The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is urging motorists to share the road and be on the lookout for cyclists, particularly Friday, May 18 which is “National Bike to Work Day.” With local groups, counties and municipalities around the State sponsoring Bike to Work activities, more bicycle traffic is expected along key routes and local roadways. Bicycle safety is a two-way street, and cyclists are reminded to follow the rules of the road, to stay visible and wear a helmet.
Partnering with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, the City of Baltimore and the Downtown Athletic Center, SHA will host a Bike to Work stop on Friday morning, May 18 between 7 and 9 a.m. at the corner of Guilford and Monument streets near SHA Headquarters. Twenty-20 Cycle is providing bike tune-ups, and the Merritt Downtown Athletic Center is partnering in logistics and will provide a demonstration of proper stretching technique for cycling warm-ups and cool-downs.
“Bike to Work Day encourages those who might usually ride for recreation and exercise to try an alternate means of commuting. We certainly expect more bicycle traffic than usual Friday, so we’re urging drivers to stay alert, focus and share the road,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “Cycling instead of driving is not only better for your health, it is better for the health of the environmental as well.” Ms. Peters and Planning and Preliminary Engineering Director Gregory Slater will bike from the Meadowbrook Regional Park in Brooklandville to SHA Headquarters on North Calvert Street.
Working diligently to offer safe transportation options for those traveling on non-motorized two-wheels, SHA continues to add and improve state roads for bicycle access. In fact as a practice, SHA reviews all roadway projects for bicycle compatibility, and adds bicycle shoulders and lanes where possible.
“Bike to Work Day provides an opportunity to highlight the challenges that cyclers face, and remind drivers, who tend to look for other drivers, to look out for bicyclists as well,” said Ms. Peters. “Many people still may not be aware of the three-foot rule, which requires drivers to give three feet of space when passing cyclists.” Safety remains a major concern with 39 people killed and another 3,173 people injured in bicycle-related crashes between 2006 and 2010 in Maryland.
For more information on SHA’s bicycle program, log on to SHA’s website and click on “Environment and Community,” then “Hikers and Bicyclists.” The Maryland Department of Transportation has launched a new web site.
SHA suggests other resources for Bike to Work Day: here and here.
The League of American Bicyclists began National Bike to Work Day in 1956. An annual event held in May across the United States and Canada, National Bike to Work Day promotes the bicycle as an option for commuting to work. Leading up to Bike to Work Day, national, regional, and local bicycle advocacy groups encourage people to try bicycle commuting as a healthy and safe alternative to driving.
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