Your Monthly Update: Fire Access, Our Legislative Agenda & More

Missed our Members' Meeting last week? Here's what you missed! Plus, we've heard that you want more regular project updates, so this is the first of our new monthly advocacy update series.

And the Q&A from the members' meeting will be published later this week!

 

Advocacy Updates

Baltimore Greenway Trails Network

  • Preliminary outreach and engineering work on
    • Gwynn Falls Parkway-Connecting Druid Hill Park to Leakin Park
    • Middle Branch-Connecting GFT, Westport, Port Covington, and Inner Harbor
  • Develop designs w/ BGE regarding connection between Herring Run and future Highland Town Rail-Trail
  • Working w/ Planning Dept to integrate Green Network Plan
  • Developing project name/branding

More about this project.
→ Rails-to-Trails staff is available to speak at community meetings to learn more: contact jim@railstotrails.org

Big Jump: Druid Park Lake Drive

Big Jump is a national 5 year program to expand biking in neighborhoods from PeopleForBikes. Baltimore was awarded for Remington and Reservoir Hill, to improve the biking and walking connection across the 28th Street bridge. Councilman Pinkett is advocating hard to use the maintenance-of-traffic agreement from the Druid Hill Park reservoir project to implement this solution, but the city is currently not agreeable.

→ More about this project.

Bike Share

Planned stations. Last column is current status, with community, contractor, MTA, developer, legal indicating the reason for a hold up. 

  • 27 live stations (32 by next week)
  • 220 bikes in system (not all on street due to weather)
  • 300+ bikes by mid February
  • Theft no longer an issue, BUT vandalism due to attempted theft still ongoing but manageable
  • Bike app accuracy issues resolved--95% accurate
  • Significant sponsor coming on in February--with specific goal of increasing membership
  • Baltimore being considered for Bewegen US bike manufacturing site

More about this project.

Downtown Bike Network

  • Maryland Avenue (construction hold)
    • It's 95% done, but on hold for fire access issue. Maryland Avenue has been deemed non-compliant by the Baltimore City Fire Department per Baltimore City DOT, though no documentation to that affect has been provided from our Public Information Act request.
  • Preston and Biddle Streets (construction hold)
    • These lanes are standard bike lanes that do not affect fire clearance, but they are also under construction hold because of the fire access issue.
  • Madison and Monument Streets (construction hold)
    • We're currently working with Hopkins to leverage their power, with the goal of a fully protected facility here that makes it safer and more comfortable to ride on these streets that are better lit and have more activity. The city currently plans for these to only be partially protected, and that protection would need to be removed to make them compliant with the fire access issue. 
  • Potomac Street (completed)
    • This is done! Hoorah!
  • Inner Harbor Jones Falls Stain (construction hold)
    • The plan calls for staining the inner harbor route green to be more clearly a bike route, but this is on hold because the Fire Department wants to review it even though it does not affect the width of the road. 

 More about this project.

Fire Access Issue

For more on this, read our latest blog post. But the short of it is that the city is choosing to apply the International Fire Code clearance rules to repaving projects with bike lanes on them, but not on any other roads. 

Mt Royal

Our last update on Mount Royal and the Midtown Streetscape project can be found here. In short, nothing has changed. The city broke its promise to hold construction until stakeholder concerns were addressed. The project is currently under construction, and will spend millions of dollars while making the street arguably more dangerous.

Miscellaneous Projects

  • 28th and 29th Street Traffic Calming (beginning neighborhood organizing phase)
    • Neighbors from GRIA, CVCA, and Harwood have formed a committee to advocate for calming traffic on these highway connector roads. Bikemore is helping facilitate. → Next meeting is 1/22
  • 41st Street Road Diet (in progress)
    • Neighbors organized around the too wide and too fast 41st St. Graham Young from DOT advocated for taking away one of the travel lanes and adding a protected bike lane, serving as a connector from Woodberry across Falls Road to the new Union Collective. So far the lane reduction and bike lane are in place, with flex post installation to protect the lane scheduled for this spring.
  • 39th Street Road Diet (planning)
    • Road diet and traffic calming project on 39th and Argonne that was supposed to be in the form of protected bike lanes, but Councilwoman Clarke and constituents are advocating for parking and turn lanes. Advocacy will need to begin on this project shortly.
  • Covington Street Lane (planning)
    • Bike lane was supposed to be installed in 2016, is due to be installed in 2018, will serve as a neighborhood connector from Rash Field to Federal Hill to Riverside Park.

Legislative Agenda

  • Complete Streets: Delay due to racial equity focus through disparity study. Want to get it right, even if it takes more time. → More. 
  • Parking Cash Out: Gives people option to take parking subsidy from employer (if provided) in form of cash payment. Starting with city employees first. →More.
  • Parking Minimums: Parking is expensive to build, harms affordability, harms walkable, dense neighborhoods.
  • Dedicated Pot: We’ve added revenue streams and will add more, we should dedicate to active and public transport.

North Ave Rising

The top is the current proposed design, but we're advocating for the bottom design.

  • The TIGER grant will improve operations for buses but won’t be great. We think the street should be great. We think great looks something like the bottom image to the right. Councilman Pinkett is leading the effort, in coordination with the Greater Baltimore Committee, to advocate for more money to build a better street.

More about this project. 

Trail and Bike Route Safety

  • 500 people signed our petition for safety improvements along JFT
  • We met with Rec and Parks to discuss our demands
  • Next steps:
    • Rec and Parks are creating an estimate for installation of light poles (Spring 2018)
    • Trees will be tagged for removal, will need volunteers (with chainsaws!!) to come help remove (Winter 2018)
    • Section of fence on north side being removed to serve as bail out
    • Continuing to work with partners like Public Defender's Office, Community Conferencing, City Agencies, BPD, and business to create a comprehensive safety and restorative justice approach

More about this.

Program Updates

 

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Mobile Bike Shop

  • Pilot project started in 2016
  • Have hosted 10 “shops” to date
  • Currently seeking funding to bring project to scale

More about this. 

 

Growing Bikemore

  • We’ve reached staff capacity
  • Will likely hire more staff in the next 12-18 months
  • We will outgrow our co-working space with additional staff/programming
  • On the hunt for a permanent space, likely in the next 1-2 years
    • Transit/bike accessible
    • Hub for all volunteer run bike programs to have meeting space/ access to resources to grow

Financial Snapshot

  • FY18 Budget $225K
  • We are about 75% of the way toward our fundraising goal for the year. About $50K more left to raise to meet our budget.
  • We are currently spending slightly under budget — 46% of total expenses — a little more than halfway through the fiscal year.
  • 35% of our income is individual gifts
  • Our average individual gift size is $123