Newsletter: The business ruse

Apologies for the lack of newsletter last week, your humble newsletterer was out sick. But we’re back in business today.

“Business” is a bit of a loaded word this week, to be honest. Concerns from the business community appear to have persuaded the Mayor and DDOT to remove planned protected bike lanes from the upcoming overhaul of K St NW to preserve parking. And during the DDOT budget oversight hearing on Monday, Director Lott also began the process of slow-walking the Connecticut Avenue NW protected bike lane project. 

Let’s be clear: this is car-brain. These concerns are short-sighted and unsupported by data. Complete Streets are good for business. Studies from across the country show that people on bikes shop more often and spend more money in a month than people who drive, and retail businesses see an increase in sales and foot traffic when bike and pedestrian infrastructure improves. And, it’s worth noting that lots of business leaders understand this already!

But the hand-wringing about whether bike lanes affect business obscures a more important conversation: this is not just an economic question, it’s a moral one. These streets are dangerous. They hurt people and they kill people, and that needs to change. No amount of economic activity is worth letting people die at the hands of drivers. 

But you already knew all that, or you wouldn’t be here. Thanks for supporting WABA, and helping us push our elected officials and agency leaders to do the right thing.

News & Updates:

ICYMI, Elizabeth Kiker starts next week as WABA’s Executive Director. We’re excited!

Want to teach something to a whole roomful of transportation professionals and elected officials? Or know someone who would like to? Submit a proposal for the 2023 Washington Region Vision Zero Summit

We had some feedback on Fairfax County’s proposed budget.

ANC 3D voted unanimously to support DDOT’s Notice of Intent to build the Arizona Ave NW protected bike lane. Construction should start this summer. And ANC 3E voted to support protected bike lanes on 44th St NW and Jenifer St NW.

Last month we hosted a training for advocates on how to get involved with DC’s budget process. You can watch the video or check out the slides here. Or click here to send an email to the DC Council urging them to fund safe streets projects in the current budget.

MDOT released a report on the Old Georgetown Road protected bike lane. Key takeaways: no bicyclists or pedestrians have been hurt in crashes since the project was installed. Travel times for drivers are basically the same as before the project, except for about a minute of additional travel time on the southbound side during evening rush hour. 60 seconds seems like a reasonable tradeoff for, you know, people not getting killed. 

Things to do: 

Sign up for the Bike How You Like Ride on May 6th.

Register for Bike to Work Day on May 19th.

Join a Trail Cleanup on Earth Day, April 22nd.

Send this page about Bike Camp to all your friends with kids.

A fun route idea for the weekend: 

Grab your beefy tires  and pick up the Fort Circle Parks Hiker-Biker Trail near the Minnesota Avenue Metro. You’ll have to hop over some water bars, and there’s often a downed tree or two to climb over, but if you’ve never ridden DC’s only singletrack, you should give it a try! If you ride all the way to the end at Fort Stanton, you can zoom down the hill to the Suitland Parkway Trail, cross the Frederick Douglass Bridge and ride the West Bank of the Anacostia River Trail to Kingman Island. 

Have a great weekend!