Be WABA’s Next Development Director

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks an effective, organized, and driven Development Director to lead WABA’s development team. The Development Director will be the chief fundraiser and work in close partnership with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors

A vital member of the senior leadership team, the Development Director works collaboratively to support existing programs and campaigns, and develop new programs and revenue streams. The Development Director will procure funding for programs through membership and major donor programs, foundations, grants, corporate sponsorship and private contracts. They will supervise WABA’s events, membership and development staff. This includes leading annual work planning, developing evaluation metrics, and overseeing budgets.

The Development Director will report to the Executive Director, and work directly with the Board of Directors and staff leadership to achieve WABA’s strategic goals. The ideal candidate will share WABA’s vision for better biking in the region, and enjoy working in a fast-paced and collaborative environment.

Job Responsibilities

  • Meet or exceed 2017 fundraising targets:
    • Manage and grow the portfolio of foundation grants, corporate funders, and individual donors.
    • Research new funding opportunities.
    • Assist senior staff in preparing new government grants and grant renewals.
  • Track and evaluate the efficacy of WABA’s fundraising:
    • Maintain comprehensive systems for routine reporting.
    • Manage WABA’s supporter database, including data entry, gift processing and donor recognition.
    • Lead the transition from the current CRM database to an updated platform.
    • Prepare regular, quarterly and annual reports to track progress.
  • Lead, manage and inspire the development, event & membership staff:
    • With input from Executive Director, work with events and membership staff to create annual work plans consistent with the organization’s mission and strategic plan.
    • Manage staff, to hit goals, conduct annual performance reviews, encourage professional development, and other managerial/administrative tasks.
    • Work with Executive Director and senior staff to execute the Strategic Plan, set organizational goals, and determine the future direction of WABA.
  • Serve as staff liaison to the Board of Directors Development Committee.
  • Attend major events, rides, advocacy and education programs as needed.

The ideal candidate:

  • Has experience managing an annual portfolio of $250,000 or more that includes grant writing, major donor cultivation, and corporate giving.
  • Is a seasoned team leader, with experience supervising, mentoring, motivating and evaluating employees.
  • Has demonstrated success in strategic planning and capacity building.
  • Is a clear and persuasive writer.
  • Is detail-oriented, highly organized, self-motivated and able to work closely with others.
  • Has experience working in diverse communities and on diverse teams of staff and volunteers.
  • Is proficient in CRM databases (Salsalabs, Salesforce, or similar), Microsoft Office and Google suite for business.
  • Has a Bachelors Degree in a related field.

Benefits include employer covered health/dental insurance, a flexible work schedule, vacation, sick and personal leave, committed colleagues, fun working environment, and WABA’s 403(b) retirement program. Salary is mid- to upper-$50s. This position is full-time.

Apply

Send a resume and compelling cover letter addressing your interest in the position, commitment to WABA’s mission, and relevant work experience to jobs@waba.org. Please include a persuasive writing sample with your application. Include “Development Director” in the subject line.

The position is available immediately. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by April 7th, 2017

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

No phone calls please.

Take Action: Arlington considers cuts to trail snow removal, trail lights, and more

Snow-covered Arlington trail (Photo credit: Raymond Crew)

The Arlington County Board is considering budget cuts to eliminate snow plowing of popular trails, resources to improve the county’s streetlight and trail light maintenance, and funding for street repaving.

Trail Plowing

Since late 2014, Arlington County has prioritized treating and plowing its major multi-use trails after heavy snowfall. Thanks to the advocacy of WABA members and the leadership of the County Board, Arlington treats 10 miles of county trails at the same snow removal priority and response time as primary arterial streets. When road crews head out to plow the major auto thoroughfares, another small crew tackles the bicycle arteries. Even when it snows, Arlingtonians can expect a safe, low-stress bike route. This approach sets a progressive example for the region to follow.

Unfortunately, funding for this cherished plowing initiative is under threat. In a deviation from the typical yearly budget process, the County Board is considering $11.1 million in optional budget cuts, including eliminating funding for the staff and equipment for priority trail snow removal. For a yearly savings of just $50,700, (0.003% of the total budget) Arlington would only plow trails after all county parking lots and all DPR assigned street routes are clear. The safety of Arlington’s bike commuters should rate higher than parking lots.

