Support WABA’s Montgomery County Budget Priorities

Funding a new tunnel for the Capital Crescent Trail under Wisconsin is WABA’s top budget priority this year. But County Executive Elrich proposed cuts and delays for many important bicycle, trail and pedestrian projects. They need the Council’s attention to get back on the right track. WABA is asking the Montgomery County Council to:

  1. Fund the Capital Crescent Trail Tunnel for completion by 2023
  2. Reverse the proposed two-year delays to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and Fenton Street protected bike lanes. Alone, these projects are important to getting people around Silver Spring safely by bike, scooter, and foot, but the success of the Purple Line in Silver Spring also depends on them to get people to two Purple Line Stations.
  3. Fund planning and construction for the 70 miles of Tier One master planned bikeways. The newly adopted Bicycle Master Plan calls for hundreds of miles of new bikeways, prioritized to increase bicycling as quickly as possible. The first tier, which builds networks in the urban areas and low-stress connections to them, needs a funding mechanism for design and construction. At a minimum, all Tier One projects should be designed and more than half constructed by the end of the FY21-26 CIP.
  4. Reverse the proposed cuts to the Parks budget to ensure that the county’s parks, trails, and recreation programs remain great.
  5. Update old designs for the dual bikeways proposed in the Seven Locks and Bradley Boulevard bike/ped projects.  These projects were designed many years ago and their designs do not meet the standards set out in the Bicycle Master Plan. Before going further, the designs should get an update.  Similarly, the Goldsboro and Falls Road projects provide useful connections in the County and we must make sure they meet the standards set out in the Bicycle Master Plan.

To see WABA’s full list of budget priorities, read our testimony for the Council’s Budget Hearing here.

Fund the Capital Crescent Trail Tunnel

In 2017, the Capital Crescent Trail tunnel under Wisconsin Ave in Bethesda permanently closed to make way for the Purple Line’s station and tracks. At the time, Montgomery County leaders assured the public that a new tunnel for the trail would be designed and built to take the county’s busiest trail under Wisconsin Avenue. Now, the design is nearly done but County Executive Marc Elrich proposes no funding to build it.

When trains begin carrying passengers on the Purple Line, a new extension of the Capital Crescent Trail will open too, connecting Bethesda to Silver Spring. It will fly over Connecticut Ave, Colesville Rd and Rock Creek Park on new bridges. But when it enters Bethesda you will not see the old trail tunnel. Instead, it will hit a stop light and Wisconsin Avenue’s 40,000 daily cars and trucks.

The County must finish the tunnel by the time the Purple Line is complete. Contact your Montgomery County Council members using the form below to urge them to provide full funding for the construction of the Capital Crescent Trail tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2023.

While the CCT tunnel is WABA’s #1 priority in this budget, we need your help to restore funding for other important projects too. When you’re done, you will be automatically redirected to weigh in on those too.

Spring Adult Classes: Register now!

Winter may not be over just yet, but our  spring 2020 bicycle education classes are posted and registration is now open! Check out our schedule and find an upcoming class or community ride in a neighborhood near you!

Sign Up

WABA’s bicycle education classes help you to build confidence! Whether you’re a seasoned bicyclist or are learning to ride  for the first time, our experienced instructors will provide the tips, tricks, and guidance you need to bike with ease.  Did we mention that our classes are FREE for WABA members? Check out all the benefits of membership at waba.org/extras and become a member today!

Join WABA

Choosing the Class That is Right for You

Adult Learn to Ride – This 3 hour class is for adults who have never ridden a bike before or have not been on a bike in some time. Participants learn the basics of balancing, gliding, and pedaling, with the goal of riding by the end of class! 

Class Details: 

  • Bicycles and helmets provided
  • Subsidized registrations available 
  • Advanced registration required

Basic Skills Clinic – This 2 hour clinic is for participants who have recently taken an Adult Learn to Ride class and would like to continue practicing basic skills. Instructors will teach basic bike handling drills drills such as starting and stopping, turning, weaving and gradual braking.

