Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’
Ride with us in celebration of Mothers of the world and women who bike throughout the world. This Sunday our Women & Bicycles program is joining BikeArlington and Black Women Bike DC to commemorate Mother’s Day and CycloFemme, the global celebration of women bicycling.
The Mother’s Day Picnic Ride begins in three locations throughout the region and we’ll all meet up at Hains Point for celebratory laps and picnic snacks. To get a better look at the ride routes check out our event map. This is a family-friendly, co-ed “sun dress” ride. We’re inviting the whole family to share the bike love and for the men out there, we encourage you to show your support by wearing your favorite sun dress!
To learn more and share with friends, visit our event page.
Ride with the Marlyand group
Please join WABA at the Silver Spring Metro Station at 12pm. We’ll go for an hour-long leisure ride through the city and meet up at Hains Point. After the picnic, you’ll have the choice to take the Metro home, or return to Silver Spring around 3:30pm.
Ride with the DC group
Meet up with the Silver Spring convoy at 12:45pm at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (14th St NW and Park St Nw)
Ride with the Virginia group
Please join BikeArlington at the Ballston Metro Station at 12pm. We’ll go for an hour-long ride on some of Arlington’s off street trails and bike lanes through the city, and we will end the ride at Hains point. After the picnic, you’ll have the choice to take the Metro home, or ride home with us.
New to bicycling?
Fantastic! We’re so glad you can join us. Group rides are great opportunities to hone your bike skills through experience and through conversation. We will start and end the ride with a quick skillshare on bicycling and city streets.
What to bring
Your bicycle and helmet are required for this ride. We also suggest bringing water, sunscreen, a picnic item to enjoy by yourself or share, clothing (your sun dress!) that will keep you comfortable depending on the weather, and bring your friends and family. We will have a bike pump, and basic repair tools at the start of all the rides.
What is Cyclofemme? They’re a socially-driven grass-roots celebration of women on bikes, “We are of a growing community, for a growing community, and 100% volunteer-based. Our annual Mother’s Day ride unites riders, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or bicycle preference to share in the joy of cycling.” CycloFemme is a day of action, a day to follow through with our pledge to get more women on bikes, and a day to hail the growth of the bicycle movement. In just one year CycloFemme has gone from 163 registered group rides throughout the world, to 227 rides, and we’re so happy to join in on the celebration. #WeRideTogether
Whether you have been a WABA member for years or just joined, you benefit in countless ways—like access to an array of enticing member benefits. To ensure that you don’t miss out on these awesome benefits, we wanted to remind you that as a WABA member you get:
- Discounts on parts, accessories, and/or bikes at over 50 area bike shops in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
- Use of one of our bike “boxes” (i.e. bike carrying case) for bike travel by plane or train (pictured)
- Four issues of RideOn, WABA’s quarterly newsletter
- Discounts on all WABA rides (including Vasa and 50 States) and at all WABA events (including Bike Prom, BikeFest, and the WABA holiday party)
- Savings on all WABA merchandise
- Ability to obtain Maryland “Share the Road” License Plates if you are a Maryland resident
You also get discounts from our community business partners (when you present a current membership card or discount code). Those include:
- Annie’s Ace Hardware: 5% off one item under $50
- Bike and Roll: $10 off bike rentals and/or bike tours
- Bike Escapades: $150 off bike touring trips (plus $150 donated to WABA)
- Brighter Days Collective Dog Walking & Pet Sitting: Get the cost of your WABA membership taken off your dog-walking or pet-sitting bill
- Car2Go: Free Car2Go membership, plus 30 minutes of free drive time. Contact email@example.com for discount code
- Czech Active Tours: $50 off bike rentals
- Embody Pure Fitness: 15% off personal training packages, plus a free fitness evaluation
- Flow Yoga: 15% discount on all yoga classes
- Gottaswing: 20% off beginner dance classes at D.C. locations (for first-time students)
- Lunar Massage: Free membership to Lunar Massage
- Rentabikenow.com: Save $5 on a bike reservation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for discount code.
- Results Gym: Discounted gym enrollment
- Tranquil Space: Receive unlimited 15% discount on 1-,6-, or 10-class yoga passes
- YMCA: Reduced enrollment and 10% off monthly dues at D.C., MD, and VA locations. Discount does not apply at the new 14th & W NW location
- Zipcar: Half off first year annual fee ($30). Contact email@example.com for discount code.
