San Francisco can very definitely afford bike infrastructure, according to this Green Lane Project infographic.
Register for Bike to Work Day 2014!
Winter will never go away. Fortunately, there are endless tips on how to handle winter riding. Here are some from WTOP.
Er, well, maybe winter will eventually exit and the cherry blossoms will bloom. Keep your eye out for this be-blossomed pink Bikeshare bike.
Yesterday, Tues., March 5, our Advocacy Coordinator, Greg Billing, delivered to D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s a petition you and over 2,400 others signed, asking for improvements to the Rock Creek Park Trail. A lack of any attempt to improve the trail’s well-known egregious conditions drove WABA to demand immediate action from the National Park Service and District Department of Transportation last month. Del. Norton is now asking those agencies for a progress report.
We are grateful for Congresswomen Norton’s support of the campaign to fix the Rock Creek Park Trail. Read the full press release from her office below the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
Join WABA next Friday, March 14th in celebrating the one-year anniversary of our Women & Bicycles Program.
We’ve replaced Bike Prom with a raucous evening of festivities. All funds go to support the 2014 Women & Bicycles’ season of workshops, meetups, rides, and Roll Models to inspire more women to bike. This is a co-ed party, but remember gals invite their dates!
You can expect bike parking, local DJ’s, dancing, bike-themed games, food and drink specials, awards, and some surprises along the way.
Sadie Hawkins Dance Party
Date: Friday, March 14th, 2014
Time: 7:30pm to 2:00am
Location: 1725 Columbia Rd NW
Ticket Price: $10 online, $15 at the door
The region’s largest celebration of getting to work on two wheels, Bike to Work Day, is Fri., May 16. Registration is now open.
The first 12,000 registrations will get the much sought-after Bike to Work Day T-shirt. But registrations also help provide a count of who’s commuting by bike. Even if you’re unable to ride to work on Bike to Work Day, we encourage you to register regardless. The more people we can count biking to work, the more we can demonstrate the need for better, safer infrastructure for cycling in the D.C. region.
Over 14,000 people registered for Bike to Work Day this year—a record-shattering count. Let’s make Bike to Work Day history again this year.
WABA is looking for an enthusiastic team of Trail Rangers for the 2014 season. For more information, read on after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
Each year, WABA has the privilege to lead the Congressional Ride, one of the final events of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit. Bicycle advocates and enthusiasts from across the nation are invited to join us for a tour highlighting some of D.C.’s best cycling infrastructure and to hear what’s being planned for the future.
If you’re in town for the National Bike Summit or know someone who is, join us on Thurs., March 6th at 8:30 a.m. at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, right in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Helmets are required and Bike the Sites will provide bicycle rentals.
We also need ride marshals! If you’re a WABA-n, are comfortable riding in traffic with large groups, and have a few hours to help us out for a beautiful bike ride, please sign up here to volunteer as a ride marshal for the morning. The ride should only take about an hour and a half.
On Friday, I will be testifying on behalf of WABA at the Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety’s annual oversight hearing on the efforts of the Metropolitan Police Department. On Monday, I will be testifying at the Transportation & Environment Committee’s oversight hearing on the efforts of the District Department of Transportation.
It’s time for me to say something different on behalf of the District’s bicyclists, and I need you to say it with me.
I sat down yesterday to write my testimony for these important hearings, and I realized that these agencies simply are not making the progress they need to make. They are not keeping up with the growth of bicycling in the District and region.
I’m not going to go back into those hearings again—for a third year—and say the same things: the Rock Creek Park Trail isn’t done; the Met Branch Trail isn’t done; protected bike lanes take forever to design, then are downgraded to simple bike lanes when someone objects; police don’t interview bicyclists when they’re involved in crashes; and the police department refuses to enforce the three-foot passing law and other safety laws.
All those things are still true.
But saying them last year didn’t get us anywhere, and saying them again this year won’t either. We need to try a new approach.
Let’s think bigger.
Recently, several big U.S. cities like New York and Chicago, as well as that often-cited bike utopia Portland, have publicly adopted “Vision Zero” policies, dedicated to ensuring that no one is killed on city streets. “Vision Zero” means that there will be zero deaths or significant injuries due to traffic crashes. D.C. pays lip service to this goal with a little-known website stating it, but has done virtually nothing to make it happen.
Let’s make it happen.
For D.C. to truly embrace “Vision Zero,” it can’t just put up a website and call it a day. Key agencies like DDOT and MPD need serious restructuring designed around that goal. Planners need to talk to engineers at all stages of project development. Officers need to be assigned to focus on traffic crime. Budgets need to focus on projects that protect pedestrians and bicyclists. Good designs need to be constructed rather than watered down at the first whisper of pushback. Public employees need to be trained on the importance of bicycling and walking, and how to protect the safety of those who bike and walk.