Class Details: 

  • Bicycles and helmets provided!
  • Bring your own bike and helmet for a reduced registration cost
  • Advanced registration required

City Cycling – This 3 hour class is for participants who know how to ride a bike but would like to build confidence. Participants run through basic bike handling skills to hazard avoidance maneuvers and discuss strategies for riding in different road, bike lane and trail situations. The class ends with a group ride where participants put their newly acquired skills into practice.

Class Details: 

  • Participants must bring their own bicycle and helmet!
  • Use a Capital Bikeshare bike and WABA will reimburse your usage fee!
  • Advanced registration recommended, drop ins are free!

Community Rides – WABA’s community rides are an inclusive space for riders of all levels to explore the region. Community rides are designed to accommodate different distances and interests. 

Class Details: 

  • Family friendly 
  • Participants must bring their own bicycle and helmet
  • Use a Capital Bikeshare bike and WABA will reimburse your usage fee!

Advanced registration recommended, drop ins are free!

Still not sure which class is right for you? Email us at education@waba.org or call 202-518-0524 ext. 221. We’ll help you get signed up for a class in no time. 

Classes Offered with Spanish Translation

This season, select classes across the region will be taught in English and Spanish! Check out our bilingual classes below:

Our highly-trained instructors will provide bilingual instruction to make sure you have the best experience possible. Have any questions? Email education@waba.org.

Now that spring class registration is open, what are you waiting for? Make 2020 the year you accomplish your biking goals. Sign up for a class today!  We can’t wait to see you out there. 

WABA is proud to partner with the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Arlington County and The City of Alexandria to provide bicycle education classes near you!

Adult Learn to Ride

Register Cost Location

Overview

Our Adult Learn to Ride class is for participants 18 and older who have never ridden a bike before or have not been on a bike in some time. Our experienced Instructors break the skills down step by step to get you on a bike and rolling in no time. Participants learn to start and stop, balance, glide, pedal and steer a bike and progress at their own pace. Have any questions? Email us at education@waba.org

Class Details

Class Duration: 3 hours

Equipment: Bicycle and helmet provided

Cost: $85.00 – Non-Resident Registration / $10.00 – Resident Registration* / FREE for WABA members (email education@waba.org for a coupon code)

*WABA partners with local jurisdictions to bring subsidized bicycle education to residents of that jurisdiction.

Registration Policy: Advance registration is required for Adult Learn to Ride classes. Registration closes at 1:00 pm the Friday before class.

Location

Maryland National Capital Park And Planning Commission Headquarters Parking Lot

8787 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Please meet in the parking lot behind the office building. The parking lot is accessible from Spring Street or Planning Place. WABA Instructors will be wearing teal polos.

Metro: The Silver Spring station is a 0.5 mile walk from the class location along Fidler Lane and Georgia Avenue.

Bus: The Spring Street and Georgia Avenue bus stop, serving buses Q1, Q2, Q4, Y2, Y7, and Y8 is directly outside of the class location.

Register

Bilingual Adult Learn to Ride – Clase disponible en español

En Español

Register Cost Location

Overview

Our Adult Learn to Ride class is for participants 18 and older who have never ridden a bike before or have not been on a bike in some time. Our experienced Instructors break the skills down step by step to get you on a bike and rolling in no time. Participants learn to start and stop, balance, glide, pedal and steer a bike and progress at their own pace. Have any questions? Email us at education@waba.org

Class Details

Class Duration: 3 hours

Equipment: Bicycle and helmet provided

Cost: $85.00 – Non-Resident Registration / $10.00 – Resident Registration* / FREE for WABA members (email education@waba.org for a coupon code)

*WABA partners with local jurisdictions to bring subsidized bicycle education to residents of that jurisdiction.

Registration Policy: Advance registration is required for Adult Learn to Ride classes. Registration closes at 1:00 pm the Friday before class.

