Something looks different around here

We are excited to share a new logo with you!

Thanks to generous pro-bono consulting from the Taproot Foundation, we’ve spent the past year researching and developing a visual identity that’s better aligned with WABA’s work.

WABA is committed to being friendly, to being inclusive, to being diverse and to ensuring that everyone’s experience on a bike is a happy one. Whether you are just learning to ride, taking kids to school, commuting everyday, training for a race, or exploring the trail network on sunny weekends, you are welcome at WABA.

We believe the work we do reflects these values, but we’re not sure our old logo does anymore.

Here are some of the design considerations we’ve been trying to balance:

Recognizable types of people and bicycles: One of things that we celebrate in this organization is that lots of different kinds of people ride lots of different kinds of pedal powered devices for lots of different reasons. We want to make sure we’re not sending a message that we only work on behalf of a certain type of bicyclist. In the constrained space of a logo, that means that specificity is very hard to separate from exclusion. As a result, we decided to focus on more abstract shapes that evoke people and bicycles rather than rely on explicit representations.

Gravitas and approachability: WABA provides a wide variety of services and programming to a number of different audiences. One of the core tensions in this design process has been creating an identity that is compatible with both the gravity of our policy work and the joy of our learn to ride classes and street corner outreach programs.  

Geography: WABA is a geographically bounded organization, but the entirety of region we represent doesn’t have a easy visual signifier. We are sensitive to being perceived as too District-centric, and also sensitive to the frustration that many regional residents feel at having our home conflated with the federal government. In the end, we decided that since our audience already lives here, and since the name of the organization includes our geographic focus, we didn’t need to prioritize location in the logo.

So, without further ado: (Drumroll)

Here in the office, there’s a common typo that we can’t help but take personally. We’re the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, not Bicycle Association. It speaks to the core of WABA’s identity. We’re an organization of people, not machines.

So that’s why we’re thrilled to have a logo that contains a community of people, hands raised, united by the desire to move bicycling forward. We hope you like it as much as we do.

Now, the important question:

When can I get a t-shirt?

So glad you asked! Stay tuned for our Fall 2017 Membership Drive, starting 10/16.

Help DDOT make dockless bikeshare a success

mobike

You’ve probably noticed.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has begun a pilot allowing dockless bikeshare companies to introduce a small fleet of bikes in the District. From now through April 2018, DDOT will evaluate the benefits and impacts of dockless bikeshare, and develop appropriate regulations for allowing these systems in the city.

Unlike Capital Bikeshare, dockless bikeshare does not rely on fixed docks to check out and secure bikes. Instead, users check out a bike using a mobile phone application and end their trip wherever it is convenient, within limits set by the government and the company.

There are opportunities and risks involved in allowing private bikeshare businesses to operate in DC. As the first of multiple opportunities for the bike community and the public to offer feedback, DDOT would like to hear your thoughts on:

  • The appropriate number of bikes, both aggregate, or for any participating company;
  • Bicycle parking requirements, including geographic distribution and rebalancing;
  • Data access and transparency;
  • Reporting requirements; and
  • Safety and education of riders

Feedback on the demonstration period’s structure can be submitted via email to publicspace.policy@dc.gov.

Dockless bikeshare has met with mixed results in other cities around the world. We’re working with DDOT and other stakeholders to make sure that as these programs move into our region, they are structured and regulated such that their success makes bicycling better and more accessible to more people. If you have experience or suggestions, please share them with DDOT at publicspace.policy@dc.gov.

Georgetown Branch Trail detour options during Purple Line construction

As you’ve almost certainly read, the Purple Line is moving forward.

The end result of this project includes a big win for biking in the region: a paved, grade separated trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring. But the construction phase will include unavoidable disruptions—the entire Georgetown Branch Trail from Bethesda to Stewart Avenue will be completely closed starting September 5.  It will remain closed for the duration of construction.

There are a number of workable on-street routes, many low-stress and relatively direct, but things get a bit complicated here because the town of Chevy Chase has so far refused to allow the county to sign a trail detour on its roads.

At present, the official signed detour is on Jones Bridge Road, which is a busy thoroughfare with narrow sidewalks and no bike infrastructure. If you’re a confident bicyclist*, it may be fine. If you’re not, it will be a stressful experience.

It is, of course, perfectly legal to ride on Chevy Chase’s neighborhood streets. Here’s one relatively low stress option that’s only about half a mile longer, and only slightly hillier. If you’ve got another detour you like, share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.

And here’s a map with a couple of detour options through Chevy Chase, depending on where your Silver Spring start/end point is.

