This week offers three very different bike events that do not involve riding (unless you actually ride TO the event). If you want to see biking in Baltimore and Maryland reach the next level, come check these out.
Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee – Tuesday, February 21st, 6pm at the Department of Planning’s Conference Room, 417 E. Fayette St, 8th Floor (Feel free to bring your bikes inside and up to the 8th). Feel free to post agenda item requests below
Maryland Bicycle Symposium – Wednesday, February 22nd, 9am – 4pm, Miller Senate Building in the President’s Conference Center, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD
Presented by Bike Maryland, join an action-packed day of presentation and lobbying on how Maryland is moving in a bikeable direction.
The Founders’ Summit - Saturday, February 25th, 9am – 5pm, Miller’s Court – Cycling advocates have joined forces to create a new advocacy organization to serve the people who bike in Baltimore. Join the Alliance for Biking and Walking with other Baltimore cyclists to help create the strategy and next steps for success.
On a sunny Saturday morning in February 2011, Nathan Krasnopoler, a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, was riding in a bike lane near campus when he collided with a turning motorist and became trapped under her car. Denied oxygen, Nathan eventually died from his injuries. Nathan ‘s family will celebrate his life and honor his memory at a candlelight vigil at the accident site, one year later on Sunday, February 26th at 6:30pm at 116 West University Parkway.
A memorial bike ride will take place from the same location beginning at 5pm. Friends, family and students will light candles and remember Nathan with a minute of silence and then walk three blocks to Charles Commons (Charles and 33rd) for a brief ceremony.
In a not so surprising move, Maryland’s 1st District Representative Andy Harris voted against the Petri/Johnson/Lipinski amendment which would have preserved important funding sources for walking, biking, trails and Safe Routes to School programs. The committee vote was almost along party lines with 27 for to 29 against. That one vote could have made all the difference! Three Republicans deserving recognition for their pro-bike efforts are Representatives Petri, Johnson and LoBiondo
Here’s how Andy Harris’ vote is a disservice to his own district:
1. No Transportation Enhancements (TE) – If you like the Gwynns Falls Trail, Jones Falls Trail or most of the other major trails in Maryland, you will certainly miss the TE program. The Cross Island Trail and coming Harriet Tubman Visitor Center are just two examples of how Transportation Enhancements create jobs and tourism opportunities in the 1st District. TE would be useful in helping Ocean City ‘s plan to extend a bike path the length of the island.
2. No Safe Routes to School – SRTS has been a successful program encouraging kids & parents to safely walk or bike to school. Through education, sidewalk improvements and bike rack placement, SRTS gets kids leading a more active lifestyle. Harris’ vote creates unsafe conditions and promotes a sedentary lifestyle for our children.
3. No Rail Trails – Easton was about to extend some really cool rail- trails following abandoned railroad corridors. Probably not so much now…
4. CMAQ Eliminated – The Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Improvement program helped fund the majority of bike improvements across the country, especially in DC and Chicago.
5. No Traffic Calming – I’m sure Ms. Bevely Moore’s family would like to know that the road she died on could have been improved so others would not have a similar fate.
5. No state or federal support for bicycle & pedestrian projects – Any type of professional review of bike/ped/SRTS projects is now eliminated.
6. No bike/transit connections – The recently completed “Access To Rail” study identifies how to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections to Metro, Light Rail and MARC stations in the Baltimore metropolitan region. With the study complete, local jurisdictions can implement the recommendations, if funds are available.
7. No Bridge Access – Access to the Hatum Bridge was always an uphill fight, but now it looks like the only way to get across Maryland is by driving or rolling the dice on Conowingo.
Thanks to the Baltimore Police Department for their work on this new public service announcement. This video was produced in conjunction with a police training video on enforcing bike related laws.
Cycling advocates have joined forces to create a new advocacy organization to serve the people who bike in Baltimore. Join the Alliance for Biking and Walking with other Baltimore cyclists to help create the strategy and next steps for success.
With other committed stakeholders ensuring the organization’s future success to build a strong, inclusive, cycling community, we will:
- explore what we need from the new organization as cyclists
- learn from strategies and successes of other organizations who have been doing this work for a number of years
- build commonality around how to lead, support, and drive the new organization to success.
Ultimately, we will kick off a new era of cycling in Baltimore, and we hope you will give your valuable time and wisdom to create a strong advocacy organization to serve the people who bike in Baltimore.
Interested? Contact Jeremy Grandstaff for information
Construction of the Guilford Avenue Bicycle Boulevard is progressing on schedule. With unseasonably warm temperatures this winter, crews have been able to complete most of the project. Here’s an update on the project:
- Three minicircles replacing 4-way stops have been constructed at the 22nd St, 24th St and 32nd St intersections
- Corresponding signs and pavement markings for the circles have also been installed
- “Sharrows” have been placed on some sections of the project
- Bike-friendly speed humps have been constructed on the 2600 and 2700 blocks of Guilford
- North Avenue median crossing has been widened
- Bicycle refuge area for northbound cyclists at North Avenue has been completed
- Enhanced pavement markings at the 33rd St intersection
- Wayfinding signs along the route
- Additional ‘sharrows’ and pavement markings on speed humps
Probably THE coolest Tour dem Parks poster yet!!! Mark your calendar for June 10th for this year’s ride.
Online Registration opens Valentine’s Day
Andy says it best here, so let your congressional representatives know
Contributed by John Stechschulte
What’s a mile long, passes through two Baltimore universities, and features a Light Rail stop, the Lyric Opera House, and businesses and non-profits from book stores to the Baltimore Free School? Need a clue? Just a block away, you’ll find the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Penn Station, coffee shops, bars and restaurants. Still need more help? Also in the area are many row homes and apartment buildings, full of people who have chosen to live in this dense, walkable neighborhood.
One last clue: at the eastern end, it connects to the Guilford bike boulevard going north to Charles Village, and the Jones Falls Trail going south to downtown (via the new cycletrack) and north to Hampden. This intersection has had a 130% increase in cyclists in the past year.
If you guessed it’s an interstate highway, you are completely, utterly wrong! It’s Mount Royal Avenue! And yet, when Mount Royal recently came up for a complete redesign, the Department of Transportation treated it more like an interstate than the complete street it should be. They ignored the Complete Streets Bill (passed unanimously by the Baltimore City Council in late 2010) by eliminating bike lanes from the new streetscape design for Mount Royal. The Complete Streets Bill aims to encourage “walking, bicycling, and transit use while promoting safe and contiguous routes for all street users.”
With so much vibrant city life on and near Mount Royal, and with its eastern end anchored by some of Baltimore’s premier bicycle infrastructure, it is hard to understand why traffic engineers want to treat it as if it’s the interstate highway that runs just a few hundred feet to the north. Cars already have that interstate—the residents of Midtown-Belvedere and Bolton Hill, the students of UB and MICA, the many cyclists who already use Mount Royal, and those who want to use it but don’t feel safe deserve a few feet of road to call their own. Bike lanes on Mount Royal will help to build the contiguous bicycle network that Baltimore needs, and will calm traffic to make everyone safer—pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Let the Baltimore City Council, Department of Transportation and the presidents of MICA and UB know that Mount Royal Avenue needs a complete design, including bike lanes by signing the petition. Make sure to comment if you’re a local business owner or if you’re associated with MICA or UB.