Resounding Regional Support for Trails


The Announcement Ceremony for the Capital Trails Coalition was held on October 13 (more information here). We were joined by a few fantastic speakers, including Congressman Don Beyer, multiple National Park Service leaders, a representative from REI, and transportation leaders from Maryland and DC who spoke to the importance of coordination and collaboration in the Coalition’s effort to connect the region’s trail network. Here’s a recap:

Beth Porter with the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program, who has been an integral part of the Coalition’s creation over the past year.


Beth Porter, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program, National Park Service

We heard from Deputy Superintendent Blanca Stransky, who welcomed us to the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) and touched on the importance and the heavy use of the Mount Vernon Trail.


Blanca Stransky, Deputy Superintendent of George Washington Memorial Parkway, National Park Service

She mentioned the challenges that come with that heavy trail use (including speed enforcement, snow removal, overcrowding of the trail, and overall trail safety) and welcomed GWMP’s involvement with the Capital Trails Coalition. According to Stransky, “By us working together, we’ll find solutions to these complex problems, and start planning for future trail users.” We couldn’t agree more!

After the Deputy Superintendent, we were honored to have Congressman Don Beyer come to the podium. Congressman Beyer, who represents Virginia’s 8th District, understands that biking and walking are essential to how Northern Virginians get around.

“We can’t consider biking a secondary mode of transportation. This is now a primary mode of transportation for many, many people in this area.”

-Congressman Don Beyer, Jr.

Congressman Beyer gave a shout out to important trail connections, like from the Mount Vernon Trail to Memorial Bridge. He noted that “…In the past, we’ve invited NPS and WABA to check out the problem spots together. These discussions help people to plan, react and take things to the next level.”


Congressman Don Beyer, Jr.

We were so pleased to hear the Congressman mention that collaboration, because that’s one key piece of why the Capital Trail Coalition exists. By having all stakeholders visit the gaps in the system, and build consensus about strategies to fill those gaps, we will build a more robust network that will serve the needs of our entire community.

Congressman Beyer also noted that trails are what the residents of Northern Virginia are asking for. In the 2016 Needs Assessment Survey in the Public Spaces Master Plan in Arlington VA, paved, multi-use trails were the most desired outdoor facility, with 87% of respondents indicating that their household has a need for trails! As he notes, those statistics “…speaks to their role as a transportation asset AND community necessities. Walkable, bikeable communities are more livable communities.”

Peter May, Associate Regional Director – Lands and Planning with National Park Service noted that the announcement of the Capital Trails Coalition means “…our work to furthering a regional trail system can jump into high gear.”


Peter May, Associate Regional Director for Lands, Planning, and Design for the National Capital Region for the National Park Service

May mentioned the recently completed Paved Trails Study, the regional vision and goals that will strengthen and expand the paved trails system in the National Capital Region. And yet that planning is happening in other jurisdictions, too, and for regional success, collaboration is paramount.

“The only way to establish a truly regional trail network is to work together with local governments and trail partners. And this is where the Coalition is a game-changer. The Coalition can be a cohesive element, bringing us together and providing a forum for planning and sharing resources, coordinating activities to strengthen and expand the trail network throughout the Washington Area.”

-Peter May, Associate Regional Director for Lands and Planning, National Park Service

We heard from Captain Sara Newman, Director of the Office of Public Health for the National Park Service. She encouraged the Coalition members look at trails and parks in a new role, “one in which they are solutions for many of the social service needs of the American public,” such as preventative chronic disease.


Captain Sara Newman, DrPH, MCP, Director of Office of Public Health, National Park Service

“…existing parks, trails, and green space in the DC area are the largest healthcare facility that we have.”

-Captain Sara Newman, DrPH, MCP, Director of the Office of Public Health, National Park Service

Matt Liddle from REI told the inception story of REI’s involvement in the Capital Trails Coalition, from funding Trails Symposiums in 2014 and 2015, and seeing how important trails are to the DC region. He announced that REI is investing $500,000 in the project over the next three years, and explained that REI is investing in this way because they know they’re members in this region want this work to be done, and will benefit in both the short and long term.


