March Roundup

A ghost bike memorializes Frank Towers at the intersection of Viers Mill Road and the Matthew Henson Trail.

Progress on safe crossings in Maryland:

After more than a year of advocacy, the Maryland State Highway Administration (“SHA”) has at last announced plans to install a signal at the Veirs Mill and Matthew Henson trail crossing in Montgomery County where, in the past two years, at least four bicyclists have been hit and two of those killed. SHA traffic engineers have long opposed pleas from advocates and elected leaders to install a HAWK signal at the crossing, claiming they were not permitted under Maryland law, and would confuse drivers. With legislation pending in Annapolis that would clearly allow the use of HAWK signals, used commonly throughout the US, including in DC and Virginia, SHA now says it is seeking approval from the Federal Highway Administration to use a modified version of the HAWK signal in Maryland. 

Bike Laws and Policies

Virginia Legislative Session: Governor McAuliffe approved the highway maintenance funding bill! Now, cities and towns that want to convert motor vehicle lane miles into bike lanes will not have their highway maintenance payments reduced. This eliminates a financial deterrent for localities that want to do road diets and other street safety improvements that help bicyclists. The law goes into effect July 1, 2017. Maryland Legislative Session: As the session winds down, four bike related bills remain under consideration in the Maryland Legislature. Read more and take action. Alexandria City Commits to Vision Zero The city of Alexandria has committed to reducing traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2028. City officials are working on an action plan for how they will accomplish this goal. Read more. DC Vision Zero Regulations The DC Council’s committee on Transportation and Environment held a public roundtable on the city’s second draft of Vision Zero Regulations.  The current proposal decreased the fines for driving infractions and created new infractions and increased fines for bicyclists and pedestrians. You can read our testimony here. District Council Oversight Hearings WABA presented testimony at the oversight hearings for the Department of Public Works, Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Transportation. (Click the links to read our comments.)

Low-Stress Bike Network

NPS is updating the Anacostia Park Management plan National Park Service is accepting comments about its management plan for Anacostia Park, 1100+ acres along the banks of the Anacostia River. The park includes Poplar Point, Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Langston Golf Course, and James Creek Marina. The deadline for comments is Friday March 31. Read more and take action. Arlington County proposes bike lanes on Washington Boulevard  Earlier this month, Arlington County staff showed off plans for proposed bike lanes on Washington Boulevard between Mckinley Rd and Sycamore St in Westover.  The new lanes could provide a much needed link in the bicycle network, allowing more people to bike between the East Falls Church Metro and the shops, restaurants, school and community center in Westover. Read more. The plan for Florida Ave is better, but there’s plenty of room for improvement The 30% design plans for the Florida Avenue NE Multimodal Transportation Project are an improvement to the recommendations released last year. DDOT has included a new two-way protected bikeway between 2nd St and West Virginia Ave. However, the plan still leaves many challenging conflict points and safety issues unresolved, particularly east of West Virginia Ave. Read more. Arlington considers cuts to trail snow removal, trail lights, and more

Thanks to the advocacy of WABA members and the leadership of the County Board, Arlington treats 10 miles of county trails at the same snow removal priority and response time as primary arterial streets. Unfortunately, funding for this cherished plowing initiative is under threat. Read more and take action.

Looking ahead:

We’re hosting a sold-out, wait-list-only Vision Zero Summit on Friday, March 31st.  Regional policymakers, transportation professionals, law enforcement, advocates, and other key stakeholders will convene to discuss how to bring traffic deaths and serious injuries in the Washington region to zero. See our summit page for more details. Safe Accommodations Training: Is construction on your bike route shutting down your bike lane? Learn how to find out if it’s legal, and what to do if it’s not. This training is specifically about DC laws and infrastructure.
  • April 12, 6:30-8:30pm, WABA headquarters. More info.
What to do After a Crash workshop: Do you know what to do in the event you’re in a bike crash? Bruce Deming, The Bike Lawyer, will talk about bike laws in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and how to take care of yourself—physically and legally—if you are in a crash. Vision Zero Workshops: Learn about the Vision Zero initiative and how to help make your neighborhood streets safer.
  • Make the intersection of MLK and Good Hope Rd SE safer! April 15, Anacostia Public Library. More info. 
  • Make the intersection of Wisconsin Ave and Albermarle St NW safer! April 27, Tenley-Friendship Library. More info.
Make bicycling better in YOUR neighborhood – Join an Action Committee!
WABA is working to bring advocates together in our local jurisdictions to further our mission of a more bikeable region. Our Action Committees empower residents with the tools, training and support needed to win campaigns for better biking infrastructure, policies, and programs. Read more.

Public Meeting Calendar:

Alexandria Vision Zero Community Workshops 
  • April 10  7:00 – 9:00 PM, Cora Kelly Recreation Center, 25 W Reed Avenue
  • April 12  7:00 – 9:00 PM, William Ramsay Recreation Center, 5650 Sanger Avenue
  • April 26  7:00 – 9:00 PM, TC Williams Rotunda, 3330 King Street
W&OD Trail
    • Bridge Planning Workshop – April 5 6:00 – 8:00pm Yorktown High School,  5200 Yorktown Boulevard, Arlington Hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation to gather input from the public on bridge options and design details for the W&OD Trail Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge over Lee Highway.
  • Benjamin Banneker Park Project meeting –  April 4th, 7:00 – 9:00pm, Tuckahoe Elementary School Cafeteria, 6550 N. 26th Street, Arlington, VA. This project will redesign and reconstruct the W&OD Trail through Benjamin Banneker Park.
Fairfax County Street Design Improvements 
  • April 5 – Woodford Road (Providence District) More info.
  • Hunter Mill Street: Comments Due March 31. More info.
NoMa Green Community Meeting – April 24, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Hilton Garden Inn, 1225 First Street NE, DC
The NoMa Parks Foundation is hosting a meeting to discus the design of the future “NoMa Green,” a park planned along the Met Branch Trail near R St. NE. The park may include changes to the trail, including removal of the Z curve at R St. Attend to learn more about the park and weigh in on the designs. RSVP here.


WABA in the News

Md. bill would ticket drivers who block 4-way intersections WTOP – February 22, 2017 Drivers who enter an intersection but fail to cross it by the time the light turns red would be subject to a ticket and fine under a “don’t block the box” bill. Is Maryland Sacrificing Safety to Shorter Commute Times? WAMU – March 13, 2017 Pedestrian and bicycling safety advocates are charging Maryland lawmakers and state transportation officials with putting motorists’ convenience over public safety after legislation aimed at making it easier to cross busy state highways died in a legislative committee last week. Possibility of Passage Dims for for State Bill Calling for Pedestrian Traffic Beacons Bethesda Beat –  March 17, 2017 A state Senate committee voted against a proposal that would have enabled transportation officials to add a new type of pedestrian signals to Maryland’s roads.

Bicyclists Claim A Win As Maryland Promises Signals At Two Dangerous Intersections

WAMU – March 28, 2017

A pedestrian beacon will be installed at the scene of two fatal car-into-bike collisions in Montgomery County: the intersection of Veirs Mill Road (MD 586) and Turkey Branch Parkway, also known as the Matthew Henson Trail.