Recap: Summer Bike Clinics at the Anacostia Public Library

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Teaching and wrenching at the Anacostia Library

Three years going strong!  Thank you so much to our partners at District Public Libraries, The Bike House, and Capitol Hill Bikes! During clinics, patrons get paired up with a volunteer mechanic and gain wisdom from the “each one teach one” method. Families, couples, little kids, and regulars all come out and learn how to work on their own bike and get it ready to go! WABA helps out as host and we provide bike tips, tricks and trivia, and get people engaged in the bike advocacy process.

This summer,volunteer mechanics fixed more than 150 bicycles! Pedal wrenches, third hand tools, and hex keys were moving around throughout the library plaza as bicycle mechanics worked the bike stands to fix everything from flat tires to worn out brake cables. It’s quite the site!

The first few clinics of the summer were a challenge because the demand for bike maintenance overwhelmed the few volunteer mechanics on hand. By July though, community members took skills they learned from previous clinics and started teaching others how to fix their own bikes.

By the end of the clinic, there were more mechanics than bicycles that needed a fixing! Hopefully, next year’s clinic will be an even bigger success!

Proper tire pressure can be a workout.

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Tuning up some brakes.

Special thanks to our friends at the Bike House and DCPL for making our third clinic series a success!

Recap: Trail Ranger Workday on the Suitland Parkway Trail

The Suitland Parkway Trail fits snugly between the fast-moving Parkway and the hillside, connecting Barry Farm and the Anacostia Metro to Douglas, Bueno Vista and Garfield Heights. One of DC’s shortest at 1.5 miles long, the trail slopes up gently compared to the surrounding hills, and could be a great feeder trail from the neighborhoods down to the Metro, South Capitol Bridge and beyond. 

Three years of regular light maintenance has improved the trail – the trail is consistently passable thanks to the trail rangers hours spent chopping back vegetation, and removing trash & glass. More people are choosing to use the trail —we regularly see folks now.

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But the trail made leaps and strides this week thanks to two intensive workdays of Trail Rangers and DDOT Urban Forestry. Bucket trucks, chain saws, weed whackers, a whole bevy of pole saws and loppers, and a bunch of thank yous from neighbors and trail users  – the passable trail corridor was moved 4 feet away from the trail bed and 15 feet high. As one trail user said, “that really needed to be done!” 

Be our Part-Time DC Bike Ambassador!

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The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is looking for an outgoing, energetic, and motivated person to help run the D.C. Bike Ambassador program. The program’s goal is to establish WABA’s presence city-wide, to foster a positive impression of bicycling and bicyclists and to educate residents and local organizations about bike laws, roadway safety, and potential benefits of bicycling to individuals, families, workplaces, and communities.

The part-time D.C. Bike Ambassador will promote WABA’s programs and the Bike Ambassadors’ core messaging, as well as coordinate Bike Ambassador outreach events, and help recruit local residents to become Ambassadors and attend WABA classes, programs, and events.

This position is part-time, 20 hours per week and compensation is $14 per hour.

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and implement Bike Ambassador outreach, education, encouragement, and community organizing efforts for WABA city-wide.
  • Recruit and energize our team of volunteer D.C. Bike Ambassadors.
  • Lead one hour-long presentation on bicycling per month with a WABA community partner.
  • Distribute print resources to community members, such as D.C. bike maps, Quick Start Guides, D.C. Pocket Law Guides, Capital Bikeshare information, and WABA education and promotional materials.
  • Pull the WABA Bike Ambassador billboard trailer.
  • Complete weekly administrative and reporting requirements.
  • Report to, communicate and coordinate regularly and effectively with supervisor about goals, planning and logistics, reporting, challenges and issues.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission
  • Willingness and excitement to learn bicycling safety, traffic law, skills, and WABA’s bike encouragement philosophy.
  • Experience planning events and coordinating volunteers
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills.
  • A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings, and/or weekends.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Facebook and Twitter.
  • The ability to pull a bicycle trailer weighing 10 lbs. for 1-3 hours.
  • The ability to lift at least 50 lbs.
  • Organized, good time management skills and ability to multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
  • League of American Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification a plus.

About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 5,500 members region-wide, WABA serves the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and communities in Maryland and Virginia.

To Apply
Send a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org by COB Friday, August 31st. No phone calls please. Position available immediately.
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.

Pizza Party With The PAL Ambassadors, TONIGHT!

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Join us for our monthly Arlington PAL (Predictable, Alert, Lawful!) Ambassador Pizza Party tonight at BikeArlington’s Office. This is your monthly opportunity to meet other volunteer ambassadors and learn how the work of PAL is changing roadway culture in Arlington.

We’ll scheme, craft, and prepare for this month’s Block Party and enjoy some pizza and beverages!  It’s free and lots of fun.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Thursday, August 20,
6:30pm to 8:30pm
1501 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 22209

 

Looking forward to seeing you there,
Annmarie!

WABA’s working with BikeArlington to recruit a community of volunteers to inspire more Predictable, Alert, and Lawful road culture in Arlington County. Bike billboards, pizza nights, and block parties — all on your commute home. Click here for more information on the PAL Ambassadors and join us at our next event!

Meet Annmarie Hansen, our new PAL Ambassador Coordinator!

 

The PAL Ambassadors had fun with the Burma Shave Signs today.

Annmarie Hansen (far right) and the PAL Ambassador team doing some streetcorner outreach. Photo by Pete Beers.

