Fall Riding Webinar

Join the Bike Ambassadors as they share tips for cycling in autumn to keep you enjoying your ride through the cooling season. The Bike Ambassadors will discuss how to ride safely in autumn weather. We will talk about fall riding gear, bicycle accessories and what to look out for on the road or trail. Bike Ambassadors seek to provide helpful information and resources to ensure everyone is riding safely, so join us to learn and share ways that can help everyone continue to bike during the fall.

Register!

2021 Fall Membership Drive

As a WABA member, you are at the forefront of our fight for a transportation system that works for everyone in the region. Your membership allows us to achieve our mission of empowering people to ride bikes, build connections and transform places.

Join or renew your membership during our 2021 Fall Membership Drive, September 24th – October 4th, and take advantage of some additional membership perks and discounts that are only available during the drive! This includes: 

  • a FREE sticker and entry into a Vintage WABA merch giveaway for EVERY new member or renewal, 
  • Discounted Classic membership (was $60/year or $6/month, now is $50/year or $5/month), 
  • First access to the new 2022 WABA merchandise

For more information on which membership perks and discounts are always included with a WABA membership, visit our Membership FAQ.

Join or Renew Today!

Because of the strong support from our members, WABA celebrated a variety of major victories this year, moving towards our vision of  a region where biking, walking, and transit are the best ways to get around. Here are a few of those victories:

  • Numerous transformative DC budget victories including: a legislative act that will create a dedicated funding source for the Vision Zero Bill and future bike and pedestrian projects, and dedicated funding for the Connecticut Avenue NW Protected Bike Lane, the 9th Street NW Protected Bike Lane, for expanding and developing our Trails Network, and for expanding the DC Trail Ranger Program – which means year-round staff for  trail outreach and maintenance. 
  • Held the 5th annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit with the theme Transportation Equity in Practice which highlighted topics like law enforcement out of equity, automated traffic enforcement and more.
  • Major progress on infrastructure projects in DC, such as the K St. NW, 17th Street NW, and 20th St NW protected bike lanes projects. 
  • WABA has taken a role in the Transportation Equity Network which has brought underrepresented voices to the table on transportation issues at the intersection of climate change. 
  • For the first time ever, the Maryland State Highway Administration installed pilot protected bike lanes on a State Highway. The MD-193, University Boulevard temporary protected lanes run from Arcola Avenue (near Northwood HS) to Amherst Avenue and the Wheaton downtown business district and could be made permanent. 
  • WABA has worked to help draft the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan, which introduces a framework for advancing active transportation.
  • The Capital Trails Coalition, in partnership with a team of experts, has developed a report that quantifies the economic, health, and environmental benefits of completing the region’s 881-mile multi-use trail network.  
  • The Capital Trails Coalition developed a resolution in support of the goal to complete the remaining top 40 priority projects identified by the Capital Trails Coalition (CTC) by 2025. On June 22nd, the Prince George’s County Council adopted the CTC Resolution and on July 13th, Montgomery County passed it unanimously
  • Successfully advocated for money for an engineering study of the Arlington Boulevard Trail in Arlington County’s FY22 Capital Improvement Plan. 
  • And much more! Read more about WABA’s advocacy initiatives and wins so far this year in our Summer Advocacy Round-Up blog post.

We have a lot more that we would like to accomplish before the end of the year, like car free zones on Upper Beach Drive, garnering more support for the Capital Trails Network, building a Low Stress Network in DC, furthering our work with the DC Transportation Equity Network, and much, much more! Join or renew your membership today to get us there!

Supporting WABA’s work has never been this easy! Our Pay-What-You-Can Membership model, gets you a YEAR-LONG membership for ANY personally meaningful contribution you make. You read that right, ANY donation you make to WABA at any amount will get you a year-long membership!

If you’re already a WABA member, thank you!  When you renew during this drive, you will get all of the perks and we’ll extend your membership for one year. Or drop us a line at membership@waba.org and you can gift a membership to a friend or a new rider. 