Location

850 Hungerford Dr, Rockville, MD 20850

WABA Instructors will be wearing teal polo shirts.

Metro
The closest public transportation stop to the class location is the Manakee Street bus stop, servicing buses 46, 55, Q6 and Q2*. The Rockville Metro Station is a 20 minute walk (0.9 mi) along Hungerford Drive.

*Q2 (Direction: Montgomery College – Rockville) is operational during weekdays

Metrobus- The first stop of the Q2 bus route is Silver Spring Station & Bus Bay 218 and the last stop is Montgomery Community College & W Campus Dr.

Register

En Español

Regístrate Costo Ubicación

Resumen

Nuestra clase es para participantes mayores de 18 años que nunca han andado en bicicleta antes o que no han andado hace mucho tiempo. Nuestros instructores experimentados le enseñarán paso a paso cómo andar en bicicleta en poco tiempo. Los participantes aprenderán cómo empezar y parar, equilibrarse, deslizarse, pedalear y conducir una bicicleta. Cada participante progresará a su propio ritmo. ¿Tiene alguna pregunta? Envíanos un email a education@waba.org o llámenos en (202) 518 – 0524 extensión 206.

Detalles de la Clase

Duración: 3 horas

Equipo: Le proveeremos un casco y una bicicleta para la duración de la clase

Costo: Tenemos varios costos dependiendo del tipo de registro

$85 Registro Normal (para no-residentes de la ciudad o condado patrocinador)

$10 Registro Subsidiado* (para residentes de la ciudad o condado patrocinador)

GRATIS para miembros de WABA (Envíanos un email a education@waba.org para solicitar el código) 

*WABA trabaja con los gobiernos locales para subsidiar el costo de nuestras clases en bici para residentes de estas ciudades y condados.

Política de registro: Es necesario registrarse con anticipación para esta clase. Encerramos la registración a la 1:00 pm el viernes antes de la clase. 

Ubicación

Montgomery College Rockville Parking Lot #13

850 Hungerford Dr, Rockville, MD 20850

Nuestros instructores tendrán puesto camisas polo en el color azul turquesa. 

Manejando/Estacionamiento 

Hay estacionamiento disponible en esta ubicación. 

Metro

La estación de metro de Rockville (línea roja) es la estación más cercana. Son 20 minutos de caminata sobre la calle Hungerford Drive. 

Metrobús

El transporte público más cercano es la parada de autobús sobre la calle Manakee Street, con acceso a las líneas 46, 55 y Q2. 

Preguntas más frecuentes

¿Hay alguien que habla español que me pueda ayudar?

¡Si! Envíanos un email a education@waba.org o llámenos en (202) 518 – 0524 extensión 206.

¿Está clase es adecuada para mi?

  • Esta clase es para adultos mayores de 18 años. ¿Está buscando clases para jóvenes? Visite nuestra página de educación juvenil
  • Esta clase es para adultos que nunca han aprendido a andar en bicicleta o que no han montado una bicicleta hace mucho tiempo.
  • Las clases tienen una capacidad máxima de 25 estudiantes a la vez. Si usted prefiere recibir instrucción de manera individual, consulte nuestra página de instructores.
  • Tenemos registros subsidiados que son reservados para los residentes de la jurisdicción anfitriona, ¡pero no es necesario ser residente para inscribirse en una clase! Todos son bienvenidos a participar. Regístrese utilizando la opción de registro normal (no residente).

¿Estás seguro de que puedo aprender a montar en 3 horas?

Nuestras clases se dividen en pasos seguros y fáciles de seguir. Los instructores trabajarán con usted para ofrecerle comentarios y orientación personalizados para mejorar sus habilidades. Más del 80% de los participantes el año pasado aprendieron a andar de bicicleta al final de una clase de 3 horas. Si usted necesita un poco de instrucción adicional, no hay problema. Coordinaremos su participación en otra clase. 

