2020 Vision Zero Summit Recap

Notes from the Opening Plenary

On September 24th, WABA brought together advocates, engineers, elected officials, professionals from the transportation sector together for the fourth annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit.

This year’s Summit was different from previous years. The event was postponed from March until September and then ultimately hosted virtually. However, those were just the logistical changes. Both the covid-19 pandemic and nationwide protests against police violence have highlighted how much racial injustice is built into our transportation system. 

Charles Brown, MPA, Senior Researcher, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC), Adjunct Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University delivered a keynote address highlighting institutional racism and inequity in the transportation system that causes arrested mobility in Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPoC) communities.

This year’s conference also included workshops, case studies, a rapid fire lunch session, global and local perspectives, a session on the intersection of vision zero and climate change. You can find a complete agenda here, but for a quick recap, check out these graphic interpretations by graphic Mark Kosak of See in Colors.

This year we included a mid-day rapid fire session: speakers were asked to respond in five minutes or less to the question: What is your one great idea for a sustainable, equitable, on-going and post-pandemic transportation system? Many highlighted the need for a multi-modal safe, connected, transportation system—more dedicated space for buses and people on bikes—but making sure those improvements are implemented equitably by focusing on safety in communities that have been underserved by safe and reliable transportation. 

We closed this year’s Summit with the Closing Plenary: ‘Vision Zero in the Washington Region.’ The session was moderated by WABA Advocacy Director Jeremiah Lowery and speakers included Greg Billing, Executive Director, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Councilmember Monique Anderson-Walker, District 8 Prince George’s County, Mayor Justin Wilson, City of Alexandria, and Councilmember Elissa Silverman, D.C. Topics highlighted included the impacts covid-19 has had on the region transportation system, enforcement on our streets and the need for street design to take precedence over policing, as well as the need for a connected and well maintained trail network throughout the region.

In addition to the Summit, In February, WABA hosted two Community Listening Sessions, one east of the Anacostia River and one West of the Anacostia River. The intention of listening sessions was to bring Vision Zero to residents who may now be able to attend a daytime, weekday Summit, to listen to community members’ needs, and bring those to the forefront for the Summit audience to hear. Watch a video (sponsored by SPIN) from these Community Listening Sessions below:


Thank you to our sponsors:

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Win: Vision Zero Omnibus bill passes DC Council.

Two weeks ago, the DC Council voted unanimously to pass the Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act of 2019

This win will fundamentally change the way we use our streets. It will make District agencies accountable to Council. That means DDOT will have to evaluate the most dangerous corridors in the District, report out on them, and then actually fix them.

This win means lower speed limits and no right turns on red. It means automated traffic enforcement at intersections and in bus lanes, and it means better investment in the communities with less access to transit and fewer safe places to bike and walk.

This bill comes at a devastating cost — the lives of our neighbors, friends, and community members. Since Mayor Bowser committed to Vision Zero, traffic deaths have increased every year. And now, as the bill goes to the Mayor to become law, we’ll be fighting hard to ensure it gets funded in next year’s budget and fully implemented so that we have real, meaningful tools to make this city a safer place to move through.

Can you help us keep District leaders accountable every single day with a monthly donation of?

This isn’t even the only big news about Vision Zero this month. On September 24, WABA hosted our 4th annual regional Vision Zero Summit where we learned so much from our keynote speaker, Charles T Brown. He spoke about arrested mobility — the way enforcement and so many systemic factors inhibit Black people’s basic mobility. We carried that theme through the day, with conversations about Vision Zero and racism at the intersection of climate change, the pandemic, trail access, community engagement, and much more.

The conversations we had this past month are building power for safer streets, and we are so grateful for your support every step of the way. Thank you for helping us fight for safer streets. Progress sometimes feels slow, but together, we’re doing transformational work in the region. 

Want to keep the momentum going?

Make a monthly donation today

Petition: Don’t delay protected bike lanes in Petworth and Parkview!

Please support residents of Parkview and Petworth in demanding that The District Department of Transportation complete the North-South leg of the Crosstown Protected Bike Lanes Project!  

While the east-west leg has been going swimmingly, (see map above), DDOT has pushed back the development of the North-South segment, which will upgrade existing painted bicycle lanes to fully protected lanes between New Hampshire Avenue and Kenyon Street NW. This delay is unacceptable. 

