Advocacy Roundup Summer 2022
This summer, we hope you had the opportunity to ride and enjoy recently completed protected bike lane and trail projects throughout the region!
We organize, fight and build power so everyone will have the opportunity to bike ride, roll or walk with low-stress and safety from cars this summer and every summer!
And this summer has been really busy! These last few months, our team at WABA has been busy building power and momentum to deliver on our goal of implementing even more miles of trails and protected bike lanes until we have the whole network complete.
We hope you will stop for a moment and read about those victories as well upcoming events and actions throughout the region!
Low Stress Bike Network
The eastern downtown protected bike lane is starting the installation process and is set to be complete by next Spring. This project and many other projects are set to be installed because advocates organized and thousands of people took action.
If you want us to continue the progress we have made then join us!
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!
While DDOT has been busy implementing projects our volunteers campaigned for, our collective work continues until we have the whole network.
Testifying Before Congress
On June 8, WABA, and Executive Director Ludwig Gaines, headed to Capitol Hill to testify before the U.S House Highways and Transit subcommittee! This was a historic moment for WABA!
The hearing primarily focused on Federal Highway Administration’s safety programs and how new funding and policy changes made by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could help to stem the startling rise in traffic deaths over the last few years.
The committee was particularly concerned by the disparate equity impacts of dangerous road design on vulnerable road users.
Prince George’s County
Bike and Roll Safety Day
On July 10th, The Creative Arts Center at Capital Market in Suitland, MD partnered with WABA, the Department of Public Works and Transportation, District Youth Cycling, Streets Calling Bike Club DC to host a community Bike and Roll Safety day.
The purpose of the day was to provide residents with more information about the County’s vision zero campaign and provide resources to help county residents champion safe streets for all, while also feeling safe navigating the community.
The event featured a pop-up bike trail, free helmet giveaways, bike tune-ups, safety information and the farmers market!
It was a great event and we look forward to hosting more advocacy events with RISE Prince George’s, The Capital Market, and the Creative Suitland in the near future.
Looking to get involved in Prince George’s County advocacy now? On September 12th, Prince George’s County’s Active Transportation Advisory Group is hosting its quarterly meeting to discuss general issues impacting bicycle, pedestrian and shared use paths in Prince George’s County.
WABA’s Equitable Investment Proposal
In January 2022, as the Montgomery County Council began its deliberations on the Capital Budget for the next six years, WABA submitted its Equitable Investment in Montgomery’s Bike Network Proposal. The proposal aimed to shift spending on active transportation towards areas of the County that were more in need, from an equity perspective, of such investments. In particular, the proposal calls for constructing Tier One Bike Master Plan segments in four Equity Focus Areas of the County.
On May 26, the Montgomery County Council voted 9-0 to add $10.7 million to the Capital Budget to fund construction of:
- A 1.3 mile protected bike lane on Cherry Hill Road
- Two new Neighborhood Greenways in Wheaton;
- One new Neighborhood Greenway in Silver Spring;
- Three new Neighborhood Greenways in Langley Park; &
- An additional $2m in planning for other tier one Bicycle Master Plan projects
All of these projects are new to the Capital Budget of the County and would not have been funded without our collective advocacy!
And stay tuned for the next phase in our campaign to complete the protected bike network in Montgomery County.
Crystal City Bike Network
Arlington County released its final plans detailing the Crystal City Bike Network alignment, and their implementation timeline for delivering these improvements have been published on the project website.
The People Before Cars Coalition (PBC), of which WABA is a steering committee member, gave significant input and was actively involved in the development of this plan!
Let’s get the Long Bridge right
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) shared plans for the Long Bridge Project during a public meeting on June 22nd. Those plans included a design flaw that will impact people who wish to walk or roll across the bridge.
New bridges are rare; this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to significantly improve transportation across the Potomac River, doubling rail capacity and creating new connections for people walking and biking from Long Bridge Park in Arlington, VA to East Potomac Park in DC.
WABA has been invested in the effort to build a better Long Bridge for over a decade, standing alongside the more than 1,400 community members who submitted comments on the project (read more here).
To view more information about this project or contact the project managers visit the project page here.
Fairfax County is updating and combining the Bicycle Master Plan and the Countywide Trails Plan into the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan. Active transportation means self-propelled, mostly human-powered travel including walking, biking, rolling (scooter, wheelchair, stroller), hiking, running, and riding for transportation and recreational purposes.
