Let’s grade some intersections!

Over the past year, our Vision Zero team has been holding neighborhood workshops in each of the District’s 8 Wards. We meet up with neighbors, commuters and community advocates to visit a dangerous intersection or two, then talk about what might make it safer. Out of those conversations, we put together a report card for each intersection. Here are our report cards so far:

Want to join us at our next intersection visit? Join us on August 5 on the Marvin Gaye Trail.

WABA Rides in Fairfax County

Bicycling in the region is so challenging and fun in part because the bike infrastructure can change so quickly. Fairfax residents recently had the opportunity to appreciate and experience just how unpredictable biking can be on our first Community Ride in the county.

Specifically, WABA was asked by Connections at MetroWest to conduct a ride that started and ended at the community center on their property next to the Vienna Metrorail Station. The purpose of the ride was to show the community how easy and fun it is to get around by bicycle. Fourteen folks showed up for the ride with a variety of bikes and experience levels. The age of the participants–as well as the number of months since they last rode a bike–ranged greatly from 9 – 75.

After everyone was checked in and the waivers were signed, a few of WABA’s excellent, experienced educators (all of them certified as League Cycling Instructors) reviewed helmet-fit, explained how and why to do pre-ride bike checks, and gave out tips for riding in a group. Finally, it was time to set off and explore the community.

The first stop was Nottoway Park, a beautiful stretch of green space in Vienna with walking trails and a variety of courts and fields for games. As soon as we passed the park, a few participants in the ride stated, “I had no idea this was so close, and so easy to get to.” We proceeded to climb Tapawingo road, demonstrating how to ride outside of the “door zone” simply by riding in the middle of the lane. Once the group crested the hill, we wended our way through the neighborhood to get to the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail.

Before riding on the trail, the group reviewed proper trail etiquette such as riding single-file, staying to the right, slowing down and giving ample space when passing slower moving trail users. We also stressed the need to plan ahead for the most unpredictable users of the trail: pets, children, and wildlife. After our time on the trail, we made our way back to our starting point where delicious cookies and water, generously provided by Connections at MetroWest were waiting for us.

WABA’s Community Rides are intentionally not fast or lengthy. On this ride, we covered 5.5 miles in about 90 minutes. These rides are specifically designed to explore communities, give riders the opportunity to become more familiar with riding, and to connect them more closely with their neighborhoods (and neighbors!).

Big thanks to the team at Connections at MetroWest for providing this opportunity, we can’t wait to go for another ride!

Would you like to explore your region by bike? Then come and ride with WABA.

DDOT trains contractors, utililty companies on how to work around bike infrastructure.

Matthew Marcou, Associate Director of the Public Space Regulation Administration at the District Department of Transportation, explains to staff from public agencies, utilities, and construction contractors how to properly detour the 15th St Protected Bike Lane.

After three years of work, The District Department of Transportation has released guidelines that advise Public Space Permit applicants how to properly accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians during construction or other road closures. You can read the guidelines here (PDF). These guidelines are one of the final missing pieces in the agency’s implementation of the Safe Accommodations element of the 2013 Bicycle Safety Amendment Act. 2013 may seem like a long time ago, but DDOT’s Safe Accommodations regulations are some of the most progressive in the country. Without other cities to use as models, the agency had to start more or less from scratch.

In addition to the written guidelines, DDOT developed several typical scenarios for construction teams to follow (below), and hosted the first of several live-traffic training sessions.

An illustration of how to properly detour bicyclists around work in a two way protected bike lane.

These trainings are a big step towards ensuring that bicyclists and pedestrians can move safely past the city’s ever present construction, and WABA is glad to hear that DDOT will hold more of them.

Is construction blocking your bike lane? Here’s our how-to on making sure contractors are following their Traffic Control Plan, and how to report problems.

 

Tour de Fat cancelled due to dangerous weather

Live from the waterfront

As you might have seen on social media, Tour de Fat has been cancelled due to some dangerous weather.

We’re bummed we don’t get to party with you today.

Tour de Fat is a big goofy party, but the work it funds is serious and important—safer bike lanes, better bike laws, a more connected trail network, and better education programming for everyone who uses our roads.

Can you chip in a some of that weekend beer money and help us keep working to make your bike ride better?

$10 $25 $100

We really appreciate it. Stay safe in this crazy weather!

Let’s go for a ride soon,

—Your friends at WABA.

PS: If you purchased tickets, keep an eye out for an email from New Belgium Brewing about next steps.

Top Five Reasons To Go To Tour de Fat

 

Here are our top five reasons why YOU should come to Tour de Fat on Saturday, July 22nd.

1. It’s really, really fun! And you get 20% off on WABA jerseys.

Tour de Fat is WAY more fun than sitting on your couch, sitting in the grass, or sitting on a bar stool. You get to enjoy good craft beers for only $5, dance to some live rocking blues, and soak in the sun with all your closest bicycle-loving friends. On top of that, you’ll be able to buy WABA jerseys 20% off the day of the event!

