Fund a Traffic Garden for Kids to Learn How to Ride Bikes

Last week, we posted our year-end appeal letter on our blog (WABA members and supporters may have also received the appeal via surface mail in the past few weeks). This week, we’re reposting descriptions of the projects we hope to fund through your donations for 2014; we asked for $30,000 to fund entirely and we have currently raised $19,825 thanks to your generous contributions. Make a tax-deductible donation to WABA right now and make our advocacy, education, and outreach dreams a reality!

Today, read about our proposed traffic garden, which will cost $3,000 to build.

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There are too few places where kids in the D.C. region can learn how to properly ride bikes. Major trails are too crowded with fast-moving users. Surface parking lots are disappearing. WABA’s own classes have been kicked out of certain locations as space becomes scarcer or more difficult to permit.

We want to install a traffic garden, a dedicated space where kids can learn how to ride their bikes. The traffic garden will have a marked streetscape for practicing balancing and pedaling, and kids will be able to learn the rules of the road and trails on simulated surfaces. We teach over 3,000 kids how to ride safely each year as parents are teaching their own children. Why should there be dedicated spaces for every other outdoor activity—fields and courts and playgrounds—but none in which kids can develop bike skills?

After a great deal of searching, we still haven’t found a landowner willing to allow a full traffic graden with plantings, curbs, and other amenities integrated into the best models. However, the National Park Service will allow us to redesign a space in Alexandria as a pilot version. To get that done, we need to design and build the traffic garden ourselves.

Estimated need to build a traffic garden: $3,000 in supplies, plus volunteer support. Donate now!

Fund a Regional Trail Summit in 2014

Last week, we posted our year-end appeal letter on our blog (WABA members and supporters may have also received the appeal via surface mail in the past few weeks). This week, we’re reposting descriptions of the projects we hope to fund through your donations for 2014; we asked for $30,000 to fund entirely and we have currently raised $15,796 thanks to your generous contributions. Make a tax-deductible donation to WABA right now and make our advocacy, education, and outreach dreams a reality!

Today, read about our proposed trail summit, which would require $10,000 to organize and host.

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For all our success in growing biking over the past few years, we’ve failed to bring meaningful progress to our regional trail network. Continued movement on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and the Rhode Island Trolley Trail are notable exceptions to the fact that the Met Branch Trail isn’t complete, that Rock Creek and the Capital Crescent need major infrastructural work, the Suitland Parkway Trail is falling apart, or that the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail doesn’t begin or end at a main destination. Too many projects are taking too long and have lost momentum. Interjurisdictional battles and land use disputes have dragged on to the point that project managers don’t even talk to one another anymore.

It is time to convene a regional meeting to bring together responsible agencies, relevant elected officials, and the general public to rebuild a vision for our trail network and reinvigorate efforts to build it. WABA can convene such a meeting, but big meetings take time and money.

Estimated need for a regional trail summit: $10,000. Donate now!

Fund WABA’s Commuter Seminar Program

Last week, we posted our year-end appeal letter on our blog (WABA members and supporters may have also received the appeal via surface mail in the past few weeks). This week, we’re reposting descriptions of the projects we hope to fund through your donations for 2014; we asked for $30,000 to fund entirely and we have currently raised $13,646 thanks to your generous donations. Make a tax-deductible donation to WABA right now and make our advocacy, education, and outreach dreams a reality!

Today, read about our commuter seminar program, which requires $5,000 to run smoothly.

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For the past three years, WABA has provided lunchtime commuter seminars to area offices, during which a WABA staffer visits a workplace and gives an interactive presentation. Commuter seminars provide employees everything they need to know to start biking to work. These sessions are incredibly successful at helping people overcome barriers to biking for transportation. As biking grows, the demand for these seminars has outpaced our ability to deliver them without a funding source for the staff time involved, and it’s hard to enlist volunteer support midday on weekdays.

Estimated need to continue our commuter seminars: $5,000. Donate now!

Fund the 2014 WABA Policy Fellowship

Last week, we posted our year-end appeal letter on our blog (WABA members and supporters may have also received the appeal via surface mail in the past few weeks). This week, we’re reposting descriptions of the projects we hope to fund through your donations for 2014; we asked for $30,000 to fund entirely and we have currently raised $13,051 thanks to your generous contributions. Make a tax-deductible donation to WABA right now and make our advocacy, education, and outreach dreams a reality!

Today, read about the WABA Policy Fellowship, which will cost $12,000 in total.

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Every time a crash is reported, WABA responds. We have created a tracker to ensure that crashes in our jurisdictions are brought to our attention. We also have a mobile app that helps crash victims know what they, and we, need following a crash. Each time a crash is reported, we help the bicyclist understand the process for properly reporting the crash and provide advice on how to proceed through the complicated process of recovery. We speak with every crash victim possible, but we need to do more.

Advocacy depends on data. The realm of bicycle advocacy has precious little, which hampers how effective cycling advocates can be. WABA needs to be able to gather and analyze data from logged crashes in order to develop convincing arguments for specific bicycling improvements.

For much of 2013, WABA retained a policy fellow, Janie Nham, who crunched numbers from our crash tracker and assessed the best practices of police departments across the nation. She spent countless hours looking for patterns in data and developing proposals for legislation and enforcement improvements. Some of Janie’s findings have already made their way into law through D.C.’s Bicyclist Safety Amendment Act, and we are using her best-practices research to engage with law enforcement officials throughout the region and improve their understanding and enforcement of biking laws.

But we do not have the funding necessary to regularly compile the data that comes through the crash reports to identify trends, note unsafe conditions in need of improvement, and call out systemic errors in police response. The WABA policy fellowship was funded from January through August 2013 through the support of two generous donors, but there are no funds for a 2014 fellow.

Estimated need for a 2014 WABA policy fellow: $1,000/month stipend, totaling $12,000. Donate now!