It’s the Membership Drive!

Who is ready to talk about WABA membership this week? We are!

Join our community of invested, enthusiastic people committed to making our region more bike-friendly and accessible.

Biking is a great way to be a part of your community.

What’s your favorite part of biking in your neighborhood? Do you wave hello to the same people on your commute every day? How does biking affect your view of your community and the spaces you navigate every day?

Every day, we’re working to make our shared spaces more friendly and more bikeable for everyone. But we can’t do it without you!

Join today

For this week only, grab our Membership drive “I Bike Here” shirt when you join for two years!

Join today

 

Come say hi this week!

Phone Bank for WABA

Join us for an evening – tonight! –  of calling fellow WABA members and supporters to get the word out about our the Membership Drive! We’ll provide a script, refreshments, and good company.  Bring your phone and get ready to chat about WABA’s work in the region. In exchange for two hours of calls, we’ll give you a year’s membership and the newest WABA t-shirt! More details here.

 

WABA Open House

Visit the WABA office this Wednesday, October 17th from 5:30pm – 7:30pm to mingle with other members, get updates from WABA staff, and order your membership drive t-shirt! The informal open house will be a chance to connect with WABA leadership and enjoy snacks and drinks with fellow members working to make biking in our region better. Please RSVP here.

Show up for Biking in Bethesda on Oct 9

Big improvements are in the works for low-stress and safe bicycling in downtown Bethesda. Following public outcry from bicyclists and Georgetown Branch Trail neighbors over the trail’s closure and worsening bicycling conditions in downtown Bethesda, Montgomery County committed to fund and build a core, low-stress bicycle network.

On Tuesday, October 9, residents and advocates can finally see plans and give feedback on a slate of protected bike lanes, intersection upgrades, and trail improvements.

RSVP Here

Network map.

With only a few painted bike lanes, several multi-lane road barriers, and increasingly disruptive construction, Bethesda is a challenging place to bike, and a non-starter for parents with kids. The core bike network, pictured above, will significantly improve options for bicyclists of all abilities, correct some of the flagrant deficiencies in the interim Georgetown Branch Trail, and lay the groundwork for other improvements coming later with the completion of the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail.

The following projects will be discussed at the meeting:

Woodmont Ave. Protected Bike Lanes – a north-south two-way protected bike lane from Wisconsin Ave. to Norfolk Ave.

Capital Crescent Surface Trail – a protected bike lane crossing of Wisconsin Ave. on Bethesda Ave. and Willow Ln. This project will rebuild the Bethesda Ave. & Woodmont Ave. intersection into a safe, intuitive, protected intersection.

Capital Crescent Trail crossing at Little Falls Parkway – Parks staff will present three designs for permanent fixes to this high-conflict trail intersection. See the original 12 alternatives here. WABA opposes any plan that restores Little Falls Parkway to four lanes because this would restore the perilous conditions that contributed to a fatality and multiple crashes. Read our letter for the full reasons.

Montgomery Ln/Ave Protected Bike Lanes -an east-west two-way protected bike lane from Woodmont Ave to Pearl St.

Capital Crescent Trail Tunnel – a new trail tunnel underneath Wisconsin Ave. to seamlessly connect the Purple Line, secure bike parking, and the trail to Silver Spring.

Pearl St. Norfolk Ave. and Cheltenham Dr – bike lanes, traffic calming, and intersection improvements.

We need you there

Continued pressure and support are what make these projects possible. Will you show up to give county staff the support they need to get these projects in the ground? We need your voice to insist on safe streets for people who walk and bike. We need your help to counter those who will be there to insist that moving cars quickly is the only priority. Together, we can reshape Bethesda into a great place for biking and walking.

I’ll Be There!

(Re)Introducing Crash Tracker

What do you do after a crash?

The adrenaline is racing. Maybe you’re injured? Maybe the driver of the car just wants to leave without showing you their insurance? Nobody is happy.

It’s not fun.

