This Week in Bike Reads

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Sneckdowns are serious business.

See one man’s quest to get Montgomery County to clear the Capital Crescent Trail in event of snow.

The D.C. Bicycle Advisory Committee has some damning comments regarding the city’s work on bike infrastructure.

How significant of an issue is air pollution to cyclists?

Though public shaming via social media was necessary to get the city to clear the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane…

DDOT staffers got on it.

Image via Flickr user PedroGringo. Join our Flickr pool!

See Rising From Ashes at Arlington Drafthouse Tonight

Arlington Drafthouse and Cinema will host a screening of Rising From Ashes this evening at 7:20 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door.

Rising From Ashes , which has garnered critical acclaim from major publications and received awards at numerous independent film festivals, is described thusly:

Rising From Ashes is a joyous and uplifting independent film about the development of a national cycling team in Rwanda, a country still affected deeply by the genocide that tore the East African nation apart in 1994.

Two worlds collide when cycling legend Jacques “Jock” Boyer moves to Rwanda in 2006 to help a group of struggling survivors of the genocide to pursue their dream of creating a national cycling team. Members of the fledgling team were children left orphaned by the genocide a decade earlier. Their pasts are painful. As they set out against impossible odds, both Boyer – fighting his own past demons – and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their pasts through remarkable achievements, both big and small.

See more information about the event on Facebook. Read all about the premise of Rising From Ashes (and see the trailer) here.

Ride for WABA in the 2014 Climate Ride

2013 Climate Riders

It’s time to register to be a WABA Climate Rider in 2014!

This year, there are a few new Climate Ride offerings and routes. Perhaps they’ll tempt you into undertaking a long-distance charity ride fundraiser! Consider the possibility of pedaling through breathtaking scenery to raise awareness for climate change and raise money for WABA.

Last year, WABA Climate Riders raised over $38,000 to support our organization’s advocacy efforts, which are spread throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Tackling the Climate Ride is a compelling way to keep WABA going. If you participate in the Climate Ride and choose WABA as your 100 percent beneficiary, you get a custom Team WABA 2014 jersey—and all the help we can offer you in planning training rides, sending fundraising emails, and arranging travel logicistics.

The season kicks off with Climate Ride California (May 17-20); this is a new route through California wine country that ends in the state capital, Sacramento (Please note: This ride is now two-thirds full, so sign up ASAP!) The first-ever Climate Ride Midwest (Sept. 6-9) departs Grand Rapids for Chicago. And the classic New York City to D.C. Climate Ride (Sept. 20-25) is guaranteed to have a strong showing from Team WABA.

You can sign up for any of these rides right now, but they are guaranteed to sell out! Before this post went up, the Climate Hike through Glacier National Park filled up. Get your Climate Ride spot today!

For more information, see the Climate Ride website, and feel free to contact Team WABA Captain Gina Arlotto with any questions at gina@waba.org.

See Plans for Bethesda’s New Sidewalk Next Wednesday

The Maryland State Highway Administration is moving forward with a new sidewalk and crosswalk proposal for Wisconsin Avenue’s “green mile.”

This is the partially sidewalk-less, crosswalk-less road that connects Bethesda to Friendship Heights, where bicyclist and pedestrian safety has been an issue for years due to lack of decent infrastructure. Many spoke up in support of this project at a meeting about a year ago, and now you have the chance to see the results of that action.

On Wed., Feb. 19, the SHA will be presenting its final project plans and construction schedule for Wisconsin Avenue. Attend to learn about the timeline and thank the SHA for accommodating bikes and pedestrians.

Meeting Details
Wed., Feb. 19, 7:00 p.m.
Chevy Chase Village Hall
5906 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, Md. 20815
Google Bike Directions

As a refresher, SHA’s plans call for the installation of a $1.2 million six-foot-wide sidewalk along 0.7 miles of the east side of Wisconsin Avenue, which borders the golf course at Chevy Chase Club. Despite there being three bus stops between Grafton Street and Bradley Lane, there is currently no sidewalk along this stretch of the road. It is a hazard for anyone with limited mobility, and unpleasant for all pedestrians hoping to walk this section of the busy, six-lane Wisconsin Ave. The new sidewalk will address these concerns and provide a respite for less confident bicyclists who do not feel safe commuting on the street. Read the coverage from the Bethesda Now blog in 2013.  SHA’s plans also include several crosswalks, equipped with pedestrian-activated flashing lights over the road, to be built across Wisconsin Ave. to further improve biking and pedestrian safety. A summary of this specific piece of the project can be seen here.

Thank you to everyone who has spoken up in support of this issue over the years. Any additional relevant information about the meeting will be posted here.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is the leading voice for bicycling in the region. WABA members and supporters enable us to advocate for better conditions for bicycling. Join today or make a tax-deductible donation to ensure that we can continue to represent you.

