DC Public Schools Rolling into Year Two of Biking Program

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Sterling Stone of Gearin’ Up Bicycles shows DCPS teachers how to check and maintain the kids’ bikes.

It’s not every day that you get to indirectly teach more than 4,000 public school students how to ride bikes safely, but last week, WABA’s youth education staff was lucky enough to do it for the second time. Youth & Family Education Coordinator Jeff Wetzel and Programs Director Daniel Hoagland were part of the team that trained and prepared more than 75 DCPS Physical Education teachers last week.

For the DC Public School system, the Biking in the Park program was something of a risk. But Director of Health and Physical Education Miriam Kenyon was unfazed. Here’s the recipe: Take six dozen teachers, every last second grader, 1,000 bright blue bikes, over 100 volunteers, and add wary administrators, warier parents, and the wildly unpredictable state of DC’s street and sidewalk infrastructure. Then shake it all together for a year, and see what happens.

The result? Kids rode bikes. A lot. Some learned how to ride for the first time in their lives. Others learned how to ride in a group, how to ride on sidewalks or streets, and how to look after one another on a bike ride. In short, the program was an overwhelming success. So when WABA was asked to help get the DCPS teachers ready for year two, we jumped at the chance.

We shared our best helmet-fitting and obstacle-course tips, and demonstrated how to arrange and manage a youth group ride. We helped them find the answers to each other’s questions, and we encouraged them to share the things they learned over the course of the first year.

The teachers–some of whom hadn’t been on a bike in decades prior to the program–were eager to get back to work. They told us about kids who said the bike riding lesson was their favorite school experience ever, and about parents who have dug their own bikes out of garages and basements after their kids came home full of enthusiasm for riding.

DC Public Schools’ Biking in the Park program is ongoing during the school year. Every second grader will get a chance to participate in five lessons that build skills and confidence before going on a half-day field trip by bike. Schools throughout the District are looking for volunteers to help ride with the kids all year long. If you’re interested, please contact Elizabeth Pandaya with DCPS.

A slower, smarter Maryland Ave NE is coming.

Maryland Ave NE Project Area

Maryland Ave NE Project Area

A community meeting last Wednesday to explore DDOT’s 30% design plans to address endemic speeding on Maryland Ave NE turned acrimonious.

The meeting on August 10th was meant to be a chance for residents and neighbors to get a detailed look at the design for the street and offer constructive feedback to improve the project as the design process moves forward. Instead, the packed library meeting rooms filled with heated concerns about parking. We’ve seen this movie before.

The redesign for Maryland Ave. NE is what’s known as a “road diet” due to the fact that it will reduce the number of travel lanes in each direction (from 2 to 1) and the way that it “slims down” the road at intersections to shorten the amount of time it takes for pedestrians to cross. It also includes unprotected bike lanes along the full length of the project.

In DDOT’s analysis, Maryland Ave. NE is a good candidate for a road diet because its traffic volume (9,000-11,000 vehicles per day) can be served by fewer travel lanes without reducing the Level of Service unacceptably. (Note: we’ve discussed this problematic engineering metric before.)

A small but vocal contingent of residents calling themselves Citizens For an Informed & Safer Maryland Avenue believes that the road diet plan has been undertaken without adequate analysis or community input. This despite the work mentioned above and a timeline that began in March of 2011, proceeded through more than a dozen public meetings, and involved hundreds of hours of community engagement—both for the project itself and in conjunction with 2013’s MoveDC plan.

Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, the citizens group circulated a flier urging Maryland Ave. NE residents to attend and raising the twin specters of reduced parking and increased congestion (full disclosure: I live on the 1000 block of Maryland Ave. NE). They also started an online petition and a survey to gauge neighborhood opinions on the road diet. Among their concerns is the “argument” that Maryland Ave. NE is unsafe to bike on and therefore doesn’t need bike lanes.

We here at WABA don’t think these plans are perfect: DDOT missed an good opportunity to install the first protected bike lanes on Capitol Hill (as pointed out over at Greater Greater Washington), but this process has gone on for far too long. Maryland Avenue NE in its current configuration enables rampant speeding and puts people who walk and bike along the corridor in unnecessary danger. DDOT and the community decided this needed to change five years ago. WABA supports the Maryland Ave NE plan as it is currently designed (pending the comments from the meeting) and encourages DDOT to finish the project in 2016.

 The DDOT employees responsible for this project are George Branyan and Ali Shakeri (george.branyan@dc.govali.shakeri@dc.gov). If you live, work, or bike around the project area, please send them an email to let them know you support this project and want to see it move forward.

