WE’RE HIRING: VISION ZERO CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks a strategic community organizer to lead our program to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries in the Washington Region within the decade. (Learn more about our Vision Zero campaign here.)

Position Overview

Traffic fatalities are preventable. For too long, we have been conditioned to accept that crashes on our roads are the inevitable price we pay for convenient and efficient transportation. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We know how to design roads to be so safe that even when people make mistakes, no one gets killed. We know what kinds of traffic laws and enforcement make the streets safer for all users. What we need is the public support to implement these solutions. That’s where you come in.

The Vision Zero Campaign Coordinator will act as a community organizer, mobilizing support to keep the District moving forward with commitments to Vision Zero, and support neighboring jurisdictions to make their own Vision Zero commitments. The Coordinator will work to build better relationships between the bicycling community and law enforcement.

Vision Zero Coordinator Job Activities:

Vision Zero Advocacy

  • Build community support for Vision Zero through Safe Street workshops, days of action, neighborhood safety audits, and other community engagement activities;
  • Analyze publicly available crash data to produce think pieces and reports that support our advocacy for safer streets;
  • Act as a resource to victims of crashes through the WABA Crash Tracker;
  • Organize “What to do after a crash” and other relevant community workshops;
  • Help organize a regional Vision Zero summit

Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will demonstrate experience or background in the following:

  • Grassroots or community organizing
  • Event planning
  • Commitment to equity and social justice
  • Policy or legal work (preferred, not required)
  • Experience working with a regional transportation department or planning agency (preferred, not required)

Additional required skills:

  • Strong communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Technological fluency. The coordinator will create and maintain spreadsheets, run reports, and communicate with our members and the public via a myriad of online organizing tools, including WordPress and Salsa. The advocacy team uses Google office tools (G-Suite) and Microsoft Office tools to collaborate on work.

About Us

Washington Area Bicyclist Association works 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.

Employment Details

The salary for qualified candidates is mid-40s. The position is full-time. Benefits include employer covered health/dental insurance, generous flex and comp time policy, vacation, sick and personal leave, committed colleagues, fun working environment, and WABA’s 403(b) retirement program.

The position is based in the WABA office in Adams Morgan, Washington D.C. Occasional evening and weekend work is required.

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all people, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

How to Apply:

Submit a cover letter and resume in one PDF to Tamara Evans at jobs@waba.org with “Vision Zero Campaign Coordinator” in the subject line. In your application materials, please help us understand how you would contribute to the diversity of WABA’s staff, and let us know where you learned about the position.

If you are selected for an interview, we will request three writing samples, one persuasive and one policy analysis.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.  Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Please, no phone calls.

Tips for Being a PAL this Halloween

Happy PAL-oween from your friendly neighborhood Arlington PAL (Predictable, Alert, Lawful) Ambassadors! On October 31st, we’ll be out on N. Jackson Street near Virginia Square among trick-or-treaters to help everyone have fun and walk, bike, or drive safely during their night of spooky fun.

Join us, won’t you?

And keep reading for some tips that you can share for anyone going out on Halloween:

Drive and bike SLOWLY through your neighborhood and be extra aware of pedestrians.

Kids are unpredictable humans, especially when they’re surrounded by the excitement of tricks and treats all around. There will also be many more of them than on a typical weekday evening.  

And it will be dark…so go slow and call attention to yourself with a bell or your voice!

Walkers and bikers: lighten up!

Ashley and Annmarie sporting their #BEaPAL reflective vests during the Mardi Gras parade

Walkers can improve their visibility to drivers by wearing a reflective vest or tape over their costume. Flashlights and glow sticks are always a good idea to not only illuminate yourself, but to help you see signs in the dark, as well as where you’re stepping.

For bicyclists, Arlington County requires that Every bicycle ridden between sunset and sunrise must have at least one white headlamp with the light being visible at least 500 feet to the front. The bicycle must have a red reflector on the rear visible at least 600 feet to the rear.”  A blinking red rear light and reflective vest is even better!

Luckily, the PAL Ambassadors will be there handing out bike lights, reflective vests and fun goodies that night to help keep your Halloween lit!

Everyone: be lawful at intersections

If walkers wait for the crosswalk signal, bikers stop at the stop sign or light, and drivers always yield to pedestrians, then we can all get to the most important part of the night…

Getting home safely to devour all of the candy!

 


Want Arlington PAL Ambassador updates by email? Yes!

               

City Cycling Class Brings you More Joy When you Ride

Many people are familiar with WABA’s Learn to Ride class–to teach adults to ride a bike for the first time–but that’s just where the learning begins.

Whether you’ve been riding for four months or forty years, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll learn something new at a City Cycling class. Read below to see how Kemi, a Trail Ranger for WABA in 2017, appreciated her ride even more after picking up a few tricks.


