Momentum Builds for Louisiana Ave. Protected Bike Lane

For every new trail, bike lane, and policy that makes the region a better place to bike, there are committed advocates working in their communities, with government officials, and WABA staff to improve our streets for people who bike. Here is an update from Joe McCann, a DC advocate.

Louisiana Ave. is a hostile place for people on bikes (image from Google Street View)

We are happy to report that broad consensus is emerging for the creation of a protected bicycle lane linking Union Station and the Capitol grounds via Louisiana Avenue.  In recent months, Ward 6 Council Member Charles Allen, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C (ANC 6C) and the Congressional Bike Caucus have separately written the Architect of the Capitol and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to express strong support for a protected bike lane on Louisiana Avenue as a means to create a safe and efficient bicycle link between two major employment, transit and tourist centers in the heart of the District. Read these letters here: Charles Allen, ANC 6C, and Bike Caucus.

By way of background, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible to the United States Congress and the Supreme Court for 17.4 million square feet of buildings and more than 553 acres of land throughout Capitol Hill, including Louisiana Ave and much of the area between Union Station and the Capitol. In a response letter addressed to ANC 6C, the AOC indicated that he is actively evaluating the feasibility of a bicycle facility along Louisiana Ave (read the letter). DDOT, which has primary responsibility for transportation infrastructure in the District, already has identified Louisiana Ave as the desired location for a bicycle link between Union Station and the Capitol in its 2005 Bicycle Master Plan and again more recently in its 2014 MoveDC plan.

The potential implications of a protected bicycle facility on Louisiana Avenue are enormous.

Although less than a half mile apart, Union Station and the Capitol are separated by multi-lane roadways with challenging intersections and fast moving traffic.  Under these conditions, it is exceedingly difficult today for even the most experienced bicyclist to travel the short distance between these two hubs without unacceptably elevated risk.

Proposed protected bike lane from Union Station to the National Mall

The situation is particularly acute because Union Station annually welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors, many of whom are destined for the Capitol and the National Mall.  Most of these visitors are unfamiliar with District roadways and therefore require the physical separation and way-finding that only a protected bike lane can afford them during their uniquely special visit to the Capitol.

By filling the gap between Union Station and the Capitol grounds, the Louisiana Ave. lanes also would link together existing protected bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave NW and First Avenue NE and thereby complete a contiguous network of protected bicycle infrastructure stretching across the L’Enfant City from the Brookland neighborhood in Northeast DC to Georgetown and Columbia Heights in Northwest DC.  This connected network of facilities would mark a major milestone in the District’s efforts to promote bicycling as a safe and viable means of transportation for people of all ages and bicycling abilities. 

Louisiana Ave in red is a missing link in a much larger protected bike lane network in green

WABA and its members are very encouraged that the AOC, in collaboration with DDOT, is actively evaluating the viability of a protected facility on Louisiana Ave.  The League of  American Bicyclists recently recognized the AOC as a “Bicycle-Friendly Business” at the Bronze Level. We are hopeful that the AOC will build upon this achievement by approving the Louisiana Ave protected bike lane.  In the process, the AOC will transform the Capitol campus into a safer place to visit and a model for the nation in terms of bicycling infrastructure.

Joe McCann is a WABA member who previously served as the chair of ANC 6C’s Transportation and Public Space Committee.  He lives and works near Union Station.

Bike Friendly Ballston Campaign Launch

WABA's Action Committee for Arlington County is working to make Ballston a better Place to bike

Thanks to an expansive trail network and forward-thinking investments made over the decades, Arlington County is a terrific place to ride a bike for fun, commuting, and just getting around. Trails like the Mount Vernon Trail and Custis Trail see thousands of bicycle trips per day through neighborhoods and the downtown core. Where those trails end, a growing network of quiet neighborhood streets and bike lanes take over to get people where they are going. At least, that is how it should work. Trouble is, many of those bike lanes are on busy roads with high speed traffic and high parking turnover. These streets are stressful for people who bike and unrideable for more tentative riders. It does not have to be this way.

Today, WABA’s Action Committee for Arlington County is pleased to announce its first campaign for a Bike Friendly Ballston. Our goal, make Quincy Street a welcoming entrance into a more walkable, bikeable Ballston.

The existing Quincy Street bike lanes are uncomfortably close to frequent and fast moving traffic. The bike lanes disappear at a major intersection forcing people on bicycles to merge with drivers already navigating a tricky intersection.  Delivery vehicles and double parked cars frequently block these lanes creating more merging conflicts as drivers and bicyclists try to share the same space. A redesigned Quincy Street with protected bike lanes would make a safer and more inviting place to ride. It would create a low stress connection to the nearby Custis trail. Finally, it would be the first step in a protected north-south route through central Arlington.

