By Bruce Cohen - July 11, 2012
The Annapolis Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Workshop pulled together a diverse crowd of concerned citizens, bicycle advocates, transportation specialists, engineers, and state officials this past Wednesday, July 11th at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center. Working closely with the Annapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner, Iain Banks and the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Maryland put together the workshop in an effort to help the City of Annapolis work toward their goal of becoming a BFC after receiving an honorable mention during the last award cycle.
Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists and Anna Kelso of Bike Maryland opened the workshop with a presentation on the League’s BFC program providing background information on BFC criteria and examples of effective applications of this criteria in communities across the country. Anna and Bill also provided feedback from the Annapolis BFC application submitted early in the year, calling attention to very specific key opportunities for improvements in the community.
We were also very grateful to have with us MaryLynn Hinde, Chair of Frederick’s Ad Hoc Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), who presented on Frederick’s BAC highlighting how they were formed , what they have done since they were formed, and how these efforts resulted in Frederick’s recent bronze level BFC award. Many thanks to MaryLynn for coming to Annapolis!
After a brief pizza break, we reconvened to begin brainstorming on specific things Annapolis can do to become more bicycle friendly according to the League’s Five E criteria (Engineering, Encouragement, Education, Enforcement, and Evaluation/Planning. From this session we compiled a list of action items to be accomplished in the short and long term. Bike Maryland will continue to work closely with workshop attendees in an effort to finalize a formal action plan and continue working towards a more bicycle friendly Annapolis.
ANNAPOLIS BRAINSTORMING SESSION
– establish a branded bike route and also leverage signage from the B&A Trail into town
– bike boulevards from trails to dock
– connect city, county and state routes (need more coordination)
– more signage on Eastport Bridge (share the road signs)
– address high crash rate on West Street and improve understanding of management (city or state)
– provide covered in-town bike parking and install on-street bike parking on main st (exchange two parking spaces for bike parking)
-establish a Bicycle Advisory Committee within the Transportation Advisory Board
– provide incentives for city employees to use alternative transportation (possibly use CMAQ fund for bike parking)
– establish a History Loop similar to Frederick’s (work with Convention and Visitor’s Bureau)
– start a corporate bike challenge among state agencies in Annapolis
Evaluation & Planning
– establish a plan for working with local colleges and state government
– provide more adult bike education
– establish a Safe Routes to School Program at Eastport and Germantown Elementary schools
-update the MVA to provide more bicycle education and cyclists’ rights to the road
-hold more LCI seminars through
-provide bicycle education to city council
– establish diversion programs