Advocacy Round-up: Spring 2024

During the past few months, our Advocacy Team was busy collaborating with partners and volunteers on the ground—racking up some major victories and hosting events to make our transportation system more accessible, comfortable, and convenient for all road users – especially folks on bikes. Check out a report of our activities, which includes information on ongoing campaigns, regional progress, advocacy actions, and more!


2024 State Legislative Session Recap

2024 Maryland State Legislation: Many Wins for Biking and Road Safety 

At the Bike Maryland Symposium in Annapolis, February 15, 2024.
Attendees at the Bike Maryland Symposium in Annapolis, February 15, 2024.

WABA helped coordinate advocates across Maryland in support of a slate of bicycling/road-safety bills. These efforts paid off and we are thrilled that several of the bills we supported passed in 2024, including:

  • HB 337/SB 315, the Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Memorial Act, addressing penalties for hitting a bicyclist in a bike lane.
  • SB 345, requiring an MDOT Vision Zero Coordinator to collaborate with state agencies and local authorities and hold quarterly public meetings.
  • HB 364, authorizing stop-sign cameras near schools in Prince George’s County, a bill written by District 22 Delegate Anne Healey.
  • SB 943, the Better Bus Service Act, allowing bus-lane enforcement cameras, which should speed transit service, noting that bikes are allowed to use bus lanes.

On the revenue front, the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2024, SB 362, shores up the Transportation Trust Fund. Additional revenue sources that the state will tap include a fee on electric vehicles (whose drivers of course don’t pay gasoline taxes), higher registration fees on heavy vehicles, and a fee on Uber and Lyft rides. The FY25 revenue estimate is $257 million.

Unfortunately, although several of the bills we supported passed the Maryland House of Delegates, they didn’t make it out of the Judicial Proceedings Committee (JPR) in the state Senate:

  • HB 111, making Bikes on Sidewalks the default statewide.
  • HB 278, allowing the State Highway Administration to reduce urban state road speed limits by 5 MPH without an engineering and traffic investigation.
  • HB 511, Bicycle Safety Yield, allowing a bicyclist to proceed past a stop sign without stopping, after yielding as required.

Other bills that didn’t pass in the House or the Senate:

  • HB 156, Electric Bicycle Rebate and Voucher Program. The state transportation budget has a multi-billion dollar 5-year deficit so the General Assembly generally didn’t fund new transportation programs this year.
  • HB 389/SB 514, addressing responsibility for maintenance of sidewalks and bike paths along state roads, a bill introduced by D22 Delegate Anne Healey and Senator Alonzo Washington (thanks!).
  • HB 530/SB 645, the Great Maryland Trails Act, which would have established a state Trails Office.

We’re already starting to gear up for the 2025 session to try again to pass these bills, working closely with our allies at Bike Maryland.

2024 Virginia State Legislation: Early momentum fizzles in the Senate 

Virginia advocates met with State Delegate Rip Sullivan in early 2024.

During the legislative session this year, we were optimistic about the potential for major change in Virginia. Our bicycle safety-focused bills had passed the full House and were headed to the Senate where versions of the legislation had passed the previous year. WABA’s Virginia Organizer, Kevin O’Brien, traveled to Richmond to meet with the bill patrons and came away cautiously optimistic that the clear research and many personal testimonies would prove overwhelmingly compelling in the Senate. 

We worked with statewide agency staff and leaders through 2023 and early 2024 to address concerns and secured patrons from across the Commonwealth who share a love of bicycling. Initiatives we supported include:

  • Safety Stop. This measure, also known as the Idaho Stop or Delaware Yield, would allow a person riding a bicycle to slow and yield (rather than fully stop) at stop signs. That is, they may roll through the intersection if clear and safe to do so. Enacted in 9 other states and the District of Columbia and shown to improve safety outcomes, the Safety Stop enables people on bicycles to move more quickly through an intersection, reducing their exposure to vehicular traffic and increasing their visibility.
  • Bike Safety Omnibus. This bill has two primary features: authorizing the Safety Stop (explained above) and allowing bicyclists to ride side-by-side when in a vehicle travel lane. Both improve visibility and thus safety. The bill would also clarify a driver’s responsibility to change lanes when passing a bicyclist when the lane is too narrow for the driver to pass the bicyclists safely.
  • Bikes May Proceed on Walk Signal. At an increasing number of intersections in Virginia, pedestrians are given a 3- to 7-second ‘head start’ to begin crossing the street before the vehicle signal turns green (known as a leading pedestrian interval or LPI). LPIs allow better visibility and thus safety for pedestrians. This measure would enable people on bicycles to cross with the pedestrian WALK signal so as to benefit from the ‘head start’ and improved visibility at such signalized intersections.
  • E-Bike Incentive Program. E-bikes are proving to be a transformative transportation technology, enabling more people to hop in the saddle, to go further and to ride more often, and with tremendous implications for individual and public well-being. Reducing the cost-barriers that prevent residents from purchasing an electric bike via targeted incentives and/or rebate programs is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways states and municipalities can support this modal shift and reap the associated benefits.

