The Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow evening (September 20th) at 6pm in the Planning Department’s Conference Room (8th Floor 417 E. Fayette St)
Please send agenda items to Nate Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Penny Trounter
by Fran Horan, APL Cycling Club President
The League Of American Bicyclists announced today at Interbike the Fall 2011 Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Award winners. The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory has won a ‘Bronze’ award.
155 BFB applications were received this round, including Microsoft, General Mills, and Random House. It appears that APL may be the only large business in Maryland with an award. Also, most of the other Maryland winners are in the bicycle industry. So I think APL is pretty unique in comparison to other businesses in Maryland.
APL’s award, APL’s Building 200 opening, and Howard County’s first bicycle master plan startup anticipated this fall, are simultaneous investments that will help get people interested in bike based transportation, which will lead to returns in better health and less car parking demand. In addition, the opening of the nearby Robinson Nature Center last week adds to the list of Fall 2011 environmental events in Howard County.
Special thanks to those who do the ‘heavy lifting’ to make the campus and work environment bike friendly which is why the award was granted. The major supporting elements at APL are showers, locker rooms, secure bike parking, the cycling club, and the personal fitness financial incentive. The group that proposed the idea of applying for the award, and then worked on the application are listed below, thanks for all your help ! Finally, thanks to you who responded to the application review survey.
Yesterday morning, bike counts began across Baltimore. DOT is gauging the increased bike traffic and setting baselines at 8 locations around town. From initial reports in, Baltimore continues to experience more bikes on the road during commuting hours than years past! While DOT is tracking numbers, direction of travel, helmet use and gender of cyclists, there’s more going on with these counts.
I met Penny Troutner at the corner of Aliceanna & Boston St Tuesday morning. While one cyclist paused for the pedestrian signal across Boston, he shared with us his cheery outlook on life even when things didn’t turn out the way he hoped. Riding in towards downtown, I met a young woman stopped at the red light. “I really should wear a helmet,” she expressed. “At least you’re out riding and not sitting in traffic.” Meeting Gary at Fleet & President, you could tell the cyclists that knew they were being counted by the expressive smiles, waves, thumbs up and nods. Tweets have been popping up as well: I got counted!
Yesterday afternoon, I camped out at Maryland Avenue and Lanvale St. Leaning against the bridge parapet, the air was filled with the smell of honeysuckle, warm rubber and creosote waifing up from the Penn Line. A perfect late summer day in Baltimore! In the 2 hour span, 116 bicyclists rode by! While there was a steady flow for most of the time, a rush hit at 5:15 that made me think I was in Portland or Amsterdam. It was difficult to keep track: “Male cyclist, westbound on Lanvale. Female cyclists, northbound on Falls. No helmet. Helmet”
It still amazes me how much gear and baggage folks can strap on for their ride. I saw a few riders that looked like overloaded Sherpas on an extended Himalayan trek – with and without panniers. There were also quiet a few musicians pedalling with guitars and other instruments across their backs. With Baltimore Bicycle Works being right around the corner, I witnessed two people at different times walking their bikes toward the shop. 15/20 minutes later, they were pedalling away!
I’ll be out there again in a couple hours! Safe ride home all.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are finally clearing out today. The forecast for the next 3 days is sunny with highs in the lower to mid 80s: Perfect weather for bike commuting and counting bike commuters!
Counts will take place at Falls & Maryland, Guilford & Mt. Royal, St Paul & Centre, Aliceanna & Boston, Fleet & President, Wyman Park & Keswick, Frederick & Athol and Frederick & the Gwynns Falls Trail.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to vote tomorrow!
I was leaning against a drafting table reviewing plans when I heard the report of a 2nd plane hitting the Towers. My wife was then 4 months pregnant with our first child who would be growing up in a completely different world than we did. As I was working on all manner of highway widening projects at the time, it became increasingly difficult to go to work. The Cold War was scary enough, and things definitely changed on that Tuesday morning, but for many it just became the ‘new normal.’
Despite this national tragedy, our transportation policies were still based on the needs of single-occupancy vehicles. In the early 70s, when Middle Eastern oil was embargoed to countries that supported Israel, European countries transformed their landscapes to improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users. This change not only decreased car & oil dependence but improved public health. With less cars on the road, street space was used for public plazas and increased commerce. The Dutch and Danish only needed one national crisis to change their patterns. With 9/11, another war with Iraq, gas price gouging after Katrina and the BP oil spill, America has had 4 crises in the past decade, yet we stay the auto course. Are we so committed to a machine that we ignore dire warnings to change our habits? Our resistance is about our love for cars and our societal addiction to cheap oil.
In the years following 9/11, bike facility development increased across the U.S. to offer inexpensive transportation options, reduce foreign oil dependence and fight obesity. Instead of encouraging cycling, all manner of Americans fight it: Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, urban and rural from Prospect Park to Monroe St. In addition to the anti-bike infrastructure attacks, security policies emerged against bicycles. The Department of Homeland Security decreed that all bicycle racks must be moved away from any airport or rail stations due to the threat of bike bombs. Yes, bike bombs do happen in the world, but at Penn Station? Following the bomb threat logic, parking garages should be moved much further from any transportation hub as much more C-4 can fit into a car than a bike.
Ten years later, my wife and I are blessed with 3 kids. Last week, we were all playing in the street, riding our bikes. My younger son is right on the cusp of riding sans training wheels. He was encouraged by his older brother: “You can do it , buddy. Riding your bike is freedom!” Maybe my generation and older doesn’t get it, but at least my kids are getting it! There’s hope for us yet.
With the past few days rain of biblical proportions, have you sought other transportation options? How about the Charm City Circulator? Sure, its a great, free and dry ride, but should it always be free?
Help the Department of Transportation determine if a fare should be associated with rides on the Circulator by taking this quick survey
Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts is keeping the bike parking spirit alive. At the Baltimore Book Festival, bike parking will be available at the corner of Charles & Centre Streets. Signup to volunteer for the bike parking
As Artscape and the Grand Prix are proving to non-riders: When streets are closed, bikes are the best way to get around. Next year’s Grand Prix will need more bike racks for sure…
Thanks to all the bike traffic verfiers who signed up for the counts on September 13th – 15th. We still have locations and times that need volunteers; even the uber popular Falls/Maryland and Guilford/Mt Royal intersections. If you have sometime available to count bikes, please let me know.
Bike Maryland’s Tour du Port is only 4 weeks away! The early bird registration has been extended to TOMORROW, Tuesday, September 6th. Bike Maryland needs over 100 volunteers to make this event a success! If you are interested in participating as a volunteer, please contact Christina Nutile.