Are you a business interested in offering a benefit to WABA members? Contact our Membership Coordinator Megan Van de Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.518.0524 x203.
Tomorrow, SB 736 will be heard in the full transportation committee of Virginia’s House of Representatives. SB 736 would make it illegal in Virginia to “open the door of a motor vehicle on the side adjacent to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.” A violation would constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine no more than $100.
We’ve written about the dooring bill here previously and have urged you, if you’re a Virginia resident, to take action to support it. Thanks in part to your dedicated and vocal support, SB 736 passed the House’s transportation subcommittee, where it was voted for by delegates Richard Anderson and J. Randall Minchew.
We appreciate any additional support you can give to SB 736 in advance of its hearing tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Constituents of delegates Anderson and Minchew should express thanks for their support of the bill in subcommittee, and constituents of Thomas Rust and Barbara Comstock should reiterate that their support is needed for this bill, which would make dooring illegal.
Contact information for Virginia delegates can be found here.
It feels like we’ve been talking about our Women & Bicycles program forever. We’re preparing to finally, finally launch it officially in March—and we’ve got a lot to do before then. We sent out the first Women & Bicycles Bulletin to those who signed up for our email list today, and we’re reposting the information here. If you’d like to receive these updates (they’re bi-weekly notices about what’s going on in the program) in your inbox, sign up here if you haven’t already. Otherwise, read on!
A brief review of the Women & Bicycles philosophy: This program is designed to create opportunities for helpful exchanges between two different groups, women who already bicycle and women who are interested in bicycling. To do this, we’re sponsoring a season of workshops, rides, and meetups, all of which will encourage skillsharing. This type of community-based guidance has worked for ages, but it’s a new approach to getting more people on bicycles; WABA’s program is the first of its kind in the country.
Here’s some news and ways you can get involved:
Become a Roll Model
We are looking for 10 women to serve as the program’s bicycling mentors, known as Roll Models. For more information on the role of Roll Models, expectations, time commitments, and the many benefits of getting involved, click here to visit our Roll Model Application. Take a look, pass it along, and apply! (Please submit by Friday, Feb. 22nd.)
We released our logo a few weeks ago. Some people love it, some don’t heart the hearts, and some have questioned the utility of the logo-bike’s wheels. We appreciate the feedback! Women & Bicycles is intended to initiate a regional discussion about perceptions of gender and bicycling. We’re keeping the logo: It originated from a doodle that program coordinator Nelle has drawn on notebooks, dry-erase boards, and thank-you notes since she started biking.
Interact With Us
We’ve set up a Facebook page that we hope will become a consistent resource for all women who bike. It will serve as a place to ask questions, post ideas, upcoming events, new discoveries, and share general bicycling cheer. Click here to join. It’s a private group, but we encourage you to invite your friends.
And we’re on Instagram! Check us out, follow our account (“womenandbicycles”), and tag your women-and-bikey photos with #womenbikeDC. Your photos will be posted directly to our website to show the program in action.
Women & Bicycles Launch Party, Presented by the League of American Bicyclists
We’re throwing a party with Women Bike, the League of American Bicyclists’ National women’s outreach program. It’s also the kick-off to the second annual National Women’s Cycling Forum, part of the National Bike Summit. Join us for drinks, hear updates on the program, learn about what the League’s doing, and interact with women from all across the U.S. who bike for transportation. Click here to learn more and register for the Launch Party.
Register for the National Women’s Bicycling Forum
The day after the launch party is the National Women’s Bicycling Forum, the opening event of the National Bike Summit. The Forum hosts groups and individuals who work throughout the country to get more women on bikes. Check out the program and you’ll notice there are many D.C.-area bike advocacy stars in the line-up. Click here to learn more and register for the Women’s Bicycling forum.
We hope to see you online and in real life soon!
Tomorrow, a transportation subcommittee in the Virginia State House will consider two very important bills which will greatly affect area bicyclists. Please take action immediately!
SB 736 would make it illegal in Virginia to “open the door of a motor vehicle on the side adjacent to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.” The bill will be heard tomorrow morning (Wed., Feb. 6) in the House Transportation Sub-committee #2. Please contact members of the committee ASAP (preferably before 7:00 a.m. tomorrow) and ask them to support SB736. Take action now.