Read more about Bike Friendly Ballston

Kick off the Campaign with us!

On Wednesday, October 21, join our Action Committee in Ballston for a short walk on Quincy Street to see why these changes are needed. Starting at the Central Library, we will look at some of the troublesome areas and intersections that make Quincy St. an ideal place for a protected bike lane. Then, join us for drinks and discussion on the details at a local watering hole. We hope you can join us to get started on this exciting campaign. Please spread the word!

Bike Friendly Ballston Kickoff
When: Wednesday, Oct 21 6:30 pm
Where Arlington Central Library 1015 N Quincy Street

Join Us

Meet & Greet with WABA’s New Executive Director

Join us in welcoming our new Executive Director!

Come say hello to WABA’s Executive Director, Greg Billing. Greg has been with WABA for more than five years, most recently as WABA’s Advocacy Director, and became the organization’s Executive Director in August 2015. At this social event, WABA members and supporters will have the chance to mingle and chat with fellow bicyclists and WABA’s ED over drinks at REI’s Community Space at Wunder Garten. RSVP here.

The meet and greet will take place from 6:00-7:30pm on Wednesday, October 7th at the REI Community Space at Wunder Garten in DC’s NoMa neighborhood at 150 M St NE, Washington, DC.

There are plenty of spaces for bike parking, and the NoMa metro station and Capital Bikeshare stations are right nearby. The beer garden space has tents and shelter, so the event will take place rain or shine. The event is open to anyone and we encourage you to invite your friends.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP here.

Find more info about REI’s Community Space here.

We’re Hiring: Membership Coordinator

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks an enthusiastic, dynamic, detail-oriented membership coordinator to manage WABA’s growing membership program. We need a go- getter with strong and sincere people skills; someone with enthusiasm for WABA’s mission, and the qualifications necessary to identify, engage, and recruit potential individual members, business members, and donors.  

The membership coordinator will report to the Deputy Director and work directly with WABA staff  to integrate membership goals throughout WABA’s programs as outlined in the new 5-year Strategic Plan.  WABA is a small but growing organization, and on occasion, all staff are asked to assist in general WABA duties and major events.


  • Using WABA’s 5-year Strategic Plan, create an annual workplan with the targets, tools, methods, and a budget to meet and exceed individual membership and business members revenue goals.
  • Oversee and market member benefits/discount partnership program, including: securing new member benefit partners and promoting existing partners through blog, social media, and membership materials.
  • Collaborate with WABA staff to effectively grow and promote membership through our outreach, events, education, and communications.
  • Coordinate membership appreciation events and represent WABA at our events, other community events, and through pop-up, on-street outreach to engage area bicyclists and actively sell memberships
  • Manage and maintain WABA’s membership database, including: data entry, updates and de-duplication of member and supporters information, organization and inventory, clerical work, and membership/renewal contribution processing and fulfillment. All with great discretion handling and managing personal and private financial information.
  • Prepare regular, quarterly, and annual reports on program performance.
  • Lead all facets of membership-related communications and messaging, including: email communication, blog posts, web content, social media communication (in collaboration with the Communications Coordinator), direct mail, print materials, and merchandise.
  • With input from staff and board, develop and execute annual membership projects, like the membership survey, fall membership drive, and coordination on Bike to Work Day.
  • Train, organize, and oversee membership volunteers and coordinate membership volunteer nights.
  • Serve as staff liaison to the Board of Directors Membership Committee (ad hoc).


The ideal candidate will have:

  • An enthusiastic commitment to WABA’s mission.
  • A comfort with making “the ask” i.e.  possessing the skills to actively sell memberships and fundraise. This is not a position for someone who is not willing or comfortable engaging individuals to ask for financial support.
  • Background in membership programs.
  • Strong and sincere verbal skills, people skills, the ability to interact with diverse audiences, and excellent written communication skills.
  • Capacity for development and fundraising.
  • A high attention to detail with a focus on accuracy.
  • Excellent time management skills, able to balance multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously and demonstrated ability to follow through on commitments.
  • A self-motivated approach, able to manage programs and campaigns with little oversight.
  • Previous CRM database management experience, ideally using Salsalabs.
  • Experience with direct mail and email communication campaigns a plus.
  • Strong computer literacy skills with specific experience using Microsoft Word and Excel.

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 non-profit scale and commensurate with experience. This position is full-time.


Send a compelling cover letter and resume addressing your interest in the position, commitment to WABA’s mission, bicycle related experience, related qualifications, and salary expectations to Please include “Membership Coordinator” in the subject line.  Applications accepted until COB Monday, October 5th, 2015 ideally with a target start date of October 12.

