February 27, 2014

Time: 8:00 – 9:30 AM
Location: Brown Center, Room 320 (1301 W Mt Royal Ave)


Darcy Accardi, Kate Anderson, Sam Bleicher, Elizabeth Briscoe, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Terry Cummings, Rufus Davis, Collins Downing, Peter Duvall, Tony Green, Terry Freeland, Paulo Gregory Harris, Alex Jacque, Valorie LaCour, Robbyn Lewis, Maura Mahoney, Benoit Mayaux, Chris Merriam, Robert Milner, Mike Molla, Klaus Philipsen, Wally Pinkard, Jeremy Pomp, Craig Purcell, Barry Robinson, Jimmy Rouse, Martin Schwartz, Carol Silldorff, Greg Smith, Sandy Sparks, Maris St. Cyr, Yolanda Takesian

Moderator: Art Cohen, b’more mobile

Art welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the attendees for coming. He then introduced and turned the meeting over to Jimmy Rouse.

Presentation: Jimmy Rouse

Topic: Transit Choices “Quick Hits” PowerPoint Presentation

  • Transit Choices formed work groups around each mode of transit (Rail Transit, Bus & Circulator, Water Taxi, Bikes, Pedestrian) and charged these groups with two tasks:
    • Develop a “Quick Hits” list of low cost, high visibility and high impact improvements to our transit system that could be implemented in 2014.
    • Develop plans for longer term improvements to transit that would result in an integrated, effective and efficient transit system.
  • A similar presentation was made to the City, State and MTA which received very positive feedback. The implementation of the “Quick Hits” list will be a cooperative and coordinated effort. We will be meeting with the City, State, BCDOT and MTA quarterly to discuss progress on implementation of the “Quick Hits.” Monthly, we will be meeting with staff members at these agencies.
Discussion Points
  • When it comes to mass transit in Baltimore, there is a safety perception issue which is not necessarily the reality. The greater and more diverse ridership is the safer transit becomes. Change needs to happen incrementally. Create better signage, maintain shelters and stations, more people will use it. If it becomes safer, then even more people will use it. The transformation of the NYC subway system is an example.
  • Mass transit in Baltimore is also a cultural issue that doesn’t get talked about. If you have a good transit system, it will bring a community together and encourage people to connect more which will result in a perception shift.
  • The committees need to focus on how to make some of the “Quick Hits” more specific as to how, where, and when. What shelters need maintenance? What signage do we want and where? Etc.

Presentation: Alex Jacque, MICA Graduate Student

Topic: Transit Choices Website Preview

The new Transit Choices website is being designed to:

  • Have a professional look & feel
  • Be user friendly
  • Have a powerful call to action
  • Be accessible
  • Be a communication tool
  • Have social media outreach
  • Make content “king”
  • Provide valuable information
  • Create a vehicle for people to make contributions/donate
Discussion Points:
  • Robin Budish thanked Mike Molla on behalf of MICA for their generosity in donating the website. Additionally, Robin acknowledged Wally Pinkard for all of his efforts to help get the project off the ground.

Presentation: Klaus Philipsen, ArchPlan

Topic: What is “Complete Streets”?

  • Complete streets are those streets that cater to all needs. They provide space for trees, planters, maybe even small lawns, for benches, for tables, chairs, bike racks. They open up to great views and make buildings shine. They glow at night and provide shade during the day. They allow people to be citizens, engage in speech, distribute flyers or demonstrate. Complete streets allow parades, festivals, markets and parties. Most importantly, they get you to places you want to be and that make streets good. No good streets without good buildings, no good buildings without good streets (at least in cities).
  • Along complete streets it is a pleasure to live or work. Streets that allow parking a car, a bike or taking a taxi. Streets that have nearby transit with safe stops, streets that are green, literally and figuratively which could mean that they have trees and landscaping or that they are in part pervious, light in color so they don’t contribute too much to the urban heat sink effect, perhaps they even have solar installations. Complete streets include art, information and display the layers of history that makes a city real.
  • Complete streets should have pedestrian friendly zones that are designated for people. Ideally, streets and traffic should co-exist.
  • To read the complete blog, click here.
Discussion Points:
  • Valorie LaCour, Baltimore City Department of Transportation reported that Baltimore has adopted a “Complete Streets” policy, and she will be happy to make a presentation on what the City is currently doing and has done at the March 2014 Transit Choices meeting.

