Monthly Archive for January, 2011

99 Racks on the Street!

As DOT moves forward with installing more racks across the city in 2011, I did an inventory of how many bike racks were put in the street in 2010.  99 bike racks!  (You could almost put it to a tune)

That’s not a bad number for Baltimore.  It’s not Chicago’s 1000+ racks in a year, but we’re making progress.  Some places that got racks last year were:

  • Jack’s Bistro in Canton
  • The Helping Up Mission
  • Sly Fox Pub
  • Waverley Ace Hardware
  • City Neighbors Charter School
  • Kromer Hall
  • Ottobar
  • and the Walter’s Art Gallery

So far, we’ve verified another 35 racks to hit the streets within the next couple months!  Thanks everyone for the requests!  Keep ‘em coming!

Bike Ride & Lunch

“Smarter Way to Get There Bike Ride” along the frozen harbor

We took advantage of the break in the weather for the second “Smarter Way to Go” bike ride & lunch sponsored by the Waterfront Partnership.   It was a balmy 45 degrees so we spun around the Harbor, Federal Hill and Locust Point and back to Harbor East.  Talara provided lunch with soup, salad and a killer spicy crab ceviche.

Look for the next ride & lunch in March!
Thanks to Beth Laverick for putting the event together!

Winter Bike Counts Complete!

Last week, 20-25 volunteers took to the cold, winter streets to verify Baltimore’s bicycle traffic.  Counts were taken between 7:30 and 9:30 am and from 4 pm to 6 pm Tuesday, January 11th through Thursday, January 13th.  Locations of the counts were at Falls Rd & Maryland Ave, Guilford Ave & Mt. Royal Ave, Aliceanna St & Boston St, Frederick Ave & the Gwynns Falls Trail.

If you didn’t notice, there was a little snowstorm on Wednesday which kept some folks from riding to work. 

So, here’s the data:

  • 287 bikes were counted in the 3 day period
  • Falls & Maryland (as typical) saw the most traffic, but the highest count per period was at Guilford & Mt. Royal where 28 cyclists passed there Tuesday morning
  • Counts were 13%-43% of September’s numbers, but this should NOT be interpretted as an overall decrease in bike traffic.  These numbers are Baltimore’s winter bike traffic baseline. All future winter counts will be compared to these numbers.
  • Non-use of helmets ranged from 17%-48%.  Why wouldn’t you want to wear a helmet in winter?  Its added protection from the cold, let alone the spills.
  • These numbers are limited to the locations and times of the counts.  When riding around town last week, I saw many people riding that were no where near the count locations.  I’m always open to hearing new count locations.  If you have an idea, please let me know.

Thanks again to our many VOLUNTEERS for being out there counting bikes in the cold!   Tracking the city’s progress through traffic counts can not be done without you!    The next chance to count bikes is coming when its MUCH nicer out:  MAY 10th -12th (during BIKE MONTH)

Ravenstown Bike Ride, Hon

(Note the bike in the upper left)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a serious RAVENS  fan.  While Saturday’s loss to those Steelers will take a while to recover from (like our 2006 Divisional loss to those thievin’ Colts). I got a video from Jim that made the pain a little more bearable.

Check out Jim’s video featuring a little bike tour of RAVENSTOWN with some local music as soundtrack.

GO JETS!!!  (Beat Those Steelers)

2011 National Bike Summit

The National Bike Summit is a three day event with more than 800 leaders of the bicycling advocacy movement and industry attending who converge on Washington, D.C. to share ideas and experiences about how we can make America more bike-friendly. Meetings are scheduled for all attendees with their members of Congress for the third day of the event. Delegates from all 50 states, including local bicycle retailers, industry executives, elected officials and user groups have the opportunity to speak with their elected officials and put in their asks for bicycling.

This is possibly the most important summit to date. On November 2, 2010, we witnessed a political course correction of historical proportions in Congress. The 112th Congress opened on January 3, 2011, and nearly 80 new members of Congress took the oath, making this the largest group since 1992. 

This Congress looks very different. Not only did the bicycling movement lose its biggest champion, Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN), on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, but more than 30 members of the House Congressional Bike Caucus did not return.

This means that the learning curve is high for these new members, and the pressure is on for the 112th Congress to pass a new transportation bill. We are not certain what direction this new transportation bill will take. However, we do know that there is much work to be done in regards to educating the new members on our issues and that they need to see YOU — the nation’s bicycling advocates — next March, in Washington, D.C. Tell them about the bicycle, a simple solution to many of our nation’s persistent problems.

