JOB: Part-Time PAL Ambassador Program Coordinator!

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for a part-time coordinator for the Arlington PAL Ambassador program, a community-oriented outreach and encouragement program to inspire more road-users to be predictable, alert, and lawful. The PAL Ambassadors are educators and enthusiasts who work to bring better bicycling to the people of Arlington County.  Ambassadors commit through their actions to be a PALs; more predictable, alert, lawful road user. And help shape roadway culture by attending volunteer nights and PAL block parties where we promote our messages, get creative, and get interactive at intersections. The Arlington PAL Ambassador Coordinator is responsible for most aspects of the program, including volunteer recruitment,  event scheduling and staffing, and developing and executing new outreach ideas. The PAL Ambassador coordinator will also maintain and expand the program’s trailer program, our rolling bike billboards with PAL messaging. The position will report to WABA’s Outreach Coordinator. This position is part-time, 20 hours/week and compensation is $14 per hour. Responsibilities The Arlington PAL  Ambassador Coordinator will:
  • Run the calendar of two monthly PAL events and appear in public as the face of area bicycling.
  • Develop and implement the volunteer night and block party, including: messaging, scheduling, logistics, volunteer coordination, loading and unloading, staffing, and pulling the bicycle trailer.
  • Communicate an effective and encouraging message about bikes and bicycling to volunteer PAL ambassadors, and bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.
  • Run the Bike Ambassador Trailer program, which involves pulling our advertising/public awareness bike trailer specific to bicyclist, motorist and pedestrian behaviors.
  • Administration tasks, including: volunteer recruitment/coordination, data entry, equipment maintenance, clerical work, and grant reporting.
Preferred Qualifications The ideal candidate will have:
  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission and be a skillful and committed bicyclist with a solid understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  • Experience in project management, events planning/management, marketing and/or volunteer coordination.
  • Supervisory experience a plus.
  • Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills.
  • A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Facebook and Twitter, experience with Salsa/Democracy in Action and WordPress a plus.
  • The ability to pull a bicycle trailer weighing 10 lbs. for 1-3 hours.
  • The ability to lift at least 50 lbs.
  • The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
  • Prior League of American Bicyclist Instructor certification a plus.
About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 4,000 members region-wide, WABA serves bicyclists throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia. Contact Send a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org by Friday, July 17th. No phone calls please. Position available immediately. WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex or age.
WABA’s working with BikeArlington to recruit a community of volunteers to inspire more Predictable, Alert, and Lawful road culture in Arlington County. Bike billboards, pizza nights, and block parties — all on your commute home. BikeArlington launched the PAL campaign 2 years ago with the strong sentiment that no matter who we are or how we choose to get around town, our roadways depend on a strong social contract. Whether we’re walking, driving, or biking we rely on our fellow road-users to be PALs; Predictable. Alert. Lawful.    

Ride Arlington with us this Wednesday!

Folks, our next Community Ride is this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Arlington.

Sign up!

In each of our Community Rides, we explore a different topic related to riding in the DC area. This time, we’re discussing haulin’, which means carrying a lot of stuff on your bike.

We’ll talk about (and bring, so you can get a feel for how they work!) panniers, trailers, and other creative everyday biking solutions for hauling stuff from groceries to tents and sleeping bags.

For example: Meet my friend Will.

Will Haulin Ride 1_lowres

Sometimes Will has to carry a lot of stuff on his bike. Sometimes he even has to carry a whole garden.

He attaches a trailer to his bike to get the job done.

Will Haulin 3_lowres

There are lots of ways to make your bike a good option to transport everything you need for your day. You don’t have to use Will’s way — you can make your own!

Join us on Wednesday to ride around Arlington, to air your deepest bike questions, to haul stuff, and to eat tacos!

See you there?

Bike Funding Saved in Arlington!

Last week, the Arlington County Board voted to protect all bicycle and pedestrian funding in the County budget. The County Manager’s proposed budget cut much of the biking and walking program, and had the County Board approved those cuts,  installation of bike lanes, trail projects, bikesharing and other projects would have stalled. In March, WABA alerted our Arlington members and supporters about the proposed budget cuts. Hundreds of residents contacted Board Members asking to reinstate the funds. Responding to the public feedback, the Board voted to sustain FY2015 funding levels. The Board shifted some of the funding source from PAYGO funds to HB2313 local funds. HB2313 is the 2013 Virginia’s transportation appropriations bill. The bill includes funds for local jurisdictions. These funds must go towards transportation projects and not other County priorities. The budget was formally adopted at last night’s County Board meeting. Thank you to the Arlington County Board for restoring core funding for biking and walking. Investing today in the programs and infrastructure that encourage biking will pay future dividends. Resident will enjoy diverse transportation options, stronger the local community and support the County’s economy.

