Advocacy Roundup: Summer 2019 Edition

It’s been a long time since we wrote this round-up and it’s been a very busy 2019. In writing this, I want to give my sincerest thanks to those of you who have taken action, shown up, and fought for safer streets, more trails, and better bicycling. I know that it seems like an uphill climb at times, but the effort put into this year has already shown to be powerful. Between pending legislation, refreshed infrastructure planning (DC, Arlington, and Montgomery County), and organizing momentum—we are on our way to better biking in the region. For everyone.

We can’t wait another year for laws to make our streets safer.

If DC is serious about making streets safer, the DC Council needs to hold a hearing on the four bills presented this spring before July recess. Read more about the four bills presented by DC Councilmembers Cheh, Allen, Grosso and Todd here.

Rendering courtesy of DDOT and NPS.

The Arboretum Bridge and Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime connection

The Arboretum Bridge and Trail will not only connect Wards 5 and 7, but it will bring the Anacostia River Trail one step closer to completion! The bridge will serve a transportation function, connecting residents to jobs, local businesses, and much more. It will also connect the Arboretum to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, uniting two of DC’s most unique outdoor spaces. You can submit your comments on the project by July 31 here.

Rendering of the rejected road diet for the Capital Crescent Trail crossing of Little Falls Parkway.

Planning Board nixes Little Falls Parkway road diet at Capital Crescent Trail

In a surprising and deeply disappointing decision, the Montgomery County Planning Board voted 4:1 to restore Little Falls Parkway to a four-lane road and detour the Capital Crescent Trail to cross at the traffic signal at Arlington Road. They rejected all three options, including the staff recommended one, which were thoroughly studied over the past 18 months. Removing the road diet contradicts county policy, best practices, staff expertise, and parks data, which showed that the road diet substantially reduced crashes and speeding. Read more about the Board’s decision and our thoughts here.

It’s time for a protected bike lane on Fenton Street

Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring has almost everything it needs to be the Silver Spring’s main street. It is lined by cafes, shops, entertainment and community spaces kept bustling by the tens of thousands of people who live and work nearby. But step off the curb and it’s chaos—unsafe crossings, aggressive drivers and a car-centric road design. Sign the petition to let Montgomery County leaders know that Fenton needs to change, for the better.

Update: Connecticut Ave NW Protected Bike Lane meeting

At a public meeting on June 25th, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced that protected bike lanes were not in the immediate future for the Connecticut Avenue Streetscape and Deckover Project. This came as a shock, as ANC 1B and 2C passed resolutions in support of the PBLs in this project. Following backlash from residents, 22 hours later, DDOT Director Jeff Marootian announced on Twitter that the protected bike lanes will be reinstated into the Connecticut Avenue NW project plans. Read a full recap of the second public meeting here.

Bike to School Day events at Garfield Elementary win DDOT Trailblazer Award!

On May 8 and May 29, WABA supported Safe Kids DC’s Bike to School Day Events at Garfield Preparatory Academy with Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the Metropolitan Police Department, DDOT, and Safe Kids World Wide. 301 youth riders from grades PreK to 5 rotated through three stations: a helmet fitting station, a bike obstacle safety course, and a bicycle license plate art project. Find pictures from the events and a quick recap here!

DDOT shares plans for Florida Ave NE

On Thursday, June 20, DDOT staff hosted a meeting to share their plans for immediate changes to Florida Ave NE to calm traffic, improve intersection safety, and add protected bike lanes on the corridor. Florida Ave NE has long been a dangerous corridor due to rampant speeding and outdated road design. More than 150 people attended to see the plans, ask questions, and share their stories about their ongoing experience with traffic violence.

DDOT’s plan will remove one or more travel lanes from the Avenue from 2nd St. NE to 14th St. NE, narrow travel lanes, and add dedicated turn lanes at intersections. New protected bike lanes, separated by paint, rubber wheel stops, and a new, more imposing kind of bollard, will run from 3rd St. to 14th NE. Changes are also coming to intersections, with new markings and turn restrictions, and to 6th St. NE, where it will become one way north of K St NE. Review the full plans here. DDOT staff will collect comments over the next month and start work in July. Planning continues for the complete reconstruction of the corridor.