SB 959 would allow local governments to adopt ordinances requiring users of shared-use paths to stop before crossing highways, even when no other parties are present. This bill needlessly introduces redundant regulation and excessive fines (even more than if a car ran a stop sign, in some cases!) and should be voted down. Please contact members of the committee ASAP, preferably before 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, and ask them to oppose SB959. Take action now.
The Virginia state legislative session is very short and bills move quickly; we appreciate you taking swift action to make your voice heard.
With the start of a new year, many of us make fitness-related resolutions. Whether we hope to lose weight, eat better, or simply feel better in our bodies, the beginning of the year is a great time to start a new fitness routine. However, the chillier temperatures can sometimes dissuade us from wanting to hop on our bikes to achieve those goals. Luckily for members, some of WABA’s discount partners offer indoor exercise opportunities.
As a WABA member, you receive discounts at Results Gym, Embody Pure Fitness, and the YMCA.
- Results Gym offers discounted enrollment at its Capitol Hill and downtown locations. It provides personal training, nutrition services, rock climbing, hydroworx training pool, cardio theater, a variety of classes (yoga, cycling, abs, karate, dance, etc.), massage, squash and basketball courts, and more.
- Embody Pure Fitness, located in Adams Morgan, offers a 15 percent discount on any personal trainer package. It specializes in boot camp workouts, kettlebells, TRX, nutrition, and rehabilitation services.
- YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, at its D.C., Maryland, and Virginia locations, offers reduced enrollment and 10% off monthly dues. It offers aquatics, youth and adults sports, fitness, yoga, dance, childcare, and more. This discount does not apply at the new 14th & W NW location in D.C.
Spend more time improving your health, but save money while doing so.
Now that’s a member benefit!
Last night, we had a great turnout at our office to talk about transportation policy changes in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. While DDOT is gearing up to produce its first-ever master transportation plan, Maryland is revising its bicycle and pedestrian master plan and the Virginia senate is considering a number of bills that could affect cyclists. Last night’s open house was designed to give attendees more information, as well as some talking points.
Those interested in Maryland’s bicycle and pedestrian plan should sign up to receive updates from MDOT here. And Virginians can follow the Virginia Bicycling Federation’s blog for frequent updates on what the senate is considering.
As for D.C., planning for WeMove will occur on two tracks, one technical and one involving public input. WeMove is designed to emphasize the feedback gathered at public meetings. Though a schedule of those meetings has not been released, the process will kick off on Sat., Feb. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. library downtown. We hope you’ll come out to show the presence of cyclists interested in DDOT’s plans for how people will get around D.C. throughout the next decade. The best thing you can do is show up and ask for improvements for cycling infrastructure that will help not just you, your friends, and your neighbors ride bikes.
We’ll provide continued updates here and throughout our website. Look for dates of public meetings, opportunities to testify, and more fact sheets to help you out with possible talking points.
In the meantime, you can view and download a PDF of the fact sheet we handed out last night below regarding WeMove:
The Virginia Senate Transportation Committee will consider two bicycle-related bills this afternoon, Wed., Jan., 23. We need you to respectfully ask the Senate Transportation Committee members to:
- Support SB 1060, introduced by Senator Reeves, which would prohibit motorists from rear-ending or side-swiping bicyclists (i.e., following bicyclists too closely or passing bicyclists with less than a 3-foot gap).
- Oppose SB 731, introduced by Senator Carrico, which would prohibit riding mopeds on highways with speed limits above 35 miles per hour. If moped riding is banned, bicycling may be next!
You can identify and contact your state legislators from the Who’s My Legislator page.
If your senator is listed below, call or email them directly. Constituent calls really matter. Otherwise, you can call or email all three committee members from Northern Virginia or bulk email the entire 14-member committee by simply copying the email addresses on this page and pasting them into your email’s “to:” field.
Senate Transportation Committee Members from Northern Virginia:
- Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st District), (804) 698-7531, <email@example.com>
- Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37th District), (804) 698-7537, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Sen. Chuck Colgan (D-29th District), (804) 698-7529, <email@example.com>
Thank you for acting on very short notice to improve bicycling in Virginia. Unfortunately, bills move swiftly in the Virginia General Assembly, and we learned only yesterday afternoon that these bill would be heard today. If the Senate Transportation Committee reports these bill today, they will be considered by the full Senate in just a few days. Please check our blog for regular updates. We’ll try not too email you too frequently.