The results of these cuts would be dramatic, and disappointingly familiar. When it snows, unplowed trails become impassable for days as snow melts and refreezes, and trail use drops to near zero. Those who regularly use trails to get to work or get around instead pack onto already crowded buses, trains, ride on hazardous roads or drive until conditions improve. Arlington decided in 2014 that there was a better way, and we should not go backwards for such small cost savings.

Take Action

Trail Lights & Repaving Budget also under threat

The Board is also considering cutting planned improvements to the County’s streetlight and trail light maintenance program. The plan would have added staff and resources to improve response times for street and trail light repairs from 30 days to 3 days for routine outages and from 4 months to 1 month for major underground repairs. We all take lights for granted until they stop working. On streets, broken lights limit visibility and make bicyclists and pedestrians more vulnerable. On trails, broken lights in underpasses and tunnels discourage using the trail at night. Funding the planned increase ($830,000) would result in more reliable lighting on streets and trails countywide and create capacity to catch up on a large backlog of major repair needs.

Finally, the Board is considering reducing a repaving budget by $325,000. Paving county roads brings large benefits to drivers and bicyclists, especially on quieter neighborhood streets, but it is also responsible for many of the new bike lanes that are striped every year. Compared to long term capital road projects, which involve years of planning and construction, road repaving presents an opportunity to change lane striping to add bike lanes at a fraction of the cost. Reducing this budget will slow the pace of needed repaving.

Will you tell the County Board that you want to preserve funding for priority trail plowing, streetlight repair and repaving? Use our action tool to email the board and make your voice heard. Use our sample message or explain why you support priority trail plowing in your own words.

Take Action

A Measureable Impact on Trail Use

For a snapshot of the impact that quickly plowing trails can have on trail use, we can look to data collected by Arlington’s extensive automated trail counters after snow events. From January 23 – 24, the DC area got 17.8 inches of snow. Comparing the trail counts on snow days from a counter on the Custis Trail in Roslyn (which was plowed) to a counter on the Mount Vernon Trail near the 14th St Bridge (which was not plowed) reveals what you might expect: where trails were plowed, people used them. Where they were not plowed, use was nearly zero. Twitter reports show that the Custis trail was plowed by January 24th.

Use of the Custis trail, which was plowed, climbed steadily after the 1/23 snowfall.

The Mount Vernon Trail, which was not plowed, saw very little use until 1/30

Temperature records show that it was significantly warmer when trail counts began to climb again on the Mount Vernon Trail.

By February 2nd, counts on both trails climbed back to very similar daily counts. But by then, far more people had taken trips on the Custis Trail. Between 1/23 and 2/2 only 2,136 people were counted using the Mount Vernon Trail near the 14th St Bridge. In that same time, 5,335 people were counted on the Custis Trail.

Weigh In

Tell the County Board to reject the proposed cuts to trail snow plowing, streetlight repair, and repaving. Click here to send the board an email. You can also use the County’s online budget feedback form. Next week, we invite you to join our Arlington Action Committee in attending the Tuesday Budget Hearing (details) to show your support for these important County services.

To review the whole budget, go to the County’s FY18 budget page. Click here to review the full list of recently proposed cuts.

Thanks for hanging out at the 2017 Vasa Ride!

This past Sunday, WABA hosted the 2017 Vasa Ride. Although it was a little cold, a little breezy, and a bit rainy for the first part of the day, the ride was still AWESOME and over 300 riders joined us for blueberry soup at the House of Sweden!

Like all WABA Signature Rides, 100% of your hard-earned dollars directly funds our work to improve biking. Like campaigning for this network of protected bike lanes, or passing this crucial legislation, or expanding this cool trail, or investing in the longterm work to build a regional network of trails. Thank you for supporting WABA, and for having fun riding your bike with us!

We’ve collected some photos of the day below, but first a shoutout to our awesome sponsors of the ride:


Now, here are some photos of the day!