For more information or to get your questions answered about WABA membership, visit our Membership FAQ page, or send an email to membership@waba.org. Check out our NEW WABA Store! For your member discount for the WABA store, email membership@waba.org.

Come see WABA staff at the following in-person locations during the Membership Drive!

Hispanic Heritage Bike Ride

Únete a celebrar el Mes de la Herencia Hispana con WABA y BikeArlington en un corto y tranquilo paseo por senderos de Arlington. Estaremos apoyando negocios hispanos por el paseo con una parada en Silvia’s Snow Cones por un snow cone gratis. Todos son bienvenidos y el paseo es gratis.

Adonde Vamos:

Este paseo en bicicletas va por los senderos Washington & Old Dominion y Four Mile Run – los dos senderos son tranquilos y están localizados en el sur de Arlington, Virginia, en tierra Piscataway. Iremos en un paseo corto y plano de 4.2 millas comenzando en Bluemont Park (601 N Manchester St Arlington, VA 22203). Este paseo será un viaje de ida y vuelta. Partiremos de los baños públicos en Bluemont Park (al lado de Wilson Blvd), pasaremos por el sendero del W&OD, a comer snow cones en Silvia’s Snow Cones y volveremos al Bluemont Park.

Le pedimos que mantengan 6 pies de distancia entre cada participante que no esté en su familia mientras estén en bici, caminando, o tomando tiempo de descanso en la ruta. Durante las paradas y mientras estamos en grupo, los participantes tienen que llevar una máscara que cubra la nariz y boca. Se requieren cascos para este paseo. Si no tiene casco, envíenos un correo electrónico y le prestaremos uno. Estaremos manejando en senderos pavimentados por la mayoría del viaje y le invitamos a traer su propia bici. Si no tiene una bici, no hay problema. Le reembolsaremos el uso de las bicicletas Capital Bikeshare – solo mandenos un correo electrónico antes del evento. Vístase de acuerdo con el clima y su comodidad. No se olvide de traer agua y otras necesidades.

Si tiene preguntas envíe un correo electrónico a Evelyn Murcia- evelyn.murcia@bikearlington.com 

Join WABA and BikeArlington for a short leisurely ride out and back on multi-use trails to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. We’ll be uplifting  Latinx and Hispanic-owned businesses and culture along the way and make a stop at Silivia’s Snow Cones for an icy treat on us. All are welcome to join this free ride. 

Where We’re Riding: 

Join us for a ride along the Washington & Old Dominion and Four Mile Run Trails – both are quiet, scenic trails that run through Arlington. We’ll do a short, flat 4.2 mile ride on Piscataway land starting from Bluemont Park (601 N Manchester St Arlington, VA 22203). The ride is a round trip. We’ll depart from the public bathrooms at Bluemont Park (the Wilson Blvd side), make our way along the W&OD, stop at Silvia’s Snow Cones off Columbia Pike, and bike back to Bluemont Park.

While riding, walking, or taking a break along the ride routes, participants must maintain 6 ft of distance between themselves and others not in their households. During the check-in, snow cone stop, and while otherwise closer than 6 ft apart, participants must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose. Helmets are required for this ride. If you don’t have one, email us and we’ll get you a loaner. We’ll be riding on a paved trail for the duration of the ride and welcome you to bring your own bike. Don’t have a personal bike? No worries. We’ll reimburse your usage fee of a Capital Bikeshare bike – just shoot us an email before the event. Please dress accordingly in comfortable attire and bring water to stay hydrated.If you have any questions please email Evelyn Murcia evelyn.murcia@bikearlington.com

DC’s FY22 Budget: What We Won

We won major victories this budget season. 

Thanks to the advocacy of our supporters, this upcoming FY22 DC budget will fund major transportation initiatives in Washington, D.C. 

