Link Roundup: Biking During Inauguration Week

TL;DR: Do not attempt to bike around or through the federal core of DC for the next week.

Things to know:

Bicycles are not permitted within the Inauguration Perimeter.

The Secret Service has not released a full map of closures, but there’s a list: lots of roads and bridges are closed. The Memorial Bridge and 14th Street Bridge are currently listed as open to pedestrians, but we do not recommend relying on that, and would definitely not plan to try to bring your bike with you.

As of this writing The Google Maps traffic layer has reasonably current closures marked.

The National Mall is closed.

Lots of bikeshare stations are closed.

Lots of transit stations are closed too.

Trails are not included in the closures lists we’ve seen, but assume that portions of the Rock Creek Trail around the Kennedy Center will be closed, and probably sections of the Anacostia River Trail between the 11th Street Bridge and the Jefferson Memorial.

The Washington Post has a good summary here, which will probably be more up to date than this post. And the good folks at DCist are also tracking closures and have made a map.

Some brief editorializing:

In a normal inauguration year, we would be recommending your bike as a great way to get close to the National Mall without dealing with parking or crowded trains.

This year, there will be violent fascists around the city looking for a fight and an on-edge security apparatus looking to stop them.

Stay safe. Stay home if you can.

If you’re getting on your bike for fun, head away from the city rather than toward it.

New Data: Most DC voters support protected bike lanes

This past December, WABA partnered with Data for Progress on a citywide poll on biking issues. We have some good news: 

  • 79% of likely voters in DC would support a protected bike lane network, including on neighborhood streets, if it meant bike riders could ride in the street and be safe from traffic.
  • 73% of likely voters in DC support adding more protected bike lanes around the city.
  • 63% of likely D.C. voters would bike more around Washington, D.C. if they felt safer biking on the road. 

As the District continues to seek ways to meet its climate and safety goals, a protected bike lane network is a popular solution that can be implemented on a short timeline. Let’s go! 

If you are into spreadsheets you can take a look at the numbers here, but the key takeaway is that this support for a better bike network is consistent across race, gender, and political party. 

When the D.C. economy starts to open up after the pandemic has passed, we need to ensure that DC residents have safe infrastructure to commute on—we need to start building more protected bike lanes now!

What does Family Biking look like for you? Show us!

By Jeff Wetzel

I’m the official “Family Biking” person here at WABA, as the Family and Youth Education Coordinator. “How do I do this thing?” is a question I get a lot. Answers often turn into a conversation. This thing might be teaching a kid to ride, finding the best bike for a child, or  hauling kids to school by bike. There is no one-size-fits-all answer—it really depends on where you are riding, the age and ability of the child(ren), your budget, and more. 

To help illustrate the many, many great ways to bike with your family, we are curating a series of Family Bike Portraits from across the region. We want to see and hear what “Family Biking” looks like for you, whether you’re in Capitol Hill or Bowie or Herndon. Got trailers and child seats? Box bikes? Kids pedaling on their own? Mom or dad scoping out a new ebike? Whether you ride from your front door to school or hitch bikes to a car and drive to a safe trail to ride with an aunt or uncle, your story is important. 

We’d love to hear your stories and see your photos.

Below is what Family Biking looks like for me. We want to hear from and share what it looks like for you. A paragraph or two along with a few pictures won’t capture the entirety of your story, but will let people see some of your experience. If you are willing to share your Family Biking Portrait, send a brief description and a few photos to youth@waba.org. We plan to share them over the course of the next year.

I live with four girls between the ages of 6 and 11. They can all ride their bikes comfortably for 20 minutes without complaint, and do well with slow neighborhood streets in Northeast DC, but we take the sidewalk on busier roads. They all have their own bikes, but often ride in our box bike when I need to take them further, faster, or along places that I’m not comfortable having them ride. (Read about our 20×20 Campaign to bring safe places to communities across the District here)

¡Muéstranos cómo tu familia pasea en bicicleta!

