Bike Anywhere Week: Ways to Carry Stuff by Bike

Join WABA for our third annual Bike to Anywhere Week by tuning in to our webinar where we’ll discuss the different ways to carry stuff on your everyday ride.  Learn how to carry things around your bike using racks, bags, trailers and more! We’ll share  some quick tips on how to use these accessories and where others might be able to find them. By the end of the webinar you’ll have all the knowledge you need in order to carry your necessary items for your commute,  your groceries from the store to your home, your kids to school or even your pets to the park! Feel free to ask your questions so you are  prepared to carry things around on your next ride.

Register!

April Low Stress Network Updates

There’s a sweet flowery scent floating in the air around DC these days. And if you know where to look, fresh, safe, joyful, low-stress streets are budding, just about to bloom. This month is packed with opportunities to support a street transformation near you, pass needed laws, and celebrate the change we are making happen.

Did You See This?

6 DC Council Bills to Support Now – The DC council is abuzz with new ideas to change how DC’s streets and sidewalks are built and managed to prioritize safety for people walking and biking. Two bills, the Safer Intersections Amendment Act and Upgrading Tactical Safety Projects Amendment Act have a hearing set for May 5. One provision would bring the Safety Stop (aka the Idaho Stop or Delaware Yield) to DC. Read our full breakdown on why this policy is right for DC.

Streetfilms visits DC during the National Bike Summit – Last month, bike and safe streets advocates met up in DC for the annual National Bike Summit. Videographers from Streetfilms shared some highlights of DC’s recent efforts. 

Things To Do

Good things happen when advocates like you are speaking up for DC’s Low Stress Bike Network. Here are some quick actions to support building parts of that network. Find the most recent actions at waba.org/action.

Reimagine Bladensburg Rd NE
DDOT wants your help reimagining Bladensburg Rd NE from Maryland Ave to the Maryland line. Drop your thoughts on the map and survey by the end of May.

Take Action


People First on I (Eye) St. SE/SW
Sign the petition to support DDOT’s plan for protected bike lanes, traffic calming, and safer intersections on I St. in SW Waterfront and Navy Yard.

Sign the Petition


Weigh in on Columbia Road NW Bus Priority & Bike Project
DDOT wants your ideas for making Columbia Rd in Adams Morgan work better for buses and bikes.

Take Action


Walk/Bike lanes for Ohio Drive at Hains Point
The National Park Service wants to make Ohio Dr in East Potomac Park safer to walk and bike with dedicated, painted lanes. See the plan & share your feedback by May 19.

Take Action


Support Traffic Calming on New Jersey Ave NW
New Jersey Avenue between N Street and Florida Avenue NW is a dangerous and a glaring gap in the low stress network. Sign this petition to support DDOT’s plan to fix it.

Sign the Petition


A New Vision for Pennsylvania Ave NW “America’s Main Street”
National Capital Planning Commission wants your ideas on a new vision for “America’s Main Street” aka Pennsylvania Ave. Share your feedback by July 13.

Take Action


Safe Biking & Walking on Lincoln Road NE Now!
Join us in urging DDOT to take this next step in connecting the bike lanes of Northeast DC, and taking the next step towards a safe commuting future for the District.

Take Action


Thank Mayor Bowser for Putting People First on Connecticut Ave
DC Mayor Bowser announced that 3+ miles of Connecticut Ave NW will be redesigned with new protected bike lanes, traffic calming, and no more dangerous reversible lanes. Join us in thanking the mayor!

Take Action


Events & Opportunities

Low Stress Bike Network Citywide Meeting
Get updates on campaigns across DC and get involved in one near you.
Monday, April 18 at 7pm

Register on Zoom

Hains Point Walk/Bike Safety Project Open House
Learn more about the NPS plan to make Ohio Dr in East Potomac Park safer to walk and bike with dedicated, painted lanes.
Tuesday, April 19 at 5pm

Attend on Microsoft Teams

A New Vision for Pennsylvania Ave NW “America’s Main Street”
The National Capital Planning Commission wants your feedback on their early concepts on a new vision for Pennsylvania Ave NW aka “America’s Main Street” between the White House and Congress. Attend to learn more about the alternatives and how to weigh in.
Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm

