Music City, Maryland – If you have to find an obscure musical instrument, get a hammered dulcimer restrung or test drive a Steinway, you go to Catonsville. While some of the great record shops are no more, those with a musical knack can make a serious field trip to Frederick Road just outside the Beltway. Catonsville is now being known for its push to be more bike-friendly.
Catonsville will have an expanded Short Line Trail and a new bike route from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to the Frederick Road business district thanks to a $100,000 design grant awarded to Baltimore County from the Maryland Bikeways Program, part of the Governor Martin O’Malley’s Cycle Maryland Initiative. Catonsville Rails to Trails will be providing in-kind services to support the planning and engineering needed to extend the bike trails network.
“Catonsville’s bike trails are a wonderful way for neighbors and families to connect with each other,” said Councilman Tom Quirk. “We’re proud that Catonsville Trails to Rails has been a leader in bringing this wonderful amenity to our community.”
The UMBC spur would tap into the existing Short Line Trail, which serves as the backbone of a growing network of trails and bicycle facilities that link educational, business and recreational destinations in the greater Catonsville area. Key destinations include:
- Charlestown Retirement Community
- Western High School
- Bloomsbury Community Center
- Catonsville and Paradise Village Centers
- Maidens Choice Shopping Center
- Catonsville High School
- Lurman Woodland Theater
For more information, check out Baltimore County’s press release
The Baltimore Bike Party happens through the effort of a small core group of volunteers. When the party started last May with 60 riders, no one expected over 700 riders by August ! What that means, however, is a little help is needed in two areas:
1. Ride Facilitation: corking, mechanical assistance, guiding, etc
2. Party Facilitation: set up, beer dispensing, break down, etc
THIS month especially, volunteers are needed to act as judges for….
the COSTUME CONTEST!
If you are interested in helping us out in any area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much and see you on the 26th!
Thanks to Kate Haberer for this month’s awesome poster.
Sample delicious home-brewed beer, ride your bike, and support Bikemore‘s first fundraiser!
Four of Baltimore’s best home brewers will welcome guests into their homes and serve you delicious home-brewed beer!
You’ll receive samples of each brewer’s beer along the route, along with hors d’oeuvres specially matched to the beer. Then, at the 4th and final house, the party begins! There will be more of each of the beers served along the tour, plus a 5th beer and more food. There will also be a raffle featuring great prizes from Baltimore Bicycle Works, Light Street Cycles, Race Pace Bicycles, and Twenty20 Cycling.
The tour begins at 7:00pm in front of North Avenue Market and will wind through Woodberry, Remington, Charles Village, and end at a private home near Lake Montebello around 11:00pm–guests are invited to stay until 1:00am.
Participants are encouraged to drink responsibly and will be able to leave their bikes at the final location in order to arrive home safely. Participants must also be 21 or older.
Contributed by Nate Evans
Saturday, October 6th was a little known bike holiday: IMBA’s “Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day.” It’s not as widely celebrated as Bike To Work Day, Bike Party or any of the other “high holy days” of the biking community, but it does encourage us to share our love of off-road biking with the next generation of riders. 2012 marked the 8th year IMBA has promoted the worldwide event in getting more kids to ride trails. This event gave me a personal excuse to get out with my three favorite kids to hit some local trails.
Growing up in the Evans household, biking is highly encouraged. While there have been some groans and grumbles in years past about going for a bike ride, 2012 has been a particularly positive year in my kids’ biking progress. All are now riding with confidence and without assistance, which greatly expands our family biking possibilities. Given our surroundings, I’ve taught my kids the basics of urban and suburban riding, being mindful of cars, pedestrians, storm grates, speed humps and other man made hazards to cyclists. I’ve taken my oldest on single track trails for years now, and on the 1st Saturday in October, it was time to share those experiences with his siblings. On the crisp early autumn afternoon, we headed to the Big Gunpowder Trail at the Belair Rd trailhead. It was on this trail that I cut my teeth (and several other body parts) on mountain biking many, many years ago. This is a great introductory trail for mountain biking as its basically flat along the river with good obstacles and a great destination.
Before we hit the trail to Pot Rocks, we reviewed some basic mountain bike rules and etiquette: Yield to pedestrians (especially those with pets), stay on the trail, its ok to ride through mud and shift your weight over roots, rocks and down logs. Not long into the ride, we reached a challenging spot which offered a teaching moment: Finding your line. The ‘line’ is a 2″-3″ wide path through an obstacle where the rider steers to continue the ride. With varying levels of assistance, my kids continued their journey downstream. Further along, we hoisted bikes over downed trees, forded streams, navigated rock gardens and imagined we were riding speeder bikes through the forests of Endor. After bouncing around Pot Rocks, we returned on the same trail where all three rode with greater confidence. Watching them easily handle riding over rocks, shifting stances up hills and finding their line could not have made this dad prouder. The only thing that made this day better was when they said, “When can we go again, Dad!”
