Among many other things, we teach people how to ride bikes—for the first time, or just better.
Today marks the home stretch of our membership drive. Today and tomorrow are the last remaining days to join us and get great incentives. This week, nearly 200 Washington Area Bicyclist Association supporters have become members or extended their commitment to help us improve bicycling in the D.C. region.
WABA members get great perks and discounts (see the full list here); can register early for our awesome (and frequently sold-out) events, like the 50 States and Vasa rides; and support our programming.
You may be wondering, however, what that programming is. Though we’ve previously put in bike racks throughout D.C. under contract from the District Department of Transportation, we generally are not responsible for the installation of bike infrastructure in the regions that we represent. We also don’t get the final say on where bike lanes, cycletracks, racks, Capital Bikeshare stations, and other pieces of infrastructure should go. That kind of work is the duty of local and state departments of transportation.
Rather, we provide the reasoning for why things should be built and why laws should be passed. Biking is a marginalized form of transportation, and demonstrating that WABA has a solid, engaged, informed, and active member base is necessary to convincing local and state departments of transportation that more and better infrastructure, laws, policies, and education and outreach programs are needed. Even if you bike for recreation or fitness, we speak for you when we advocate for better road conditions and clearer laws. We’re in the room representing the interests of bicyclists so you don’t have to (though we love it when our members become advocates with us!).
Here are some of the things we’ve done to better bicycling in the D.C. area in the past year:
- Our recent major advocacy gains include the L Street cycletrack, the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013, and the progression of several environmental impact studies for regional trails.
- We help get more people on bikes through programs like Women & Bicycles, Trail Rangers, Bike Ambassadors, the East of the River program, and suburban outreach.
- Our highly lauded adult Learn to Ride classes have been featured in the Washington Post, and we teach people how to be better bicyclists in our City Cycling classes. This year, we’ve taught 312 adults and 2,639 schoolkids how to bike or how to bike better.
- We throw great parties and events, too—our 50 States ride is regionally recognized and we broke records with over 14,000 attendees at this year’s Bike to Work Day.
You can see some of our historic gains here (scroll down).
For the past 40 years, WABA has worked tirelessly to improve policies, education initiatives, road infrastructure, and the cultural understanding of bicycling for transportation. WABA is the reason why D.C., Montgomery, Prince George’s, Arlington, and Fairfax counties and the city of Alexandria are bike-friendly. We are a member-supported nonprofit and lobbying doesn’t pay the bills—which is why we run campaigns like this one. Your membership and donations ensure that our staff can work for you.
If you join during this membership drive (which runs until this Friday, Oct. 25—that’s tomorrow), your membership is good through December 2014—that’s two free months of membership. And this week, joining at any level nets you sweet incentives*:
$35: Membership, plus sticker and notepad
$50: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a standard-issue WABA T-shirt
$100: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a special-edition gold WABA T-shirt
$500: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a WABA bike jersey
*Your notepad, sticker, T-shirt, or jersey will be mailed to you, along with your WABA membership card, in four to six weeks.
Don’t forget: Tonight, we’re hosting an open house for our new, old, and potential members. Please stop by for snacks and beverages! We’ll answer your questions and chat about biking in the D.C. area. RSVP here.
This post is part of our yearly weeklong membership drive. Your membership supports our advocacy, outreach, and education efforts, and you get great perks. Join, renew, or donate today.