Newsletter: Pollen

Has it caught you yet, the airborne menace of springtime? There’s nothing quite like a faceful of pollen on a bike ride to really make you question all your life choices. A particularly particulate gust hit me in the Irving Street protected bike lane on my way home yesterday and I immediately resented the sunshine, the warm air, and frankly all of nature. But the thing is, there’s more pollen in the air, for more of the year, thanks to climate change. So one of the best things we, individually, can do to stave off a future pollenocalypse is replace as many car trips as we can with bike rides. Nature is cruel.

Some things that happened last week:

  • Capital Bikeshare’s new fleet of e-bikes arrived. The design language falls somewhere between CaBi’s erstwhile competitor MoBike and a 2007 iPod, but the new bikes reportedly have a smoother drivetrain and much improved visibility features. 
  • Mayor Bowser’s 2024 budget arrived. The good news is that the proposal includes funding for a number of trail projects and substantial investment in improving sidewalks across the city. The bad news is that it’s also trying to remove a long term dedicated funding source for safe streets projects, it cuts fare-free bus service, it does not fund the crucial Vision Zero Omnibus Act, leaving long-needed policy changes and programs off the table,  and it includes deep cuts to services that support people at risk of losing housing. Speak up here
  • The Montgomery County Council held its first hearing on the Safe Streets Act of 2023. Seth Grimes, our Maryland Organizer, testified in support.
  • In Congress, Representatives Jamie Raskin and Earl Blumenauer introduced the Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Active Transportation Safety Act, which would remove barriers to federal funding for bike and pedestrian safety projects.
  • The bike signals on the Kenyon Street protected bike lane are up and running, at last.
  • A coworker reports that the trail bridge that connects the West Hyattsville Metro to Chillum Road is finally reopened, after being taken out by flooding a couple years ago. 

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Coming up:

Further down the road:

A fun route idea for the weekend

Listen, just go ride through the cherry blossoms at Hains Point at sunrise. Is it a little overhyped? Sure. But it’s still spectacular. Weather-wise, it looks like Sunday’s your best bet.