20×20 Campaign Update: August 2019

On July 22nd, WABA rolled out its 20×20 Campaign, detailing a realistic but urgent plan for the District to add 20 miles of new protected bike lanes by the end of 2020. 

Since then, we’ve been steadily gaining momentum. A majority of the DC Council signed a letter to the District Department of Transportation expressing support for the plan. (See if your councilmember signed on and send them a note here.)

We held our first Safe Streets 101 Advocate training in Ward 2. Some of the attendees are organizing an Action Group for the Ward. If you’d like to get involved, you can sign up here

Our next Safe Streets 101 Advocate training is tonight at the Anacostia Library in Ward 8. Join WABA’s advocacy staff for an informative and engaging evening training to explore the many ways that you can help make bicycling better in your neighborhood and in the city. No experience is necessary. Sign up here

Progress on the street:

DDOT has heard you loud and clear: We need more protected bike lanes. Not in five years. Now. 

The agency is finishing up three new protected bike lane projects at the moment: 

First Street SW: Earlier this month, the city added buffers and bollards on a block of 1st Street SW near the baseball park, showing that quick changes are possible:

Florida Ave NE:

In a radical (and much needed) departure from its usual timeline for project completion, DDOT is nearly finished installing a mile-long protected bike lane on Florida Avenue NE, from the Red Line tracks to 14th Street NE. As work continues for the complete reconstruction of the corridor, these changes are already making Florida Ave more safe and accessible.

Edgewood Street NE

A connected network is important! This new block of flexposts connects the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Franklin St NE, another section of future protected bike lane included in our 20×20 plan.

Ways to get involved:

But there’s still a lot of work to be done! Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, here are some ways you can help move this campaign forward: 

Email your councilmembers: 

Seven DC Councilmembers announced their support for WABA’s 20×20 Plan, a bold vision for 20 miles of safe, connected, and equitable protected bike lanes in DC added to our network by the end of 2020. 

This leadership is exactly what we need. Thank your Councilmembers who signed on! Ask the Councilmembers who did not sign on to formally show their support for more safe places to ride.

Take Action

Join a Ward Action Group We get results when conversations about safe streets are happening at every level and in every neighborhood, so we are standing up an action group in every ward. Sign up!

Attend a Safe Streets 101 training: 

Ward 8: Tonight (August 22)

Ward 5: September 24

Ward 7, 6 and 4 coming soon, and Wards 1 and 3 a little further down the road.

Thank (some of) the DC Council for Supporting the 20×20 Campaign!

Earlier this month, seven of DC’s thirteen Councilmembers sent a letter to the District Department of Transportation, asking the agency to implement WABA’s 20×20 Plan, a bold vision for 20 miles of safe, connected, and equitable protected bike lanes in DC added to our network by the end of 2020. 

This leadership is exactly what we need. Thank your Councilmembers who signed on! Ask the council members who did not sign on to formally show their support for more safe places to ride.

WABA has an ambitious plan for 20 miles of protected bike lanes, installed or upgraded by the end of 2020. This 20×20 Plan identifies the most important miles and most feasible projects on DC roadways. DDOT has a responsibility to keep bicyclists safe on DC streets, and this protected bike lane network is a critical component of the larger transportation safety equation.

But WABA can’t do it alone. While, we’ve received overwhelming public support for the vision, we need DDOT to implement these projects and turn the idea of safe places to ride into actual facilities. 

And what will get DDOT to implement this vision? Having support from local elected officials certainly helps. That’s why we marked a notch in the win column on August 8 when seven DC Council members sent a letter to DDOT Director Marootian, publicly announcing their support for WABA’s 20×20 Plan. 

This leadership is exactly what we need. Thank your Council members who signed on! This council members are listening to their constituents and standing up for their safety. Tell them that you appreciate it!

There are more than seven council members, though. Ask the council members who did not sign on to the August 8 letter to formally show their support for the 20×20 Plan.

This vision of 20 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of 2020 is bold. But it’s attainable. And it’s going to take every one of us in our respective roles- citizen, elected official, planner, engineer, neighbor- insisting that connected, protected and equitable places to ride is what’s most important.