Alexandria prioritizes cars over people on Seminary Road

On Monday, June 24th, the City of Alexandria’s Traffic and Parking Board voted 3 to 2 to prioritize cars over people on Seminary Road. The vote was a surprise given that 46 of 68 speakers spoke about the need for safe accommodations on Seminary Road for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people of all ages and abilities. Despite overwhelming support for slower speeds and more people-focused design, the board voted (with little discussion) to recommend that City Council maintain four lanes for cars on Seminary Road between N. Howard Street and N. Quaker Lane. City Council will make the final decision about Seminary Road after a public hearing on Saturday, September 14th.

Arlington wants to reach 8% of people getting around by bike by 2025

Arlington County confirms vision for inclusive, low-stress biking in master plan

In April, the Arlington County Board adopted a new bicycle element for the Master Transportation Plan to support the growth of biking in the county. After two years of hard work, outreach, stakeholder input, and revision, the new plan sets out a much more ambitious, inclusive and low-stress bicycling vision for Arlington.

Montgomery County adopted a new Bicycle Master Plan

In November 2018, Montgomery County adopted a new Bicycle Master Plan, concluding more than three years of intensive analysis, public engagement, and advocacy. By adopting this plan, the County Council endorsed a dramatic shift in the County’s goals and approach to growing bicycling, committing MoCo to a convenient, inclusive, and low-stress bicycling future!

East Coast Greenways Trails Summit

In April 2019, Advocacy Team members Katie and Jonathan presented at the East Coast Greenways Mid-Atlantic Trails and Greenways Summit in a session titled, “Public Engagement in Ways That Count”. Katie and Jonathan presented their unique approaches to engaging community members in their work. Watch their session presentations here!

2019 Washington Region Vision Zero Summit

The third Vision Zero Summit was March 25 at the Milken Institute of Public Health. This year’s Summit had a new component: a Community Listening Session on Traffic Safety, held the evening prior to the Summit at the Anacostia Playhouse. Find the recap of this year’s Summit here. And browse the hashtag #VZSummitDC on Twitter for a full look at Summit highlights.

Nonprofits Unite to Create Equitable Access for Cycling

In May, REI board of directors  and leadership visited Washington, DC for a tour, where our very own Katie Harris did an amazing job representing WABA and the Capital Trails Coalition! Check out their adventures in this clip from REI.

Trainings, Workshops, and Meetings

Rock Creek Far East 1 Livability Study – Public Workshops

DDOT has hosted two of three public events for the Rock Creek East I Livability Study. WABA staff and supporters have been in attendance to share their perspective on improvements to transportation safety in the area of the study. connections to destinations for all modes. At the first public workshop, DDOT introduced the project, shared data collection, and provided opportunities for participants to share existing concerns. In the second meeting, DDOT introduced the corridors that have been identified as focus areas, but are continuing to gather community input. Interested in attending a Ward 4 Community Meeting? Email jonathan.stafford@waba.org.

Ward 8 Traffic Safety Meetings

WABA holds monthly Ward 8 Traffic Safety Meetings with community members, ANC commissioners, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Safe Kids DC, DDOT, MPD, Mayor’s Office Representatives, Capitol Bikeshare, private sector companies, and local businesses. The group discusses Ward 8 transportation trouble spots, shares ideas for how to make travelling on foot or bike safer, and advocates for safe walking and biking.

Recently, the group met with DDOT and community members for a High Crash Site Visit on South Capitol Street SW. DDOT data shows South Capitol Street to be one of the most dangerous corridors for pedestrians and bicyclists in Ward 8. The group identified safety issues including high speeds, missing signage, and crossing difficulties (to name a few). Interested in attending a Ward 8 Traffic Safety Meeting? Email hannah.neagle@waba.org.