Unfortunately, our efforts didn’t bear out this session and each of the WABA and Virginia Bicycling Federation-supported bills failed to advance out of the Senate Transportation Committee. The chief culprits: continued opposition from the Virginia State Police and the Department of Motor Vehicles, paired with a non-committal stance from VDOT. Though disappointed, we’re not defeated. We’re working to assess and prepare for the 2025 session and beyond and welcome your support locally and at the state level.

FY2025 Budget Advocacy

WABA organizers were active around FY25 budget discussions at the county and local levels in Maryland, DC, and Virginia.

Staff highlighted opportunities to testify and share comments with County and District Councilmembers and presented testimony themselves in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland, in Washington, DC. and in Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia.

To help community members get prepared to weigh in, WABA hosted an FY25 PGC budget briefing for community advocates via Zoom, featuring Councilmember Eric Olson, who chairs the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment Committee. The aim of the event was to prepare community members to participate in meetings with council members. 

WABA also hosted a drop-in prep session in DC, welcoming volunteers to stop by for 1v1 support preparing testimony ahead of the Council’s FY25 budget decisions.

WABA at the National Bike Summit

National Bike Summit attendees ride past the Capitol Building in DC

WABA staff participated in sessions and the day on Capitol Hill speaking with regional Congressional Representatives. WABA joined other Virginia, Maryland, and DC advocates to present our Congresspeople and Senators with information on the Bicycling in Kids’ Education (BIKE) Act, Complete Streets Act, and the Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Active Transportation Safety Act. Advocacy team members also led sessions at the League’s new Bike Advocacy Training Workshop, with both Jeremiah Lowery, Advocacy Director, and Alyssa Proudfoot Siegel, DC Organizer, leading presentations for the participants.

WABA’s Advocacy Director, Jeremiah Lowery, was also recognized as the National Professional Advocate of the Year by the League of American Bicyclists. Congrats, Jeremiah!


Our DC Organizer Alyssa Proudfoot Siegel, came on board at WABA in December 2023, diving into dozens of on-street safety projects, neighborhood campaigns, and support for community members across the District. 

Supporting Community-led Initiatives

Ward 8 Bike Alliance (W8BA)

WABA is proud to support the Ward 8 Bike Alliance, an effort led by two dedicated Ward 8 residents, as they get up and running. They launched a petition to show the Ward 8 Councilmember and others that Bikes Belong in Ward 8.

East-West Low-Stress Coalition

We’re working to support the East-West Low-Stress Coalition to highlight the need for a low-stress option to connect the existing North-South routes north of the bikeways on L and M Streets NW or south of Irving Street NW. The campaign made a compelling presentation to the Bicycle Advisory Council and helped lead a BAC Facilities Committee ride on R Street to demonstrate the need and opportunity to add protections to the existing painted bike lane.

Ward 3 Bicycle Alliance (W3BA)

More than 100 people joined WABA’s ride calling for a truly multimodal Connecticut Avenue project with protected bike lanes that included a rally outside the Wilson Building.

WABA has been collaborating closely with W3BA, especially around the debates for safety improvements for Connecticut Avenue. Last year, we launched an “I Bike, I Buy” campaign to help educate businesses along the Connecticut Avenue corridor about how many of their customers bike to their places of businesses, demonstrating the need for safe routes for this customer base. We continued those efforts this year, while we waited for DDOT to resume work on Concept C, a design that Mayor Bowser had endorsed, that included protected bike lanes as a broader multimodal safety project (Concept C). But earlier this year at the budget oversight hearing, after prolonged silence from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Interim DDOT Director Sharon Kershbaum announced that the project would no longer include protected bike lanes. 

