Dockless Mobility Update

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Update to the update: The Baltimore City Land Use and Transportation Committee unanimously approved moving this bill out of committee and onto Second Reader. Thanks for your support.

Tomorrow at 1:00pm, Baltimore City Council’s Land Use and Transportation Committee is holding a hearing on the proposed Dockless Mobility legislation that will update Baltimore City code to regulate dockless mobility vehicles, including e-bikes and e-scooters.

This legislation is necessary to enable a permanent Dockless Vehicle program in Baltimore City. The current pilot program, now on a several-month extension, will come to an end and be replaced with this legislation and subsequent annual operating permit guidelines developed by Baltimore City Department of Transportation.

When the legislation was initially introduced, we had a number of concerns. A drafting error implied criminal penalties, including potential imprisonment, for riders. The ordinance contained what we felt to be inflexible and overly specific language, including specifics related to age of users, vehicle definitions, and maximum vehicle deployments. However, we were hopeful that these issues could be addressed in subsequent meetings with DOT.

We’re happy to report that the bill will be introduced tomorrow with numerous friendly amendments that address the majority of our serious reservations:

  • Criminal penalties have been removed from the bill for any users of dockless mobility vehicles.

  • The DOT director can define additional dockless mobility vehicle types beyond bikes and scooters, allowing for potential cargo vehicles or vehicles for people with disabilities that make riding a two-wheeled scooter or bicycle difficult.

  • Instead of a defined maximum in ordinance, the DOT director is instructed to set maximum and minimum numbers of vehicles in the annual permit, allowing more flexible change.

  • The 16 year old age restriction for riding e-bikes and e-scooters (which would have applied to personally owned and operated e-bikes and e-scooters as well) has been removed, allowing for potential vehicles that can accommodate child passengers.

  • Prohibition on multiple riders has been removed, allowing for potential tandem vehicles or vehicles that can accommodate child passengers.

  • You may now choose to ride in the street or on the sidewalk adjacent to a street with a speed limit over 29mph (Before, you were forced to ride on the sidewalk on streets with a speed limit over 30mph).

  • Electric motor speed limit of 15mph for e-bikes was restored to 20mph to match state and federal regulations of Tier I and II e-bikes.

In addition to these amendments, key language mandating equitable access to dockless vehicles throughout the city and in under-served areas as well as language around maintaining publicly accessible data remains.

Assuming these amendments, and the ordinance itself are approved by the Land Use and Transportation Committee as well as the rest of Baltimore City Council, we believe this ordinance will serve as a strong foundation for an innovative and nation-leading dockless vehicle permit developed by Baltimore City Department of Transportation that can evolve annually to reflect the changing market of this new mobility option.

While we congratulate Baltimore City DOT on drafting a strong first piece of legislation on dockless mobility, to fully support this program’s success, Baltimore City Department of Transportation will need to invest heavily in building protected, all-ages bicycle infrastructure throughout the city, with a clear prioritization of infrastructure in defined equity areas and areas with high rates of zero car households. We are a long way off from hitting that mark.

Bikemore awarded Bike Advocacy Organization of the Year!

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A letter from Liz Cornish, Executive Director, Bikemore

I have some news I want to share with you.

Last night I accepted an award at the National Bike Summit for Advocacy Organization of the Year from the League of American Bicyclists. OF THE YEAR! IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY! It was a full circle moment. Four years ago I left my job at the League to move to Baltimore and become the Executive Director of Bikemore. I wanted the chance to grow an organization from the ground up and be part of a community of advocates, activists, and public servants all working collectively to make Baltimore a better place to live — for everyone.

We received this recognition because of our ability to deliver big wins despite impossible odds. We’ve gone head to head with City Hall and advocated for change that has transformed how our streets are designed. And through that we’ve remained a partner to the Department of Transportation so that we can be a resource to them, and maintain a seat at the table representing the people who depend on us. People just like you.

So I’m asking you to help us keep going. Make a donation of $50 today, and you can feel good about being part of something bigger than yourself. Being part of something that just got the attention of everyone across the country fighting to make streets safer for people who bike.

We love Baltimore. And we’re asking Baltimore and our friends across the country to give love back. We’ve done so much with so little. Imagine what’s possible when we all pitch in.

Druid Park Lake Drive Update

For three years, Bikemore has been devoting time and resources to advocating for traffic calming, lane reductions, and better biking and walking connections to Druid Hill Park along the expressway-sized roads that divide the park from adjacent communities. We were inspired by long-time neighbors who had put immense effort and resources behind things like the Druid Hill Farmers market to draw more west side neighbors to the park. We wanted to draw attention to the dangers of Druid Park Lake Drive, Auchentoroly Terrace, and Druid Park Drive , and the inequity these streets exacerbate by creating a chasm between beautiful, historic neighborhoods and a world-class historic park.

