Posts Tagged ‘bike ambassador’
As promised, D.C. bike ambassadors blanketed L Street NW last night to reach out to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians with information on how to properly use the cycletrack. About eight ambassadors and several MPD officers distributed literature, talked to cyclists and drivers, and worked to alleviate any tension in the cycletracks. Read an additional recap on Pilut.
Do you have any burning questions about D.C.’s cycletracks? We may have answered them in our Cycletracks 101 post!
See photos of yesterday evening’s outreach initiative below (there are more on our Flickr page!):
The above photos were taken by Matt Kroneberger
There are three cycletracks in place in D.C. More are being planned. And despite cycletracks being some of the city’s most visible infrastructure for cyclists, there’s plenty of “confusion”—or ignorance—on the part of drivers who try to park or drive in them.
This legitimately baffles pedestrians and makes it harder for bicyclists to use the cycletracks appropriately. To alleviate some of the tension, D.C. bike ambassadors will be out on L Street NW tonight to help drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians navigate the lane.
In the meantime, here’s a brief guide to D.C.’s cycletracks. Perhaps you might forward it to your favorite scofflaw driver.
What is a cycletrack?
Unlike a bike lane, a cycletrack is separated from traffic by barriers, parking lanes, or curbs. They may allow for travel in one or both directions, and cyclists may be asked to obey different signals than in driving lanes. DDOT has installed cycletracks on 15th St NW, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and L St NW. Plans to install additional tracks on M Street NW and 1st Street NE are in the works. There is also an ongoing conversation about a cycletrack on M Street SE/SW.
Why are they all designed differently?
DDOT has the unenviable job of combining best practices from other cities with the unique demands of D.C. traffic when designing its cycle tracks. At this time, none of the tracks are permanent and each has a different design that’s supposed to be incrementally safer than the last cycletrack built. DDOT continues to fine-tune the designs and observe how riders use these routes so that D.C.’s cycletracks can one day be made permanent.
What makes a cycletrack permanent? The plastic bollards will eventually be replaced; curbs, medians, colored paint, or pavement markings will indicate that the route is intended for bicycles only. Such permanent tracks can be found in cities from Portland to New York, Montreal, and Copenhagen.
How do I know how to ride in them?
The first rule of thumb is to ride as if you were a vehicle and obey all of the laws, signals, and courtesies of the road. (Guidelines and links to regional bike laws are available on our website.)
Each cycle track has signs posted to guide cyclists at intersections. On 15th Street, obey the pedestrian signals and be sure to stop for cars turning left on a green arrow. If you need to wait to make a right turn, there is usually space in the parking lane. On L Street, be attentive when cars merge through the lane to turn left. DDOT produced these diagrams for drivers and cyclists. Check out the city’s first bicycle signal at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW and follow it as you would a regular traffic signal. (Do not follow the bike signal if you are driving a car!)
How do I make a turn out of or into a cycletrack?
In all cases, be careful when making a turn across traffic. You may need to make a right turn from a left- or centered cycletrack, and vehicular traffic may have the right-of-way. Consider the following options:
- Wait for a pedestrian signal and cross traffic in the crosswalk.
- Maneuver in line with the traffic waiting at the cross street. Proceed across the intersection when the light changes.
- If you are comfortable doing so, before reaching the intersection, merge into the main roadway and over to the rightmost lane, then turn as normal. Remember to yield to oncoming traffic and be safe, if you choose this method.
Can I drive/park/idle/U-turn in a cycletrack?
These offenses put cyclists at risk of being struck and forces them into the main road where they may not be safe or even want to ride. Driving, parking, idling, or U-turning across cycletracks may result in a citation or fine, on top of endangering cyclists. Contact the business or residence you plan to visit to find alternate legal parking or loading areas.
Mayor Vince Gray recently clarified that U-turns across the Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track are indeed illegal. They are also dangerous; most of the accidents on this road in the past year were caused by cars making illegal U-turns. It’s convenient, but illegal and unsafe.
What is being done to educate cyclists and drivers how to use the cycle tracks?
The D.C. bike ambassadors will be doing outreach tonight at the intersection of the 15th Street NW and L Street NW cycle tracks from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Stop by to say hello! As new cycle tracks continue to be built and we all adjust to the new traffic patterns, don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com with additional questions.