Register on Zoom

What We’re Reading

  1. Why Vision Zero Hit A Wall (Bloomberg) – despite pledges to make streets safer and commitments to zero out fatalities and serious injuries from traffic crashes, Vision Zero initiatives have been far from successful in the US. Here’s a deep look at why, and how the automobile is at the center of it.
  2. The 12 Best Ways to Get Cars out of Cities, Ranked (Streetsblog) – US cities have proven strategies to make streets dramatically safer, cut emissions, and improve livability, but success starts with tackling the legacy and ongoing dependence on cars in cities. Here is a review of the best tactics.
  3. Protected Bike Lanes Deliver Numerous Benefits, Study Says (Planetizen) – a recent report from Philadelphia found a 20 percent reduction in crashes, a 6 percent reduction of vehicle speeds, no increase in congestion, and a 96 percent increase in bike trips after protected bike lanes were added to city streets!

Advocate resources

  • WABA’s Low Stress Network campaign is powered and lead by community advocates, so we have tons of resources to share. Visit waba.org/network for videos of past trainings, helpful how-tos, and more. 
  • Grab a slot at our Advocate Office Hours to dig into an issue, find opportunities to get involved in a campaign, or plot the first steps of your own. Sign up for office hours here.

2022 Primary Election Candidate Questionnaires and Forum Recordings

This election season WABA has been busy hosting candidate forums and/or sending questionnaires to candidates for Council and Executive races in Montgomery County, Washington, DC, and Prince George’s County. Additionally, a questionnaire was sent to Arlington County board candidates running in the Primary election. 

We also invited candidates to sign our transportation equity pledge, to pledge their full commitment to supporting policies and budget measures that center transportation justice for their constituents.

Below you will find a recording of the candidate forums as well as the questionnaires we received back from candidates. Also, we indicated if a candidate signed the transportation equity pledge. 

Montgomery County Elections 

Candidate Forums Recordings 

Montgomery County Candidate Forum for District Races 

Montgomery County Candidate Forum for At-Large Races 

Montgomery County Candidate Forum for County Executive Races

Candidate Questionnaires 

County Executive 

Marc Elrich

David Blair

Hans Riemer (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

At-Large

Gabe Albornoz (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Laurie-Anne Sayles (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Scott Goldberg (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Will Jawando

Dwight Patel

Brandy Brooks (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Evan Glass (signed Transportation Equity Pledge) *Did not submit a questionnaire but signed pledge*

District 1

Andrew Friedson (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

District 2

William Roberts

Lorna Forde (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Marilyn Balcombe

District 3

Rob Wu (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

District 4

Amy Ginsburg (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Cary Lamari

Al Carr (signed Transportation Equity Pledge) *Did not submit a questionnaire but signed pledge*

District 5

Brian Anleu (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Christopher Bolton

Daniel Koroma (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Fatmata Barrie (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

John Zittrauer (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Kate Stewart

Kristin Mink (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

William Montier

District 6

Christa Tichy (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Maricé Morales (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Natali Fani-Gonzalez (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Omar Lazo (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

District 7

Dawn Luedtke (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Paul Schwartz (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Washington, DC Elections 

Candidate Forums Recordings 

Ward 5 Council Candidate Forum  

Ward 3 Council Candidate Forum  

Mayoral and Council Chair Candidate Forum 

Candidate Questionnaires 

Mayor

Robert White (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

James Butler (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Corren Brown

Chair 

Erin Palmer (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

At-Large

Lisa Gore (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Nate Fleming (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Dexter Williams (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Ward 1 

Brianne Nadeau  (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Sabel Harris (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Salah Czapary (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Ward 3

Beau Finley (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

David Krucoff

Deirdre Brown (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Eric Goulet (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Henry Cohen (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Matthew Frumin (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Phil Thomas

Tricia Duncan (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Ben Bergmann (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Ward 5

Gordon Fletcher (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Kathy Henderson

Zachary Parker (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Faith Gibson Hubbard

Ward 6

Charles Allen (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Prince George’s County Elections 

Candidate Questionnaires 

County Executive 

Sherman Hardy

Tonya Sweat

At-Large

Jonathan White (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Stanford Fraser (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Rudy Anthony

District 1

Michael Estève (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

District 3

Eric Olson (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

District 4

Trance Washington

District 6

Barbara Holt Streeter (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Belinda Queen

Denise Smith (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

District 7

Gary Falls

Krystal Oriadha (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

District 8

Jerry Mathis

Arlington County Elections 

Candidate Questionnaires 

Arlington County Board 

Matt de Ferranti (signed Transportation Equity Pledge)

Thank the Montgomery County Council for Supporting the Equitable Investment Bike Network Proposal!