Hola, soy Jeff y como el Coordinador de Educación para Familia y Juventud soy la persona oficial encargada del  “Ciclismo en Familia” en WABA. La pregunta que más recibo es “¿Cómo hago esta cosa?” y usualmente la pregunta se convierte en una larga conversación. Esta cosa va desde como enseñar a unx niñx como andar en bicicleta, preguntas sobre cuál es la mejor bicicleta para tu hijx, hasta cómo podemos irnos a la escuela en bicicleta. No hay una respuesta única y correcta para todas estas preguntas. Depende del lugar donde vayas andar en bici, la edad y capacidad de lxs niñxs, tu presupuesto y más.

Por eso, hemos decidido compilar una serie de Retratos de Ciclismo en Familia de la región de Washington, DC. Queremos ver y escuchar que es el “Ciclismo en Familia” para ti. Queremos oír de personas de toda la región, desde Capitol Hill hasta Bowie y Herndon, y más allá. Personas con remolques, asientos para niñxs, bicicletas con caja y niñxs que andan en sus propias bicis. Tu historia es importante, no importa si viajas desde la puerta de tu casa hasta la escuela o si ustedes suben las bicicletas en un coche y conducen hasta un sendero seguro para pasear. Nos encantaría escuchar tus historias y ver tus fotos. 

Abajo puedes leer cómo yo defino el ciclismo familiar para mí. Nosotrxs en WABA queremos escuchar y compartir cómo tu lo defines para tu familia. Sabemos que uno o dos párrafos junto con algunas fotos no pueden capturar la totalidad de tu historia, pero esperamos que puedan ayudar a otras personas a ver parte de tu experiencia en familia. Si estás dispuestx a compartir tu Retrato de Ciclismo en Familiaa, envíanos una breve descripción y algunas fotos a youth@waba.org. Planeamos compartirlos a lo largo del próximo año.

¿Qué es el ciclismo para ti, Jeff?

Yo vivo con cuatro niñas que tienen entre de 6 y 11 años. Todas saben andar en bicicleta cómodamente durante 20 minutos sin quejarse, y les va bien con las calles lentas y calmas en los barrios del noreste de DC. Pero también tomamos la acera en los caminos más transitados. Todas tienen sus propias bicicletas, pero a menudo viajan en nuestra bicicleta de caja cuando necesito llevarlas más lejos, más rápido, o por lugares en los que no me siento cómodo con ellas andando solas. (Lea sobre nuestra Campaña 20×20 para crear lugares seguros para andar en bici en todas las comunidades de el Distrito – enlace en inglés)

Thank you. Yes, you!

There aren’t many things in this world that are just plain good, but gratitude is one of them—and community is another.

Everyone in this bicycling community supports each other in so many ways, and we here at WABA are grateful for all of you: advocates, riders, volunteers, neighbors, and friends.

Here are a few other things we’re feeling thankful for this year:

  • The organizations on the frontline of this pandemic who are providing essential services and support to people in need— and the essential workers who keep our region running.
  • Bikes, and safe places to ride them: trails, protected bike lanes, and parkways closed to traffic to make more room for people to pedal and scoot and walk and play. 
  • This beautiful region, home of the Anacostans (Nacotchtank) and Piscataway peoples . Today we’re celebrating gratitude and community, but as we do so it’s important to think about the colonialist myth that surrounds this holiday, and the centuries of violence against indigenous peoples that it obscures.  If you haven’t already, will you join us in learning about the history of this land and critiquing the Thanksgiving story? This essay, this interview, and this article are good places to start. 

Since it’s harder to gather in person, your holiday season probably looks different this year. I hope you find a chance to get outside this weekend and ride your bike, scoot your scooter, take a walk, or sit and breathe in some fresh air.  

Thanks again.

WABA Town Hall

The end of the year means more than digging out bike light chargers and post-ride hot chocolates — it’s when WABA (and many other incredible nonprofits) ask you to double down on your support and make a financial contribution to help us end the year strong.

Join us for a digital town hall to learn about what your support made possible in 2020, how we’re continuing to pivot for 2021, and peek into our budget and strong financial standing. After the presentation, WABA’s executive director and development director will field as many questions as we can get to. 

This town hall is open to the public, but please sign up in advance so we can get you the Zoom link.

Register

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Thank you so much!

Because staff are working remotely, it make take longer than usual to mail a paper acknowledgment of your gift. You should receive an email acknowledgment in a moment.