The L Street protected bike lane has been open for a few months now. But its unique design–on the left side of L Street’s car lanes—is still causing confusion. And some drivers continue to disregard the lane’s numerous “no parking” signs.
D.C. bike ambassadors have teamed up with the city’s traffic control officers to educate drivers and cyclists the proper use of L Street’s facilities. Next Tuesday, we will be out on L Street, raising awareness about safety and enforcement issues related to the bike lane.
The L Street protected bike lane is a mile long and runs from New Hampshire Avenue to 12th Street NW. It’s a different design from other dedicated bike lanes in the city, so WABA and the D.C. bike ambassadors are making an effort to educate drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians on how to use the new facility safely and lawfully.
The Bike Ambassador program is a group of bike-loving volunteers who are dedicated to educating and encouraging people of the district to get on bikes. To learn more about the Bike Ambassador Program and volunteer outreach opportunities like this one, sign-up for a new bike ambassador orientation.
For questions, please contact the Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator, Megan McCarty, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (202.518.0524 ext. 200).
Tomorrow night, Tues., Jan. 15, be trained to be a D.C. bike ambassador. Bike ambassadors reach out to and educate cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers about what it means to ride a bike in the D.C. area. To learn more about what bike ambassadors do and how the program spreads the good word of bicycling, click here. Sign up for bike ambassador orientation here. It’ll run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
On Wed., Jan. 23, we’ll host an open house to talk about major transportation planing processes that are about to get underway in D.C. and Maryland. The District’s MoveDC is the city’s first master transportation plan, and the state of Maryland is updating its bicycle and pedestrian master plan. Come to the WABA office from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to get an understanding of what the plans will mean for cyclists and learn how to testify or present at public meetings. You’ll get to meet fellow cyclists and discuss relevant talking points. Please sign up for the open house here.
Our Adams Morgan office is located at 2599 Ontario Road NW.
Do you love bikes? Are you interested in educating others and sharing your passion? Consider volunteering as a bike ambassador!
You’re invited to attend the new bike ambassador orientation next Tuesday evening at WABA’s office. If all of the above—plus, pulling a trailer and explaining to others the virtues of cycling as transportation—sounds like an awesome time, you should sign up here.
At orientation, you will:
- Learn what, exactly, a bike ambassador does, and how you can do it, too
- Learn about the goals of the bike ambassador program
- Sign up for upcoming events and opportunities
- Plug into your local bike advocacy group (that’s WABA!)
- Make new biking friends and expand your community network
Orientation is next Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at WABA’s office, 2599 Ontario Road NW. For more information, contact the Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator, Megan McCarty, at email@example.com or (202) 518-0525 x200.
Due to Hurricane Sandy, tonight’s new Bike Ambassador Orientation (scheduled for 6:30-7:30pm) is cancelled. Please stay safe and out of the storm!
Stay tuned for a rescheduled event date, and feel free to e-mail BikeAmbassador@waba.org with any questions or concerns, or to sign-up for the next orientation.
Have you recently spotted a bicycle enthusiast in a red DC Bike Ambassador T-shirt on your commute to or from work?
That’s because the Bike Ambassadors have kicked off a series of outreach events at some of the prime bicycling locations around town. We started last week at two locations, 16th & U St NW and 14th St & Clifton St NW, and were out on the Metropolitan Branch Trail yesterday morning. We have a few more locations picked out, but we would love to hear your suggestions for additional sites.
Upcoming Outreach Locations (Dates TBD):
- Rock Creek Park/Trail & Virginia Ave NW
- Capitol Hill
- 14th St and Park Rd NW
- You tell us!
The goal of our pop-up outreach is to become mobile information booths about all things bicycling. Stop by one of our upcoming outreach locations and grab a snack, a bike map, chat about WABA, bikes, and/or the Bike Ambassador Program. We can help you find a safe route to get you where you need to go or answer other biking-related questions you might have.
We will announce where the Bike Ambassadors will be via the WABA Facebook page as the dates are scheduled, so be sure to “Like” us to find out and stay informed! In the meantime, e-mail your questions or suggestions to Megan or Katie at BikeAmbassador@waba.org.