¿Qué sucede si necesito tomar otra clase?

Envíenos un correo electrónico a education@waba.org o llámenos en (202) 518 – 0524 extensión 206 y le ayudaremos a inscribirse en otra clase con un descuento.

¿Puedo llevar mi propia bicicleta?

Recomendamos que los participantes utilicen las bicicletas proporcionadas durante la clase. Las bicicletas que utilizamos son del tamaño adecuado para cada participante y tenemos certeza de que funcionan correctamente. WABA no puede ofrecer mantenimiento de bicicletas personales.

¿Qué debo llevar conmigo a clase?

¡Agua, zapatos cerrados, ropa deportiva, ropa de abrigo adecuada, refrigerios y protector solar!

¿Cómo confirmo mi registro?

Después de registrarse, usted recibirá un correo electrónico con detalles sobre la clase. Le enviaremos un correo electrónico recordatorio dos días antes de la clase con toda la información que usted necesita (¡incluyendo direcciones en Google Maps!).

¡Aprendí cómo andar de bici! ¿Ahora que?

Recomendamos nuestras Clínicas de Habilidades Básicas o una clase de Ciclismo Confiante en la Ciudad.

Conversaciónes comunitarias: Montgomery County

Hello!

We’ve postponed this event to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. If you’re already signed up, we’ll send you an email when we have arranged a new date. Otherwise, check back here for updates.

We are sincerely grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding. Please take care of yourself and your community.

❤️,
The WABA Team

¿Te gusta andar en bicicleta? ¿O tienes interés en empezar a andar en bicicleta? ¿Qué desafíos que te impiden de andar en bici? Te invitamos a participar de nuestras conversaciones comunitarias. Las conversaciones proporcionarán un espacio para hablar sobre el transporte en la región, expresar tus opiniones, contestar tus preguntas sobre el ciclismo, y explicar el trabajo que hace WABA (la Asociación de Ciclistas de la región de Washington). 

WABA busca saber tus opiniones y preguntas sobre el ciclismo para mejorar nuestro apoyo a la comunidad Latina y sus necesidades. ¡Traiga tus ideas, preguntas, y amigxs! Todxs están bienvenidas y invitadxs a charlar con nosotrxs. Se proporcionarán refrigerios para el evento.

El evento es para la comunidad Latina, incluyendo adultos, adolescentes y niñxs (se proporcionarán libros para colorear). La conversación será en en español. WABA proporcionará refrigerios durante el evento.

La Bibliotéca Wheaton
11701 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

Confident City Cycling

Register Cost Location

Overview

Confident City Cycling teaches you the skills you need to ride safely and confidently on streets, bike lanes and trails alike.

This class is broken into two groups to accommodate different skill levels and interests. The Fundamentals track focuses on practicing basic bike handling skills such as shifting, scanning, signaling, gradual braking and weaving. Instructors discuss the importance of trail etiquette while riding on a multi-use path and answer any questions participants may have about trail riding for commuting or recreation.

The Confidence track teaches hazard avoidance maneuvers necessary while riding on the street and in heavily-trafficked areas. Participants learn skills such as the avoidance weave, quick stop, rock dodge, and instant turn, and discuss considerations for sharing space with other road users.

Each track ends the class with an on-street or on-trail group ride, where participants put their newly acquired skills to the test. Have any questions? Email us at education@waba.org

Class Details

Class Duration: 3 hours

Equipment: Participants are required to bring their own bicycle and helmet for this class. Bikes must be in good working order. Use a Capital Bikeshare bike and WABA will reimburse your usage fee for the duration of the class! Email education@waba.org for more details.

Cost: $10.00 and FREE for WABA members! Contact education@waba.org for a coupon code!

Registration Policy: Advance registration is preferred to secure your spot. Drop-ins are free (if space is available)! Be sure to show up for class 15 minutes before the start time. 