Interested in taking a city cycling class? Sign up here to be notified of future city cycling classes Yes!




“How do I put more pedal to the metal?” this was the question I asked during an orientation ride around the city as a new D.C. Trail Ranger.  I did not realize how embarrassing the question was until I heard the answer, “Shift the gear up”, said Ursula. I replied with a “Oh duh, thank you.” This said a lot about my cycling experience level coming into this Trail Ranger position. I hadn’t biked in years before getting on one of the Trail Ranger bikes for a quick city cycling lesson. To be quite honest, that first ride was a bit of a struggle. Getting used to turning, stopping, and starting, after the first ride I was afraid I was never going to be able to get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect.

My first ever shift was with the amazing Trey Robinson, he taught me everything I needed to know that first time and did a great job explaining a lot to me. Because I was training we took one trailer with things in it and headed to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. “Since it’s your first shift, I’ll take the trailer,” he said. “Sure,” I replied and we took off. We picked up trash, glass, and trimmed vegetation. Then it was time to make our way back, “I’ll take the trailer now,” I said with confidence; “Are you sure?” he questioned me, “Yes!” I replied with determination. My first time riding with the trailer was not as bad as I imagined it was going to be. I zoomed ahead and navigated safely through traffic, I nearly forgot that I had the trailer. We got back and Trey says, “Wow, you know what you’re doing, and they told me to take it easy on you.” I felt great and even more confident that this was going to be one of the best summer positions I’ve ever had.

Working with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) taught me about the cycling culture in a city. It showed me that WABA is 100% necessary, without this organization and the work that they complete day in and day out we would not witness as many cyclists in the area. I have learned about the incredible work WABA does and what it means to all the many communities in the D.C. area, including: biking infrastructure such as bike lanes and trails, advocacy for safety, cycling classes, small bike business support, etc. All of these things have brought so many people from different walks of life together in order to support a wonderful mission.

This internship has really taught me a lot and most importantly it has provided me with skills that I can share to so many others like myself. I am adopting cycling as a great mode of transportation, exercise, and discovery, which is something I didn’t do before. Working with WABA has really shown me how easy cycling is and has given me confidence to continue to bike almost everywhere and express this sentiment to anyone who is as hesitant as I was. I really enjoyed telling everyone at outreach about city cycling classes so they can join me in riding more.”


Kemi became a confident rider on the job with city cycling as we covered urban riding, quick stops and other skills as employee training. We’ll be hiring Trail Rangers for the 2018 season in April but you can get the same skills in the course of a morning and no cover letter required!

City Cycling classes are scheduled to take place in multiple locations this fall. To view the complete schedule of classes click here. To get a discount code to register for free, email me. As with riding in general, the City Cycling class is more fun if you bring a friend. If you don’t, no worries, you’re bound to make a friend or two during the class. Happy riding!

WABA Membership: An All Access Pass to Adventure

Maybe you ride because you want to spend more time exploring parts of the region beyond your usual pedaling grounds. Maybe you want to make new friends to bike with on the weekends, or share a ride with your family. Perhaps you have always wondered what a gravel trail feels like. WABA members get to enjoy all of this and more through WABA signature events!

Our signature events gather bike communities from Maryland, Virginia, and DC several times a year to celebrate better bicycling for everyone in the region—and they’re a blast!

If you like riding past the first flowers of spring, you want to try Vasa Ride. Perhaps scavenger hunts are more your scene? The 50 States Ride would make you happy. Whatever kind of riding you are into, we have a signature event for you to plug into the larger bike community and put miles under your wheels.

Our signature events are designed with you in mind, and are only open to WABA members!

Join

Last week, we finished up a very special signature event: our only multi-day ride, WABA in the Wild. WABA in the Wild explores one of the bicycling gems of our region, the C&O Canal Towpath, where riders pedal all 184.5 miles and camp along the way. WABA in the Wild also exemplifies the dedication of our members to WABA’s work in the region. By the end of the ride, participants raise a minimum of $1,000 to support WABA. This year’s twenty riders collectively raised a whopping $25,314.47… and the donations are still coming in!

Yes, those are custom WABA in the Wild jerseys.

WABA in the Wild is a bucket list ride for many folks, and we make easy for you to focus on pedaling by taking care of food, lodging, and getting vehicles to and from Cumberland and DC.

But, you don’t have to commit to a three-day ride to support WABA. Since all of our signature events make a direct impact on WABA’s work, supporting better bicycling in the region can be as simple as buying a beer at Tour de Fat, making a donation at the Bicyclist Choice Awards, or registering for The Cider Ride, which is coming up on Saturday, November 4th!

