County Council Bill 78-18 was introduced at the July 16, 2018 County Council meeting and will be heard at the September 17 7pm Council Meeting at the Council Chambers, 44 Calvert St, Annapolis. This important bill assures that all modes of transportation including biking, walking, transit and motorized vehicles are considered when residential or commercial developments are planned and approved. Historically, only motorized traffic has been considered and facilities were added that either neglected the other modes or actually created hazards such as a shoulder converted to a turn lane. This bill will assure that the Complete Streets Resolution 45-14 unanimously passed by the County Council in 2014 will be followed. The bill was initially recommended by the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission and then a working group comprised of reps from the Bike Commission, Maryland Building Industries Association, County Office of Transportation and County Office of Law developed a mutually agreed bill which was then vetted with county Planning & Zoning, Public Works and Inspections & Permits. This is a vital step in the county’s effort to build a safe interconnected network of biking/walking routes including both trails and on-road bike lanes. It provides for bike/ped connections among neighborhoods, schools, employment, transit, shopping, recreation and other destinations. The bill was introduced by Council Chair Peroutka at the request of County Executive Schuh and is co-sponsored by Councilman Trumbauer. Please let your county councilman know that you support this bill.
Anne Arundel County Police Bike Patrol are the first in Maryland to obtain the C3FT technology used to enforce and educate drivers on the 3 foot passing law. The technology was obtained through a Maryland Highway Safety Office grant and will be rolled out during 2018-19. Click for a VIDEO on how it works and is used by law enforcement. In this photo Cpl. Dominic Scali demonstrates at the AACPD HQ while hosting the Maryland Bike/Ped Advisory Commission in August, 2018.
Can You Kick the Car for a Day?
Read Jon Korin’s May, 2018 op ed in the Capital HERE
Transportation Should Be About Choice
Read jon Korin’s December 2017 op ed in the Capital HERE
Biking Benefits The Whole Community
Read Jon Korin’s May 2017 op ed in the Capital HERE
Here’s Why I Ride A Bike Every Day
Read Alex Pline’s May 2016 op ed in the Capital HERE
There is BY FAR more trail construction, design and planning underway than ever in the history of Anne Arundel County! BikeAAA works with the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission and other County and City officials to help build out our network. We are fortunate to have full support from County Executive Steve Schuh who has made safe, interconnected bike routes a quality of life priority and Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley also is pressing for improved biking and walking in Annapolis. Trail highlights include:
- Broadneck Trail Phase 2 construction and phase 3 design
- South Shore Trail Phase 1 Construction nearly complete
- WB&A Trail Patuxent River Crossing in design
- Rt. 175 sidepath by SHA
- B&A Trail to AACC and Broadneck Connector in design
- Odenton Town Center Blvd Sidepath built by developer in construction
- B&A to Jones E.S. Connector to be provided by developer
There are also more on-road bike lanes, sharrows and connectors completed or coming including:
- New bike lanes on Hillsmere Dr, B&A Blvd in Arnold, Mt. Tabor Rd, Boulter’s Way and Chinquapin Round Rd.
- New bike lanes coming on county roads in 2018
- Open connector on Victor Parkway, Annapolis
- New sharrows in Annapolis coming under a grant
Bike parking provide safe places to lock up a bike and let the public know that “Bikes are welcome and expected here!” Through a variety of sources, more bike racks are coming to Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis. This includes funding from a state grant, West Street Arts District and BikeAAA. Read more about artistic racks coming to West St. HERE.
BikeAAA has worked with City of Annapolis and County staff providing input on locations and rollout for the area’s first bikeshare program. The initial program will have 50 bikes and 10 stations mainly in the greater downtown Annapolis area. The hybrid docking/dockless system is provided by Zagster Pace. For more details about the program read the Capital Front page Bikeshare Story.
During the 2018 session BikeAAA worked closely with Bike Maryland and other advocates to secure new bike safety legislation. We also had the benefit this year of the work done by the Maryland Bicycle Safety Task Force created by the legislature in 2017, appointed by the Governor over the summer and completed its Final Report which you can find at the preceding link. The Task Force included 4 advocates including two from Anne Arundel County – Jack Keene and Jon Korin. The report has dozens of recommendations in a variety of areas including Funding, Infrastructure, Policy, Outreach/Education and Legislation.
For a recap on the 2018 Maryland Legislative Session, read BikeMaryland’s Summary.
Each fall the Anne Arundel County State Delegation convenes to hear priorities from county non-profits. BikeAAA has presented each year since our inception four years ago. You can read it here: BikeAAA-AACtyDelegation-Nov28-2017. This year we focus on legislative priorities coming out of Task Force Report:
1. Vulnerable Road User Law – More care required and stiffer penalties under current laws for drivers who seriously injure or kill pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users, etc. This bill was worked very hard and a strong version was passed by the House of Delegates but did not pass the Senate Committee. We will press for this again in 2019
2. Safe Passing of Cyclists – Address narrow road exception in current 3 foot passing law by allowing safe crossing of the double yellow line following the example recently set in a new Delaware law. This has been a multi-year effort and again a good bill was made progress but was not passed. We will go after this again in 2019.
3. Stronger commitment to Complete Streets – Strengthen the commitment to Complete Streets by extending it from SHA to other agencies including MdTA (e.g. bike lanes on the new Nice Bridge) and MTA (HB0744 and (SB0850). There was also a bill that promotes Complete Streets for Maryland Counties and Cities ( HB0535 and SB0407). Both bills were passed into law after being somewhat weakened. MdTA was deleted from the former bill and funding was taken out of the latter.
4. Comparative Negligence – In Maryland and a just a few other states if one party is found to contribute even slightly, say 1%, to a crash then that party may be denied recovery of damages under the doctrine of “contributory negligence”. This is grossly unfair to cyclists that are hit by vehicles. SB0465 addresses the problem with a narrow carve-out modeled on a recently passed D.C. law. This is a very complex issue with broad-ranging implications for Maryland beyond cyclists. It did not get out of Senate committee.
4. Other Initiatives – We are also working for more state funding for bike infrastructure especially in the MD Bikeways program; safe biking and walking routes to school; and other bills that promote general road safety dealing with distracted driving and the like. HB285 providing for an assessment of safe routes to schools was passed unanimously by the House and Senate and signed by the governor.
Jon received the Explorer Award at the annual Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails meeting in October, 2017. Click for the story in the Severna Park Voice.
Jon Korin’s Op-Ed about Anne Arundel County transportation planning in the Dec. 6, 2017 Capital.