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.

Which fun community ride you should go on?

Answer this simple question to find out:

Where do you live?
(or work, or like to visit)

1. Crystal City.

Secrets of Crystal City

Join us on October 8th for our Secrets of Crystal City in Arlington, VA. I mean there’s Crystal in the name, sooooooo cool!

2. Shirlington.

secrets of shirlington

Join us on October 14th for our Secrets of Shirlington in Arlington, VA. You’ll surely find adventure in Shirlington!

3. Capitol Hill.

the haunted hill

Join us on October 23rd  for The Haunted Hill ride in Washington, DC. What ghosts are haunting the Congressional Cemetery?

4. Ballston.

secrets of ballston

Join us on October 28th for our Spooky Secrets of Ballston in Arlington, VA. Half spooky and half hidden secrets.

5. Del Ray and Old Town.

Reading and Riding

Join us on November 4th for our Riding and Reading in Alexandria, VA. BOOKS! BIKES! B-YEAH!

6. Alexandria

Hauling to Help

Join us on November 18th for our Haulin’ to Help in Alexandria, VA. Help deliver food to those in need during the holiday season.

7. Georgetown and Glover Park.

lighting the way

Join us on December 2nd for our Lighting the Way in Washington, DC. Pretty lights on houses and learning about lights on bikes.

Congrats, you basically have won the fun lottery!

Our community rides are a fun, low-stress way to meet people, explore our area, and maybe pick up a new biking skill or two. Click on a date above to reserve your spot!

This fall we have SEVEN (magic number!) opportunities to get rolling. Here are SEVEN more reasons to join us:

  • You can ask any bicycle questions that fit your fancy
  • After rides we typically find a bite to eat together
  • You get to meet other bicycle people
  • Weeeeeeeeeeeee!
  • You’ll find out cool stuff about your community
  • You’ll come home feeling pretty grand
  • You’ll get many opportunities to take formal* portraits with your bike (*=informal, fun, and not while riding)

So, doing some quick math here:

bike ride + new friends + snacks = 😀

8. I don’t live in or work near or visit any of those places :(


Our community rides are funded by local governments. If you’d like one in your neighborhood, drop us a note at and we’ll let you know which local official or agency to contact.

*A helmet and bicycle are required for participation. If you rent a Capital Bikeshare we can reimburse your usage fees for the ride. Please contact with any questions.

Tonight’s PAL Ambassador Block Party!

You ready for our monthly Arlington Block Party? Meet us at the corner of N. Sycamore St. and Lee Highway between 4:30pm and 6:30pm. The PAL Ambassadors will have signs, giveaways, and some surprises!

Click here for more information.

BikeArlington launched the PAL campaign 2 years ago with the strong sentiment that no matter who we are or how we choose to get around town, our roadways depend on a social contract that everyone is following the rules and paying attention. Whether we’re walking, driving, or biking we rely on our fellow road-users to be PALs; Predictable. Alert. Lawful.

The mission of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.



Introducing Better Backs Athletic & Physical Therapy , A WABA Business Member

WABA’s Business Members understand the importance of a community that bicycles. Their membership supports our advocacy, outreach and education. Our business members are committed to a sustainable future of our region and are adding their voice to a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses supporting WABA.

Today meet Better Backs Athletic & Physical Therapy!

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 11.59.23 AM

We are excited to welcome Better Backs Athletic & Physical Therapy into the Washington area and into the vast and friendly WABA community. Better Backs is the newest business to support WABA’s mission as a Business Member.

Rachel Davis-Stewart just opened the practice in May 2015 and also supports the biking community by offering a 15% off all products and services to current WABA members. (Yet another reason for you to become a WABA member!) Davis-Stewart is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Massage Therapist. She has also studied Athletic Training and Exercise Physiology and, like you, loves riding her bike.

Better Backs Therapy is located inside the Anacostia Arts Center at 1231 Good Hope Rd in Southeast, Washington, DC. They are open Tuesday-Friday 11-7, and Sunday 11-2. (Please note that appointments after 5pm, and on Sundays require prepayment.)

How it works: You pay for a session with the therapist and receive a same day custom treatment plan. Better Backs uses a range of contemporary rehabilitative techniques including, but not limited to, moist heat, ice packs, soft tissue mobilization, electrical therapy, physical reconditioning, supportive taping, wrapping, and padding procedures.



Don’t forget to mention you’re a WABA Member!

Do you own, work for, or patronize a business that is a good candidate for our business membership? For just $300 or $800 per year, you can show your support for a bike-friendly region and WABA’s advocacy and get all sorts of perks, including your very own blog post! Details here.