2013 Membership Drive: What Does WABA Do?
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:Today marks the home stretch of
- 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.