Bike Shaped Objects

Funky bikes and news
Baltimore councilman seeks increased penalties for parking in bike lanes

Motorists continue to park in the bike lanes

bike lanesAfter hearing an outpouring of complaints from residents, a Baltimore city councilman is pushing a bill to crack down on motorists who park in bike lanes.

In recent years, government agencies have spent millions trying to boost the city’s bicycling infrastructure. Miles of lanes have been installed, including a 2.6-mile stretch of Maryland Avenue. It is called a “cycle track,” in which bicyclists are protected from traffic by a buffer of parked cars.

But motorists continue to park in the lanes. Making it dangerous for bicyclists, who are forced to dart out into traffic, advocates say.


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Sharing news on sharing bikes

sharing bikesEvery time I write about sharing bikes I fell like I’m on an episode of Sesame Street.

Touchy feelyness aside, sharing bikes is becoming big business and it’s starting to shed some of the doom and gloom stereotypes. Counter to expectations, including my own, studies are showing that bikeshare cyclists are safer than “regular cyclists.” I assumed rental bikes would be treated like rental cars.

I should clarify that when I say that bike sharing is big business I’m referring to scope rather than profit model. Many sharing programs are run by non-profits or local governments. One example where the state blues foundation is helping fund bike sharing at a community college.

Despite growing proof of the success of bike sharing it takes some communities a while to get on board. After six years of planning Baltimore is ready to award a contract. First, it will run a month of tests, even though they will be using technology already installed many other places. I think Baltimore has control and commitment issues.

The biggest news, and biggest market, for sharing is China supporting bike sharing.  It’s ironic that China spent a decade or so trying to get people off bikes in order to project a more developed image, is now doing everything they can to get people back on bikes. Apparently looking developed isn’t as important as the ability to breath.


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Bike News Review – 3/23/13

Public comments taken on WSU bicycle, pedestrian plan
WSU News – 3/22/13
Better connections between Washington State University and Pullman and more education about bicycle and pedestrian pathways were among the needs voiced at a recent workshop to gather public comment about the draft WSU bike and pedestrian plan.

Nebraska City OKs loaner bicycle plan – 3/23/13
The City Council in Nebraska City has approved a proposal that five spots be set aside in town for loaner bicycles that could be used by tourists and residents.

Park It: 400-500 New Bicycle Racks On the Way
Baltimore Magazine – 3/22/13
At Tuesday’s monthly Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, Nate Evans, Baltimore’s bike and pedestrian planner, announced the city — via a federal grant — will be able to install 400-500 new bike rack around town. The procurement and installation process is expected to take some time, anywhere from “two months to a year,” Evans said, but otherwise is a done deal.

Most stairs climbed by bicycle: Krystian Herba breaks Guinness world record
World Record Academy – 3/20/13
Krystian Herba, 31, a Polish extreme cyclist, hopped 2,754 steps to reach the 100th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center, in 1 hour, 21 minutes and 53 seconds, setting the new world record for the Most stairs climbed by bicycle


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