5 Things to Do for Bicycling in DC this Month

Every year, the DC Council holds public hearings to consider the performance of each of the city’s agencies. For bicycle advocates with a little spare time on weekdays, it is a prime opportunity to talk directly to councilmembers and agency heads to highlight strengths and areas of improvement for an agency.

Here’s a list of those public hearings and forums:

Wednesday, February 13 at 10:00 am: Department of For Hire Vehicles

  • Persons wishing to testify about the performance of any of the foregoing agencies may contact: Chanell Autrey (cautrey@dccouncil.us) or by calling 202-724-8053.
  • Issues of concern:
    • Education, training and testing of for-hire drivers
    • Collecting reports of driver behavior
    • Uber & Lyft parking in bike lanes & dooring
    • Ticketing and retraining as behavior modification tools

Friday, February 15 at 11:00 am: Department of Public Works 

  • Persons wishing to testify about the performance of any of the foregoing agencies may contact: Aukima Benjamin (abenjamin@dccouncil.us) or by calling 202-724-8062.
  • Issues of concern:
    • Leaf collection in protected bike lanes
    • Parking enforcement
    • Proactive enforcement in high-infraction areas
    • Reprioritizing from resident parking violations to traffic safety (bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalk, illegal loading etc.)
    • Responsiveness to reports of illegal parking/safety issue
    • Alternative enforcement options (eg. citizen reports)

Monday, Febraury 25 at 11:00 am: District Department of Transportation

  • Persons wishing to testify about the performance of any of the foregoing agencies may contact: Aukima Benjamin (abenjamin@dccouncil.us) or by calling 202-724-8062.
  • Issues of concern:
    • Design & construction of multi-use trails like the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Anacostia River Trail, South Capitol St. Trail, etc.
    • Design & construction of on-street bicycle infrastructure like bike lanes and protected bike lanes
    • Are sufficient resources being devoted to improving options for safe biking and walking?
    • Dockless bikeshare & scooters
    • The pace of expansion of the bicycle network & reaching goals

Mayor Bowser’s Budget Engagement Forum

  • Thursday, February 21 at 6:30 pm: Budget Engagement Forum at the Arthur Capper Community Center (1001 5th Street, SE)
  • Saturday, February 23 at 10:00 am: Budget Engagement Forum at the Deanwood Recreation Center (1350 49th Street, NE)
  • Monday, February 25 at 6:30 pm: Budget Engagement Forum at Roosevelt High School (4301 13th Street, NW)

RSVP here

Public Meeting for the WB&A Trail Bridge!

Do you know about the bridge across the Patuxent River that will connect the two pieces of the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail?

Well, it’s going to be amazing. AND it’s one step closer to reality!

Anne Arundel County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Department of Recreation & Parks will host a public meeting to discuss the WB&A Trail Bridge at Patuxent River Capital Project.

What: WB&A Trail Bridge Public Meeting (more info)

When: Wednesday, February 13, 6 pm

Where: Two Rivers Community Center/Clubhouse, 1425 Two Rivers Blvd, Odenton, MD 21113

Submit written comments: Email Dawn Thomas (rpthom00@aacounty.org)

The WB&A Trail has a gorgeous segment in Anne Arundel County, and an equally fantastic portion in Prince George’s County. But the trail is cut apart by a significant barrier—the Patuxent River.

At Patuxent River Park looking over the gap into Anne Arundel County, MD.

Last year, the project was awarded $4.7M, proving that the bridge was a priority for Maryland. The WB&A Trail has been a WABA priority for decades, and this funding commitment was an important win.

The trail bridge will be located south of Conway Road in Odenton and will connect the two trail segments. And it’s not just about local connectivity—this link will be a component of national trails, like the East Coast Greenway and American Discovery Trail!

Bikes, Books and Brunch!

Bikes, Books and Brunch is back! For our first event this year, we’ll be biking to Bellevue/William Lockridge Library in Ward 8 to read Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. This is a New York Times Best Seller from our former First Lady.

