Last week, at its regional summit on bicycling advocacy, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) previewed its Regional Call to Action for better bicycling in the area. The Call to Action focuses on making bicycling a viable form of transportation for a much broader segment of the population. Currently, approximately 3% of DC residents bike to work according to the most recent American Community Survey. WABA’s goal is to continue to improve cycling conditions for those who already bike, but to make improvements in a way that will induce the 60% of people who say that they are interested in biking, but concerned about some element, to give cycling a try. “We need to think bigger and think broader about making bicycling appealing to the average person who simply wants to get where he or she is going in a convenient, economical way,” says WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing. “For bicycling to become and remain a viable transportation option for the average person, it needs to be usable, connected, safe, and protected. While biking is great fun and great sport, it is also–in many parts of our region–the fastest and easiest and cheapest way to simply run an errand or make a short trip. In those parts of our region that lag behind, where conditions are not what they need to be for the average person to bike comfortably, we must accept the challenge and bring about improvements.” WABA’s last Call to Action, in 2000, was directed to the District of Columbia government, and focused energy on the improvement of District bicycling facilities. In that 11 year period, the number of miles of bike lanes has jumped from less than three to more than fifty, the District Department of Transportation has built a reputable bike program, and bicycle mode share in DC has tripled. This 2011 Regional Call to Action is directed to the bicycling community, encouraging every cyclist to get involved in the growth of cycling. The full Regional Call to Action document is available for download at here: 2011 Call to Action
WABA’s upcoming Regional Call to Action Summit on November 3rd is going to be an exciting day for bicycle advocacy in the Washington region. Over the last two months, WABA has held five of the six local stakeholder meetings in Maryland, Virginia and DC (the sixth and final meeting is next Monday, 10/17 in Fairfax Co.) to listen to members, supporters, advocates, bike shop owners and other community members about what is needed to improve bicycling in the region. With this feedback in mind, WABA staff and board are creating a Regional Call to Action document to help prioritize the next five years of bicycle advocacy. The November 3rd Regional Call to Action Summit will present this document along with others speakers and panels related to the report. Below is the schedule for the speakers and panel. Learn more about the Summit at waba.org/events/summit.php. Please join us on November 3rd and please RSVP. 8:30 am – Gathering & Coffee 9:30 am – Welcome 9:45 am – Tools for Planning Healthy Communities – Gina Arlotto (WABA’s Safe Routes to School Network Coordinator) 10:15 am – Crashed! Your Legal Rights In A Bicycle Accident – Bruce Deming, Lawyer 11:00 am – Panel: Regional Bikesharing – Speakers TBA 12:00 pm – Lunch Break (1 1/2 hour) 1:30pm – Panel: Planning Bicycle & Pedestrian Access to Metro – Nat Bottigheimer (WMATA Assistant General Manager), Patrick Schmitt (WMATA Parking Manager), Kristin Haldeman (WMATA Manager of Access Planning & Policy Analysis), Justin Antos (WMATA Transportation Analyst) 2:30 – Panel: The Role of Bicycle Businesses in Advocacy – Jakob Wolf-Barnett (Chief Operating Officer, Revolutions Cycles), Erik Kugler (Owner, BicycleSPACE), Stephen Marks (Managing Partner, Bike the Sites), Debora Hardng (CEO, City Bikes), Anne Mader (Owner, The Bike Lane) 3:30 pm – WABA’s Presentation of Regional Call to Action 4:30 pm – Summit End
Last night’s movie night was a great success! Thanks again to all of the dedicated cyclists who came out to the Arlington Cinema ‘n Drafthouse in support of the film, With My Own Two Wheels. We filled the bike racks, packed the house and left feeling inspired and thankful for our our own two wheels. Among many Americans, the bicycle is viewed as a vehicle of choice. An expensive toy. An eco-conscious mode of transportation. A trend. For countless others across the globe, it is much more. With My Own Two Wheels weaves together the experiences of five individuals into a single story about how the bicycle can change the world—one pedal stroke at a time. The film reminds us of the power a single bicycle can do for communities in improving access to an education, the workplace, markets, health services, and enhancing social connectivity. A big thanks to the film’s co-producer, Jacob Seigel-Boettner for joining us and providing the thoughtful discussion that followed. We’re grateful for our host, the Arlington Cinema ‘n Drafthouse and hope you enjoyed the food and libations! If you were unable to attend the event, the Georgetown University Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT) Graduate Program and Georgetown Hoyas Cycling will host the film again this evening at 7:30pm. For more information check out their event page. To learn more about the film or support World Bicycle Relief’s efforts in Zambia, please visit the film’s website See all the photos on WABA’s Flickr Page.