“Bike Bills” Update

Yesterday’s work session & vote on 3 of the bike bills went smoothly and with little debate.  Attending the Community Development Subcommittee meeting were Councilmembers Cole, Stokes, Kraft & bills sponsor Mary Pat Clarke.  Several members of Baltimore’s cycling community were present as well.

The 3 bills passed by the Community Development subcommitte include:

09-0175R Informational Hearing – Baltimore Police Department – Police and Cyclists
09-0430 Transit and Traffic – Bike Lanes
09-0431 City Streets – Bike-Safe Grates

09-0175R passed without debate with the official hearing being held sometime in October

09-0430 passed with one amendment citing not only the Manual for Uniform Traffic Contral Devices (MUTCD) for the creation of bike lanes, but also “other nationally recognized standards” which will include NACTO’s “Urban Bikeway Design Guide”.  There was limited debate on the amount of the fine set at $75, (an increase over the proposed $50 fine) whereas a Blocking and Obstructing Traffic fine carries $250.  While the cycling community does support a higher fine, the non-cycling community does not.  Also, Councilman Cole stated that police would more likely write a $75 ticket over a $250 ticket. 

09-0431 also passed without debate.

These bills will be presented to City Council on Monday, September 20th, 5 pm at City Hall.

For more coverage on these bills, visit Baltimore Brew

  • http://www.fitzgeraldbaltimore.com Chris

    Glad to see these pass, it'll be interesting to see if the $75 fine will be more encouraging for cops to give out and the tipping point for those who still violate the bike lane obstruction law. And I notice that the bike friendly grates are only going to be installed when streets are repaved, if that's the case is there a timely repaving schedule in the works? Or will it happen over the next few years?

  • http://bike.baltimorecommutes.com Nate Evans

    I think the $75 fine will help alleviate the blocking of bike lanes and give argument to the “there's nothing I can do” request for enforcement.

    With 33,000 inlets across the city, no set schedule or budget has been established to replace ALL the inlets, Chris. While it has been DOT's policy only to use bike safe grates, this law will expand to DPW and other contractors that do ANY repaving on city streets: BG&E, misc. utilities, developer's agreements, etc.

    In the meantime, especially hazardous grates can be replaced by calling 311.

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