If you have seen or attended any of her events then you know how enlightening this book will be. I have heard nothing but great things about it! So let’s bike and have brunch provided by MLK Deli while we discuss this amazing book.

We encourage you to get the book at your local library or bookstore. Alternatively, the book is available on Amazon.com or on Audible.com.

Ride Details:

When: March 9th at 11:00am

Where: We’ll meet at the THEARC and ride over to the Bellevue Library.

This ride is free and about four miles, roundtrip! Please bring funds to get brunch.

Helmets are required. The ride will be rain or shine! If it rains and you don’t want to ride, feel free to meet us at Bellevue Library for the book discussion and brunch.

Interested? Register for Bikes, Books and Brunch below! And be on the lookout for more dates to come.

Form not working? Register here.

Three bike projects coming to Downtown Silver Spring

Photo from CDOT

On Monday, February 4, please come learn about three bike projects coming to downtown Silver Spring. Montgomery County Department of Transportation staff will share plans and get your feedback on two small but important additions to the Silver Spring bike network and the first secure bike parking facility in the county!

  • Cameron to Planning Place Bikeway – a new north-south bike connection between the end of Fenton St at Cameron and the “Purple Pathway” leading to Spring St. and Woodland Dr.
  • Dixon Ave protected bike lanes – new north-south curb-protected bike lanes between Wayne Ave and Ripley St.
  • Silver Spring Secure Bike Parking – a secure bike parking room at Dixon & Bonifant will give Metro, MARC, bus and Purple Line riders, and area visitors a secure place to store their bike.

Silver Spring Bike Project Public Meeting

Monday, February 4, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Silver Spring International Middle School
313 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD

To learn more about these and other county bike projects before the meeting, visit bikemontgomery.com. If you cannot attend but want to share feedback, contact Matt Johnson, AICP, Project Manager at 240-777-7237 or Matt.Johnson@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov by February 20.


Where are the 2nd Ave and Wayne Ave protected bike lanes?

Late last fall, MCDOT broke ground on protected bike lanes on 2nd Ave. and Wayne Ave. between Spring St. and Georgia Ave. which form the second major piece of the Silver Spring Circle. Unfortunately, construction hit a few major utility and weather snags which delayed much of the early work. It should be back on track in early spring. Stay tuned for a celebration.


NOVA Parks considering a new e-assist bike policy

Do you ride an e-assist bike on a trail in Northern Virginia? Do you have thoughts about e-assist bikes on our paved paths?

NoVa Parks will hold a hearing on Feb. 7 in Lorton to discuss changes to its e-assist bike policy. Public comment is welcome. Find out more here.

What: Public Hearing on E-assist Bike use on NOVA Park Trails

When: February 7, 7 pm

Where: Jean R. Packard Center, Occoquan Regional Park, 9751 Ox Road, Lorton VA

Submit written comments: Email your written comments (by March 11) to Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov and NOVAParks@nvrpa.org.

This will be a joint hearing held by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board.

We’ve given a lot of thought about e-assist bikes on trails. This blog post will bring you up to speed on the different types of e-assist bikes, and WABA’s position on e-assist bikes.

We’ve heard from some of our members that e-assist bikes have kept them active into their older years, allowed them to carry both groceries AND kids on their bikes, and help make long commutes feel reasonable.

Is that the case for you? If so, share your story at the meeting on Feb. 7, or email your written comments (by March 11) to Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov and NOVAParks@nvrpa.org.

Lots of different kinds of people bike for lots of different reasons. Regardless of age or physical ability, our trails should be accessible to everyone.

Have questions about the proposed change in regulations? Read more about the proposed change in regulation and the hearing here.

The proposed changes to the Park Authority regulations would define an e-bike and clarify distinctions between e-bikes and mopeds. E-assist bikes would be allowed anywhere traditional pedal-powered bikes are allowed. Mopeds would be allowed only where motor vehicles are permitted.

