Winter 2022 Advocacy Roundup
It’s been a cold month so far, but our advocates continue to heat things up! Getting new protected bike lanes approved and gearing up for this year’s election cycle, things have been busy. We’ve got a lot planned to keep you in the loop, so read on to learn about some of the developments and victories that closed out last year and opened this one.
Low Stress Bike Network
Great news: Mayor Bowser announced her decision to remove the reversible lanes on Connecticut Ave NW, adding protected bike lanes in their place. Four Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, dozens of organizations, and thousands of residents united their voices in support of this protected bike lane project. One lesson we learned from this campaign was clear: organizing works.
Our campaign to complete a low-stress bike network in Washington, DC has been ongoing, and our volunteers have been busy working on major projects! If you’re interested in joining an advocate-driven campaign to build an entire network, head to waba.org/network, click on Join the Campaign and fill out the form!
Building the Connecticut Avenue protected bike lane will be an amazing achievement but let’s organize and complete the whole network!
Congresswoman Norton’s TownHall
Representative Elanor Holmes Norton is hosting a virtual town hall on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021.
WABA’s Executive Director Ludwig Gaines will be the featured speaker. He’ll share his expertise and perspective on how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit the District of Columbia. He’ll also cover how you can get involved in advocating for this law to be rolled out well for D.C. residents/visitors/constituents.
The event will take place on January 27th at 6pm. Email email@example.com to RSVP.
ANC Vision Zero Caucus
WABA’s ANC Vision Zero Caucus held its bi-monthly meeting earlier this month. Megan Kanagy from DDOT’s Bus priority Team talked about DDOT’s Bus priority plan, Councilmember Brianne Naedau spoke about her new bill to change the way infrastructure is done, and Will Perkins from Councilmember Janeese Lewis George’s office covered a new bill for increasing safe streets measures around schools.
After the meeting, the Caucus decided to draft an ANC sign-on letter urging Council member Mary Cheh to hold a hearing asap on the Safe Routes to School Expansion Regulation Act, Walk Without Worry Act, as well as the Metro for DC Act. You can read that full letter here.
Prince George’s County
Prince George’s County Planning Department will be hosting Countywide Community Engagement meetings for the Master Plan of Transportation (MPOT) 2035.
The meetings will take place on Tuesday, January 25; Wednesday, January 26; or Thursday, January 27, 2022, between 6.00 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST to discuss existing conditions and the future of transportation around the County.
Learn more about Prince George’s County Master Plan of Transportation 2035. WABA staff will be present and we look forward to seeing you there! RSVP here.
WABA is kicking off our campaign and proposal to get Montgomery County to build out all of the Tier One Bicycle Master Plan projects in four of the County’s Equity Focus Areas in the FY23-28 CIP budget! You can read more about our proposal here.
Want to learn more about our proposal and take action to push elected officials to build out the protected bike network in Montgomery County? Attend our upcoming community meeting on February 1st at 6pm. RSVP here.
On September 13 the People Before Cars Coalition (of which WABA is a steering committee meeting and founding member) sent comments to the Department of Department of Environmental Services (DES) regarding the Crystal City Bike Network.
On December 10th responded to our letter, and committed to achieving the request we made for the 1900 block of Crystal Drive, and maintaining a standard north-bound bike lane in addition to the planned south-bound protected bike lane!
You can read their full letter here.
The City of Alexandria has a project underway to design and build a 1/2 mile-long shared-use path along Old Cameron Run between Hooffs Run Drive and South Payne Street. This project will help fill a gap in the City’s trail system and provide a key link for people walking and biking between Eisenhower East and nearby neighborhoods and destinations.
Back in January, the City requested community input on the draft (30%) design plans.
The City has now reached the 60% design stage, with updated plans available on the project website. To read the Capital Trail Coalition’s comments on the 60% design stage click here!
Construction phase for the Old Cameron Run Trail is expected to begin in 2025.
WABA was an active participant in helping craft The ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan. The plan is intended to address systemic transportation safety issues for people walking, biking and using other forms of active transportation.
The draft program recommendations propose a framework of education, policy, planning, and programmatic and design strategies that facilitate collaboration between government and community stakeholders to improve active transportation safety and comfort.
Although the formal comment period and survey are closed, FCDOT continues to welcome feedback to Active Transportations efforts:
View and add to the public feedback on key destinations and barriers to active transportation
View and add to the public feedback on suggested locations for new trail and bikeway routes and Complete Streets Enhancements
Capital Trails Coalition Updates
(Capital Trails Coalition 2021 Trail Champions)
DC joined Prince George’s, Montgomery, and Arlington County councils in their unanimous commitment to the Capital Trail Coalition’s vision for the region’s multi-use trail network. The City of Alexandria has plans to introduce the resolution in January. Fairfax will likely follow suit once their updated trail network is approved by the Board of Supervisors (January/February).
Now that Councilmembers across the region have acknowledged the importance of the trail network on this issue, the next step is to work with them so we can hold them accountable in actually funding these projects, which is one of WABA’s 2025 Measures of Success in our Strategic Plan.
Learn more about what the CTC has been up to here!
Interested in staying up-to-date on trail updates on social media? Follow the CTC on Twitter @TrailsCoalition.
Families for Safe Streets Coalition Updates
D.C. Families for Safe Streets
This past November, advocates unveiled an interactive chalk art installation in Union Station. Chalk was available for the public to honor loved ones, commemorate a crash, thank a first responder who helped in the immediate aftermath of a crash, or share thoughts, reflections, and hopes for safer streets.
