Archive for March, 2012
WABA is hosting a Climate Ride Fundraising happy hour event Tuesday 3/27 at Meridian Pint from 6pm – 8pm.
Bring your friends, family, co-workers and anyone you think might be interested in mingling with our awesome Climate Riders and WABA folks. This is an opportunity for you to get to know our riders, but also to raise funds towards the WABA Team goal. We will be raffling off a bunch of fabulous prizes including a WABA 2012 Climate Ride Jersey.
All tickets sold at the raffle will go towards the Team WABA goal.
Again the happy hour is at Meridian Pint from 6-8pm.
Please register for the event here and pass it on to friends and family as well:
Last year, one of WABA’s most popular and influential outreach activities was our East of the River Mobile Bike Shop series. In the spring and summer of 2011, we partnered with DC bike co-op The Bike House to repair bikes in parts of the District where residents lack easy access to a local bike shop.
In 2012, we plan to host a mobile bike shop each month throughout the Spring and Summer, and we need the help, hard work, and talent of local mechanics willing to provide technical support for cyclists in need. WABA seeks interested organizations and individuals with the mechanical expertise to replace cables, patch tubes, replace brake pads, and provide general repair services at these outdoor community gatherings.
If you are an organization interested in taking on this year’s mobile bike shop series, please review the following RFP and submit a brief proposal to email@example.com by April 6th. And if you are a mechanically-inclined individual interested in volunteering, send us an email with your skills and availability.
And we wish all the best to our friends and 2011 partners from The Bike House as they focus their mechanical skills on serving Petworth and Bloomingdale cyclists at Annie’s Ace Hardware at 1240 Upshur Street, NW and at the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market at 1st & R Streets, NW. For more information on their work visit www.thebikehouse.org.
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.
At long last, we are proud to present the audio recording of our Regional Women’s Forum, held last December.
This is the uncut audio from the event, and to help you identify the speakers, here is a list of the women who were on the panel:
Jesse Cohn, WABA’s Women’s Bicycling Advocacy & Outreach Intern
Veronica Davis, Black Women Bike DC
Heather Deutsch, DDOT
Tracy Hadden-Loh, Rails-To-Trails
Ellen Jones, DC Bicycle Advisory Council
Katie Knight, Revolution Cycles
Finnuola Quinn, Alta Planning & Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
Kate Ryan, WTOP news
Elizabeth Sherwood, BicycleSPACE
Katie Sihler, goDCgo
Here at WABA, we are still thinking very much about this topic and the bigger questions it raises, as well as how it relates to the ideas that WABA talked about at our Regional Bike Summit in November. We will have some new projects here soon that will help further the conversation and keep the wheels turning. With that in mind, we would like to introduce our new Women’s Bicycling Advocacy & Outreach Interns: Keira Zitelman and Laura Jean Shane! We are very happy to have them both and we will have more details on their projects for the spring in the coming weeks.
One idea that came up again and again during the planning for the forum and afterwards was that this is not a gender-based problem. There is a large proportion of the general public (as high as 60%) who define themselves as “interested in cycling” but with significant reservations–about safety, about buying a bike, about infrastructure, about sweatiness and showers–and this group includes men and women, the old and the young, and people of every description and demographic.
These are the people who are on the cusp of taking up cycling for transportation, and at the core of our Women’s Bicycling Advocacy & Outreach project is the desire to determine what an organization with WABA’s reach and resources can do to convince women (and men) to take the plunge.
You can join the conversation by signing up to receive emails about our Women’s Bicycling Advocacy & Outreach project and by posting on this thread on the Washington Area Bike Forum.
National Bike Summit Event Roundup
When this year’s National Bike Summit participants roll into town, DC is going to be a hub for bike-related socializing. WABA encourages you to attend some of the fun (FREE) events surrounding the Summit.
If you haven’t signed up for the Summit yet, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of time. Online registration is closed but you can register on-site at the Grand Hyatt on Tuesday, the 20th at 1:30pm. Click here for more information.
1:00pm Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington
Join Cyclocross superstar Tim Johnson for the last leg of his bike advocacy fundraising tour. Tim and his group started in Boston, but you can join him in DC.
2:00pm First-Ever National Women’s Cycling Forum
Women across the US bike at much lower rates than men. Come explore the issues and discuss ways to encourage the ladies in your life to get on bikes (Co-hosted by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals).
6:00pm Women’s Cycling Social
Come mingle with the women who are making waves in the active transportation world at BusBoys and Poets (Co-hosted by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals).
