Newsletter: Bike Parking and Reclaiming Space

It’s winter break for DC Public Schools this week, so please practice patience with any parents of school-aged children in your life. A couple of scenes from the week have given me a bit of hope for a walkable, bikeable future, though. My daughter and I went to the Zoo on Monday, and when we arrived the bike parking was overflowing. I always smile a bit at the sight of a full bike rack, but this was even better: all but one of the bikes was setup to carry kids in some way. There were kid’s bikes, a couple of fancy cargo bikes, old ten-speeds with child seats on the rear rack, and a healthy array of trailers. Now, could the Zoo use more bike parking? Yes. But one of the unsung conveniences of biking is how easy it is to park. Rack full? There’s usually a signpost a few steps away, or a fence, or a parking meter. The only place I regularly struggle to park my bike is a strip mall near my house where all of the signposts and fences in the parking lot have been encased in concrete because drivers keep running into them. But I am losing the thread of optimism here. 

Yesterday, riding home from the office in the delightful but climate-anxiety-inducing warmth, a group of neighborhood kids were playing football in the middle of the street. After a moment’s reflection, I figured that a random weirdo on a bike shouting “HA HA YES! RECLAIM THIS SPACE! IT IS YOURS!” would probably be unwelcome. I did my best to not be weird as I pedaled around their game. Streets can be spaces for spontaneous joy, if we let them. What if, instead of half a million dollars in police overtime, all you needed for an Open Streets event was some friends and a football? 

Things to do:

Saturday, 2/25: Join Radical Joy Riding DC for their first ride of 2023.

Saturday, 2/25: Speak up for better walking and biking access to the Tenleytown Metro Station.

Saturday, 2/25: Celebrate every human-powered mile traveled outdoors with demos, snacks, and music at REI’s Every Mile Together Festival

Tuesday, 2/28: Join WABA’s Jonathan Stafford and the Cameroon American Council’s Sylvie Bello for a conversation about the intersection of Black History and Transportation.  (link tk)

Thursday, 3/2: Check out Takoma Park’s plans for upgrading the Metropolitan Branch Trail


Want to be a Trail Ranger? We’re hiring for this full time, year-round position. 

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A fun route idea for the weekend: 

From the College Park Metro, take a spin out the Anacostia River Trail and through the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center to the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge. Head up Research Road (it’s a big hill but it’s closed to cars!) into Old Greenbelt and have lunch at the New Deal Cafe. If you’d rather start in DC, you can use the Honeycrisp route from last year’s Cider Ride

Have a great weekend!