We began in 2016. Following the lead of our partner Rails-to-Trails and their effort to create a 35 mile protected greenway around the city, we spent months meeting with stakeholders to understand the challenges and opportunities. Out of that came a demonstration project meant to highlight the dangerous crossing at Gwynn Falls Parkway and Auchentoroly Terrace, a crossing that prevents young and elderly neighbors from safely accessing their neighborhood farmer’s market by foot.

In 2017, the issue gained more traction and we were able to direct resources to Reservoir Hill. A coalition was formed, led by Councilman Leon Pinkett, and neighbors, academics, artists, architects, and nonprofits met with DOT regularly to demand improvements and drive the process of making the streets safer forward.

The construction at the reservoir played an important role. With the popular lake loop obstructed, crossings eliminated, and traffic lanes reduced, suddenly the need to make the park safer, more accessible, and better programmed to serve the residents most in need felt more urgent. If we didn’t capitalize on this moment, it would be possible that once the EPA-mandated construction was complete that everything would go back to being the same.

More people weighed in after Davin Hong’s opinion piece linked above, focusing on the the historic and equity issues that made the case for acting now even more compelling.

Meanwhile, we continued to direct resources, meet neighbors, create art, and throw parties to get people to think differently about how Druid Park Lake Drive could be designed. We wanted the imagination of elected officials, neighbors, and city officials to soar – we wanted a Big Jump.


This week, in what is a small first step towards realizing this vision, the Department of Transportation issued a Request for Proposals for a design firm to do a study. This study will require a consultant to reach out to neighbors and other stakeholders and determine what Complete Street interventions would be the best way to take what has become a convenient thoroughfare for commuters and restore it to its original purpose. Druid Park Lake Drive was a way to gain access to the park. Not keep people away. Auchentoroly Terrace was a neighborhood street that children could safely cross to access a park, not a multi-lane highway with cars speeding in excess of 60 miles per hour.

You can read the RFP here. Over the next few months, our job will be to monitor and provide input into the RFP process and maintain a seat at the table during these early phases of community consultation and eventually, conceptual designs. It will also be our job to make sure neighbors’ voices are being heard. We will continue doing programming that connects people to the park, this design process, and to one another. We will be joined by residents who have been empowered in this process to seek change and conduct research themselves, including Dr. Daniel Hindman and artist Graham Coreil Allen of Auchentoroly Terrace.

This is the beginning of what will no doubt be a multi-year process. But as we reflect on the last three years, we are so proud of what we’ve been able to contribute to this important and historic effort. Projects like the Big Jump are always controversial. We heard a lot of no’s before those big white barriers got put up. But it did exactly what demonstration projects are supposed to do--demonstrate what’s possible when you connect communities with safe places to walk and bike for the first time.





We're Hiring: Development and Operations Coordinator

We're growing! Are you the next member of the Bikemore team?


Development and Operations Coordinator    

About Bikemore

For the past six years Bikemore has worked to increase and improve bicycle infrastructure, policies, and awareness to create a safer, healthier, more livable bicycling city.  We use the bike as a tool to facilitate discussion around equitable transportation and land use policy. We are a small but mighty staff of three that is growing quickly and the Development and Operations Coordinator will serve an integral role, improving operations in order to deepen our impact.  

Who we are looking for

The Development and Operations Coordinator is primarily responsible for performing duties that support development, operations, and internal communications. These duties include CRM administration, assisting with the gift flow process, and providing administrative support to the staff. Execution of these initiatives requires strong administrative and time management skills, as well as strength in data management. The ideal candidate is a well-organized, detail-oriented, and resourceful individual with strong task management skills who enjoys a workplace that is fast-paced and varied. You don’t need to ride a bike all the time, but you must embrace our mission that a city designed for safe biking and walking can improve the quality of life of all Baltimore City residents.

We realize job descriptions and the hiring process are imperfect. We do not hire based solely on experience. If the work sounds interesting to you and you believe you have the aptitude to develop the skills required, we encourage you to apply. We seek applicants with diverse experiences and perspectives that will help strengthen our organization. 

Key Responsibilities

Development 

Grant Research and Filing

  • Research new sources of financial support. 

  • Support Executive Director in preparing grant applications and funding proposals.  

Data Entry and Donation Processing 

  • Update, add and maintain donor, member and prospect constituent records in the NPG Van database.

Donor Cultivation + Stewardship

  • Work with colleagues on campaigns and special events that inspire new people to invest in Bikemore.

  • Create reports that help identify new donors. 

  • Manage the donor stewardship process to ensure donors feel valued and connected to our mission. 

Operations 

  • Perform general clerical duties including but not limited to: answering phones, maintaining office supplies inventory, mailing, filing, photocopying.

  • Assist Executive Director with Board meetings.

  • Assist with managing vendor relationships.