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

The District’s long road to building a half-mile bike lane that leads to the U.S. Capitol – The Washington Post, January 1, 2019

DC Metro to allow bikes on trains during rush hour – Washington Examiner, January 2, 2019

Metro to welcome bicycles on trains at rush hour starting Jan. 7 – WJLA, January 2, 2019

Metro lifts ban against bikes on trains during rush hour – The Washington Post, January 2, 2019

DDOT moves ahead on plans for three new protected bike lanes in Northwest – The DC Line, January 4, 2019

District is ramping up street safety measures for the new year – The Washington Post, January 5, 2019

Riders have started to bring their bikes on Metro during rush hour. So far, so good. – The Washington Post, January 15, 2019

Residents and two museums take different sides at a contentious meeting about a Dupont bike lane – Greater Greater Washington, January 18, 2019

DC wants to make clear to drivers that bike lanes aren’t for parking, idling, or loading – The Washington Post, February 21, 2019

DC Quietly Banned Biking With Headphones This Year – DCist, February 19, 2019

Do bike-share programs worsen travel disparities for the poor? – The Washington Post, March 5, 2019

Five Takeaways From Washington Vision Zero Traffic Safety Summit – WAMU, March 14, 2019

The District’s streets are dangerous, unjust and unsafe, by design – Greater Greater Washington, March 21, 2019

Kid-sized ‘traffic parks’ are D.C.’s new playgrounds with a purpose – WAMU, April 11, 2019

Locals call for enforcement of bicycling rules in DC as city plans to install protected bike lanes – WUSA9, April 17, 2019

Bicycle activist killed on bike in crash with stolen van in the District – The Washington Post, April 19, 2019

Bicyclist fatally struck by vehicle on Florida Avenue – WJLA, April 19, 2019

Driver fatally strikes beloved bike advocate in Northeast, marking first 2019 D.C. cyclist death – Curbed DC, April 19, 2019

Police: Driver of stolen van hit, killed biking advocate in DC – WTOP, April 19, 2019

DC plans to step up enforcement of bike lane regulations – The Washington Post, April 20, 2019

Dave Salovesh, 1965 – 2019 – Washington City Paper, April 20, 2019

Cycle of bike thefts ends with officers on bicycles arresting a suspect – The Washington Post, April 21, 2019

‘It’s Frankly, Personal’: DC’s Cycling Community Ramps Up Activism After Longtime Advocate’s Death – DCist, April 22, 2019

After cyclist is hit by police car turning right on red, police charge cyclist – The Washington Post, April 24, 2019

Cyclist collides with police car, riders debate right on red rule – WUSA9, April 25, 2019

‘Die in’ held to protest death of DC cyclist killed by speeding driver – WUSA9, April 26, 2019

Shifting Gears for Your Commute – Alexandria Living Magazine, April 26, 2019

DC Residents Remember Those Who Died in Traffic Accidents – The Afro-American, May 2, 2019

Why do reporters still unquestioningly quote AAA on speed cameras? – Greater Greater Washington, May 16, 2019

Are D.C.’s parking woes so bad that the situation needs citizen enforcers? – The Washington Post, May 19, 2019

Ghost bike memorial gets hit, destroyed by SUV – WTOP, May 20, 2019

E-Bikes and Scooters Will Be Allowed on Some Montgomery County Trails – WAMU, May 20, 2019

A Bridge Connecting The National Arboretum And Kenilworth Park Is Slated for 2021 – May 22, 2019

Local sector plan gains residents’ input for new options on development – Montgomery County Sentinel, June 6, 2019

A Brief Summary of the State of D.C.’s Scooter Scene, Summer 2019 – Washington City Paper, June 10, 2019

DC councilmember questions the need for bike lanes in his ward – Curbed DC, June 14, 2019

A bridge would connect the Arboretum and Kenilworth Park, but how will it impact the Anacostia River? – Greater Greater Washington, June 19, 2019

Road safety events planned in Ward 8, the D.C. ward with the most 2019 traffic deaths – Curbed DC, June 21, 2019

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Like what we’re doing for better bicycling in the region? Our advocacy work is directly funded by your membership dollars—donate today.

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

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


Spring Advocacy Roundup

Hello there!

It’s been a while since our last Roundup, but that just means we have more to share.

Here are a few of the major highlights of our recent advocacy work:

Vision Zero Summit

WABA Executive Director Greg Billing, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DDOT Director Jeff Marootian at this year’s Vision Zero Summit.

Too many people die on our roads in predictable, preventable crashes. On March 15th, WABA gathered policymakers, advocates, experts, and implementers to explore systemic ways to turn Vision Zero commitments and action plans in to substantive change. Read the recap here.

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. This project is a once-in-a-century opportunity to attach a biking and walking trail to the new bridge, creating a continuous non-motorized connection between Arlington and DC, but the current trail designs only go halfway—from the Mount Vernon Trail to Hains Point. Read more.