The collaboration was between DC Families for Safe Streets and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Street Smart Program, and the piece featured the work of artist Chelsea Ritter-Soronen of Chalk Riot. The installation was open in recognition of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
The World Day of Remembrance is an international event, started in 2005, honoring the 1.35 million people killed and millions more injured on the world’s roads each year and organizing for change to prevent such tragedies.This past World Day of Remembrance took on extra urgency as the number of people dying and severely injured in preventable traffic crashes in the U.S. is rising at an alarming rate.
Read the Washington Post Article on the World Day of Remembrance event at Union Station here.
Montgomery County Families For Safe Streets
Montgomery County Families For Safe Streets sponsored an event along with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Action Committee For Transit, on November 21, 2021 at the Marian Fryer Plaza in Wheaton to recognize World Day of Remembrance
At the event elected officials read out the names of victims of traffic violence in the county, and the event featured the voices of family members and friends who have lost loved ones to traffic violence while walking and biking on our roads.
Virginia chapters of Families for Safe Streets
Virginia chapters of Families for Safe Streets shared stories of tragedy and turned them into productive conversations with local and state politicians for building the solutions to save lives during World Day of Remembrance. Mayor Justin Wilson was one of the panelists as well as County Board members from Fairfax and Arlington plus two State House of Delegate representatives.
Prince George’s County Families for Safe Streets
Do you live in Prince George’s County and you want to confront traffic violence and its epidemic of tragic injuries and deaths? We are looking to support advocates in starting a Prince George’s County Families for Safe Streets chapter! If you have any interest please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington Region Vision Zero Summit
Save the date for next year’s Summit on June 9th, 2022! Please contact Hannah.Neagle@waba.org if you’re interested in participating in the planning committee or volunteering.
This conference brings together elected officials, decision-makers, advocates, thought leaders, and the private sector to share best practices, insights and innovations to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our region’s streets and highways. Please find more information from the 2021 Summit linked here.
Candidate Forums and Questionnaires
WABA is planning 2022 Candidate Forums for Montgomery County Executive and Council, DC Mayor, DC Council Chair, and DC Ward 5 Council.
We will also be sending questionnaires to candidates for executive and council races throughout the region for all candidates. See our full candidate forum schedule and RSVP!
We got an early start on election season by sending a questionnaire to all the candidates running in the primary for the District 8 Council special election in January. You can view those questionnaires here.
Transportation Equity Pledge
Over the summer, WABA hosted organizations across the region, with the goal of putting together a transportation equity pledge for 2022 election candidates to sign.
We decided that in order to encourage candidates to sign the pledge, we need to show that a diverse collection of on-the-ground organizations are united behind the transportation policies included in the pledge.
We’re excited to announce that Friends of Oxon Run Park, Open Streets Montgomery, Maryland Legislative Coalition, Montgomery County Families For Safe Streets, AARP Maryland, Bike Maryland, Potomac Pedalers, DC Transportation Equity Network, Arm in Arm DC, Seasoned Settlers, Citizens’ Climate Lobby – DC, Cameroon American Council, Black Women Bike, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Action Committee for Transit, Universal ChildCare Now D.C. Coalition, DC Environmental Network, Ward 3 Bicycle Advocates, Young People for Progress (YPP) have agreed to support a candidate pledge.
Our goal was to get 15 organizations to sign on but as of now we have 24! You can see the full pledge here!
Official Testimonies and Comments Submitted by WABA
- Division of Transportation and Development Services Response to People Before Cars Coalition
- Comments on Crystal City to DCA Project
- Comments on The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Annual Organizational Meeting
- Funding Safer Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities: Top Priority Trail Projects in Fairfax
- Joint Comments from Fairfax Healthy Communities Network on the Safe Street for All Program Recommendations
- Letter of Support for Pickett Road Trail Project
- ANC Vision Zero Letter regarding Safe Routes to School Expansion Regulation Act, Walk Without Worry Act, and Metro for DC Act
- Comments on Metropolitan Branch Trail: Blair Rd and Piney Branch Rd Design Survey
- Transportation Camp DC Presentation: Why Elections Matter
- Comments for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Motorized Bicycles on Shared Use Paths
- Blog Post on Connecticut Avenue Protected Bike Lane Announcement
WABA Advocacy in the News
- Elected officials want Georgia Avenue improved where crash killed 4-year-old girl – Bethesda Magazine
- Bike infrastructure will help prevent crashes and fatalities, advocates and researchers say – Capital News Service
- As traffic fatalities rise nationally, survivors share memories of those killed on local roads – Bethesda Magazine
- Transit safety advocates call for action after 3 pedestrians killed in one day in Montgomery County-WUSA9
- A wall of memories — and an urgent message as D.C. struggles with a surge in traffic fatalities – WashingtonPost
- D.C. bike advocates push for more bike lanes, faster – Axios
- Say Goodbye To Reversible Lanes On Connecticut Avenue, And Hello To A Bike-Friendly Redesign – DCist
- ‘Remembrance Wall’ at Union Station honors people hurt, killed in traffic crashes
Upcoming Events and Actions
- WABA 2022 Candidate Forum Schedule (multiple dates)
- WABA’s Montgomery County Bike Master Plan Campaign Meeting, February 1st, 6pm-7pm. RSVP here.
- In honor of Transit Equity Day, Citizens’ Climate Lobby is hosting a letter-to-the-editor writing party. The event will start with a short background on what Transit Equity Day is, what inequalities exist in DC, and how this relates to climate change. WABA’s Advocacy Director will be a guest speaker at the event. The event will take place on February 1st at 7pm. Email email@example.com to RSVP
Congresswoman Norton’s town hall on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will take place on January 27th at 6pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP