The Cyclists’ Bill of Rights passed the Baltimore City Council at last night’s meeting, giving cyclists some hope that riding conditions are improving. This resolution states:
1. Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.
2. Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.
3. Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.
4. Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure, or kill cyclists will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
5. Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.
6. Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development, and design that enable and support safe cycling.
7. Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.
8. Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the planning and implementation of roadway and transit projects.
9. Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit.
10. Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.
11. Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
12. Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Please thank Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke for introducing this important resolution that improves the riding in Charm City!
In case you haven’t heard, One Less Car is now BIKE MARYLAND! Bike Maryland’s mission is to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions, and provide a voice for all bicyclists in Maryland. Where One Less Car focused on many smart transportation initiatives to reduce auto-dependency, Bike Maryland is focusing strictly on bicycle stuff! (Yeah, I’m pretty psyched about that!)
Bike Maryland is helping promote 4 programs:
- Bicycle Friendly Business
- Bicycle Friendly University
- Bicycle Friendly Community (sure, B’more’s on the list, but Annapolis, Rockville & others could be)
- Bike Ambassadors (Sign up if you want to help promote cycling in your neigborhood)
If you want to get involved, contact Alex Olbriect (new Bike Maryland president) or Carol Silldorff (executive director) at www.bikemd.org
and don’t forget, the Baltimore City Council votes tonight on 3 more bike bills – Complete Streets, Cyclists’ Bill of Rights and Required Parking of Bicycles – 5pm at City Council Chambers
Just when you thought the survey results were complete, I saved the best for last: THE UNIQUE RESPONSES!
While most of the questions on the survey where closed with a limited selection of answers, others were open end answers. I had a few of these so I could collect accurate info from the public on “What the city’s bicycle priority should be?”, “Are they areas/times you avoid riding?” etc.
Some of the open end answers to the “Priority” questions were helpful: bikesharing, boulevards, enforcement, separated bike lanes and maintenance. One answer made me laugh (even though I’m sure it wasn’t supposed too): “We need a better, fearless leader instead of pansy a** Nate Evans. He’s the worst, and he told City Paper he rides the bus. He’s a waste of my money.”
a) What’s wrong with taking the bus? I usually ride my bike from home to the stop & back (if that helps any) and
b) I encourage the ‘better, fearless leader” to step up. Remember, I’m just the bike planner. There’s only so much I can do.
That response was balanced by another: “Give your bike coordinator a hug!”
Other good answers to this questions:
Less bikes on the road
Less crime in city
This question is poorly worded (yes, it was)
For the “Are they areas you avoid riding?” question, some of the unique responses included:
“Neighborhoods where pedestrians throw rocks or intimidate riders.”
“”My children could bike to school if the City Transportation Department wasn’t trying to turn every road in Baltimore into a superhighway for speeding suburbanites!”
Thanks again for all who participated in the bike survey! Your local government needs to hear for you to make sure we’re on the right track, how we can improve and what we can do better. The responses from this survey will help DOT and other city agencies implement the Bicycle Master Plan for the next few years.
So, who took the survey? While names were not solicited to protect the innocent, here’s a general breakdown of the demographics:
- 53% male, 47% female
- 39% 25-34yrs old, 20% 35-44, 17% 45-54
- 47% with a post graduate degree, 38% college grad & 11% with some college
- 30% with household incomes of $100k or more, 21% $50-75k
- While the higher percentage was in the city’s north central, south central and southeast, there was also great participation from Baltimore and Howard Counties (See map above), showing the regional interest in cycling.
Sure, its a little chilly this morning but don’t let that keep you away from the polls! I’m fortunate to have the day off (which is relative since I will end up doing work later on today) so after some morning coffee I pedaled over to my polling place and cast my ballot. By biking, I was able to avoid many of the last minute vote solicitors that positioned themselves strategically between the parking lot & school entrance. (I did pedal back to say ‘hello’ to my friends out there with steaming coffee in gloved hands) Thanks to an old galvanized bike rack, I had the closest parking spot the entrance.
As an unaffiliated/independent voter, I only get to vote ONCE every other year so when I am permitted to vote, I jump at the chance! This is a critical year in determining the direction our country will take for the next 2 years. Just as important, the results from today will determine the direction our state and counties take for the next FOUR years. Today you have the opportunity to determine which direction it will be!
GET OUT AND VOTE!
This weekend, there were FOUR (count ‘em) opportunities to ride your bike in a social setting. Critical Mass rode Friday night and Saturday was the (first annual?) B’more Spooky Halloween Bike Ride. Despite conflicting reports of what time the ride actually started, we had a good turn out of 40-50 riders. (Please always check the SOCIALIZR page for accurate info and to help me gauge how many people to account for.)
After being gently heckled by the plaza locals on being members of the Village People, we took the right lane on Fayette and made our first stop at Poe’s Grave. The gate was open & the area well lite which made for a nice start. We continued out W. Lexington and passed a few parties to Poe’s house, then up Carrollton to Lafayette and over to Greenmount Cemetery (I tried getting after hours access, but all the workers there live no where close so it wasn’t happening). Through Oliver and Broadway East we rode to Baltimore Cemetery, the old American Brewery Building and Collington Square. There were no “Eastside v Westside” basketball games, but a nice of town. Down Patterson Park Ave we went to the Lantern Parade. From there, the remaining cyclists went our own way to continue the Halloween festivities.
Sunday morning, the 2nd annual Roland Avenue Cyclovia took place courtesy of the Roland Park Civic League. I took a leisure spin down Roland. It was cool watching the neighborhood come out and enjoy the temporary park: lots of families with kids on lil bikes, dog walkers, speedsters, parishioners, skateboarders, a penny farthing and girl scout cookies for sale.
Sunday night, 80 registered racers participated in Halloween! The Alley Cat race. Glad to hear everyone made it back safe. Look for a Spring 2011 race!