Visualize 2045 should envision a more bike-friendly future.

On a map, our bike network is pretty wide, but not totally connected. We want to challenge the Transportation Planning Board to think bigger for Visualize 2045.

Imagine our region in the year 2045. What will transportation look like in this region for people who bike and walk? What types of infrastructure will we have?

WABA has spent a lot of time thinking about this. Our vision is one including hundreds of paved trails, interconnected networks of protected bike lanes, and safe and accessible places to bike for transportation, recreation and fitness.

Regional transportation planners are also asking this same question for all modes of transportation. Through the Transportation Planning Board (TPB, the Washington DC’s federally designated metropolitan planning organization), regional planners have created Visualize 2045, a long-range transportation plan.

The intent of this long-range plan is to chart the course for the next 25+ years, and include aspirational elements that will help push our region in the right direction.

While there are some positive elements within Visualize 2045, the plan doesn’t go nearly far enough for people who bike and walk.

Of the seven aspirational elements, only two directly address biking and walking. In addition, the trail initiative, known as the National Capital Trail, is just a small sliver of a much broader, visionary future trail network called the Capital Trails Network.

Submit feedback to Visualize 2045

The network has been researched, defined, and mapped by a coalition of public agencies representing TPB member jurisdictions, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders focused on completing the Washington DC regional trail network.

The TPB needs to fully adopt the Capital Trails Network as a key part of the long-range transportation plan, and invest in trails and bicycling and walking projects.

If our Transportation Planning Board refuses to be bold, to think big, and to develop new transportation solutions, then we will be stuck with the same transportation problems (congestion and traffic fatalities to name a few).

Submit feedback to Visualize 2045

Tell the Transportation Planning Board that you want a brighter future for biking in the region! Let them know that the entire Capital Trails Network should be adopted in the long-range plan, and that more extensive planning should be done for our future regional bike networks.

August Advocacy Roundup

What a summer this has been for the region’s bicyclists!

This roundup would be incomplete if we didn’t mention the fact that the District’s commitment to zeroing out traffic fatalities, known as Vision Zero, has gone pretty poorly. Unfortunately, we lost two of our own—Malik Habib and Jeffrey Hammond Long—far too early. To prevent this from happening again, together, we’re going to keep fighting for more devoted bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, better laws to protect us all, and so much more.

That said, I want to be clear that your work has made all the difference. By showing up for bicyclists—at rallies, online, petitioning, action committee meetings—we are turning the tide in the city. This summer was one of our most productive to date, with big wins throughout the region. But we still have a long way to go before we can rest.

If you’re reading this and haven’t come out to a training, action committee or event, come on out! We don’t bite! We’d love to hear from you. We have a lot planned for Fall and Winter 2018 so there are a ton of different ways to get involved!


“Enough is enough.”

Cyrus Habib and Laura Montiel, the brother and mother of Malik Habib, speak at the Vision Zero Rally last month.

Following the deaths of two cyclists on D.C. streets, more than 120 of us rallied on Freedom Plaza to let Mayor Bowser know that enough is enough. We deserve safer streets for all road users. And no more lives should be lost before D.C. truly makes Vision Zero a priority.

The Capital Trails Coalition released a new map!

A vision for the regional trail network.

Earlier this month, WABA and the Capital Trails Coalition announced a new vision for transportation in the region with a brand new map! The map visualizes the region’s Capital Trails Network, which currently has 436 miles of existing trails, with 206 miles of planned trails to go. Check out the map and learn about WABA’s work with the Capital Trails Coalition here.

New construction on the Metropolitan Branch Trail

It’s been a long time coming! This MBT segment, which will take about 18 months to complete, will connect Fort Totten to Brookland.

Last month, DDOT broke ground on the next phase of the Metropolitan Branch trail, which will connect Fort Totten to Brookland! Once complete, the MBT will connect Silver Spring to Union Station. Read more on the trail’s progress here.

Movement on Eastern Downtown protected bike lanes

We held an advocate training in early August in preparation for the Eastern Downtown protected bike lanes. A decision could be coming soon, and we want to be ready.

Montgomery County to adopt nation’s most comprehensive bike master plan

Montgomery County is on the cusp of adopting the most comprehensive bike master plan in the entire country. After the comment period closed on August 24th, the comments and plan will be reviewed one last time. Read more about the plan’s bold vision for Montgomery County here.