The plan will establish a vision and a roadmap for implementation of safe, convenient, and enjoyable streets and trails in Fairfax County.
On May 10, 2022, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed the Safe Streets for All Program, a comprehensive initiative to address systemic transportation safety issues for people walking, biking and using other forms of active transportation.
Currently, WABA is a member of the ActiveFairfax Engagement Technical Advisory Group and is engaged in efforts to move the plan along. Click here to visit the plan’s website and/or to contact the project team.
Capital Trails Coalition Updates
On June 29th, the Capital Trails Coalition (CTC) held an engaging and productive in-person membership meeting.
In addition to having a chance to reconnect with trail colleagues and friends, participants dug into the goals and strategies that will form the backbone of our new strategic roadmap.
CTC staff are in the process of analyzing feedback and ideas for how we actualize the strategic goals. They will then begin working with the CTC Steering Committee and others on an implementation plan, with opportunities for all members to lead and participate. Their key goal: a comprehensive and complete roadmap and action plan to present to the full membership at their next membership meeting in September!
Want to receive newsletter updates on their progress or is your organization interested in joining the CTC? Sign up here!
Families for Safe Streets Coalition Updates
D.C. Families for Safe Streets
DC Families for Safe Streets (DC-FSS) has been busy advocating for life-saving changes and providing support to those affected by deadly crashes in our communities.
This summer has been filled with events such as the Families for Safe Streets Therapeutic Writing Workshop for individuals who have lost a loved one or been injured (or care for someone who was) in a traffic crash to D.C Council public hearings on safe streets legislation.
To get involved in D.C Families for Safe Streets, visit their website here!
Montgomery County Families For Safe Streets
Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets (MCFFSS) is currently deep into many advocacy campaigns to make streets safer in Montgomery County.
Since the recent death of Enzo Alvarenga, who was killed by a driver while biking on Old Georgetown Road, MCFFSS has been actively meeting with elected officials and advocating for infrastructure changes on the road.
Northern Virginia chapters of Families for Safe Streets
In June, Alexandria Families for Safe Streets held their first in-person meeting in two years!
It was a combination social event as well as some discussion on plans for street safety advocacy activities beginning in September.
With traffic deaths up double digits in just 24 months, now is an important time to get involved in the Alexandria, Fairfax or Arlington Families for Safe Streets Chapters.
To get involved in one of the chapters visit the Northern Virginia Families for Safe Street webpage here!
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 this year’s Vision Zero Summit on September 13th, 2022!
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.
Interested in submitting a workshop proposal idea for this year’s summit? Click Here!
WABA held 2022 Candidate Forums for Montgomery County Executive and Council, DC Mayor, DC Council Chair, and DC Ward 5 Council.
We also sent questionnaires to candidates for executive and council races throughout the region for all candidates.
In addition, we also gave candidates the option of signing our transportation equity pledge, a pledge asking them to commit to prioritizing budgetary and legislative measures that will help in the development of an equitable transportation system.
We closed the 2022 primary season out by hosting a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) bike ride in Washington, DC and Montgomery County! At our GOTV bike ride, we gave candidates running for Council the opportunity to speak to our bike riders about their transportation priorities! We look forward to hosting the ride on a yearly basis going forward! Check out photos from the ride here!
So what’s next?
This general election, we will be encouraging our supporters to run for ANC (Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners) in Washington, D.C., as well as directing them to the community resources and information on how-to-run for ANC positions, stay tuned for more details!
In Arlington, after the general election, we will be hosting a roundtable discussion with the incoming County Board member elected in November. More information to come!
WABA is a 501(c3) and therefore we don’t endorse candidates for any elected position, but we will work hard to educate our membership to help them make informed decisions!