9:30am-11:00am Congressional Bike Ride
Take the morning off, jump on your bike, and meet up with hundreds of bike advocates throughout the country for the Summit’s final hoorah hosted by WABA. We’ll tour new bike infrastructure and you’ll make some new friends.
Know of anything else going on, organizing a ride or a happy hour? Share your NBS events in the comment feed. And don’t forget to share your experiences on Twitter using the Summit’s hashtag: #NBS12
As a self-avowed infrastructure nerd I have long been fascinated by how our public infrastructure defines and serves our cities. Normally, at WABA, roadways are the primary type of infrastructure we address. But the parallels and overlaps between how we move people and how we move water in a space-constrained environment fascinate me. And frankly, I wanted to learn more, I wanted to do it by bike, and I wanted to invite others who are interested in DC’s infrastructure, its evolution, its present state, and its future.
Thus, on April 1, WABA will partner with DC Water for the Down the Tubes Ride. It will be a tour of DC’s water infrastructure past, present, and future.
In the weeks leading up to the ride, our friends at Ghosts of DC will be digging up stories detailing the history of the places we will visit and pass along the way. Those stories will be posted here and on the Ghosts of DC blog.
Our ride will begin at Ft. Reno (accessible by Red Line at the Tenleytown station), where we will be greeted by members of the DC Water team to provide us an overview of the site and its role in the water network. From there, we will continue downhill–roughly as the water flows–to the Bryant Street Pumping Station where we will be given a behind-the-scenes tour of that historic location and often-overlooked architectural gem.
After our tour at Bryant Street we will meander–still downhill–to the O Street Pumping Station beside the Anacostia River, where DC Water was instrumental in allowing the connection of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail boardwalk between Yards Park and Diamond Teague Park. We will tour the inner-workings of the O Street Pumping Station before heading across the South Capitol Bridge to Poplar Point.
At Poplar Point, we will welcome Carlton Ray, Director of DC Water’s massive Clean Rivers Project, to explain the project, its scope, and the impact it will have on the future of the District’s water treatment and environment.
The ride will end at the Anacostia Metro.
This is a family-friendly event. Our ride pace will be leisurely, we’ll be stopping often, and we’ll be learning lots. Due to space constraints and security at the locations we will be touring, the ride is limited to fifty participants.
What: Down the Tubes Ride
When: Sunday, April 1st
Start: 9:00 am Tenleytown metro
End: Aproximately 1:00 pm Anacostia metro
Cost: $30 Adults, $10 Youth
As Washcycle covered in a recap of last night’s DC Bicycle Advisory Council meeting, last week’s crash at 11th and U Streets, NW has drawn the attention not just of media and blogs, but senior officers at MPD as well.
Initially, the cyclist was cited for (1) not wearing a helmet, (2) running a red light, and (3) failure to yield.
The first citation was clearly incorrect, as adults are not required to wear helmets in the District, and WABA and others expressed concerns over that wrongful citation. On the other citations, little detail was provided that would allow WABA or others to know what actually happened, but we did ask officials to ensure that the cyclist was interviewed as part of the report and able to tell his side of the story.
Last night, we learned from MPD representatives at the BAC that the incorrect ticket for failure to wear a helmet will be dismissed and that the cyclist was interviewed.
So looking at the handling of this crash so far, how does it reflect on our efforts to improve enforcement? What does this tell us about our progress over the past year, through several bike safety oversight hearings, an Office of Police Complaints Report, and an increased focus on the issue from WABA and the BAC’s Safety Committee?
Initially, an incorrect citation was issued. But on further review, MPD dismissed that ticket. And importantly, the officer reports that she did interview the cyclist to get his side of the story.
These are significant steps. We have not seen a full culture change at MPD in which all officers apply the law to bicyclists properly and there is still a significant “windshield perspective” issue that often affects crash responses. But the fact that, in this case, a mechanism was in place to ensure that the police’s response would be reviewed by a more senior officer with an understanding of the substantive bicycle law and the ongoing procedural concerns surrounding bicycle crashes shows progress.
We still have a long way to go to overcome that “windshield perspective” and fundamental lack of knowledge among the officers who might respond to bike crashes. In most cases that are not listed as Major Crashes or that receive less publicity, this review mechanism may not prove similarly effective or available. Thus, we will continue to push for better training and improvements at all levels of MPD regarding bicycle enforcement.
But we want to acknowledge that in this case, the Department had the procedure in place and the appropriate oversight to seemingly get it right.
