The surest sign that spring is right around the corner is that Tour dem Parks is just a few short months away, and that registration is now OPEN! We are already counting down to Tour Day — Sunday, June 12th. As in years past, we are offering four options for routes:
The Family Ride — a laid-back, kid-friendly 12-mile jaunt highlighting the Gwynn’s Falls Trail.
Le Petite Tour — a 25-mile ride great for newbies or those recently returned to the joy of cycling, showing off a nice sampling of Baltimore’s great parks from large to small.
Le Grand Tour — a 36-mile ride through the five largest parks (Gwynn’s Falls/Leakin, Druid Hill, Clifton, Patterson, Carroll) and many neighborhood and street parks.
The Metric Century – our fourth Metric Century ride (64 miles), for experienced riders only, which once again features an all-new route.
Registration is open now at www.tourdemparks.org
(Save some bucks by registering now — our Early Bird rate applies only until May 31, 2011. As an Early Bird registrant, you are also assured of having a 2011 Tour dem Parks T-shirt in your choice of size — this year you specify T-shirt size as part of the registration process to make double-triple sure you get the size you want!
The purpose of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide (part of the Cities for Cycling initiative) is to provide cities with state-of-the-practice solutions that can help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists. Based on the experience of the best cycling cities in the world, this document were developed by cities for cities, since unique urban streets require innovative solutions. Most of these treatments are not directly referenced in the current versions of the AASHTO Guide to Bikeway Facilities or the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), although many of the elements are found within these documents. The Federal Highway Administration has recently posted information regarding approval status of various bicycle related treatments not covered in the MUTCD, including many of the treatments provided in the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. All of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide treatments are in use internationally and in many cities around the US.
While the majority of the project drew from the experience of cities with a long history of bike infrastructure, Baltimore was able to add a few comments to the design guide. The design lessons of the Lanvale Street contraflow bike lane and Wyman Park Bike Box were two modest additions.
“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.”
Last week, bike junkies from across the country gathered in Washington, DC for the National Bike Summit. This 4-day event is an opportunity for advocates, bike shop owners, sales reps, planners, and elected officials to talk shop, trade ideas and visit with members of Congress.
Thursday, the Maryland delegation visited staff from seven representatives and Senators Mikulski & Cardin to express thanks for their support. All federally funded programs are under greater scrutiny to prove a return on investment. Showing how funding bicycle projects is good for the economy, environment, and public health is not a problem. All meetings went very well. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett shared that he would like to see “bicycles be part of the mainstream. They’re not just for recreation anymore.”
If you ride a bike and haven’t gotten a chance to attend the National Bike Summit, I highly recommend it. It’s a great chance have your voice heard in the political process and to learn what other areas of the country are doing to promote cycling.
To promote cycling locally, the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meets Tuesday, March 15th at 6pm in the Department of Planning conference room (8th Floor, 417 E. Fayette St)
The bike racks, one symbolizing a crab, and one a cityscape, are part of a larger city-wide initiative to promote and create more biking opportunities downtown.
“It was fantastic to hear the city wanted to use our bike rack designs for Downtown,” says Alissa Jones, a freelance graphic designer and professor at Stevenson University. “We are so excited to see them installed.”
With these two racks on Market Place, there are now 14 bike racks in this two blocks stretch, not counting the tree guards, signs and railings.
I rolled up Guilford Ave behind a few other riders heading to 39th & University Wednesday evening. Of course we were all heading to the same place. Riding in the bike lane west of Charles, at the end of the line of 4 cyclists, I thought to myself: This could happen to any of us, right here.
A few TV cameras were they to catch the event, and the crowd was greater than I imagined. I’m thankful the rain held off. Penny said a few words: “This is not a protest ride. Not today. Not this ride.” Mitchell Krasnopoloer, Nathan’s father, took the bench to express thanks and encourage a safe ride, today in the future.
Once the ride started, we rolled south on University keeping it tight and to the right, with a news chopper escorting the way. Special thanks to the Baltimore Police Department & JHU Safety for providing support in closing the 39th & University intersection. The 5.5 mile ride ended at Johns Hopkins Hospital with psalms and prayers for Nathan.
