Phone: 202.518.0524
Fax: 202.518.0936

Washington Area
Bicyclist Association
2599 Ontario Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20009

WABA Press Center

WABA Press Releases

A complete archive of press releases issued by WABA can be read online here.

WABA in the News

2008 - 2011 Press Archive

Biking in the Nation’s Capital and the Metro Region

  • The Washington region ranks 8th in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas in terms of bicycle commuting; overall, 0.25% of all commuting trips are done on a bicycle.
  • Within the District of Columbia, the number of commutes made on bicycles increased from 0.75% in 1990 to 1.15% in 2000. Bike commutes also increased in Alexandria, as well as in Arlington, Montgomery, and Charles counties within the same period.
  • Bicycle traffic in DC’s downtown area is growing rapidly, with bicycle traffic more than doubling between 1986 and 2002.
  • Daily bicycle traffic entering Arlington County increased more than 50% between 1999 and 2002.
  • Currently, the District sports 17 miles of bike lanes, 50 miles of bike paths, and 64 miles of bicycle routes. This includes 15 miles that have been added since 2001.
  • 20 miles of additional bike paths are in the works and will be constructed throughout 2007.
  • WABA’s own annual Bike to Work Day has grown from a mere 300 participants at one location in the late 1990’s to over 6,000 commuters at a dozen locations throughout the entire metro region in 2006.
  • Since 2001, more than 400 bike racks have been installed in the downtown area.
  • More than 4,000 bicycle trips are taken on the Washington Metro each week.

Bicycles in America’s Communities

  • 40 percent of Americans surveyed said they would commute by bike if safe facilities were available. (Rodale Press Survey)
  • Over 40 percent of trips in the US are under 2 miles in distance, but over 90% of those trips are made by car.
  • According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) October 2000 Omnibus Household Survey, 41.3 million Americans (20.0 percent) used a bicycle for transportation in the 30 days measured in the survey.
  • Bicycling is the second most preferred form of transportation after the automobile, ahead of public transportation. More than 9.2 million (22.3 percent) of the 41.3 million people who bicycled did so more than ten of the 30 days.
  • There are 27.8 million bikers in the southern United States, including Maryland, DC, and Virginia. This constitutes 32% of the nation’s cyclists! (Outdoor Industry Association)
  • U.S. cyclists have a mean income of about $60,000.  (Outdoor Industry Association)
  • The bicycle industry employs close to 100,000 people in research and development, manufacturing, distribution, retail sales, service, and tourism.
  • In 2003, U.S. consumers bought 18.5 million bicycles. That’s 3.7 million more than all the cars and trucks purchased in the U.S. that year.
  • 52% of Americans would like to bike more (Bikes Belong)
  • 46% would bike to work if designated trails were available (Bikes Belong)
  • 53% favor increased federal spending on bike facilities (Bikes Belong)


  •  Motor vehicle emissions represent 31% of total carbon dioxide, 81% of carbon monoxide, and 49% of nitrogen oxides released in the U.S. (Cleanair.org)
  •  60% of the pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively. Since "cold starts" create high levels of emissions, shorter car trips are more polluting on a per-mile basis than longer trips. (bikeleague.org)
  •  A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (WorldWatch Institute)
  •  Air pollution contributes to the deaths of 60,000 people nationwide. In urban areas with poor air quality, asthma is becoming a more significant health concern. (Harvard University School of Public Health).
  • The District and surrounding metro region is classified as a severe non-attainment area for ground level ozone by the US EPA.

New Bike Promo Videos for the Region!

Both DC and Arlington have completed short promotional videos on bicycling. Share them with friends and family who need a bit of encouragement to either start cycling, or riding more often!

DDOT Bike Promo Video >>
"My Mind is Relaxed, I Don't Worry About Work" >>
"On the Trail, Nobody's Honking Behind You" >>



  • Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. (obesity.org)
  •  Research conducted in 1999 by the Centers for Disease Control found that "obesity and overweight are linked to the nation's number one killer--heart disease--as well as diabetes and other chronic conditions." The report also states that one reason for Americans' sedentary lifestyle is that "walking and cycling have been replaced by automobile travel for all but the shortest distances." (October 27, 1999 issue of the JAMA)
  • In a CDC Survey conducted in 2001, 19.9% of adults were obese in Washington DC; 19.8% of adults were obese in Maryland; and 20.0% of adults were obese in Virginia.  (CDC)
  • According to a study of national costs attributed to both overweight (BMI 25–29.9) and obesity (BMI greater than 30), medical expenses accounted for 9.1 percent of total U.S. medical expenditures in 1998 and may have reached as high as $78.5 billion ($92.6 billion in 2002 dollars).  In the District of Columbia, 6.7% of total expenditures were overweight and obesity related, with $372 million spent; in Maryland 6%, with $1533 million; and in Virginia, 5.7% or $1641 million.  (CDC)


  • Of 68 metropolitan regions in the US, Metro Washington ranks 3rd in traffic congestion, 4th in the amount of extra time needed for a trip during rush hour and 5th in the average amount of time each person wastes in traffic jams. 


Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Pedestrian and Bike Safety Program


Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) has a proven track record in providing Safety Education throughout the Washington DC region to bikers and walkers on a variety of age levels.

WABA offers Bike Education for adults on a variety of levels:

  • Health and Safety Fairs sponsored by Government, Educational, or Private Sector Institutions: WABA staff distributes helpful safety and commuter information. 
  • The introductory Confident City Cycling (CCC) classes: typically held in a community meeting room for three hours on a Saturday morning, presents commuter-related information from the League of American Bicyclist’s well-known Road I course- the basics of lane positioning when riding with traffic, techniques for avoiding crashes, emergency repairs, securing your bike, and more. 
  • Road I: a ten-hour in-depth Bike Ed. seminar expanding CCC to cover more types of cycling, is offered periodically. 
  • League Certified Instructor training: 22 hrs. of rigorous instruction designed to produce more Bike Education instructors.


WABA offers Youth Pedestrian and Bike Safety Education taught by WABA staff, trained teachers, and volunteers through:

  • In-school programs up to two weeks long in PE classes: WABA’s self-contained program includes teacher training, a ready-to-use curriculum, a trailer full of bikes and everything you need to deliver the program, and a website for contacts and coordination.
  • One-day school safety presentations: WABA staff or trained teachers and volunteers such as police officers use WABA’s equipment to educate individual grades or whole schools in one event.
  • One-day weekend or evening Bike Safety Skills events: also called Bicycle Rodeos, these are presented by trainees and other volunteers, using WABA’s equipment.


Train-the-Trainer Seminars:

  • In some cases, WABA provides train-the-trainer seminars to expand the program’s reach beyond the Washington Metropolitan area. Trained teachers, police officers, volunteers, and medical staff participate in these trainings so as to use one of WABA’s three fully-equipped trailers full of kids bikes, helmets, and everything else needed to bring the program to schools, summer camps, scout troops, and others.


Safety Website: 

  • WABA maintains a Safety Education website, www.waba.org/resources/, to support its education programs and as a stand-alone resource for teachers. Here can be found downloadable curricula for school programs or trainings, scheduling of upcoming trainings and events, and related resources.