So what’s in the DC FY22 budget that’s so major? Here are some key budget items that will have a transformative impact in D.C.:

  • Fully Funds the Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act (Vision Zero Bill). Going forward the District will dedicate 100% of new Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) revenue towards funding and implementing the Vision Zero Bill. The funds will be placed in a “Vision Zero Fund” and money from that fund will be used to implement the Vision Zero Bill. The Vision Zero bill includes initiatives that will lead to the expansion of sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus lanes in DC.  
  • Permanent Funding Source for Bike and Pedestrian Infrastructure. Once the Vision Zero Bill is fully implemented, funds from the “Vision Zero Fund” will be permanently used to continue infrastructure and safety improvements, road design, sidewalk repair, and more for years to come. 
  • Funding for the Connecticut Ave NW and Eastern Downtown Protected Bike Lanes.  $2.2 million to support the full design costs of the Connecticut Avenue Reversible Lane study. The budget also includes funding for the 9th street protected bike lane project, set to be completed in 2022. 
  • $1.7 million for pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements on Georgia Avenue NW. $1.7 million has been earmarked for improvements to the Georgia Avenue corridor including likely changes at an intersection where a 4-year-old child was struck and killed in April.
  • Expanding Capital Bikeshare. The budget includes $19 million in the next six years to expand Capital Bikeshare, including $6.8 million in the coming year. The District will also add 80 new stations and 3,500 electric bikes, more than doubling the city’s e-bike fleet. Under D.C.’s bikeshare expansion plan, every city resident will live within a quarter-mile of a bike station. The plan also calls for a pilot program of adaptive bikes for people with disabilities.
  • $580,000 in the next budget and $2.3 million over four years to expand the WABA’s trail rangers program. The expansion of the trail rangers program will ensure patrolling and maintenance of D.C.’s trails year-round.
  • Expansion of our Trails Network. The Budget also includes funding for 70 miles of trails by 2025. 

We also want to thank the elected officials and partner organizations who played a role in pushing for these budget items alongside our supporters, ensuring that next year’s budget will have a monumental impact on transportation safety and infrastructure in the District.

How to: Fix-a-flat

Join the DC Bike Ambassadors Wednesday, September 22 at noon, as they walk you through how to fix a flat on your bike! Has your bike been sitting because of a punctured inner tube or are you looking to replace an old inner tube or tire? It’s time to get your bike up and running again. We will show you the tools you need and step-by-step on how to get your bike back on the road.  

Register

Need accommodations, have questions about access, or have questions about the event? Send us an email at outreach@waba.org

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.

How to: Ride in Traffic

Biking is often faster, more enjoyable, liberating and less crowded than the alternative. For those looking to run errands, commute to work or just get around more quickly, we recommend trying it by bike. Streets are not only for cars after all, and often they are the quickest way to travel.

Join us Thursday, September 9 at 6pm, for a lesson on how to ride in traffic and take your riding to the next level. You will learn how to prepare for your ride, where to ride in the road, communicating with motorists and how to build confidence!

Register

Need accommodations, have questions about access, or have questions about the event? Send us an email at outreach@waba.org

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.

Summer Advocacy Roundup

This summer has been hot! Our advocacy team has been busy collaborating with partners on the ground to heat up the region with major victories and we are so excited to share these updates with you!

Check out the updates on key campaigns and projects we have been organizing the last couple of months throughout the region! If you have any questions feel free to reach us at advocacy@waba.org.

Washington, D.C. Advocacy Updates

Transformative Budget Victories 

For the last few months, we marched, testified, and lobbied the D.C. Council to fully fund the Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act of 2020 in the FY22 budget. 

And due to our collective efforts we won! Included in the FY22 Budget is a legislative act that will use future ATE funds to create a dedicated funding source for the Vision Zero Bill AND future bike and pedestrian projects. This is huge!

The vision zero bill will be a tool for advocates to use to expand the number of bike lanes, bus lanes, sidewalks, and more!

And here are other FY22 budget highlights:

  • Funding for the Connecticut Avenue NW Protected Bike Lane
  • Funding for the 9th Street NW Protected Bike Lane
  • Funding to expand and develop our Trails Network
  • Funding to expand our Trails Ranger Program – which means more people to support with trail maintenance. 

