Edit: Information updated:
HB 143 (3' passing) is in serious trouble, it does not have the votes needed to pass the committee so the forecast is that it is going to die in committee. (Please note that there is a correction to our previous statement about Del Malone following.)
The most troubling aspect in this is we really don't know who in the Environmental Matters Committee is not supporting this bill. Wait, what committee is not supporting bicycling?
That's right the Environmental Matters Committee, while Maryland is supporting other more costly green initiatives it is bicycle use, the zero carbon emission transportation that is the scourge of the Environment Matters Committee (EMC). This is going to be the third year in a row that the Environment Matters Committee has given us trouble on a bill of this nature even though past criticisms have been fixed! Enough already!
Kids biking to school - EMC says no, sooty, asthma producing diesel buses are better and a 15-20% increase in morning rush hour traffic of kids being chauffeured is better for the environment then kids on bikes.
Biking to work - EMC says Maryland's bike modal share of about half of the National average is good enough, Having a higher percentage of people who drive single occupancy vehicles is "better" for the environment.
Energy efficiency is often measured in terms of equivalent number of cars off the road, why not get some real cars off the road as well.
Motor vehicle driver's at fault in a crash with a cyclist - EMC says a low 31% at fault drivers is fair, while other states investigated have a near 50:50 who's at fault. This discouraging and anti-cycling bias in Maryland is good for the environment as it gets more people out driving their SUV's and helps keep their insurance rates down.
The increase in mid-block crashes and fatalities for cyclists - EMC says nothing needs to be done about this. In 2006 Maryland had %100 of our cyclists fatalities that were mid-block (29% under 15 years of age,) 52% of all bike/car crashes happen mid-block. It used to be intersections where the most dangerous for cyclists, times have changed and we need laws to reflect that change and the lack of safe passing distance is a contributing factor in mid-block crashes.
Maryland needs to strongly encourage cycling both for the health of the environment and health of its population. Please take the time to respond.
(Note: Statements attributed to EMC are not quotes, only statements about the results of their inaction.)