Promoting Bicycle Safety at Georgetown University

By Rhea Bhat, DC Highway Safety Office Intern. Rhea is a sophomore at Georgetown University and serves as an intern for both the Highway Safety Office (HSO)and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). She is currently pursuing a degree in Political Economy, with a narrowed focus on traffic safety in the DC area. 

On April 24, 2024, Rhea worked with WABA to organize an event on Georgetown’s campus in order to promote increased awareness of bicycle safety and to educate individuals on how to properly use their bikes. In particular, this event was focused on providing bike maintenance measures, such as what to do if there is a flat tire. Rhea and the WABA team tabled at the main square on campus and incentivized the public to stop by the table by having free giveaways such as bike helmets, bike lights, reflective stickers, as well as printed materials like a DC bike law booklet and a map of bike routes in the region. 

Individuals who stopped by the table included Georgetown undergraduate and graduate students, on-campus staff, as well as Georgetown University police officers. In addition to seeking more information through giveaways and informative printed materials, many of those who stopped by the table discussed their own experiences of biking in the region. Particularly, many expressed their unhappiness with how unsafe the roads were to bike in the city and expressed interest in helping advocate for safer roads. A few also asked for recommendations on the best shops to purchase bikes. 

These conversations showed that although some individuals were informed of bicycle safety measures, there is a continuous need for collaboration to meet the needs of micromobility users. WABA has been working towards safer streets for all, especially in its Vision Zero work with DC HSO to increase public awareness and engagement on traffic safety measures. This event reached a variety of community members in Ward 2 and helped increase their awareness of a plethora of traffic safety-related work that continues to be conducted in the Washington area.