Low Stress Bike Network 

This year, DDOT has been busy expanding or planning the expansion of the number of protected bike lanes in the District. 

The K St. NW, 17th Street NW, and 20th St NW protected bike lanes are substantially complete, and the protected bike lanes on Virginia Ave NW, Tunlaw Rd NW & New Mexico Ave NW, North Carolina Ave, 9th Street NW, and others are in the planning stages. 

Despite our progress, there has been pushback! And the only way we counter the pushback is through organizing! 

We’ve seen over and over that when neighbors get organized, bike lanes get built. That’s why we started a low stress bike network campaign, an advocate-driven attempt to build an entire network, block by block, in every Ward.

If you are interested in joining us, head to waba.org/network, click on Join the Campaign and fill out the form! Let’s complete the whole network! 

Campaign to Keep Beach Drive Open to Pedestrians and Bikers

WABA’s campaign with People’s Alliance For Rock Creek (PARC) to keep Beach Drive Open to Pedestrians and Bikers is at a critical point and we are on the edge of victory. But how did we get here? Check out some of the organizing successes that has helped put us on the cusp of a huge victory:

  • Since April, we have gathered over 6,000 petition signatures, 24 organizations, and passed resolutions from the DC and Montgomery County Council all calling on NPS to make the upper Beach Drive car-free zones permanent, 7 days a week after the pandemic. 

So what’s next? NPS began an Environmental Assessment (EA) of future management of Upper Beach Drive and committed to keep things as is until the end of 2021. 

We are seeking formal comments (due 8/22/21) from supporters, organizations, and elected officials. After the comment period is over, a decision is expected after another 30 day comment period in December. Click here to support the growing movement to keep Beach Drive car-free! 

ANC Vision Zero Caucus

A few months ago WABA started the Vision Zero Caucus to create a space for ANC Commissioners to collaborate on sustainable transportation campaigns, as well as provide support and resources to Commissioners. 

Our Commissioners have been meeting on a bi-monthly basis so far, and they have been able to accomplish a lot! 

Our Commissioners have drafted a “fund vision zero in the FY22 budget” sign-on letter and MoveDC resolutions, as well as held a training on using data for transportation advocacy and best practices for developing traffic safety assessments.

Our ANC Vision Zero Caucus is continuing to grow as well! If you are a Commissioner or know of a Commissioner who is interested in joining our Caucus please email advocacy@waba.org.

Transportation Equity

This year, The DC Transportation Equity Network, led by Greater Greater Washington and a steering committee (of which WABA is a member) has brought underrepresented voices to the table on transportation issues at the intersection of climate change through their micro-grant initiative. 

Through the initiative, we awarded micro-grants (up to $2,500) to the following organizations:

  • DC Families for Safe Streets (DCFSS) is using grant funding to collect (video) stories from families impacted by traffic violence
  • Prime Ability Bikes used grant funding to buy bikes for youth at Dunbar High School, they also held a transportation related conversation with youths at the end of a scheduled bike ride. 
  • The Future Foundation Youth used grant funding to develop a transportation equity comic book. 
  • MLOV (Many Languages One Voice): MLOV hosted two transportation related roundtables with DC residents who are immigrants. One in English, one in Spanish . 
  • HIPS DC used grant funding to host a transportation related roundtable with employees and will hold an additional roundtable with clients who are sex workers at a later date.

Stay tuned for the next round of our micro-grant intativie! We look forward to working with our partners on new projects this year. 

In addition to being a steering committee member of the DC TEN, WABA recently joined the Fair Budget Coalition! 

The Fair Budget Coalition advocates for budget and public policy initiatives that seek to address systemic social, racial and economic inequality in the District of Columbia. They work to accomplish these goals by leveraging the collective power of their member organizations and impacted community members, particularly those from Black and other communities of color.

Through this coalition we hope to develop intersectional campaigns that connect housing, transportation and economic justice. 

