Big Turnout for the Spring Street Project Walk

WABA’s Action Committees are working around the region pushing campaigns for better places to bike. Here is an update on the Silver Spring Circle campaign from Kate Meyer Olson, a Montgomery County advocate.

Discussing details of intersection design at Spring St. and Covesville Rd

Discussing details of intersection design at Spring St. and Covesville Rd

On a rare sunny Saturday, May 14th, WABA’s Montgomery County Action Committee hosted a walk-along tour of the planned Spring Street and Cedar Street protected bike lanes in downtown Silver Spring.  This .8 mile segment along the north side of downtown will be the first piece of the Silver Spring Circle, a network of protected bike lanes envisioned by advocates, planners and county leaders.  Matt Johnson, Project Manager with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), joined us to speak about the project planning process and detailed considerations needed to bring this vision to fruition.

The group grew to over 40 interested residents before we started walking. We saw a good cross section of Silver Spring, including many generations of residents and a spread of interests in the project.  With plans in hand, the group walked the route discussing the details of each intersection as we went.

Looking at plans

We talked through the details of each intersection, comparing detailed plans to what is on the ground now.

The Spring and Cedar Street protected bike lanes will run adjacent to the curb on both sides of the street, with a 1 foot buffer and plastic flexi-posts between the bike lane and car parking where the road is widest, or moving traffic where there is no parking.  Each intersection will see some changes, with those at State Routes 97 (Georgia Avenue) and 29 (Colesville Road) the trickiest to design. The bike lanes will be marked at critical mixing points with green paint on the roadway to indicate where car traffic and bike traffic will encounter each other-—primarily at mixing zones where a right turn lane merges across the bike lane, as well as at several driveways where cars will cross the lanes.  At some intersections bicyclists will have a “bike box” in front of the car stop line to allow people on bikes a more visible position at intersections.  At some intersections, a painted “2-stage turn box” will suggest a safe place for bicyclists to queue for an easier left turn using the perpendicular street’s traffic light.

Floating bus stops on proposed Spring St protected bike lanes

Floating bus stops, bike boxes, and 2 stage turn boxes planned for Spring St protected bike lanes

A feature being introduced to the County for the first time is the floating bus stop which, “floats” the bus pick up point away from the curb, allowing the cyclists an unimpeded route while the bus passengers will alight and board the bus from an island in the roadway. 

In addition to the protected bike lanes, the route will feature additional bike parking and improved crosswalks, and incorporate new timing for many of the stop lights. There will be a slight loss of parking in the last block of the route on Cedar Street before it intersects Wayne Avenue. Due to some changes to placement of curbs, 3 small trees will be removed. MCDOT plans to begin construction very soon and to complete the resurfacing of the roadway this summer, minus one block where PEPCO has impending digging.  

Councilmember Hans Riemer talks about the importance of low stress places to bike.

Councilmember Hans Riemer talks about the importance of low stress places to bike.

At the end of the walk Councilmember Hans Riemer joined us, commenting on the growing importance of safe and accessible bike networks in the county and his support for the plan in Silver Spring. The participants were favorably impressed with the vision and are looking forward to the construction beginning. As we move towards construction and a finishing date this summer, expect details about a ribbon cutting and Lane Opening Ride Along. For more information about the project, visit the MCDOT website. Learn more about the Silver Spring Circle at the campaign page. Special thanks to Matt Johnson for leading the walk and to Councilmember Riemer and his staff for their vocal support for expanding the role of bicycling in Montgomery County.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the improvements to the cycling infrastructure in downtown Silver Spring, please join us on the 4th Monday of the month when we meet at the Civic Center  at 7 pm to discuss additional advocacy goals and strategize for a more bikeable, walkable Silver Spring! More info here.

Kate Meyer Olson is the Silver Spring Circle Campaign Lead, longtime Action Committee advocate and WABA member. She lives in Silver Spring.

Only a Month Left To Join Team WABA On The Climate Ride!

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Image: Climate Ride

Ride for the issues you care about, ride to make bicycling better in your backyard!

To get all your Climate Ride questions answered, join us at our Climate Ride Meet and Greet on June 21st, 6pm to 8pm, at the WABA office. We’ll share tips and tricks and snacks! Click here to R.S.V.P.

Climate Ride NYC-DC is a grand bike adventure that connects two of the nation’s most important cities – New York and Washington, DC – by bicycle. From the departure by ferry in Manhattan to the hero’s welcome and rally at the steps of the US Capitol. The East Coast version of Climate Ride is more than a bike trip – it’s an inspiring journey with 200 like-minded people who are united by their passion for sustainability, renewable energy, and bicycles – the ultimate carbon-free form of transportation. And hey – if you’re looking to travel beyond our backyard, or those dates don’t work for you, there are 9 other rides to choose from!

To get your questions answered now, visit the Climate Ride page, or if you’re ready to register, sign up for our team page.

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Image: Climate Ride

 

Get Ready for SafeTrack

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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

Thank you New Belgium Brewing for another super Tour de Fat!

Photo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing

Photo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing

WABA was lucky enough to be the non-profit beneficiary of DC’s fifth Tour de Fat bicycle festival last weekend on Saturday, May 21st.  Yes, there was a little rain, but the Tour de Fat still turned into a day of really good beer drinking, beautiful smiling faces, and lots of support raised for better bicycling.