Residents of Parkview and Petworth need safe and easy options to bike and scoot to locations in Brookland and Columbia Heights!  Please join us in telling DDOT that there is no time to delay on this project.  Parents and kids will need safe, protected routes to school again soon.  Local merchants will need the customers and business that easy bicycle access can bring.  The temporary unprotected lanes in place now are dangerous to commuters and do nothing to calm traffic or restrict speeding in the area.  Please sign the petition now and support the timely completion of this awesome project!

As the District Reopens, It Needs Resilient Streets

Over the last six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced every aspect of life in cities, including where, how, and how often we move around. As the pandemic peaked in DC, WMATA’s rail ridership declined 90%. Despite service returning to near pre-pandemic levels and taking steps to restore rider confidence by promoting public health and safety, Metro’s rail system has yet to experience an influx of riders returning to the system.

So where have these riders gone? The number of people walking, biking and riding scooters has soared as people prioritize socially distant, open-air forms of transportation and recreation. The District’s own Capital Bikeshare program became a means for thousands of critical workers to continue getting to work, and with the introduction of hundreds of e-bikes this summer, is becoming a top choice for mobility and recreation district-wide. But at the same time, many new buyers are turning to “Covid Cars” as the ultimate socially distant transportation.

The District is at an inflection point for its transportation system: does it stay on track to maintain its ranking as the third most congested city in America, where commuters spend twice the amount of time sitting in traffic than the average American? Or does it embrace resilient streets which support a variety of transportation options, making streets safer and more efficient for everyone– especially our most vulnerable populations?

The first steps for creating resilient streets are already in motion in the District with quick-build temporary street improvements to support social distancing via the Slow Streets program, which closed tens of neighborhood streets to through-traffic and lowered speed limits to make more space for all types of users. DDOT has also expanded Car Free Lanes to promote efficient and reliable bus service and create additional space for bike and scooter travel on some of our busiest corridors.

We need to build on this momentum and take these concepts even further — thinking about permanence, about providing equitable access, and about expanding their reach to not only serve short local trips, but also to provide connectivity for medium-to-long distances for longer commutes.

To point to one example, an obvious place for a resilient street corridor would be the 11th Street bridge connection and the 11th Street Bridge Park, where construction is slated to kick off in 2021. Transportation infrastructure investments along a “resilient street corridor” will be critical to helping people safely and comfortably access the bridge and park, while helping drive economic development in the commercial corridors. Working with local partners and urban design experts at Street Plans, we offer a potential vision for how M Street SE and Martin Luther King Jr Avenue could be reimagined. These working concepts  prioritize space for people by creating bus-only lanes with enhanced bus shelters, protected micromobility lanes for two-wheeled transportation modes like bikes and scooters, plant shade trees for pedestrians, pickup and drop-off zones for safe passenger loading, and new metered parking solutions to help ensure better parking turnover and availability. Together, these features create a rich environment for people using all transportation modes. These are resilient streets.

Before: M Street SE at 2nd Place SE 
After: M Street SE at 2nd Place SE
Before: MLK JR Ave at Good Hope Road SE
After: MLK JR Ave at Good Hope Road SE

We also worked with Sam Schwartz Engineering to understand the impact that permanent street design and infrastructure changes could have along the corridor to help support walking, biking, scooting, and transit. We found that by making these types of safety and design changes along the corridor leading from Ward 6 to Ward 8, we could have a major impact on how residents and commuters move. With these kinds of resilient street designs, the corridor would accommodate 18,000 sustainable walking, biking trips: avoiding 54,000 of miles traveled via car every day and avoiding 6,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year.

Please join us in making these changes a reality by supporting WABA’s call to action urging our regional elected officials to start the future resiliency process right away, making sure that D.C. is set up for not only recovery, but for a new normal with expanded access to safe, affordable, and sustainable mobility choices for all street users.

Jeremiah Lowery is the Director of Policy at Washington Area Bicyclists Association; Kristina Noell is the Executive Director or the Anacostia BID; Marisa Rodriguez-McGill is a Senior Public Policy Manager at Lyft Transit, Bikes & Scooters, the operator of Capital Bikeshare.

