Introducing Recess Outings, a WABA 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 sustainable future of our region and are adding their voice to a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses supporting WABA. Today meet Recess Outings.

Recess Outings is a family-friendly bicycle outing company created for adults who want to bring their young children for a ride.

Founder Kate Gallery has been biking with her two-year-old daughter for a little over a year. As an avid rider she sorely missed biking towards the end of her pregnancy, and during those first months adjusting to life with a newborn she was eager to get started and share her love for spending time outdoors on a bike with the new addition to the family. Biking together quickly proved to be as fun as hoped, and Kate started Recess Outings that summer when her daughter was one year old.

Recess Outings has a small fleet of bikes with attachable child seats available so parents and young children can simply sign up and join them for a D.C. ride. Helmets, equipment, snacks and logistics are taken care of so they don’t have to worry about any details beyond getting out the door. As a local, neighborhood business owner, Kate loves D.C. and scouts routes endlessly to make riding through the city as smooth as possible, taking advantage of the city’s safe and convenient infrastructure and beautiful trails.

Current ride offerings focus on recreationally exploring DC with rides like “Rollin’ on the River” on the Anacostia and “To Market, to Market” from Eastern to Union Market and back, and getting parents comfortable biking with toddlers with their “Precious Cargo” rides. Recess Outings is also excited to announce the “That’s My Girl!” ride series for tough little girls and the grownups who support them. These monthly rides will explore DC and pedal past several monuments and landmarks devoted to inspirational women.

Learn more about Recess outings and the fantastic rides they offer at recessoutings.com.

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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.

Matthew Henson Trail Crossing at Viers Mill Road is Still Deadly

On Sunday July 17th, Oscar Mauricio Gutierrez Osorio, 31 of Silver Spring, was killed crossing Viers Mill Road in Silver Spring where the Matthew Henson Trail crosses a high speed Maryland State Highway, according to the Washington Post. The exact details of the deadly crash involving Mr. Osorio are not public, but the trail crossing is a known safety hazard. This is the same location where Frank Towers, 19 was killed in December 2016,  just days after receiving a new bike for Christmas.

Trail users must cross 7 lanes of traffic where drivers regularly exceed the 45 mph speed limit. For reference, a person walking or biking struck by a driver at 40 mph or greater has an 80 percent chance of dying. At this trail location, there is no traffic light requiring drivers to stop for people walking and biking across the road. Compounding the problem, the trail crosses Viers Mill Road at the bottom of a hill with poor sight lines.

After the death of Frank Towers, the Maryland State Highway Administration “improved” the trail crossing with overhead flashing yellow lights which must be activated by trail users. The crosswalk beg button provides visual and audio cues that the yellow lights are active which was a deficiency of the previous design. This was a flawed approach from the beginning, as yellow lights only require drivers to exercise caution, but not to stop. Any design that requires less than a full stop will continue to cause safety issues. WABA pleaded with engineers to design and constructed a traffic light or HAWK signal which would require drivers to come to a full stop. The request was denied, now with deadly consequences.

Montgomery County is committed to Vision Zero. This is the principle that we must design our streets so that no person (bicyclist, pedestrian or driver) will be killed while using them. This requires that policy makers and traffic engineers be ultimately accountable for design decisions made in our transportation system. People make mistakes when they use our streets, but streets should be designed to be so safe that those mistakes aren’t deadly.

Following Sunday’s crash, WABA reached out to local and state elected representatives, and transportation officials requesting action. On Thursday, July 21st, the entire Montgomery County Council sent a letter to Maryland Governor Hogan, Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn and Maryland State Highway Administrator Greg Johnson requesting immediate prioritization of trail crossing improvements. The letter calls out the current dangerous conditions and the need for immediate action.

Fixing the Matthew Henson Trail crossing at Viers Mill Road is just the beginning. This needs to happen now to prevent future injuries and death at this location. But there are dozens of other trail crossings in the Montgomery and Prince George’s County that need attention too. We need the leadership of the Maryland State Highway Administration to work with localities to protect vulnerable road users by focusing on critical street and trail crossings. This means prioritizing the life and safety of people walking and biking over the convenience of people driving.