The past year’s focused efforts have helped us get to a place in which we have support within MPD from people like Commander James Crane, Lieutenant Nick Breul, and Sergeant Terry Thorne, who are able to understand, address and facilitate the concerns of bicyclists at the highest level within the Department when necessary.
WABA will continue to focus on enforcement, and on ensuring that officers who respond to each crash–not just those listed as Major Crashes or those that garner such public attention–know the law and apply it properly and fairly. But as we have spent months pointing out the cases in which MPD got it wrong. Today, we want to point out the progress that has been made that led to their ultimately getting it right.
There is undoubtedly more work to be done and we will continue to do it. But last night’s report from MPD representatives at the BAC allowed us to see a snapshot of how far MPD has progressed in its handling of bicycling issues. The fact that three officers, knowledgeable in the law as applied to bicycling and the concerns raised by bicyclists, sat in front of the BAC, explained in detail the Department’s response to this crash, and ultimately reached a conclusion that accurately represented the cyclist and his actions proves that law enforcement agencies can move forward.
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for a dedicated, self-motivated lover of bicycling to assist in planning and executing major components of our East of the Anacostia 2012 Bicycle Outreach initiative. This is an expansion of our successful 2011 program, and includes distribution community engagement and outreach materials and organization of educational offerings, bicycle repair clinics, bike rides, and community events. The project area is the District of Columbia east of the Anacostia River, with specific emphasis on the Congress Heights, Anacostia, and St. Elizabeth’s areas.
The East of the Anacostia Program Manager will have primary day-to-day responsibility for delivery of bicycling outreach through one-on-one, grassroots community engagement, and will be responsible for coordinating logistics of numerous special outreach events to communicate to community members the value of bicycling as a viable form of affordable, healthy, sustainable transportation.
This position is partly grant funded and is anticipated to run through mid-August 2012. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, passionate about bicycling, a strong communicator, knowledgeable about the community to be served, organized. Hours are largely flexible, but weekend work will be required. The majority of the work will be outdoors, interacting with the public, or in outdoor community events, but the Program Manager will also be responsible for planning and preparing draft and final reports for supervisors and funders.
The Program Manager role is an ideal position for a candidate seeking to demonstrate project management and grant management capability, as these will be key components in addition to the direct delivery of community outreach services.
The Program Manager will report directly to the Executive Director, and will be directed by WABA program staff in various areas of specific expertise. This will afford the candidate the opportunity to learn from professionals in the fields of event planning, community planning, grassroots organizing, online activism, and outreach.
The ideal candidate will have:
- A strong commitment to WABA’s mission;
- Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills;
- A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed;
- The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun, but sometimes demanding environment;
- Experience with Microsoft Office, Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.
Benefits include flexible schedule, vacation, sick and personal leave. Compensation: $15/hour. This position is part-time, 20-25 hours/week.
This will not be an easy job, as it will require significant dedication, a combination of mental and physical work, and a great deal of motivation. But WABA is committed to finding a committed candidate and providing the support needed to allow that candidate to learn, lead, and construct a portfolio of success unavailable in many positions.
And you get to ride a bike much of the day. (If that’s not appealing to you, you’re not the right candidate.)
Send a cover letter describing why you are the person for the job along with a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please.
Position available immediately. Applications accepted until the position is filled.
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.
Last week, WABA and others testified before the Montgomery County T&E Committee on the need for a safe Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) crossing of Wisconsin Avenue. For a trail of the ridership and importance of the CCT, connectivity and safety are key components. Thus, we continue to support the completion of the paved connection between Bethesda and Silver Spring alongside the Purple Line.
Wisconsin Avenue and the CCT Tunnel
Yet on the issue of the crossing of Wisconsin Avenue, the County has not committed to an at-grade crossing of sufficient design to justify the removal of the trail from the tunnel. We recognize that the revised cost estimates of keeping both the trail and the rail in the tunnel have led county officials to consider removing the trail from the tunnel. This is what the County Council’s Deputy Staff Director, Glenn Orlin, has recommended.
But to date, the County has made no commitment to a design that truly accommodates the ridership of the trail functionally and safely through downtown Bethesda, as the tunnel does. WABA is not unyielding in its position on many details of the tunnel’s design, we cannot support the taking of the tunnel from cyclists without a well-designed, functional, and safe alternative.
The County has not yet committed to such an alternative design. So in the absence of an appropriate alternative, WABA opposes the removal of the trail from the tunnel.
The Montgomery County T&E Committee will hold a critical vote this week on the future of the trail. That vote will be followed by a vote of the full Council. Please CLICK HERE to send an email the Council supporting a safe and functional crossing at Wisconsin Avenue and the completion of this important connection from Bethesda to downtown Silver Spring.