Maryland Advocacy Updates

Maryland General Assembly Updates

The 2021 legislative session was a busy one, hampered by COVID restrictions but productive nonetheless. The following are the transportation related bills WABA and other bike advocates from around the State, including BikeMD, followed and worked to pass:

  • HB 118/SB 293 – Vehicle Laws -Injury or Death of Vulnerable Individual Penalties
  • HB 562 – Montgomery County –Speed Limits –Establishment 
  • PEPCO Trail paving funded

To read more detail about these bills and our 2021 Maryland General Assembly advocacy check out our blog post here

University boulevard

For the first time ever, Maryland State Highway Administration is placing on-road bike lanes with physical barriers on a State Highway, MD-193, University Boulevard from Arcola Avenue (near Northwood HS) to Amherst Avenue and the Wheaton downtown business district. The bike lanes will run curbside on both sides of the road, repurposing one driving lane in each direction.

This pilot project, funded by a research grant from the Federal Highway Administration, will run 4-6 months beginning in June and will include data collection on use of the on-road bike lanes, car speeds and pedestrian counts on the narrow University Blvd unbuffered sidewalks.

Please demonstrate your support for these lanes by using them before the pilot is over! Here is a map of the bike lanes!

Prince George’s County advocacy training

WABA and Black Women Bike held a Prince George’s County Advocacy Training in May. 

Are you a Prince George’s County resident and want to learn more about how to advocate for better bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure? Do you ever feel like you want to report a maintenance issue, but are not sure who to contact? Are you curious to learn more about what the county is doing to make it safer for walking and biking? Check out a recording of our advocacy training here.

Virginia Advocacy Updates

2021 General Assembly Organizing

As part of our 2021 VA General Session wrap-up, WABA hosted a virtual town hall for WABA members.

Speakers included Wyatt Gordon, Policy & Campaign Manager for Land Use & Transportation, Virginia Conservation Network; and Brantley Tyndall, President, Virginia Bicycling Federation.

During the Post-VA General Assembly town hall, our speakers reflected on the successes and lessons learned from this past session. We also discussed upcoming policies and initiatives that advocates should be pushing in upcoming general assemblies.

You can view a recording of that town hall here.

ActiveFairfax

Fairfax County is continuing its efforts to prioritize transportation for all with its launch of the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan

The Active Transportation Plan introduces a framework for advancing active transportation that includes an overarching vision statement, goals, objectives, action items, and evaluation metric. 

A draft of the plan’s Vision, Goals and Objectives will become available after July 30th.

Also a draft framework for Fairfax County’s Safe Streets for All Program will be released after July 30th. The program is designed to address systemic transportation safety issues with a focus on vulnerable road users and equity. 

The framework includes proposed education, policy, planning, programmatic and design strategies that can be implemented in a phased approach.

WABA has been attending stakeholder meetings over the past few months to help draft these plans. If you have any questions please email us.

Capital Trails Coalition Updates

Impact Report

The Capital Trails Coalition, in partnership with a team of experts, has developed a report that quantifies the economic, health, and environmental benefits of completing the region’s 881-mile multi-use trail network. 

So far the impact report has received 38 endorsements from elected officials throughout the region! The Impact Report has also received media coverage in the Washington Post, WTOP, and NBC

In addition, the Capital Trails Coalition developed a resolution in support of the goal to complete the remaining top 40 priority projects identified by the Capital Trails Coalition (CTC) by 2025. On June 22nd, the Prince George’s County Council adopted the CTC Resolution and on July 13th, Montgomery County passed it unanimously!

The CTC has produced some monumental wins in the past few months! You can read more about those wins in their quarterly newsletter. Also, subscribe to their newsletter and keep up to date with all the amazing trail developments throughout the region. 

Vision Zero Summit Recap

This year’s summit was more important than ever! This year’s theme was Transportation Equity in Practice and participants discussed the systems, tools, and processes that need to change to make our transportation network more equitable. 

Like previous year’s summits, this event brought together elected officials, decision-makers, advocates, thought leaders, and the private sector to share best practices, insights and innovations to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our region’s streets and highways.