  • Serve as staff liaison to Accountant, responding to inquiries as needed and performing light bookkeeping duties. 

General Decorum 

The Development and Operations Coordinator will operate in a professional manner that reflects well on Bikemore. Namely, email and in-person contact should be professional, and the Development and Operations Coordinator dress / attire should be consistent with that of other individuals at meetings.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities 

  • Basic understanding of Bikemore’s mission, vision, values, and programs. 

  • Ability to effectively use and maintain standard office equipment (Mac OS and Printers).

  • Possesses strong interpersonal skills as demonstrated by compassionate, courteous, cordial, cooperative, and professional interaction with diverse groups of co-workers, external business partners, and the community.

  • Ability to troubleshoot software programs. 

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups.

  • Ability to effectively manage competing priorities and multiple tasks.

  • Valid Driver’s License or State ID and ability to lift upwards of 50 lbs.

  • Majority of the time will be spent in an open office environment. Occasional evening and weekend work required.

Schedule and Pay

This is a full time position. Weekly hours will average 40 hours weekly. Salary range $32-34K.

Benefits

Health Benefits and Health Reimbursement Account

160 hours of paid time off in addition to state holidays and accrued comp time. These hours may generally be used for vacation, sick, personal, or other leave at the employee’s discretion.

Professional Level

Entry level

Application Process

Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2019. We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible. 

Candidates should email a resume and cover letter to jobs@bikemore.net. No calls. Candidates we interview will be required to provide 3 references.


Bikemore provides equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, sex or age.

>> Download a PDF of the job posting


Update on Dockless Mobility

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Technically, Baltimore City’s Dockless Vehicle Pilot Program ends on February 28th.

Over the past six months of the pilot program, dockless scooters and bikes have seen 755,952 rides by over 190,000 riders.

In response to the overwhelming ridership in the pilot program, Baltimore City Department of Transportation has worked with the mayor’s office to introduce legislation at City Council to formally authorize a dockless vehicle program. This legislation will authorize the program legally, and then Baltimore City Department of Transportation will create a permitting program for vendors to provide dockless bikes, e-bikes, and scooters.

BCDOT has also formed a committee to provide guidance on the formation of both the ordinance authorizing a dockless vehicle program as well as the subsequent permits that will be issued. As these are public meetings, we have been attending and providing feedback, even though we are not members of the committee.

Proposed Ordinance

You can view the proposed ordinance First Reader draft here.

Generally, we feel that the ordinance should be broad authorizing language that leaves most definitions, discussion of maximum and minimum numbers of vehicles, age limits, etc. to the actual permit.

As drafted, the First Reader misses this mark. However, BCDOT so far has been very responsive to our concerns, and we believe that they can be addressed through meetings with City Council and BCDOT prior to committee hearing, or at Land Use and Transportation Committee hearings or work sessions.

We do know that the largest (and unintentional) gaffe, the criminalization component, is proposed to be amended out of the legislation. The intent of that section was target providers of dockless mobility vehicles with serious penalties for failing to comply with regulations, not users of dockless mobility vehicles.

Proposed Permit Regulations

The Dockless Vehicle Committee, hosted by BCDOT, has been reviewing best practice documents from NACTO as well as policies in cities across North America and Europe for guidance and lessons learned.

We are hopeful that the resulting permit based on this thorough research-based approach will be a foundation for success and innovation, much like the original pilot agreements we worked with BCDOT to develop.

BCDOT is also learning lessons from the pilot, specifically around the equity requirements. The pilot used Community Statistical Areas as the tool to distribute vehicles equitably among neighborhoods, but we saw that these areas were too large to achieve the intended distribution. Therefore, BCDOT is exploring some other ideas including creating designated dockless mobility hubs in equity priority areas, as well as targeting high ridership bus stops and transit hubs for mandated deployments.

We encourage members of the public to contact DOT with any specific things you’ve seen work well in other cities that may be incorporated into a draft permit. Just visit their page here.

Next Steps for the Pilot Program

Since the pilot program technically ends this week, and we have not formalized the replacement program, BCDOT plans to extend the pilot through the spring. New agreements with Bird and Lime will be signed, and BCDOT has agreed to entertain at least one more operator application. We understand that Jump is interested in entering the pilot program in that slot.

BCDOT Dockless Survey

From December to January, BCDOT launched a survey on dockless mobility that was shared widely through community liaisons, council people, the mayor’s office, transportation advocacy organizations, and the Bird and Lime applications. 5,283 people responded in total.

Results are about what one would expect:

  • There is broad support for the program from both riders and non-riders, with highest support from younger residents.

  • Most people use dockless vehicles to commute or socialize, and do so because it is convenient.

  • Dockless vehicle use predominantly replaces automobile trips, and has encouraged slightly more walking.

  • The improvements people want to see the most are safer places to ride and more vehicles.