Archive for November, 2011
Building on the success of Capital Bikeshare in DC and Arlington County, Montgomery County is preparing to summit a grant application to Maryland DOT to incorporate bikesharing in the lower county region. The plan for 400 bicycles at 50 stations was presented last night a public meeting at the County Executive offices in Rockville.
County planning and transportation officials presented proposed station plans for the urban areas of the county (Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Friendship Heights) and north along the legs of Red Line. The additional stations will provide connections between those activity centers and DC. A side note, in planning talks DDOT has agreed to expand bikeshare stations north between the system core and the new clusters in Bethesda, Silver Spring & Takoma Park to help connect the entire system.
Montgomery County DOT Director Art Holmes spoke briefly about the expansion of bikeshare to the county. In his remarks, he told attendees, “we are very committed to this program”. Officials cautioned that the bikesharing program is contingent on the awarding of the state grants and may need to be built in phases. However, they feel very confident in their grant application. The Maryland grants are through Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds with a local match of 20% required.
Attendees were asked to give ideas (put stickers on a map) for possible station locations. Consultant to the county, Paul DeMaio of MetroBike, explained the siting requirements for a station including access to direct sun, enough space, ownership, access to the station, proximity to bicycle infrastructure, etc. Those not at the meeting are invited to submit their ideas on the Capital Bikeshare Crowdsourcing Map.
WABA is excited to see bikesharing grow and promote bicycle transportation in the region. We hope to see the needed infrastructure improvements, education offerings and necessary enforcement to make the system a success in the county as we have seen in DC and Arlington.
This post is part of the WABA Women Bicycling Project, an ongoing campaign to create a community, share resources and develop strategies for getting more women on bikes. To read about the project so far, check out Quick Release, the WABA blog. To learn more and sign up to receive emails about this project, click here.
Sign up here to attend and observe the Forum. Space is limited!
Across the country, there is a significant gender gap in bicycling. Men are three times more likely to ride than women. Though this gap is smaller in the DC metro area, there are still many more men cycling in the region than women. Why is this? What causes this disparity and what can and should be done to change it?
WABA invites you to observe its first Women’s Cycling Forum on December 12th at the West End Public Library. At this roundtable discussion, a panel of women from all corners of the local bicycling arena will share their ideas and solutions as to how to increase cycling in the DC metro area.
Women on the panel include advocates, writers, city and trail professionals, activists, journalists and businesswomen. All of them are bicyclists and want to see more women on bikes.
The goal of this conversation is to produce executable recommendations that utilize WABA’s reach and resources to get more women riding more often. The event is open to the public to observe the discussion.
Monday, December 12th
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Large Meeting Room
DC Public Library, West End location
1101 24th St. NW
Sign up here to attend and observe the Forum. Space is limited!
Before the Event
If you would like to tell your story, you can fill out our Women’s Bicycling Forum Worksheet, and bring it with you to the Forum and your words will be included in the final project report. If you cannot attend the Forum, or would like to do things paperlessly, we have an online version of the Worksheet.
Additionally, we’ve compiled a collection of articles that have explored issues and concepts related to women and bicycling. Please feel free to pass them along to anyone else who might be interested in them:
“Women Cycling Survey; Analysis of Results”
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)
“What Women Want: A Women’s Perspective on Cycling”
“Black Women Take Their Place in DC Bike Lanes”
The Washington Post
“Demystifying NYC’s Cycling Gender Gap”
“What’s British Cycling Doing for Women?”
“Bike vs. Bike: Cycle Chic Debate”
“Sex and the City – and Cycling”
This is a women’s cycling group whose mission is to increase the number of women who ride bicycles for transportation, and to increase the confidence and comfort of women cyclists.
“Media Articles on Women’s Cycling”
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)
This is a great resource with several compelling articles.
Mark you calendars! Our annual Member Holiday Party is just around the bend. Join the festivities and pal around with fellow members and WABA staff. Bike parking, gifts, food/drink specials, raffles, and holiday cheer!
$5 suggested donation for members. Not a member? Not to worry, JOIN NOW and support WABA this holiday season.
For more information check out our event page and be sure to tell your friends.
*Big thanks to Big Bear, our big loveable hosts!
And to LA Johnson for her very beary nice artwork!
With Thanksgiving fast approaching–followed by Black Friday and Small Business Saturday–we wanted to take this opportunity to thank the many area bicycle shops that support WABA by providing a discount to our members.
These shops choose to forego revenue to help support our growth, our advocacy efforts, and our cycling education and outreach programs.