Vision Zero is more than a slogan. It is more than just a goal. It is a philosophy of prioritizing the protection of the people who use our streets, trails, and sidewalks and organizing the activities of our local government in a manner consistent with that level of priority.
We can do this. The District can be a leader in creating safe streets, trails, sidewalks, and public spaces. The demand is there. People want safer streets. But we need our government leaders to do something bigger than complete a single bike lane or pass a single law. We need them to change their priorities and govern accordingly.
Help change the conversation.
In my testimony before these committees, I will push for precisely this prioritization of people, and the implementation of a Vision Zero policy. I want you do to the same.
Tonight, there is a mayoral debate featuring all the major candidates and the public can submit questions. Let’s hold the candidates accountable to prioritizing safe streets and ask them how they plan to do so. Click here to submit your question to be asked at the debate.
Don’t forget that residents are always welcome at council oversight hearings to discuss the work of District agencies.
- The MPD hearing is this Friday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m., and you can sign up to testify by calling 202.724.7808.
- The DDOT hearing is Mon., March 1 at 11 a.m., and you can sign up to testify by calling 202.724.8062.
After last year’s hugely successful Valentine’s Day outreach at 15th and R streets NW, the bike ambassadors took it up a notch for 2014: Two outreach locations were selected, 500 valentines were hand-crafted by our volunteer team, treats were purchased, and plans were made. Our goal was to share the love of bicycling.
Just before our bike ambassador teams were to deploy, the weather challenged us by dumping several inches of snow! But despite snow-covered bike lanes and freezing temperatures, the ambassadors pressed on.
The first ambassador crew set up camp at the corner of East Capitol and 4th streets NE and waited for the morning rush.
We typically see 150-plus bicyclists during morning commute outreach at this location, but due to the slush we only saw 3 cyclists in the 90 minutes we spent outside. Armed with an abundance of Valentine notes, we ventured out looking for recently-ridden bicycles (ones not covered in snow) all over the city on which to hang the leftovers.
Some of our favorite Valentine messages included ”We WHEELIE like you,” ”Are you spoken for?” ”Hope your commute is as sweet as you are,” ”You’re just our speed,” and ”We like the way you roll.”
By the time the afternoon team set up at the corner of 15th and L streets NW, the cycletrack had been plowed and the sun had warmed things up. People were surprised to see us out there, but thrilled to have positive interactions to kick off the weekend!
Dan Mehaffey and Jim Durham are City of Alexandria residents and local advocates for safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Richard Baier, Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services Director, presented on Monday a plan to meet the direction of City Council and calm traffic on King Street. The plan is the outcome of professional work by City Staff, numerous community meetings, and a compromise to keep as much parking as possible on King Street. The meeting went into the early hours of Tuesday when the Traffic and Parking Board voted 5-2 to recommend delay in implementing the plan, a change from a similar November 25th vote of 6-0 recommending delay. Board members Greg Cota and Kevin Posey voted against further delay after listening to Mr. Baier’s presentation and public comments, in which a majority of speakers, all Alexandria residents, spoke in favor of the City’s plan.
The flashpoint in the plan is the 27 parking spaces on King Street between West Cedar and Highland, where the majority of houses face North Terrace View, not King Street. Chairman Thomas “Jay” Johnson, Jr. heard testimony about the parking usage by City Staff. In 20 random samplings of the 27 spaces, the average count was 1.2 cars. At most, five cars were parked in the 27 spaces. The 27 spaces do not include the 10 spaces west of Highland which were kept as parking spaces as part of a compromise that also added three additional spaces to the street parking on the other side of King Street.
Mr. Baier’s expert testimony focused on how the traffic calming measure before the board would re-allocate the use of public right-of way to create a safer King Street in a section that is heavily used by pedestrians to access the King Street transit hub. The Alexandria Transportation Commission, the Environmental Policy Commission, the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and the Park and Recreation Commission submitted letters of support for the plan.
The board also heard from Alexandria residents including residents of the affected neighborhood who favor the city’s plan and want the safety measures afforded by the city plan. The safety measures include pedestrian crossings, separation of use for walkers, bikers, and motorists, and a compliant lane narrowing shown by the Highway Capacity Manual to reduce speeds by between 1.9 and 6.6 miles per hour. The King Street speed limit is 25 miles per hour in the section, but motorist speeds are well in excess of the limit. Opponents of the plan also cited safety as a reason for their opposition to the plan described as safe by not only the professional planners on city staff but also in an independent review by a professional engineering firm.
The traffic calming plan now goes to City Council for a March 15th hearing with the Traffic and Parking Board’s recommendation.
A clarification, from the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee: “Although the original parking information was technically correct, parking needs are based on peak usage not average usage. In an effort to be as clear as possible, we have updated the numbers to stress the peak usage for all parking in the stretch (six cars for 37 spaces) instead of the average usage for the 27 spaces that will be removed (just over 1 car).”
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