Feb 072014
 
Share the Budget with Bikes!

On January 15th, County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended 2015 Capital Budget and 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), aka the 2015-2020 Capital Budget.  It identifies capital project funding over the six year period starting with Fiscal year 2015 (which begins July 1, 2014).   The first two years of the budget, 2015 and 2016, are the ones to watch.  The other four years are “out-years” which represent intentions or best guesses but may change significantly.  The capital budget is re-crafted every two years.  It is amended during the other years or any other time as needed.  “Capital” projects essentially involve building, creating or designing things – as opposed to operating and maintaining things which is the purview of the Operating […]

 Posted by at 3:35 am on Feb 7, 2014  Comments Off on Share the Budget with Bikes!
Jan 182014
 

County Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Hans Riemer have introduced a council bill to change county road standards in urban areas to better serve pedestrians and bicyclists.  Bill 33-13 seeks to 1) reduce car speeds, thereby making pedestrians and bicyclists safer, 2) stipulate certain road features to improve pedestrian safety and access, especially at crosswalks, and 3) better accommodate new technology including bike sharing.  Roger Berliner briefly summarizes the bill here. Whenever roads are rebuilt or in some cases resurfaced, engineers can choose from a toolkit of improvements designed to make urban areas safer for biking and walking.  The tools include everything from curb extensions (aka bulbouts or neckdowns) that make crosswalks shorter to HAWK beacons that blink when a pedestrian […]

Feb 282013
 

These two bills were rejected by the Maryland House Environmental Matters Committee, which means they’re effectively dead for this year: House Bill 445, which would have removed the “narrow highway” exception to Maryland’s three-foot safe passing statute enacted in 2010 (interpreted by some to mean that drivers don’t have to give three feet if it would mean crossing the centerline).  See the CycleMoco discussion of this bill here. House Bill 160, which would have legalized riding bikes on sidewalks in localities with no local laws on the subject. Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard counties and Baltimore city all have local laws. Some jurisdictions, including Gaithersburg, have local laws prohibiting sidewalk riding and this bill wouldn’t change that. Jim Titus provides details […]

 Posted by at 11:30 pm on Feb 28, 2013  Comments Off on Maryland bills changing three-foot law & sidewalk law defeated in House of Delegates
Feb 162013
 

The Maryland legislature is considering House Bill 445 which would strengthen the flawed “three foot” law enacted last year in 2010.  The flaws in the existing law make it important that the law be fixed.  Briefly, here are the main problems: Drivers often won’t know if they have to give three feet or not.  The three foot law doesn’t apply if the cyclist isn’t where he’s supposed to be in the roadway (in the bike lane, to the right, wherever).  But the rules governing where cyclists are supposed to be within the roadway are complicated, dependent on conditions, and not fully understood by anyone except bike advocates (if even them).  How are drivers to know what they’re not allowed to […]

 Posted by at 10:34 pm on Feb 16, 2013  Comments Off on Pushing for a better 3-foot passing law in Maryland