No New Camping Site Fees for C&O Canal Park

The C&O Canal National Historical Park announced late on Friday a revised fee proposal (PDF). The National Park Service is exploring potential changes to visitor fees to raise revenue. The proposed fee changes included a new charge for the hiker-biker camping sites of $20/night. The revised proposals retains the current no charge for the hiker-biker camping sites.

From the National Park Service, “having heard concerns over the proposal for new fees, the park has decided to rescind its proposal to expand fee collection. The park is still proposing to moderately increase existing entrance, campground and pavilion rental fees only at park locations where fees are currently collected.”

Last week we posted to the WABA blog about the proposed new charges and fee increases. Thank you to the WABA members and supporters who attended last week’s public meeting.

The revised fee increases are listed below:

Park Annual Pass:
Current: $20, Great Falls, MD only
Proposed: $30, Great Falls, MD only

Per Vehicle Pass:
Current: $5/vehicle for 3 days, Great Falls, MD only
Proposed: $15/vehicle for 7 days, Great Falls, MD only

Per Person Pass:
Current: $3/person for 3 days, Great Falls, MD only
Proposed: $7/person for 7 days, Great Falls, MD only

Motorcycle Pass:
Current: $5/motorcycle for 3 days, Great Falls, MD only
Proposed: $10/motorcycle for 7 days, Great Falls, MD only

The park is are also proposing to increase fees for campgrounds and picnic pavilions. Comparability studies have been completed to determine rates. The proposals are as follows:

Drive-In Campgrounds:  
Single Site Rate: Current: $10 per night, Proposed $20 per night
Group Site Rate: Current $20 per night, Proposed $40 per night

Hiker-Biker Camping Sites:
Current: No Charge, no changed proposed

Picnic Pavilion: Carderock Pavilion
Monday-Thursday: Current $150 per day, Proposed $250 per day
Friday-Sunday & Holidays: Current $250 per day, Proposed $350 per day

There are still opportunities to comment on the revised fee increase proposal. You can submit online comments via the NPS Planning, Environmental & Comment website. The public comment period will remain open until February 22, 2015.

NPS will continue to hold public meetings as follows:
February 9, 2015, at Hancock Town Hall, 126 West High Street, Hancock, MD from 6:30-8:00 PM
February 11, 2015, at Storer Ballroom at the Shepherd University Student Center, 210 North King Street, Shepherdstown, WV, from 6:30-8:00 PM
February 17, 2015, at Brunswick City Park Building, 655 East Potomac Street, Brunswick, MD, from 6:30-8:00 PM

Upcoming Public Meetings for Bike Lanes in Fairfax County

Buffered bike lanes in Seattle, WA. Source: NACTO

On the heels of its recently passed Bike Master Plan, Fairfax County Department of Transportation is holding two public meetings for bike lane projects. The two meetings are your chance to give input and express support for these projects.

Amherst Avenue/Backlick Road Buffered Bike Lanes
Fairfax County DOT is proposing a lane diet on Amherst Avenue from Cumberland Avenue to Highland Street. A road diet would create space for a buffered bike lane for 1/2 mile. On Backlick Road, public space is constrained. The County is proposing either bike lanes or a neighborhood street route alternative. Attending the public meeting is an opportunity to support full bike lanes on Backlick Road. See the area on Google Maps here.

Meeting Details
February 10th, 2015, 7:00 pm
Lynbrook Elementary School, Cafeteria
5801 Backlick Road
Springfield, VA 22150.

Kingstowne Village Parkway Bike Lanes
The County is proposing a road diet with bike lanes on Kingstown Village Parkway from Beulah Street to Hayfield Street. See the area on Google Maps here.

Meeting Details
February 18th, 2015, 7:00 PM
Kingstowne’s Thomas Center
6090 Kingstowne Village Parkway
Alexandria, VA 22315.

 

Public Meeting Tonight on C&O Canal Park’s Proposed Fee Increases

C&O Canal towpath near Slackwater. Photo credit: Rudi Riet

The National Park Service announced yesterday that they will be hosting a public meeting to discuss their proposed fee hikes (PDF) for access to and amenities on the C&O Canal National Historical Park. The C&O Canal is a public park that stretches from Georgetown in Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, MD.

While most of the meetings on the subject are outside the Washington region, Tonight’s meeting will be held at the Washington Waldorf School, 4800 Sangamore Rd. in Bethesda from 7pm to 8:30pm.

We encourage all bicyclists to attend, ask questions, and voice any concerns about the proposal.

WABA is working with NPS to learn more about the proposal, but we oppose regressive fees that would limit access for biking, walking, and enjoying the public park. NPS Director Jarvis has tasked all parks with considering such revenue-generating activities, so we are working throughout the region to respond to these fee proposals. Presently, public comment periods are open for the Prince William Forest Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the C&O Canal.

If you bike on the C&O Canal towpath, you will likely be affected by this proposal. Please consider attending the meeting tonight.

Meeting Details
What
: National Park Service meeting on proposed fee increases for
C&O Canal National Historic Park
When: 7pm – 8:30pm, Thursday, February 5th
Where: Washington Waldorf School, 4800 Sangamore Rd., Bethesda, MD
Google Map Directions

Announcing The Arlington PAL Ambassador Program

We know you love bikes. If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent some time daydreaming about how to show that love to your community—

Maybe you’ve brainstormed slogans. Maybe you’ve imagined cheery chalk messages to write in bike lanes. Maybe you’ve coined a clever bumper sticker for your fender or a patch for your pannier.