No one should die walking or biking across the street.

That’s a wrap for the 2016 Bike Camp!

Bike Camp 2016

Bike Camp! 2016 wrapped up last week. Over the 10 days of the City Explorers program, we rode about 120 miles, visited sites in all four quadrants of the city (and beyond!). Our team of students developed a better understanding of D.C. geography and history, and learned how to navigate the city, taking advantage of protected bike infrastructure like on 15th St NW, trails like the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and to identify lower stress streets and when to use the sidewalk to arrive safely at where we were going.

We took tours of the Kennedy Center, Frederick Douglass’s House, RFK Stadium, the National Zoo and more. We had lunch under the airplanes at Gravelly Point, on a boat on the Anacostia and under the tree canopy at the National Arboretum.  We rode here and there, nearly melted in the heat, and ran through more than one sprinkler.

We had so much fun and can’t wait for Bike Camp! 2017.  There may be changes for 2017, with the potential for a younger camp and an older camp. To get Bike Camp! Updates sent directly to you, sign up at the


Want to get updates about Bike Camp 2017? Yes!




Bike Camp 2016 climbing Einstein

Bike Camp 2016 at the Einstein Statue

Bike Camp 2016 Anacostia

Bike Camp 2016 looking at the  Anacostia River

Bike Camp 2016 R St

Bike Camp 2016 R St

Bike Camp 2016 Gravelly Point

Bike Camp 2016 at Gravelly Point

See you next year!

Beach Drive Rehabilitation is Finally Here

Vasa 2015_0088

The green heart pulsing through Washington DC is Rock Creek Park, but for bicyclists, the current trail conditions are less than ideal- but not for much longer.

Big changes are on the horizon for Rock Creek Park, especially Beach Drive and the adjacent paved trail. National Park Service (NPS) recently announced that construction on the much-anticipated rehabilitation project that WABA has been advocating for for years will begin after Labor Day of this year! There is a huge demand for this project. More than 2500 WABA supporters demanded rehabilitation back in 2014, and many have fought for years prior to prioritize this project with NPS and other relevant agencies.

The construction project will happen in four stages, beginning in the south and working north, and various agencies have their roles in effort. The first wave of construction is managed by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)- Eastern Lands Division. FHWA will rebuild the trail along Beach Drive on the east side of the creek. District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will tackle the trail sections west of the creek and a trail extension on Piney Branch Parkway. DDOT’s trail construction will come after FHWA is done with their work.

While Beach Drive will be closed to car traffic in both directions for the segment under construction, bicyclists and pedestrians will still be able to travel through the corridor. While the road is being reconstructed, the trail will remain open, and when the road is completed but not yet open to car traffic, and the trail is being reconstructed, then bicyclists and pedestrians will have access to the road.

The funding is allocated, the engineering designs are complete, and the contract has been awarded. You can see a project map on our April 2015 update, and find more information on the NPS project website.

National Park Service is hosting a public information meeting on July 28 at the Cleveland Park Library. Join us and learn more about this exciting project!

 

Introducing Events DC, a WABA 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 sustainable future of our region and are adding their voice to a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses supporting WABA. Today meet Events DC.

Events DC is the face of conventions, sports, entertainment and cultural events within our nation’s capital.  As the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, Events DC leverages the beauty, history and diversity of the most powerful city in the world to attract and promote an extensive variety of events, resulting in amazing experiences for residents and visitors alike, and generating economic and community benefits for the city.

Throughout the year, Events DC is actively involved in planning and support of some of the city’s most anticipated events, attracting thousands of attendees to locations around the city. As varied and diverse as the city itself, these events bring economic impact to our nation’s capital while offering a wealth of can’t-miss dates on the social calendar for District residents and visitors alike.