We are extremely grateful for New Belgium Brewing’s support in making the Washington, DC region a better place to ride a bike.

You and New Belgium helped us raise more than $26,000 for bicycle non-profits in the DC region!! This money goes toward WABA’s work to advocate for better bicycling across the region, and helps support four of our non-profit partners to further their bicycle advocacy missions as well.

WABA also wants to give a big bicycle thank you to everyone who attended the Tour de Fat, brought a friend or family member with you, enjoyed a beer (or two) and helped us to raise a lot of support that WABA will use to advance our mission of advocating for better bicycling across the region.

We really appreciate the help and support of our partner non-profits (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Black Women Bike DC, Phoenix Bikes, and Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling), and we’re happy to be able to share the proceeds of the event with them to further bicycling across the entire region and for bicyclists of all ages.

Check out some of our photos from the Tour de Fat this year, and while you wait for the bemusement to return next summer, go out and enjoy the ride:

Celebrate Biking to Work (Again!) with us on June 9th

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We’ve created our own holiday: June 9th is Bike to Work Again Day.

Bike to work again and join us on June 9th, 2016 for a happy hour in DC, Maryland or Virginia to celebrate!

We’re throwing three parties at once!

All three of the Bike to Work Again Day Happy Hours will take place on Thursday, June 9th from 6-10pm:

WABA will provide information about biking at the happy hours, have free resources like bike maps and law guides, and have up to date information about SafeTrack.

RSVP for the Bike to Work Again Day happy hour near you on Facebook using the links above. See you soon! ❤️

Thank you for riding on Bike to Work Day

thank you mvt

Our region’s largest celebration of people on bikes happened once again this year on Friday, May 20th. More than 17,500 people registered for Bike to Work Day this year, exceeding the number of registrants from last year. Bike to Work Day 2016 had pit stops at 83 locations around Maryland, DC and Virginia to celebrate people choosing to commute by bicycle.

WABA wants to thank you for riding your bike, thank you for participating in Bike to Work Day (because whether that was your first time or your 400th time biking to work, your registering for the event and helping us show the growth in biking is important), and thank you for supporting better bicycling.

We hope you’re still biking to work or if you haven’t tried it again since, then there’s an excellent opportunity coming up to do your commute on two wheels once again. Join us on June 9th, 2016 for a happy hour in DC, Maryland or Virginia to celebrate “Bike to Work Again Day.”

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To celebrate biking and encourage you to bike again, WABA will be throwing three parties at once!

 

All three of the Bike to Work Again Day Happy Hours are Thursday, June 9th from 6-10pm:

 

WABA will provide information about biking at the happy hours, have free resources like bike maps and law guides, and have up to date information about SafeTrack.  RSVP for the Bike to Work Again Day happy hour near you on Facebook using the links above.

We’re Hiring: Part-Time Trail Rangers

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for two passionate and energetic trail champions for our 2016 Trail Ranger Team to serve trails and the people who use them throughout the District of Columbia.

WABA’s Trail Ranger program, now in its fourth season, encourages trail use through daily trail presence, improved upkeep, trail user assistance and community engagement. Trail Rangers act as trail ambassadors, offering a consistent and friendly presence on DC’s mixed-use trails to make them more approachable, enjoyable, and dependable for transportation and recreation.

Reporting to our DC Trail Ranger Coordinator, Trail Rangers roam nearly 20 trail miles within the District, including the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, Suitland Parkway Trail, Marvin Gaye Trail, and connecting street routes.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Support and encourage trail use with friendly and helpful trail presence, regular outreach efforts, and occasional basic bike repairs
  • Patrol DC’s mixed use trails by bicycle with a partner, pulling a lightweight trailer and supplies
  • Develop and maintain relationships with regular trail users and community members
  • Plan and lead cleanup days and community events alongside the program coordinator
  • Perform inspections of trail conditions and maintenance of trail corridors including pruning branches, gathering trash and clearing debris
  • Make regular reports on daily trail conditions, needs, and trends
  • Work with the program coordinator and city agencies to respond to recurring trail issues
  • Document events, trail updates and developments to keep trail users informed
  • Assist at WABA events as needed

Requirements

Candidates must have:

  • A proven track record and enthusiasm for working within a team in an outdoor setting
  • A positive, outgoing and approachable personality
  • Availability 15-25 hours per week including early mornings or evenings, and weekends
  • The ability to ride a bike up to 25 miles in mixed city traffic and off street trails
  • The ability to lift up to 40 lbs
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist

Ideal candidates will have:

  • A firm commitment to WABA’s mission
  • Excellent oral communication skills
  • Familiarity and comfort with self-directed, self-supervised work
  • Confidence interacting with and serving the public
  • The ability to organize time wisely and juggle multiple priorities
  • Knowledge of the principles of safe bicycling and traffic laws in DC
  • Competence with basic bicycle maintenance including patching a flat and adjusting brakes
  • Spanish proficiency or ASL proficiency a strong plus

This position is part-time from June 1st, 2016 through September 30, 2016 for approximately 23 hours per week. Compensation is $15 per hour.

Please send a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Trail Ranger” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until June 29th though candidates are strongly encourage to apply earlier. 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.