Due to the response to our recent action alerts, the Virginia Senate has already passed SB 736 (which prohibits dooring), whereas the House Transportation Committee has passed HB 1950 (which prohibits rear-ending bicyclists) with a 20-1 vote.
Over 1,800 bicyclists crossed the 14th Street bridge on Sept.13th, 2011.
That number has no doubt increased by now. Most cyclists riding on the bridge during the morning rush are coming from Virginia to major employment hubs: Federal Triangle, downtown D.C., and Capitol Hill. Those “in the know” riders are conditioned to the fractured connection between the 14th Street bridge and the 15th Street cycletrack. That’s not typically the case with new riders and visitors to the city who don’t know about, or can’t find, this important connection.
The connection between the bridge and the 15th Street cycletrack simply does not accommodate the amount of traffic that crosses it. Improving the connection would also allow cyclists to easily access from the bridge D.C.’s growing network of protected bike lanes outside of 15th Street, including those on Pennsylvania Avenue, L Street NW, and, soon, M Street NW. Extending the 15th Street cycletrack would give cyclists access to downtown bike lanes and multi-use paths on the National Mall.
Three easy projects, described below, would help to better connect the 14th Street Bridge to the 15th Street cycletracks.
Extend the 15th cycletrack one block south, to Constitution Avenue
Currently, the cycletrack on 15th Street NW ends at Pennsylvania Avenue. Bicyclists headed south are dumped onto a wide street with many tour buses and fast-moving traffic. Less experienced riders often choose the sidewalk, which has heavy pedestrian traffic and can be filled with vendors selling T-shirts and hats. DDOT’s original cycletrack plans included an extension one block south, but that was never built. So let’s build it!
Sign the route
The Mall is filled with multi-use sidewalks to view our national memorials. There is plenty of space on these paths that pedestrians and bicyclists can share. But new riders and tourists do not know the bike routes across the Mall. Wayfinding signs, which can explain the bike route for those traveling between the 15th Street cycletrack to 14th Street Bridge, should be installed. Those signs should also tell pedestrians to be aware of the presence of bicyclists. Bicyclists who feel comfortable using the road can still do so, but signing the route would give an alternative to inexperienced riders.
Fix the path to the 14th Street Bridge and multi-use sidewalks around the Tidal Basin
The paved path from the Jefferson Memorial to the 14th Street bridge needs serious repair. The 8-foot width is insufficient, and DDOT long ago placed an interstate sign support directly in the path of trail users. The path needs to be widened to at least 12 feet, and the sign needs to be moved. Also, the multi-use sidepaths around the Tidal Basin, between the bridge, need attention. There are pinch points along desired riding routes, especially at intersection of 15th Street SW and Maine Avenue SW. Fixing these small issues would go a long way for improving the riding experience.
The 14th Street Bridge is a major river crossing for area bicyclists coming to downtown from Virginia. Now is time to finish the connection with a few immediate fixes.
View Connect Virginia Cyclists to DC in a larger map
Earlier this week, Allen Muchnick—a longtime bicycling advocate, WABA member, former WABA board member, and current VBF board member—gave us an update on his ongoing efforts to ensure that safe bicycling accommodations are included in the widening of Route 1 through Fort Belvoir.
Fort Belvoir is just south of Mount Vernon on Route 1. That portion of Route 1 is designated as U.S. Bicycle Route 1, a Florida-to-Maine bicycle route used by long-distance riders. Given Fort Belvoir’s proximity to the Mount Vernon Trail and Route 1′s importance as a connector for northern Virginia cyclists, including accommodations for bikes on the widened road is a critical matter for regional bicyclists.
Local cyclists must speak up: Under current plans, VDOT will not create sufficient safe space for bicyclists in a project that improves a portion of roadway that their own mapping recognizes as part of one of the nation’s most important biking routes.
Please take a moment to send a comment to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board and the head of VDOT stating that Route 1 must be designed to allow for bicyclists to travel safely.