Later confirmed during a public meeting that described a project that includes parking instead of protected bike lanes and limited pedestrian safety elements, WABA pulled out all the stops to mobilize community members including by hosting our own ride and protest, mobilizing more than 5,000 community members to sign a petition in support of the bike lane, meeting with Councilmembers Frumin and Allen, and more. DC Organizer, Alyssa, also coordinated with other DC ride groups to encourage more than 1,000 riders to take the lane on Connecticut Avenue, including with DC Bike Party, DC Bikes Not Bombs, and Critical Mass.

WABA and W3BA advocates delivered a copy of the petition for bike lanes on Connecticut Ave with more than 5,000 signers to Chair Mendelson’s office before the Council voted on the FY2025 budget.

South Dakota Avenue

South Dakota Avenue is one of the most dangerous arterial corridors in DC’s Ward 5. And Wards 5, 7, and 8 too often lead the District in traffic violence and fatalities. Dedicated community members and advocates, including the Friends of South Dakota Ave and Ward 5 Family Biking, as well as Ward 5’s Councilmember Zachary Parker called for safety improvements to the corridor. During the initial project kick-off meetings, DDOT shared three reconfiguration options: Option 1 maintains one lane in each direction, but turns curbside space into full-time parking; Option 2 maintains one lane in each direction and uses curbside on one curb face for two-way protected bicycle lanes; and Option 3 maintains one lane in each direction and uses curbside space for protected bike lanes going in both directions. We’re still in the early stages of this project, but WABA looks forward to working with community members and groups to develop a corridor that makes it safer for people on bikes to use and cross South Dakota Ave.

Grant Circle

Community members have been asking DDOT for safety fixes to Grant Circle for years. As the Petworth for Safer Streets petition states, “We acknowledge three recent victims of traffic violence whose experience likely would have been different had any previous safety work been implemented.  First a neighbor cycling with a child trailer attachment was struck by a driver the day before a previous DDOT meeting on this topic of Grant Circle safety improvements. Second, a mother was struck by a driver at Grant Circle and Illinois after leaving the playground with their child. In both these instances, our neighbors were within Grant Circle’s crosswalks. Further delays are dangerous for our community and our most vulnerable residents who use Grant Circle.

ANC 4C has asked DDOT for help here dating back to at least 2016. DDOT now proposes to implement short-term pedestrian improvements and complete the preliminary design this summer, complete the final design this fall, and begin construction in March 2025. Even though DDOT hasn’t managed to put its new proposal for Grant Circle on the internet yet, but we grabbed a photo at a June meeting. Short version: Alternative 1 is the safest, so let these folks know you support it: Ward Engagement Lead, Kornelius Anderson– and Project Manager, Zhibo Zhang–

Columbia Road NW

After more than two years of public input, DDOT is finally revamping Columbia Rd. The project will:

  • Create dedicated bus priority lanes, so the bus is faster.
  • Create protected bike lanes along most of the road.
  • Close a section of Champlain St to cars, effectively expanding Unity Park.

DDOT announced that they plan to begin construction in July. Sign the petition to show your support!

Vision Zero Community Engagement

Vision Zero Coalition Manager Michelle Shin and Vision Zero Coalition Coordinator Sarah Haedrich, work closely with partner organizations, community members, and other stakeholders to highlight traffic safety best practices.

ANC Vision Zero Caucus members discuss multimodal accessibility during a walking tour with the Multi-modal Accessibility Advisory Council Chair, Karthik Balasubramanian.

The DC Vision Zero Team has been hard at work hosting monthly community engagement activities (video screenings, safety walks, trivia nights, fix-a-flat class, and more), as well as educational events for key stakeholders in our community, including a youth bike bus training, an older adult block party, a walking tour for Driver’s School Instructors, and monthly educational activities for members of the ANC Vision Zero Caucus. Read on for a few highlights of our work:

Driver’s School Instructor Walk & Learn: The Vision Zero Coalition Coordinator reached out to 59 driver’s schools in DC, Northern Virginia, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County to recruit participants for the Driver’s School Instructor Walk & Learn event. The Vision Zero Coalition Coordinator invited DDOT to join WABA for the event and DMOI representatives and Impact Teen Driver representatives were also present at the event.