Maybe we’ve got the perfect volunteer gig for you.

Become an Arlington PAL Ambassador! 

Sign says "Be a Pal" on bike Trailer

Pete shows off the PAL trailer.

Would you hold a homemade sign? Would you recruit your fellow bike-lovers to brandish them? Would you stand on a Streetcorner exclaiming “Hello everyone! Be a PAL! A Predictable, Alert, Lawful Road-user!”?

Would you consider being an awesome volunteer for an awesome new program?

BikeArlington and WABA are putting volunteer PAL Ambassadors on the streets across Arlington county, and we want you!

What’s a PAL Ambassador?

Well, you are! PAL Ambassadors are folks who care about their community and are passionate about making our streets safer. In fact, PAL Ambassadors are the driving force behind our initiative to change the culture on our roadways. They’ll be the smiling faces behind the handlebars. They’ll stress the importance of being more predictable, more alert, and more lawful. And they’ll lead eye-catching and interactive campaigns to improve roadway behavior, etiquette, and interactions- especially interactions between drivers and bicyclists.

Become a PAL Ambassador! There are four ways to get involved:

  1. Agree to be a PAL; a more predictable, alert, lawful road user.
  2. Come to a monthly block party! We’ll select a message, get creative, and take to the streets at an Arlington intersection to promote our message, and have some fun.
  3. Join us at our monthly PAL Pizza Party to hang out, brainstorm, and prepare for our next event.
  4. Or PAL around with us! Join our coordinator for a bike ride and pull the PAL bike trailer.

The best way to learn more and find out where and when we’ll be meeting is to join our Facebook group. Click here to join the conversation!

PAL-logo

 


BikeArlington launched the PAL campaign 2 years ago with the strong sentiment that no matter who we are or how we choose to get around town, our roadways depend on a social contract that everyone is following the rules and paying attention. Whether we’re walking, driving, or biking we rely on our fellow road-users to be PALs; Predictable. Alert. Lawful.

The mission of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is 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.

 

 

Join us at the Washington Area Bicyclists’ Choice Awards

In case you missed it, earlier this week we announced a brand new event!  Join us at the Washington Area Bicylists’ Choice Awards on Friday, February 20th, 2015 at the Thurgood Marshall Center building in DC’s Shaw neighborhood.

Full awards graphic with date

As part of the event, we need your participation to nominate and vote on the winners. Nominations are being accepted through Monday, February 2nd.

After nominations close, WABA members will be invited to vote. Voting will be open February 5th through February 15th. Winners will be announced and honored at the Awards event on the February 20th.

The Awards party will be a fun and social celebration of the people and places that make DC, Maryland, and Virginia great for bicycling. Admission to the event and appetizers are free, beer and wine a $5 suggested donation. Did we mention who’s hosting the event?!?! DC’s very own Brian McEntee (you know him as Gear Prudence, the funny bicycle columnist in Washington City Paper, and @SharrowsDC across the internet).

Anyone is welcome to attend the Awards and we ask that you please RSVP here. Guests and nominees for the Awards event should arrive between 7:00 and 7:30pm. The awards presentations will begin at 7:30pm.

This year, we are combining our Annual Members Meeting with the Awards event to hold them on the same evening. If you are a WABA member and are interested in participating in our Members Meeting and voting in our Board elections, please arrive by 6:30pm. The Members Meeting will take place from 6:30 to 7:00pm.

Don’t forget to nominate, and we hope to see you there!

 

Ambassador Program Coming To The Streets Of Arlington!

Starting next week we’re partnering up with BikeArlington to launch a new bike ambassador program.

We can’t give full details yet, but you can expect energized outreach campaigns in Arlington to encourage road-users to be predictable, alert, and lawful, and improve interactions between pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.

Much like the D.C. bike ambassadors we’ll have rolling billboards, clear messaging, and streetcorner outreach. We’ll have a solid community of volunteers and that’s where we’ll need your help.

Keep your eye out for our billboards and more information next week!

HeyPALS.jpg

Montgomery Co. DOT Endorses NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

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Montgomery County’s first protected bike lane on Woodglen Drive in White Flint. Photo Credit: Dan Reed

Good news! The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has endorsed the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. This guide, produced by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), gives transportation planners and engineers access to state-of-the-practice bikeway designs. It provides innovative tools for growing bicycling such as protected and buffered bike lanes, bike boxes, contraflow bike lanes and other types of infrastructure.

Last fall, MCDOT installed the first protected bike lane in the County on Woodglen Drive in White Flint. The 0.3 mile long protected bike lane extends the Bethesda Trolley Trail from Edson Lane to Nicholson Lane. MCDOT is currently planning protected bike lanes on Woodmont Ave in Bethesda and Nebel Street in White Flint. We anticipate more protected bike lanes coming to the County following the department’s endorsement of the NACTO guide.

From the MCDOT Acting Director Al Roshdieh’s letter:

MCDOT is committed to providing a multi-modal transportation network that incorporates state-of-the-practice bicycle facilities, and endorses the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide as one of several documents to utilize in the design and implementation of new bicycle facilities County-wide. Thank you for your support and we look forward to partnering with you in our efforts to create a more bicycle-friendly Montgomery County.

WABA sent a letter in August requesting MDCOT’s adoption or endorsement of the bikeway guide. MCDOT is now in good company as the transportation department in the District of Columbia, Arlington and Alexandria also endorse the NACTO Guide. You can download the MCDOT letter endorsing the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. Thank you to Acting Director Al Roshdieh for responding to our request.