After you’ve contacted your Councilmembers, support the 20×20 Campaign with a donation!

WABA and PSI Family Services team up to host Learn to Ride Camp!

There was no shortage of smiles and excitement, as WABA teamed up with PSI Family Services to offer a week long Adult Learn to Ride camp! The five-day camp brought participants from all over DC and Maryland to try their hand at riding. With highly trained instructors, supportive staff and lots of encouragement, many of the participants learned to ride for the very first time.

This is the second year in a row that WABA has partnered with PSI to offer bicycle education to adults with developmental disabilities. With a modified curriculum and adaptive bicycle equipment, WABA Instructors were able to offer a fun, engaging and accessible class for all participants, regardless of their individual experience levels and needs.

The week-long class allowed participants ample time to practice the skills they learned each day. From tricycles to balance bikes and finally, pedals, participants scooted around the parking lot practicing their skills. Every accomplishment was celebrated by participants, Instructors and PSI staff alike.

All WABA Adult Education classes start with the basics. No matter what your experience level, our Instructors are prepared to offer attention and support to meet your needs. 

WABA is proud to partner with PSI to offer accessible bicycle education for all.

Check out a slideshow of some photos from Learn to Ride Camp below!

What does WABA think about electric scooters?

Note: This blog post was written (and the policy was adopted) before the District announced its pilot program for shareable electric mopeds. When we’re talking about scooters here, we are referring to the lightweight, low speed, personal mobility devices, not mopeds.

The short version:

WABA supports electric shared scooters as a transportation option in the Washington region. 

Scooters provides a low-emission, affordable and on-demand travel option and an alternative to private or shared cars. 

WABA will, of course, continue to advocate on behalf of the bicycling public. The infrastructure needs of people riding scooters are closely aligned with the needs of folks on bikes. Our goal is to improve the conditions and safety for everyone who walks, bikes, and scoots throughout the region, and this policy will help us decide future policy positions and advocacy work. 

As with bicycling, we encourage lawful, neighborly scooter riding.

Read the full policy here.

Top Three Reasons to do WABA in the Wild

We’ve run four WABA in the Wild trips since we started to do the trip, back in 2016. Going into number five, we thought it may be a good time to reflect on what makes the trip awesome by talking to some of the people who would know best—the folks that were there!

After you do WABA in the Wild, you suddenly have 20 new bike friends that you spent an amazing weekend with! You can opt into an online group—WABA in the Wild Alumni—where you can keep in touch with them, plan rides or other get-togethers, and more. We asked this group: “Looking back at the experience of your trip, what were the best things about WABA in the Wild?”

Here’s what they said:

1. Getting to know the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath.

The C&O Canal is incredibly scenic.

“The C&O Canal is truly a marvel to ride along. There is so much natural beauty and fascinating engineering to take in every mile.”

WABA in the Wild is a three day, 184.5 mile ride from Cumberland to Georgetown on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath.

Construction of the C&O Canal began in 1828 and was completed in 1850 to transport coal from the Allegheny mountains to port cities. Now, as part of a National Historical Park, the towpath is an incredible chance to take in the transportation history of the early United States, with wildlife and greenery surrounding us on all sides.

2. Meals prepared campside by WABA staff and volunteers.

Can’t beat a good campfire meal!

“Food prepared by the staff—each meal was great.  I especially enjoyed the veggie chili the first night…along with the spaghetti and meatballs! I never knew I could eat so much!”

We know that 184.5 miles calls for calories. So from breakfast when you wake up in camp, to pit stops stocked with lunch and snacks, to dinner cooked campside, WABA will make sure you’re fueled up and ready to go. Who knows—there might even be s’mores by the campfire. 

3. All of it! 

2018 WABA in the Wild riders and staff at mile zero in Georgetown.

“Looking back on the experience…it was all of it that was the best. The people I rode with, the adventure, the WABA staff…I look back on the experience and I think, I did that. And I was able to support the work that WABA does. It really doesn’t get much better than that.” 