Snippet of the curriculum for the Driver’s School Instructors Walk & Learn Event

Older Adult Block Party: The Older Adult Transportation Block Party will took place on April 21, 2024 from 12 PM – 4 PM at Alethia Tanner Park. The Vision Zero Coalition Coordinator confirmed the partnership of Seabury Resources for Aging, Age Friendly DC, goDCgo, America Walks, DC Bicycle Advisory Council, Iona Senior Services, and NoMa BID to support the event and engage with attendees. AARP-DC promoted the event to their network. The Vision Zero Coalition Coordinator confirmed the attendance of DDOT (goDCgo) and elected officials (3 ANC Vision Zero caucus members.
Bike Bus How-to Guide: The Vision Zero Coalition Coordinator and the Advocacy Intern compiled pre-existing bike bus resources to develop a comprehensive bike-bus how-to guide. The Advocacy Intern then reviewed the material, as one of the three individuals who would be interested in using the resource. WABA identified groups to review and share comments on the resource and incorporated their feedback. The pamphlet will be accessible on our website and will be distributed to youth-focused organizations, school contacts, and others interested in learning more about bike buses.

DC Bicycling News

STEER ACT Passes: First-in-Nation Legislation

In February, the DC Council voted to approve the STEER Act (Strengthening Traffic Enforcement, Education, and Responsibility) to crack down on dangerous drivers and strengthen enforcement. There are many elements in the bill that will help close gaps in both the law and implementation including:

  • Establishment of Intelligent Speed Assistance Program (first program in the Nation that applies to all reckless drivers in a city or state). The Intelligent Speed Assistance Program will install “speed governors aka a speed monitor” in the cars of reckless drivers, which will limit the speed on cars of drivers who have violated speeding laws, and keep the speed monitor installed in their car until they meet certain conditions; 
  • Requires drivers to complete the course before having a suspended / revoked license reinstated, getting a boot removed from their vehicle, or getting their vehicle released from impoundment;
  • To help clear the backlog of vehicles eligible for booting/towing, allows the Mayor to enter into memoranda of agreement with private tow companies to enlist them in enforcement;
  • Empowers OAG to bring civil suits against both in-state and out-of-state drivers who have moving violations, creating an additional tool if state agencies in Maryland and Virginia fail to take accountability for their dangerous drivers, in the way that we can require DC agencies to do

And there’s more! Review the detailed legislation from Councilmember Charles Allen here.

DC Ebike Incentive Program

The DC Ebike Incentive Program application window is opened in the spring for preferred applicants (District residents enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or the DC Healthcare Alliance). DDOT anticipates fulfilling approximately 250 vouchers with the FY24 funding. WABA was an ardent supporter of the initial program and we will continue to call for support and expansion of the program.


Maryland Organizer Seth Grimes and Montgomery County Organizer Peter Gray, have been hard at work throughout the legislative session and beyond. They’re focused on leveraging state and county policies and resources that impact local projects and residents.

Upcoming Events

[Wednesday, June 26th] WEBINAR: 2024 Bike Maryland Legislative Recap

Hear from Bike Maryland’s Chair of the Board of Directors, Peter Gray, about progress made during the 2024 Maryland Legislative Session.  Several Bike Maryland-supported bills passed both chambers and went to the Governor for signature – and we’re already looking forward to strategizing for the next session! Sign-up here.

[Monday, June 29th] WABA MoCo Listening Session in Silver Spring

You’re invited to an informal Montgomery County listening session + discussion next Monday starting at 5:30 pm at Silver Branch Brewing Company, near the Silver Spring Metro station. (Buy your own drinks/food.) Come by whenever you can; Maryland Organizer Seth Grimes and Montgomery County Organizer Peter Gray plan to be there until at least 7 pm. We look forward to hearing your thoughts about Montgomery County bikeway/road-safety projects & possibilities, WABA advocacy priorities, county and state legislation, WABA’s 2024 Bike Summit (Sept. 29), etc., really anything WABA related.

[Sunday, July 7th] Prince George’s bicycling advocates meetup, July 7 in College Park

🚲 Join the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) & friends for a Prince George’s County bicycling advocates meetup, Sunday, July 7, 4 pm-6 pm in College Park. Click for more Info & to RSVP.

[ONGOING] Red Line Summer Construction -> Bike Commuting Support!