Hey Alexandrians! Hey Arlingtonians!

We have some super classes in your neighborhood this weekend.

This Saturday!

Fundamentals of City Cycling
  • In this class, we’ll learn confident control of the bike in all situations. You will use these skills every time you ride, guaranteed. This group goes for a ride on a nearby trail and learns about dealing with traffic, clear communication, proper use of trails, and the trail-to-road transition.
Confident City Cycling
  • The Confident City Cycling group learns advanced bike handling maneuvers. These techniques can get you out of some dangerous situations. This group goes for a ride on the roads and learns about bike infrastructure, lane control, communicating with drivers, and effective road behavior.

Jones Point Park, Alexandria, VA

Register now!

This Sunday!

Delores April 11 April 12 promo Fundamentals of City Cycling
  • In this class, we’ll learn confident control of the bike in all situations. You will use these skills every time you ride, guaranteed. This group goes for a ride on a nearby trail and learns about dealing with traffic, clear communication, proper use of trails, and the trail-to-road transition.
Confident City Cycling
  • The Confident City Cycling group learns advanced bike handling maneuvers. These techniques can get you out of some dangerous situations. This group goes for a ride on the roads and learns about bike infrastructure, lane control, communicating with drivers, and effective road behavior.

Quincy Street Parking Deck, Arlington, VA

See you there?

Psst … we also have a Community Ride in Old Town this Wednesday, April 8. We’ll be riding all over Alexandria and learning about how to transition from open streets to trails to bike lanes and back again. And we’ll be filling our bellies with delicious tacos afterward. Come on out!

Fabulous Instructors

Some of these fabulous folks will be teaching.

Negatives into Positives: A PAL Story

16936293685_eb7ab7d1c2_b Preface I lead a wonderful group called the PAL Ambassadors. PAL stands for Predictable, Alert, Lawful. It is a cooperative program between Washington Area Bicyclist Association and BikeArlington to promote street safety and responsible behavior, while building a fun, volunteer-based community of ambassadors. It is fun and EXTREMELY effective at making the region more safe. You should join us! At our monthly PAL Outreach Block Party we were talking pedestrian and cyclist safety issues at one of the more dangerous intersections in Arlington County… Lee Highway and Lynn Street in Rosslyn. Now to my story A woman who works nearby and walks to and from work daily was quite angry and a little bit confrontational about how cyclists behave around pedestrians. Often times people expect me to reply to aggressive comments “with attitude”, so they open up with confrontational words and hands on their hips. She is more afraid of cyclists than she is of cars in that intersection. This fear and anger had built up over years! Now she’s got someone to point it at…. ME! Over the years I’ve developed a very good technique for making this kind of interaction positive. Listen —> Find common ground —> Share the solution —> Enlist their help = WIN! Here’s how it went Listen: Pretty easy. Be attentive. Make eye contact. Listen… I mean really listen. Don’t interrupt. Just listen! She talked for almost a minute non-stop. It seemed like a lot longer. It always does. I just listened and waited for her to relax a little and breathe. She felt MUCH better when she got to the end of her talk. I could see her visibly relax. Find common ground: I totally agreed with her, so common ground was easy to find. Many cyclists behave badly in and around that intersection. I slipped in a little comment that many of us in that intersection could behave a lot better. I was helped by a pedestrian that ran out into busy traffic and a motorist that ran the red light. SHE brought up that pedestrians are horrible there too. We have common ground and she helped find it! Share the solution: I gave a 15 second pitch for the PAL Ambassador program. I had 6 amazing volunteers talking the talk and walking the walk all around me. She could see people talking to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. She liked it! Enlist their help: I handed her a Kind Bar that had a PAL Ambassador sticker on it with all the info she needed to get involved. She got a snack and the ball is in her court to become a force for good! WIN! I got a smile, a sincere handshake and a new force for good in the PAL Ambassador program. I hope she follows through. Everyone wins! You should come out and join us! We have our monthly PAL Pizza Night on April 16th, and our next big block party on April 23rd! —Pete This entry was originally posted on my blog

Pizza Party With The PAL Ambassadors, TONIGHT!

10994172_10153076163598374_2603850929322481890_n Join us for our first Arlington PAL Ambassador Pizza Party tonight at BikeArlington’s Office. This is a great opportunity to meet other ambassadors. We’ll scheme, craft, and prepare for next week’s outreach event; our Happy Birthday PAL Block Party! No pizza party would be complete without PIZZA and beverages! It’s free and will be a lot of fun. Click here for more information and to RSVP. Looking forward to seeing you there, Pete Beers!   WABA’s working with BikeArlington to recruit a community of volunteers to inspire more Predictable, Alert, and Lawful road culture in Arlington County. Bike billboards, pizza nights, and block parties — all on your commute home. Click here for more information on the PAL Ambassadors and join us at our next event!