Unfortunately, this happens. A lot. We know because we’ve been collecting data on crashes throughout the region for years.

This link will tell you exactly what to do directly after a crash (hint: you’re probably going to want to call the police). Read it now, so you can have every tool in your toolbox and be prepared to help out a fellow bicyclist.

What then?

That’s why we’ve created Crash Tracker.

We originally created this unique tool because data on crashes in the region was scant. Public data has improved, but there are still inconsistencies and we want to make sure our advocacy and outreach efforts are in the right places and have as much data informing them as possible.

Crash Tracker seeks to not only gather information regarding bicycle crashes, but also make sure that bicyclists are treated fairly by local law enforcement officials when they are involved in a crash.

We’re here.

Experiencing a crash can be traumatic, and sometimes it’s helpful to talk it through with someone. We can’t provide legal advice, but we can help you feel a little less alone.

If you do want a lawyer, using Crash Tracker can connect you—if you so choose—to one of our supporting local attorneys who have expertise representing crash victims:

Consultations are always free, and WABA is here to help you however we can.

The information you submit on the Crash Tracker is NOT passed on to any police department, government or corporation and any names and email addresses will be kept strictly confidential.

Note: WABA does not endorse companies, products or services. Contributions from Supporting Attorneys supports our not-for-profit mission.

Celebrating 15 Years of 50 States

On Saturday, September 8th, WABA hosted the 50 States Ride!

Despite wet weather predictions, hundreds of riders joined us to pedal one of three routes and explore the District by bike! While the rain eventually did materialize, it did nothing to dampen spirits—riders made their way around the city, ticking off state-named avenues one by one on the 50 States, Route 66, and 13 Colonies routes. Afterward, participants celebrated the ride’s 15th year at Mellow Mushroom, collected a free drink and t-shirt, and basked in the glow of the day’s accomplishments—and plenty of hills.

To all the riders: thank you for supporting WABA! Like all signature rides, the proceeds from the 50 States Ride directly fund the hard work that WABA is doing to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better trails and more bike lanes. Thank you.

If you want to get more involved with WABA, sign up for our advocacy alerts, join us for a City Cycling class, or volunteer at an event. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the Cider Ride on November 3rd!

We’ve collected some photos from the ride below, but, first, a final shoutout to our sponsors:

Enjoy these highlights from this year’s 50 States Ride!

 

Your Chance To Be Heard About Safe Streets in DC

It is no longer up for debate: the DC Government hasn’t been fulfilling its commitment to Vision Zero.

But because of your work, they have decided to move towards getting back on track. We’ve written letters, we’ve testified, we’ve ridden in memoriam—and last July, we rallied in front of the Wilson Building.

We are pleased to report, that since that time, WABA and advocates in the community have followed up—and they have heard you! Below is a partial list of commitments that the city is making right now:

  • The city is going to create an Office of Vision Zero, staffed by career professionals and safety experts, and focused solely on Vision Zero implementation. This is a great step!
  • The city is going to establish a Vision Zero working group of agency Directors to focus on implementation of commitments. This actually bumps Vision Zero up from a department commitment, to a city wide commitment. That is a good thing.
  • As a first step to address safety on H Street NE, the city will expand its signage and pavement markings at 3rd and H Streets and is doing testing to fill the streetcar tracks—which is good news, but unfortunately, that comes without a firm date for installation on the entire corridor.

Make no mistake: this is a win! But this is only one step. We’ve got to keep our voices high!

Adding to that list above, Councilmembers Allen and Cheh are holding a joint hearing on the city’s implementation of its Vision Zero commitment. Importantly, these are two DC Council committees with oversight over dozens of city agencies. It shows a key recognition that for the city to reach Vision Zero, it requires the efforts of the entire Wilson Building, not just DDOT.

And we are asking you to show up and let the city know how it’s doing.

Will you join us?