Show MCDOT Your Support for Shared Streets

Early in September, WABA, Action Committee for Transit, Coalition For Smarter Growth, Forest Estates Community Association, Montgomery County Pedestrian Bicycle Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, and Sierra Club in Montgomery County all sent a letter to Montgomery County Department of Transportation Director Chris Conklin. The letter urges MCDOT to designate more low-speed, low-traffic streets for walking and biking on county roads by expanding its Shared Streets program to more neighborhoods.

Like Washington, DC and many other major cities, Montgomery County has modified some streets into temporary “neighborhood greenways” which welcome walking and biking while limiting vehicles to local traffic only during the public health emergency. Temporary neighborhood greenways have been created on Grove St in downtown Silver Spring, Holdridge Ave in Glenmont, and Windham Ln in Wheaton to provide more space for physical distancing, outdoor activity and getting around. While not perfect, we believe these are a useful and rapidly implementable tool for improving transportation and recreation options. You can learn more about them and see a map on MCDOT’s Shared Streets website.

Combined with the existing bicycle and trail network and weekend closures of parkways, these temporary neighborhood greenways help safely connect more people with more places. We hope that MCDOT will examine our suggestions closely and implement the proposed Shared Streets segments all over the County to help people get to work, connect to trails, do errands, and stay active.

We propose about 13 miles (map) of county roads as candidates for temporary neighborhood greenways. They are:

  1. College View Drive from Huggins to Norris (Wheaton – Parallel to Veirs Mill Road) (.7 mi)
  2. Windham Ln from Georgia Ave to Douglas to McComas Ave to St. Paul Ave (Wheaton to Kensington) (1.2 mi)
  3. Grandview Ave from Blue Ridge to Randolph (Wheaton to Glenmont) (1.0 mi)
  4. Woodland Drive from Spring Street to Highland Drive, to Crosby to Sligo Creek Trail (Silver Spring to Montgomery Hills) (1.1 mi)
  5. Ellsworth Drive from Cedar to Bennington to Sligo Creek Trail (DTSS to Sligo Creek) (.9 mi)
  6. Osage Street from Carroll Avenue to Tahona Drive to 12th Avenue to New
  7. Hampshire Avenue (Takoma Park) (.5 mi)
  8. Sudbury Road from Plymouth Street to E. Franklin Ave (Long Branch) (.6 mi) and Domer Avenue from Flower Ave to Barron Street (.3 mi)
  9. West Virginia Avenue from Lynbrook Drive to Wisconsin Avenue (East Bethesda) (.4 mi) and Pearl Street/Maryland Avenue from Sleaford to Jones Bridge (.7 mi) and Cheltenham Drive from Maryland Ave to Wisconsin Ave (.3 mi)
  10. Brandermill Drive from Middlebrook Road to Oxbridge Drive (Germantown) (.8 mi)
  11. Spartan Road from MD-97 to Old Baltimore Road (Olney) (1.2 mi)
  12. Amherst Ave from Dennis Avenue to Arcola Avenue (Wheaton) (1.4 mi)
  13. Lewis Avenue from Halpine Road to First St. (Rockville Pike) (1.3 mi)
  14. Kara Lane from E Randolph Road to Autumn Drive, Autumn Drive from Kara Lane to Eldrid Drive, Eldrid Drive from Autumn Drive to New Hampshire Avenue (Colesville) (1.0 mi)

If you like our proposals and want to see more Shared Streets across the county, email MCDOT.SharedStreets@montgomerycountymd.gov, Director Conklin (christopher.conklin@montgomerycountymd.gov) and the County Council (County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov) to show your support.

You can read the full letter here.

20X20: Getting It Done

We are cranking up the pressure to finish the 20×20 campaign off strong. Many key protected bike lanes are already done or slated for construction this fall, promising a larger, more protected and connected bicycle network for DC. But too many important projects on the map are still plodding along with an uncertain future. Read on to see where we are and get involved.