Long Bridge updates

In mid-June, DDOT noted that because of tremendous public support (from you!), a bike/ped trail will be included in alternatives moving forward on Long Bridge. And as great as that is, it’s still not quite enough. Read more about Long Bridge updates here.

A permanent, safer crossing for the Capital Crescent Trail

After Ned Gaylin was struck and killed while crossing the Capital Crescent Trail at Little Falls Parkway in 2016, Montgomery Parks moved swiftly to make that intersection safer. Now, the county is looking for feedback from the community on how to make the intersection safer, permanently. Read more here.

A new team focusing on Ward 8 bicycle infrastructure!

I think everyone knows about the hills East of the Anacostia River. Or maybe you’ve ridden to Oxon Cove or the Riverwalk Trail. However, on-street bicycle infrastructure to Ward 8 is almost non-existent. That’s dangerous. With our organizer, Hannah Neagle, we’ve launched a group that meets to discuss problem intersections, poorly designed roadways and other bicycle and pedestrian challenges. Email Hannah to learn more!


Are you on your local WABA Action Committee?

All across the region great people are working to fix our streets to make biking safe and popular. They meet each month to share ideas and work together for better places to bike. Whether you’re looking for a fun group, a new cause, or a wonky policy discussion, our Action Committees have it covered.

See what we’re doing in your community and join us for the next meeting.


WABA in the News:

REI Tops $1 Million to ‘Rewild’ 5 Major US Cities – Gear Junkie, June, 25, 2018

Cyclist in Bike Lane Killed in Downtown DC Crash – NBC4, July 10, 2018

A cyclist’s death, a dangerous crossing, a D.C.’s struggle to reduce road fatalities – The Washington Post, July 14, 2018

Bike And Pedestrian Advocates Plan To Protest D.C.’s Failure To Prevent Road Deaths – DCist, July 18, 2018.

Forget Vision Zero. Demand Streets That Don’t Kill People – Treehugger, July 18, 2018

‘We are just vulnerable’: Cyclist demand DC prioritize road safety after 2 deaths – WTOP, July 19, 2018

‘Dear DDOT’: We want 20,000 dockless bikes – The Washington Post, July 30, 2018

Dockless bike companies Ofo, Mobike, pull out of DC, but others remain – WTOP, August 1, 2018

Bike Advocates Draft New Map of DC Region’s Cycling Trails to Promote Holistic Thinking – ARLnow.com, August 13, 2018

Under rules of the road, it’s car vs. bike. Or maybe the rules make losers of both. – The Washington Post, August 14, 2018

Our streets make us unhappy. They don’t have to. – The Washington Post, August 26, 2018


P.S. Your membership dollars directly fund our advocacy work, which makes our region a better place for bicycling.

Donate

Yesterday was an emotional day.

Yesterday afternoon, more than 120 of us gathered across from the Wilson Building to demand that Mayor Bowser deliver on her 2015 promise to put an end to traffic deaths on DC’s streets.

Together, we mourned the loss of more than 100 members of our collective community — mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, recent high school graduates — who were taken from us since that promise was made. We heard from the mother and brother of Malik Habib, sharing a story no family should have to tell.

And together we said enough is enough. “We’re doing the best we can” isn’t good enough. Mayor Bowser has the power to stop this, if she makes people not dying her priority.

Following the rally, we took our message to the Mayor’s office, where we met with Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Kevin Donahue. We hope to report more concrete updates from the Mayor and Council in the coming days.

Can we count on your to get involved in next steps? Join our DC Advocates email group and keep the pressure up!

Count me in!

Thank you to everyone who rallied with us, to our speakers, and to all who will continue to hold our elected leaders accountable to their promises.

Thank you for joining us in this fight.


A Memorial Ride for Malik Habib will be held on Tuesday, July 31 at 5:30pm.

If you missed the rally you can find video coverage on WABA’s Facebook Page and media coverage from WAMU, Greater Greater Washington, WTOP

To stay in the loop on WABA’s Vision Zero work and do your part to make streets safe for everyone, sign the Vision Zero Pledge.

Sign the Pledge


Here’s a gallery from yesterday’s rally:

Enough is enough

join the rally

It’s been a tough few weeks for the DC bike community. Two preventable deaths in less than a month have sent a shudder through the city. These deaths were preventable. Let that sink in.

Every single bicyclist has a story of a near miss; a sketchy situation in which a driver almost forced a crash. Every bicyclist knows about the streetcar tracks on H Street (but unfortunately, alternatives only get us so far to avoid the corridor); every bicyclist should feel secure in a protected bike lane.