WABA in the Wild is a supported ride, which means staff and volunteers will be with you every step of the way. In the weeks leading up to the weekend, we’ll have a meeting and practice ride where you can get up to speed on details of the weekend and meet the other bicycling advocates who will be on WABA in the Wild. We’ll work with you to develop a fundraising plan and strategy so you can meet your $1000 fundraising goal. And we’ll transport you, your bike, and your gear to Cumberland, Maryland; set up pit stops as we pedal our way to Georgetown; and be available to cheer and support you all weekend. All you need to do is enjoy the ride.

Register for WABA in the Wild

WABA in the Wild is made possible by these generous supporters:

Bronze Sponsor:

Meet Anna McCormally, our new Events Coordinator

I remember my first time riding my bike in the city. It was 2013, my first year in DC. I got off the Metro at McPherson Square Metro and rode north on 14th Street to Columbia Heights.  It was a little scary, but I felt powerful and free, alert to my surroundings, present in my body…and completely hooked on bicycles! Since then, whether I’m exploring the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail with a friend, training for a race on Beach Drive, or just enjoying the sun on my morning commute, my bike has gotten me wherever I need to go. 

My first experience with WABA was as a participant in the 2014 50 States Ride. Group rides are a great way to  build community, explore the city, and grow your confidence on a bicycle, and I can’t wait to share the 50 States Rides and WABA’s other signature rides with you in my role as events coordinator. We’ll buckle our helmets, hop in the saddle, and celebrate the work that WABA’s advocates, members, and supporters are doing to make the DC area safe, fun, and accessible to bicyclists.

Want more details about one of WABA’s signature rides?  Interested in volunteering to create an awesome experience for your friends and neighbors? Feeling unsure which of our rides is right for your level of bicycling?  I’d love to talk about that and anything else related to WABA events. Drop me a line at anna.mccormally@waba.org. I can’t wait to go on a bike ride with you.

Join us for an Introduction to Safe Streets Advocacy

Do you want more protected bike lanes on your route or calmer streets in your neighborhood? Do you want to see faster progress on safer streets around DC?  Of course you do!

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves?

We are excited to announce a new advocate training series to help you get to work making bicycling better in your neighborhood and in the city, whether you have 5 minutes or three hours to spend. 

Each training will introduce the meaningful opportunities to help the movement as an individual or as part of a group and highlight some of the proven strategies for making streets safer. You will meet neighbors and community advocates for future collaboration and take a dive into WABA’s 20×20 campaign to support 20 new miles of connected, protected, and equitable bike lanes in DC by the end of 2020. No experience is necessary!

Winning Better Streets in Ward 2
Tuesday, August 6
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
West End Neighborhood Library
2301 L St NW
Sign Up

Winning Better Streets in Ward 8
Thursday, August 22
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Anacostia Neighborhood Library
1800 Good Hope Rd SE
Sign Up

Each training will be tailored to the Ward’s unique opportunities and challenges, though the content will be applicable to other places. We encourage you to sign up for the training in your home ward or the ward of greatest interest. Find your ward here. Additional trainings in Ward 5 & 7 (September) and Ward 4 & 6 (October) will be announced as soon as they are scheduled.

No matter your background or your schedule, there are lots of ways you can have an impact! We hope you can come to a training.

Ready to Roll?: Fall 2019 Adult Education Classes

Looking to improve your bike confidence? Eager to try your hand at navigating traffic? What about getting on a bicycle for the first time? Check out our Fall 2019 Adult Education classes!

WABA’s Adult Education classes are suited for all, regardless of experience level and provide intuitive, hands on learning in a supportive and encouraging environment. 

“But which class is right for me?” We’ve got a handy flow chart to help you out!

Adult Learn To Ride – For adults ages 18 and older who do not know how to ride a bike or who have tried to learn and have been unsuccessful. Give us three hours, and we’ll have you riding a bike!

Youth Learn to Ride – For children ages 6-12 who do not know how to ride a bike or who have tried to learn and have been unsuccessful. This season, our Youth Learn to Ride classes are special events hosted by the City of Alexandria.