Events DC also hosts a broad range of events on the Festival Grounds, including the Maloof Money Cup at the Maloof Skate Park, The Red Bull Global Rallycross Washington, DC and ShamrockFest, as well as a number of activities designed to promote youth sports and fitness in the District of Columbia, such as the annual Title IX Classic, featuring the city’s best high school teams and players.

 

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.

One step closer to reforming Contributory Negligence in DC

At the #FixContrib Rally

At the #FixContrib Rally

Today the DC Council voted unanimously to approve the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2015  as part of the consent agenda. This vote is a huge step towards final passage of the bill, and is the result of years of organizing efforts. In spite of roadblocks, delay, and concerted opposition from AAA and the insurance lobby, we’re the closest we’ve ever been to changing the unfair doctrine of contributory negligence for vulnerable road users.

The bill has now cleared the major obstacles to passage. The Council will vote on the bill a second time in late September / early October, after which it will require a signature by Mayor Bowser, and will undergo a 30 day Congressional review.

We would never have gotten to this point without our members and supporters. Thank you for becoming an expert on this arcane issue, signing petitions, sharing information with your networks, writing and calling your Councilmembers, attending rallies, and all the other ways you’ve leant your support to this campaign.

Kudos to the D.C. Council for doing the right thing. In particular, we recognize the leadership of Councilmember Mary Cheh for crafting, introducing and championing the bill, Councilmember McDuffie for bringing it before the Council, and Councilmembers Allen, Silverman, Grosso, Evans, and Nadeau for their early and steadfast support. This is a huge step towards a necessary reform that’s been a long time coming.

We’re so close, but we’re not done yet. We will stay vigilant through the final stages of the process to ensure there are no surprises, and keep you updated along the way.

We’re hiring: Women & Bicycles Coordinator (part-time)

women and bicycles

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for a part-time coordinator for the Women & Bicycles program, an innovative grassroots approach inspiring more women to bike, teach, advocate, and lead the bike movement.

The heart of the program is peer-to-peer mentorship through volunteer Roll Models. Roll Models are women who already bike and commit to recruiting 5-10 biking protégés from their personal networks. The protégés are invited to a dinner party with their mentor and use conversation and our comprehensive biking guide to work through all their personal questions, concerns, and unknowns when it comes to biking. The position also consists of monthly event coordination, planning, admin and strategy, online forum moderation, and fundraising.

The Women & Bicycles Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of the Women & Bicycles program, including Roll Model recruitment, training and coordination, event coordination, online forum support, and developing strategies to grow the program in a way that is successful, sustainable, and equitable. The position will report to WABA’s Programs Director.

Responsibilities

The Women & Bicycles Coordinator will:

  1. Recruit, train, coordinate, and engage the Women & Bicycles Roll Models and track their mentorship efforts.
  2. Develop and implement Women & Bicycles events (with WABA’s program staff as needed), including: partner coordination, content development, scheduling, planning, promotion, volunteer coordination, event logistics, staffing events, and follow-up.
  3. Work to create new partner relationships with non-traditional bicycling groups to build the reach and resources of Women & Bicycles across diverse networks throughout the region.
  4. Facilitate and diversify the Women & Bicycle forum and its guidelines to maintain its culture of respect, information-sharing, and joy.
  5. Fundraise annually (with support from the WABA development staff), through events, online campaigns, etc. to sustain the program.
  6. Integrate Women & Bicycles with WABA’s broader work regionally and align programmatic goals/outcomes with WABA’s 2020 Strategic Plan.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  1. A strong commitment to WABA’s mission and be a skillful and committed bicyclist with a solid understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  2. Experience in: project management, events planning/management, fundraising, marketing and/or volunteer coordination.
  3. Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills.
  4. A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed.
  5. Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Drive/Docs/Sheets, Forms), Facebook and Twitter.
  6. The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment, and work independently.

This position is part-time, 20 hours/week and compensation is $15 per hour.

About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, WABA promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 6,500 members region-wide, WABA serves bicyclists throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia.

Contact

Send one PDF with both your cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Women & Bicycles” in the subject line by Friday, July 22nd. No phone calls please. For inquiries please email jobs@waba.org. 

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.