What is the city doing to prevent these deaths?

Not enough. In 2015, Mayor Bowser committed to Vision Zero, a plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities in DC by 2024. Great start. But it takes hard work and tough choices to make this commitment a reality—engineering, outreach, expenditure of political capital, inter-agency coordination and more. You’d think the situation for all road users would be getting better year after year. It’s not.

join the rally

To be frank: more people are dying, not fewer.

As of this writing, there have been 21 traffic deaths in the District. That means there have been three more deaths in 2018 than there were by this time in 2017. Below are MPD’s numbers on traffic fatalities.

Year ’13 ’14** ’15 ’16*** ’17 ‘18
Fatalities 29 26 26 28 30 21 (+3 YTD)

Source: MPD, July 15, 2018

The numbers are going in the wrong direction, meaning that more people are being killed on our roadways every year. But why?

Well, to start, the government of the District of Columbia is not doing what it said it would do. The Vision Zero Action Plan, finalized in December 2015, laid out 67 strategies and projects to complete by 2017. Only 32 of 67 deadlines have been reported complete. In 2017, the Mayor didn’t even release a progress report. It’s clear why the numbers are going in the wrong direction: the District government just isn’t doing enough.

And that’s just not ok.

This Thursday, July 19th, we’ll be meeting at noon on the steps of the Wilson Building to rally for safer streets.

join the rally

We are rallying because people continue to die because the Mayor won’t act. Because the city prioritizes cars over people. Because failing to protect the lives of citizens of the District is unacceptable.

No more politics. The time is now.

We’ll see you on Thursday.

join the rally

 

MEDIA CONTACT at the rally: Colin Browne, Communications Director. Cell: 802-633-0281. colinbrowne@waba.org

He looks like this but has glasses now:

You can find our follow-up from the Vision Zero Rally here.

A step in the right direction for Long Bridge!

The current proposal (red line) crosses the Potomac River and George Washington Parkway, but not I-395. Done right, the Long Bridge Trail would cross both highways, connecting Crystal City to Maine Ave., and L’Enfant Plaza (green line).

Opportunities for great leaps in transportation options here in the Washington region don’t happen everyday. So, that’s why we are so excited about the Long Bridge Project.

A little background:

The Long Bridge, the railroad bridge that spans the Potomac River south of the 14th St. Bridge, is getting an upgrade from two tracks to four. Currently, there is no way to get across the bridge on a bike or by walking. However, as part of the proposed bridge upgrade, we asked people to take action in January to tell DDOT that any upgrades to this crucial Potomac crossing should include options for biking and walking.

Of the 1639 comments DDOT received on the Long Bridge project, 1605 were regarding bicycle and pedestrian access — that’s just amazing. You couldn’t have been more clear: any upgrades to this crucial Potomac crossing must include options for biking and walking.

That says a lot about the need for this critical pedestrian and bicycle connections between the Commonwealth and the District. Our voices have been heard, but we still have more work to do!

In a report released in mid-June, DDOT noted the tremendous amount of public support as one of the reasons that a biking and walking trail will continue to be included in the alternatives moving forward.

And as great as that is (and it is great!), the plan still falls short. We need a trail bridge running the entire length of the bridge (from Long Bridge Park to L’Enfant Plaza). And while the team at DDOT will study western connections, to Long Bridge Park and the Mount Vernon Trail, the report says nothing of improving the east side of the bridge. So, the trail bridge would end at Ohio Drive, on Hains Point, leaving trail users many barriers to getting to the Wharf and further downtown.

Any option that does not contain a safe connection on the East side of the bridge is not just bad design — it’s dangerous and someone will be hurt by this engineering omission.

Here’s where you can help. Will you email info@longbridgeproject.com and thank them for including the trail connection to Long Bridge Park in Arlington in further studies, but also, can you make sure to demand that the project also include the eastern extension to L’Enfant Plaza?

If you’d like to read the full Environmental Impact Assessment Alternatives Development Report for the Long Bridge Project, you can find it here.

We’vre got more work to do, but this is a great mini-win along the way and, with a project of this magnitude, we’ve got to celebrate the fine work YOU do every day to make your voices heard.

PS….If you like the work that we’re doing, support our advocacy work by joining or renewing your membership.