Matt Liddle,  Outdoor Programs and Outreach Mid-Atlantic Manager, REI

We heard from two transportation professionals, Charles Glass from Maryland Department of Transportation and Sam Zimbabwe from District Department of Transportation. The message was clear: trails are transportation, and coordination is vital.


Charles Glass, Assistant Secretary for Policy Analysis & Planning, and Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access for the state of Maryland at Maryland Department of Transportation

“The District is a key part of this regional puzzle. The Capital Trails Coalition can help us make sure everyone in the DC and region as a whole has access to this incredible resource.”

-Sam Zimbabwe, Acting Chief Project Delivery Officer, District Department of Transportation


Sam Zimbabwe, Acting Chief Project Delivery Officer, DDOT

Keith Laughlin, President of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), explained that one of the reasons the national trails organization is investing time and energy with the Capital Trails Coalition is because of the demonstration effect:

“What better place than the nation’s capital to demonstrate what this kind of system would look like. The Washington DC region gets over 20 million visitors per year. Imagine if some small percentage of them can experience this trail network and can take those ideas back home and say ‘We want that too.’”

-Keith Laughlin, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy


Keith Laughlin, President of RTC

And the demonstration doesn’t stop at visitors. It also applies to members of Congress who can learn from what is done in the region and implement similar projects in their home districts. (You can find RTC’s coverage of the event here.)

Greg Billing, WABA’s Executive Director provided the closing remarks. He reminded attendees that we have many questions yet to be answered, including how many miles of trails need to be built and what the price tag of the network will be. We don’t know those answers yet, and this is the perfect time to get involved in the process to help shape the vision of the network.


Greg Billing, Executive Director of WABA

If you represent an organization or agency and would like to be involved with the Capital Trails Coalition, you can find more information here.

For more information, and to sign up for updates, visit

Better Bike Lanes, and Other Concrete Benefits of Membership

It’s our annual fall membership drive! We disrupt our regularly scheduled updates to urge you to join or renew with WABA today.

Join or renew with WABA this week to Vote for the Tote and get your very own WABA messenger-style tote bag!


Yes Please!

We aren’t shy about enumerating your membership benefits. First and most importantly your financial support directly supports our work to improve your bike experience.  Our staff is deeply knowledgeable, efficient, and passionate about our mission, so your membership dollars do a lot of hard work to make this region better!

But there are more concrete WABA benefits beyond concrete infrastructure:

Membership Benefits!

  • Click here to view a list of area bike shops that provide discounts on parts, accessories, or bikes if you present your WABA membership card.
  • Gain access to WABA’s ride calendar, featuring regional favorites like the 50 States Ride & 13 Colonies Ride, the Vasa Ride, and the upcoming Cider Ride.
  • Reserve one of our complimentary Bike Boxes when you travel with your bike.

Join or renew today!

Membership Perks!

  • Better Backs Athletic & Physical Therapy: 15% off all products and services.
  • Bike and Roll: $10 off bike rentals and $10 off bike tours. Learn More
  • Bike Escapades: WABA members receive $150 off their bike touring trips (with an additional $150 donated to WABA). Learn More
  • Czech Active Tours: Save $50 off a bike rental at any of their European Bike Tours when you mention WABA. They will donate an additional $50 to WABA. Learn More
  • Save $5 every time you reserve a bike at one of their 250+ locations. Contact for discount code. Learn More
  • Annie’s Ace Hardware: 5% off one item under $50. Learn more
  • Brighter Days Collective Dog Walking & Pet Sitting: Get the cost of your WABA membership deducted from your dog walking bill! Learn More
  • Car2Go: Free Car2Go Membership (Usually $35) + $10 of drive time credit. Contact for discount code. Learn more
  • Embody Pure Fitness: 15% discount on any personal training package and a free fitness evaluation. Learn more
  • Flow Yoga: 15% discount on all classes! Learn More
  • Gottaswing: 20% off beginner classes for first-time students at DC locations. Learn more
  • Island Press: 30% off all titles. Contact for discount code. Learn more
  • Lunar Massage: Free membership ($40 savings) at all Lunar Massage locations. Learn more
  • Momentum Magazine: Free digital subscription. Email for details.
  • Results Gym: 20% the monthly rate of chosen membership and discounted enrollment fee with WABA Member card. Learn More
  • Tranquil Space: Unlimited 15% discounts on 1,6, or 10 class pass purchases at either Tranquil Space location (Dupont or Arlington). Learn more
  • Up the Creek Rentals: 10% off kayak rentals.  Learn more
  • YMCA: Enrollment fee is reduced ($50) and 10% off monthly dues at all DC, MD, and VA locations. Discount does not apply at the 14th & W NW location. Learn More
  • ZipCar: Half off your first-year annual fee (making it just $30)! Email for discount code.

