Ready to learn a new trick?

You’ve read the headlines—more people than ever are bicycling in the Washington, DC region. If you’re already one of them, great!

But if you’re not riding yet, WABA is here to help. The Everyday Bicycling Team at WABA offers a variety of classes designed to get you out on the bicycle for the first time or for the millionth time.

In a WABA City Cycling class you’ll learn bike handling tips and tricks that leave you feeling more confident, competent and comfortable, whether you’re riding on the beautiful recently extended Anacostia River Trail or on a hectic and busy downtown street like Florida Ave.

City Cycling classes are 3 hours long and tons of fun. In the beginning you meet all of the participants and share why you’re at the class and what you want to get out of it. Then, you get to choose between the “fundamentals” group or the “confidence” group. Both groups learn a lot and get the chance to practice new skills before going out on a ride. No matter which group you choose, you’ll leave more confident and capable on your bike.

On a Community Ride you will take a leisurely spin with others to explore new parts of the region. This spring we are preparing to take in tulips, baked goods, urban farms and more. Community rides are short and slow on purpose. We stop a few times along the way to talk about different road designs or infrastructure challenges and sometimes also to eat tacos.

If you don’t know how to ride a bike yet; or know someone that wants to learn, then WABA’s Learn to Ride class is the place to go. Our Learn to Ride class is 3 hours long and uses a tried and true method to help adults learn to ride a bicycle. Last year we taught more than 450 adults to ride. This year classes are being offered throughout the region.

Every class is taught by  League of American Bicyclist certified League Cycling Instructors. .

All of our classes are supported and funded by local government agencies: Montgomery County Department of Transportation, DC Department of Transportation, Arlington County, Alexandria County and the city of Falls Church, VA.

Please bring a friend and join WABA this spring to pick up a trick or two on your bicycle and be one of the new bicyclists we see on the streets or trails enjoying your ride!

Spring Advocacy Roundup

Hello there!

It’s been a while since our last Roundup, but that just means we have more to share.

Here are a few of the major highlights of our recent advocacy work:

Vision Zero Summit

WABA Executive Director Greg Billing, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DDOT Director Jeff Marootian at this year’s Vision Zero Summit.

Too many people die on our roads in predictable, preventable crashes. On March 15th, WABA gathered policymakers, advocates, experts, and implementers to explore systemic ways to turn Vision Zero commitments and action plans in to substantive change. Read the recap here.

Long Bridge improvements need to serve bicyclists

Long Bridge is the rail bridge you can see from the Yellow Line as you cross the Potomac River. It’s getting a long-planned, much-needed upgrade from two tracks to four. This project is a once-in-a-century opportunity to attach a biking and walking trail to the new bridge, creating a continuous non-motorized connection between Arlington and DC, but the current trail designs only go halfway—from the Mount Vernon Trail to Hains Point. Read more.

Bethesda needs a complete, protected bike network

The abrupt 5+ year closure of the Georgetown Branch Trail made the long-standing challenges of getting to and through Bethesda by bicycle an urgent safety problem. With only a handful of disconnected, unprotected bike lanes, Bethesda’s streets are too stressful and hazardous for most people to bike on, and are certainly no substitute for the Georgetown Branch Trail. Hundreds of WABA advocates in Montgomery County called for the County to expedite plans to design and build the proposed Bethesda network. Executive Leggett’s proposed budget for FY2019 now includes $3 million over the next three years for that work. Read more.

Silver Spring celebrates its first protected bike lane

Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer rides along the first protected bike lane in Silver Spring, Maryland.

More than 70 bike advocates and neighbors gathered with county officials in Woodside Urban Park to celebrate the completion of Silver Spring’s first protected bike lanes on Spring Street and Cedar Street. Read more.