On March 9, the three members of the Montgomery County Council Transportation and Environment Committee voted unanimously to support adding $10.7m to the County Capital Improvement Program budget.  These funds will be used to plan and build protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways in four of the County’s Equity Focus Areas as proposed by WABA (see our plan here).  On March 22, the full Council took up the Committee recommendations and provisionally approved, on a 9-0 vote, to add the $10.7m to the Capital Budget.

Please thank the Council for supporting  WABA’s Equitable Investment Equitable Investment in Montgomery’s Bike Network Proposal and ask for their help keeping the $10.7m in the final Budget.

Historically, Montgomery County has focussed its spending on facilities that make walking and biking safer in communities in the more affluent parts of the County.  WABA proposed a shift to build these projects in areas of the County that have fewer transportation assets, the Equity Focus Areas (see more detail on the EFAs here).  WABA wants to make walking and biking safer in these areas where residents are less likely to have access to cars and are more reliant on walking, biking and access to transit.

Please show your support for this shift in spending on active transportation options by emailing all of the County Council members to thank them for voting to add $10.7m to the Capital Budget in the next six years to plan and construct Tier One Bicycle Master Plan projects in Wheaton, White Oak, Langley Park and Silver Spring.

Life in the Anacostia Neighborhood, circa 1945

These photos were snapped by Frank R. Jackson, a photographer who documented Black life in and around the Anacostia Neighborhood his family called home during the 1940s. In each of them, his son Jack “Jackie” Jackson poses with his bike, gazing at the camera with a confident smile. In the final photo, Jackie poses with a friend the museum’s notes identify as Earl Stroud. Some cursory sleuthing brought me to an obituary for a local Earl Stroud, who passed away last year.

Going through these archives, encountering this obituary, thinking about the history behind these images, causes me to wonder about connections. The possible connection between the young Earl in the photo and the man who recently passed. The black and white photos make history like this feel far away, but it is still around us—in people who lived it, and its impact on our city and our lives today.

The Anacostia Community Museum has dozens of boxes containing Jackson’s photographs, which are historical artifacts that can give us a sense of what daily life was like for Black folks in the 1940s. Sometimes our collective imagination struggles to comprehend Black experiences in terms unrelated to civil rights. This fact is broadly true of fever pitch moments in history, such as the 1940s. However, life encompasses more than the historical events we append to these dates. These photos, which show kids being themselves, are a reminder.


Jackson, Frank R. Jack on his bike, circa 1945. Photograph. Washington, DC: from the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Frank R. Jackson Papers. https://sova.si.edu/details/ACMA.06-068#ref838

Jackson, Frank R. Jack on his bike, circa 1945. Photograph. Washington, DC: from the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Frank R. Jackson Papers. https://sova.si.edu/details/ACMA.06-068#ref839

Jackson, Frank R. Jack and Earl Stroud with their bikes, circa 1945. Photograph. Washington, DC: from the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Frank R. Jackson Papers. https://sova.si.edu/details/ACMA.06-068#ref836

Bike Buying 101

What kind of bike should I buy? Should I buy new or used? How does bike sizing work? Where should I purchase? How do I shop during this pandemic? I’m new to riding and there are so many options, WHERE DO I START???

If you have asked yourself any of these questions, this webinar is for you! Join us, as we discuss everything you’ve ever wanted to know about buying a bike. We will simplify your research process to narrow down your options and identify the benefits, perils, and hidden costs of each. We’ll also discuss how to adjust your bike shopping process during the pandemic.

Register!

Please keep in mind if we do chat about bike advice that what works for you may not work for everyone, and unsolicited advice can feel unwelcoming and condescending. Please come in the spirit of solidarity and communal problem solving.

