Quick Release: WABA Blog Front Page

Posts Tagged ‘Prince George’s County’

A Complete Guide to DC’s 1st Annual Tour de Fat

NEXT SATURDAY, June 16th, The New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Ale, and WABA are hosting the biggest, most fanciful, bicycle celebration of all time. And for the first time ever it’s coming to DC!

We’re going to celebrate bikes, make some new friends, and sip on a couple of cold, Rocky Mountain barley pops–all in the name of local bike advocacy!

The Tour de Fat benefits WABA, MORE (Mid-Atlantic Offroad Enthusiasts), Black Women Bike DC, and FABB (Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling).

Before the big day we want to make sure you know all the event details so that you and your friends come prepared, because a) you can’t miss this, and b) you must come prepared.

 

Vital Details

WHEN: Saturday, June 16th, 9am – 4pm
WHERE: The Yards Park
COST: FREE with $5 suggested donation
REGISTRATION: on-site

SCHEDULE:
9:00am – Parade Registration
9:00am – Free Bike Valet
10:00am – Bike Parade
11:00am –  Main Stage
12:00pm – Slide Show
12:00pm – Slow Ride
1:30pm –  Bike Trade
3:30pm – De Finale!

How to Get to the Tour de Fat

WITH OLD FRIENDS: By bicycle, of course! The Yards park is located at 10 Water St. SE, Washington, DC near the National’s Stadium. . For those traveling from far and away, it is advised that you find parking far from Yards Park. Parking in the area will be extremely limited due to the Yankees/National’s baseball game.
WITH  NEW FRIENDS:  A number of local shops and organizations are leading convoy rides down to the park. We will update this list as convoy information becomes available.
- Alexandria BPAC: One-way group ride departing at 8:30am at St. Elmo’s (2300 Mt Vernon Ave, 22301) RSVP to Bruce Dwyer, oiubike@gmail.com

What to wear

For those who’ve never participated, this is indeed a COSTUME AFFAIR. Costumes are enthusiastically encouraged!!  For some inspiration, check out this montage of photos from Tour de Fat’s of yore.

What to expect

The time of your life
PARADE:  We will show off our rides and our bike pride by taking a short and slow cruise along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

FREE BIKE VALET:No need to bring your heavy U-lock, the folks at MORE are providing safe and secure bike parking all day long.

MUSIC: Featuring Mucca Pazza, Ian Cooke, and Yo-Yo People

GAMES: We don’t want to giveaway all the surprises, but we heard for one of the games, New Belgium’s creative genius’ constructed life-size Jenga. Yes, life-size.

BIKE PIT: Imagine if instead of creating candy, Willy Wonka created bicycles.

PERFORMANCES: Le Tigre’s whimsical ways will woo us all day long.

How to prepare

Start mixing up your papier-mâché pulp, pull out that tutu from your college years, give your bike a quick tune-up, and invite your friends to the biggest bike festival DC has ever seen.

Big Bikesharing News for the Washington Area!

Congratulations to all the jurisdictions awarded Maryland Bikeshare Program grants.  Within our immediate area, Montgomery County and UMD/College Park received implementation grant awards, and Prince George’s County/City of Greenbelt received feasibility study grants.

From the MDOT release:

The grant-winning projects include both feasibility studies for several jurisdictions and actual implementation and opening of bikeshare stations for others that are further along in the planning and design process.  The winners are divided into two categories – funding to implement a bikeshare facility and funding for a feasibility study to determine potential bikeshare station locations.  The Bikeshare Grant Program is funded through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program and will cover 80 percent of the total project cost.  Local jurisdictions are required to pay a 20 percent match.

The winners of grants to implement bikesharing systems are:  Baltimore City, Montgomery County and joint partners with University of Maryland at College Park and the City of College Park.  The winners of grants for feasibility studies of potential bikeshare stations are:  Frederick City, Howard County and joint partners with Prince George’s County and the City of Greenbelt.

Biking just got a little better in Prince George’s Co.

Prince George’s County Council voted unanimously to support becoming a more walkable and bikeable county this past week. Voting 9-0, Councilmembers passed the “Adequate Public Pedestrian and Bikeway Facilities in Centers and Corridors” Act (CB-2-2012) which requires developers to build bicycle and pedestrian connections from their new developments to nearby destinations. This bill seeks to begin fixing the years of allowing street designs that were inhospitable to pedestrians and bicyclists.

This is giant step forward for Prince George’s County. The County has one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths in the Maryland and has recently been dangerous and deadly for bicyclists too. The County Council, under the leadership of Councilmembers Olsen and Franklin, has made a statement about a future vision for the county and has recognized the need to begin building safe, connected and protected places to walk and bike.

