Bmore Bikes You Tube Twitter Facebook Group

Towson Bike Mosey Resumes April 18


April 13th, 2014 | Categories: Events | Post Comment

bike mosey logoThe Towson Bike Mosey returns this Friday, April 18 at 7pm starting from the Baltimore County Courthouse 401 Bosley Avenue.  Details and route are developing on the Facebook event page


B’more Bikes Conducting Candidates Survey


April 11th, 2014 | Categories: Programs | Post Comment

With a documented increase in recreational and transportation bicycling around the state, more cyclists want to know how the biking climate will be affected by the 2014 elections. B’more Bikes is conducting an area-wide survey of candidates’ views toward improving the safety of bicyclists.

This online survey will be available to all registered executive and legislative candidates, regardless of party affiliation in Baltimore City and Baltimore County until May 19th, 2014. Results and non-responses from candidates will be available on this blog before the June 12th early voting period begins. Statewide primarly elections will be held on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014.

To promote fairness in survey availability, all candidates will be notified by email.  As campaign season is very busy, please help encourage those running for office in Baltimore City or County to complete this survey.  BIKE THE VOTE 2014  (Only valid candidates responses will be posted)


Support Bikemore’s “Bike Experience” Program


April 9th, 2014 | Categories: People, Programs | 1 comment

BikeExpThe Baltimore Bike Experience, an after-school bicycle mechanic program program that we run at Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore by Bikemore.   In this program, high school students are given all the tools they need to ride a bicycle or become a bicycle mechanic. In fact, one of the students, Andre,has been  hired part-time at Race Pace Bicycles in Federal Hill!

With donated old bikes, students are taught the mechanics of a bicycle and how to ride safely on the road, then given a helmet, lights, a lock, and the bicycle that they worked on in class. The students are incredibly enthusiastic and committed and given a safe and positive place to be after school one day per week.  For most students Baltimore Bike Experience is a chance to learn real skills to use for fun, fitness, transportation, and EMPLOYMENT!

Support the Baltimore Bike Experience online here


Bike Jobs Now Available


April 9th, 2014 | Categories: Programs | Post Comment

The Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks and Bike Maryland both have bike-oriented job opportunities available!

Bike Maryland is hiring a Bike Friendly Program coordinator. This position manages 12 bike friendly workshops annually to communities, businesses and universities as well as maintains a web presence.  More information is available here.

Baltimore City Recreation & Parks is hiring a Bike Program Coordinator and a Bike Program Assistant.   These positions will run the Ride Around The Reservoir at Druid Lake.  For more information, check out the job descriptions below and contact Marcia Frommer at marcia.frommer (at) baltimorecity.gov.

Bike Coordinator 12 13
Bike Program Assistant


MORE Hosts Project Clean Stream at Loch Raven


April 6th, 2014 | Categories: Events | 2 comments

140405 Project Clean Stream 2

Photo courtesy of Ryan Delaney

Over 50 volunteers made quick work of cleaning 3 miles of Loch Raven Reservoir shoreline for the 2014 Project Clean Stream hosted by MORE.

Thanks to the HUB/ C’ville Bikes and REI for sponsoring the event.


Grassroots Effort For Expanded Herring Run Trail Network


April 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Events, People, Programs | 3 comments

Herring Run under Loch Raven Blvd Insert Trail Here

The Herring Run stream valleys have untapped potential to become an incredible urban trail system

On a bitterly cold January evening in Lauraville, a group of trail enthusiasts got together to discuss how to make the Herring Run Trail much more than what it currently is. Trading ideas while huddled over maps, everyone involved brought a special skill to the meeting: a cartographer, a right-of-way specialist, a trail loving parks employee, a bike blazer, a trail development specialist, a bike shop owner, a bicycle planner, a university community liaison, bike advocates and avid hikers. Everyone also had personal knowledge of the Herring Run stream valley – what’s there and more importantly, what could be there. Before the evening was over, the next steps to creating a world class urban trail system along the Herring Run were set.