We’re working with Montgomery County and the Town of Chevy Chase to improve the signed detour, and we’ll keep you posted.


* Sound good? Take a City Cycling Class!

DDOT trains contractors, utililty companies on how to work around bike infrastructure.

Matthew Marcou, Associate Director of the Public Space Regulation Administration at the District Department of Transportation, explains to staff from public agencies, utilities, and construction contractors how to properly detour the 15th St Protected Bike Lane.

After three years of work, The District Department of Transportation has released guidelines that advise Public Space Permit applicants how to properly accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians during construction or other road closures. You can read the guidelines here (PDF). These guidelines are one of the final missing pieces in the agency’s implementation of the Safe Accommodations element of the 2013 Bicycle Safety Amendment Act. 2013 may seem like a long time ago, but DDOT’s Safe Accommodations regulations are some of the most progressive in the country. Without other cities to use as models, the agency had to start more or less from scratch.

In addition to the written guidelines, DDOT developed several typical scenarios for construction teams to follow (below), and hosted the first of several live-traffic training sessions.

An illustration of how to properly detour bicyclists around work in a two way protected bike lane.

These trainings are a big step towards ensuring that bicyclists and pedestrians can move safely past the city’s ever present construction, and WABA is glad to hear that DDOT will hold more of them.

Is construction blocking your bike lane? Here’s our how-to on making sure contractors are following their Traffic Control Plan, and how to report problems.

 

Biking on the 4th of July: Closures, tips, things to know.

Not recommended.

Biking is a great way to get yourself to and from your preferred fireworks viewing point this holiday. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Bikes aren’t allowed on Metro at all on the 4th. You can still use the bike racks on buses.
  • Capital Bikeshare will have corral service at 10th and Constitution NW. Some stations will be inaccessible throughout the day. More details here.
  • Bring your lights. It’ll be dark when you head home.
  • Don’t bike drunk. Seriously. Call a cab or put your bike on the bus.
  • Expect trails to be very crowded, especially along the waterfront. Remember that it’s nobody’s job to get out of your way. Be patient, negotiate space, expect to dismount and walk a few times.
  • Plan to walk your bike on the bridges over the Potomac. They get very crowded.
  • The National Park Service has a good rundown of road closures and a handy map of restricted areas and services:

AND REMEMBER: Bike to the fireworks, but don’t set off fireworks from your bike.

 

What do Shenandoah sunsets and better bike lanes have in common?

The 2017 Climate ride, of course!

Ride to make our region a better place to bike!

When you join the WABA team on the Red White and Blue Ridge Ride, you join a lively group of people who support you from the moment you click register to the moment you set foot on the Capitol lawn. We’ll be your teammates in organizing, fundraising, preparing, and planning for our ride.

Here are six reasons to go in and register today!

  1. 100% of participants on our 2016 team would recommend it to friends and family.
  2. We heard some pretty nice feedback. Like, “I LOVE WABA!!!” and, “Dang, I love WABA and so enjoyed getting to know everyone on the ride,” and “We had amazing discussions about WABA’s efforts in bike advocacy while on Climate Ride. This will definitely strengthen our individual advocacy within our own neighborhoods and communities.”
  3. On the team, we’ll help you out when it comes to fundraising, training, packing, and all the hearty morale-boosting fun along the ride!
  4. Your funds raised directly support WABA’s campaigns and projects in your backyard.
  5. There are less than 10 spots left on the ride! Hurry!  Sign up as soon as you can in order to have the maximum time to complete your fundraising!

To join WABA’s Climate Ride Team

  1. Fill out our form.
  2. Register for the 2017 Red White And Blue Ridge Ride
  3. During registration, select “Team WABA” as your team, and WABA as one of your designated beneficiaries.
    • If WABA is your only beneficiary, you’ll get to rock a Team WABA jersey and socks!! If you select multiple beneficiaries, great! Share the love. We’d still love to have you on Team WABA.

Better Biking in NoMa

DC’s NoMa neighborhood contains some of the District’s best biking infrastructure—it’s the connecting point between the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the curb-protected bike lane on First St NE.

If you’re not riding along the Red Line corridor though, things can get trickier. A combination of one-way streets and wide arterial roads make moving through the neighborhood on a bike challenging.

The District Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on where you’d like to be able to ride between NoMa and Mount Vernon Square, and what obstacles keep you from being able to do so.

Do you ride in or through the NoMa neighborhood?  Use DDOT’s mapping tool to draw where you’d like to be able to go, and identify problem areas.

Go to map

DDOT is accepting input through June 15th.