But local bike shops are more than just retailers. As our maintenance and repair providers, they are a critical component of the bicycle network and necessary to the continued growth and mainstreaming of cycling. Yes, you can probably order that bike or part or tool on the internet. But when you have trouble putting things together properly, when something is rubbing or squeaking and you can’t figure out what it is, when your bike just isn’t stopping like it should, when you want to talk to an experienced person, or when you want to test a few things and see what works best for you before you buy: You need a local bike shop.
One of the primary components of our East of the Anacostia program this year was a “mobile bike shop” run by the Bike House–a local co-op that is not a bicycle retailer–because bike repair services are difficult to access for many in that area. That difficulty of access will only be alleviated if cyclists continue to support local bike shops.
A full list of the shops that support WABA is available HERE.
To our local bike shop partners, thank you for your support. We hope that some of the revenue you leave in the pockets of our members in order to support us will find its way back to you this holiday season, and that you will be keeping us rolling for years to come.
From the National Park Service:
National Mall and Memorial Parks (NAMA)/National Park Service (NPS) proposes to participate in the Capital Bikeshare program by permitting five bikeshare
stations on NAMA/NPS managed property. The Capital Bikeshare program is a regional alternative transportation amenity for visitors and residents and has quickly become a viable form of public transportation. Participating in this bikeshare system would fulfill the goal of enhancing bicycle use at the park, as envisioned in NAMA’s 2008 National Mall Visitor Transportation Study and the 2010 National Mall Plan. Increasing bicycle use reduces traffic congestion, fossil fuel use and air emissions, and provides an additional and affordable form of access to destinations throughout the park.
Proposed locations for the five Capital Bikeshare stations are as follows:
(1) Smithsonian Metro Station entrance area on the National Mall
Location: West of the existing information kiosk on Jefferson Drive, in the gravel area, adjacent to paved sidewalk.
(2) Lincoln Memorial area
Location: On Lincoln Memorial Circle between 23rd and Daniel French Drive at the former interpretive transportation kiosk
(3) Jefferson Memorial area
Location: South of East Basin Drive from the bus pull-off between the curb and existing sidewalk, west of crosswalk
(4) Washington Monument area
Location: Jefferson Drive between 14th and 15th streets at the bus pull-off along the sidewalk east of the kiosk.
(5) FDR/MLK Memorial area
Location: Ohio Drive at West Basin Drive, at the bus pull-off, on the sidewalk west of existing kiosk.
These locations have been selected based on their proximity to visitor destinations, access to compatible modes of transportation such as Metro and bike
paths, and connectivity to other Capital Bikeshare stations. They are located in the vicinity of “Visitor Transportation Stops” as shown on the Circulation Map for the Preferred Alternative in the National Mall Plan.
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking the public’s input concerning the Capital Bikeshare stations. Please visit:
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/Capitalbikeshare for materials and information on how to comment. NPS will receive public
comments through December 28, 2011.
For decades, cyclists have cherished their beautiful morning commutes and family bike rides through Rock Creek Park. Both the road and trail through the park provide two options for different types of cyclists. Children and adults, less experienced riders, and those looking for a gentle and slow ride, all enjoy the multi-use path (which is in need of much improvement: read more here). The roadway provides a space for bicyclists to travel faster (above 15 mph) to achieve a solid workout or arrive at their destination more quickly. If the Senate passes the current draft transportation authorization bill in its current form, all bicyclists will be REQUIRED to use the Rock Creek Trail and all other sidepaths (within 100 yards) on Federal land roads with speed limits over 30 mph.
This is bad policy! Sign the petition, make your voice heard.
From the League of American Bicyclists:
“The draft of the Senate’s transportation authorization bill, S. 1813 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, includes language that would introduce a mandatory sidepath law on roads in our National Parks and other Federal lands. It requires cyclists on Federal lands to use a path or trail, instead of roads, if the speed limit is over 30 MPH and a trail exists within 100 yards, regardless of its condition or utility of the path. The provision sets a terrible precedent. Passing it would send the wrong message to transportation agencies that these policies are acceptable. Laws like this have been taken off the books in states over the past 30 years. This takes us in the wrong direction.”
District of Columbia Residents: Please note this petition is targeted at the entire Senate and not Senator specific. Please sign!
On Thursday morning, more than 30 people crowded into a small room at the Shirlington Education and Employment Center (SEEC) in Arlington County to attend a Bicycle Commuter Seminar jointly presented by WABA and Bike Arlington. The big difference between this particular seminar and the other 29 that our instructors have done throughout the region this year is that this one was given completely in Spanish.