This Week in Bike Reads

Bikeshare break

Following a crash in Minneapolis that resulted in a cyclist’s death, this blog says it’s not about whether the cyclist was riding safely.

Harriet Tregoning did much to further better bike infrastructure in D.C. She’s also a devoted Brompton rider.

WABA bike ambassador Pete explains why giving cycling a voice (literally!) is a great thing.

Traffic signals give priority to cyclists in the Netherlands, of course.

Another driver drove on the W&OD Trail.

If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to encourage the District Department of Transportation and the National Park Service to fix the Rock Creek Park Trail.

Photo by Flickr user Joe in DC. Join our Flickr pool!

WABA’s Advocacy Priorities for 2014 and Beyond

Biking Rock Creek Park

In 2013, WABA’s board of directors established a list of 10 regional priorities on which to focus our advocacy efforts in the coming years. Read about those priorities—which are ordered arbitrarily—below.

Rock Creek Park Multi-Use Trail Rehabilitation
WABA will work to ensure that the District Department of Transportation and the National Park Service finish the design and construction of a complete repaving of the trail and improve access to it, as outlined in the Rock Creek Park Multi-Use Trail Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment.

Capital Crescent Trail
WABA will work to ensure that a complete off-road paved multi-use trail is built in conjunction with the Purple Line from Bethesda to Silver Spring. WABA will advocate for improved trail access to the existing facility.

Washington, Baltimore, & Annapolis Trail
WABA will work to extend this rail-trail southeast from its current terminus in Glenn Dale, Md., through Maryland’s suburbs into D.C. and connect it to the area’s existing trail network.

Finish the Metropolitan Branch Trail
WABA will work with D.C. and Montgomery County to ensure that those jurisdictions design and construct the Met Branch Trail segment from Brookland to Downtown Silver Spring, and that that segment includes the Prince George’s Connector Trail.

Northern Virginia U.S. Route 50
WABA will work with Fairfax County to improve bicycle access along the U.S. Route 50 corridor from Fairfax to D.C. with a new, separated bicycle facility.

Protected Bike Lanes
WABA will work with regional governments to increase the mileage of on-road, physically separated bike lanes and cycletracks.

Southeastern Trail Corridor
WABA will work to increase access for bicycling in the southeastern area of the region, including trails like the Suitland Parkway Trail.

Safe Passages to School
WABA will work with regional governments to implement Safe Routes to School policies and and provide bicycle safety training to ensure kids have safe modes of transit between their home and education center.

Increased Bike Parking and Commuter Amenities
WABA will ensure that all local jurisdictions have a comprehensive bicycle parking and commuter amenities policy.

Police Enforcement and Education
WABA will encourage police to enforce existing traffic laws that affect cyclists such as right turn on red, passing too close, and speeding. WABA will advocate for better education of police officers on bicycle-specific laws and how to properly enforce them.

Details and updates on WABA’s initiatives in these areas will be posted to our blog. For more information on our advocacy work, see waba.org/advocacy. Contact Advocacy Coordinator Greg Billing at greg@waba.org with any questions.

WABA’s advocacy is supported by your membership dollars. Join or donate to WABA today to enable us to continue to achieve success in our advocacy work.

Photo by Flickr user Rebecca Schley

This Week in Bike Reads

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Y’all bike when it’s cold outside.

D.C.’s spirit animal of bike lanes, the snowy owl, was hit by a bus.

Georgetown’s getting more bike corrals.

The Maryland Department of Transportation is rebuilding the Susquehanna Amtrak bridge. Sign this petition to ask that it include bike lanes.

Yet more still on the King Street bike lanes.

Need a bike valet? There’s a local business for that.

Photo by Flickr user BikeEveryDay. Join our Flickr pool!

Our Bike Beer Happy Hour is Tomorrow Night!

You can give back to WABA by drinking beer! Gordon Biersch Navy Yard and Ashburn’s Lost Rhino Brewery teamed up to make a bike-themed beer (true story: Gordon Biersch’s brewer transported the yeast for the beer from Ashburn to D.C. by bike), and are tapping it tomorrow night. One hundred percent of the proceeds from pints of the beer, called Gestalt, sold tomorrow night at the tapping party will celebrate WABA. Join us!

When: Tomorrow, Wed., Jan. 29; the party starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes till 8 p.m.
Where: Gordon Biersch Navy Yard (100 M St. SE, across the street from the Nationals baseball stadium)
Why: Because you love WABA, beer, and a chance to win cool prizes

Flier for web update (400x256)

A big thank you to Gordon Biersch Navy Yard and Ashburn’s Lost Rhino Brewing Company for collaborating to brew this bike beer and for making this happy hour possible.

Please RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.