A more extensive explanation from Allen is below:
During the past two years, the Federal Highway Administration, Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD), has conducted environmental planning studies for widening 3.4 miles of U.S. Route 1 through Fort Belvoir in southern Fairfax County, under a $180 million federal allocation from the Defense Access Roads program of the US DoD. Recently, EFLHD has issued a Finding of No Significant Impacts (FONSI) for its Environmental Assessment and Section 4(F) Evaluation on November 20, 2012, and on December 11 asked the Washington area MPO, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), to amend its Transportation Improvement Program at its January 23, 2013 meeting to include this project for construction.
I’ve been monitoring the phased widening of US-1 segments in Fairfax and Prince William Counties ever since a VDOT Route 1 Corridor Widening Study concluded in 1997 with a recommendation (in response to comments from cyclists) to accommodate bicycling on the roadway of this “urban boulevard” with 15-foot wide curb lanes for all 27 miles between the Capital Beltway/City of Alexandria and the Stafford County line, as well as provide a 10-wide shared foot path and a 5-foot wide sidewalk on opposite sides of the roadway.
While I’d have preferred a recommendation for on-road bike lanes, VDOT was evidently reluctant to designate bike lanes on relatively high-speed roadways, and a 15-foot wide curb lane provides enough space to be eventually striped as an 11-foot travel lane beside a 4-foot bike lane. Moreover, at the time, VDOT had no plans to re-align US Bike Route 1 with US-1 anywhere along this 27-mile corridor.
Since then, US Bike Route 1 has been blockaded through Fort Belvoir since the base was closed to the public in September 2001, while VDOT has provided no alternative routing pending EFLHD’s construction of a new parallel connecting road (Mulligan Rd) between US-1 and Telegraph Rd (Rte 611) which is scheduled to open in late 2013. Meanwhile, VDOT’s website now depicts US-1 through Fort Belvoir as the alignment of US Bike Route 1 and that alignment would considerably shorten USBR 1 in this area compared to following Old Mill Rd/Mulligan Rd to Telegraph Rd and then following Telegraph Rd to its southern terminus at US-1 in Lorton. (Despite being intended as a segment of USBR 1, Mulligan Rd is currently being built by EFLHD with 14-foot curb lanes rather than with 15-foot curb lanes or bike lanes.)
As late as 2003, VDOT’s recommendation for 15-foot wide outside lanes to accommodate bicycling on US-1 was retained in VDOT’s Route 1 Location Study and in the three draft Environmental Assessments which the FHWA endorsed in 2003. However, in October 2011, when EFLHD held its first public information meeting for the Fort Belvoir segment of Rte 1, I learned that EFLHD had reduced the width of the curb lanes from 15-feet to 14-feet. I immediately wrote to the EFLHD project manager as well as to VDOT bicycle program staff in NoVA and Richmond, the Fairfax County bicycle coordinator, and others. I also attended EFLHD’s second public information meeting on June 5, 2012 where I submitted both written comments and oral comments with the court reporter, and I again asked VDOT and Fairfax County staff to intervene and support the retention of 15-foot wide curb lanes in this project.
The comment summaries for both EFLHD public meetings include my requests to retain 15-foot curb lanes for bicycling (and to stripe them as 4-foot bike lanes plus 11-foot travel lane), but the approved Environmental Assessment still specifies 14-foot curb lanes. The roadway design specifies a 148-foot wide right of way with three travel lanes in each direction and a 32-wide landscaped median which is reserved as a potential dedicated future transitway. Furthermore, at least two intersections will be designed with triple left-turn-only lanes, and other intersections will have double right-turn-only lanes and/or double left-turn-only lanes. In view of the desirability and the outside pressures to not further widen the roadway, I have recommended that the proposed 39-foot width of mainline roadway (excluding concrete gutters) in each direction simply be reconfigured as a 12.5-foot inside lane, an 11.5-foot middle lane, an 11-foot outside lane, and a 4-foot bike lane. With dedicated right-turn lanes at each intersection, I believe that roadway bicyclists would be far better accommodated, especially at intersection approaches, by a roadway designed with designated bike lanes than by a roadway with wide curb lanes. Regardless, a 14-foot lane is too narrow for a bicyclist to safely share laterally with 50-MPH traffic.
To initiate a final push for bike lanes or at least 15-foot curb lanes in this project, I made the attached public comment at the Dec. 19 TPB meeting. Several TPB members were supportive of my comments [but no changes have yet been made].