Feb 112013
 

By popular demand, here is the City of Cyclists video showing bicyclists in Copenhagen! Most cyclists in Copenhagen do not wear helmets, yet fatalities on a per rider basis are much lower than in the United States.  The Danish are concerned that requiring bike helmets would only discourage cycling. In Copenhagen, 36% of all commuting trips are by bike. The more bicyclists there are, the more drivers learn to expect (and respect) them. Unfortunately, the Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that would require all cyclists to wear helmets. This would surely kill BikeShare in Montgomery County as well as reduce the level of bike use overall, especially trips to transit.

 Posted by at 10:30 pm on Feb 11, 2013  Comments Off on Copenhagen’s “City of Cyclists” video
Feb 112013
 
Maryland's mandatory helmet law a disaster for biking

A bill before the Maryland House of Delegates would require everyone riding a bike to wear a helmet, no matter how short their trip.    If the bill passes, it would probably kill BikeShare and do a great deal to discourage cycling.  Capital BikeShare, now coming to Montgomery County, is inducing the county to invest in more bike infrastructure and will allow many more bike trips. The county’s transit oriented communities (including Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Areas designated by the state) rely on bicycling and walking to reduce traffic.  But this bill would undermine it all. Update on April 25 2013: The bill did not pass. Do Maryland legislators really think they know more about bicycling than the Danish and […]

Jun 292012
 

On Friday, Congress will did vote on a “compromise” transportation reauthorization bill that would does drastically cut funds provided to local jurisdictions for bike and pedestrian projects.  I assume regret to say that the bill will did pass. According to America Bikes: Congress will vote on a new transportation bill that reverses years of progress on biking and walking policy and cuts by 60 to 70 percent funding for local safety projects such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes. There’s more from that synopsis here.  Here is their detailed analysis. Prior years’ transportation bills always included funding for “transportation enhancements”.  That’s funding provided by the federal government to the states who in turn are required to award it to local […]

 Posted by at 2:42 am on Jun 29, 2012  Comments Off on New federal transportation bill slashes biking and walking funds
Mar 092012
 
U.S. Senate Transportation Bill amended to include biking/walking funds

Dedicated federal funding for biking and walking has been under assault this year in Congress.    Some Republican lawmakers have tried to eliminate the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program, the Safe Routes to Schools program, and the Recreational Trails program from the transportation reauthorization bill ( HR 7).  The TE program has funded the extremely useful Bethesda Trolley Trail bridges and the Rock Creek Trail bridge over Veirs Mill Rd.  Without this money many states would drastically cut bike/ped projects.  James Inhofe (R-OK), the lead Republican negotiator on the bill, declared that one of his top priorities for the transportation bill is to eliminate “frivolous spending for bike trails.” But things are looking up!  The Senate has accepted the Cardin-Cochran Amendment to its […]

 Posted by at 11:14 am on Mar 9, 2012  Comments Off on U.S. Senate Transportation Bill amended to include biking/walking funds
Nov 082011
 

Gaithersburg bike advocate Alan Migdall wrote a great letter in the Washington Post supporting the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE)  program.    This vital program provides money to  states for new bike paths, pedestrian facilities, historical preservation,  etc.    The text of Alan’s letter: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) opposes using a small portion of transportation funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects [news story, Oct. 25 ]. He was quoted: “I know priorities are in the eye of the beholder, but what we lack is common sense.”  Given that 14 percent of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians and cyclists and that states often underfund sidewalks and bike lanes, one would think that spending at least 1 or 2 percent of transportation funding on “enhancements” that address […]

 Posted by at 6:29 pm on Nov 8, 2011  Comments Off on Federal funding of bike/ped improvements