we are confident the City will soon become Maryland's next BFC. Please follow developments in Salisbury at bike-SBY!!!
Many thanks to Tri Townsend of Common Grounds for providing his delectable pastries and beverages!