The guidelines codify good etiquette and common courtesy. For example, under the regulations, e-bike riders have to yield to pedestrians and equestrians, keep speeds below 20 miles per hour, and follow the same access rules as other park visitors.

Do you still have questions about what an e-bike is, or what the regulations would apply to? Take a look at the background work that NoVa Parks has done on e-bikes, and read this whitepaper from Toole Design.

Figure courtesy of Toole Design for Jan 2019 NoVa Parks Regulations

We applaud NoVa Parks for examining their policy and for considering updating it.

Be a trail superstar, come join the Trail Ranger Team!

Ever wanted people to enthusiastically shout, “Thank you, you’re awesome!” to you on the job? Feel like a trail celebrity? (actual quote from a former Trail Ranger) Be part of a dynamic team of outreach trail champions? Get to directly improve your community through events and maintenance? Be paid to be outside on your bike for five months?

If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions, consider applying to be DC’s trail superstars as part of our seventh annual Trail Ranger team. We have a whole host of plans lined up for this season and we are looking for a team. More information and the job description can be found here. Applications are due March 3rd 2019 though candidates are strongly encouraged to apply earlier.

We’re Hiring: Part-Time DC Trail Rangers

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for five passionate and energetic professional trail champions with a wide diversity of skills for our 2019 Trail Ranger Team to serve trails and the people who use them throughout the District of Columbia. Now in our seventh season, the Trail Ranger program is a beloved presence on our local trails and has a strong reputation as a great working environment with high job satisfaction.

Ready to join us on the trails in 2019?

WABA’s Trail Ranger program encourages trail use through daily trail presence, improved upkeep, trail user assistance and community engagement. Reporting to our Trail Ranger Coordinator, Trail Rangers roam nearly 24 miles of trails within the District by bicycle. Trails included in the program are the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Anacostia River Trail, Suitland Parkway Trail, Marvin Gaye Trail, and connecting street routes. Trail Rangers act as trail ambassadors, offering a consistent and friendly presence April through September to make the trails more approachable, enjoyable, and dependable for transportation and recreation.

Intangible benefits include: working outside on those perfect spring days, getting to know your city better through talking with neighbors, and profuse appreciation from fellow trail users.

The Trail Ranger season begins April 17th and ends on September 30th, 2019. Pay will be $16 per hour for Trail Rangers, and $17 per hour for Lead Trail Rangers. WABA announces shift schedules in well in advance and there is flexibility for time off, allowing part-time employees to fulfill other obligations.

You can learn more about the Trail Ranger program here.

Roles & Responsibilities

You will:

  • Spend the majority of your work hours outside, biking on or between trails.
  • Work in shifts with a partner riding bikes at a relaxed, conversational pace on an 8 hour shift.
  • Collaborate with team members to determine daily priorities and share program information.
  • Support and encourage trail use with friendly and helpful trail presence, regular maintenance efforts and consistent outreach events, including:
    • Morning coffee outreach.
    • Trail rides.
    • Activity days with local organizations.
  • Help lower barriers to bicycling, build community, and build a more robust trail network.
    • Develop and maintain relationships with regular trail users and community members.
    • Bring new users to the trail through community outreach and engagement.
    • Individual conversations with trail neighbors and community groups.
  • Run cleanups and community events with the program coordinator.
  • Manage volunteers joining the team at events and on daily shifts.
  • Perform inspections of trail conditions and maintenance of trail corridors including pruning branches, gathering trash, removing obstructions and clearing debris.
  • Make regular reports on daily trail conditions, needs, and trends.
  • Work with the program coordinator and city agencies to respond to recurring or major trail maintenance issues.
  • Be outside in all weather, with the exemption of thunderstorms and other hazardous conditions.
  • Each team member will be individually responsible for an operational project, including: team bike maintenance, tools maintenance, and shift supplies.
  • Learn about the trails, and neighborhoods served by the trails.
  • Assist at other WABA events as needed.

