Update on the Eastern Downton Protected Bike Lane

What happened:

Last Tuesday, the DC Council considered Emergency Legislation introduced by Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1) to restart the long stalled Eastern Downtown Protected Bike Lane project on 9th Street NW. After considerable discussion by the full Council, Councilmember Nadeau withdrew the legislation because it lacked the supermajority necessary to pass. You can watch the discussion in full here.

What we think:

We continue to be inspired and amazed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteer advocates working to move this project forward. Each councilmember made statements on the importance of growing the city’s network of protected bike lanes and creating safe, convenient ways to get around. This vocal support would not have come without the outpouring of calls, emails, and conversations each councilmember received. We’re not giving up and we know you aren’t either.

We are also frustrated. 

The discussion by Councilmembers on the dais focused on long-standing, citywide concerns about racial tension, affordability, displacement of communities of color, and gentrification. These are real, pressing challenges that need to be addressed by anyone working to make the District a better place to live. 

At the same time, crashes on 9th Street are frequent. Using a street safety project as a proxy for concerns about neighborhood change has real, physical consequences that are measured in ambulance rides and lives permanently changed. We don’t think that’s acceptable. 

We thank Councilmember Brianne Nadeau for introducing the legislation and co-introducing Councilmembers David Grosso, Charles Allen, Mary Cheh and Robert White Jr. 

What’s next:

Councilmember Elissa Silverman has offered to convene representatives from 9th St Churches, safe streets advocates, members of the Council and others to build mutual understanding and find a path forward. We are eager to engage in these crucial intersectional conversations.

We’ll make sure to keep you updated. 

What you can do right now:
Get involved in your Ward action group at waba.org/20×20.

Urgent: Eastern Downtown Protected Bike Lane vote on March 3rd.

The DC Council will vote on March 3rd emergency legislation to complete the 9th Street NW protected bike lane between Florida Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. This project has been stalled for more than four years, and the District’s inaction has consequences. More than 60 people walking and biking have been hit by drivers on the 9th Street Corridor since the project was put on ice.

Emails take just a moment to send, and using our call tool will take you about five minutes.

Note: Our calling tool will only connect if you live in DC. If you live outside of the District but would like to add your voice, please call Council Chair Phil Mendelson’s office at (202) 724-8032. Make sure to explain why this project is important to you even though you don’t live in DC.

Background

In 2015, the District Department of Transportation began studying options for a protected bike lane to run north/south between Shaw and Chinatown to fill a substantial gap between 15th St NW and the Metropolitan Branch Trail. After an exhaustive, and heated, public process which included two public meetings, more than 2,500 comments and dozens of meetings with stakeholders in the corridor, DDOT identified 6th and 9th St. NW as the best candidates. And in the February 2017 final report, DDOT determined that more detailed design and analysis were needed before choosing a street to fully design and build.

Yet, since then we have been left in the dark on this project. The project page’s last update was in 2017. For two years, DDOT’s director has been unable to provide any updates or timeline to the DC Council when asked directly. And the Mayor has answered direct questions with only vague answers about making sure it is safe. While we wait more than 60 people walking and biking have been hit by drivers on 9th Street since February 2017.

Safe Streets for Ward 5 Monthly Meeting

Safe Streets for Ward 5 is a group of neighbors working together for safer streets, protected bike lanes, and more options for getting around Ward 5 without a car. Join us at our next monthly meeting, learn about our priorities, and get involved!

This group is doing it’s part to support WABA’s 20×20 campaign to build 20 new miles of connected, protected, and equitable bike lanes in DC. In Ward 5, we are working to support protected bike lanes on 8th St. NE, West Virginia Ave, Montana Ave, and Lincoln Rd. NE.

You don’t need to ride a bike, you don’t need to be a traffic engineer, and you don’t need to be political. No matter your schedule and no matter your background, you have a role to play in winning safe streets across DC. We hope you can join us!

  • Date: Monday, February 17
  • Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Location Name: Right Proper – Brookland
  • Location Address: 920 Girard St NE, DC


Ward 1 & 2 Safe Streets Monthly Meeting

Do you want more protected bike lanes on your route or calmer streets in your neighborhood or commute? Do you want to see faster progress on safer streets and protected bike lanes around DC? Us too!

Come over to the WABA office for monthly Ward 1 and 2 meetup and strategy session. Get involved in WABA’s 20×20 campaign to support 20 new miles of connected, protected, and equitable bike lanes in DC. We will talk strategy, fun tactics, and next steps for solidifying support for campaigns in Wards 1 & 2, especially on our current priorities: 17th St. NW and 9th St. NW.

Come meet community advocates, neighbors, and that person you only know on Twitter, roll up your sleeves, and get started! We will have food starting at 6:15pm and begin at 6:30pm.

  • Date: Tuesday, February  18th
  • Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm
  • Location Name: WABA Office
  • Location Address: 2599 Ontario Road NW


Rally for Safe Streets in Remembrance of Brett Badin and Michael Gamboa

Join Action Committee for Transit, Friends of White Flint, Twinbrook Community Assoctiation, WABA, the Rockville Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee for a memorial and rally for safe streets in remembrance of Brett Badin and Michael Gamboa, two men killed along Rockville Pike earlier this month.

The memorial will be held on Saturday, February 8 at 12:45 PM near the IHOP restauraant (775 Rockville Pike). This is the location near where Brett was killed.This portion of the event should last approximately one hour. Bret’s family, friends, and members of the community will be invited to speak about his life and call for greater safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers along 355 in and around our city. You can learn more about him and his life here. https://www.mymcmedia.org/man-killed-crossing-rockville-pike-was-special-olympics-athlete/

The memorial and rally will then move south to Federal Plaza, near where Michael Gamboa died. The second part of the event will begin at 2:15 PM. Attendees are welcome to walk, drive, bicycle, or take the bus from one location to the other.

A convoy of bicyclists will gather on the west side of the Rockville Metro Station at 12:15 PM and ride to the memorial.

Event Timeline

12:45 pm Memorial for
BRETT BADIN, in front of
IHOP, 775 Rockville Pike

Group BIKE ride: meet at
Rockville Metro at 12:15 pm

2:15 pm Memorial for
MICHAEL GAMBOA, on
Rockville Pike at Federal
Plaza

Group WALK between
memorials (1.8 miles)

Group BUS ride between
memorials: RideOn 46

Ward 7 Protected Bike Lanes Meeting

Join WABA’s Ward 7 Action Group to talk organizing strategy around the 20×20 Campaign. We’ll dig into projects and plan our next activities.

Let’s get to work for better biking in Ward 7!

Make sure the Council knows you support Vision Zero legislation.

Last week, more than 60 people showed up to testify in favor of legislation to make our streets safer. Thank you to everyone who took the time to testify. The personal stories people shared during testimonies were moving, and sent a strong message that we need to change our streets now. Plans don’t save lives. 

The Council heard from us. DDOT heard from us. But we still have work to do—the Mayor’s office does not support a number of important provisions of these bills. In order to get them fully funded in next year’s budget, we need the DC Council to hold a vote before the year is out.

That means the council needs to hear from you. 

You have until November 7th to submit testimony for the record. You can submit testimony by emailing abenjamin@dccouncil.us. Don’t forget to CC advocacy@waba.org, too.

In case you missed it, here is a copy of our testimony writing template and slides from our webinar. 

We are so close to truly transforming our city and making it safer for all modes of transportation. Let’s continue to push make Vision Zero a reality.