Hello! My name is Annmarie, and I am so excited to be WABA’s new PAL Ambassador Coordinator! (PAL stands for Predictable, Alert and Lawful).  I was drawn to this job because I have lived most of my life in Arlington and Washington. I’ve been riding here since I was a kid, and I’m passionate about safe cycling all over the area. I feel so fortunate that my job involves being nice to people, and helping them feel safe.

On Wednesdays growing up, my father, inventor of the “powerboost”, (which, he said, gave me no excuse to walk my single speed up hills) would pick me up from school and I’d perch myself on the seat of his road bike and he would wheel me home. I rode my first bike as much and as far as I could, and spray painted the purple thing black when I decided I wanted to be a tomboy.

When I became a grown-up, I didn’t ride my bike for fun anymore. I had places to go, and people to see. And riding a bike was the best way to do all those things. Riding a metro was okay. the bus was always too slow. And cars, well, it didn’t seems to be all it was cracked up to be. But riding a bike? Now that let me feel truly free. I felt in control of my body and my destiny when I was on a bike, and it was awesome.

When I was eighteen, I started riding a pedicab, which, at the time was a fun way to make money while riding a tricycle. It’s an exhausting job however, and after 5 years, I decided I wanted to work in bike advocacy. I did this by volunteering a bit with WABA and then all the time at Gearin Up Bicycles.

Pete Beers left me some big shoes to fill, but I’m excited to share my own enthusiasm with Arlington and the WABA community. I hope you’ll join me in making the streets of Arlington safe for everybody.

If you want to be a PAL Ambassador, sign up here: arlingtonpals.waba.org.

Work for WABA: Advocacy Director

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks a creative, innovative and effective Advocacy Director to achieve the advocacy goals of the organization outlined in WABA’s forthcoming Strategic Plan and Advocacy Priorities. The Advocacy Director will build and lead a team of staff advocacy organizers and our extensive volunteer grassroots advocacy network. WABA advocacy focuses on expanding the bicycling network and making the streets safer for people who bike.

The Advocacy Director is a high-profile representative of the organization to the public and media, and is expected to work closely with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and other key organizational staff to achieve WABA’s advocacy goals.

The ideal candidate must love biking, share WABA’s vision for better biking in the region, and enjoy a working in a fast-paced environment.

Job Responsibilities

  • Lead, manage and inspire a growing advocacy team, including conducting performance reviews and other managerial/administrative tasks.
  • With input from staff and Advocacy Committee of Board of Directors, set advocacy department’s annual work plan, consistent with the organization’s mission and new strategic plan.
  • Develop, execute and win transportation infrastructure, policy and legislative campaigns as outlined in the WABA Strategic Plan.
  • Develop WABA’s networks and relationships with other non-profits, businesses, elected public officials, governmental agencies and community leaders
  • Track major projects, public budgets and campaigns that involve or impact bicycling and prioritize effective organizational involvement.
  • Serve as the organizational representative to the media on advocacy issues.
  • Contribute to the organization’s fundraising and development efforts to grow advocacy capacity through membership growth, donation solicitation and grant writing.

 Qualifications

  • Demonstrated management experience including leading a team, strategic planning and capacity building.
  • Proven ability to supervise, mentor, motivate and appraise employees.
  • Experience advocating for change in a complex environment.
  • Knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, Washington region politics.
  • Experience with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations, PACs and the legal restrictions of each.
  • Must be able to write clearly and persuasively.
  • Highly organized, self-motivated and able to work closely with others.
  • Experience working in diverse communities and on diverse teams of staff and volunteers.
  • Bachelor Degree in communication, public policy, urban planning, transportation, political science, or related field.
  • Legal degree desired, though not required.

Benefits include health/dental insurance, flex time, vacation, sick and personal leave, committed colleagues, fun working environment, and WABA’s retirement program. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. This position is full-time.

Apply
Send a compelling cover letter and resume addressing your interest in the position, commitment to WABA’s mission, and relevant work experience to jobs@waba.org. Please include a writing sample with your application. Please include “Advocacy Director” in the subject line. No calls please. Position available immediately. Applications accepted until COB Friday, August 28th.

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.

 

 

D.C. needs better crash reporting.

crash-night-social-aspect-ratioVision Zero, the District’s plan to end traffic death and serious injury, is a data driven program. WABA recently analyzed the quality and accessiblilty of the District’s crash data and found it lacking in a few key ways.

You can read the full report here (PDF), but our primary concerns are threefold:

  1. The form that the Metropolitan Police Department uses to report crashes does not ask for several pieces of critical information in crashes involving bicycles or pedestrians. Among others, it lacks a field for reporting whether or not a bicyclists was in a bike lane when they were hit. The federal government has a set of recommendations for this type of form, but MPD has not adopted them.
  2. Crash data is not integrated with medical data. This makes it difficult to accurately track the severity of crash injuries or to analyze the public health consequences of crashes. The federal government developed software tools to help integrate this data, and offers funding to implement it.
  3. Crash data is functionally inaccessible to the public. At present, the only way to access data about crashes is through the FOIA process, which is cumbersome and inconsistent. Crash data should be disclosed to the public automatically, in a timely and intuitive manner, as is done in several other U.S. cities.

Policymakers make important decisions about infrastructure and traffic enforcement based on available crash data, so when police reports contain incomplete or incorrect information, or aren’t filed at all (which can also happen with bike crashes), the consequences are long lasting.  Flawed data can lead to flawed conclusions.

WABA assembled a set of recommendations in a letter to the Mayor Bowser last month. When the Mayor responds formally to our letter, we will publish her reply to the blog.