Requirements

Candidates must have:

  • A proven track record for being dependable, timely, and communicative.
  • The willingness to be positive, engaging, and approachable in a public setting.
  • The willingness and enthusiasm to work collaboratively in a team setting.
  • The ability to thrive in a day-to-day self-supervised work environment.
  • The capacity to be available for 16-24 hours per week in 8 hour shifts with weekday and weekend availability. Shifts are:
    • 6:30 am – 2:30 pm and 11:00 am – 7:00 pm on weekdays.
    • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on weekends.
  • A commitment to work April 17th to September 30th, 2019.
  • The ability to ride a bike with a willingness to ride in mixed city traffic and off-street trails pulling a trailer.
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist.
  • A commitment to respect, include, and be kind to all.
  • The willingness to further their knowledge on trail and neighborhood history, and the societal impacts of race, gender and identity and how they intersect with their job.

Ideal candidates will have:

  • A proven track record for working collaboratively within a team.
  • A firm commitment to WABA’s mission.
  • Excellent communication skills in informal settings and across lines of difference.
  • Confidence interacting with and serving the public.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and capacity to innovate.
  • The ability to organize time wisely and juggle multiple priorities.
  • Lived experience with our program trails and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Trail Rangers operate as a team and benefit from the unique skills and talents of each team member. Ideally, one or more team member will have:

  • The knowledge of the principles of safe bicycling and traffic laws in DC.
  • The ability to lift up to 30 lbs.
  • Working knowledge of basic bicycle maintenance including patching a flat tire and adjusting brakes.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish, ASL or Amharic a strong plus.
  • Thorough attention to detail and experience with data tracking.
  • Previous experience as a DC Trail Ranger.

WABA welcomes previous Trail Rangers to apply as a Lead Trail Ranger. In addition to job responsibilities above, Lead Trail Rangers will:

  • Mentor and support Trail Rangers.
  • Run segments of orientation.
  • Be responsible for program elements, including: volunteer coordination, community outreach, event outreach.

Lead Trail Rangers must have:

  • Previous experience as a Trail Ranger.
  • A thoughtful approach to big picture program strategy.
  • The ability to teach and mentor.
  • The ability to lead program elements.

WABA is committed to:

  • Providing opportunities to learn new skills.
  • Promoting and building an inclusive, collaborative professional team environment.
  • Orientation and team management that prioritizes your well-being, including training in preventing common cycling injuries.
  • Doing our best to have a consistent schedule that respects your time and outside obligations.
  • Providing all the tools, bikes and materials needed to perform the job.

This position is part-time from April 17th, 2019 through September 30th, 2019 for approximately 20 hours per week.

Please email a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Trail Ranger” as the subject line. The Trail Ranger team benefits from a wide range of skills and life experiences. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Here are some helpful resources as your prepare your job application materials: compilation of resources and resume basics.

Applications will be accepted until March 3rd though candidates are strongly encouraged to apply earlier. Phone interviews will begin March 5th, hiring decisions will be made by March 29th and team orientation will be April 17th – April 19th. Phone calls at (202) 518-0524 x208 only if you do not have easy internet access please.

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

Some things we need to know about what’s happening in DC.

Tired of seeing bike lanes closed by construction?

There have been a lot of new conversations in the past year about better bicycling in the District. Through a series of announcements, organizational restructuring, and some strategic hires, the District has shown a new level of commitment to ending traffic fatalities and building the environment necessary to make that happen.

But the job has just begun. In most neighborhoods, making streets truly safe requires changing the design of the street with concrete, new geometry, and more. Too many of those critical projects are chronically overdue and they need to get back on track to give the District a fighting chance at meeting its commitment.

So today, we sent a letter to Mayor Bowser, DDOT and every councilmember to request an expedited path forward for nine projects (there are many more, but we are starting with nine) and the H Street streetcar track flanges — the continued absence of which flies in the face of safety.

Stated simply, we need to build these projects. We need to build them now.

We look forward to the conversation with the new Vision Zero Director at DDOT and Council to make sure that these projects are completed.

There is a lot of work to do between now and getting to zero traffic fatalities, but building this infrastructure in 2019 will go a long way towards making the commitment a reality.