Delays on the Red Line? We got you.

safetrack homepage no dots LOL

SafeTrack is coming to Montgomery County and WABA and MCDOT want you to consider biking! Come ride with us and discover safe, fun routes for getting around the Red Line disruptions. You’ll learn the route to ride during the week as well as tips and tricks from our bike experts.

July
Sunday, July 31st – Ride from Glenmont to West Hyattsville!

August
Saturday, August 6th – Ride from Shady Grove to Twinbrook!

Both rides begin at 10:00 AM and are FREE for walk-up participants, or you can reserve a spot for $10 at the links above.

These rides are open to all ages, but riders under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Participants must provide their own bikes & helmets. Helmets are required.

We have lots more details on our Safetrack Resources page.

We’re hiring: Women & Bicycles Coordinator (part-time)

women and bicycles

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for a part-time coordinator for the Women & Bicycles program, an innovative grassroots approach inspiring more women to bike, teach, advocate, and lead the bike movement.

The heart of the program is peer-to-peer mentorship through volunteer Roll Models. Roll Models are women who already bike and commit to recruiting 5-10 biking protégés from their personal networks. The protégés are invited to a dinner party with their mentor and use conversation and our comprehensive biking guide to work through all their personal questions, concerns, and unknowns when it comes to biking. The position also consists of monthly event coordination, planning, admin and strategy, online forum moderation, and fundraising.

The Women & Bicycles Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of the Women & Bicycles program, including Roll Model recruitment, training and coordination, event coordination, online forum support, and developing strategies to grow the program in a way that is successful, sustainable, and equitable. The position will report to WABA’s Programs Director.

Responsibilities

The Women & Bicycles Coordinator will:

  1. Recruit, train, coordinate, and engage the Women & Bicycles Roll Models and track their mentorship efforts.
  2. Develop and implement Women & Bicycles events (with WABA’s program staff as needed), including: partner coordination, content development, scheduling, planning, promotion, volunteer coordination, event logistics, staffing events, and follow-up.
  3. Work to create new partner relationships with non-traditional bicycling groups to build the reach and resources of Women & Bicycles across diverse networks throughout the region.
  4. Facilitate and diversify the Women & Bicycle forum and its guidelines to maintain its culture of respect, information-sharing, and joy.
  5. Fundraise annually (with support from the WABA development staff), through events, online campaigns, etc. to sustain the program.
  6. Integrate Women & Bicycles with WABA’s broader work regionally and align programmatic goals/outcomes with WABA’s 2020 Strategic Plan.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  1. A strong commitment to WABA’s mission and be a skillful and committed bicyclist with a solid understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  2. Experience in: project management, events planning/management, fundraising, marketing and/or volunteer coordination.
  3. Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills.
  4. A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed.
  5. Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Drive/Docs/Sheets, Forms), Facebook and Twitter.
  6. The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment, and work independently.

This position is part-time, 20 hours/week and compensation is $15 per hour.

About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, WABA promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 6,500 members region-wide, WABA serves bicyclists throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia.

Contact

Send one PDF with both your cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Women & Bicycles” in the subject line by Friday, July 22nd. No phone calls please. For inquiries please email jobs@waba.org. 

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.

We’re hiring: Bike Ambassador (part-time)

A Bike Ambassador helps pull a trailer down in SE DC

A Bike Ambassador helps pull a trailer down in SE DC

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is looking for an outgoing, energetic, and motivated person to help run the D.C. Bike Ambassador program. The program’s goal is to establish WABA’s presence city-wide, to foster a positive impression of bicycling and bicyclists and to educate residents and local organizations about bike laws, roadway safety, and potential benefits of bicycling to individuals, families, workplaces, and communities.

The D.C. Bike Ambassador will promote WABA’s programs and the Bike Ambassadors’ core messaging, as well as coordinate volunteer Bike Ambassador outreach events, and help recruit local residents to become volunteer Ambassadors and attend WABA classes, programs, and events.

This position is part-time, 20 hours per week and compensation is $15 per hour.