Presentation: Carol Silldorff, Bike Maryland Executive Director

Topic: Bike Maryland Advocacy Update through March 2014

  • HB 241 Sponsored by Delegate Lafferty, strengthens the existing 3 foot passing bill by requiring drivers to allow 3′ to pass a bicyclist on every road and authorizing a driver of a vehicle to drive across the left–side of a roadway in a no–passing zone, if it is safe to do so, to give a bicyclist a minimum of 3 feet of passing distance. Success regarding the legislation – MDOT /SHA move from unfavorable (2013) to neutral position (2014); trucking industry move from unfavorable (2013) to favorable position (2014). However, in February 2014, the House Environmental Matters Committee gave this legislation an unfavorable vote.
  • Bicycle Duty Bill – House Bill 52 / Senate Bill 808 Sponsored by Delegate Carr and Senator Raskin and promoted by the Washington Area Bicycle Association, as well as, Bike Maryland. This bill clarifies that the duties of motorists are those defined by law, and protects those cyclists riding lawfully from the imposition of additional, hypothetical duties. Delegate Carr withdrew the bill in the House to prevent an unfavorable report.
  • Senate Bill 520 (Senator Robey) / House Bill 530 (Delegate Malone) – Is FOR the purpose of creating an exception to the prohibition against a person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter on a roadway where the posted maximum speed limit exceeds a certain speed; authorizing a person who is lawfully operating a bicycle or a motor scooter on a shoulder adjacent to a roadway for which the posted maximum speed limit exceeds a certain speed to enter the roadway only if making or attempting to make a left turn, if crossing through an intersection, or if the shoulder is overlaid with certain directional markings; and generally relating to the operation of bicycles and motor scooters on roadways. Passed house waiting for Senate vote.
  • Bike Maryland worked with Delegate Cardin, Chair of the Bicycle Caucus to host a Maryland Bicycle Caucus meeting in January 2014. All legislators present voted unanimously in favor of the above legislation. We thank Delegate Cardin, the legislators and advocates present for supporting the pro-bicycle legislative agenda. In 2015, there will be a new Chair of the State Legislative Bicycle Caucus and a new Environmental Matters Committee Vice Chair and/or Transportation Sub-Committee Chair. This may profoundly impact bicycle legislation in 2015. Our goal is to be influential in who will be appointed as the new State Legislative Bicycle Caucus Chair.
  • The new bicycle law enforcement training video link was sent to over 150 police agencies. The Maryland Police Training Commission approved video for 1 hour of in-service training credit, when officers successfully pass the test associated with this video. To date there have been 1490 views on Maryland State Police’s YouTube site. Bike Maryland is advocating for police viewing to be mandatory.
  • The Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is now complete and publicly available on the Bike Maryland website.
  • MDOT has purchased its first Eco-Multi bike/ped counter to evaluate bike/ped usage. Bike Maryland is advocating for purchase of more counters.
  • State Safety Commission Ad Campaign – Bike Maryland is advocating for billboards, gas topers, bus-signs vs. spending funds on brochures/state staff time.
  • Bike Maryland is advocating for Susquehanna Bridge River crossing to be bicycle accessible as part of East Coast Greenway Trail.
  • Bike Maryland is advocating for Rt 70 Bridge Crossing over Security Blvd to Gwynns Falls Trail.
  • Complete Streets Baltimore County resolution passed – county rated top 10 in US based on resolution adoption – need watchful eye to guarantee implementation.

Other Business:

  • The revised Vision Guiding Principles will be discussed at the March 2014 Transit Choices meeting.