Ensuring dockless bikeshare is a net positive for biking in the region

Dockless bikeshare has the potential to expand bike sharing and bike ridership in the District and local neighboring jurisdictions. With opportunity comes risk, however, and that is why we have been involved in conversations for the past months with a task force convened by DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST) that included District Department of Transportation (DDOT), several DC Business Improvement Districts, and DC Council staff to discuss priorities for ensuring that this new technology is a positive addition to the menu of transportation options in the DC region. Read more.

Metropolitan Branch Trail clears another hurdle

Final design can now begin for the critical 1.6 mile segment of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (and traffic calming project) through Ward 4 to connect Fort Totten to Takoma Park, MD! A hardworking team of neighborhood advocates, community leaders, WABA and DDOT staff, and hundreds of trail supporters built a consensus of support for the trail on Blair Rd. We signed petitions, sent emails, attended corridor walks, strategy sessions, and discussions. Read more.

Incentivize biking and walking to work? DC Council is considering it

Any employer in the District can voluntarily offer commuter benefits to its employees. However, those benefits tend to be car-centric. In March 2017, the DC Council introduced a bill that would require employers that already provide a parking benefit to also provide alternate transit benefits. The bill is currently under review by the DC Council, but you can read the bill’s history here.

A new trail bridge over the Patuxent!

The Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail will receive $4.7 million for a bridge over the Patuxent River, connecting Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties! This long-awaited bridge will close a key gap in the trail network by linking two segments, connecting communities on either side of the river to jobs, retail, parks, amenities, and much more. The WB&A Trail has been a WABA priority for decades, and this funding commitment is an important win. Read more.

The Capital Trails Coalition convened at fourth annual Trails Symposium

The Capital Trails Coalition leads the movement to bring world-class trails to the region’s backyard. At the Symposium, coalition members dove into topics related to trail use and trail development, including economic development, converting potential trail users into current trail users, how bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure fits into mega million dollar infrastructure projects, and how changing technology will help us build out the regional trail network. Read more here.

Lifting up victims of traffic violence on World Day of Remembrance

Cities around the world participated in the World Day of Remembrance to honor those who have lost their lives in traffic crashes. We gathered at Grant Circle in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC with four local families to remember loved ones lost to traffic violence. Read more.

DC awarded gold status for bike-friendliness by the League of American Bicyclists

More than 400 communities across the country are recognized with the bike-friendly community award, but only 30 have earned gold, a level earned by communities that have made gains in various areas, including bike infrastructure, bike laws, enforcement that protects riders, and educational campaigns. Read more.

Upcoming Trainings and Workshops

Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan – Planning Workshop

March 28, 10:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Carroll County Office Building, 225 North Center Street, Westminster, MD 21157

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting a planning workshop to inform the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (MBPB). The MBPB outlines a 20-year vision for biking and walking in Maryland Updated every five years, and is updated every five years with the 2040 Transportation Plan.

Sign Up

Next Steps to Extend the WB&A Trail

March 31, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Glenarden Library, 8724 Glenarden Parkway, Glenarden, MD, 20706

The Washington Baltimore & Annapolis Trail in central Prince George’s County is an incredible multi-use rail-trail and park, stretching nearly seven miles from the Patuxent River to Annapolis Road (MD-450). However, the WB&A Trail is six miles (!) from the nearest trail – join us in our campaign to extend the trail toward D.C. along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue!

Sign Up

What To Do After a Bike Crash

April 26th, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

WABA Office, 2599 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009

Bruce Deming, the Bike Lawyer, will review bike laws in the region and talk about what to do if you witness a crash, or are in a crash yourself.

Sign Up

Ward 4 Vision Zero Community Roundtable

March 29, 6:30 PM – 8 PM

Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011

Want to talk about unsafe roads in Ward 4? We want to hear your experiences!

We’ll talk about some of the projects that are already planned for the area, then go for a walk down Upshur Street, look at some of the most dangerous intersections in Ward 4, and have a conversation about the ways they could be made safer.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Jonathan R Stafford at jonathan.stafford@waba.org

New faces!