WABA staff testified several times in support of this initiative and we are pleased with the unanimous result.  We would like to thank the Prince George’s County Council for providing county residents with expanded transportation choices. We would also like to thank our friends at the Coalition for Smarter Growth for their dedication to this initiative and their work in Prince George’s County.

2012 National Bike Summit Free Event Roundup #NBS12

National Bike Summit Event Roundup

When this year’s National Bike Summit participants roll into town, DC is going to be a hub for bike-related socializing. WABA encourages you to attend some of the fun (FREE) events surrounding the Summit.

If you haven’t signed up for the Summit yet, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of time. Online registration is closed but you can register on-site at the Grand Hyatt on Tuesday, the 20th at 1:30pm. Click here for more information.

Tuesday

1:00pm Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington
Join Cyclocross superstar Tim Johnson for the last leg of his bike advocacy fundraising tour. Tim and his group started in Boston, but you can join him in DC.

2:00pm First-Ever National Women’s Cycling Forum
Women across the US bike at much lower rates than men. Come explore the issues and discuss ways to encourage  the ladies in your life to get on bikes (Co-hosted by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals).

Wednesday

6:00pm Women’s Cycling Social
Come mingle with the women who are making waves in the active transportation world at BusBoys and Poets (Co-hosted by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals).

6:00pm For your Disapproval Ride
Join local shop, BicycleSPACE, for a group ride to the BikeSnobNYC book-signing of his latest, ever-so-cynical gem: The Enlightened Cyclist (Check out the trailer).

Friday

9:30am-11:00am Congressional Bike Ride
Take the morning off,  jump on your bike, and meet up with hundreds of bike advocates throughout the country for the Summit’s final hoorah hosted by WABA. We’ll tour new bike infrastructure and you’ll make some new friends.

Know of anything else going on, organizing a ride or a happy hour? Share your NBS events in the comment feed.  And don’t forget to share your experiences on Twitter using the Summit’s hashtag: #NBS12

WABA Testifies in Support of Prince George’s Council Bill CB-2-2012

End of the Sidewalk

End of the Sidewalk by M.V. Jantzen, on Flickr

As you’re riding along a side path or walking along a sidewalk of a busy suburban road, the path mysteriously ends. There is nowhere to go except onto the busy street, a grassy shoulder, or a narrow dirt path. Suburban bicyclists and pedestrians know this situation all too well.

WABA testified in support of Prince George’s Co. Council Bill CB-2-2012 titled “Adequate Public Pedestrian and Bikeway Facilities in Centers and Corridors” at the February 15th, 2012 meeting of the Planning, Zoning, Economic and Development Committee. Co-sponsored by Eric Olson (District 3) and Mel Franklin (District 9), CB-2-2012 would require new developments to fill in the missing links in walking and biking facilities from the neighborhoods to the new development.

WABA strongly supports this bill and the leadership of Councilmembers Olson and Franklin in creating safe bicycling and pedestrian connections in Prince George’s Co. During the hearing there was discussion about the proposed financial limits for developers, the maximum required distances of the connection and how “adequate” connections should be measured. We believe these are important points of discussion but should be made in the regulation process and not through legislation. The full text of the bill can be downloaded here.

WABA Releases 2011 Regional Call to Action

Last week, at its regional summit on bicycling advocacy, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) previewed its Regional Call to Action for better bicycling in the area. The Call to Action focuses on making bicycling a viable form of transportation for a much broader segment of the population.

Currently, approximately 3% of DC residents bike to work according to the most recent American Community Survey. WABA’s goal is to continue to improve cycling conditions for those who already bike, but to make improvements in a way that will induce the 60% of people who say that they are interested in biking, but concerned about some element, to give cycling a try.

“We need to think bigger and think broader about making bicycling appealing to the average person who simply wants to get where he or she is going in a convenient, economical way,” says WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing. “For bicycling to become and remain a viable transportation option for the average person, it needs to be usable, connected, safe, and protected. While biking is great fun and great sport, it is also–in many parts of our region–the fastest and easiest and cheapest way to simply run an errand or make a short trip. In those parts of our region that lag behind, where conditions are not what they need to be for the average person to bike comfortably, we must accept the challenge and bring about improvements.”

WABA’s last Call to Action, in 2000, was directed to the District of Columbia government, and focused energy on the improvement of District bicycling facilities. In that 11 year period, the number of miles of bike lanes has jumped from less than three to more than fifty, the District Department of Transportation has built a reputable bike program, and bicycle mode share in DC has tripled.

This 2011 Regional Call to Action is directed to the bicycling community, encouraging every cyclist to get involved in the growth of cycling.