And, we’re working hard to make our events better and support more riders in the region. Since WABA works everywhere in the region, we’re looking to host an event in each jurisdiction with fewer barriers to entry. WABA is expanding our Sponsor-a-Rider program to all the rides in 2018, and hopes to provide bicycles and helmets to riders otherwise unable to participate.

Wherever you are in the region, we want to make it easy and safe for you to ride your bicycle. Join WABA as a member, and then join us at a WABA signature event to meet new friends and enjoy a great ride. In fact, with beautiful fall weather just around the corner, why not make it to The Cider Ride?

Hot cider and donuts included.

I-66 Trail- Still nowhere near good enough

Remember that bad trail design being proposed along Interstate 66? The one with five miles of bike lane crammed between ten lanes of highway and a concrete sound barrier?

It’s been getting a lot of attention.

In July, the Washington Post described the current Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) designs and shared a video from FABB that showed what the trail experience would be like with the trail on the inside of the sound wall.

Over the summer, hundreds of people wrote to VDOT and contacted their state senators and delegates. Their message was clear: the design for the trail along the I-66 corridor needs major improvement.

In August, Senator Scott Surovell, along with 18 state senators and delegates from Virginia, sent a letter to VDOT Secretary Aubrey Layne, expressing their opposition to the current design and calling for a redesign of the trail to take the trail outside of the sound walls and ensure it is wide enough to accommodate the anticipated volume of trail users.

Despite all that, we haven’t seen much from VDOT that indicates they’re willing to change this sub-standard and uninviting trail design.


Live in Fairfax County?

Take action!


The bulk of this project is in Supervisor Linda Smyth’s district. A recent Freedom of Information Act request showed emails from Supervisor Smyth that revealed a lack of concern for the opinions of her constituents that care about the health and safety of people who will use this trail.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’re not satisfied.

WABA and other trail advocates have been saying for years that we need a trail outside the sound barrier, and up until 2016, that was where the designs indicated the trail would go, until a small group of homeowners complained loudly enough to have those plans scrapped.

We agree with Senator Scott Surovell that it’s disappointing that “a handful of homeowners’ desire to view a sound wall instead of a bike trail seems to trump the health, safety and convenience of thousands of Virginians.”

It’s time for Fairfax County and VDOT to stop treating bicycling infrastructure as an afterthought, rather than an integral part of the transportation network.

If the “goal of the project is to move more people, not more cars,” as VDOT Megaprojects Director Susan Shaw says, then VDOT needs to design the I-66 Trail in a safer and more accessible way, including finding space outside of the sound barrier for the trail. Billions of dollars are going into this infrastructure project. It will likely not be revisited for another 40 years once built. It should be designed with care, and done right the first time.

All Northern Virginia residents are affected by this interstate expansion project. That’s one of the reasons that VDOT is justifying spending billions of dollars on it. By the same reasoning, all Northern Virginia residents have a stake in whether this trail is designed well.  That’s why it’s so important that you speak up.

This trail is unlikely to be rebuilt for 40 years.

This is our only chance to get it right. That’s why your help is urgently needed.


Live in Fairfax County?

Take action!


Here’s how to get involved:

  1. If you live in Fairfax County, tell your County Supervisor that you expect them to stand up for your interests, and ensure that public money is spent responsibly! They should be pushing VDOT to design a trail people will want to use. Click here to ask that the trail design be improved.
  2. Keep the pressure on the VDOT trail design team by attending one (or all) of the public hearings in November:
    November 13 at Oakton High School
    November 14 at Stone Middle School
    November 16 at Piney Branch Elementary School
  3. Send your comments directly to the VDOT project team. Email Transform66@VDOT.Virginia.gov
  4. Volunteer with WABA. In November, we’ll be prepping for the November meetings and getting the word out to those who walk and bike in Northern Virginia. Will you pitch in? (If you’re interested in helping out, email katie.harris@waba.org)

We know VDOT can do better than this, and we’re excited to see what they’re ready to share at the November meetings. We only have a few chances to make this major piece of infrastructure (22 miles of trail!) a success. Let’s make sure it’s done right.

Meet Grace Clegg: Supporting WABA One Pun at a Time

In honor of our Membership Drive this week, we are excited to share the story of a fantastic WABA member, Grace Clegg!

Also known as “Kitty”, Grace has been making an impression on WABA and the cycling community in the region for the five years that she has been a member.

Join WABA today!

As she puts it, “if you’ve received an excruciatingly punny valentine from WABA; noticed someone dressed in a panda costume giving course directions at DC Bike Ride; or rode with a ride marshal who sang “State Songs” during The 50 States Ride, you may have encountered Grace “Kitty” Clegg. And she is not sorry for any of it.

 

Grace has been bicycling fairly regularly since her days as an undergrad at Michigan State, so why did she join WABA?

She recounts the initial conversation:

“Grace: “Wow! The 50 States Ride sounds awesome! But I’m not sure I can bike that far….”

