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Aside from a few new bike lanes here or there as part of Operation Orange Cone, there hasn’t been anything new to bike on in Baltimore for quite some time. Even the new shared bike and bus lanes downtown need some refreshing. One small victory was gained in the deep mid-winter on the central bikeway of Baltimore. Baltimore City Public School System had closed the parking lot of the Guilford Ave cut-through due to conflict between cyclists and pedestrians with extended gate arms and chains.
A compromise was reached by the Department of Transportation adding signage to direct cyclists to the parking lot and yiedling right-of-way to pedestrians; nothing more than is asked in the regular course of travel by cyclists in all parts of the city…and world. By adding 3 simple signs, the dream of the Guilford Avenue Bicycle Boulevard lives on.
Quite a few more signs for bicycles will spring up over the course of the spring, summer & fall taking B’more to the next level of bicycle existence. No, it’s not Portland, Amsterdam, Copenhagen or even New York City. It’s Baltimore. Not only will the Park Heights and Southeast Bike Networks become reality, but construction on 3 trail sections will begin and an existing trail will be recognized.
Until the summer construction season, keep on riding, shake the remaining cold and yield to pedestrians. There are many events coming this summer that need assistance of experienced cyclists. Let’s get more of B’more outta cars and onto bikes!!!
As Bartles & James used to say, “Thank you for your support.”
As I recall, the bike lanes on University Parkway right below Roland Avenue, heading South, were the first ones in the City — or, at least, the first ones I ever saw. It was early fall 2007, and I was stoked. This was the sharrow right before the official bike lane, the first modern Baltimore sharrow I ever saw. I was sad to see it go today, so Dan and I got a little video of it.
I am extremely excited to see what replaces what’s gone, though. Parts of the bike lanes here have always been a little rough, and lately, they’ve been downright dangerous. Nate Evans told us there’d be smooth lanes soon, and he wasn’t fooling. I repeat that I am excited to see what’s next.
Roland Avenue is torn up between University and Coldspring Lane, too, so be careful. Those parts were always full of craters anyway. I’m glad that the City is maintaining the bike lanes a lot of folks use. I read an article somewhere wherein someone complained that the University Parkway and Roland Avenue lanes were for “Roland Parkers”. In my experience, not so. Lots of people pass through, from the county, and heading to the county. And, living in Roland Park, I see lots of $5,000 bikes ridden by folks wearing $200 outfits around here sometimes. But, brother, they ain’t goin to work. This route benefits more than Roland Parkers, that’s for sure. Hell, I know some people who don’t like the lanes being here.
I’m planning some new bike routes for the Bolton Hill, Reservoir Hill & Lake Avenue area. Essentially, these routes will be signed with distance and destination markers with limited pavement markings along (relatively) low volume, low speed roads connecting gaps in the Baltimore’s bike network.
Eutaw route will follow Eutaw Pl northbound from State Center/MLK to Druid Hill Park. The southbound route will be Madison/Swan from the Jones Falls Trail to Bloom where it dog-legs left back to Eutaw.
The Lake Avenue route will begin where the bike lanes end on Kelly Ave just west of Mt. Washington and direct bike traffic east to Falls, dog-leg left onto Bellemore to Roland, dog-leg left again onto Lake all the way to Chinquapin with a spur to Belvedere Square off Linton via the footbridge over Northern Pkwy.
The development of these routes is based on their identity in the bike master plan, current use by cyclists and areas where bikes and cars can conceivably “share the road”. While Eutaw may not be for the faint of heart, there’s Park which is quieter. Some prefer Lake Ave over Bellemore when climbing out of the valley, which is all good. Bellemore doesn’t necessarily have the road width, but it has far less traffic. Some avoid Lake altogether, but it does have a wider shoulder toward the west and traffic calming in the east.
If biking in Baltimore is to be normalized, we need to decrease “riding in the shadows” and OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS. Any feedback is encouraged and appreciated! And thanks to everyone who came to the Harford Rd meeting!!!!