Stay tuned for more updates on these and many more projects we are tracking.

You can read the letter here.

Save the Date: WABA’s Bicyclists’ Choice Awards and Annual Member Meeting

 

We are excited to announce the date of this year’s Bicyclists’ Choice Awards and Annual Member Meeting, presented by JUMP!

When: Wednesday, February 13, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Where:  Josephine Butler Parks Center

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Annual Member Meeting

Members only—join or renew now! Hear where WABA’s headed and contribute to strategic questions in WABA’s work.

7:00pm – 7:30pm: Reception

Open to the public. This is your time to mix and mingle with WABA members, staff, and board.

7:30pm – 9:00pm: Bicyclists’ Choice Awards

Open to the public. Help us celebrate the people working hard and making progress on building a better region for biking.

9:00pm: Gathering at Bar Roubaix

Open to the public. Head to nearby Bar Roubaix to keep the celebration going!


We’ll send an email by January 21 with the details to RSVP to this event ($10 recommended donation for a beer and snacks). And, look out for the chance to vote on who you think should win this year’s awards—coming soon.

Want to learn more? Read about the 2018 awards celebration.

Thank you to our sponsors:

MLK Day of Service: Find a trail cleanup near you!

Join in a Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr Day on the Capital Trails Network. The Capital Trails Network is a regional network of world-class current and planned trails connecting the region. With 456 miles of trails currently in the Network, there is certain to be something!

Our region is connected by its trails, rivers and roads. Your efforts at one trail spot will not only help that trail but the neighbors down the watershed by reducing trash flow or making the trails a more pleasant place to be. World-class means thoughtfully designed but also trash-free, well cared for, and free of invasive plants. Join a local organization (WABA is running one cleanup but there are lots more!) for MLK Day of Service to make our region’s trails and the landscapes they connect better.

Click on the map to find your local trail!

Double-check with event organizers that cleanups are still on! Many events are cancelling due to weather forecast and or lack of government appropriations. We’ll try to keep this page as updated as possible.

District of Columbia

Pope Branch Park
Hosted By: Pope Branch Restoration Alliance and Anacostia Riverkeeper
Monday, January 21st
2900 M Place SE
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Status: Confirmed on as of Friday 1/18

Register here

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
Hosted By: Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
Saturday, January 19th
1550 Anacostia Ave NE
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Status: Cancelled due to government shutdown

Register here

Anacostia Park
Hosted By: Student Conservation Association
Monday, January 21st
1900 Anacostia Ave SE
10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Status: Cancelled due to government shutdown

Register here

Metropolitan Branch Trail
Hosted By: WABA and Carlos Rosario School
Monday, January 21st
514 V St NE
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Status: Postponed due to inclement weather

Register here

Marvin Gaye Trail
Hosted By: Washington Parks & People
Monday, January 21st
601 Division Ave NE
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Register by emailing: info@washingtonparks.net

Prince George’s County

Bladensburg Waterfront Park
Hosted By: Friends of Quincy Run, Washington Rowing School, Town of Bladensburg
Monday, January 21st
4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg MD
Status: Confirmed on as of Friday 1/18
9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Register here

City of Alexandria

Belle Haven Park
Hosted By: Friends of the Mt Vernon Trail
Monday, January 21st
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Register here

Arlington County

Washington & Old Dominion
Milepoint 0 in Shirlington
Hosted By: Friends of the W&OD and Trail Patrol
Monday, January 21st
10:00 am

For more information and to register, please email kmohle@nvrpa.org

Montgomery County

Sligo Creek Park
Hosted By: Montgomery Parks and Friends of Sligo Creek
Monday, January 21st
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Register here

Rock Creek Regional Park
Hosted By: Montgomery Parks
Monday, January 21st
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Register here

See you on the trails!

Know of a cleanup on a trail in the Capital Trails Network that we should add to this roundup? Email Ursula, Trail Ranger Coordinator at trailranger@waba.org.