Who: Committee on Transportation and the Environment and the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

What: Hearing on the Implementation of the Vision Zero Initiative and the Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016 (full notice here)

When: September, 27th, 2018 at 1:30 PM (show up early as you have to go through security)

Where: John Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (Room 500)

Why: Because you deserve to be safe in the city

Let us know you’re coming

Let’s show up for each other. Let’s show up for those that have been in crashes. Let’s show up for those that have been killed on our streets.

How to Testify

If you wish to testify (and you should), email Ms. Aukima Benjamin, Staff Assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at abenjamin@dccouncil.us (and cc Advocacy@Waba.org so we know you’re coming!). Witnesses should bring eight copies of their written testimony and should submit a copy of their testimony electronically. You will have three minutes to speak.

Not sure what to say? Read through our talking points to get you started. Talk about your experience on DC’s streets. Keep it personal.

    1. What do you think is unsafe about the city’s roadways?
    2. Have you been in a crash? Do you know someone who has been in a crash? What about near misses? What was that like? How did it make you feel?
    3. What are some things that the city could do in your neighborhood on your commute that would make you safer?

If you can’t make it,  we still want to let council know your thoughts. Email Ms. Benjamin at the email address above and cc us by October 11, 2018.

This is your chance to be heard!

Together, we can move this city forward.

Don’t Forget Bikes on A New Columbia Pike

Getting from Columbia Pike to Pentagon City by bike is a roundabout and tricky ordeal. As part of Arlington National Cemetery’s Southern Expansion plan, that trip will become a little more direct, but not much better.

New alignment in white. Road to be demolished in yellow.

The Army is working with Arlington County to reroute and build anew, three quarters of a mile of east Columbia Pike to make room for more burial sites. Their preferred plan would create a new 4 lane road with a 10 foot wide sidewalk for biking and walking on the north side.

We know we can do better.

Speak Up

This brand new Columbia Pike will be the only bikeable connection across I-395, so it must be great for people on foot and bike. With the Washington Blvd Trail expected to open this fall, new protected bike lanes coming to Pentagon City, and the Cemetery planning a new southern pedestrian entrance, this corridor will be buzzing with activity. A 10 foot shared sidewalk will create continuous conflicts between people biking and walking.

Instead, the new Columbia Pike should include separate spaces for all modes: sidewalks for walking, curb-protected bike lanes for bicycling, and driving lanes for cars and buses. This is not too much to ask for a new road, built from scratch. We only get one shot at getting this right.

Ask for something better

For full details on the plan, visit the Southern Expansion project page.

Meet Jonathan Oliver, our new Education Coordinator

Hello! I’m Jonathan Oliver, WABA’s new Education Coordinator responsible for running our adult education programs serving adults in the DC/MD/VA metropolitan region. I’m excited to join WABA’s mission to improve bicycling in our area. My primary goal is to help both new and current adult riders achieve their riding goals while having fun and being safe.

About me: Riding BMX bikes as a kid with my neighborhood friends was when I first understood the sense of community, freedom, fun, and health benefits that bicycling can provide. I’ve always been interested in learning, helping people, and solving problems so it seemed natural to share knowledge through bicycle and fitness-related organizations and activities. Before coming to WABA, I worked in research & development engineering and program management. My focus was always learning and doing new things that might help people. For several years I’ve been an active volunteer with bike organizations, including WABA, doing rider and Ride Marshal training, working with newer riders to achieve their goals, developing and executing ride events, and pretty much anything bike-related. You’ll find me on everything from casual social rides and bike commuting to faster-paced long distance rides.

Looking ahead: Imagine if everyone that wanted to ride could ride? If every rider had the comfort and skill level that they needed to safely ride on streets and trails? If every driver was safe and friendly to bicycles and always shared the roads? To help achieve these visions, I’m working with WABA’s excellent team of instructors to help adults learn to ride bikes and all riders to ride safely and comfortably on city streets, suburban and rural roads, trails, and while bike commuting to and from work. My efforts include planning, coordinating, and implementing several key WABA programs such as our Adult Learn to Ride classes, City Cycling classes, Community rides, Everyday Biking seminars, Bicycle Friendly Driver seminars, and other great offerings. I’m also working to bring bicycle education to areas not already served, identifying areas of need, and helping to implement effective programs to meet those needs.