WABA Rep: “There is a shorter 13 Colonies option.”

Grace: “Great! How do I sign up?

WABA Rep: “You have to be a WABA member.”

Grace: “I don’t know… what does WABA do?”

WABA: “Advocates for better bicycling laws and infrastructure in the DC area”

Grace: “So like a lobby for bike lanes?”

WABA Rep: “Sorta…”

Grace: “Great! How do I sign up?”

Grace joined WABA for the challenge and excitement of community cycling, but also understood that the work that WABA does in order to make bicycling safer and more accessible for everyone is far more than hosting fun events.

“In a place where you can cross into 3 state jurisdictions within the first 10 minutes of a ride, WABA fills a critical role as a unifying and convening organization to bring together and advance the interests of cyclists throughout the region. I live in Virginia, work in DC, and ride in Maryland; with friends who have all possible combinations of the three. WABA works to ensure that bicycling is an option for all of the above!”

This dedication to our mission and cause is what sparked her interest in representing Team WABA on the “Red, White, and Blue Ridge” Climate Ride! Each year this ride supports and raises awareness for environmental causes and sustainable modes of transportation during a three-day long adventure throughout VA and DC.

Riders are required to meet a fundraising commitment of $2,000, and although this scared Grace at first, she was able to meet her goal with the help of supporters like you!

“The majority of the donations came from generous WABA members who have already given money to WABA this year, but like me felt it was a group worth supporting again and again. Thanks to this strong (and growing!) bicycling community, I was granted a life-changing experience while giving back to the organization that makes that same community possible.”

WABA is so happy to have Grace as a member and a passionate advocate for bicycling wherever she goes! Thank you, Grace!

Join WABA today!

Want to meet fun and energizing members like Grace? Join us at these events:

TONIGHT (Tuesday): WABA Open House

Eat pizza with us and discuss how you fit in with WABA! Come stop by the WABA office for an Open House on Tuesday from 5:00pm – 7:30pm to meet staff and members.

Details here.

TOMORROW (Wednesday): Coffee and Socks

Start your day with WABA members and staff at Peregrine Espresso at the 14th St. location (1718 14th Street NW) for our WABA Sock Wednesday Celebration from 7:30AM to 9:30AM to buy some awesome WABA socks, and drink coffee with friends.

Show your WABA membership card and enjoy a $2 iced or hot drip coffee!

Details here.


WABA Member Highlight

Are you a WABA Member ready to share your story? We’d love to hear how you started bicycling, or an inspirational tale of how it has changed your life.

Please contact Tara Kelbaugh at membership@waba.org if you would like to share.

 

Hey, it’s the 2017 Membership Drive!

We are so excited (really!) to spend this week talking about WABA membership.

One of things that we celebrate at WABA is that lots of different kinds of people ride bikes for lots of different reasons.

Whether you’re just learning to ride, taking kids to school, commuting everyday, training for a race, pedaling to the bus stop, or exploring the trail network on sunny weekends, you are welcome at WABA, and we are working on your behalf.

We want you happy and safe, every time you ride, and we can’t do that without our members. We want you to be part of this movement.

Join Today

When you join WABA, you’re taking a stand. You believe biking is for everyone. It should be great for everyone.

But that’s not all:

Thought about refining your commuting skills at a City Cycling class? They’re free for WABA members!

Want to explore your city, or the rural landscapes that surround it, on one of our signature rides? Become a member!

Why join now?

Well, because it’s our annual Membership Drive!

This week only Join or renew for two years or at the Champion level to snag one of our new “Biking for Everyone” t-shirts!

Join Today

Still on the fence?

We have two awesome events this week that may change your mind. Come say hi:

WABA Open House

Visit the WABA office on Tuesday from 5:30pm – 7:30pm to mingle with other members, see where the magic happens, and pre-order your membership drive t-shirt! The informal open house will be a chance to chat with some of our staff and enjoy snacks and drinks with fellow members working to make biking in our region better.

We’ll be selling our exclusive membership drive t-shirt (preorder only), socks to rock #wabasockwednesday the next day, and discounted jerseys. Come by and join WABA at a discount! Please RSVP here so we can have an accurate food and beverage count.

Coffee and Socks

Start your Wednesday—and all your coming Wednesdays—with a #wabasockwednesday moment!

Join WABA folks at Peregrine Espresso on 14th Street (1718 14th Street NW) to enjoy a cup of coffee, purchase your own pair of signature socks to help rock the hashtag, and join WABA all in one place.

Show proof of membership purchase or your WABA socks and enjoy a $2 iced or hot drip coffee until 11am, thanks to Peregrine.

Stop by, grab a picture and eat a treat and use the hashtag #wabasockwednesday.

What are you waiting for?

Sign up today for reduced rates and thank you for supporting WABA!