What are you waiting for?

Seven successes in six months that we couldn’t have done without you

It’s our annual fall membership drive! We disrupt our regularly scheduled updates to urge you to join or renew with WABA today. 

Your membership dollars do a lot of hard work—here’s what your support has accomplished in the last six months:

Launched the Capital Trails Coalition

For more than a year, we’ve doubled down on our trail advocacy efforts in the region. In collaboration with some big partners, we’ve been building a coalition to ensure that a seamless trail network is a regional priority.  We finally got to tell the world about it last week!  Learn more about how the Capital Trails Coalition is reinvigorating regional trail building at

I want to see more trails! 

Taught thousands of kids and adults to ride

Sun's out, tongues outThrough Learn to Ride classes, Confident City Cycling classes, and Everyday Biking Seminars held all over the region 1,075 adults learned to ride confidently, legally, and respectfully.  On top of that, 2,145 kids learned how to get moving on two wheels, too!

I want to see more folks on bikes! 

Led a super successful Trail Ranger season

Throughout the summer months of 2016 our team of Trail Rangers biked 2,276 miles of trail as they removed 223 bags of trash, reported 191 issues, coordinated 187 hours of cleanup, and received about a million thank yous and high fives. Click here to see a full recap!

I want to see more happy trail riders! 

Passed the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act

At the #FixContrib Rally

After nearly three years of persistent organizing and advocacy by the WABA community, the DC Council voted unanimously last month to pass the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act to fix contributory negligence!  Mayor Bowser joined us last week to sign the bill, and it will soon be the law of the land!

I want better bike laws! 

Pulled 1,414 miles with the Arlington PAL Ambassador and DC Bike Ambassador Billboards


Thanks to our partnerships with BikeArlington and DDoT and nearly 150 volunteer PAL and DC Bike Ambassadors, we’re shaping the region’s roadway culture. Through trailering, in-person outreach, and streetcorner outreach we’re reminding all road-users to be Predictable, Alert, and Lawful. Find out more about our PAL and DC Bike Ambassadors!

I want friendlier roads! 

Grew a community of Bike Advocates on Two Wheels

Stopped at a light (Photo by Chuck Cage)

Everyone who registers for a WABA Ride Event is a bike advocate. For the first time this year, we were able to expand our events team, add brand new signature events (hello WABA in the Wild and stay tuned for DC’s first ever open streets program in Spring 2017!) and expand the number of spots we have available in our events – that means MORE people have the opportunity to participate in a WABA event, and MORE people have the opportunity to become a bike advocate! So far in 2016, WABA Signature Events have turned 1,635 riders into bike advocates on two wheels!

I want to see more bike advocates! 

Advocated for more and better bike infrastructure

In the past six months WABA has led the push for hundreds of new miles of bike lanes, dozens of sections of protected bike lanes (including the first in Prince George’s County), the launch of a newly completed Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and updates for 3 bike master plans (the documents deciding the fate of our bike infrastructure).

I want to see more bike lanes! 

We Make it Easy for You to Get Out and Ride!