There’s a lot of work to do and a lot of biking fun to be had. If you or someone you know wants to learn how to ride, improve riding skills, and generally have fun on two wheels in a safe and supportive environment, please contact us at education@waba.org. Hope to see you on two wheels!

Take your bike on Metro during rush hour?

Ever get off work and it’s raining? You rode your bike in, but you’re tired and you want to go home on the Metro. There’s the problem: you have your bike, so Metrorail at peak commuting hours isn’t an option.

Your choices? Brave the elements (and the dangerous streets…), wait for the bus or just leave your bike at the office (or you just don’t bike in the first place…).

Honestly, that kind of sucks.

Earlier this month, we learned that Metro is floating a new policy that would allow bicyclists to bring their bikes on Metro “during all hours.” This idea and language comes from a survey Metro sent out recently.

You would still have to “use your good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle.” And of course, “yield priority seating to seniors and people with disabilities, yield to other passengers, and not block aisles or doors.” So, basically, be respectful.

This is great news!

But changes like this aren’t made lightly. WMATA needs to hear from you.

Support bikes on Metro at all times!

WMATA still has to figure out how bikes can go on their trains without blocking aisles and/or the doors. So, eventually they will have to redesign their trains. But until then, this is a great first step.

To show your support for this possible change in policy, sign on to our letter to Lynn Bowersox, Assistant General Manager, Customer Service, Communications, and Marketing at WMATA.

Sign the letter!

To complete the survey, you’d need to sign up with WMATA, find the survey, and then complete it. (You can do so here).

Arlington Delivers a Bike Friendly(er) Ballston

Early last month, road crews set to work repaving a long stretch of N Quincy St. in Ballston. But, instead of putting it back exactly as they found it, they made it better. Quincy St. now sports almost a half mile of new, protected bike lanes between Glebe Rd and 9th St. N!

This is Awesome!

Check it out!

Tucked behind car parking and flex-posts, the new protected bike lanes create a low-stress bike connection to dozens of shops, restaurants, offices, apartments and the future Mosaic Park. Where bicyclists used to grapple with very close passing cars and parked cars blocking bike lanes, the new design gives everyone their own, orderly space on the road.

Before…

…and after!

This upgrade is the result of a lot of hard work by advocates and county staff. In late 2015, we launched our Bike Friendly Ballston campaign to build support for a low-stress, protected bike lane connection between the Custis Trail and Ballston’s commercial area. By spring 2016, we had earned support from more than 600 county residents, Ballston businesses, the Ballston Business Improvement District, and the Arlington County Board. Since then, county planners have been hard at work, collecting data, designing concepts, and negotiating the many tricky complications that arose along the way.

Making use of the new, protected bike lane in Ballston.

Help us show our gratitude!

The Quincy St. protected bike lanes are a big win for safe, low-stress bicycling in Arlington. And this project could not have happened without the creative solutions, persistence and dedication from transportation staff and county leaders. Will you help us thank them for their work?

Thank the Staff & Board!

This work completes the first half of our vision for a more bike friendly Ballston. Still to come is a protected bike lane connection extending another half-mile past the Central Library and Washington Lee High School to the Custis Trail. To learn more about the project and see the plans, visit the project page.

Anacostia Pedal Paddle Palooza!

Pedaling the Anacostia River Trail is just *one* of the ways to enjoy the Pedal Paddle Palooza!

It’s a pedal paddle palooza! Join the biggest watershed exploration party on September 29th to bike and kayak the Anacostia watershed. Start in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County or the District on bike and explore the trails to finish at Kingman Island.

Come to the river on September 29th!

Let us know you’re coming!

How much does it cost?

Nothing!

Where do I start?

We’ve got launch points in all three jurisdictions in the Anacostia watershed – start somewhere close to home or totally new to explore something different!