Have you met Hannah and Jonathan, our new Community Organizers?

Are you on your local WABA Action Committee?

All across the region great people are working to fix our streets to make biking safe and popular. They meet each month to share ideas and work together for better places to bike. Whether you’re looking for a fun group, a new cause, or a wonky policy discussion, our Action Committees have it covered.

See what we’re doing in your community and join us for the next meeting.

We’re Hiring!

Advocacy Director

Membership and Development Coordinator

Part-time Bike Ambassador


WABA in the News

‘Ghost Bike’ memorial for DC cyclist killed in hit and run – WUSA, August 5, 2017

District Transportation Head Dormsjo Bids Farewell to DDOT – WAMU, August 11, 2017

Should Electric Bikes Be Allowed On Trails? – WAMU, August 16, 2017

Virginia lawmakers oppose plan to sandwich I-66 trail between a sound wall and traffic – Washington Post, August 17, 2017

Beach Drive rehab progress: Nearly 2 miles of roadway built, 4.6 miles to go – Washington Post, August 19, 2017

In 1973, a young GSA employee in D.C. had a bright idea: a fleet of loaner bikes – Washington Post, August 30, 2017

Entire Georgetown Branch Trail Will Close For Years During Purple Line Construction – DCist, September 1, 2017

Changing trail design could jeopardize entire I-66 widening project – Washington Post, September 3, 2017

Cycling to work means better health and a longer life. Here’s how to get started. – Washington Post, September 9, 2017

Takoma City Council debates bikes on sidewalks – The Sentinel, September 15, 2017

Dockless bike-share companies race to Washington – Washington Post, September 19, 2017

Bicycles and D.C.: How cycling has grown into a legitimate transit option for the nation’s capital – Curbed, September 20, 2017

Business Groups Attack D.C’s Parking Cash Out Proposal – WAMU, September 25, 2017

Hyattsville asks for public input on transportation improvement – Hyattsville Life, September 28, 2017

Bike-Sharing is Flourishing in Washington. Can the City Handle It? – New York Times, October 1, 2017

Pilot program in Silver Spring to offer dockless bike sharing – Source of the Spring, October 4, 2017

8 Ways to Help Someone Start Riding a Bike – Bicycling.com, October 16, 2017

New York terror attack set to intensify calls for more security to protect pedestrians, cyclists – Washington Post, November 1, 2017

‘Keep on riding.’ Bicyclists pedal on after deadly terror attack on America’s busiest bike path – Washington Post, November 2, 2017

Jones Point Pier Restoration Yields Hands-On Learning – The Connection, November 10, 2017

A Tiny Tax Hike On People Who Bike To Work Helps Explain The Whole GOP Tax Law – Huffington Post, January 11, 2018

No Dock, No Lock, No Problem? Assessing Dockless Bike Sharing In The District – The Kojo Nnamdi Show, January 25, 2018

Gear Prudence: Dockless Bikes Leave Me Cold – Washington City Paper, February 5, 2018

D.C. wins gold in bike-friendliness – Washington Post, March 6, 2018

Traffic deaths continue to soar despite cities’ pledges to get them to ‘Zero’ – Washington Post, March 14, 2018

With Traffic Deaths Going Up, Is Vision Zero The Right Roadmap For DC? – The Kojo Nnamdi Show, March 19, 2018


Sad face.

This will be my last Roundup as your Advocacy Director because I’m moving back to the midwest. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunities I have had at WABA to work with a staff and volunteer team of smart, dedicated, hilarious people I like and respect. I’m extremely proud of the Advocacy team we’ve built over the last two years. WABA has a deep bench of talented, capable advocates in all of you, and I am bursting with excitement for all the great things I see on the horizon for biking in the region.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for your advocacy.

Tamara Evans

Advocacy Director

P.S. Your membership dollars directly fund our advocacy work!

Donate

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Statement

WABA’s Board of Directors adopted this statement at its March 19, 2018 meeting.

