Archive for the 'Programs' Category

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)

“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.

DOT Offers Free Bike Racks

After a brief suspension, the Department of Transportation is again offering free bike racks to interested property owners.   The bike rack program was rejunvenated after updating the existing inventory of DOT racks and receiving a generous donation of racks from the Department of Recreation and Parks. 

Big thanks go to Anne Draddy & Charlie Murphy at Rec & Parks and Nelson Jackson at DOT for making this happen!

Bike racks can be installed on hard surfaces, preferably concrete sidewalks.  Under some circumstances, racks may be installed in brick surfaces.  A site evaluation will needed to determine if installation is feasible.  Each rack can park at least 2 bikes and 3 or 4 if you’re ambitious.  Racks are powder coated for weather resistance and limit dings to bikes.

The type of racks being offered are DOT’s standard “Downtown” rack and the “Hitch” Rack  (See below).

If you want a rack or know a good spot for one, send me an email at nate.evans@baltimorecity.gov

"Downtown" Rack

"Hitch" Rack

Velocipede Upgrades for January

From the Velocipede site:

Hello everyone, we here at Velocipede hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and new year.  We’d like to thank everyone in this great city who’ve donated their sweat and/or parts and much needed funds to help us give back to this community.  Without you, we wouldn’t have arrived this far.  So thank you, and we hope that we can continue doing this for years to come.

With that in mind, we’d like to announce that in the month of January, we will be closed for a much needed overhaul, both of our physical workspace and of our operations.  We will be cleaning, renovating, reorganizing, redesigning,  and in general, hopefully implementing some new procedures and programs for the future.

 What does this mean for you?

 well…. while we are closed for regular operations, we will be at the shop, and will still accept donations and furthermore, we still would love to have your help and participation in this overhaul!

 If you would like to help out with this month of overhauling  (everything from heavy lifting/carpentry/electronics/handywork to graphic design and admin type stuff) we would LOVE to have you!  Please drop an email to our collective member, Ben, at (volunteers@velocipedebikeproject.org) with your information, including what special skillsets (ie: wood work, etc..) that you have.

We will be open for regular hours in February.

Thank you once again from Velocipede!

Meals On Wheels Needs Cyclists!

MEALS ON WHEELS of Central Maryland is looking for cyclists to help delivery nutritious meals to your homebound neighbors.  Dan Breuer donates an hour of his time to deliver meals by bike!  This program is still being developed so get in on this new endeavor whether you have a Burley, BOB, good panniers or a basket!

Meals are delivered Monday – Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

To volunteer, call 443-573-0925 or email volunteer@mowcm.org

Meals on Wheels serves all of central Maryland with delivery locations in Bolton Hill, Hampden, Dundalk, Highlandtown, Loch Raven, Gardenville, Cockeysville, Federal Hill, Towson, Pikesville, Catonsville and Randallstown.

“There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping lift someone up!”

Ride Transit & Rate It!

Today’s post comes from Katie Whelley of the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance

Biking in the winter is certainly not for the faint of heart and in case you all hadn’t noticed it’s been a COLD December in Baltimore City. For all of you who opted out of biking in this frigid weather and are instead taking advantage of Baltimore’s public transportation there is a new way for you to tell the city what you thought of your rider experience.

Rate Your Ride is a new program developed by the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance to help better assess the successes and failures of the city’s public transportation. If you text the word “ride” to the number 30802 you will be sent a short survey about your rider experience. You can boast about how friendly you driver was or complain that your bus was 20 minutes late. All of the surveys (positive or negative) are compiled regularly and a summary along with non-personal data is shared with the Maryland Transit Administration. Your instant feedback will put the kind of necessary public pressure on the MTA in order for them to make swifter improvements.

If improving Maryland’s public transportation isn’t enough of an incentive to get your fingers texting maybe the Transportation Alliance’s monthly raffle will. When you fill out a survey your number is automatically registered for a monthly drawing where the winners receive iPads, iPods, and other cool gift cards you can use around town! Over 3300 surveys have been filled out since the program started at the end of September. Don’t miss your chance to make a difference in Baltimore City public transportation (or win an iPod).

Visit the Rate Your Ride website at www.rateyourride.org  to view survey results and learn more about the program.

Baltimore County Pedals Forward

Last week, I had the opportunity to do some good old-fashioned, unbridled bike advocacy.  Being the bike planner for the city, a balance has to be struck between what’s best for cyclists, the future of cycling, all road users and community interests.  But not last Wednesday…

With Carol Silldorff from Bike Maryland, we met two new Baltimore County Councilmen:  Tom Quirk from District 1 and David Marks from District 5.   I’ve known David since high school and over the past couple years, we worked on the Walkable Perry Hall Report and the Perry Hall Community Plan together.   I knew it was a good day for the county when David was elected our new councilmember.

Over the course of our conversation we discussed identifying trail projects, implementing the Eastern (& Western) County Bicycle & Pedestrian Access Plan and funding sources for dedicated active transportation officials inside the county government.

The highlight of our conversation was on a resolution calling for the creation of the BALTIMORE COUNTY PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE.  Both Councilmen Marks and Quirk are introducing this legislation TONIGHT at the Baltimore County Council meeting.  The creation of this advisory group will work similarly to the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, just with a little more “teeth.”  Some of the highlights of the legislation include:

  • Adopt a Complete Streets Policy
  • Develop sustainable transportation protocol in project evaluation
  • Prepare a “Six Year Pedestrian and Bike Plan” program to coincide with the Capital Improvement Plan
  • File an annual report with the County Executive and County Council recommending any appropriate legislative changes

Join me in thanking Councilmen Marks & Quirk for their forward thinking vision of Baltimore County and encourage their fellow councilmembers to support this important legislation!

UPDATE: You’ll be able to testify at the work session on Tuesday, February 1 at 2 p.m. in the Plum Room of the County Council.  The vote is on Monday, February 7

Read the full text of the bill here

For The Cyclist That Has Everything…

Do you have that friend or family member who loves bikes, but has just about everything? My wife would say I fall into this category. (Evidently, buying presents for me is a difficult task. Sorry, hon)

Over the past few years, we’ve been donating to World Bicycle Relief.  World Bicycle Relief is dedicated to providing access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles.  Founded by the SRAM Corporation and Trek Bicycles, WBR has been providing bikes, technical & logistics assistance for poverty assistance and disaster relief.    WBF was recently named one of the Top 25 Most Effective Philanthropies!

We know how great bicycling has benefitted our lives.  Imagine how a bike would revolutionize someone’s life in sub-Saharan Africa where the only real mode of transportation is walking.

So whether as a gft or year-end donation, consider helping share the gift of bicycling this holiday season!