Join other bicyclists to commute by bike during the Red Line shutdown this summer.

During the Red Line closures this summer (impacting Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, and Silver Spring Metro stations are closed from June 1st through August 31st, and the Takoma Station is closed from June 1 through June 29th), WABA is encouraging would-be metro travelers to try bike commuting instead! Bike commuters of all levels of experience are invited to join or lead a ride leader and other commuters to get where they need to go. Check out the schedule of upcoming red line rides and reach out to if you’re interested in joining or leading a ride.

Inaugural Prince George’s County Bike Summit 

The first Prince George’s County Bike Summit in Suitland was May 18, with opening remarks from Council Chair Jolene Ivey, the State Highway Association, an M-NCPPC Bike/Ped Planner, and community leaders from across the county. Cohosts included Creative Suitland, the Capital Market, RISE Prince George’s, and the Coalition for Smarter Growth, with support from Getting It In Cyclists and the Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail. Despite a rainy day, more than 150 people had registered for the event. 

Prince George’s County Council Chair Jolene Ivey presented opening remarks and noted the momentum that is building across the county for improved safety for bicyclists, including efforts at the County and state level. She also presented WABA with a proclamation for our efforts! We heard from panelists about their work and how other community members can get involved to improve biking in the county.

Other speakers included Joe Moges, Senior Safety Officer at the Maryland State Highway Association; Michael Jackson, Planner at M-NCPPC; Laurie Williams, Co-lead for Black Women Bike DC; Jeff Lemieux, Lead of Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail; Dan Reed, Regional Policy Director at Greater Greater Washington; Brittney Drakeford, Executive Team Member of The Capital Market, Kyle Reeder, Community Activist with RISE Prince George’s, Diane Harris, Community/Ride Club Advocate; and Cheryl Cort, Policy Director at the Coalition for Smart Growth. Other officials present included Vic Weissberg, DPW&T; Scott Rowe, M-NCPPC; Kandese Holford, MDOT TSO.

WABA’S Complete State Roads Safety Initiative

We launched WABA’s Complete State Roads–Prince George’s County safety initiative at the Bike Summit, which pulls in elements that we’ll be exploring in the three summit panels: equity, bikeway network expansion, and Vision Zero. 

Vision Zero is a critical topic. Prince George’s County had nearly 50% more road deaths in 2023 than Baltimore City and nearly three times the road death experienced in Montgomery County, per the first illustration below, yet the State Highway Administration (SHA) has invested far more attention to road-safety projects in Montgomery County than to Prince George’s County projects, as seen in the second illustration. Because state roads are the most dangerous (in both jurisdictions) – they’re wider with higher traffic speeds and often lack sidewalks and are unbikeable – SHA needs to seriously pick up the pace of improvements. 

Zero Deaths Maryland screen shot.
Prince George’s County had nearly 50% more road deaths in 2023 than any other Maryland county.

The Complete State Roads (CSR) initiative will call for roadway reengineering and design changes that target highly dangerous Maryland state roads, via the application of “complete streets” principles – streets designed and operated to prioritize safety and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users in addition to motor vehicles. It aims to stem the road carnage the county is experiencing. To learn more about our plans, take a look at a Montgomery County focused version of the CSR initiative that formally launched last fall. 

MDOT and SHA meetings

In addition to working with county-level agencies, we interact frequently with state officials from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the “modal administrations,” modes being a technical term for types of transportation.

We participated in the April 23 quarterly meeting of MDOT’s Pedestrian-Bicycle Emphasis Area Team (P-BEAT), and in May with the SHA and the Purple Line construction team, under the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). That latter meeting was focused on bicycle rail crossings – sharp-angle bike-rail crossings are dangerous for bicyclists – and on design improvements for an MTA project on a segment of Kenilworth Ave./MD 201 south of University Blvd./MD 193 that is associated with Purple Line construction.

County-Level Advocacy

FY25 County Budget Advocacy

WABA created a sign-on letter to ask the Prince George’s County Council and County Executive to make our streets safer and boost biking in Prince George’s, by funding several key priorities in the county’s Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) operating budget and six-year capital plan. Visit this page to read WABA’s budget advocacy letter. We shared the letter with council members in May.

