Bike Maryland is your state-wide full-time advocate for better bicycling. As part of our advocacy work we assist local groups with issues that they feel that they cannot handle on their own. We partner with local and national organizations to pool resources and provide Maryland cyclists with the best services we can. Sometimes this means that Bike Maryland takes the lead while other times we lend our resources and time to a cause that another group is working on. If there is no local group either we take the issue on or foster the creation of a local cycling advocacy group to take charge.
These are the initiatives we are actively working on or supporting:
We are active with the East Coast Greenway working to secure a crossing over the Susquehanna River that is not the Conowingo Dam. Currently cyclists traveling on the East Coast Greenway, or simply traveling from one side of the river to the other, must travel twenty miles out of their way to cross the Conowingo Dam. This is a heavily trafficked route with no shoulders and concrete edges that intimidates even the most stalwart cyclist. The Hatem Bridge will open to cyclists on July 1st with certain restrictions. While we would prefer a separated facility, the Hatem is a right now solution for confident cyclists.
In 2015, Bike Maryland and the League of American Bicyclists held three meetings in Columbia, Cumberland, and Bel Air to provide “Bicycle Friendly Community” audits. As a result, Columbia submitted an application to the Bike Friendly Community program. We will continue to work with Cumberland as they prepare their application, and Bel Air as they make the initial steps towards becoming bike friendly. In 2016, we will select approximately three communities on which to concentrate our efforts.
We have submitted a request to the State Highway Administration to approve the use of HAWK beacons on state roads. High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacons are traffic control devices that stop road traffic to allow a pedestrian to cross safely. While Maryland law requires that drivers stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, too many pedestrians and bicyclists are injured and killed when drivers fail to do so. Two research studies show that when installed, HAWK lighting reduces vehicle/pedestrian crashes by 69% and as many as 97% of motorists comply with the light, higher than crossings with flashing yellow beacons (which are approved for use in Maryland).