Bethesda needs a complete, protected bike network

The abrupt 5+ year closure of the Georgetown Branch Trail made the long-standing challenges of getting to and through Bethesda by bicycle an urgent safety problem. With only a handful of disconnected, unprotected bike lanes, Bethesda’s streets are too stressful and hazardous for most people to bike on, and are certainly no substitute for the Georgetown Branch Trail. Hundreds of WABA advocates in Montgomery County called for the County to expedite plans to design and build the proposed Bethesda network. Executive Leggett’s proposed budget for FY2019 now includes $3 million over the next three years for that work. Read more.

Silver Spring celebrates its first protected bike lane

Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer rides along the first protected bike lane in Silver Spring, Maryland.

More than 70 bike advocates and neighbors gathered with county officials in Woodside Urban Park to celebrate the completion of Silver Spring’s first protected bike lanes on Spring Street and Cedar Street. Read more.

Ensuring dockless bikeshare is a net positive for biking in the region

Dockless bikeshare has the potential to expand bike sharing and bike ridership in the District and local neighboring jurisdictions. With opportunity comes risk, however, and that is why we have been involved in conversations for the past months with a task force convened by DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST) that included District Department of Transportation (DDOT), several DC Business Improvement Districts, and DC Council staff to discuss priorities for ensuring that this new technology is a positive addition to the menu of transportation options in the DC region. Read more.

Metropolitan Branch Trail clears another hurdle

Final design can now begin for the critical 1.6 mile segment of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (and traffic calming project) through Ward 4 to connect Fort Totten to Takoma Park, MD! A hardworking team of neighborhood advocates, community leaders, WABA and DDOT staff, and hundreds of trail supporters built a consensus of support for the trail on Blair Rd. We signed petitions, sent emails, attended corridor walks, strategy sessions, and discussions. Read more.

Incentivize biking and walking to work? DC Council is considering it

Any employer in the District can voluntarily offer commuter benefits to its employees. However, those benefits tend to be car-centric. In March 2017, the DC Council introduced a bill that would require employers that already provide a parking benefit to also provide alternate transit benefits. The bill is currently under review by the DC Council, but you can read the bill’s history here.

A new trail bridge over the Patuxent!

The Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail will receive $4.7 million for a bridge over the Patuxent River, connecting Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties! This long-awaited bridge will close a key gap in the trail network by linking two segments, connecting communities on either side of the river to jobs, retail, parks, amenities, and much more. The WB&A Trail has been a WABA priority for decades, and this funding commitment is an important win. Read more.

The Capital Trails Coalition convened at fourth annual Trails Symposium

The Capital Trails Coalition leads the movement to bring world-class trails to the region’s backyard. At the Symposium, coalition members dove into topics related to trail use and trail development, including economic development, converting potential trail users into current trail users, how bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure fits into mega million dollar infrastructure projects, and how changing technology will help us build out the regional trail network. Read more here.

Lifting up victims of traffic violence on World Day of Remembrance

Cities around the world participated in the World Day of Remembrance to honor those who have lost their lives in traffic crashes. We gathered at Grant Circle in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC with four local families to remember loved ones lost to traffic violence. Read more.

DC awarded gold status for bike-friendliness by the League of American Bicyclists

More than 400 communities across the country are recognized with the bike-friendly community award, but only 30 have earned gold, a level earned by communities that have made gains in various areas, including bike infrastructure, bike laws, enforcement that protects riders, and educational campaigns. Read more.

Upcoming Trainings and Workshops

Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan – Planning Workshop

March 28, 10:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Carroll County Office Building, 225 North Center Street, Westminster, MD 21157

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting a planning workshop to inform the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (MBPB). The MBPB outlines a 20-year vision for biking and walking in Maryland Updated every five years, and is updated every five years with the 2040 Transportation Plan.

Sign Up

Next Steps to Extend the WB&A Trail

March 31, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Glenarden Library, 8724 Glenarden Parkway, Glenarden, MD, 20706

The Washington Baltimore & Annapolis Trail in central Prince George’s County is an incredible multi-use rail-trail and park, stretching nearly seven miles from the Patuxent River to Annapolis Road (MD-450). However, the WB&A Trail is six miles (!) from the nearest trail – join us in our campaign to extend the trail toward D.C. along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue!