Official Testimonies and Comments Submitted by WABA
- Letter Regarding Pickett Road Connector Trail
- Joint comments from Fairfax Healthy Communities Network on Fairfax County’s FY23 Budget
- Letter from People Before Cars Coalition and Livability Working Group to the Virginia Department of Transportation
- Joint comments on regarding protected bike lanes on Lockheed Blvd
- Joint letter to Transportation Planning Board regarding Visualize 2045 transportation plan
- Feedback on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
- U.S House Highways and Transit subcommittee Testimony
- Letter Regarding Washington Union Station Expansion Project
- Letter Regarding Military Road Trail Feasibility Study
- Testimony for the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment in support of B24-0673 Safer Intersections Amendment Act of 2022 & B24-0674 Upgrading Tactical Safety Projects Amendment Act of 2022
- Testimony for the FY23-28 DDOT Budget Oversight Hearing Before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment
- WABA testimony on the 2021 Performance of the Department of General Services
- Connecticut Ave PBL – Thank you Letter to Mayor Bowser
- Capital Trails Coalition FY23 Budget Hearing Testimony to the D.C. Council
- Minnesota Ave SE Bus Priority and Safety Improvements official comments
- Testimony Regarding Montgomery County FY2023 CIP Budget for Trails Projects
- Organization sign on letter to support the Equitable Investment Proposal
- Letter regarding Bowie Mill Road Bikeway
- MD SB 874 testimony for February 16, 2022 MD Senate Finance Committee
- MD HB 469 testimony to the MD House Environment and Transportation Committee
- MD HB 231 Automated Traffic Enforcement Testimony to the MD Senate
WABA Advocacy in the News
- The Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail will finally link to the Northwest Branch Trail by the fall of 2023. WABA and advocates organized and pushed for this connection between the Anacostia Tributary Trail System and the Rhode Island Trolley Trail!
- University Blvd. Bike Lanes Won’t Return Despite ‘Nominal’ Increase in Vehicle Travel Time
- Black Women Bike: This DC cycling community educates and empowers
- Trail tunnel planned for downtown Bethesda faces another construction funding battle
- Safety Concerns Grow After Glenmont Fatal Crash
New Montgomery County Data for Progress Poll shows that our ideas are popular!
- 7 Great Biking Cities (and Which Trails to Ride) – Washington D.C. is named one of the greatest biking cities in the World, and WABA’s advocacy is credited as a reason why!
- New stretch of Metropolitan Branch Trail completed in Ward 5 after years of organizing by the Capital Trails Coalition and community advocates
- The Capital Trails Coalition members pushed hard for a new tunnel for pedestrians, cyclists along Potomac under the I-66 bridge in DC, and now it’s complete!
- Major progress at the new pedestrian bridge in Rock Creek Park! We look forward to continuing to monitor this project and work with NPS to see this project to its full completion.
- Traffic deaths addressed in House transportation subcommittee hearing
- New Unprotected Walking And Biking Lanes Could Be On The Way For Hains Point
- Connecticut Avenue bike lane plan faces opposition
- In transit-focused forum, Ward 3 DC Council hopefuls vow to focus on safety and expand public transportation access
- Maybe the cyclist “trolling” the People’s Convoy was actually just teaching us good bike safety
- Park Service Wants To Ban Commuting Cars From Beach Drive, But Only During Summer Months
- Thread of NPR’s Vision Zero Twitter Spaces Townhall Panel -WABA was a featured panelist
- D.C. traffic deaths at 14-year high with low-income areas hardest hit
- WABA was awarded a Community Traffic Safety Grant!
- Uncrossable: Where DC’s network of bicycle infrastructure falls short
- Roadway safety, FMCSA nomination focus of hearings
- K Street residents reinitiate the conversation about protected bike lanes
- Civic State of Mind: DC Budget
- Road Safety Town Hall with Congresswoman Norton
- Wider sidewalks, higher railings, new lighting planned for Roosevelt Bridge – WABA has been strongly advocating for wider sidewalks and bike accommodations for the Roosevelt bridge!
- Va. congressional delegation puts weight behind Route 1 proposal – making Route 1 more pedestrian and bike friendly has been a primary focus of the People Before Cars coalition!
- Long Bridge expansion across the Potomac River picks up steam!
Upcoming Events and Actions
- Save the Date: 2022 Vision Zero Summit will take place on September 13th, 2022
- The public is asked to comment on plans for historic Harmony Hall in Prince George’s County. The current plan expands the park’s trail system and creates a water access point. Attend the public meeting: The NPS will present the plan at a live, virtual public meeting on July 21 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Click here to join the public meeting.
- Keep Beach Drive Closed to Cars Public Comment Opportunity – Public meeting on July 18, 2022 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
- Join the S. George Mason Drive Multimodal Transportation Study team for the kick-off of the 2nd round of public engagement!
Visit WABA’s Action Center webpage to check out the latest actions you can take for safer streets throughout the region!