Thanks for joining us and see you next March!

 

Action Alert: Authorize HAWK Signals in Maryland

A ghost bike memorializes Frank Towers at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and the Matthew Henson Trail.

In the span of just six months, two bicyclists were hit and killed attempting to cross five lanes of fast-moving traffic on Veirs Mill Rd at the Matthew Henson Trail in Montgomery County. Following the death of Frank Towers, state highway engineers designed and installed a set of flashing lights to warn drivers to slow down when a bicyclist or pedestrian wanted to cross. But warning lights do not require a driver to stop, so most don’t. The driver who hit and killed Oscar Osario six months later did not stop either. In order to install actual stop lights at intersections like this, we need to make a technical change to Maryland law.

Take Action

HAWK signals (also called pedestrian hybrid beacons) use a red light to require drivers to stop, and are used in states states all over the country, including Virginia and DC. Studies show that HAWKs reduce pedestrian crashes by 69% and total crashes by 29% compared to unsignalized, painted crosswalks. They make it significantly safer to cross busy streets. HAWK signals save lives, but are not approved for use in Maryland. A bill before the Maryland General Assembly would change that.

House Bill 578 would explicitly allow the use of HAWK signals in Maryland. The bill has passed the House of Delegates and will be taken up by the Senate soon. Please ask your Senator to support this much-needed legislation to make biking and walking safer and more appealing in Maryland.

Take Action

Still not sure what a HAWK signal is? Watch this quick video for a rundown of how they work.

Speak up for Anacostia Park!

National Park Service (NPS) has a management plan for Anacostia Park, 1100+ acres along the banks of the Anacostia River. Do you want to have a bike campus in Anacostia Park, or do you believe there should be better neighborhood access to the park? It’s time to chime in! Share your thoughts with NPS.

Map of Anacostia Park, Alternative 3. Find more maps and details about each alternative here.

NPS is looking for feedback and are accepting comments until March 18. The park includes Poplar Point, Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Langston Golf Course, and James Creek Marina.

Here’s how it works:

  • The management plan is a framework that provides guidance to NPS for the next 15-20 years.
  • Different parts of Anacostia Park are managed in certain ways. In some places, there is a skating rink, in other places there are historic lily ponds. So NPS manages those zones in different ways.
  • National Park Service wants your input on what portions of the park should be managed for certain activities. Does the community want to see more organized sports facilities? Do they want large sections of the park to be reserved for wild space and restoration?
  • NPS has developed four alternatives, plus a no-build option. Their preferred choice is Alternative #3, which provides a balance of conservation and recreation, and looks just fine to us.

WABA believes that bicycle access to and through Anacostia Park is an integral part of successful park management.

That’s why we’re encouraging NPS to do the following things:

  • We strongly support the use of bicycles being included in each of the six management zones. Biking should be considered an appropriate use throughout the park.
  • Capital Bikeshare should be included in the Organized Sports and Recreation Zone.
  • Bicycle facilities, like a Bike Campus, should be an appropriate use within the Organized Sports and Recreation Zone.
  • Bicycle facilities and use should be prioritized in the Natural Resource Recreation, Community Activities and Special Events, and Organized Sport and Recreation Zones.
  • Access to Anacostia Park from nearby neighborhoods is hugely important! Currently, there are major physical barriers to park, including Interstate 295. WABA supports the management plan’s attention on park access and connectivity with city neighborhoods.

And while this plan specifically focuses on the management zones, we encourage NPS to consider the following in all management discussions and park policies:

  • Keeping paved trails open for use at all times of day is incredibly important- for many residents in the region, trails are transportation infrastructure, and the hours of operation should be the same as a roadway.
  • Consistent access to bathrooms, trash cans, benches and shade should be a priority.

Do you share our opinion on what should be included in the plan? Share these recommendations, and any additional thoughts, with National Park Service here. The deadline for submitting comments is Saturday, March 18.

