Archive for the 'Biking' Category

BIKE MARYLAND!

In case you haven’t heard, One Less Car is now BIKE MARYLAND!  Bike Maryland’s mission is to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions, and provide a voice for all bicyclists in Maryland.  Where One Less Car focused on many smart transportation initiatives to reduce auto-dependency, Bike Maryland is focusing strictly on bicycle stuff!   (Yeah, I’m pretty psyched about that!)

Bike Maryland is helping promote 4 programs:
 - Bicycle Friendly Business
 - Bicycle Friendly University
 - Bicycle Friendly Community (sure, B’more’s on the list, but Annapolis, Rockville & others could be)
 - Bike Ambassadors (Sign up if you want to help promote cycling in your neigborhood)

If you want to get involved, contact Alex Olbriect (new Bike Maryland president) or Carol Silldorff (executive director) at www.bikemd.org

and don’t forget, the Baltimore City Council votes tonight on 3 more bike bills – Complete Streets, Cyclists’ Bill of Rights and Required Parking of Bicycles – 5pm at City Council Chambers

“Nate Evans is a pansy!”

Just when you thought the survey results were complete, I saved the best for last:  THE UNIQUE RESPONSES!

While most of the questions on the survey where closed with a limited selection of answers, others were open end answers.  I had a few of these so I could collect accurate info from the public on “What the city’s bicycle priority should be?”, “Are they areas/times you avoid riding?” etc.

Some of the open end answers to the “Priority” questions were helpful: bikesharing, boulevards, enforcement, separated bike lanes and maintenance. One answer made me laugh (even though I’m sure it wasn’t supposed too):  “We need a better, fearless leader instead of pansy a** Nate Evans. He’s the worst, and he told City Paper he rides the bus. He’s a waste of my money.”  
a) What’s wrong with taking the bus?  I usually ride my bike from home to the stop & back (if that helps any) and
b) I encourage the ‘better, fearless leader” to step up.  Remember, I’m just the bike planner.  There’s only so much I can do.

That response was balanced by another:  “Give your bike coordinator a hug!”

Other good answers to this questions:
Less bikes on the road
Less crime in city
This question is poorly worded
(yes, it was)

For the “Are they areas you avoid riding?” question, some of the unique responses included:

“Sketchy neighborhoods, there are too many to list, nearly all can be identified with a blue light camera.”
“Neighborhoods where pedestrians throw rocks or intimidate riders.”
“”My children could bike to school if the City Transportation Department wasn’t trying to turn every road in Baltimore into a superhighway for speeding suburbanites!”

Thanks again for all who participated in the bike survey!  Your local government needs to hear for you to make sure we’re on the right track, how we can improve and what we can do better.   The responses from this survey will help DOT and other city agencies implement the Bicycle Master Plan for the next few years.

  

2010 Bicycle Survey Results, Pt. 3

So, who took the survey?  While names were not solicited to protect the innocent, here’s a general breakdown of the demographics:

  • 53% male, 47% female
  • 39% 25-34yrs old, 20% 35-44, 17% 45-54
  • 47% with a post graduate degree, 38% college grad & 11% with some college
  • 30% with household incomes of $100k or more, 21% $50-75k
  • While the higher percentage was in the city’s north central, south central and southeast, there was also great participation from Baltimore and Howard Counties (See map above), showing the regional interest in cycling.

Halloween Weekend Bike Ride Recap

This weekend, there were FOUR (count ‘em) opportunities to ride your bike in a social setting.  Critical Mass rode Friday night and Saturday was the (first annual?) B’more Spooky Halloween Bike Ride.  Despite conflicting reports of what time the ride actually started, we had a good turn out of 40-50 riders.  (Please always check the SOCIALIZR page for accurate info and to help me gauge how many people to account for.)

Tim at Poe's Grave

After being gently heckled by the plaza locals on being members of the Village People, we took the right lane on Fayette and made our first stop at Poe’s Grave.  The gate was open & the area well lite which made for a nice start.  We continued out W. Lexington and passed a few parties to Poe’s house, then up Carrollton to Lafayette and over to Greenmount Cemetery (I tried getting after hours access, but all the workers there live no where close so it wasn’t happening).  Through Oliver and Broadway East we rode to Baltimore Cemetery, the old American Brewery Building and Collington Square.  There were no “Eastside v Westside” basketball games, but a nice of town.  Down Patterson Park Ave we went to the Lantern Parade.  From there, the remaining cyclists went our own way to continue the Halloween festivities.

Roland Avenue Cyclovia

Sunday morning, the 2nd annual Roland Avenue Cyclovia took place courtesy of the Roland Park Civic League.  I took a leisure spin down Roland.  It was cool watching the neighborhood come out and enjoy the temporary park: lots of families with kids on lil bikes, dog walkers, speedsters, parishioners, skateboarders, a penny farthing and girl scout cookies for sale. 

Sunday night, 80 registered racers participated in Halloween!  The Alley Cat race.  Glad to hear everyone made it back safe.  Look for a Spring 2011 race!

Lanvale St. contraflow bike lane nears completion!