Rides like this really show the community of cyclists in Baltimore. Thanks to Penny for setting up the ride & to the leaders, sweepers & guides for keeping the ride smooth.
In yesterday’s meeting with the Baltimore Police Department, representatives from the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (MBAC), along with Council Member Mary Pat Clarke, heard first hand how the investigation was proceeding. This meeting put to rest any rumors or half truths that have been circulating.
Major Tony Brown, who has been working with the MBAC on other enforcement issues, is head of the division which oversees accident investigations. The Major shared with us important information concerning the process of all crash investigations. Specific details of the Krasnopoler case were not discussed as the investigation is open and on-going.
- All accident investigations are reviewed by the Accident Investigation Unit based at Police Headquarters. Please do not call the local precinct inquiring about the investigation.
- Once the investigation is complete, the information is sent to the State’s Attorney’s office that reviews the evidence and works with the BPD to determine if charges will be filed.
- If charges are not filed, a declination of charges is submitted and the case is closed.
- If charges are filled, the State’s Attorney’s office works with the Baltimore Police Department to press charges and try the case.
- Eyewitnesses to the accident are encouraged to call the Baltimore Police Department’s Public Affairs Section at 410-396-2012
The Public Affairs Section apologized for any misinformation that may have come from the police department. The statement that “the driver will not be charged” should have been followed by “at this time.” It is important that the police conduct a thorough investigation.
After the meeting, MBAC and BPD further discussed working to produce educational videos in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland State Police.
Additionally, the Baltimore Police Department has issued this statement on the case:
As the largest law enforcement agency in Maryland, and one that is truly committed to serving professionally, we share your desire for increased awareness on bicycle safety.
As it pertains to the accident investigation of Nathan Krasnopoler, a second-year Johns Hopkins student who was involved in a tragic vehicular collision this past Saturday, Baltimore Police crash team investigators are still conducting an extensive investigation into the incident.
At this point in time, no charges have been filed and it is premature to speculate on potential next steps as the case is still very much open.
Once the police investigation and incident reconstruction is completed, crash team investigators will confer with city prosecutors to determine if any criminal charges are to be filed. Charging decisions are based completely on the facts of the incident, physical evidence from the scene and whether any laws were violated during the collision. Depending on the results of the investigation, additional steps may be taken with the state Motor Vehicle Administration.
We will be sure to communicate the results of this investigation once investigators and prosecutors have completed their review. Should you have any questions or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Police Public Affairs Office at 410-396-2012.
If you haven’t busted out your bike since fall, and the batches of good weather aren’t enough motivation, you’ll have no excuses over the next week. There is no shortage of bike events taking place in, around and for Baltimore.
- Saturday morning, hit the trails at Patapsco Valley State Park for an EARLY BIRD RIDE hosted by Twenty20 Cycling. Meet at CCBC Catonsville at 7am for the 2 hr ride.
- Sunday morning rides leave from Fell’s Pt & Herring Run
- Monday, join Twenty20 at 7pm promoting Bikes Belong and pro riders, including National Cyclocross Champion Tim Johnson. Johnson is riding from Boston to DC for the National Bike Summit. If you want to join the ride to DC on Tuesday, sign up at Bikereg.com
- Tuesday through Friday, the National Bike Summit takes place in DC hosted by the League of American Bicyclists.
- Wednesday evening at 5:30pm, local cyclists are meeting at W. University & 39th St in a show of support for Nathan Krasnopoler and his family. Nathan was struck while riding his bike near this intersection and remains in serious condition. This is not a time for a witch hunt or taking over the streets, but a chance to show Nathan’s family that there are fellow cyclists in this town that care. A short bike ride will leave here at 6pm (Route to be determined)
- Friday, catch the Adventure Cycling Association presentation on the joys of long-distance cycling. The event is free and open to the public at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 East University Parkway at 7pm.
- Check out the EVENTS page for these and other upcoming cool bike events. Spring 2011 promises to be the most bikeable time Baltimore has ever seen!
§ 21-1209.(d) Yielding right-of-way – Unless otherwise specified in this title, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a person who is lawfully riding a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter in a designated bike lane or shoulder if the driver of the vehicle is about to enter or cross the designated bike lane or shoulder.
Thoughts and prayers also for the cyclists in Porto Alegre, Brazil