WABA and Black Women Bike DC Formally Join Forces

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After more than a year of working with our friends and partners at Black Women Bike DC to grow and diversify bicycling in the District, we are pleased to announce that WABA and BWBDC have formally joined forces. BWBDC is now formally a sponsored project of WABA. This move, unanimously approved by the leadership of both organizations, provides organizational support to enable the growth of BWBDC in support of its mission to “build community and interest in biking among black women through education, advocacy, and recreation.”

While WABA provides advocacy, outreach, and education programming to expand and enhance bicycling throughout the region, it also provides targeted outreach to groups underrepresented within the community of bicyclists. BWBDC ensures that those groups are not left behind as biking becomes an increasingly important way to improve regional mobility, public health, and sustainable transportation. And BWBDC is an excellent partner: It’s brought groups of riders together for its own events as well as existing regional biking events, has hosted classes and training, and raised the profile of bicycling among the black women who comprise its target audience and the District as a whole.

In characterizing the group’s rapid growth and impact to date, BWBDC co-founder Veronica O. Davis says, “In the one-and-a-half years we’ve existed, we’ve grown the organization from three founders to 730 members in our Facebook group, and we have women who are getting back on their bikes for the first time in decades. We’ve even been able to get women bike commuting to and from work, and running errands by bike all around D.C.”

Nichole Noel, of the BWB leadership team, says, “BWBDC’s partnership with WABA will enable us to create and develop programs that will make biking more accessible to black women throughout the D.C. metropolitan area, especially riders east of the river and in Prince George’s County. This partnership will help turn the BWBDC vision–that black women of all ages ride their bikes for fun, health, wellness, and transportation–into reality.”

Download Our App and Come to Our Advocacy Open House

photoWe announced via email and Twitter last night that we’ve got a smartphone app. It’s available for iPhone and Android. Download it and use it with abandon! You can track crashes, input personal information, and access the D.C. bike laws.

Then, come to Red Derby on Tues., Feb. 5 to celebrate the app’s launch. From 5 to 8 p.m., hang out with WABA staff, members, and friends, and enjoy half-priced tacos and $1 off all drinks. (Happy-hour deals will extend past 8 p.m. for the occasion). RSVP on Facebook.

Since this is the first the app’s been made public, we expect that there will be some bugs. Please let us know what they are (screenshots are great!) and what kind of phone you’re using. We’ll let you know when an update is available.

Additionally, join us tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in our Adams Morgan office at 2599 Ontario Road NW to learn how you can advocate for better bicycling as the region moves forward with new planning initiatives. The District, Maryland, and Virginia are all considering policies that will impact cyclists, and we want to help you make your voice heard. You don’t have to be a professional advocate or consider yourself a frequent attendee of public meetings–this is a great opportunity to get an update on what’s going on that we hope will make you feel empowered to get involved.

Sign up for the open house here. If you’re unable to attend in person, we’ll have a conference call starting at 7 p.m. You can phone in at (610) 214-0000 and enter 334683# when prompted for an access code. We’ll see you, or hear from you, tonight!

Please Act Now to Support SB 1060 and Oppose SB 731 in the Virginia Senate

The Virginia Senate Transportation Committee will consider two bicycle-related bills this afternoon, Wed., Jan., 23. We need you to respectfully ask the Senate Transportation Committee members to:

  • Support SB 1060, introduced by Senator Reeves, which would prohibit motorists from rear-ending or side-swiping bicyclists (i.e., following bicyclists too closely or passing bicyclists with less than a 3-foot gap).
  • Oppose SB 731, introduced by Senator Carrico, which would prohibit riding mopeds on highways with speed limits above 35 miles per hour. If moped riding is banned, bicycling may be next!

You can identify and contact your state legislators from the Who’s My Legislator page.

If your senator is listed below, call or email them directly. Constituent calls really matter. Otherwise, you can call or email all three committee members from Northern Virginia or bulk email the entire 14-member committee by simply copying the email addresses on this page and pasting them into your email’s “to:” field.

Senate Transportation Committee Members from Northern Virginia:

Thank you for acting on very short notice to improve bicycling in Virginia. Unfortunately, bills move swiftly in the Virginia General Assembly, and we learned only yesterday afternoon that these bill would be heard today. If the Senate Transportation Committee reports these bill today, they will be considered by the full Senate in just a few days. Please check our blog for regular updates. We’ll try not too email you too frequently.

Due to the response to our recent action alerts, the Virginia Senate has already passed SB 736 (which prohibits dooring), whereas the House Transportation Committee has passed HB 1950 (which prohibits rear-ending bicyclists) with a 20-1 vote.