Thought about joining WABA but haven’t yet? Need to renew your membership? Stop by one of our outreach locations, learn more about the benefits of WABA membership, and join at the discounted rate of $30.
Hope to see you soon!
My name is Megan McCarty, and I recently joined WABA as the new DC Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator.
The Bike Ambassador program was designed to educate cyclists, drivers and pedestrians on safe use of roads, sidewalks, and trails. As the new program coordinator, I want to make sure I provide the Bike Ambassadors with the leadership, resources, and knowledge to help others make the choice to go by bike a safe and easy one.
My ultimate goal for the program is to encourage more DC residents and visitors to get on a bike, whether it is for fun, fitness, or transportation. Bicycling is an integral and growing part of the transportation system in DC, and I know that the Bike Ambassadors can play a huge role increasing the visibility of cyclists and welcoming all of the new riders out there to life on two wheels.
My first event as a Bike Ambassador was a Commuter Cycling class with an organization called Back On My Feet, a nonprofit group “dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.” They invited Bike Ambassador Katie Bolton and me to talk to some new bicyclists about bike safety, basic traffic skills, and taught them how to properly fit a helmet and use Capital Bikeshare. It was a great learning experience and hopefully more Bike Ambassador Volunteers will join me next time!
As a fairly new DC resident, I am excited to explore the city on my bicycle. I grew up biking around my neighborhood in sunny Tampa, FL and moved to Baltimore, MD after graduating from the University of Central Florida. My background is in Civil Engineering and Transportation Planning, and I have always had a passion for Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, specifically. I fell in love with commuting by bicycle, and decided to switch gears and work full-time in bike advocacy.
In the coming weeks and months, you will probably find me at various community events, as well as biking around town with the Ambassador trailer – a moving bike advocacy billboard on two wheels! I hope you will join me!
This winter, we’re looking for the brave, the bold, and those willing to get cold. We’re having a bike education class for our committed Bike Ambassador volunteers on Saturday, January 21st. While this class is primarily for the Bike Ambassador volunteers, it is also open to the general public.
The class will be our Confident City Cycling 1 curriculum, which covers basic bicycling information and on-bike skills. Half of this class will be in the WABA classroom and half will be on-bike practicing bike handling skills.
You might be asking “Who are the Bike Ambassador volunteers?”
The Bike Ambassador program is our way of outsourcing our bike outreach and education. Bike Ambassador volunteers are just like you–people who love bikes and bicycling. We give them tools and resources to go back into their own communities and workplaces and help WABA spread the word about bicycling. They answer questions, attend events, and generally act as one-stop mobile information booths for all things bike-related. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re always looking for more volunteers.
You can fill out this form, and our Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator will let you know how you can join the Ambassadors!
Last Thursday, The Bike Rack offered a new educational opportunity to its customers and we were happy to help out. Our Bike Commuting Seminar has been one of the services that we offer to are employers looking to show the benefits of biking and physical activity to their employees. Traditionally, we have held the class as a “brown bag” lunchtime education session for employees, complete with a slideshow, folding bike demonstration, free maps and guides for attendees, and a discounted WABA membership offer.
But The Bike Rack wanted to offer the class not to its employees but to its customers–giving non-commuter cyclists a chance to ask questions and current bike commuters an opportunity to expose their friends to the idea in comfortable environment. We worked with them to be able to provide the class for free, and as a result, we may have created some new bike commuters! More than 20 curious bicyclists packed the bike shop and helped themselves to free wine and pizza provided by local pizzeria Pizza No. 17.
We want to thank Chuck and the rest of The Bike Rack staff for inviting us out to the shop and for giving us the opportunity to expand our bike education offerings, and for providing such a great event space!
But one class isn’t enough…we want to extend this opportunity to other bike shops throughout the region. We want to give you the opportunity to bring your friends out so they can learn about bike commuting in a fun, easy way. So let your local bike shop know that you would be happy to see a class offered there. Let them know that they can get in touch with us to set it up.
And of course, our Bike Commuter Seminars are still available to employers as a great way to encourage bicycle commuting, provide a little education to your employees and make some headway on that “Bicycle Friendly Business” application…
Contact info for Bike Commuter Seminars: