Tell your legislators you support MC 4-21: Transferring automated Traffic Enforcement to the Department of Transportation

Police are not experts on street design or what makes a street safe for all of its users.  That expertise resides in the County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and therefore, the management and implementation of the County’s automated enforcement program should be located within MCDOT, not the county police department.  To resolve this problem,  the State Delegates and Senators who represent Montgomery County are considering a bill, MC 4-21, that would authorize moving the automated traffic enforcement program from the County Police Department to MCDOT.  The County Delegation will vote on this bill on or around December 17. 

Please email your state Senator and Delegates telling them you support the passage of MC 4-21.

What’s on the horizon for WABA in 2021

WABA’s network of volunteers, advocates, neighbors, friends, and family made bicycling better—and kept WABA strong and steady!— in 2020.

Now, as we brace ourselves for 2021, we know that community is more important than ever. We made progress over the past year, and we’re celebrating it. But there’s still work to do building a region where you and your neighbors can safely explore, learn, and unlock the superpowers that come with riding a bike— and we’re counting on your support to do it.

Here’s what’s on the horizon for 2021 as WABA keeps working to make your ride— and our region— better:

  • More bike lanes. In 2020 we pushed harder than ever, and completely changed the game—setting the stage for even more progress in the coming year.
  • A connected multi-use trail network. More than 10 miles of trails are under construction right now, and with your support, we’ll reprioritize federal transportation funding from highway projects (that won’t even diminish traffic!) to trail projects.
  • Culture shift. Our work is at the intersection of so many critical issues: racial justice, climate crises, affordable housing, transportation equity, and more. In the coming year, WABA is committed to contextualizing our vision of a just and sustainable transportation system within work for a region that’s just and sustainable as a whole. 
  • Power building. With training and support from WABA, community advocates like you will put more pressure on elected officials to transform streets at the block-by-block level. 
  • More everyday WABA goodness. Online and on the ground —  from fix-a-flat webinars to safe group events, 2021 will bring more classes, trainings, and rides to keep us together. 

These are just a few of the ways WABA will empower people to ride bikes, build connections, and transform places in 2021.

Want to learn more about what your support made possible in 2020 and  how we’re continuing to pivot for 2021? Join WABA for a digital town hall with WABA’s executive director and development director on December 3rd. Click here to register and get the Zoom link. 

Bicycling made 2020 a little better.

I hope bicycling has made this year a little bit better for you. For me, a sunny afternoon on a busy trail was a welcome moment of levity, freedom, and connection to this wonderful community.

During the pandemic, this community brought the joy of bicycling to more people than ever before— and made our region a better place to bike in a time when we really needed it.

The thing is: the new bike lanes, new trails, and policies that make your ride better?

They add up to so much more than a great afternoon.

They’re the backbone of a safer, more sustainable transportation system that we can rely on through a climate crisis and a pandemic.

There’s no way around it: 2020 was hard. But your support for WABA made a big difference to our region and community.

Together, we:

  • Won car free spaces on Beach Drive and other park roads in Maryland and DC—not just on weekends but every day, reserving more space for people to play;
  • Expanded DC’s protected bike lane network by 45%, with even more construction planned for 2021;
  • Cleared a wonky bureaucratic hurdle that opens up federal funding for hundreds of miles of new trails in the region;
  • Celebrated major progress on car-free bridges: the Long Bridge is one year closer to reality and the arches are up on the Frederick Douglass Bridge—and both will connect to new trails;
  • Celebrated ground breaking on a wider and safer Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Arlington, our first major trail to create wide separate spaces for people biking and people walking; and
  • Pushed a robust set of policy changes through the DC Council that will result in safer intersections, slower speed limits, faster changes to dangerous roads, and prioritized investment in communities with fewer transportation options.

We did all this, together, despite all the uncertainty 2020 brought. I’m proud to be part of the Washington area bicycling community.

November Ward 8 20×20 Campaign Meetup

On November 30th, at 6:30pm, come chat with your friends and neighbors in Ward 8 to discuss the ins and outs of bicycle infrastructure in. Strategize and plan with your community and advocate for safer streets for pedestrians, bikers, scooters, and buses in DC.

Join via Zoom.

November Ward 7 20×20 Campaign Meetup

On November 23rd, at 6:30pm, come chat with your friends and neighbors in Ward 7 to discuss the ins and outs of bicycle infrastructure in. Strategize and plan with your community and advocate for safer streets for pedestrians, bikers, scooters, and buses in DC.

Join via Zoom.

Fenton St. Protected Bike Lane Virtual Meeting

Potential design for Fenton Street Protected Bike Lane in Silver Spring, MD

Since January 2020, Montgomery County Department of Transportation staff have been busy planning the final major piece of downtown Silver Spring’s protected bicycle network: a protected bike lane on Fenton Street. On November 18, MCDOT is hosting a virtual public meeting to present findings from their study and to share design alternatives for what protected bike lanes on Fenton St could look like.

Please join us to learn about the project and help us send a clear message that Silver Spring needs a bikeable and walkable Fenton Street.

  1. We want to keep you in the loop and stay in touch before and after the meeting. Use the form below to let us know you’ll be there and opt into updates on the project.
  2. To attend this virtual meeting, MCDOT is asking that you register in advance. Once you hit submit on the form below, you will be redirected to MCDOT’s registration page. Click here to register on MCDOT’s website

MCDOT has posted the full study report and extensive plan sets on the project website for review before the meeting.

Ward 6 20×20 Meeting

Want better biking in and safer streets in Ward 6? Join us for a Ward 6 Action Group meeting!

 We will be strategizing (virtually) how to extend the number of bike lanes throughout the ward!  We’ll also talk about the recently passed Vision Zero Omnibus Bill with guest speaker Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen! 

Register and Join on Zoom here.

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.

Ward 6 20×20 Meeting

Want better biking in Ward 6? Join us for a Ward 6 Action Group meeting! We want to hear about your experiences biking in this part of town.

We’ll talk through strategies to complete the protected bike lane network in Ward 6, and together we’ll map out some opportunities and actions to get more bike lanes built.

The meeting is will be held via Zoom, Tuesday, May 26th, from 6:30PM to 8:30PM.

Register

If you are a community member, DDOT, ANC Commissioner you are invited to this meeting! Come to tell us about your experiences on Ward 6 roads, and learn about opportunities and actions to complete our protected lane network in Ward 6!