Fire Access issue still delaying the Downtown Bike Network

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 2.20.24 PM.png

This morning the city's Board of Estimates voted to approve a 318 day delay for work for the contractor hired to construct the Downtown Bike Network — again citing the fire access issue as the cause for delay. This means that the city now has until October 31, 2018 to complete work that was originally set to be completed by January 2017.

Beginning in May of 2017, there were complaints about the width of the Potomac Street bike lane which was then under construction, citing a portion of the Baltimore City adopted International Fire Code addressing the required width of streets. This code is now being applied only to streets with bike lanes, delaying construction of bike lanes that are already fully designed and funded. You can check out full story for more background on this ongoing issue. 

If less than 20 feet of clearance is truly a safety threat, the city should be applying the code to all projects, said Bikemore executive director Liz Cornish — not just those with bike lanes. “They’re not applying this interpretation of the fire code equitably for streets across the city,” Cornish said. “If it is, in fact, a safety issue, it is a safety issue on all streets.”
— Baltimore bike lane construction delayed again, amid fire code concerns, Baltimore Sun
“It’s disappointing to us that this project, which has already been subject to one extension, is already a year behind, and is now potentially behind for another year because of the fire clearance issue,” said Jed Weeks, policy director for local cycling nonprofit Bikemore.
— City Officials Again Delay Downtown Bike Network’s Installation, Baltimore Fishbowl

Want to support us in our ongoing #FightforBikes?



Potomac Will Be Saved

Even under construction riders of all ages have been out enjoying the protected bike lane on Potomac Street. 

Even under construction riders of all ages have been out enjoying the protected bike lane on Potomac Street. 

We have good news - the Potomac Street protected bike lane will not be removed! We will not be going to court tomorrow. Instead we have entered into a settlement agreement and will be sitting down this week with the City to assist in finalizing new plans for Potomac Street. We are confident this modified plan will preserve a high quality all ages protected two-way bike facility on Potomac Street, as well as safeguard public safety and accommodate emergency vehicles.
Once the plans have been finalized, they will be shared with the public for a two week comment period. During that time the Potomac Street bike lane will remain intact as is currently constructed. Once the public comment period has ended, the City will take comments into consideration and begin construction. We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the City and are committed to being partners as we work to make Baltimore a safe place to ride a bike. 

Your support and advocacy during these past few weeks has been tremendous. Each one of you that donated, called, and wrote letters played a part in bringing us to this resolution. As a thank you, please join us at the courthouse tomorrow 6/28/2017 between 9-9:30 am. We will be hanging out at the Battle Monument serving up donuts and coffee as a thank you! Join us as we continue to #FightForBikes!