What could you win in the raffle, you ask? Well…

Raffle prizes include: Face Plant IPA bike jerseys from Lost Rhino Brewing; frisbee golf discs from Lost Rhino Brewing; gift certificates to Lost Rhino Brewing and Gordon Biersch Navy Yard; Pace Sportswear cycling caps; light sets from Planet Bike; a handcrafted bicycle clock from New York bicyclist/clock maker 1.by.Liz; bicycle-themed t-shirts from local printers Clockwork Gears; light sets and a lock from Knog; a gift card for free bike tune-up at City Bikes and a City Bikes jersey; a Kryptonite lock set, a Topeak Trunkbag, a light set, and two Sunlite panniers from Annandale, Va.’s Cycle Hope; and custom wallets from Road Runner Bags.

 

Pete and FABB’s Silver Line Metro Station Expedition

Pete Beers is one of our part-time bike ambassadors. Pete lives in Virginia and spends a lot of time biking in D.C.’s suburbs and, as a BA, has worked tirelessly to make getting around WABA’s suburban jurisdictions by bike easier and more accessible. In December, Pete led a holiday shopping trip by bike to Tyson’s Corner and the Mosaic District in conjunction with Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling. Now, we’re reposting his account of another ride with FABB, to the new Silver Line Metro stations. You can read Pete’s blog, I Love My Commute, here.

Last week Liz and I planned and lead a ride with some members of Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking to scout out ways to ride to some of the new Silver Line Metro stations being brought on line in the near future. We found a few surprises in getting around. Some stations are easily accessible by bike. Others are more of a challenge. The good and not-so good rides were not what I expected.

Background: One of the great things about the new Silver Line Metro Stations is that they are all extremely well equipped with bike racks and bike storage lockers. At this point, most of these stations do not have a lot of automobile parking. That leaves getting to and from Metro by bus, taxi or bicycle. As a bicycle advocate, I took a keen interest in scouting out the routes to the Silver Line Stations.

McLean Station turned out to be the most pleasant, and probably easiest station to get to by bicycle. The route from the south consists of mostly neighborhood streets that are quiet and enjoyable by bicycle. Here is the route that we took. It runs from Tysons Station Shopping Center (the intersection of Pimmit Drive and Leesburg Pike) to the McLean Metro Station.

Tyson’s Corner Station is for the short term, slightly more hazardous to ride to because of road and building construction across the street from the station. The construction is specifically located at the intersection of ShopTysons Blvd and the Chain Bridge Rd entrance to the mall.  There is a stop sign on ShopTysons Blvd for crossing the mall entrance that has very little visibility to oncoming traffic.  In coming months, the construction will be completed and the route will be much safer.  From the south, there is a great route from the Kilmer Middle School Neighborhood to the Tysons Corner Station.  I use this route to get to the mall for shopping. There’s great bike parking in front of Gordon Biersch Brewery with easy access to the mall. A slight variant on the route listed above is from McLean High School to McLean Metro station. Magarity Road has quite a bit of traffic, but is not bad for cycling. The route is quite convenient.

Spring Hill Station has some routes that are easy and safe and some routes that are not at all recommended. From the west, Metro access from Wolf Trap National Park is a pleasant ride, though it has a few hills. Trap Road has a nice, multi-use trail that makes things much easier. The business park to the north comes from Freddie Mac, near Spring Hill Road around to Tysons Corner Mall. Jones Branch Drive is busy, but has a very wide shoulder. It was an easy ride to the metro. There is access to the Metro Station on both the south and north of Chain Bridge Road.

One of the routes that would be most useful to get to Spring Hill Station is from the north. Spring Hill Recreation Center and Park is a big part of the community. Unfortunately the roads between Spring Hill Rec Center and the metro are NOT safe for riding. The shoulders on Spring Hill Road are narrow and the traffic is heavy and moving quickly. We rode it safely at its lowest traffic time, but I wouldn’t recommend it to any but the most seasoned cyclists used to riding in high-traffic areas. Spring Hill Station has an easy route from the south and the Westbriar Elementary School neighborhood. There are a few sections of multi-use trails.

I’m pleased to say that there are great cycling routes and great cycling facilities for these Metro stations!

Happy riding!

Pete

This Week in Bike Reads

snow bicycle

Use M.V. Jantzen’s interactive tool to play with Capital Bikeshare data from 2013.

The League of American Bicyclists has a new mission statement.

This documentary is a trifecta: transportation, gentrification, and funded by Kickstarter.

The saga of the King Street bike lanes continues: The plan will be subjected to two more hearings.

DDOT did not do a very good job clearing D.C.’s bike lanes of snow.

The Bicycle Story profiles friend of WABA and Friday Coffee Club co-founder Mary Gersemalina.

Bixi’s finances are in a bad place, but Capital Bikeshare says it’ll be just fine.

Hey! Come to our happy hour next week! Bikes, beer, and Gordon Biersch—it’ll be a great time.

Photo by Flickr user Aimee Custis. Join our Flickr group!