Montgomery County – Sligo Creek Park at Dennis Ave

Prince George’s County – University of Maryland

District of Columbia – 11th St Bridge

Do I need to start at a launch point?

Not required but definitely recommended. We have all the trail directions and event passports at the launch points. Raffle is only open to folks who have completed their passport book! And to be officially on the ride, there are bike waivers required that are only available at launch and paddle points.

Do I need to register?

We do require waivers to be signed for both kayaking and riding. They will be available at all launch and kayak points but also available for kayaking here. Save yourself the time outside for fun and do it ahead!

How long is this ride?

As long as you want! We’ve got activities throughout the Anacostia watershed on the trail but the average ride from a launch point to the central hub at Kingman Island is 10 miles. The trail follows the Anacostia River and water prefers to go downhill if possible, so the trail is pretty flat with a downhill trend towards the District.

When should I start?

All the launch points are open 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. The earlier you start, the cooler it will be and the less folks will probably be using the kayaks. If you pedaled straight from Sligo Creek Field (the farthest away launch point) to Kingman Island, it should take about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Add in the necessary time for stopping to smell the flowers, snack breaks and kayaking, what makes sense for your schedule?

Kayaks and paddles will be provided (for free!) on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What should I bring?

Folks who are joining us for the trail ride should have a working bicycle, helmet (insurance requirement) and a bike lock. There will be bike racks at all the kayak and motorized boat tour locations. Staff will be at all the paddle points to keep a cursory eye over your stuff – please be prepared to lock your bike. We recommend taking your phone and wallet with you in a small plastic baggie. Larger panniers, extra jackets, etc., should be safe on land. Although, please do not bring your family heirlooms or diamonds.

Folks who are kayaking should bring a small plastic baggie to keep valuables dry. A broad brimmed hat (baseball hat, etc) and sunglasses would be helpful to reduce glare and sunburn when you’re out in the water.

For everyone – please bring water, snacks, sunscreen and clothing to keep you safe outside for a few hours. Phones are also good for taking photos of our gorgeous watershed!

What’s the weather plan?

We don’t kayak or ride bikes during hazardous conditions such as lightning or thunderstorms. If dangerous storms roll over the area on Sept 29th, we will likely cancel the event. But other than that, we’ll be a go! Please bring the water, snacks, sunscreen, or clothing layers you need to keep safe outside.

What’s the scoop with the Sligo Creek launch point?

Precise address: Dennis Ave and Sligo Creek Trail (next to Sligo Creek Middle School)

Closest Metro: Forest Glen

Arriving by car: Car parking is at the Sligo Creek Middle School. Once you have parked, please follow the signs to the trail and the launch point tent!

What’s the scoop with the University of Maryland launch point?

Precise address: Paint Branch Drive and Technology Drive, College Park MD 20742

Closest Metro: College Park – U of Md.

What’s the scoop with the 11th St bridge launch point?

Precise address: Good Hope Rd SE and Anacostia River Trail (below 11th St Bridge)

Closest Metro: Anacostia

Arriving by bike: if you are arriving from the east bank, the most pleasant connections to the trail and over/under 295 and Minnesota Ave are Good Hope Rd SE, and River Terrace though Nicholson is also a decent option. If you arriving from the west bank of the Anacostia River, the most pleasant connection across the river is 11th St Bridge though Benning and South Capitol are also decent options.

Arriving by car: Parking is free at the Anacostia Metro garage over the weekends. There is also plenty of free parking along Anacostia Ave in the park, and paralleling the trail.

Anything else I should know? To get from the Metro, follow the signs to the parking garage. Once at the parking garage, walk out the back and across Howard Rd to the gate of the fence. You’ll see a 1 story National Park Service building and the blue roof of the Park Police headquarters behind it. Walk straight through (the public is allowed!) and straight to the river. Once you arrive at the trail, take a right and we’ll be at the bridge you can see!

How do I join?

Come to the river on September 29th!

Let us know you’re coming!