To view the speaking sessions for yourself, check out the 2021 Washington Region Vision Zero Summit page, which has recordings of all the sessions.

Families for Safe Streets Updates

WABA has been busy collaborating with our Families for Safe Streets chapters throughout the region. Over the last couple of months the chapters have been working on innovative projects to center the voices of residents most impacted by traffic violence. Check out some of their updates below:

  • Northern Virginia Families for Safe Streets (NoVA FSS), with chapters in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax, is identifying locations across Northern Virginia where pedestrians and cyclists have experienced near-miss incidents and other dangers.

This information will be reported anonymously to regional municipalities and other transportation focused organizations to identify locations that would benefit from safety improvements but may have not been determined to be problem areas by traditional crash data sources. If you experienced a near miss in Northern Virginia, fill out the survey here! 

  • DC Families for Safe Streets (DC-FSS) is currently working on an initiative to share stories of those who have been impacted by traffic violence. 

They invite those who have been personally impacted by traffic violence in the greater Washington, DC, region to share their story as a loved one or the survivor of a serious crash. Their goal is to build a collection of stories that tells about the personal impact of traffic crashes. Sharing stories can offer comfort to other victims and loved ones and strengthen the case for life saving changes. Please feel free to email them if you’re interested in participating in the group or would like to share your story.

  • Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets (MoCo FSS) informally launched at the Montgomery County Vision Zero Town Hall on January 21, 2021.

MoCo FSS dual purposes are to 1. provide support and resources to families and friends of crash victims who died or were seriously injured by traffic violence, and 2. advocate for redesign of our roads to make them safe for all transportation modes.

In the past few months, the group, supported formally by WABA, has continued to hold memorials for pedestrian and cyclist crash victims. MoCo FSS is currently planning the group’s first event, tentatively scheduled for Sunday November 21 as part of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

If you are interested in getting involved please email us!

Official Testimonies and Comments Submitted by WABA

Upcoming Events and Actions

  • DC
  • MD
    • MoCo FSS is currently planning the group’s first event, tentatively scheduled for Sunday November 21th as part of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Email us to get involved! 
    • The Corridor Forward Plan will evaluate transit options that could serve communities along the I-270 corridor based on Montgomery County’s three core values: 1) community equity; 2) environmental resilience; and 3) economic health. Please take this brief survey, which will help planners understand your values and prioritize transit options.
    • Virtual Town Hall: Wheaton Pedestrian Safety Town-Hall hosted by the District 18 Delegation (Senator Waldstreicher along with Delegates Carr, Shetty, and Solomon), July 27th, 7:00pm-9:00pm. 
    • Prince George’s County Active Transportation Advisory Group is hosting its next meeting on September 13, 2021. The quarterly meetings are opportunities to discuss general issues impacting bicycle, pedestrian and shared use paths in Prince George’s County.
    • The Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is hosting its next meeting on October 22, 2021. 
    • Community input will help reimagine the Silver Spring Downtown area over the next 20 years through the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan. To stay up-to-date on the progress of this plan, sign up for their eLetter
  • VA
  • Regional 

WABA Advocacy In the News

Like what we’re doing for better bicycling in the region? Our advocacy work is directly funded by your membership dollars—donate today.

Remove Police from Traffic Enforcement

The best way to ensure walkers, bicyclists, and bus riders have safe commutes is to fund safe infrastructure to change driver behavior, and to educate drivers on safety rules and regulations.

We can start to move the pace towards investing in safe infrastructure by moving away from the dated status quo of relying on armed police enforcement! If we move enforcement to DDOT or DPW, we can reduce the likelihood of police interactions escalating into violence which disproportionately affect people of color, since there will be far fewer reasons for an officer to initiate a stop.

Research shows that more police stops does not make our streets safer. We can use the money saved from investing in more MPD personnel to invest in safe infrastructure measures that are proven to work!  Tell the DC Council you want to divest in solutions that don’t work and invest in a sustainable system for all!