The Baltimore City Health Department is starting their second round of meetings with residents in neighborhoods throughout Baltimore to discuss their priority health concerns and conditions that influence health outcomes where they live, work, learn and play. In the first round of meetings residents reviewed the components of the Healthy Baltimore 2015 planand discussed the community’s health priorities.
In these follow-up meetings, the Health Department will work with residents to review results from their first meeting, clarify their top 3 priority health concerns, identify potential resources, and plan for continued collaboration to address their concerns. Improving the conditions for bicycling and walking would help further the goals of several components of Health Baltimore 2015, including Redesign Communities to Prevent Obesity, Promote Healthy Children and Adolescents, and Create Health Promoting Neighborhoods and this is an opportunity for supporters of bicycling around the City to come out and talk with their neighbors and the Health Department about ways to create healthier communities.
- Council District 13 – Tuesday, October 9, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Humanim, 1701 N. Gay Street
- Council District 11 – Wednesday, October 17, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Enoch Pratt Central Library, 400 Cathedral Street
- Council District 12 – Thursday, October 18, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Oliver Community Association, 1400 E Federal Street
- Council District 8 – Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Edmondson Avenue Library, 4330 Edmondson Avenue
If you have any questions about the upcoming meetings or the Neighborhood Health Initiative, please contact Michael O’Leary at 410-396-1064.
With the assistance of 27 local volunteers, the Baltimore Department of Transportation tabulated bicycle commuter traffic at 8 different locations around the City of Baltimore on September 18th, 19th & 20th, 2012. Locations were selected based on active bicycle routes at:
Falls Road and Maryland Avenue (on the Jones Falls Trail)
Guilford Avenue and Mt. Royal Avenue (junction of bicycle boulevard & future Jones Falls Trail)
Aliceanna Street and Boston Street (Inner Harbor to Brewer’s Hill bike route)
Aliceanna Street and President Street (Inner Harbor to Brewer’s Hill bike route)
Pratt Street and Market Place (Future Jones Falls Trail & Inner Harbor to Brewer’s Hill bike route)
Roland Avenue and University Parkway (junction of two bike lanes)
Keswick Avenue and Wyman Park Drive (junction of bicycle route & Jones Falls Trail)
Guilford Avenue and 32nd Street (northern end of bicycle boulevard)
Parked bicycles were also tabulated at two high-demand bicycle parking areas at Penn Station and the Candler Building (111 Market Place)
The results of the bicycle counts confirmed the trend of increased bicycle ridership:
3,002 bicycles were counted
381 parked bicycles were counted at Penn Station and the Candler Building
14.89% increase from May 2012 (up from 2,613)
0.08% decrease from September 2011 as Tuesday, September 18th afternoon featured severe thunderstorms (compared to three fair weather days in September
48% increase when comparing fair weather days this September with sunny days in September 2011 at the same locations
63% increase at the southern end of the new Guilford Avenue Bike Boulevard (when comparing fair weather days this September 2012 with September 2011)
Percentage of woman cyclists is up 2% from 22% in September 2011
Helmet use remains constant at 67% overall
According to the chart above, the greatest increase in cycling occurred where bicycle infratstructure improvements have recently been made . Numbers are up at both ends of the Guilford Avenue bicycle boulevard (at both 32nd Street and Mt. Royal Avenue). As the Jones Falls Trail around the Inner Harbor continues construction, noticable bike traffic increase has taken place at Pratt & Market. These are both examples of “If you build it, they will come” theory in action.
The next bicycle counts in Baltimore will take place January 15th, 16th and 17th.
Join the Baltimore Family Bike Party for a fall ride on quiet streets around historic Patterson Park. We’ll meet at the entrance by the Marble Fountain, ride along Gough and Bank Streets playing spooky tunes, and end with a chance to explore the Patterson Park Pagoda or hang-out at the Patterson Park Playgrounds.
Check out the Facebook event. If you missed the last ride, here’s the video
The Baltimore County County Council has scheduled a public hearing on the
Western Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan:
Monday, October 15, 2012 following the Council meeting which begins at 6 p.m.
(Speaker registration is held between 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.)
County Council Hearing Chamber, Second Floor
400 Washington Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
If adopted by the County Council, the plan will become an amendment to the county master plan. Expressions of support for the plan will aid in the plan’s adoption and future implementation. Please attend the public hearing to voice your opinion. The Western Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan was reviewed and approved by the Planning Board on April 19, 2012. The plan can be viewed here .
The recommendations for bicycle improvements can also be viewed on an interactive map by selecting the Bicycle Facilities tab to the right. The map depicts the recommendations of both the Eastern and Western Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plans. The Eastern Plan was approved by the Baltimore County Council in 2006. If you have any questions about the plan, or would like more information, please contact Kathy Schlabach at 410-887-3521.