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and implement Bike Ambassador outreach, education, encouragement, and community organizing efforts for WABA city-wide.
  • Recruit and energize our team of volunteer D.C. Bike Ambassadors.
  • Lead one hour-long presentation on bicycling per month with a WABA community partner.
  • Distribute print resources to community members, such as D.C. bike maps, Quick Start Guides, D.C. Pocket Law Guides, Capital Bikeshare information, and WABA education and promotional materials.
  • Pull the WABA Bike Ambassador billboard trailer (7 hours per week).
  • Complete weekly administrative and reporting requirements.
  • Report to, communicate and coordinate regularly and effectively with supervisor about goals, planning and logistics, reporting, challenges and issues.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission
  • Willingness and excitement to learn bicycling safety, traffic law, skills, and WABA’s bike encouragement philosophy.
  • Experience planning events and coordinating volunteers.
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills.
  • A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings, and/or weekends.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Drive/Docs/Sheets, Forms), Facebook and Twitter.
  • The ability to pull a bicycle trailer weighing 10 lbs. for 1-3 hours.
  • The ability to lift at least 40 lbs.
  • Organized, good time management skills and ability to multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
  • League of American Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification a plus.

About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 6,500 members region-wide, WABA serves the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and communities in Maryland and Virginia.

To Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Bike Ambassador” in the subject line by Friday, July 22nd. No phone calls please.

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.

Get Ready for SafeTrack

safetrack homepage no dots LOL

A year of Metro shutdowns and singletracking. A year of extra cars on the road and longer commutes. A year of doom and gloom.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

During the year of SafeTrack “surges,” WABA wants you to try your commute by bike instead.

To help you out, we’ve put together our SafeTrack biking resource page, designed to keep you in the know about what the region’s bike community has up its sleeve for each surge. You can find it at waba.org/safetrack.

Here you’ll find all the info you’ll need to bike your commute, join a bike train convoy, find or become a bike buddy, and more.

If you’re already a bike commuter or you just want to help your fellow Metro riders, we’re looking for volunteers for a whole host of opportunities: ride leaders, station captains, sign hangers, flier distributors, etc.

Volunteer with us

We’re Hiring Bike Camp! Counselors for the Summer

Bike Camp! is coming this summer!

Bike Camp! is looking for a few great Counselors, apply today!

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks 3 Camp Counselors and 1 Lead Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare.

Positions Overview

WABA’s Bike Camp! is two two-week sessions for kids to ride, explore, build, and have fun! Our Bike Camp! Counselor team will keep things running smoothly, help the campers ride and work together as a team, build rapport and community, and make this summer one to remember.

During training, Counselors will be taken through an intensive ride-safety course to learn the ins-and-outs of leading and supporting youths on bikes. They’ll be certified in first-aid and CPR by the American Red Cross. Further training will include: security and safety procedures, emergency planning and management, behavior management, food and health safety, team training, and more.

The Counselor team will be the primary staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of Bike Camp! and will report to our Camp Director, Jeff Wetzel, who will be on-site at camp 20 hours/week.

These are temporary seasonal full-time positions. The dates for these positions are:

Staff Training: Wednesday, June 22nd – Friday, July 1st

Bike Camp!
Weekdays, July 5th – 29th (4 weeks), from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Hourly rate:
Camp Counselors – $15 per hour
Lead Counselor – $17 per hour

Responsibilities

Camp Counselors:

  • Ensure the safety, well-being and health of Bike Campers (ages 10-14).
  • Lead and/or support bike rides ranging from 1 mile to 15 miles in length in summer weather.
  • Organize group activities and team-building exercises.
  • Provide engagement, humor, and positive spirits as a role model for the Campers.
  • Evaluate and provide feedback on Bike Camp! after Session 1 and Session 2.

Lead Counselor:

  • All of the above, plus:
  • With the Camp Director, plan safe routes for bike rides and adapt to changing on-road conditions.
  • Provide detailed daily reports of Camp Activities with input from the Camp Counselors, including incident/injury reports.
  • Act as the primary point of contact on-site for activity/program partners.

Qualifications

Camp Counselors:

  • 1-2 years experience working with youth, preferably in a summer camp environment or similar.
  • Must be able to provide a working bike and helmet.
  • Must be able to ride a bike with competence and confidence enough to pay attention to other riders.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate safe biking practices.
  • Some bicycle maintenance knowledge preferred.
  • Must be able to pass a background check.
  • High school diploma or equivalent strongly preferred.
  • Must be CPR and First Aid certified, or willing to obtain a certification prior to camp.

Lead Counselor:

  • All of the above, plus:
  • Group bike riding and/or ride leader experience preferred.
  • Staff supervision experience preferred.

How to Apply

Please submit a one-page résumé and a one-page letter describing:

  • How you meet the qualifications listed above
  • What makes you a great Bike Camp! Counselor
  • A positive experience you had while working with youth

Send both documents as attachments to jobs@waba.org