20×20 Campaign May Update

It has been a few months since our last update on WABA’s 20×20 campaign, and so much has happened. The world has been turned upside down and we find ourselves with new rules for getting around and new demands on our streets. For many, this crisis is proving how liberating getting around by bike could be, if only there were a complete network of reliable, safe, and low-stress places to ride across the city.

We are working many angles to build that network, and you can read about them and sign your name in support here. The 20×20 campaign to add 20 miles of protected bike lanes to DC’s network by the end of 2020 remains critical to getting it all done.

Roll Up Your Sleeves & Get Involved

Summer Advocate Training Series

We are excited to announce a new weekly training series to help get community advocates like you fit for a productive summer of fighting for safe streets. Over the next couple weeks, hop on Zoom for a 30-60 minute session on the core skills, background, and tools for moving the 20×20 campaign for more protected bike lanes throughout the city. 

It’s weekly, Wednesdays at 6:30pm starting May 13! Come for as many sessions as interest you. No prior experience is necessary. See the calendar and sign up for a session here.

Join our 20×20 Spring of Action

To keep our momentum and the support for 20×20 projects growing, we are doing a weekly call to action. Each week, you will get a new opportunity to make the case for safer streets to a community stakeholder or elected leader. With your help we can bring new allies to the table, find common ground, and keep putting pressure where it is needed. Sign up for your Ward’s 20×20 group to get started!

Attend a DC Council Candidate Forum

Next week, we are pleased to host candidates for DC Council seats to discuss their perspectives and priorities on transportation, biking, and safe streets in DC.

Tuesday, May 19 at 7pm – Ward 2 and Ward 4 Candidate Transportation Forum – register and submit questions

Thursday, May 21 at 7pm – Ward 7 and Ward 8 Candidate Transportation Forum – register and submit questions

Attend a 20×20 Ward Meeting

We have groups of community advocates working in every ward to build support for the 20×20 projects. Join us for our next meeting! Find dates, times, and join links at waba.org/fun.

Updates

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Meet James Brady!

In March, we welcomed James Brady to the team to lead our 20×20 organizing in wards 4, 7, and 8. You can get to know him in his intro blog post. And if you live in one of those wards, he’d love to get to know you and get you plugged in! To start, fill out this survey and make sure to sign up for a 20×20 group at waba.org/20×20.

DDOT Ramping Up Planning

In August 2019, we challenged DDOT to build 20 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of 2020. That’s nearly 10 times the protected lane mileage the agency has ever built in a single year. By February, the agency  committed to 20 miles by 2022 — not nearly good enough, but still a substantial increase in pace and ambition. We have seen that DDOT is pooling resources from across the agency to plan, design and install more lanes faster. Our organizing and your voices are making this change possible,  so, it’s time to step it up!

Franklin St. NE protected bike lanes

Construction Season Has Started

From winter to spring, short protected bike lanes opened on P St. SW, 6th St. NE, Franklin St. NE, Monroe St. NE, and 4th St. NW adding about 0.75 miles to the network.

Construction started this month on the long-awaited Crosstown protected bike lane connecting Brookland to Park View. It will run one mile from Harewood St. NE to Warder Pl. NW on Irving and Kenyon Streets. The design includes wide curb-protected bike lanes, safer pedestrian crossings, and a handful of changes to make this highway a more pleasant place for people.

Work also starts this month on the 0.3 mile Brentwood Parkway protected bike lanes to extend the 6th St. NE lanes to the 9th St bridge. It will make a new low-stress route to three school campuses and future links into the New York Ave Trail, Brentwood, Union Market, and Trinidad neighborhoods.

And just around the corner, DDOT is on the last step of public input before installation can start on 1.6 miles of protected bike lanes on G St. NW in Foggy Bottom, K St NW in Mount Vernon Triangle, and Water St. NW in Georgetown.

4th St NW protected contraflow lane

Momentum & Major Milestones

Those projects are marching along because community advocates are working with their neighbors, getting decisionmakers on board, and putting pressure on DDOT to deliver. Thanks to that work, in the past few months:

  • ANCs passed resolutions in support of protected bike lanes on West Virginia Ave NE, G St NW, K St NW/NE, and Kenyon St. NW,
  • DDOT drew up preliminary plans for protected bike lanes on 4th St SW, 1st St/Potomac Ave SE, New Jersey Ave SE, 17th St. NW, and West Virginia Ave NE,
  • DDOT began planning protected bike lanes and bus only lanes on Pennsylvania Ave SE from 2nd St. SE to the Anacostia River, and
  • Planners are nearing the final design for the 1.5 mile 20th, 21st St. NW protected bike lanes

Thanks for reading. If you want to keep this work going, this week is a great time to renew your WABA Membership! Join the Bike Anywhere Week fun, grab a bingo card, and order your rad Bike Anywhere Week t-shirt today!

DDOT: Don’t Drop the Ball on Bike Lanes!

Last year WABA launched our 20 X 20 campaign, an ambitious plan to add 20 miles of new protected bike lanes in DC. In response, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) released their own plans for a faster pace for new protected bicycle infrastructure in the District. While this crisis has rearranged many priorities, we know that our shared goals and campaigns can’t take a break while the world gets sorted out.  To that end, we’re asking you to use your voice to hold DDOT to their commitments to continuing bicycle infrastructure development in the District.

