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Baltimore City Bike Master Plan -- revised version issued

Baltimore City Bike Master Plan -- revised version issued

The revised plan and the comments received on the original play are to be found:

Revised Bike Master Planhere.

Bikemore had proposed that the default bike line in Baltimore City be Bike Traks, Some on the BBC, argued that having Bike Traks as the default bike facility in Baltimore would be too restrictive on planners.  (The original version of the bike master plan had the standard bike lane as the default lane.)

The DOT revised the Master Plan in relation to this issue. There is no longer ANY default "bike facility" in the Master plan. Rather there are general guidelines and an emphasis on the particular context of the "bike facility".

"In consideration of Bikemore's comments, the DOT has provided additional language in the plan that outlines objectives that state the DOT will design streets based on observed speeds rather than posted speeds to determine the most appropriate bike facility for the roadway. This will help ensure the appropriate bike facility is designed on a street-by-street basis."

I personally find this revision of the Bike Master Plan a reasonable one and a victory for those in the BBC who argued against making the bike track the default lane in Baltimore City. There will be some bike traks; all new "bike facilities" do not have to be bike traks.  Seems OK.

Other views of this?

Ed Hopkins

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Re: Baltimore City Bike Master Plan -- revised version issued

     I agree with Ed Hopkins that the Baltimore City Bicycle Master Plan is fair in allowing the best type of bikeway - whether it be a conventional bikelane or a separated Cycle Track - to be determined on an individual basis - rather than making separated Cycle Tracks the default bikeway, as Bikemore proposed.  Also, one way  Traditional Bikelanes can be improved is by buffering them on each side with painted hatch marks. Buffering would make the bikelane safer and more visible. Currently, many bikelanes are too narrow and placed in the door zone.  Also eliminating parking near intersections and providing a "mixing zone" for right turning traffic to cross the bikelane prior to the intersection and enter a pocket lane next to the curb would reduce right hooks.

    Now that a reasonable compromise has been reached on the Master Plan, we turn our attention to working together to improve bicycling.  I attended Bike Maryland's Symposium and met with Legislative assistants of the 41st District to fully support Bike Maryland's Agenda.  My talking points included supporting legislation (HB 588/SB 547) to improve safety by closing a loophole in the 3' Passing Law that  allows motorists to pass closer when the roadway is narrow, instead of waiting until it's safe to pass.  I also supported the demonstration two way Cycle Track on Maryland Ave that will link Charles Village with Universities and the Inner Harbor.

    In the afternoon Bill Schultesis from Toole Design spoke about Cycle Tracks. He felt that properly designed Cycle Tracks would attract more riders and improve safety, especially for less experienced riders. However, Bill recognized that there are different levels of cyclists and indicated that Cycle Tracks are designed for slower riders and that faster riders should NOT be pressured into using Cycle Tracks.  Bill showed a slide of a Cycle Track along with a Sharrow in the middle of the traffic lane for faster riders.  Bill also said that it's vital that cyclists respect and be careful around pedestrians.  He pointed out that cyclists killed two pedestrians in NY City, causing a backlash against NY's bicycle program.  Bill said he wants pedestrians to be our allies.  With that thought in mind, I resolve to carefully control my speed on Bike Paths and Cycle Tracks (or else use the traffic lanes; where children may abruptly alight from parked cars onto the Cycle Track.

Jeffrey H. Marks

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