By Bruce Cohen - October 6, 2014
After a better than expected Tour du Port, we at Bike Maryland are not slowing down. Even with a last minute date change that conflicted with the Seagull Century weekend, Tour du Port had nearly 1000 participants. Of course, BIG THANKS is in order for all our volunteers, sponsors and riders at Tour du Port. Not resting on the rebound, we’re already planning for next year’s event. Having a successful event enabled us to get back to our real work: bike advocacy. This past week we met with three groups striving to make their communities more bike-friendly.
Monday morning came very early as Emily and I headed to Annapolis Junction where we met with local advocates and Bill Nesper from the League of American Bicyclists. There we evaluated the ‘bikeability’ of the Fort Meade area. A military base surrounded by high speed roadways doesn’t sound like the most bikeable place, but there is hope. After years of effort, a important access road to the fort will soon be open to cyclists! Thanks to local advocates, more changes are in store to make this area better for biking.
After visiting the Savage & Odenton areas, we stopped in Linthicum to tour MD 170, which is due for a bike lanes with a new road surface. This Maryland State Highway project is currently on hold to allow for needed utility work to complete. Once the utility work is finished, the roadway project will resume. Jeff Dalik of Aviation Velo lead a tour of how the community could be connected to local trails, drawing potential customers toward local businesses.
Monday afternoon, we were in Salisbury to lead a bike friendly business workshop and meet with Bike-SBY and Eastern Shore IMBA. Before the workshop, Matt Drew of Bike SBY and Tres Dank of ESIMBA took us on a bike tour of Salisbury. With new trail improvements, on-street bike lanes with a road diet on MD 350 and courteous motorists, Salisbury was very easy to bike around.
Thursday evening, we were in Harford County biking with Chesapeake Spokes and Harford Velo Cycling Club. A group some 30+ strong guided us through Churchville and the surrounding countryside. Afterwards, we traded notes on what it would take to make Harford County more bike-friendly and watched the O’s crush the Tigers. Thanks to Neil Buchness for putting the ride and after meeting together.
As evident in last week’s work, Bike Maryland is striving to develop relationships with all bike groups across the state. Making Maryland a more bikeable state is accomplished through the collaborative efforts of many local groups. Bike Maryland stands ready to support local bike groups. If we haven’t visited your community yet, don’t worry. We’ll be there soon….