May Advocacy Roundup

Welcome to the May Advocacy Roundup! First off, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Robert Gardner and I’m the new Advocacy Director here at WABA. Having been here for the past month, I’m so excited to work with the team and with you amazing advocates around the region.

But, enough about me. Without further ado, here are a few updates on our advocacy work:


DDOT breaking promises on C Street NE

The 60% design plan significantly rolled back provisions that would improve C Street NE for cyclists and pedestrians. Read more.


What’s going on with the Louisiana Avenue protected bike lane?

It’s been radio silent on any updates – find out why and what’s happened since here.


A Pop-up Surprise in Bethesda

On Bike to Work Day 2018, Bethesda got a pop-up protected bike lane! Read more about how the lane came to be.


Veirs Mills Road has Vision Zero potential

The Montgomery County Planning Department has an ambitious plan to turn Veirs Mill Road into a livable, bikeable, walkable corridor—learn more about the plan here.


Continue to speak up for better biking in the region

The region held several public meetings on key roadways in DC, MD and VA, including Connecticut Avenue NW, 20th, 21st and 22nd Streets NW. Read more.


Long Bridge improvements need to serve bicyclists

Long Bridge is the rail bridge you can see from the Yellow Line as you cross the Potomac River. It’s getting a long-planned, much-needed upgrade from two tracks to four. Read more.


Upcoming Trainings and Workshops

Crosstown Protected Bike Lanes Open House

Protected bike lanes could soon be a reality in Crosstown. DDOT will develop preliminary designs for bike lanes for travelling east and westbound in D.C., closing a bicycle network gap from Columbia Heights to Brookland. June 12, 6:00PM – 8:00PM, Raymond Recreation Center

Learn More

Capital Crescent Trail Crossing and Little Falls Parkway

Montgomery Parks is having its first community meeting regarding a permanent fix to where Capital Crescent crosses Little Falls Parkway. June 13th, 7PM, Somerset Elementary School.

Learn More

Silver Spring Social Rides

The Silver Spring Social Rides series is almost over and it’s been a blast. Join us for the last two rides in June! All rides begin at One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD, 20910.

Sign up!


Are you on your local WABA Action Committee?

All across the region great people are working to fix our streets to make biking safe and popular. They meet each month to share ideas and work together for better places to bike. Whether you’re looking for a fun group, a new cause, or a wonky policy discussion, our Action Committees have it covered.

See what we’re doing in your community and join us for the next meeting.


WABA in the News

Trail etiquette reminders from cycling group in Asburn, Va. – WTOP, April 23, 2018

Who has a right to D.C.’s sidewalks? – WAMU, May 14, 2018

The invasion of the scooter bros: A new tribe whizzes past the haters on DC sidewalks. – The Washington Post, May 17, 2018

Road Biking While Female – Outside Online, May 23, 2018


Meet Robert Gardner, our new Advocacy Director

Hello!

I’m Robert Gardner, the new Advocacy Director here at WABA. I feel so privileged to be able to be back home here in the DMV and work with WABA to make the region a fun, safe and exciting place to bike for everyone!

I’ve spent the past 10 years working on national and international advocacy campaigns based in DC and in Brooklyn, NY. It was during my time doing environmental advocacy, that I was lucky enough to live and work for a time in Amsterdam — it is was there that I really caught the bicycling bug. The culture of biking for everyone really blew me away. Having braved the Georgia Avenue commute between Takoma Park and Gallery Place for years, I always felt like I was competing for space — racing cars to try and stay safe. I’m so happy to have had that education and to see the importance of urban planning in changing the way that people use public space.

I hope to continue the progress WABA has made over the past 46 years, and I’ll work hard with our incredible advocacy team to make our region the safest, most enjoyable place to ride in the country.

As Advocacy Director, I am thrilled to work with our community organizers on the Vision Zero campaign, with the Capital Trails Coalition, our action committees and in partnership with advocates across the region. Looking forward to the road ahead!

Bike trivia about me:

My ideal commute: A leisurely pace on protected bike lanes!

My style of riding: I commute to work, grocery shop, and run errands on my bike, so I am generally in an urban setting. I take safety very seriously, so you’ll always find me stopped at red lights.

That one bike do I wish I still owned: I had a mid-70s Schwinn Le Tour that was canary yellow that I commuted on for a year — someone must have “borrowed” it from a Metro stop because I haven’t seen it in a few years.

I look forward to meeting many of you at Bike to Work Day!