Basic Skills Clinic – For cyclists who have recently learned to ride or who have not ridden a bike in some time. Our Basic Skills Clinics focus on fundamental skills such as starting, stopping, turning and braking. Great next step for those who have recently taken Learn to Ride! 

Confident City Cycling – Interested in learning to ride in traffic or on a bike path? This class is for you! Our City Cycling class is broken up into two groups, Fundamentals and Confidence, to accommodate riders of different experience levels. Fundamentals focuses on scanning, signaling and shifting, while Confidence teaches hazard avoidance maneuvers necessary for riding alongside motorists.

Community Education Rides – Fun for all! Our community education ride series is an inclusive space for riders of all levels to explore their city.  Each ride tackles different topics that urban riders use to get around the region. Our rides are always a good time, but they’re also a safe space to ask questions and practice riding in the city.

WABA is proud to partner with DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria to offer a bicycle education class near you!

We’re Hiring: Community Outreach Coordinator

Click here for the job description in Spanish

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for a full-time Community Outreach Coordinator to join our Programs Team. The Community Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for running outreach programming to women/trans/femme identifying, and Latinx-identifying residents of the Washington, DC area and will report to the Outreach Manager. This position is key to WABA’s overarching outreach strategy and will work with program staff to develop new approaches to bicycle outreach and encouragement in line with WABA’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the region.

On average, 60% of people are “interested but concerned” about bicycling and might bike if their questions or concerns were met. As one strategy to increase the number of people who bicycle, WABA’s outreach program seeks to lower barriers to bicycling and bicycle advocacy, build community, and encourage new bicyclists through programming, resources and events. Our approach acknowledges that identity, neighborhoods, lived experience and other factors shape everyone’s experience with bicycling, and therefore outreach must be specific and culturally competent. 

The Community Outreach Coordinator will facilitate, connect and build programming to support and increase the number of women/trans/femme and Latinx identifying individuals bicycling in the DC region. The Coordinator will run and improve the successful Women & Bicycles program based on peer to peer mentoring, knowledge sharing and community building that has doubled the number women biking in the DC region since the program began in 2013. Informed by experience and knowledge with the Women & Bicycles program model, the Coordinator will expand WABA’s Latinx outreach programming. 

Responsibilities

The Community Outreach Coordinator, with support from the Outreach Manager, will develop and implement creative and engaging programming focused on supporting and growing the women/trans/femme (50% of time) and Latinx (50% of time) bicycling communities in the Washington, DC region through WABA-hosted events, and connecting groups and individuals. 

The coordinator will:

  • Run an intersectional outreach program that recognizes the multitudes of identities and promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. 
  • Plan, organize, and host activities, meetups, rides, workshops, and other events that support and grow ridership and knowledge of bicycling in women/trans/femme identifying bicycle-riding individuals (as part of the Women & Bicycles program) and Latinx communities with a particular focus on ensuring the most marginalized feel included. 
  • Encourage, support, and provide materials and resources for community members to host meetups and other events to grow ridership and knowledge through their own engagement and peer mentoring. 
  • Plan and facilitate WABA’s Women & Bicycles Roll Model program, a peer-to-peer support program dedicated to encouraging, educating, and empowering women/trans/femme identifying bicycle-riding individuals.
  • Support and encourage WABA’s programs, events, and communications to be more accessible and welcoming to Latinx and women/trans/femme communities, including through outreach and relationship-building, printed and online resources, and facilitating Spanish-language translations.  
  • Engage with WABA’s 7,000+ member Women & Bicycles Facebook group, currently run by dedicated volunteer moderators.
  • Build relationships with community groups to support their events and to share WABA’s existing resources and programming.

Qualifications

You should apply if you meet 75 – 85%+ of the following criteria:

  • Enthusiastic, sincere interpersonal and communications skills, both verbal and written, including active listening and learning. 
  • Creative problem-solving skills, attention to detail and capacity to innovate.
  • Creative ideas for events and engagement.
  • Experience leading public outreach.
  • Lived experience and/or cultural competence with the prioritized communities.
  • Native, bilingual, or full professional proficiency in Spanish.
  • Excellent communication skills in informal settings and across lines of difference.
  • A proven track record for being dependable, timely, and communicative.
  • The willingness to further their knowledge on the societal impacts of race, gender, identity, and how they intersect with their job.
  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission, vision, and diversity, inclusion and equity goals.
  • A commitment to respect, include, and be kind to all. 
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist when you ride. 
  • The ability to organize time wisely and juggle multiple priorities.
  • Some evening and weekend work availability. 