It’s our annual fall membership drive! We disrupt our regularly scheduled updates to urge you to join or renew with WABA today. 

Join or Renew right now!


WABA in the Wild riders at Milepost 0 on the C&O Canal Towpath after three days of biking and camping.

WABA has an incredible line up of large community bike rides that challenge, unite, and help you get miles of beautiful roads and trails under those tires. These rides are designed just for you – our WABA Members. Our signature events exist to bring together people who bike in Maryland, Virginia, and DC — hey, that’s YOU! — in a safe and welcoming space to celebrate bicycling and ride together. We make it easy for you to get out and ride.

We just held our FIRST EVER multi-day bicycle tour, WABA in the Wild, and it was a tremendous success.


Celebrating 184.5 miles and raising $12,000 for better bicycling!

Here’s what a few of the WABA in the Wild riders had to say about it:

“My weekend with WABA was wet, wild, and so, so wonderful. What an incredible bunch of new friends. Having been a road rider up to now, I found the towpath surface more technical (and painful!) than expected. But with great company, gorgeous weather two of the three days, and so much positive, passionate, bike-loving energy, the 185’ish miles were pure joy. It was impossible not to fall in love with this trail and the great folks of WABA who seek to protect it and create more like it.” – WABA Member Lauren A.

And also this:

“We made it. And all of you who helped me – you gave to some incredibly talented and dedicated people. 185 miles of amazing scenery and history with an awesome group of people. Feeling really grateful.” -WABA Member Joe Q.

And finally:

“We had a great ride this past weekend riding from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown via the C&O canal – from overcoming the rain and giant trail puddles on Saturday, to infinite cheezit (occasionally with Nutella) consumption, trail names, aching backsides, glorious fall sunshine, and new friends. WABA is an amazing advocacy organization in DC with qualified leadership and a strategic vision.” – WABA Member Cassie H.

Here’s our challenge to you:

If you’ve participated in a WABA event and enjoyed the ride, we urge you to show your appreciation for our community and give back to the organization that continues to work day in and day out to make the region a better place to ride a bike. Join WABA or renew your membership today.

Excited about jumping into a WABA Event now that you’re a member?

You’re in luck, because our next signature ride, The Cider Ride, is coming up in just a few weekends on Saturday, November 5th. Register today!!

The Cider Ride is your chance to join or renew if you haven’t yet, and then to experience the fun, welcoming, and inclusive community that WABA is. Plus, all of our signature rides are essentially fundraisers in disguise – you get to ride your bike, get a custom ride branded t-shirt or mug, and enjoy a bunch of snacks and treats – while we get to raise funds that help support our advocacy, education, and outreach efforts.


See views like this on the 2016 Cider Ride on November 5th!

We do our best to make it easy for you to get out there and ride. We hope to see you on November 5th for The Cider Ride, and we hope you will consider joining us for WABA in the Wild next year!


Help shape the places you live, work, shop, and play


Office of Planning is updating the District’s Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development in the city.  It shapes the places we live, work, shop, and play. The Office of Planning periodically updates Comprehensive Plan to ensure that it remains responsive to the needs of the community.

Between October 19th and November 14th, OP is hosting a series of 7 community meetings to gather public input about the Plan.

Meeting Dates and Locations:

October 19, Wednesday 6PM-8:30PM (Presentation at 6:30PM)

Columbia Heights Educational Campus, 3101 16th St NW

Nearest Metro: Columbia Heights (Green and Yellow Lines)

Mid-City and Rock Creek East Area Elements

October 22, Saturday 9AM-11:30AM (Presentation at 9:30AM)

Thurgood Marshall Public Charter School, 2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE

Nearest Metro: Anacostia (Green Line)

Far Southeast and Southwest Area Element

October 25, Tuesday 6PM-8:30PM (Presentation at 6:30PM)

Wilson High School, 3950 Chesapeake St NW

Nearest Metro: Tenleytown (Red Line)

Rock Creek West Area Element

October 27, Thursday 6PM-8:30PM (Presentation at 6:30PM)