Washington Boulevard Needs More Than Sharrows

Proposed bike lanes on Washington Blvd between East Falls Church and Westover

Earlier this month, Arlington County staff showed off plans for proposed bike lanes on Washington Boulevard between Mckinley Rd and Sycamore St in Westover.  The new lanes could provide a much needed link in the bicycle network, allowing more people to bike between the East Falls Church Metro and the shops, restaurants, school and community center in Westover.

This project is a win in almost every way. It will reduce chronic speeding by narrowing very wide travel lanes, yet keep drivers moving by adding in a left turn lane. Pedestrians can enjoy more visible road crossings, a large buffer from moving traffic, and slower speeds. And bicyclists will see a mix of standard and buffered bicycle lanes which complete an uninterrupted two mile bikeway on Washington Blvd. Since the project is funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s road maintenance program, costs are minimal to the County.

But there are some vocal opponents to the plan. To make space for these improvements, on-street parking would be removed from in front of 21 of the 72 homes on Washington Blvd. While the majority of these homes have private driveways and numerous side streets to choose from, some residents are calling for staff to scrap the bike lanes wherever they impact parking. A parking utilization study showed more than 60 of the 136 street parking spaces unused, even at the busiest times of the week.

Parking utilization and proposed impacts Washington Blvd

The project staff need to hear loud and clear that we value continuous, safe places to bike far more than abundant street parking. Please send a message to the project manager supporting the project, and rejecting any effort to water it down to save unneeded parking.

Submit Comments

Email your comments to David Goodman dgoodman@arlingtonva.us by Friday 3/17 at 5pm. Not sure where to start? Here’s a sample email:

I support adding bike lanes on Washington Blvd in Westover. These lanes will provide a much needed link in the bicycle network, allowing more people like me to bike between the East Falls Church Metro and the wonderful shops, restaurants, schools and community centers in Westover. I would be more likely to bike in this area if there were bike lanes.

When people like me have an option to bike, there will be fewer cars on the road, which will make our streets safer for everyone. It will also free up space on the roads and parking spots for those who choose to drive. Bike lanes, not sharrows, on Washington Blvd will make this neighborhood easier and safer for everyone to get around.

Learn More

Statement on the death of Jane Bennett Clark

Early Thursday evening, Jane Bennett Clark was struck by a bicyclist while crossing 13th St. NW in downtown DC. According to the Washington Post, she was knocked over, hit her head, and died Friday morning. We don’t know the specifics of this crash, but it is terrible, and should not have happened. Our deepest condolences go to Ms. Clark’s family, friends, colleagues and community.

The Metropolitan Police Department has not announced who, if anyone, made a mistake on Thursday night, but we will be following the crash investigation closely in order to learn how to do our part to prevent it from happening again. One of the core principles of the District’s Vision Zero initiative is that when something goes wrong, it should not be fatal. People make mistakes, and the built environment should be engineered to render those mistakes as harmless as possible. We hope the lessons learned from this terrible crash can prevent it from happening again, not just at this intersection, but anywhere.

That said, the same principle applies to bicycling as it does to driving: if you can’t see and react to a human being on the road in front of you, you are going too fast. Yield to people who are more vulnerable. This is not just the law, it’s how to be a responsible member of the community. It is your responsibility not to hurt anyone with your vehicle, whether you’re riding a bike or driving a car.

WABA works hard to make sure that our region’s bicyclists know how to ride safely. Our education and outreach teams interact with thousands of bicyclists every year. We teach people the rules of the road and how to ride respectfully around pedestrians, drivers and other bicyclists.

Deadly crashes between pedestrians and bicyclists are heartbreaking and rare. Of the 317 fatal crashes in the District in the last decade, only one other involved a pedestrian hit by a bicyclist. Both should not have happened. Fatal crashes are preventable. Our region’s governments have started the process of building systemic solutions to traffic fatalities, but changing laws and infrastructure is a slow process.

We here at WABA hope that everyone who travels in the region takes some time to feel the full sadness of this crash. Our roads and trails and sidewalks are shared space. When we bike and drive, we have to move through that space with a complete understanding of the risks our motion poses to others, and we have to let that understanding guide our behavior every time we travel.

The staff and board of WABA send our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and community of Jane Bennett Clark.