Our 2013 Annual Meeting

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The room filled up. Photo via Twitter user darsal.

On Tuesday night—despite the incessant, chilly rain—about seventy WABA members filled up the Eaton Room of All Souls Church to hear about the state of our organization. The annual meeting allows us to summarize what we’ve been working on, provides a forum for members to ask questions, and also serves as the election for WABA’s board of directors.

If you weren’t able to follow along on Twitter last night, here are some of the things we highlighted; below the jump, you can view the slideshow we presented:

  • Our outreach has expanded to four specific programs this year: the bike ambassador program, suburban outreach, east of the river (now in its third year), and Women & Bicycles.
  • Membership in general has increased.
  • We’ve launched a business membership program.
  • D.C. has become the fourth best bike city in the country; your membership supports our advocacy, which contributes to D.C.’s high ranking.
  • We’ll be shifting our advocacy focus from bike lanes and sharrows in general to protected, Green Lane Project-style dedicated infrastructure specifically.
  • For the first time since WABA’s inception in 1972, we have a full-time advocacy staffer that’s not the executive director.
  • We’ve had a success rate of 75 percent in our adult learn-to-ride classes. We also offer confident city cycling classes and have in-school clinics for kids.

There were no objections to the nominated board members, and all were elected unanimously. Mark Blackell, Eric Fingerhut, and Philip Lyon were re-elected, and Bo Pham, Scott Barash, and Keya Chatterjee were elected to fill three vacated seats. Bios of all six are below the jump.

Many thanks to our members for coming out in last night’s horrible weather. We were thrilled to share what we’re working on and even more thrilled to see you pack the room. WABA is a member-based organization, and we couldn’t do our work without you. You’re our eyes and ears in our community, so continue to keep us informed of the changes you’d like to see.

Below the jump, board member bios and the meeting’s slideshow:

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Tonight: MoveDC Transportation Public Advisory Committee Meeting

moveDC logo_RedThis evening, MoveDC is hosting a transportation public advisory committee meeting in the second-floor community room at the Reeves Center (government-issued ID required), 2000 14th St. NW, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A period for public comment is included in the agenda.

MoveDC also has four “Ideas that Build” workshops coming up across the city, all in March. We urge you to attend one or more meetings to make your interest in dedicated bike infrastructure known. Your physical presence is important in this long-range transportation planning process, and we appreciate any effort you can make to come out to MoveDC’s workshops. The dates and locations are as follows:

Session 1
Wed., March 20, 6-8 p.m.
Department of Employment Services community room
4058 Minnesota Ave. NE

Session 2
Thurs., March 21, 6-8 p.m.
Matthews Memorial Baptist Church
2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE

Session 3
Tues., March 26, 6-8 p.m.
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School multi-purpose room
659 G St. NE

Session 4
Thurs., March 28, 6-8 p.m.
University of the District of Columbia (tentative)
4200 Connecticut Ave. NW

For continued updates on MoveDC and how you can get involved, keep reading our blog or check this page on our website.

Women & Bicycles Fully Funded, Thanks to League of American Bicyclists’ Women Bike

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The face of bicycling is changing in cities across the country, and nowhere is that more evident than in the nation’s capital. Since 2004, Washington, D.C., has seen a 175 percent increase in cycling and a 300 percent increase in its bike lane network. Despite these incredible gains, the number of women on bikes has remained steady at 23 percent.

With a $15,000 grant from the League of American Bicyclists, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is launching an initiative that will further elevate the D.C. region as a national leader in encouraging more women to ride.

WABA’S Women & Bicycles program will kick off on Sun., March 3, with a launch party from 8 to 11:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets (1025 5th St. NW). Featured speakers will include Nelle Pierson, WABA’s outreach coordinator, and Elly Blue, founder of Taking the Lane Media and author of Everyday Bicycling, an accessible, easy-to-read guide to cycling for transportation.

WABA’s program is the result of several years of discussion and feedback, which concluded that a strong community is essential to getting more women on bikes. Women & Bicycles is encouragement-based: 10 Roll Models will be identified, then asked to tap into their personal networks to loop in women who might be hesitant to ride a bike for transportation. A series of small social gatherings hosted by Roll Models and practical-skill workshops and group rides run by WABA will engage Women & Bicycles participants and provide them with all the resources they’ll need to bike confidently in the D.C. area. WABA is in the process of selecting Roll Models, and the program will be underway by late March.

“Generally speaking, women admit to being more intimidated by the perceived risk of bicycling, maintaining appearances, and the responsibilities of being a primary caretaker in the household,” says Pierson. “So we’re going to tackle these issues together at meetups, workshops, and group rides, and we’re going to have a lot of fun in the process.”

Supporting such innovative efforts is a key aspect of the League’s new Women Bike initiative, the first national advocacy campaign aimed at engaging, empowering, and elevating women in all aspects of the bicycle movement.

“One of our primary goals is to seed, support, and spread new campaigns and ideas that are getting more women on bikes,” say Carolyn Szczepanski, the League’s director of communications and Women Bike. “WABA has been at the forefront of women’s outreach for years and we’re excited to partner with them on a pilot project that could be a model for communities nationwide.”

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIOn the heels of WABA’s launch party, the League will bring together hundreds of leaders from across the country at the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum. On March 4 at the Renaissance Washington (999 9th St. NW), more than 25 diverse female leaders from bike advocacy, industry, policy and racing will present at the all-day forum. Keynote speakers will include Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and industry trailblazer Georgena Terry.

Registration for the public is $85 and media is invited to attend. Learn more about the Women’s Forum here. Learn more and get involved with WABA’s Women & Bicycles campaign here.

In addition to this fantastic news, we’d like to thank our members and friends who have so generously given to Women & Bicycles. Were it not for you, we wouldn’t have met and exceeded last December’s match grant or continued to receive donations well into the new year. Your support continues to be critical in raising funds and raising awareness for WABA’s work, and we can’t wait to show you the progress of the Women & Bicycles program.