Department of Employment Services, 4058 Minnesota Ave NE

Nearest Metro: Minnesota Avenue (Orange Line)

Far Northeast/Southeast Area Element

November 1, Tuesday 6PM-8:30PM (Presentation at 6:30PM)

School Without Walls @ Francis- Stevens, 2425 N St NW

Nearest Metro: Foggy Bottom (Orange, Silver, and Blue Lines)

Central Washington and Near Northwest Area Elements

November 3, Thursday 6PM-8:30PM (Presentation at 6:30PM)

Jefferson Middle School Academy, 801 7th Street SW

Nearest Metro: L’Enfant Plaza (Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow, and Green Lines)

Capitol Hill and Lower Anacostia Waterfront/Near Southwest Area Elements

November 14, Monday 6PM-8:30PM (Presentation at 6:30PM)

Luke C. Moore High School, 1001 Monroe St NE

Nearest Metro: Brookland (Red Line)

Upper Northeast Area Element


No more late night metro service? Ever?

Image via WMATA.

Metro is currently starting a process to make late night service suspensions permanent.

Late-night weekend Metro service has been temporarily halted during the SafeTrack program, with Metro now closing at midnight on Friday and Saturday in order to facilitate repair and maintenance work. Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld recently began the formal process to make that change permanent. In the Washington Region, Metro rail and bicycling have a shared history in expanding transportation choice. Going backwards shouldn’t be an option.

Metro is asking members of the public to share their opinion in the following ways:

  • In person on Thurs. Oct. 20: Attend an open house (anytime between noon and 9:00 p.m.) and a public hearing (anytime between 12:30 and 10:00 p.m.) at Metro Headquarters, 600 5th St NW, Washington DC;
  • Take Metro’s online survey;
  • Email comments to:;
  • Provide feedback to staff in person at various Metrorail stations. [Click here for a list of dates, stations and times.]

The public comment period on the proposal to permanently end late-night service closes 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 25.

Public feedback will be provided to Metro’s Board of Directors this December as part of the final decision process.


It’s the 2016 Membership Drive!

It’s our annual fall membership drive! We disrupt our regularly scheduled updates to urge you to join or renew with WABA today. Why? Well to start with:

Join or renew to make sure bicycling keeps getting better in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Plus we have some limited-edition merch again this year.

What will it say? Well, that’s up to you:

We want to make sure everyone is a part of the Member Drive fun, so we’re inviting you to to Vote for the Tote! Join or Renew your WABA Membership and cast your vote for the best bike PSA and get yourself a magnet or messenger style tote bag featuring the winning message!

Join or Renew right now!

You already know that people who have access to biking benefit from a healthier, more-connected, more vibrant community.

You share WABA’s commitment to make biking safe, normal, and popular in our cities and for generations to come.

And you support our work to advocate for a network of protected, low-stress bike lanes and trails.

When you join WABA, you join more than 6,500 residents from across the region who understand how important it is for communities to support and prioritize biking.

Join or Renew today

The benefits of joining WABA are clear: You support our advocacy work and allow us to make really, major, changes for better bicycling. You gain access to a list of local businesses who support your decision to bike, and you gain access to a like-minded community of people who care about making biking better for everyone.

Whether you bike with your children on the weekends, bike to work occasionally, or you use your bike every day to run errands around town, your WABA membership is working to improve your bike experience.

What are you waiting for?

BTWD 2016 Promo no logo


  • Click here to check out the benefits of being a WABA Member!
  • Join or renew during our Member Drive for just $25 and get a limited edition magnet, or join at the $30 per year or higher and receive our limited edition tote bag.
  • Make your voice heard by voting for the slogan that will appear on the tote and the magnet when you renew.
  • Current WABA Members can receive our limited edition tote by renewing their membership. We’ll add a year to your current expiration date.
  • Annual membership is good for one-calendar year. Auto-renewing memberships are charged on the same date every year and do not expire until payment stops.
  • Memberships bought or renewed during the membership drive week include all regular WABA Member Benefits.