About WABA

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is working to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.

WABA’s programs, from youth education to grassroots community organizing, engage residents in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC. Six thousand dues-paying members and thousands more generous supporters have helped WABA transform bicycling in the region again and again over its almost 50 year history.

WABA envisions a region in which bicycling is joyful, safe, popular, and liberating; supported by the necessary infrastructure, laws, activities, and investments; and where bicycle ridership mirrors the incredible diversity of our communities.

Employment Details

This position is full-time. Expected salary range is $40,000-$45,000. The position is based in the WABA Office in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC. All employees are expected to work some evenings and weekends with compensatory time in exchange. This position will report to WABA’s Outreach Manager.

Benefits include 100% employer covered health/dental/vision insurance premiums; vacation and sick leave; committed colleagues; fun working environment; optional voluntary accident/disability insurance; WABA’s 403(b) retirement program; indoor bike parking; and surprising amounts of popsicles.

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

Apply

Send a cover letter and resume as a PDF(s) to jobs@waba.org. Please include “Community Outreach Coordinator” in the subject line. Phone calls at (202) 518-0524 x208 only if you do not have easy internet access please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; the position will remain posted until filled. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by or before Wednesday, September 4th. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Ask Alexandria’s Mayor and City Council to direct a three-lane configuration for Seminary Road

The City of Alexandria is at a crossroads: City policies require providing safe accommodations for all road users, particularly for people who walk and bike. The safest option for Seminary Road provides a three-lane configuration with center left turn lanes for drivers, pedestrian refuge islands for people who walk, and bike lanes for people who bike.  The City’s Traffic and Parking Board narrowly recommended maintaining four motor vehicle lanes prioritizing motor vehicles, rather than safety and multi-modal transportation. Send a note supporting a three-lane configuration with bike lanes on Seminary Road to let Alexandria officials know that residents support safe streets for everyone. Ask Alexandria’s Mayor and City Council to direct the T&ES Director to implement a three-lane solution for Seminary Road, to provide safe accommodations for all road users consistent with City plans and policies

The City Council-approved Transportation Master Plan and Complete Streets policy emphasize safety for all users and prioritize multimodal transportation, including walking, biking and use of transit. The city’s Environmental Action Plan prioritizes low-carbon mobility options, specifically, a “…transportation system that puts the health, mobility, and accessibility of ‘people first’… with the following level of precedence: pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation, shared motor vehicles and private motor vehicles.” In March, 2019 city transportation planners proposed reconfiguring a section of Seminary Road, consistent with these plans and policies, a four-to-three lane reconfiguration. The three-lane configuration would apply an FHWA proven safety measure with features including a center left-turn lane for drivers, buffer space and refuge islands for people who walk or take the bus, and bike lanes for people who bike, all without adding to congestion. This section of roadway has excess capacity: traffic is already constrained to one lane in each direction at entrances to the project area 

That said, on June 24, the City of Alexandria Traffic and Parking Board voted 3 to 2 to maintain four lanes for motor vehicles, as advocated by multiple civic associations, in spite of city staff evaluation of the three-lane option as best meeting project criteria and a 2-to-1 majority of speakers at the hearing requesting a three-lane alternative. A group of residents in the Seminary Road area have appealed the Board’s decision to the Mayor and City Council; they argue that  the three-lane configuration is most consistent with City Transportation, Environmental and Complete Streets policies, was the highest-scoring alternative that best meets project goals and objectives, and is the best option for reducing excessive vehicle speeds. The City Council is expected to make a final decision on September 14. Letters and phone calls from residents will help convince Alexandria elected officials that they should demonstrate their commitment to safety and City plans and policies by directing a three-lane solution for Seminary Road.