Sign Up

What To Do After a Bike Crash

April 26th, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

WABA Office, 2599 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009

Bruce Deming, the Bike Lawyer, will review bike laws in the region and talk about what to do if you witness a crash, or are in a crash yourself.

Sign Up

Ward 4 Vision Zero Community Roundtable

March 29, 6:30 PM – 8 PM

Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011

Want to talk about unsafe roads in Ward 4? We want to hear your experiences!

We’ll talk about some of the projects that are already planned for the area, then go for a walk down Upshur Street, look at some of the most dangerous intersections in Ward 4, and have a conversation about the ways they could be made safer.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Jonathan R Stafford at jonathan.stafford@waba.org

New faces!

Have you met Hannah and Jonathan, our new Community Organizers?

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.

We’re Hiring!

Advocacy Director

Membership and Development Coordinator

Part-time Bike Ambassador


WABA in the News

‘Ghost Bike’ memorial for DC cyclist killed in hit and run – WUSA, August 5, 2017

District Transportation Head Dormsjo Bids Farewell to DDOT – WAMU, August 11, 2017

Should Electric Bikes Be Allowed On Trails? – WAMU, August 16, 2017

Virginia lawmakers oppose plan to sandwich I-66 trail between a sound wall and traffic – Washington Post, August 17, 2017

Beach Drive rehab progress: Nearly 2 miles of roadway built, 4.6 miles to go – Washington Post, August 19, 2017

In 1973, a young GSA employee in D.C. had a bright idea: a fleet of loaner bikes – Washington Post, August 30, 2017

Entire Georgetown Branch Trail Will Close For Years During Purple Line Construction – DCist, September 1, 2017

Changing trail design could jeopardize entire I-66 widening project – Washington Post, September 3, 2017

Cycling to work means better health and a longer life. Here’s how to get started. – Washington Post, September 9, 2017

Takoma City Council debates bikes on sidewalks – The Sentinel, September 15, 2017

Dockless bike-share companies race to Washington – Washington Post, September 19, 2017

Bicycles and D.C.: How cycling has grown into a legitimate transit option for the nation’s capital – Curbed, September 20, 2017

Business Groups Attack D.C’s Parking Cash Out Proposal – WAMU, September 25, 2017

Hyattsville asks for public input on transportation improvement – Hyattsville Life, September 28, 2017

Bike-Sharing is Flourishing in Washington. Can the City Handle It? – New York Times, October 1, 2017

Pilot program in Silver Spring to offer dockless bike sharing – Source of the Spring, October 4, 2017

8 Ways to Help Someone Start Riding a Bike – Bicycling.com, October 16, 2017

New York terror attack set to intensify calls for more security to protect pedestrians, cyclists – Washington Post, November 1, 2017

‘Keep on riding.’ Bicyclists pedal on after deadly terror attack on America’s busiest bike path – Washington Post, November 2, 2017

Jones Point Pier Restoration Yields Hands-On Learning – The Connection, November 10, 2017

A Tiny Tax Hike On People Who Bike To Work Helps Explain The Whole GOP Tax Law – Huffington Post, January 11, 2018

No Dock, No Lock, No Problem? Assessing Dockless Bike Sharing In The District – The Kojo Nnamdi Show, January 25, 2018

Gear Prudence: Dockless Bikes Leave Me Cold – Washington City Paper, February 5, 2018

D.C. wins gold in bike-friendliness – Washington Post, March 6, 2018

Traffic deaths continue to soar despite cities’ pledges to get them to ‘Zero’ – Washington Post, March 14, 2018

With Traffic Deaths Going Up, Is Vision Zero The Right Roadmap For DC? – The Kojo Nnamdi Show, March 19, 2018


Sad face.

This will be my last Roundup as your Advocacy Director because I’m moving back to the midwest. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunities I have had at WABA to work with a staff and volunteer team of smart, dedicated, hilarious people I like and respect. I’m extremely proud of the Advocacy team we’ve built over the last two years. WABA has a deep bench of talented, capable advocates in all of you, and I am bursting with excitement for all the great things I see on the horizon for biking in the region.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for your advocacy.

Tamara Evans

Advocacy Director

P.S. Your membership dollars directly fund our advocacy work!