A Big Fall for New Protected Bike Lanes

photo from @thisisbossi

As you read this, crews are upgrading bike lanes on 4th St. NW/SW from Maddison Dr NW to I St. SW (0.8 mi) (photos) and New Jersey Ave SE from E St. to H St. NE (0.2 mi). And construction has been teased for almost 6 miles of new protected bike lanes before the end of the year on:

  • G St. NW from Virginia Ave to 17th St NW (0.7 mi)
  • 20th & 21st St. from Massachusetts Ave to Virginia Ave (1.1 mi) and the link to the National Mall (0.2 mi) is coming in the spring
  • K St. NW from 7th St NW to 1st St NE (0.9 mi)
  • First St & Potomac Ave SE from South Capitol St. to I St. SW (0.7 mi)
  • 17th St. NW from T St. to K St. (0.9 mi)
  • West Virginia Ave from Montana Ave to Mount Olivet Rd NE (0.6 mi) 
  • 8th St. NE from Edgewood St. to Monroe St. NE (0.5 mi)

But none of these are a done deal until they’re in the ground. With just a few months to go before it is too cold to stripe lanes, we need your help to keep the pressure up!

Take Action

map of Crosstown protected bike lane project from DDOT

Here are a few things you can do to help:

  • Ward 1 & 4 – Neighbors in Wards 1 & 4 are joining forces to push DDOT to complete the North/ South leg of the crosstown cycletrack ASAP!  In addition to providing safe and easy access from Parkview and Petworth to Brookland and Columbia Heights, this plan will add trees and other greenery to the Warder and Park Place corridors.  If you want to know more or get involved contact james.brady@waba.org and join our next meeting
  • Ward 2
    • Despite getting all but one vote in support from Dupont Circle’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission in July, and assurances from DDOT that it would be installed this fall, we hear that the timeline is slipping on the 17th St. NW protected bike lanes. Help us remind DDOT Director Marootian and Ward 2 Coulcilmember Pinto why finishing this safety project can’t wait.
    • Explore the plan for Pennsylvania Ave west of the White House and tell DDOT that they need to make temporary safety improvements sooner than 2022.
  • Ward 3 – Sign the petition in support of protected bike lanes on Connecticut Ave NW and get involved in our campaign with Ward 3 Bicycle Advocates. See DDOT’s options here.
  • Ward 5 – Before October 8, write DDOT a quick email showing your support for West Virginia Ave protected bike lanes (plans here). Then, sign a petition in support of Lincoln Rd NE protected bike lanes or 8th St NE protected bike lanes
  • Ward 7 –  Better trail connections between the Marvin Gaye Trail and Anacostia River Trail, upgrading the Massachusetts Ave SE bike lanes and less stressful walking & biking connections around Kenilworth Ave NE are all on the table for Ward 7. To learn more and get involved contact james.brady@waba.org and join our next meeting.
  • Ward 8 – The 20X20 campaign is working diligently with local supporters and advocates to demonstrate support for better bicycle infrastructure in Ward 8.  We are focusing on protected bicycle lanes on Mississippi Avenue SE and we’ll soon be hitting the streets to talk to neighbors and community members about the benefits of this project!  To learn more and get involved contact james.brady@waba.org and join our next meeting.

Show Up & Get Involved

We have groups of community advocates working in every ward to build support for the 20×20 projects. Getting involved is easy. Sign up here to be the first to hear about actions, updates and get involved with planning.

Attend a 20×20 Ward Meeting

Join us for our next meeting in your ward! Find dates, times, and join links at waba.org/fun.

  • September 28 – Ward 8 – 6:30 pm
  • September 30 – Ward 4 – 6:30 pm
  • October 6 – Ward 6 – 6:30 pm
  • October 19 – Ward 5 – 7:00 pm
  • October  20 – Wards 1 & 2 – 6:30 pm
  • October 29 – Ward 7 – 6:30 pm

All of this work is made possible by the efforts of our community advocates and the financial support of WABA members. If you are able, support our 20×20 campaign with a monthly contribution. Give Today!

Cómo andar de bicicleta en el tráfico

Saber cómo andar en tráfico de manera segura es una habilidad importante para saber si deseas usar tu bicicleta para el transporte o llegar a lugares más rápidamente. Puede parecer alarmante al principio, pero la clave para desarrollar la confianza es saber dónde andar y cómo manejar diferentes situaciones de tráfico.

Debes siempre actuar como un coche.

Las personas en bicicletas deben seguir todas las reglas cuando están pedaleando en la calle. 