WABA organized an April 25 budget briefing featuring Councilmember Eric Olson, who chairs the council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee (TIEE). View a recording or check out WABA’s presentation slides. The most important point to know is that Prince George’s County experienced 129 road deaths in 2023 including 39 pedestrians and three bicyclists. We’ve seen too many tragedies like the deaths of 5-year-old Sky Sosa and 10-year-old Shalom Mbah, killed in November walking to school in Riverdale Park and we’re calling for changes that will keep vulnerable road users safer on our streets. 

WABA supported members to submit comments on the operating budget, capital budget and six-year Capital Improvement Plan.

The County Executive’s proposed CIP retains funding for important projects like the Fenton Street Cycletrack and the Amherst Avenue Bikeway, yet failed to add monies for additional segments of WABA’s Equitable Investment in Montgomery’s Bike Network ProposalThe Executive’s capital budget proposal also cuts more than $24m from Montgomery Parks’ budget which would delete funds for necessary improvements and upkeep of trails.

WABA proposes funding for additional MCDOT design and engineering staff to oversee larger numbers of projects to support safe walking and biking in the county, as well as more funds to implement elements of the county’s Vision Zero program.

And we are asking the county to create and fund an e-bike purchase rebate/voucher program, heavily targeted to low- and moderate-income residents, to encourage uptake of the greenest form of motorized personal transportation out there. We’d like Montgomery County to create a program similar to Washington DC’s, enacted last year. We invited members to join us for meetings with Councilmembers to discuss our budget priorities.

Safer Streets for ALL Drivers: Banning Consent Searches

WABA testified in support of the Freedom to Leave Act at a County Council public hearing on February 27. This bill, introduced by Councilmember Will Jawando, aims to reduce disparities in traffic enforcement by prohibiting consent searches of a motor vehicle or person by a police officer and to improve data analysis for traffic stops by requiring the collection of additional data and annual reporting of traffic stop data. WABA has been proud to follow the lead of Young People for Progress (YPP), which “creates political power among youth and young adults in Montgomery County, MD in order to create a more just and equitable society,” in our work on this bill. 

Youth Transportation Safety Town Hall

Joseph, WABA’s Youth Organizing Coordinator, led a cohort of four high school student leaders through a curriculum focused on traffic safety, during which the students hosted their own traffic safety summit for other students, and also engaged students and other community members through presentations and walking safety tours.

Prince George's County Youth Transportation Safety Town Hall in Hyattsville, April 13, 2024
Prince George’s County Youth Transportation Safety Town Hall in Hyattsville, April 13, 2024

Joseph and WABA’s Prince George’s County Vision Zero Youth Leadership Institute,  leaders organized a fantastic Youth Transportation Safety Town Hall in Hyattsville on April 13. (Thanks to the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, DPW&T, and other partners.)

The town hall featured guests including District 2 Councilmember Wanika Fisher, DPW&T Deputy Director Oluseyi Olugbenle, Hyattsville Mayor Robert Croslin, and Prince George’s County School Board District 3 Member Pamela Boozer-Strother in addition to the youth organizers.

Quoting Oluseyi Olugbenle: “It’s not a secret that Prince George’s County has the highest number of crashes and fatalities in the state. In my speech, I spoke about these challenges but also concrete solutions needed in policy, funding, meaningful roadway redesign projects, and inclusive public engagement.“

Joseph and the youth organizers have continued their work. A Central Avenue/MD 214 safety walk audit provided Central High School students an opportunity to document their walkability and safety concerns and bring them directly to State Highway Administration and MVA Highway Safety Office staff who joined them for the walk.

Prince George's County, Central High School safety walk audit, May 6, 2024
Central High School safety walk audit along Central Ave./MD 214

Maryland Bicycling News

Maryland Department of Transportation Releases New Complete Streets Policy

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) released a new statewide Complete Streets Policy in early June, an update on a 2012 policy, that is intended for broad application across all six component agencies under MDOT. As Alex Holt wrote in GGWash, “The policy applies whenever MDOT is implementing a capital improvement project like constructing or reconstructing a “roadway, intersection, or bridge,” permitting new or reconstructed streets to access MDOT right-of-way, or “when there is an opportunity to improve safety for all users by applying proactive engineering safety countermeasures to resurfacing projects.” That, combined with a more stringent waiver process directly dependent on the approval of Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul Wiedefeld instead of the individual agencies themselves, magnifies its impact significantly…”

Prince George’s County Bike and Pedestrian Network Plan

Prince George's County's Bike and Pedestrian Network Plan top 15 projects, announced in March 2024
Prince George’s County’s Bike and Pedestrian Network Plan top 15 projects, announced in March 2024

The County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) released its Bike and Pedestrian Network Plan that “identifies projects to address missing links in the existing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The plan prioritizes pedestrian and bicycle network improvement projects within High Incident Areas (HIAs), downtowns, along corridors, and within local and regional transit centers.”

