A First Step Toward Better Bike Lanes in MD and VA

Two way protected bike lane illustration from the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

This week, WABA sent letters to local departments of transportation requesting consideration and adoption of the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide. The NACTO guide presents state-of-the-practice solutions that create safe, enjoyable complete streets for current and new bicyclists.

The NACTO guide provides county traffic engineers with additional designs for innovative bicycling facilities that use several techniques to encourage new bicyclists, primarily by separating bike lanes from car traffic. The guide also has recommendations for designing on-road facilities such as buffered bike lanes, protected bike lanes (cycle tracks), bike boxes, contraflow bike lane and other facilities.  Adoption of the NACTO guide by local DOTs clears one of the many obstacles to building protected bike lanes.

Why protected bike lanes?

Protected bike lanes keep current bicyclists safer while encouraging new people to use bicycles for transportation. WABA is working to increase the miles of protected bike lanes throughout the region. Learn about our advocacy priority and our local campaign to build a protected bike lanes in Bethesda. More local campaigns are coming soon.

We sent letters to the Directors of Transportation for Fairfax County, Prince Georges’ County, Montgomery County and the City of Alexandria*.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Arlington County have already endorsed the guide and are currently implementing protected bike lanes. We will publish the written responses we receive from the departments to the blog.

Read the full letter requesting adoption of NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

* Update: The City of Alexandria has also endorsed the NACTO guide. 

Meet Jon Gonzalez, Our New DC Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator!

15th Street Cycletrack

15th Street Cycletrack (photo: @SharrowsDC)

Hello! I’m Jon. As WABA’s newest team member I am excited to jump in head first and build upon the success of the Bike Ambassador Program this summer!

This morning, Bike Ambassador Dani and I were out on the 15th Street cycle track encouraging bicyclists to bike nicely and yield to pedestrians. It was a big hit! Many pedestrians came up and suggested we stop by 14th street next time to do the same, so stay tuned, you never know where we might end up!

We’ve got a few things on the calendar for July, starting with a “Bike to the Movies” event on July 9th in NoMa. We’ll be handing out bike lights to bicyclists without lights after The Muppets movie finishes. It’ll also be our first “Bike KINDly” event for July—we will hand out KIND bars with pro-bicycling tips, so come on out and join the fun!

If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador, or know someone who might be, sign up for the Bike Ambassador Orientation on July 15th at the WABA HQ. We’d love to have you participate and could totally use your help.