Donate

Summer Advocacy Roundup

Hey there! Welcome to our semi-monthly advocacy Roundup. WABA’s most ambitious advocacy campaigns are directly funded by our members. Your support gives us the freedom and flexibility to work on the issues that matter most, and to expand the limits of what is possible. If you appreciate the improvements you see for biking around the region and the value of having your voice heard, please chip in.

Donate

Click here for upcoming trainings and workshops.

Community honors a Metropolitan Branch Trail advocate

WABA and the Capital Trails Coalition recently honored Paul Meijer with a dedication of the tulip garden near the Rhode Island metro station. Paul was one of the Met Branch Trail’s “super-advocates,” who worked since the mid 1980s to get the trail built. Read more.

 

New Bethesda Downtown Master Plan has big improvements for bikes 

The County Council has officially adopted the Bethesda Downtown Master Plan. It includes a massive improvement to the reach and quality of the Bethesda bicycle network, to be built out over the next 20 years. Big improvements to the plan include more proposed bikeways, great specificity, and some good news for Arlington Road!  You can read the full list of approved changes here. A final complete version of the plan should be available soon.

I-66 Trail design needs fixing

As part of the I-66 highway expansion, the Virginia Department of Transportation is building a new trail from Dunn Loring to Centreville. This is an amazing opportunity to create trail access to the W&OD, the Cross County trail, the Custis Trail and others, creating one of the longest trails in the region. Unfortunately, in many sections, the trail is squeezed between the highway and the sound barrier, which limits access, exposes users to pollution, and makes for an extremely unpleasant trail experience. VA residents may take action here. Read more about the Transform I-66 project here, at Greater Greater Washington here, and on the Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling blog, here.

 

Bad news, then good news for the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail

WABA has supported the Purple Line for many years because it will improve the trail connections between Bethesda and Silver Spring and along much of the transit corridor in Prince George’s County. In early July, a federal appeals court ruling allowed the Maryland Transit Administration to restart construction activities on the 16 mile transit and trail project.  Read more.

Fixing Maryland State Highway 198

MD-198 is in desperate need of major safety fixes. It is an important connection between neighborhoods and activity centers, but its design is unsafe for everyone who uses it; impassable for walkers, and too stressful for people on bike. To address some of these problems, the State Highway Administration (SHA) is making plans to improve MD-198. On June 19, SHA hosted a public meeting to present their plans for the corridor and to get feedback from residents. Read more about the project here.

Rock Creek Park Trail construction update

We’re eight months into the reconstruction of Beach Drive and the Rock Creek Park Trail. In total, this will be a 3.7 mile trail reconstruction, but it’s broken into four segments. Let’s take a look at the status of the project, and what’s on the horizon for this summer and fall. Read more.

Virginia’s $44 billion transportation spending plan

Virginia residents submitted comments asking the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to fully fund the bicycle projects included in the “TransAction” plan, which will guide transportation funding decisions in Northern Virginia through 2040. The plan includes some great bicycle projects, including extending and improving the Custis Trail, building dedicated bike facilities in Arlington to connect major east-west corridors, and improved bicycle connections and Bikeshare stations at East Falls Church metro. You can see the full list of projects here.

Protected bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave west of the White House to Washington Circle

Great news! The preferred design to improve the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House includes protected bike lanes on both sides of the street, and wider sidewalks. View the project documents here.

DDOT hosts training for contractors and utility companies about how to work around bike infrastructure.

After three years of work, The District Department of Transportation has released guidelines that advise Public Space Permit applicants how to properly accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians during construction or other road closures. Read more.

But if they get it wrong:

We built this complaint form to report construction blocking a bike lane or sidewalk. Details. The form notifies DDOT’s permitting office and our advocacy team.

DDOT considering a road diet and bike lanes on Alabama Ave SE

Alabama Avenue is a key east-west corridor for Wards 7 and 8, providing connections to neighborhoods, commercial areas and the Metro. But crash and speed data show that it is a hazardous road for anyone who uses it. Read more.

Sherman and Grant circles will get bike lanes

DDOT has been considering safety changes to Sherman and Grant circles for years. Reducing speeds and reducing lanes are among the best options for increasing safety and decreasing crashes. Unfortunately, citing concerns about traffic congestion, DDOT has determined it’s not feasible to remove a traffic lane from Grant circle. However, Sherman circle will go to one lane and get a protected lane and Grant circle will get buffered bike lanes. View the slides from the last public meeting here.