On my way to a meeting, I was overwhelmed with joy to see the pavement markings for the contraflow bike lane on Lanvale St. being installed.  Now the signs won’t feel so lonely.  “Hatching” will be installed bewteen the yellow lines to create a buffer for cyclists and sharrows were installed to direct bike traffic to flow with vehicular traffic.  Bike symbols will also be installed in the bike lane section.

Thanks to the cycling community of Baltimore for you patience with this project!

36 Bikes!

That’s how many bikes were parked at and around The Candler Building at 111 Market Place.  Not only does this building house a branch of Johns Hopkins, but also offices of Constellation Energy. These two companies have a very high rate of bike commuters.

A couple years ago, DOT installed 6 bike racks at this location.  Before we finished installing them, people were locking to the racks.  Since then the clusters of bike have grown and multiplied.  John Quinn of Constellation stepped up and purchased 6 more bike racks for the many cyclists in the building.  DOT crews lead by Nelson Jackson installed the racks, but it seems like even these are not enough.  Bikes are still locked to ramp railing, tree guards and sign posts.

In other news, you may have noticed that the new bike lane on President St between Aliceanna & Fleet has already been removed for utility work.  Veolia Energy provided maintenance of traffic for bicycles during this 3-4 month construction.  Here’s “Car Free” Mark Brown using the temporary bike lane.

2010 Bicycle Survey Results, Pt. 2

In recent days, the American Automobile Association has been an organization of conflicted identity.  The Mid-Atlantic AAA came out in opposition to new cycletracks down the center of Pennsylvania Avenue in DC.  Nevermind that the new bike facilities didn’t effect traffic capacity as Pennsylvania Avenue is one of the widest streets in the Western Hemisphere. [Not long after this public antogonation, I cancelled my AAA membership - not that I used it anyway - and let them know WHY I cancelled.]

Don Gagnon, President & CEO of Mid-Atlantic AAA, went on to argue that Highway Trust Fund (HTF) monies should be reserved for highways.  HTF is also used to fund construction of tens of thousands of trail miles and other on-street bike facilities across the country.  Yet, if your bike breakdown, you can use your AAA roadside assistance to get out of a jam.  [Insert head scratching here]

AAA has revived a debate on whether cyclists should pay an extra tax to help fund some of the highway maintenance and improvements that motorists pay in vehicle registration and gas tax.   Analyzing our survey data, I found some pretty interesting numbers to refute this debate.  Of all the cyclists (people who owned and used bikes), 9.5% did NOT own a vehicle, but 40.6% had ONE vehicle in the home, 40.1% had TWO and 9.8% had THREE CARS or more per household!

There’s no point in Baltimore area cyclists paying an extra tax since over 90% already pay those taxes through vehicle ownership.  Way to be multi-modal, B’more!

2010 Bicycle Survey Results, Pt. 1

We asked, you answered!

Over the next couple days, I’ll be sharing data collected during the Baltimore Bicycle survey by the Department of Transportation.  We had over 1300 participants sharing their biking experience (or lack thereof).  The survey was open to anyone with internet access, stopped by the bike parking at Artscape or other events & community meetings over the summer.

The survey asked a variety of questions including riding styles, turn-offs, areas of improvements, potential bikeshare use & locations, as well as demographics & zipcode of residency.

One question asked:  What should be Baltimore’s top bicycle priority?  An overwhelming 58.2% said “More Bike Lanes” with an additional 12.5% saying “More Bike Trails”.  That’s over 70% for more bike infrastructure and safer places to ride!

Almost 25% said “More Driver Awareness & Education” with the remaining 4.4% requesting more bike racks and events.

Sure, we have a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community status, but I’m not resting on those laurels.  There’s no shortage of work to be done in creating more comfortable bike corridors across the city.  The main point of this survey is to identify what the Department of Transportation can do to get more people pedaling.  I was pretty sure “bike lanes & trails” would take this category, but now I know for sure.

More Bike Improvements!

 

Some signs for the Park Avenue Bike Route are up.  More are coming along with some additional pavement markings.
I got word that sharrows are going in on Baltimore St as well.

And thanks for the MOBBIE nomination

Bike Parking Legislation Moves Forward

Two more “bike bills” are working their way through City Council.  On Wednesday, the Land Use and Transportation Committee heard testimony and agency reports on Bill #10-0522 (Bike Parking in New and Expanded Developments) and Bill #09-0429 (Bike Parking for Employees)

Bill #10-0522 has already passed the Planning Commission and will go to 2nd reader after some very minor amendments.  “Safe and secure” bike parking will be amended to include a more descriptive definition of the area for which bikes are to be parked:  accessible, well-lite.  Kansas City has some decent text we’re going to adapt. 

Bill #09-0429 lays out that any business with 10 or more employees, occupying over 10,000 square feet will provide bike parking for employees.   Until this reader, the city government was exempt from this rule.  Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke, who introduced these bills, amended the bill so that the city government would not be immune from this new law:  “We will lead by example….We’re all in this together”

On Friday, November 5th, the Community Development Subcommittee will hear Bill #09-0176R  The Cyclists’ Bill of Rights and Bill #09-0433 Street & Transportation Projects – Complete Streets at noon in the City Council Chambers.  These are the last 2 bike bills (for now) working their way through the legislative process!