This class is brought to you thanks to the support of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

Class Location

850 Hungerford Dr, Rockville, MD 20850

WABA Instructors will be wearing teal polo shirts.

Metro
The closest public transportation stop to the class location is the Manakee Street bus stop, servicing buses 46, 55, Q6 and Q2*. The Rockville Metro Station is a 20 minute walk (0.9 mi) along Hungerford Drive.

*Q2 (Direction: Montgomery College – Rockville) is operational during weekdays

Metrobus- The first stop of the Q2 bus route is Silver Spring Station & Bus Bay 218 and the last stop is Montgomery Community College & W Campus Dr.

Register

Meet the Mid-Atlantic’s first protected intersection

Good things come to those who work really hard for many years with thousands of people contributing along the way, right? My work as a community organizer at WABA means that I bridge the gap between you, who wants a better place to bike and live, and our regional decision makers. And because of you, we have a lot of progress to celebrate in Montgomery County.

Last year, we celebrated the adoption of the most ambitious and comprehensive bike master plan in the country. That means leaders in Montgomery County took three+ years of our emails and phone calls and meetings and input to heart — the transportation department is literally rearranging itself to be friendlier to biking and walking. 

That wouldn’t have happened without your past investment, which is changing how our communities are built, street by street.

This year, we get to celebrate a major expansion of our bicycle network, including the Mid-Atlantic’s first protected intersection, right in downtown Silver Spring. Whether you’re biking, walking, scooting, or driving, the intersection is safe, intuitive, and predictable.

Here’s why I’m jazzed about it:

  • It’s setting a national standard in how to safely mix road users.
  • There’s a permanent bike counter, so every time you roll past you can see how many people came through before you, that day and year.
  • There’s a low-stress connection to the Metro, a giant bus terminal, and (soon!) the Purple Line.
  • It gives me the chance to use words like “gold standard” and “visionary,” which, to be honest, doesn’t happen all that often.
  • It’s part of a network of protected bike lanes, making it actually useful.

And above all, it’s the first of many. Your financial support today means that we can push the County to keep it coming next year in Bethesda, White Flint, Wheaton, Takoma/Langley.

The Montgomery County Planning Board should not re-route the Capital Crescent Trail.

Last month, the Montgomery County Planning Board made a hasty and very bad decision on the permanent design for the Capital Crescent Trail’s crossing of Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda. While perhaps made with good intentions, this decision will create unacceptable daily safety risks for the thousands of people who use the trail. The board has started a new term and has a new member. 

In the letter below, we call on the board to reconsider its decision and to put its park users and people first. Use the form below to sign the letter.

Members of the Montgomery County Planning Board,

On June 13, the Planning Board voted 4-1 to reject the analysis and recommendation of Montgomery Parks staff to implement Alternative A including retention of the road diet already in place, and placement of a speed table forcing cars to slow at the crossing.  We are deeply concerned by the Planning Board’s recent decision to not only reject Alternative A as recommended by Parks but to also disregard all other carefully proposed alternatives. The decision to eliminate the road diet put in place after a cyclist died in 2016 runs directly counter to Montgomery County’s core Vision Zero principles, ignores all objective data regarding this intersection, and will endanger vulnerable trail users on the most popular trail in the region.  The Planning Board should reconsider this decision, retain the road diet and endorse the Alternative A approach that has the Trail cross at-grade with Little Falls Parkway.


Montgomery County’s Vision Zero commitment is grounded in just a few core principles. 

  1. Traffic fatalities are preventable. 
  2. Human life takes priority over moving traffic quickly and all other goals of a road system. 
  3. Human error is inevitable, so the transportation system should be designed to anticipate mistakes and reduce their consequences. 
  4. People are inherently vulnerable and speed is a fundamental predictor of crash survival.

While straightforward in theory, designing intersections and roads that follow these principles often requires different tools and different priorities than have been traditionally used. Relying on old auto-oriented values will not help the county eliminate all traffic fatalities.