Hering Run under Northern PkwyStep 1: Go for a hike! On a similarly bitterly cold January morning, the first group of adventurers met at the corner of Herring Run Drive and Echodale Avenue. The morning’s plan was to hike or bushwack downstream to East Cold Spring Lane and determine where a trail could be developed. Heading south along the west bank, we passed through a ball field, then entered the woods where the deer and local kids blazed a thin trail which crosses a joining stream with an equally thin boardwalk. Running up against steep bank, we crossed to the east side and found a myriad of trails extending downstream to the Chinquapin Run confluence.

Herring Run Mt PleasantStep 2: Document that hike! The advent of GPS has made mapping hikes a breeze! Simply turn on Google’s “My Tracks” and walk. With a little cartographic magic, next thing you know, you can see your map in Google Earth. Add a few waypoints and some field notes and you’re almost ready to present it to Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. (But wait, there’s more) Field notes can include anything that would help or hinder the creation of a sustainable trail system; whether it be noted trail re-routes, brush removal and most importantly, trash removal. Being an urban park, many local residents believe the park to be their personal dumping ground. Such is not the case and needs to be remedied in many areas.

20140208_102710Step 3: Go for another hike and document THAT hike! While the hike from Echodale to Cold Spring was the first hike, it certainly wasn’t the last hike. Since then, similar expeditions have occurred

Points of interest discovered along the way:

Mar 1, 2014 11_13_04 AMStep 4: Present at the Baltimore City Trail Summit! It was determined early on the Trail Summit would be the perfect opportunity to share this endeavor with the public. What started out as a living room full of visionaries quickly expanded with enthusiastic volunteers wanting to be a part of this big project. There is no shortage of work to be done and many hands make light work.

View the HERRING RUN TRAIL NETWORK presentation from the Baltimore City Trail Summit

Step 5: Meet with the Friends of Herring Run Parks As this truly is a community project, bring in the stewards of the parks on Monday, May 19th.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 1, 2 & 3 There are many sections of the Herring Run watershed to explore. Future hikes include

 

Mar 1, 2014 11_10_29 AM

Frozen falls on the Herring Run


MORE’s Clean Stream at Loch Raven, April 5


March 25th, 2014 | Categories: Events | Post Comment

CLEANSTREAM14

Please remember to bring work gloves (we will have some) and plastic grocery bags. Additionally, please wear sturdy shoes/hiking boots. 


Baltimore Trail Summit, March 22


March 12th, 2014 | Categories: Events | Post Comment

Trail Summit 2014The Recreation and Parks Department’s 3rd annual conversation on trails. Are you a trail user, an advocate, volunteer working to improve? Come hear some information on current trail expansion plans and timelines as well as the great accomplishments of our dedicated trail lovers and their efforts to create sustainable trails. This is a great time to hear about various resources available and learn valuable lessons from others working on trails in Baltimore. A perfect event for Baltimore City Trail Advocates to come together. The format is about an hour of of presentations and an hour for networking.


Baltimore County Ped Bike Meeting Tomorrow


March 10th, 2014 | Categories: Events | Post Comment

County PBAC AgendaWhat ideas are you bringing?


Cars Favored Over Bikes in District 1


March 5th, 2014 | Categories: Infrastructure, People | 7 comments

Contributed by Greg Hinchliffe

In 2010, District 1 Baltimore City Councilman Jim Kraft approached the Department of Transportation to develop a plan addressing the increasing transportation demands in southeast Baltimore.  Rather than looking exclusively at a ‘parking plan’ to increase on-street parking availability, DOT began an extensive traffic analysis and community input process to develop the Southeast Baltimore Complete Streets Master Plan (CSMP).  The Complete Streets Plan not only looked at opportunities to provide reverse-angled parking, but also bike lanes, cycletracks, pedestrian improvements and reallocating pavement space for public parks.

A sharrow on Fait Avenue barely survives a utility improvement, but bicycle traffic legally prohibited from continuing eastbound.

A sharrow on Fait Avenue barely survives a utility improvement, but bicycle traffic legally prohibited from continuing eastbound.