Mission

WABA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation options for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, pedestrians, and motorists about safe bicycling and all of our rights to be and feel safe on our streets, paths, and other infrastructure.

WABA believes that biking benefits all communities and envisions a region in which biking and bike advocacy are equally accessible to residents and visitors regardless of identity (e.g., racial/ethnic/cultural/religious groups, age, ability, language, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, familiar/parental status  and gender identity), geographic location, or approach to biking.

Vision

WABA envisions a region in which biking is joyful, safe, popular, and liberating for everyone. Our vibrant bicycle community mirrors the incredible diversity of the region and is supported by the necessary infrastructure, laws, activities, and investments to get around safely and conveniently by bike at all times.

Historical Inequality

WABA recognizes long-standing and current societal inequities that have their roots in generations of unjust structural barriers, policies, practices, attitudes, language and cultural messages have disproportionately impacted many minority groups.

Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

WABA believes we must be intentional and transparent in our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity in order to achieve our ultimate objective—equal access to safe and fun bicycling throughout the region.

To more fully accomplish our mission and live our values, we strive to make our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity evident in our organizational structure and policies; advocacy, programs, and outreach activities; and in the composition of our board of directors, staff, donors, and membership. WABA is committed to building an environment where all people feel welcomed, seen, heard and treated fairly, and we, as staff and board of WABA, commit to the following values and principles to guide our work in bike advocacy, transportation planning, education, and outreach:

  • Institutional equity matters—WABA strives for diverse and inclusive internal practices to increase our institutional awareness and better advocate for the full spectrum of needs present in our vibrant bike community;
  • Barriers to safe and joyful biking are best removed through partnerships and strong collaborative relationships—WABA connects existing communities to a diverse and supportive network of people who bike, teach, advocate, and lead in the region’s bike movement to provide resources, information, and inspiration for locally led change; and
  • Intentional and transparent actions and targeted investments—whose contributions to equity, inclusion and diversity can be measured—are essential to continuous improvement and meaningful progress.

Accountability

WABA will develop and maintain an action plan with clear accountability and metrics, including prioritizing budget allocations and staffing, which will result in measurable results on a yearly basis towards achieving our goals. In order to hold the Executive Director and the staff accountable for making measurable progress in meeting these goals on diversity, inclusion and equity, the Executive Director will annually present an update on the action plan to the board, identifying successes, barriers and recommended next steps.

Recap: Second Annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit

In the three years since DC Mayor Muriel Bowser committed to eliminating all roadway deaths and serious injuries by 2024, the city has actually seen an increase in traffic deaths. Attendees of second annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit gathered to discuss strategies and policies to reverse this trend.

One of the goals of the Summit is to to foster  a sense of urgency around Vision Zero – so that governments honor their commitments and use their action plans to create immediate, substantive change on the roads. One life lost on the road is one life too many.

The Summit, presented by WABA and Uber, featured speakers from diverse sectors across the Washington Region. Elected officials, policymakers, civil rights and disability rights advocates, public health experts, and tech companies spent the day exploring systemic ways to end traffic fatalities.

In a keynote address, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser delivered an update on the District’s efforts to eliminate traffic deaths.

DC Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Charles Allen, Virginia State Senator Scott Surovell, Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer, and Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson participated in panel discussions about regional collaboration and protecting vulnerable road users.

Region-wide, DC,  the City of Alexandria and Montgomery County, have made commitments to Vision Zero.

Our region has an opportunity to be an example for the country as a place that prioritizes people over vehicles. D.C. should be leading this charge to save lives – and that’s why the Vision Zero Summit is important.  

Find a gallery below featuring pictures from the daylong summit!

Special thanks to our Vision Zero Summit Sponsors!