Announcing The Arlington PAL Ambassador Program

We know you love bikes. If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent some time daydreaming about how to show that love to your community— Maybe you’ve brainstormed slogans. Maybe you’ve imagined cheery chalk messages to write in bike lanes. Maybe you’ve coined a clever bumper sticker for your fender or a patch for your pannier. Maybe we’ve got the perfect volunteer gig for you.

Become an Arlington PAL Ambassador! 

Sign says "Be a Pal" on bike Trailer

Pete shows off the PAL trailer.

Would you hold a homemade sign? Would you recruit your fellow bike-lovers to brandish them? Would you stand on a Streetcorner exclaiming “Hello everyone! Be a PAL! A Predictable, Alert, Lawful Road-user!”? Would you consider being an awesome volunteer for an awesome new program? BikeArlington and WABA are putting volunteer PAL Ambassadors on the streets across Arlington county, and we want you! What’s a PAL Ambassador? Well, you are! PAL Ambassadors are folks who care about their community and are passionate about making our streets safer. In fact, PAL Ambassadors are the driving force behind our initiative to change the culture on our roadways. They’ll be the smiling faces behind the handlebars. They’ll stress the importance of being more predictable, more alert, and more lawful. And they’ll lead eye-catching and interactive campaigns to improve roadway behavior, etiquette, and interactions- especially interactions between drivers and bicyclists. Become a PAL Ambassador! There are four ways to get involved:
  1. Agree to be a PAL; a more predictable, alert, lawful road user.
  2. Come to a monthly block party! We’ll select a message, get creative, and take to the streets at an Arlington intersection to promote our message, and have some fun.
  3. Join us at our monthly PAL Pizza Party to hang out, brainstorm, and prepare for our next event.
  4. Or PAL around with us! Join our coordinator for a bike ride and pull the PAL bike trailer.
The best way to learn more and find out where and when we’ll be meeting is to join our Facebook group. Click here to join the conversation! PAL-logo  
BikeArlington launched the PAL campaign 2 years ago with the strong sentiment that no matter who we are or how we choose to get around town, our roadways depend on a social contract that everyone is following the rules and paying attention. Whether we’re walking, driving, or biking we rely on our fellow road-users to be PALs; Predictable. Alert. Lawful. The mission of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.    

Ambassador Program Coming To The Streets Of Arlington!

Starting next week we’re partnering up with BikeArlington to launch a new bike ambassador program. We can’t give full details yet, but you can expect energized outreach campaigns in Arlington to encourage road-users to be predictable, alert, and lawful, and improve interactions between pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. Much like the D.C. bike ambassadors we’ll have rolling billboards, clear messaging, and streetcorner outreach. We’ll have a solid community of volunteers and that’s where we’ll need your help. Keep your eye out for our billboards and more information next week! HeyPALS.jpg

Next Big Thing: The Arlington Boulevard Trail

Arlington Blvd Trail in Context

Some context for this exciting new project.

Arlington Boulevard runs just over twelve miles from the National Mall in Washington, DC to Fairfax City, VA, crossing several jurisdictional lines and the Potomac River along the way. The thoroughfare connects more than 100,000 people living in adjacent neighborhoods to offices, retail, parks, schools, and government services. What it lacks is a consistent, high-quality bicycling route. We came up with an analysis of what it would take to solve this problem. As you can see in the map above, much of an Arlington Boulevard bicycle route already exists. On-road paths and wide service roads with little traffic run parallel to many sections of the road, but they don’t connect to each other. 1.3 miles of bridges and 8.1 miles of protected bicycle lanes (or on-road shared-use paths) would create a continuous trail, 22 miles in length, on both the north and south sides of Arlington Boulevard. Investing in linking this piecemeal infrastructure into a continuous trail corridor—and linking that corridor, in turn, to the regional trail network, would unlock the full potential of the corridor as a place for people, not just automobiles. We put together a details analysis of the current infrastructure and recommendations for connecting and improving the network.  You can explore the full document here:

Arlington Boulevard Trail Concept Plan

We also have a limited number of paper copies of this document. If you’d like a copy, please send us an email.  

Arlington to Install First Real-Time Bicycle Counter on the East Coast

Tomorrow, Tues., April 1, Arlington County will celebrate the unveiling of a bikeometer on the Custis Trail at Lee Highway and Lynn Street. (This isn’t an April Fool’s joke!) This is the first real-time bicycle counter on the East Coast, and collected data will help to inform future decisions affecting infrastructure for people who bike. Details about the unveiling, which runs from 10-10:30 a.m. on April 1, can be seen on the flyer below.

image002