The Spanish Bike Commuter seminar was given by Edgar Gil and we were invited by Andres Tobar, the director of the SEEC, and Tim Kelly of Bike Arlington. The seminar covered all of the same topics as the English version, including:
- Benefits of bike commuting
- What to do before you ride
- Choosing a bike
- Choosing a route
- Riding visibly
- Lighting and reflectivity
- Lane position and control
- Communication and hand signals
- Riding predictably
- Lawful bicycling
- Bike helmets
- Bike locks
- And more!
Additionally, Bike Arlington provided bike lights and reflective straps to attendees for free, and we handed out Spanish copies of our Safe Bicycling in the Washington Area guide, as well as bike maps of Arlington County and other relevant information. As a follow-up, we’ll be providing free helmets for the SEEC to hand out to participants.
If you or your employer is interested in setting up a Bike Commuter Seminar, in either English or Spanish, please feel free to contact us for more information by calling 202-518-0524 x200 or emailing email@example.com.
The Shirlington Education and Employment Center matches day laborers with employers who are in need of temporary labor. Potential workers who have the skills and background required are referred to employers who then negotiate the working conditions and wages. Workers are expected to complete the tasks requested to the best of their ability and employers are expected to be fair.
If you’re all out of ideas for what to do this weekend and you missed Crafty Bastards Craft Fair in early October, here’s your chance to get your craft on and get some early holiday shopping done at the same time.
At the Sugarloaf Craft Festival, lovers of fine crafts and art will find more than 250 artisans displaying and selling their unique creations in pottery, sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion, home décor, furniture and home accessories, items for the garden, and photography. In addition to top national artists, the festival will also introduce new and emerging artists showcasing the latest trends in handmade fashion and accessories, statement jewelry and fine art.
The folks from New York’s VAYA bags, crafters of hip and earth friendly messenger bags made from recycled scrap Sunbrella fabric have 4 tickets that they are offering WABA supporters who want to check out the festival. While you’re there, make sure to stop by the VAYA table to check out their bags and accessories.
Earn a Chance to Win Tickets by leaving a comment on our blog, posting on our Facebook wall (under this post), or retweeting on Twitter (mentioning @wabadc) by 12 pm Friday 11/18. We’ll split the tickets into pairs and will pick two winners at random.
Sugarloaf Craft Festival is located at the Montgomery Co. Fairgrounds • Gaithersburg, MD
Nov. 18, 19, 20, 2011 • Fri 10-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5
Admission Good ALL Three Days!
Children Under 12 Free • Parking FREE
For those of us working on the new Capital Crescent Trail and the Purple Line, it was a surprise to learn recently that the Maryland Transit Administration believes that in order to achieve the original objective to have the trail travel through the Wisconsin Avenue tunnel, it will cost an additional $40 million – 43 % of the total coast of constructing the entire trail. As a result the MTA is now asking the County to provide guidance on this and other issues related to the design of the Trail. The State will design and build the Trail, and the State expects the County to pay the cost of the Trail.
I want to make sure that we have looked at all the options carefully before we make this important decision. The Montgomery County Planning Board will consider this issue on November 17th and I look forward to receiving the benefit of their work. We want to ensure that we are capturing a long-term vision, and not a short-sighted solution. We need to look at all the alternatives and be sure we understand the implications from a community point of view while being fiscally responsible.
I will be meeting with WABA’s Executive Director and other stake holders to work to find the best solution. In any case, I remain committed to the Capital Crescent Trail’s future viability.
The author is Chair of the Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment Committee.
Last week, at its regional summit on bicycling advocacy, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) previewed its Regional Call to Action for better bicycling in the area. The Call to Action focuses on making bicycling a viable form of transportation for a much broader segment of the population.
Currently, approximately 3% of DC residents bike to work according to the most recent American Community Survey. WABA’s goal is to continue to improve cycling conditions for those who already bike, but to make improvements in a way that will induce the 60% of people who say that they are interested in biking, but concerned about some element, to give cycling a try.
“We need to think bigger and think broader about making bicycling appealing to the average person who simply wants to get where he or she is going in a convenient, economical way,” says WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing. “For bicycling to become and remain a viable transportation option for the average person, it needs to be usable, connected, safe, and protected. While biking is great fun and great sport, it is also–in many parts of our region–the fastest and easiest and cheapest way to simply run an errand or make a short trip. In those parts of our region that lag behind, where conditions are not what they need to be for the average person to bike comfortably, we must accept the challenge and bring about improvements.”
WABA’s last Call to Action, in 2000, was directed to the District of Columbia government, and focused energy on the improvement of District bicycling facilities. In that 11 year period, the number of miles of bike lanes has jumped from less than three to more than fifty, the District Department of Transportation has built a reputable bike program, and bicycle mode share in DC has tripled.
This 2011 Regional Call to Action is directed to the bicycling community, encouraging every cyclist to get involved in the growth of cycling.