Title Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

2018 Annual Meeting and Officer Elections

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association Board of Directors held its 2018 Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 8th at the Josephine Butler Parks Center in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC. Executive Director Greg Billing and Board President Paul d’Eustachio presented the state of the organization and answered questions from members in attendance. Members voted in a slate of six new and returning Board Directors to serve the organization for the 2018-2020 term. The following individuals were voted in by the membership as Directors:

Peter Gray, returning
Paul d’Eustachio, returning
Matt Liddle, returning
Elizabeth Lyttleton, returning
Martin Moulton, returning
Randall Myers, returning
Jim Titus, returning
Chioma Ohalete, new*

*Technical note, Chioma Ohalete was elected to complete the second year of an open two-year term. In 2019, Chioma will be recommended to serve a full two-year term.

A special welcome to our newest Director Dr. Chioma Ohalete, DO. Chioma got involved with WABA through our adult education program in which she is an active instructor.  During the day, Chioma is Family Medicine Physician at the Walker-Jones Health Center.  A full bio for Chioma and all Board Directors can be found on the WABA website here.

In accordance with the WABA  Bylaws, the Board held its officers election on Monday. March 19, 2018. By a unanimous vote, the Board elected the following officers for the 2018-2019 term:

Joanne Neukirchen, President
Martin Moulton, Vice President
Paul d’Eustachio, Treasurer
Jessica Hough, Secretary

The WABA Board of Director is comprised of 13 Directors who serve two-year terms with half of the board elected annually. Elections are held at the Annual Meeting scheduled in the first quarter of a new year.

Bike Your Heart Out at DC Bike Ride

From our partners at DC Bike Ride:

We’re so excited to announce the headliner of the DC Bike Ride Finish Festival: get ready to gear up for some go-go music with DC’s own legendary Trouble Funk and DJ Little Bacon Bear!

 

 

DC Bike Ride is DC’s only closed-road, car-free, recreational bike ride. Join us in celebrating what makes DC, DC: the people, the culture, the music, and the joy of biking around a beautiful city.

The third annual DC Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, May 19 and feature a 20-mile scenic route with absolutely no cars (or you can opt for the 6-mile short cut course). Registration is filling up fast and the price increases on April 1.

WABA Members and supporters can register now using the promo code WABALOVE to receive $5 off standard registration until April 1.

register now!

Why join DC Bike Ride? Because it’s going to be really fun, it’s your only chance to bike the streets of DC on completely car-free roads, it’s family-friendly and for all biking abilities, and it raises support for WABA’s street safety work around Vision Zero.

Register now!

What in the World is a DC Bike Ambassador?

You may have been driving, walking or biking one day and noticed a group of enthusiastic, red-shirted people with bikes on the corner. Congratulations! You spotted the DC Bike Ambassadors in their natural habitat. They were most likely talking to people about being safe on the street. Maybe they were passing out bike lights to bicyclists. Or perhaps they shared a flier with you about upcoming bike events around town. DC Bike Ambassadors are volunteers who love bicycling and want to bring the benefits of bicycling to their communities. But the best part is, you can be one too!


Want to be a Bike Ambassador? Yes!






DC Bike Ambassadors with Brianne Nadeau

This year, we are adding another layer to the work of DC Bike Ambassadors. We want to spend more time in communities typically underserved by WABA and by the bicycling improvement efforts in the District. This includes communities in Wards 4, 7 and 8, seniors, the Spanish speaking community, deaf bicyclists, and blind bicyclists.

We’ll better engage with these communities by hosting rides and events, tabling at expos, fairs and festivals, and being present for community meetings that affect these communities. We’ll also work to build relationships with organizations in these communities to reach their members and share WABA’s resources with them. Finally, we’ll be biking with our public awareness trailer (if you see us, say hello!), volunteering our time with other organizations, and connecting them with the people they serve.

We want DC Bike Ambassadors to be a reflection of the region’s growing bicycling community; including all communities is key.

If you want to be part of this movement to attract more diverse bicyclists to the biking community, please sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter to learn more about our upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.