The full Regional Call to Action document is available for download at: http://www.waba.org/advocacy/documents/2011_call_to_action.pdf

Nov. 3rd Call to Action Summit’s Speakers

WABA’s upcoming Regional Call to Action Summit on November 3rd is going to be an exciting day for bicycle advocacy in the Washington region.  Over the last two months, WABA has held five of the six local stakeholder meetings in Maryland, Virginia and DC (the sixth and final meeting is next Monday, 10/17 in Fairfax Co.) to listen to members, supporters, advocates, bike shop owners and other community members about what is needed to improve bicycling in the region.  With this feedback in mind, WABA staff and board are creating a Regional Call to Action document to help prioritize the next five years of bicycle advocacy.   The November 3rd Regional Call to Action Summit will present this document along with others speakers and panels related to the report.  Below is the schedule for the speakers and panel.  Learn more about the Summit at waba.org/events/summit.php.  Please join us on November 3rd and please RSVP.

8:30 am – Gathering & Coffee

9:30 am – Welcome

9:45 am – Tools for Planning Healthy Communities - Gina Arlotto (WABA’s Safe Routes to School Network Coordinator)

10:15 am – Crashed! Your Legal Rights In A Bicycle Accident – Bruce Deming, Lawyer

11:00 am – Panel: Regional Bikesharing – Speakers TBA

12:00 pm – Lunch Break (1 1/2 hour)

1:30pm – Panel: Planning Bicycle & Pedestrian Access to Metro – Nat Bottigheimer (WMATA Assistant General Manager), Patrick Schmitt (WMATA Parking Manager), Kristin Haldeman (WMATA Manager of Access Planning & Policy Analysis), Justin Antos (WMATA Transportation Analyst)

2:30 – Panel: The Role of Bicycle Businesses in Advocacy – Jakob Wolf-Barnett (Chief Operating Officer, Revolutions Cycles), Erik Kugler (Owner, BicycleSPACE), Stephen Marks (Managing Partner, Bike the Sites), Debora Hardng (CEO, City Bikes), Anne Mader (Owner, The Bike Lane)

3:30 pm - WABA’s Presentation of Regional Call to Action

4:30 pm – Summit End

Planning to Extend the WB&A Trail in Both Directions

WABA is urging Prince Georges County to continue with plans to connect the Anacostia River Tributary Trails with the Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis Trail. At the annual budget hearing last week, WABA board member Jim Titus urged the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) to authorize $45,000 this year to extend the WB&A trail about 2 miles westward across US-50 and the Capital Beltway. (See map).

The WB&A Trail follows the right of way of the old WB&A railroad from the Patuxent River in Bowie to MD-450 in Lanham. MD-704 has been built along the right of way from about that point to the DC line. Many people who use the WB&A Trail would like to continue along MD-704, but doing to can be hazardous because the speed of traffic is typically 55-60 mph, and there is no shoulder along MD-704 until one crosses to the other side of US-50.

Extending the WB&A across US-50 and the Capital Beltway would immediately improve the usefulness of the trail because the Beltway is often a serious barrier to mobility. It would also provide a route to the New Carrollton Metro. On the broader scale, extending the WB&A across the Beltway is a key step toward the eventual goal of a trail between the WB&A and the Anacostia River.

Last year, Councilman Eric Olson persuaded M-NCPPC to commission a design study on how to connect the WB&A to the Anacostia River Trail. More than $125,000 was set aside for the study, whose scope of work included the following task:

Identify appropriate long-term improvements necessary for a safe and attractive bicycle and pedestrian connection(s) linking the Anacostia Trail Network with the WB&A Trail. This portion of the study should address the “big picture” of how we ultimately want to connect the Anacostia Tributaries Trails Network with the WB&A Trail over the long term. This route(s) may serve as the alignment for the East Coast Greenway and the America Discovery Trail within Prince George’s County, as well as serving as a critical east-west connection in the countywide trails network.

The winning contractor’s bid was for less than half the money—but in the end, the contractor only did half the job. The study designed a trail from the Anacostia River to New Carrollton, but not the “safe and attractive connection” between New Carrollton and the WB&A Trail. We are hoping that M-NCPPC will now complete the study—possibly using the funds that were left over from last year.

M-NCPPC’s decision to focus on the inner portion of the Anacostia to WB&A corridor is understandable, given the County’s need for safe bike routes into the District of Columbia. Yet the near-term opportunities from extending the WB&A may be just as great. This two-mile extension would probably be built by the State Highway Administration (SHA) because it will follow MD-704. It is already the county’s top bike-ped request to SHA. While SHA’s budget is down, it has not declined to the same extent as M-NCPPC‘s budget, which relies on the property tax in a county where assessment are down 40%. So this is an opportunity to leverage scarce resources to accomplish something big.