2. It builds more bike lanes.

Tour de Fat is a big fundraiser for WABA (our biggest) and raises the equivalent of an entire full-time advocacy staff member. This means that when you come and enjoy a couple New Belgium Brewing beers, you are essentially funding the construction of more bike lanes and protected infrastructure around the DC region. That’s pretty darn incredible! (Note that WABA doesn’t plan, build, or install bike lanes ourselves. But we do a good deal of advocating on the grassroots level, weighing in on plans, tracking plans, providing testimony and meeting with elected officials, and organizing neighborhood-level campaigns to ensure accountability on bike plans. (Learn more about what your beer will support at waba.org/advoacacy)

3. You get to be your crazy, wacky self.

Come on, we know that crazy and wacky is in there somewhere. Let loose, forget your worries, dance like no one’s watching, wear the weirdest costume you can get your hands on.

4. There’s really good cheep beer.

This is one of the only places where you’ll find really good beer for only $5! New Belgium Brewing Company sponsors the Tour de Fat and they go all out stocking the event with cans of multiple varieties of their Colorado-based beer. Rumor has it there will be 18 (EIGHTEEN!) different types of New Belgium beer!

5. Sunshine. Friends. Soul music.

Soak up the sunshine with a smile while enjoying a cold brew outside with your closest friends. Boogie to  Vintage Trouble as they serenade you with bluesy rock and roll and soul music. Basically, the most perfect summer day ever.

 

Get tickets

Don’t miss out—get your Tour de Fat tickets today!

 

Tour de Fat is only three days away!

If you haven’t purchased tickets, now is your chance:

Get tickets

Great, so now that you’ve got your tickets. Read on for how to best prepare for the craziness that is the Tour de Fat:

  • Wear a costume: Though not required, it’s strongly encouraged that you wear a fun costume. It can be anything from 80’s inspired neon color track shorts and tall socks, overalls and a cowboy hat, last year’s Halloween costume, or even just your pajamas! The goofy costumes help everyone break out of their shells, let loose, and have a good time.
  • Share the festivities: Charge up your smart phone or bring a camera and document the festivities. Share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtags #tourdefat and #bikedc to share with the greater community. And don’t forget to mention @wabadc.
  • Bring your friends: Craziness is always best when shared… or come alone!  Tour de Fat is a great place to make new friends.
  • Exercise your grin: Get ready to smile for an entire day. Do some smiling exercises. You’re going to be laughing a lot!
  • Don’t forget the essentials: Don’t forget to put on sunscreen before you head out. Even though the festival is now in the evening, you could still get some sunburn at 4pm. Wear light clothing, to keep you cool. And bring a water bottle with you. There will be water stations to refill.

Don’t forget to get your tickets to the show!
When: Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 from 4-9pm
Location:136 N St SE, Washington, DC (exciting new venue!)
Tickets: Buy your tickets here (your last chance!)

Introducing American University, WABA’s newest Leadership Level Business Member

WABA’s Business Members understand the importance of a community that bicycles. Their membership supports our advocacy, outreach, and education. Our business members are committed to a creating a healthy, more livable  region and are adding their voice to a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses supporting WABA. Today, meet American University.

American University (AU) is proud to become the newest business member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. American University’s Office of Sustainability has partnered with WABA on a number of occasions to offer educational programming — from Community Rides to Everyday Biking Seminars — and has chosen to become a WABA Business Member to show their support and pride of prioritizing bicycling as a safe and fun commuting habit for American University students, staff, faculty, and neighbors.

American University’s commitment to bicycling stems from the University’s commitment to be a carbon neutral campus by 2020, just one measurable goal within the University’s groundbreaking sustainability initiative which won them the 2016 DC DOEE Sustainability People’s Choice Award.

In order to reach their goals, AU has focused on how their community commutes, and has allocated significant resources to reduce and eliminate carbon commuting. In addition to bicycling advocacy and education, AU hosts an annual Transportation Fair, and was the first in the area to offer its students the U●Pass, an innovative partnership with WMATA that provides unlimited ridership during the semester for an upfront, fixed fee. Affordable and available transportation options are key for getting students to experience opportunities beyond the geographically isolated campus, and more integrated into the broader DC culture and community.

Fortunately, AU has a lot of the infrastructure in place to create safe and fun riding environments for their community, but there is an ongoing challenge of having all members of the community feel more comfortable while bicycling. When asked what the value of becoming a WABA Leadership Level Business Member was for American, Megan Litke, Director of Sustainability at American University stated,

As American University works to achieve climate neutrality, one area of focus has been on transportation and getting people out of single occupancy cars. Our partnership with WABA has helped us offer new resources for bicycle commuters and has helped us establish a bike community on campus. The workshops they offer and the community rides have all been wildly popular and we are thrilled to continue to partner with them to help get our community out of their cars and grow our bicyclist network.

Due to the Office of Sustainability’s progressive outreach and educational programming efforts in partnership with WABA, the AU community has experienced increased ridership and comfort, both on campus and off. We look forward to helping the university meet their ambitious environmental goals in the years to come!

Do you own, work for, or patronize a business that is a good candidate for our business membership? For just $300 or $800 per year, you can show your support for a bike-friendly region and WABA’s advocacy and get all sorts of perks, including your very own blog post! Details here.