Visiting dangerous intersections across DC

Over the past year, our Vision Zero team has been holding neighborhood workshops in each of the District’s eight Wards. We meet up with neighbors, commuters and community advocates to visit a dangerous intersection or two, then talk about what might make it safer. Out of those conversations, we put together a report card for each intersection. Here are our report cards so far.

Families for Safe Streets chapter forming in Alexandria to push Vision Zero

If you or a close relative have been harmed in a traffic crash, your story can be a compelling part of the public discourse that moves decision makers to action. Alexandria residents who have been personally harmed, or have a close family member who has been harmed or killed in a traffic crash, are coming together to form a local chapter of Families for Safe Streets a group first formed in New York City that has become a powerful voice for ending traffic deaths and serious injuries. Read more.

Wanted: Videos of the good, the bad and the ugly on Washington’s Roads. 

Have you captured photos or video of road behavior that makes you cringe? Help make the experience of bicyclists and pedestrians easier to see and understand by posting it to our social media: #streetsforpeopleDC and tag @wabadc

Read more.

Upcoming Trainings and Workshops

Workshop: Ward 7 mobile traffic safety

The Marvin Gaye Trail is one of the best-kept secrets of Washington DC. This 2-mile trail is quiet and beautiful but it crosses some intersections which have had some crashes. And we’d like to see these intersections be less dangerous for those who bike and walk along this trail.  August 5, 10am-12pm, Minnesota Avenue NE and along the Marvin Gaye Trail

Sign up

Workshop: What to do after a bike crash

Cory Bilton from the Bilton Law Firm will discuss bike laws in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and how to take care of yourself—physically and legally—if you are in a crash. August 10, 6:30-8:30, Takoma Park Library

Sign up

Training: Be a better bicycling advocate

Every city transportation project has opportunities to make bicycling safer and more convenient. Come learn how to effectively engage in this process. August 30, 6-8pm, Shaw Library

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

Cyclists are told to use crosswalks, but Maryland law left them unprotected  – Washington Post, June 10

What was once a ghost road becomes DC’s newest trail – WTOP, June 24

Biking advocates worry I-66 expansion project puts a bike trail too close to traffic – Washington Post, July 9

The Trolley Trail gap – a half mile can make a difference – Hyattsville Life & Times, July 15

Free repair clinic in bike-shop desert gets Anacostia cyclists back on their wheels – Washington Post, July 15

As DC Bike Party Turns Five, Cyclists Are Feeling Optimistic About the Future – DCist, July 18

A Bike Trail on a Highway? Cycling Advocates Ask Virginia To Reconsider Plan For I-66 Widening – WAMU, July 21

Montgomery County Used to Have the Stupidest Bike Lane in America. Now It’s Leading the DC Area in Cycling Infrastructure – Washingtonian, July 27

Thanks for reading! Your membership dollars directly fund our advocacy work.

Donate

 

May Advocacy Roundup

Very rarely do bike lanes and trails get built, or laws that make bicycling safer get passed, without advocacy.  And while WABA works across the region— in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and the District, we only contact you, our members and supporters, to take action on bike infrastructure projects and laws specific to your neighborhoods.

This semi-monthly Roundup is a bigger-picture view of our work across the region and behind the scenes.

1.3 Million in funding restored for Montgomery County Parks Budget

Earlier this year, the Montgomery County Executive’s budget recommended a $4.3 million cut from the proposed budget for the County’s parks. This would render the County unable to maintain and repair major portions of its trail system. WABA supporters contacted County Board members requesting that funding be reinstated, and testified at the County Capital Improvements Program public forum. You can read our letter to the County Board here.

How about a bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Patuxent River?

The Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Trail (WB&A) is a 12-mile rail trail in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel County. It’s a wonderful trail— except that it has no connection over the Patuxent River. No bridge means the two segments of the trail are totally disconnected. This critical gap that stands in the way of what could be an incredible trail experience. Hopefully, that’s about to change. Read more.

Eastern Downtown Protected Bike Lanes – Build them both!

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) was supposed to select a preferred route for building a protected bike lane through Shaw more than a year ago. Rather than selecting just one of the four preliminary alternatives, DDOT is taking the highly unusual step of moving two alternatives to 30% design, slowing down the process even further. Design and construction of the final selected alternative could take another 12 to 18 months. Tired of delays? Read more and take action here.