6 DC Council Bills to Support Now

In 2020, the DC Council passed the transformative Vision Zero Omnibus Amendment Act which set in motion dozens of changes to how DC prioritizes safe street designs, responds to severe crashes, enforces safe driving behavior with cameras and so much more. While many aspects of this bill are not yet implemented, it laid the groundwork for more ambitious laws and programs. This Spring, the DC Council is considering six bills to further push DC, agencies, and initiatives to proactively make streets safe.

Here’s a rundown of the bills and what you can do to support them.

Safe Routes to School Expansion Regulation Amendment Act of 2021

This bill from Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George aims to make walking and biking to and around schools vastly safer. The bill would require new street and intersection safety improvements like raised crosswalks, speed humps, traffic signals and all-hours speed restrictions adjacent to schools, require an automated traffic enforcement camera in every school zone, direct camera revenue to safety improvements, and set an aggressive 2-year deadline for required improvements. The bill was introduced with the support of all 13 members of the Council. Read the full bill here.

Next Step: The Council’s T&E Committee held a hearing on March 14 for input on this bill. See the hearing announcement to submit testimony.

Walk Without Worry Amendment Act of 2021

This bill from Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeu would change DC’s default intersection designs to prioritize pedestrian safety and safe vehicle speeds. The bill requires DDOT to adopt raised crosswalks, raised intersections, and continuous sidewalks into the DDOT’s Design and Engineering Manual and specifies where these treatments should be used. Learn more about raised crosswalks here and  raised intersections  here

Like raised crosswalks, a continuous sidewalk gives pedestrians a continuous level path across an intersection, but uses materials and design that communicates a continuous pedestrian realm where cars allowed, but not the priority. They are ideal for intersections where a minor road meets a main road. Read the full bill here.

Next Step: The Council’s T&E Committee held a hearing on March 14 for input on this bill. See the hearing announcement to submit testimony.

Safer Intersections Amendment Act of 2022

This bill from Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh would make two policy changes centered on intersections to prohibit right turn on red by default for drivers and to allow the “Safety Stop” for people riding bikes and scooters. 

Right Turn On Red was legalized in 1979 as an energy conservation measure, but it has become a serious challenge for safe walking and biking in urban areas in the four decades since. Many drivers fail to stop before turning, block crosswalks, or use their permissive right to turn as justification to bully bicyclists waiting at a red signal to get out of the way. In DC, right turn on red is permitted except where signed, which favors moving cars quickly instead of pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The bill would make no turn on red the default rule, while allowing for exceptions at specific locations.

The Safety Stop allows people on bicycles, e-bikes, scooters, or other personal mobility devices to treat red lights as stop signs and treat stop signs as yield signs. This change recognizes that it does not always make sense to require people on bikes to follow the same rules as drivers. On many streets, it may be safer for a person riding a bike to cross an intersection before car traffic catches up and bicyclists often have far better visibility and situational awareness compared to people in cars. 

Critically, this new policy only applies when intersections are empty. At a stop sign, people on bikes must still yield the right of way to pedestrians and cars in or about to enter the intersection. And at a red light, bicyclists may only proceed when the intersection is clear and it is safe to do so. Since 2017, 9 states have embraced the safety stop, and research shows a reduction in bicycle injuries. Read this blog post, for a more thorough discussion of why WABA supports the Bicycle Safety Stop.

Read the full bill here.

Next Step:  The Council’s T&E Committee is holding a hearing on May 5 for input on this bill. See the hearing announcement to sign up to testify or submit testimony.

Upgrading Tactical Safety Projects Amendment Act of 2022

This bill from Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh would create a new yearly program to upgrade successful quick-build safety improvements into more permanent installations. Over the past seven years, DC has increasingly embraced “tactical” or “quick-build” efforts to quickly alter the design or geometry of streets and intersections using relatively inexpensive paint, flex-posts, and planter boxes. Many of these interventions are effective in changing driver behavior, improving visibility, and reducing crashes, but most do not stand up to abuse and weather. This program would upgrade successful tactical projects with more durable, permanent materials which often require significant planning, design, and construction effort. Read the full bill here.