Esto significa detenerse en las señales de alto y en las luces rojas de tránsito y seguir todas las señales. Siempre conduzca en la misma dirección que el tráfico. Los automovilistas no esperan ver una ciclista en contrasentido. También es importante detenerte en los pasos de peatones. Aunque una bicicleta puede no ser tan grande como un automóvil, los peatones no esperarán que un ciclista se cruce por el paso de peatones mientras intentan cruzar la calle. Seas considerado y pare para permitir que los peatones puedan cruzar con seguridad. Seguir las reglas de la carretera te ayuda a ser un ciclista más predecible y te mantiene seguro cuando manejas al lado de vehículos más grandes y más rápidos.

Maneja de forma predecible y sé cortés.

Escanear es una manera fácil y segura de comunicar tus intenciones a otros y también te ayuda saber lo que hay detrás de tí. Escanear es simplemente el acto de mirar por encima de tu hombro (para atrás, para frente y para los lados).

Usa tus manos para señalar tus maniobras a otras personas con seguridad. Apuntar a la izquierda significa que pretendes girar a la izquierda. Señalar a la derecha significa que pretendes girar a la derecha. Doblar el codo y extender tu mano hacia el suelo significa que pretendes disminuir tu velocidad o que pretendes parar.

También puedes usar tu voz. Puedes decir “a su izquierda” (o “on your left” y “passing” en inglés) o puedes sonar tu campana. Recuerdas que las personas en sus automóviles probablemente no puedan escucharte. Mira a tu alrededor para asegurarte de que el camino esté libre y que sea seguro pasar. Da tanto espacio como pueda para pasar de forma segura. Se requiere que los conductores dejen al menos 3 pies (~1 metro) de espacio al sobrepasar a ciclistas. Asegúrate de dejar suficiente espacio a otros ciclistas y peatones al pasarlos también. 

photo credit nybikelanes.org

Evita la “door zone” o el área de la puerta.

La “door zone” o área de la puerta es el área en cada lado de la calle donde las puertas de los automóviles se abren hacia el tráfico. Si dividimos la ciclovía en tres partes, el “door zone” generalmente incorpora el tercio central y el tercio a la derecha de la ciclovía.

Los conductores a menudo abren sus puertas sin verificar si viene una persona en bicicleta o scooter. Es importante andar en el tercio izquierdo de la ciclovía para evitar el “door zone”. Otra opción es andar en el carril fuera de la ciclovía. Solo porque una ciclovía está disponible no significa que tienes que andar allí. Consulta las leyes locales sobre bicicletas para conocer tus derechos y responsabilidades.

Anda donde te sientas cómodx.

¡Si te sientes cómodo, es muy probable que estés seguro! Solo porque las bicicletas tengan el derecho de andar en la carretera no significa que siempre debas hacerlo si no quieres. Los ciclistas pueden andar en la calle, en los senderos y en las aceras o banquetas (se aplican distinciones regionales). Debes elegir lo que sea mejor para ti en el momento. Siempre puedes bajarte de tu bicicleta y caminar como un peatón. Esto es particularmente útil cuando necesitas navegar intersecciones difíciles. Pero recuerda, siempre debes ceder el paso a los peatones cuando estés en la acera. Los peatones no necesariamente esperan encontrar una bicicleta en la acera. ¡Así que es importante que vayas despacio!

Finalmente, ¡presta atención!

Estar atentx y pendiente te protege y te ayuda a prepararte para lo inesperado. Siempre ponte atención a todxs los usuarios de la calle: esto incluye automovilistas, peatones, ciclistas, y scooters.

Y si quieres más apoyo, participa de nuestros talleres y encuentros en línea. O envíanos un correo electrónico a preguntas@waba.org si tienes preguntas.

Mas: waba.org/espanol

La revisión rápida o ABC Quick Check en inglés

Antes de subirte en tu bicicleta debes asegurarte de que tu bicicleta esté en buen estado, que tengas todo lo que necesitas y que tengas un plan. Una rueda pinchada inesperada no es nada divertido. Una manera de asegurarte de que tu bicicleta está funcionando correctamente es hacer el ABC Quick Check. ABC Quick Check es un acrónimo que nos ayuda a recordar los principales componentes de la bicicleta que debemos revisar siempre antes de usarla.  