We are mindful that many of our members are especially interested in extending the WB&A Trail east into Anne Arundel County, where a 4-mile segment to Odenton has been built. Officials hope to eventually build a trail along the right of way of the WB&A’s South Shore line from Odenton to Annapolis. For the last decade the planned trail crossing over the Patuxent River has been on hold because the owners of the right of way on the Anne Arundel side of the river oppose the trail. (We offer our condolences to the family of Buz Meyer, the most prominent foe of the trail, a devoted naturalist, and community-minded environmental educator and gun safety instructor, who died last month.) Although Anne Arundel County and a developer own the land immediately next to the right of way, the County has chosen not to pursue a trail next to the right of way, for reasons it has not stated publicly. (County officials did make off-the-record statements about their thinking; but it is unclear whether those reasons are still relevant today.)

County officials have instead pursued a detour that would cross the Patuxent River about ½ mile northwest of where the trail currently reaches the river on the Maryland side. The Maryland State Highway Administration and M-NCPPC are cooperating with Anne Arundel on the detour crossing.

Rail trails almost always follow the old railroad right of way as closely as possible, unless there are unusually compelling reasons for a significant detour. Such reasons may exist in this case, but so far they have not been articulated to the public.

WABA is unlikely to play a leading role in the extension of the WB&A Trail eastward from Bowie to Odenton and beyond. Our area of advocacy includes Prince Georges County, but not Anne Arundel County. Nevertheless, we are concerned that the long-established plans of Prince George County and the City of Bowie for the trail to cross the Patuxent near the old railroad bed may be cast aside for an inferior detour, without a serious effort by local governments or the State of Maryland to engage cycling organizations in a dialogue about the alternative routes and potential costs and benefits of each option. We hope that the voices of bicycling advocates statewide, including groups like like Bike Maryland, the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and the Prince Georges Bicycle and Trail advisory Committee, will all be consulted before the state or M-NCPPC takes significant steps to move the trail’s crossing away from the railroad right of way.

Shape the next 5 years of bicycle advocacy in the Washington, DC region!

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is pleased to announce its Regional Call to Action Summit on November 3rd, 2011 in Arlington, VA. At the Call to Action Summit, WABA will be presenting a five-year plan of regional and local priorities for bicycling in the Washington Region. The summit will include presentations on the Metro’s long-term bicycle and pedestrian plans, health planning and bicycles, a panel discussion on the economics of the bicycle industry and much more.

We want your input on the regional plan!

1) Please attend a Local Stakeholder’s Meeting

We will be holding short, two hour meetings in the six local jurisdictions that WABA serves in order to gather your ideas and give you–the region’s local bicyclists–a chance to provide input for the regional plan. We ask attendees to please download and complete the Pre-Meeting Planning Sheet prior to the meeting.

9/13 – Prince George’s Co. – Greenbelt Library Aud., 6pm to 8pm – More Info & RSVP
9/20 – Montgomery Co. - Kensington Park Comm. Library, 6pm to 8pm – More Info & RSVP
9/27 – Arlington Co. – Shirlington Branch Library, 6:30pm to 8:30pm – More Info & RSVP
10/4 – Alexandria Co. – Nannie J Lee Rec. Center, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm – More Info & RSVP
10/11 – District of Columbia – Benning Library, 6:30pm to 8:30pm – More Info & RSVP
10/17 – Fairfax Co. – Patrick Henry Library, Vienna, VA, 6pm to 8pm – More Info & RSVP

2) Can’t make the local meeting?

The one page PDF planning sheet gives a basic framework for providing input for the five year regional priority plan we are creating. Whether you are at your local meeting or not, WABA and your fellow bike advocates want to hear from you!

Please submit your input by emailing advocacy@waba.org by October 21st, 2011

Attend the Regional Call to Action Summit on November 3rd, 2011

Time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Call to Action Summit Location
Waterview Conference Center
1919 N Lynn St
Arlington, VA 22209

Google Map Link (create bicycle directions!)
Metro Accessible via the Rosslyn Station on the Blue & Orange Lines
Bike Accessible via the Mount Vernon Trail, Custis Trail & the Key Bridge

More information and to RSVP for the November 3rd Call to Action Summit

We hope to see you at a local meeting or the Call to Action Summit on November 3rd.



WABA’s 2011 Annual Members Meeting

Join WABA staff and Board of Directors as we take time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead. The evening will include elections for the Board of Directors, presentations by WABA staff, and awards for local advocates and volunteers. Light food and drinks will be served.

As a member of WABA, you are welcome and encouraged to attend the annual meeting. To help us better prepare for the event,  Please RSVP!

Monday, September 19th
6:30-8:30pm
Silver Spring Civic Building
One Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD

Switch to our mobile site