The board’s chosen intersection design contradicts every one of these (Vision Zero) principles. Restoring Little Falls Parkway to four lanes prioritizes moving cars quickly over the safety of people on the trail. More travel lanes encourage speeding, especially at off-peak times when the road is empty. And doubling the crossing distance increases a person’s exposure to traffic. If everyone follows the rules precisely, the intersection may work. But everyone makes mistakes.

Unfortunately, diverting the trail to the traffic signal and widening the road makes everyone wait much longer. More waiting will bring more cut-through traffic on Hillandale and encourage an increase in frustration, bad choices, and dangerous behavior. Frustrated drivers may run the light or turn right on red. Trail users may cross the Parkway against the light. When someone makes a mistake or a bad choice, it will be more likely to end in a crash and a severe injury or death under the Board’s chosen design.

Montgomery County and Montgomery Planning have committed to Vision Zero with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in just over 10 years. If we are to achieve this goal, we must be consistent throughout the County. The plan Parks recommended for this intersection is consistent with Vision Zero and putting a road diet here has been proven safe and effective with minimal impact on cars. The decision you made on June 13 is just the opposite, makes human life and safety the lowest of priorities, and will set us back in achieving our goals of protecting Montgomery County residents.

We implore you to reconsider this decision and choose a path forward that puts your park users and their safety, first.

MoCo Planning Board Votes to Remove the Little Falls Parkway Road Diet

Update: WABA has written a letter to the Montgomery County Planning Board asking that they reconsider this decision. Sign the letter here.

take action

Rendering of the rejected road diet for the Capital Crescent Trail crossing of Little Falls Parkway.

On June 13th, the Montgomery County Planning board met to review and approve a permanent safety improvement plan for the intersection of the Capital Crescent Trail and Little Falls Parkway where a bicyclist was hit and killed in 2017. In a shocking turn, the Planning Board voted 4 to 1 to reject the staff’s recommendation. Instead, the Board chose to restore Little Falls Parkway and remove a successful road diet, detour the trail to the traffic signal at Arlington Road, and study an expensive bridge crossing over the widened Parkway.

This decision should have been a simple one. After a bicyclist was hit and killed here in 2017, the Parks Department sprung into action with a temporary plan to make this intersection safe by removing a travel lane in each direction and lowering the speed limit. In the 2.5 years since then, the interim road diet has proved to be an impressive safety improvement, with fewer crashes and safer driver speeds. Traffic studies showed that drivers experienced just 7 seconds of additional delay due to the road diet. 

After a 1.5 year comprehensive study of 12 possible permanent configurations for this intersection — including a bridge, tunnel, removing the road diet, and completely closing Little Falls Parkway — Parks staff concluded that the safest and best-for-all option was a slightly modified version of what is there today. They recommended, and WABA supported, permanently reducing Little Falls to a two-lane road, lowering the speed limit, adding a raised crosswalk at the current trail crossing, and numerous other changes to add green space, improve connections and calm traffic. Coincidentally, this was also the least expensive and least environmentally impactful option.

Trail plan.

But at the hearing, the Board rejected that plan and instead made up a new plan on the spot, directing staff to restore Little Falls Parkway to four lanes and divert the trail to the traffic signal at Arlington Rd. 

This decision undermines 1.5 years of careful staff work. It disregards objective data collected here and case studies from across the US that demonstrate that road diets cut crashes by up to 50%, decrease speeding, and create easier crossings, all without major traffic impacts. The decision contradicts the County’s Vision Zero commitment and other policy goals by prioritizing moving cars quickly at the expense of people’s safety.

We at WABA are adamantly opposed to this decision which we believe will have a dramatic, negative, and daily impact on the safety of the 3,000 people who use the Capital Crescent Trail each day. If you share our frustration, we encourage you to email the Planning Board (MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org) and email your County Councilmembers. For a thorough look at the options and repercussions of this decision, see Ross Filice’s post on Greater Greater Washington.