Empezamos con A por Aire – Para revisar el aire, presione las llantas para ver si ceden. En caso afirmativo, deben ser infladas. La mayoría de las bombas de aire para bicicletas tiene un manómetro de presión de aire. Haga coincidir el número de libras por pulgada cuadrada (PSI) que está escrito en el lado de la llanta con el número en el medidor. Mientras verificas la presión, tómate un momento para buscar daños en las bandas laterales o en la superficie de la llanta. En caso de que tengas una rueda pinchada, aquí está un video sobre cómo arreglarla.

Seguimos a B por “Brakes” en inglés o Frenos – Cuando tus frenos funcionan correctamente, deberías poder detenerte rápidamente y sin problemas. Comienza revisando las palancas de los frenos de mano. La palanca izquierda controla la rueda delantera y la derecha controla la rueda trasera. Cuando aprietes firmemente las palancas de freno, debe haber un espacio del tamaño del dedo pulgar entre la palanca y el manubrio. Si este espacio es demasiado pequeño, los frenos deben ser ajustados. Cuando se suelta la palanca del freno, la misma debe volver a su posición original. Además, aprieta los frenos para asegurarte de que, cuando se apliquen, las pastillas estén paralelas y alineadas con la llanta. 

En siguiente, debes revisar las pastillas de freno. Asegurate que las pastillas de freno no estén desgastadas. Si se encuentran con una medida menor de 3 mm, es hora de cambiarlas. Si escuchas muchos chirridos cuando frenas o si no puedes parar tu bicicleta por completo cuando frenas, tu bicicleta necesita mantenimiento. Si no tienes palancas de freno de mano, puede ser que tengas frenos de pedal (coaster brakes). Esos son controlados pedaleando hacia atrás.

A continuación tenemos C por Cadena – Al revisar la cadena, gira los pedales hacia atrás y observa si el mecanismo está limpio y no hace ruidos. ¿la cadena se ve seca u oxidada? Si es así, aplica una pequeña gota de lubricante en cada enlace. Cada enlace debe estar libre de óxido y escombros. Para revisar las bielas, muévelas de izquierda a derecha, como separándolas del marco de la bicicleta. No deben tener ningún movimiento lateral. Observa que los piñones en la rueda trasera estén limpios y se muevan libremente. Siempre ayuda a limpiar la bicicleta después de un paseo en un día lluvioso y con lodo. Súbete a tu bicicleta, da una pequeña vuelta y práctica los cambios de marchas. Si tu cadena se salta mientras conduces, puede ser que tu bicicleta necesite un ajuste.

Seguimos a “Quick” por “Quick Release” en inglés o palanca de liberación rápida – Las palancas de liberación rápida son palancas que facilitan quitar o ajustar diferentes partes de tu bicicleta para el mantenimiento o almacenamiento. Por lo general, se encuentran en el poste del asiento, las ruedas y / o los frenos de la bicicleta. No todas las bicicletas las tienen. Si tu bicicleta las tiene, asegúrate de que estén bien cerradas y que apunten hacia la parte trasera de la bicicleta para que enreden con cosas en el camino.

Y el último paso es “Check” o Chequear – En la revisión final, chequeamos el resto de la bicicleta. Estamos buscando cosas como un rayo roto, tuercas o tornillos que faltan, o si no puedes apretar tu sillín. ¡Soluciona cualquier problema pequeño antes de salir a montar para evitar lesiones o daños a tu bicicleta! Si no estás seguro de cómo solucionar algún problema en tu bicicleta, pide ayuda a tus amigos o lleva tu bicicleta al mecánico. 

Si necesitas un poco más de asistencia para que tu bicicleta funcione correctamente, te recomendamos que visites tu tienda local de bicicletas. También tenemos más recursos sobre cómo ajustar tu casco y cómo andar en el tráfico. ¡Si no encuentras ningún problema durante la revisión rápida o ABC Quick Check, estás listx para andar en tu bici!

Y si quieres más apoyo, participa de nuestros talleres y encuentros en línea. O envíanos un correo electrónico a preguntas@waba.org si tienes preguntas.

Mas: waba.org/espanol