Right now, many people who are considered essential workers are biking and walking to work everyday and the least that we can do is to try to use our voices to make those commutes as safe and stress-free as possible.  Protected bicycle lanes remain a part of the critical infrastructure work that is essential to street safety and to the well-being of all DC commuters.

We support DDOT’s ambitious 2020 goals for developing new bicycle infrastructure in DC and the continued focus on safer streets and sidewalks. We strongly encourage DDOT to remain committed to their stated 2020 plans at this time when commuter transportation and safety is critical to the overall health of so many of our communities.

Have you seen DDOT’s Plan for Florida AVE NE?

Almost eight years ago, the District Department of Transportation began looking at redesigning Florida Avenue NE, between New York Avenue and H Street NE, to address chronic speeding and an alarming pattern of severe crashes. Through studies and design iterations, plans emerged to calm traffic, create better options for biking and walking, and make more livable spaces along the corridor.

Sadly, while that planning was underway, the corridor produced unthinkable carnage and traffic violence, taking the lives and livelihood of community members and bringing grief and loss into the lives of thousands across the region. But we can also put credit where it is due—after a crash that took the life of a dear member of our BikeDC community, the DC Council and DDOT sprang into action. In just a few months, DDOT designed and installed a temporary road diet and protected bike lane on Florida Ave, which has already reduced speeding in the corridor.

Late last year, DDOT held a public meeting to present the 60% plans for the complete reconstruction of Florida Ave NE as well as 30% plans for the complicated intersection of Florida Ave, New York Ave, 1st St, and Eckington Pl NE. 

These plans propose many high-quality improvements to sidewalks, trees, curb-protected bike lanes and intersections, reflecting many lessons learned from the interim treatments installed last year. You can find the plans and presentation materials on the project website.

However the proposals are far from perfect. We believe DDOT can and must go further to create safe spaces for walking and biking and limit opportunities for unsafe speeding. WABA submitted detailed comments for both the corridor and intersection reconstructions. Read WABA’s full comments here. In particular, we would like to see improvements to include:

  • More aggressive traffic calming and a lower design speed
  • protected intersections especially at 4th, 6th, West Virginia Ave, and at the many intersections at New York Ave
  • Wider protected bike lanes and wider buffer from traffic
  • A wider north side sidewalk under the rail bridge to meet Union Market’s pedestrian needs
  • More complete and rational connections for people who bike across New York Ave, to the future New York Ave Trail, and further west on Florida Ave to meet the future needs of people who use the corridor

Once built (scheduled for 2021), this street design will remain in place for decades, so it is critical that the city gets it right, not just better. 

What you can do

If you want to see Florida Ave NE done right, join our 20×20 campaign to organize the support DDOT and our community leaders need to make the right call. Sign up for a 20×20 Ward group here to get started.It is still not too late to tell DDOT what you think about their plans. Take a closer look at the plans here, then click here to email constructive comments to the project team.

Meet James Brady, Our New 20 X 20 Campaign Organizer

Hi!  My name is James Brady and I’m excited to be taking on the role of 20 X 20 Campaign Organizer with WABA.

My fascination with bicycles started  when, as a twelve year old, I saw the movie Breaking Away in 1979.  Soon after my friends and I had all managed to acquire 10-speeds with which we terrorized the city because there were no protected bike lanes and none of us understood weird concepts like “right of way.” Despite the danger of street riding without a helmet (which, to be fair, no one wore at that time) I survived to move to DC in 1992 where I have lived and worked ever since.  My background is in environmental activism so I’m happy to be able to continue combining bikes, outreach, and action like the time I organized a bicycle blockade to shut down Olympic events in Beijing. Just kidding. I mean, I did do that but that’s not what I’ll be doing here at WABA.

I’m excited to work on the 20 X 20 campaign because it’s an opportunity to support not only street safety but issues of access, opportunity, and equity in DC and the surrounding area.  As the parent of a thirteen year old who regularly bikes all over the city, I’m happy to be a part of ensuring that he and his friends have safe and protected places to ride and are as safety minded as is possible considering that they are a bunch of unsupervised thirteen year olds who believe that they are invincible.  I’m equally happy to be engaged in looking for ways to improve all forms of access in the city for all of our residents whether that means safer streets for drivers and cyclists, better walkability for pedestrians and families, or any of the many other transportation issues that DC needs to address on the regular.Our goal is to have 20 more miles of protected bike lanes in DC by the end of the year so if that seems like a campaign you’re interested in feel free to contact me at James.brady@waba.org.

February Ward 4 20×20 Meeting

Let’s get to work on protected bike lanes in Ward 4! Join us to get involved in strategizing and campaign planning.

The Ward 4 Action Group meeting (Ward 4 20×20 meeting) primarily works on WABA 20×20 projects – bike lane projects across DC that are in some stage of study, planning or design, so we know they are possible. And we want them built by the end of 2020.

Sign up here:

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!

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.