The plan isn’t complete; we’d characterize it as a continuation. The $4.5 million cost to bring those projects—actually, 14 of them, with the 15th independently accounted for–to 30% design is funded, which means the county will need to come up with design-completion and construction funding in future years. But also, if you look at the project map, you’ll see segments rather than a network. Building out a connected, complete Prince George’s County bikeway network will take decades. The current plan covers a small amount of what would be, if funded and completed, a very large effort.

To advance bike-network build-out, WABA actively works with DPW&T and with the county’s municipalities and with the State Highway Administration (SHA) to urge them to apply for federal and state project funding. This is a significant part of our advocacy efforts.

Montgomery Parks Open Parkways Program on Beach Drive Approved

The Montgomery County Planning Board voted unanimously on Thursday, June 13, 2024, to make permanent modifications to the Montgomery Parks Open Parkways program. Modifications include adding Fridays to the scheduled weekend closures of parts of Beach Drive to motor vehicle traffic and removing a short segment of roadway from the program. The permanent changes took effect on Friday, June 21, when the part of Beach Drive open only to walkers, bicyclists, and other non-motorized uses will extend 2.2 miles from Knowles Avenue to Cedar Lane, eliminating the .7-mile stretch from Cedar Lane to Connecticut Avenue. 

The parkway will close to motor vehicle traffic every Friday starting at 9 a.m. through Sunday at 6 p.m. (4 p.m. during the fall and winter months). Previously, a segment of Beach Drive was closed to motor vehicles only on Saturdays and Sundays.  


WABA’s Virginia Organizer Kevin O’Brien, continues to collaborate closely with local, county, and state groups and initiatives, helping to bring groups together and to mobilize residents around key issues.

Upcoming Events

Northern Virginia Trails Tour on Wednesday, June 26th -> Join us!

Join WABA and the Capital Trails Coalition for an afternoon bike ride along some of Northern Virginia’s most important trails. We’ll check out several new trail connections, in-progress improvements, and segments slated for major overhauls at an easy pace with plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.

This 16.5 mile one-way route will start at Benjamin Banneker Park near L’Enfant Plaza, snake its way past Long Bridge Park and the Pentagon, head north through the Penrose and Lyon Park neighborhoods, join the Custis and then W&OD Trails, and finally bring us along the new I-66 Trail to the Vienna Metrorail Station. Route map available here.

We’ll kick off at 4PM and look to be at Vienna Metro by 6PM. Folks with time constraints and/or who would prefer a shorter route can join (or depart) the ride at the halfway mark, Ballston Metro, at ~5PM.

Attendees need to come prepared with their own bike and should bring water/ be prepared for the (likely warm) weather. Helmets also required.

Creating Community on the W&OD Trail on Friday, June 28th -> See you there!

Join WABA, Bike Falls Church, NOVA Parks, and the Friends of the W&OD along the venerable W&OD Trail – celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! – on Friday, June 28th.

We’ll be out tabling on the trail at Great Fall St, doing some giveaways (including popsicles?!), and chatting with folks about the trail’s history, future improvements, and how we all have a role to play to ensure it remains a welcoming and accessible space for everyone.

Stop by anytime between 1:30 and 3:30pm to share your views, ask questions, hear the latest, find out how to help, or just to say hi and enjoy being outside! Feel free to share with friends, family, and colleagues. Registration not required (but it does make it easy to add to your calendar!).

Supporting Better Biking

WABA voiced support and called for improvements for project plans across Northern Virginia including:

Community Engagement

WABA Member Social

We hosted a social for our amazing Virginia members at Astro Beer Hall on April 10th. We chatted about ongoing work in Virginia, discussed updates to local projects, and highlighted upcoming events across the commonwealth.

Community Support & Tabling Events

Kevin leads the Fairfax Health Communities Active Transportation Working Group and continues to meet with and support the Fairfax Health Communities initiative.

