Posts Categorized in 'Infrastructure'
With reconstruction along Washington Boulevard between Monroe Street and Carroll Park Golf Course, the Gwynns Falls Trail has been detoured over the past few months. The trail is now open with a fresh new asphalt surface in front of Montgomery Park; no more need to cross Washington Blvd and back. Even as the trail is open, use caution when travelling the area. Along the edge of the trail on the southerly side of the railroad tracks. utility adjustments are being made. A manhole was stolen from an electrical vault leaving a ‘pothole’ in the trail. Construction crews have placed a barrel on top of the vault, but barrels tend to move frequently in Baltimore.
If you’re heading outbound (south along Washington Blvd), mind the slight drop-off around the inlet on the right side of the trail. There’s still plenty of space to safety navigate the area; even with on-coming traffic.
As you transition from the trail to the parking lot at the Carroll Park Golf Course, there’s a bollard being replaced. Watch for the exposed bolts in the center of the trail.
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
Dundalk Avenue is a major collector road connecting Baltimore City with Baltimore County. This 3 mile, fairly level road is fed by a host of winding side streets that developed as the area boomed in the early 20th century. The neighborhoods of Bayview, O’Donnell Heights, Graceland Park, and St. Helena all access Dundalk Avenue to travel into the city or the county. With the upcoming streetscape in Baltimore City, a new bike lane will be added to the length of the avenue from Eastern Avenue to the county line at the railroad overpass, just south of the Holabird Avenue intersection.
With improved pavement quality, “Share The Road” signs and shared bike & parking lanes, Baltimore County is already encouraging bicycle traffic along this section of Dundalk Avenue. The latest improvements to Dundalk Avenue included bump outs for pedestrians. These bump outs only extend 6 feet from the curb line, allowing ample room for bike lanes at intersections. The major flaw in this design is the interpretation of the parking lane. Motorists construe the wide lane as extra parking area and park further from the curb. Adding the extra white line and ‘bike’ pavement marking will encourage motorists to park closer to the curb, allowing more road space for cyclists.
As Baltimore County looks for low cost, low impact ways to improve bicycle infrastructure, Dundalk Avenue presents the perfect opportunity.
Over the past four years, the Department of Transportation has been installing bike lanes with select resurfacing projects. While many cyclists object to “stop and start” bike lanes, eventually the lanes connect. The new bike lane on Moravia Park Drive is one such case. Here, the new bike lane connects to another bike lane on Frankford Avenue, which was installed two years ago. A block to the east, the State Highway Adminstration has designated Pulaski Highway as a bike route into Baltimore County, complete with marked shoulders & wayfinding signs. By installing the bike lane on Moravia Park Drive, a small connection is made in the region’s bike network.
Baltimore Department of Transportation will be installing bike lanes on Broadway between North Avenue & Monument Street. An informational community meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 20th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the EBDI Community Resource Center (1731 E. Chase St). Come out to support these planned bike improvements!
The Baltimore County Department of Planning has been awarded a Maryland Bikeways Grant to install bike lane striping and bike route signs along Edmondson Avenue in Catonsville. Together with the existing striping and signage west of Dutton Avenue, the new improvements will provide a continuous bike route from the No. 9 Trolley Trail to the Gwynns Falls Trail!
A citizen input meeting on the proposal will be held Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Fellowship Hall, Christian Temple Church 5820 Edmondson Avenue Catonsville MD 21228
If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact Kathy Schlabach at email@example.com or 410-887-3521.
Also in the county:
The Baltimore County Planning Board unanimously approved the Western Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan on April 19, 2012. The plan has been transmitted to the Baltimore County Council for adoption as an amendment to the County master plan.
Planning office staff thanks the many people who took the time to attend the public hearing held earlier in April. The Planning Board made two changes based on the comments they received. The amendments revised the location of a recommended bicycle route in the Villa Nova community and a shared use path in the Woodlawn area.
The approved plan is available at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/westbikeped.
On National Trails Day 2012, Howard County celebrated an important milestone in making the region a mountain bike destination. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, along with members of the Howard County Council, state delegation, Recreation & Parks, MORE and countless volunteers, sponsors and spectators officially opened the new Rockburn Branch Skills Park. The skills park is a 3 acre parcel of land that is overflowing with obstacles mountain bikers and BMXers experience on the trail. Jumps, tabletops, in-sloped turns and rock gardens are connected by a series of trails where riders of all ages and abilities can challenge themselves.
The skills park is located adjacent to the Pump Track in Rockburn Branch Park, which opened in October. The creation of the pump track and skills park was developed from the perfect public/private/volunteer partnership where each contributed to the success of the park. The idea for the skills park was pushed forward by Melanie Nystrom, who wanted a place where her kids could develop their riding skills. Howard County embraced this vision by donating land. MORE & IMBA contributed volunteer hours, trail building expertise and local construction companies donated materials. Together, the skills park was constructed in less than 2 months! Now that its open, riders can enjoy the skills park, pump track and local trails.
Contributed by Dave Love
In one of the first U.S. studies of its kind, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that bike lanes in Baltimore improve cyclist safety. The study looked at drivers’ behavior around cyclists on roads with and without bike lanes, and the good news is that drivers pass significantly wider when cyclists are in bike lanes.
The bad news is that on roads without bike lanes, drivers had trouble sharing the road with cyclists, which at times violated a state law aimed at making cycling safer. In 2010, Maryland passed what is known as the “3-foot law,” which states that drivers must pass cyclists by three feet or more. The study authors found that one in six Baltimore drivers, or about 17 percent, violated the 3-foot law.
Researcher David Love, PhD, says that, “We knew the 3-foot law was not being followed. Now we have quantified the problem and provided a baseline from which the city can improve upon.”
The researchers found a 20 percent increase in motorist adherence to the 3-foot law for bike lane streets compared to standard streets. Violations became virtually non-existent in bike lanes. Love notes, “these data tell me we need to find ways to separate car traffic from bike traffic, and bike lanes are just one way to do that.”
The study was conducted by a team of six Johns Hopkins University faculty, staff and students who routinely commute to work or school by bicycle. The authors attached video cameras to their bicycles, recording commutes in the Fall of 2011. By translating video footage into data, the study authors documented experiences that others in Baltimore have reported only anecdotally.
The study was sponsored in part by Bike Maryland (www.bikemd.org), a state-level bike advocacy group. Carol Silldorff, executive director of Bike Maryland, says “our organization had hand in the passage of Maryland’s 3-foot rule, so we are glad to support research to assess motorist compliance with the law in Maryland’s largest city ”
The study has not looked at intersections, which is the predominant location for bicycle-vehicle collisions. More research is needed on that topic. “We in Baltimore are on a learning curve,” says Love, who cited Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, and New York City as implementers of innovative approaches to engineering safer spaces for cyclists.
For more information, contact Dave Love, Carol Silldorff and Chris Merriam from Bikemore
or visit Bike Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future
and read the full report here
Is the 3ft Passing Law Working in Baltimore MD