Next Step: The Council’s T&E Committee is holding a hearing on May 5 for input on this bill. See the hearing announcement to sign up to testify or submit testimony.

Speed Management on Arterials (SMART) Signage Amendment Act of 2022

This bill from Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeu aims to slow speeds and improve traffic safety on DC’s busiest roads. It would set a new 25 mile per hour speed on all major roads, require more frequent speed limit signage on busy corridors and at gateways to the District, and require more signage around automated enforcement cameras. Read the full bill here.

Next Step: The bill has been referred to the Committee on Transportation on the environment, but a hearing is not yet scheduled.

Prioritizing People in Planning Amendment Act of 2022

This bill from Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeu aims to change the priorities of street, intersection, and bridge redesign projects to put safety, and climate-friendly transportation like walking, biking, and transit at the top. Currently, the District Department of Transportation uses many qualitative measures in the planning transportation projects, but traffic engineers still prioritize moving cars and reducing vehicle delay by relying on an outdated measure called vehicle Level of Service (LOS). 

First developed as a way to evaluate interstate highways, Level of Service only measures speed and delay for individual cars and trucks, not pedestrians or walkability, not packed buses or transit experience, and certainly not people on bikes. This bill would require DDOT to transition to some of the many existing alternate qualitative measures that better reflect DC’s values, mode-shift goals and sustainability commitments. Read the full bill here.

Next Step: The bill has been referred to the Committee on Transportation on the environment, but a hearing is not yet scheduled.

How to support these bills

All six bills have been introduced, but there are many steps ahead for each including hearings, markup sessions where amendments are proposed, and multiple votes by the full council. Here are some ways you can support the bills now and over the next few months. To better understand the DC Council’s legislative process see the helpful DC-specific How a Bill Becomes a Law.

  1. Testify at a hearing: (virtually or in person) show your support and suggest improvements. See the hearing announcements to sign up.
  2. Submit written testimony: If you cannot attend the hearing, submit your thoughts in writing up to two weeks after the hearing. Short, concise letters are best.
  3. Contact your Councilmembers and ANC: share your perspective on the bills and ask for their support. With enough notice, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions can pass resolutions in support of bills.
  4. Share your excitement on your favorite social network: how would these bills change your day to day experience on DC’s streets?

Thank councilmembers for stepping up: Coucnilmembers and staff put a lot of time and effort into drafting legislation. If you like what you see, reach out and thank them for their leadership. With so many steps between bill introduction and a final vote, councilmembers need to know that the effort is worth it.

Lights: How to see and be seen

Join the Bike Ambassadors as they share tips on being visible and seeing the road! The Bike Ambassadors will discuss the importance of having lights on your bike and how they help you stay visible to others. We will talk about bike lights, reflective gear and other ways to be seen. We’ll discuss how and when is the best time to use them. Bike Ambassadors seek to provide helpful information and resources to ensure everyone is riding safely, so join us and share ways that help you stay visible while riding your bike.

Register

Please keep in mind if we do chat about bike advice that what works for you may not work for everyone, and unsolicited advice can feel unwelcoming and condescending. Please come in the spirit of solidarity and communal problem solving.

Bike Maintenance 201

Have you been riding a lot more lately or looking to get your bike ready for the warmer months? If you ride often, regular maintenance can help your bike parts move smoothly and last longer! Tune in March 30th at 6pm to learn more!

Register

We know that wear and tear on your bike can happen so join the Bike Ambassadors as we discuss how to maintain your bike. In this webinar we’ll go over pre-ride inspections, securing bolts, and cleaning and lubricating key components. We’ll show you the tools needed (plus how to use them) to perform bike maintenance in the comfort of your own home. At the end of the webinar you’ll learn some helpful skills needed to keep your bike rolling smoothly.

Internet Coffee Hour

Brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea and come hang out on the internet with us for a bit.

Conversation is open—we often chat about weekend plans to be outside but also take questions about getting into biking, what trails are being expanded, and topics not connected to bicyclists (donuts are good!).

Register

Hosted by a WABA staffer, this is a great chance to ask any bicycling questions! Join us anytime between 8am and 9am. And you are totally welcome to join voice or text chat only without video.