Register for the Summit today here

Bike Ride & Lunch

If you can’t tell by the B’more Chilly Contest and winter bike counts, we’re refusing to accept winter as an excuse NOT to bike. (Although, tonight’s MBAC meeting is postponed)

Next Tuesday, join us in Harbor East for our next BIKE RIDE & LUNCH!  Leaving Katyn Circle at Noon, we’ll take a spin around downtown and have lunch at Talara for only $12.  If you bring your own bike, lunch is only $8.   Lunch includes soup, fire and ice crab ceviche, grilled vegetable salad, grilled chicken salad, and mojito fruit salad.

Space is limited so register early with Beth at

“Counting On Bikes” on Maryland In Motion

I’d like to thank Bruce Wallace of WYPR for his informative program, “Maryland In Motion”  This series takes a look at the different aspects of Maryland’s transportation system.

This week, Bruce covered the winter bike counts going on across the city in his report “Counting On Bikes”, which features local bike advocates Noah Bers, Tim Barnett and Penn Wilbert.

Today is the last day for counts!  Thanks to all who counted and were counted!

The B’more Chilly Contest continues!  We’ll update the standings soon!

Bike Projects Create More Jobs Than Other Road Projects

According to a new report by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, building bike lanes and pedestrian projects, and bike boulevards, create more job per million dollars spent than road repairs and road resurfacing.

The data from this report wasn’t based on Portland, Oregon, Amsterdam or New York City, but BALTIMORE, MARYLAND!   Last summer, America Bikes contacted departments of transportation and public works across the county to participate in this study.   Baltimore’s DOT supplied ample data needed to complete the research and was selected as a case study to the larger national project.

The study, “Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure,” which examines the costs of engineering, construction, and materials costs for different types of projects concludes that, for a given amount of spending, bike lanes create about twice as many jobs as road construction. The difference lies in the varying labor intensity and the ratio of engineering costs to construction expenses across project types. Footway repairs and bike lane signing are labor intensive, meaning that a greater share of the total cost goes to pay people than in material heavy road projects. “Each $1 million spent creating on-street bike lanes directly creates 7.9 jobs and creates a total of 14.4 jobs when we include the indirect and induced effects,” the author, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, writes, “The two categories of road repairs have the lowest employment effects, with 3-4 direct jobs and approximately 7 total jobs created for each $1 million.”

The outcome of Baltimore’s case study should be considered as future projects are determined, especially now as America looks to recover from this recession by funding projects that create jobs.  Maybe America needs to consider actual job creation over ‘shovel readiness’ for infrastructure projects.

Special Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for the post

Winter Bike Counts Underway

Don’t let the stinging Baltimore wind alter your commute!  This week DOT volunteers are out in cold counting bikes at 4 locations.  If you ride by Guilford & Mt. Royal, Aliceanna & Boston, Falls & Maryland or Frederick & Gwynns Falls Trail, say ‘thanks’ to those documenting Baltimore’s bicycle traffic!  (Some hot chocolate would be nice as well).

Even with the pending winter storm, I noticed a pretty decent amount of cyclists on their way to work.  Most of those I passed on bikes had a friendly ‘good morning’ nod (Calvert & Pratt, around the Harbor, Fells Pt).  The nip in the air is going to cut any conversation short.

B’more Chilly Bike Contest is ON!!!

For all you who signed up, get out there and CHECK-IN. You have a month and some change to log in to as many designated bike locations around the city as you can! It appears our contest (and winter bike counts) appropriately coincides with an approaching winter storm.

Be sure to hit:

  • Charles Village On-Street Bike Parking
  • Eastwood-Bayview Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge
  • Lake Ashburton
  • Fallsway Bike Counter
  • Gwynns Falls Trail – Southern Terminus
  • Lanvale Contraflow Bicycle Lane
  • Wyman Park Bike Box
  • Frederick Avenue Bike Lane
  • Lake Montebello
  • Gwynn Oak Bike Lane

and bike shops

  • Light Street Cycles
  • Twenty 20 Cycles
  • Baltimore Bicycle Works
  • Joe’s Bike Shop – Fell’s Point

This week, Tuesday through Thursday, we’re accepting check-ins near this week’s BIKE COUNTS. Check-in near any location near the bike counts happening between 7:30 and 9:30am or 4 and 6pm and we’ll count you!  If you check-in at Lanvale St Contraflow Lane (near 2 count locations), we’ll count you TWICE!