Plans for bike lanes on Washington Boulevard weakened to save parking

To appease a vocal minority, Arlington County weakened what had been popular plans to add almost a mile of bike lanes in both directions from East Falls Church Metro to Westover.  In the revised plans, five blocks of eastbound bike lane are detoured off the Boulevard to keep on-street car parking. This adds unsafe conflict points at seven intersections, an uncontrolled crossing of N Ohio St, and many driveways. Read more.

Making New York Ave a better place to bike

Biking along New York Avenue NE is not for the faint of heart. High speeds and no bicycle infrastructure along much of the corridor makes it a loud, scary ride. To address these concerns, DDOT is working on streetscape improvements from Florida Ave east to Bladensburg Road NE. Read more.

Maryland Legislation

Laws passed in Maryland this session that prohibit coal rolling, create a task force to study bicycle safety on Maryland highways, and clarify the rights of bicyclists to use crosswalks where they are allowed to use the sidewalk or trail. A bill that would have allowed Montgomery County to lower speed limits and a bill clarifying that State Highway Administration can use HAWK signals did not pass.

What to do when construction blocks your bike lane

DC law requires that when a bike lane is closed for construction, an equally safe accommodation, free of hazards and debris, must be provided. This has been the law since 2013. Unfortunately, we know from experience that violations occur around the city on a daily basis. Here’s how to spot and report suspected violations.  Read more.

Vision Zero in Alexandria

In January, Alexandria committed to Vision Zero, the initiative to end all roadway fatalities and serious injuries by 2028. The first step in reaching that goal is developing an action plan. The city is soliciting feedback from citizens via this survey and crowd-sourced map to help them locate and fix dangerous road conditions.

WABA hosts the region’s first Vision Zero Summit

This spring, WABA hosted the first regional Vision Zero Summit, presented by AAA-MidAtlantic and The George Washington University Hospital. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser gave a keynote address. The event was sold out with a long waiting list. Read 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.

Upcoming Public Meetings and Events

Summer Bike Tour of Fairfax –  A free 12.5 mile tour of recently implemented bike improvements in Fairfax, led by Bicycle Program Coordinator Adam Lind.  Saturday June 3, 11-4pm

Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE Revitalization Project – The project will improve the transportation network, pedestrian and vehicular safety, and the corridor’s aesthetics in support of the Mayor’s Vision Zero Initiative. Wednesday, May 31, 6:30 to 8 pm at 2730 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE.

Downtown West Transportation Study Citizens Advisory Group Meeting -The goal of the study is to improve east-west travel for pedestrians and cyclists on Pennsylvania Avenue NW and public transit along H and I Streets NW.  Planners will present a summary of public feedback, give an overview of the three alternatives and discuss next steps for the project. June 20, from 6:30-8pm at George Washington University’s Funger Hall (2201 G St NW, Washington, DC 20052) in Room 223.

Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues SE Intersection Improvement Project –  This project proposes to make street intersections safer for pedestrians and transit users around the Potomac Avenue Metrorail Station and the numerous area bus stops. Public meeting to get input on designs on June 1st, 6:30-8:30pm; Hill Center, Abraham Lincoln Hall, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE Washington, DC 20003

Montgomery County Bicycle Master Plan – The County Planning Department is seeking public input about the bicycle network. They will host a series of five meetings to present the bicycle master plan and address questions and concerns. Click here for more details.

WABA in the news:

How Is D.C. Doing One Year Into ‘Vision Zero’ Plan To Eliminate Roadway Fatalities?

WAMU – March 31

Mayor Bowser says reducing traffic fatalities is a regional issue everyone can support

Washington Post – March 31

car2go NA Pledges Full Support For “Vision Zero” Road Safety Initiative

Yahoo! Finance – March 31

Plan for Continuous Washington Blvd Bike Lanes Nixed

ARL Now – April 17

The DC Region’s Top Five Family-Friendly Bike Rides

WTOP – April 17

6 Tips to Stay Safe When You Bike in DC

NBC4 – May 9

3 things to check before you hop on your bike

WTOP – May 15

Thanks for reading!

Have comments, suggestions, or questions about WABA’s advocacy work? Send them to advocacy@waba.org.