Connecticut Avenue Crossing
Also at last week’s T&E Committee hearing, it was revealed that MTA is considering the removal of the long-promised grade-separated crossing at Connecticut Avenue. Unlike the Wisconsin Avenue issue, this is not a matter of addressing higher costs due to the discovery of unanticipated construction conditions. This is simply MTA looking to save money by reneging on its promise to provide a grade-separated crossing of Connecticut Avenue for the Purple Line and the Capital Crescent Trail. WABA sent a letter last week telling Purple Line Project Manager Michael Madden, MTA Director Wells, and MDOT Secretary Swaim-Staley that this alternative undermines the project, betrays commitments to the public in general and trail supporters in particular, and should be pursued no further.
Please join us in expressing our opposition to this backsliding plan to have the Purple Line and the CCT cross Connecticut Avenue at-grade rather than via a long-promised bridge by emailing Mr. Madden at email@example.com.
Hundreds gathered at The House of Sweden this past Sunday for WABA’s first ride of the season. With no sign of precipitation, turnout for the 6th Annual Vasa Ride was high and so was morale. There’s only way to describe it, the day was truly vawesome!
Vawe·Some \vˈȯ-səm\ (adj.)
Definition of Vawesome
1. Relating to formidable and exceptional experiences on WABA’s Vasa Ride.
2. Arousing joy and feelings of camaraderie, after riding your bicycle and ingesting anything infused with blueberries.
Related forms vawe·some·ly, adv.; vawe·some·ness, noun
Examples of proper usage:
- Brandywine Street was vawesome, even though we had to stop and walk our bikes 3 times.
- The PowerAde crew exhibited exceptionally vawesome moves while breakdancing to “Shout.”
- We didn’t know if the blueberry soup would be hot or cold, but we heard it’s vawesome.
Participants selected a 60, 31, or 15-mile route, and many riders ultimately opted for a custom route in between. After a traditional sendoff from the Swedish Bicycling Ambassador, riders took to the streets. Fueled by blueberry flavored items from KIND healthy snacks and PowerAde and cheered by singing and dancing along the way, we conquered the mighty hills of Maryland, and DC. At the end of the day, we shared stories of bicycling adventures over frosty New Belgium brews at Old Glory.
The day would not have been so vawesome without all of our support. Thanks again to our hosts and co-organizers at the House of Sweden for inviting 400+ colorfully bright, spandex-clad riders into their facilities, and for serving up traditional blueberry soup and Swedish hugs. Our volunteers and ride marshals deserve a big round of applause for their efforts to make the event orderly and safe. And a special thanks to Ekstroms, KIND Healthy Snacks, and PowerAde for all the blueberry goodness, and to New Belgium Brewing and Old Glory Barbeque for hosting our post-ride happy hour.
Be sure to check out our pending flickr slideshow (so many vawesome shots!), and share any of your photos on our Facebook page.
Rides like this support WABA’s mission to make the greater DC region a better place for bikes. To continue supporting bicycle advocacy in your neighborhood, we encourage you to check out our member benefits and join now. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find up-to-date with our work and our events.
From Randall Myers, At-Large Member of the BAC:
The D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council is scheduled to provided testimony at its Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Agency Performance Oversight Hearing before the Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation, chaired by Council member Mary M. Cheh (Ward 4). The hearing will begin at 11:00a., Friday, March 2, 2012 in the Council Chamber (Room 500) within the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Also scheduled are the Pedestrian Advisory Council and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).
The purpose of the Agency Performance Oversight Hearings is to allow the Council and the public to ask questions regarding the current operations of District agencies, committees, or other government organizations during the current fiscal year, which began October 1, 2011, and the 2012 calendar year. Let us know what you think about what BAC has done in fiscal year 2012
and what you’d like us, DDOT and the District government to do for
bicycling in the future.
BAC encourages both bicyclists and pedestrians to attend this public hearing to show policy makers the importance of the concept of shared use of public roads for District residents. In addition, that shared use should not only be available for residents of certain areas but for all those that reside in the city especially those who live in Wards 7 and 8.
Persons wishing to testify at the hearing may contact Jeremy Faust, Committee on the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation at 724-8162 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot attend, you may submit written statements to Nyasha Smith, Secretary to the Council of the District of Columbia; Suite 5; John A. Wilson Building; 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; Washington, DC 20004. You may also email your comments to email@example.com. You may submit statements until two days after the date of the hearing so that is can be included in the official hearing record.