We also tabled at the U.S. Pentagon’s Transportation Fair, the world’s second largest office building, and helped organize a collaboration between the League of American Bicyclists and People for Bikes (and the U.S. State Department) to present a webinar to promote bicycle friendly workplaces for government agencies.

Virginia Bicycling News

Boundary Channel Drive Opening: The Boundary Channel Drive at I-395 interchange project in Arlington, Virginia was officially opened in May 2024. The $20 million project improves safety and traffic flow, and increases accessibility and connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.

Glendale Avenue Contraflow Bike Lane: In early 2024, the City of Alexandria completed construction of its first contraflow bike lane. Located between Mount Vernon Avenue and Leslie Avenue, this contraflow bike lane allows people to bike safely ride against one-way traffic while providing a direct connection between Mount Vernon Avenue and the Potomac Yard Trail.  

The new shared-use paths along Route 7 between North Reston and Tysons are open (ahead of schedule!). Perhaps less than *scenic* but big on connectivity.

The path connecting Mount Vernon Trail and Long Bridge Park is officially open. First of many exciting trail enhancements slated for this well-used corridor over the next several years.

Arlington County Recognized as a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community: The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Arlington County as a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC).

This marks the first time Arlington has received a Gold-level BFC status, an honor that recognizes the County for a commitment to building quality biking infrastructure as part of its transportation network and implementing programs that help all riders feel welcomed and encouraged. Arlington was a Bronze-level BFC in 2003 and moved up to Silver-level in 2007, sustaining that status until this Gold-level award. BikeArlington posited that they believe Arlington moved up from Silver to Gold ranking because of:

  • Expansion of Arlington’s Bicycle Network
  • Emphasis on Equity and Accessibility in Bicycling
  • Strong Bike Culture and an Engaged Community of Advocates

We look forward to keep building on this progress!

Protected Bike Lanes Announced for Alexandria: In April 2024, the City of Alexandria Transportation & Environmental Services announced last week that four existing bike lanes will be getting new protection, including physical barriers, this summer. The city will add four buffers to bike lanes on:

  • King Street (Janneys Lane to Radford Street)
  • North Van Dorn Street (Braddock Road to Menokin Drive)
  • Pegram Street (Polk Avenue to North Pickett Street)
  • Seminary Road (North Howard Street to Quaker Lane)

Update of the Fairfax County Bicycle Parking Guidelines: The final Bicycle Parking Guidelines will be considered for approval on June 25, 2024, at the Board of Supervisors meeting

Fairfax Paving and Restriping Program in 2024

Paving and Restriping Image

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation FCDOT) use the Paving and Restriping program as an opportunity to increase driver, bicyclist and pedestrian safety with road and crosswalk improvements while minimizing the financial investment in restriping work. The repaving program can include limited bike lane, shoulder and crosswalk improvements with signage and markings. Bike lanes or shoulders are usually installed where excess pavement width is available. You can check the status of paving projects on this VDOT map.

Other Bike-Related News

Achilles and Capital Bikeshare Launch Adaptive Cycling Program

Thanks to support from Capital Bikeshare, Achilles International is expanding their Adaptive Cycling Program in Washington, D.C. They offer free, weekly adaptive cycling sessions providing access to equipment such as handcycles, tandem bikes and recumbent bike for people with disabilities, especially first time riders.

The program runs from April 6 through early November. Sign up as an athlete with a disability or volunteer by selecting Washington D.C. as your chapter city.

There is no cost to participate in the program, however, reservations must be made in advance. Helmets are required at all times while cycling. Please bring your own helmet if possible, otherwise one will be provided for use during your ride. People living with disabilities can reserve equipment for recreational use. Please note, adaptive cycling equipment cannot be used for commuting elsewhere. Achilles staff and volunteer guides will be on-site to answer questions and help train new riders. For additional questions or local volunteer opportunities, contact Hannah McFadden at

Capital Bikeshare Usage Continues to Grow!

From Samuel Littauer in Greater Greater Washington: “Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) broke the all-time monthly ridership record in May 2024, recording 515,394 trips across the Washington, DC, metro area. Annual ridership is up 31.3% through May 2024, as the record-setting month takes the regional network to 2,000,128 trips this calendar year. The CaBi system has now seen year-over-year monthly increases in ridership for 29 consecutive months.”