By taking both a block-by-block and corridor-based approach, each street evaluation balanced residential preference with how the street functioned within the entire street network. After its completion, the Southeast Baltimore Complete Streets Master Plan received positive reviews from city agencies, neighborhood leaders and residents.  Since then however, none of the recommendations in the plan have been implemented.  Despite crafting the master plan, Department of Transportation ignored the recommendations and continued accommodating city streets only for automobile traffic and parking.

The first bike infrastructure casualty of auto proliferation and parking was on Bank Street in Highlandtown, an integral part of the signed “Greektown Bike Route”, which acts as a bike boulevard-style passage from Haven Street in the east to Central Avenue in Little Italy, in conjunction with paths through Patterson Park.  To complete this route, the Departments of Recreation and Parks and Transportation collaborated to construct a path within Patterson Park, connecting an existing park path to Bank Street and Ellwood Street.  This designated bike route proved to be very popular with neighborhood cyclists, yet it and the proposed traffic calming improvements in the CSMP were ignored in favor of installing reverse angle parking.   DOT’s Traffic Division, which oversees all traffic patterns, pavement markings and signal operations, implemented the reverse angle parking without consulting other DOT Divisions, including the city’s bicycle planner, making a portion of the route unusable. Fortunately, the bicycle planner was able to modify the route to restore continuity, although the new route is less direct and convenient.

A sharrow is ground away, but the “Share The Road” sign remains, which now faces the wrong direction.

A sharrow is ground away, but the “Share The Road” sign remains, which now faces the wrong direction.

This pattern of auto proliferation continued with the eradication of another bike boulevard-type signed route in Canton:  Fait Avenue, which is a vital link in the “Brewers Hill Bike Route”.  Like Bank Street, Fait Avenue was converted from a two-way bike boulevard to a one-way reverse parking corridor.  The two way bike route abruptly stops without any bicycle wayfinding signs.  Again, the route can be modified to restore continuity, but this has not occurred to date, leaving a confusing and possibly unsafe situation.

In a November 14th, 2013 letter, Councilman Kraft has called for a ‘new’ southeast traffic study.  Even though the CSMP accounted for all planned developments in the area including Harbor Point and Canton Crossing, Mr. Kraft is calling for a new traffic study and widening Boston Street to accommodate automobile traffic. No mention is made of accommodating bicycle traffic.  A true Complete Streets vision of Boston Street is planned to coincide with Red Line improvements, but that project will not be complete for almost a decade.  Pressuring City Hall to bump up the widening of Boston Street without any accommodation of bicyclists threatens the intent of the CSMP to make what could be most bikeable area of the city into the least hospitable environment for bikes.

The potential eastbound bicycle route on Foster Avenue, one block north of Fait Avenue, also was converted to one-way with reverse angle parking.  The centerline pavement marking was removed creating a 1” deep groove which is a significant hazard to cyclists.

The potential eastbound bicycle route on Foster Avenue, one block north of Fait Avenue, also was converted to one-way with reverse angle parking. The centerline pavement marking was removed creating a 1” deep groove which is a significant hazard to cyclists.

As the average rowhome in Southeast Baltimore is typically narrower than the length of an automobile, accommodating every household with on-street parking for one or more vehicles is an unattainable goal.  Similarly, we just do not have enough roadway to accommodate moving every citizen of the city and its suburbs in single occupancy motor vehicles. Providing for more walkable, bikeable and transit friendly communities is essential, and can only be achieved after the elected officials and DOT staff understand this basic spatial analysis.

Any further “improvements” to Southeast Baltimore to increase traffic flow or parking must include provision for through and local bicycling, as required by the Complete Streets Policy and Bicycle Master Plan, both of which have been enacted by the City Council and signed by the Mayor. At the least, the loss of bicycle accommodation to increase traffic flow or parking must stop.  Anything else is a disservice to the present and future citizens of Baltimore.

Greg Hinchliffe is a long-time Baltimore bike pest, former chair of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and active member of the East Coast Greenway Alliance.  In other words, Greg’s got serious bike-cred!


 

 


The views and opinions on this website are those of the author and not of the City of Baltimore or the Department of Transportation. For official Baltimore City DOT news, please visit this page.