Last week we wrote about the news that MICA and UB presidents eliminated the option of bicycle lanes on Mt Royal Avenue in meetings with the Baltimore City department of Transportation. Since Sunday, over 300 people have signed their names to an online petition demanding the institutions follow city guidelines and include bicycle lanes in the Mt Royal redesign.
We’ve outlined positions the major players surrounding the issue, and how you can get involved.
MICA’s Position on Bike Lanes on Mt Royal
The meetings with the DOT happened without student input. On a roadway where many students have had close calls with speeding vehicles, the reduction of a lane of traffic and implementation of a safe right of way for bicyclists could work wonders for developing Mt Royal avenue into a more accesible roadway and less of an on-ramp for the I83. Unfortunately, MICA wanted to preserve the status quo of two lanes of high-speed automobile traffic.
Below, an excerpt from an email from MICA’s director of Operations, Michael Molla -
“During the design process, we learned that there was not sufficient space to maintain two vehicle travel lanes while supporting a dedicated bike lane. We were pleased that the design we supported, and understood was approved, to move forward included a shared travel bike lane that would be marked and designated on the street and with signage.”
While MICA supports an improved right of way for bicyclists, it was not the best option for the safety of students.
As if MICA’s support for inferior infrastructure wasn’t disappointing enough, this ‘shared lane’ will likely not be implemented, since after the design process, the city determined lanes of this nature did not offer sufficient protection for bicyclists.
UB’s Position Statement on Mt Royal
UB President Robert L. Bogomolny’s email response, selection quoted below :
“We are open to any plan that contributes to the safety and well-being of our community. It is appropriate that experts in the Baltimore City Department of Transportation study and recommend how best to implement safe pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists in our area.”
Basically, Bogomolny hands off the responsibility to the DOT and their ‘experts’, without revealing his position on bicycle lanes and how much influence he had in the decision not to include them in the plans for Mt Royal Avenue.
Since MICA’s officials stance is still not in favor of bike lanes on Mt Royal Avenue, you may choose to take advantage of the two meetings below to voice your concerns directly to MICA administration (if you haven’t already signed the petition, you can do that here).
2. MICA’s townhall meeting, while mainly for the benefit of students, is open to the public. If anyone wants to wear shirts, hold helmets, or somehow identify themselves as present for this reason, that might be a good idea.