WABA Members Get 20% Off Studio Theatre’s 2013 Productions

Starting Mon., March 10th, WABA members get a 20 percent discount on single tickets to Studio Theatre’s 2013 season productions, including:
  • The Motherf***er With The Hat (now through March 24)
  • 4000 Miles (March 20 to April 28)
  • The Real Thing (May 22 to June 30)
  • Baby Universe (June 26 to July 21)

We’re particularly excited to offer this benefit for the upcoming production of 4000 Miles, a play with a long-distance cyclist as one of its two central characters. After cycling 4,000 miles across the country, 21-year-old Leo arrives unannounced at the Greenwich Village apartment of his octogenarian Jewish leftist grandmother. As an overnight couch-surf turns into an extended stay, 4000 Miles unearths a surprising commonality between the two generations.

4000 Miles

Theater plus biking? How awesome is that? But wait, there’s more! WABA and Studio Theatre are working together to ensure there is a place to park your bike when you roll up. Studio already offers indoor bike parking for its staff, but is working with WABA to get permanent racks installed outside for theatergoers. WABA will also be providing supplemental, temporary bike parking for the entire run of 4000 Miles. Studio’s commitment to making 4000 Miles a bike-friendly experience is helped by the cyclists on staff. Its artistic director, David Muse, is an avid competitive cyclist. And marketing manager Scott Sanger has ridden his bike for the past 15 years as a member of Team Food & Friends, which rides to support those fighting AIDS.

Here are some important things to know about Studio’s discount for WABA members:

This discount is not valid for Saturday evening performances, in combination with any other discount offers, or on previous orders. Discounted tickets are subject to availability. There is no limit on the number of discounted tickets that can be ordered. To receive the discount, email membership@waba.org for the promotional code. The code can be used to order tickets online through Studio Theatre’s website or when calling or visiting its box office. WABA members may also present their membership card at the box office to receive the discount. Photo courtesy of Studio Theatre

More On-Street Bike Parking from DDOT and WABA

Megan posing with DDOT crew

As the weather turned colder and windier, some cyclists put their bikes away for the winter, but the intrepid WABA staff (and our friends at DDOT) decided that winter is the perfect season for increasing bike parking!  For all of you hardy winter bikers, we have a little new years present for you: 50 new bike parking spaces in 5 on-street bike corrals now available downtown! Together with a DDOT crew, WABA’s new Bike Parking Associate, Megan Van de Mark, installed the bike racks throughout Chinatown and Penn Quarter in the weeks before Christmas.  Now, when you are headed downtown, you can spend less time hunting for a place to lock up in the cold and more time impressing your friends with your winter biking stories. Biking to the Verizon Center to catch a Capitals game or to the National Portrait Gallery for a leisurely afternoon?   Use the new on-street parking nearby at the intersection of 7th & G Streets NW to lock up. Catching a movie at the E Street Cinema?  Lock up to the new bike corral just south of there at the intersection of E & 11th Streets NW. Trying to find the perfect wine and cheese for a winter dinner party?  Bike on over to Cowgirl Creamery and use the gleaming new on-street rack located outside on F Street between 9th and 10th Streets NW. Doing some post-holiday shopping at Macy’s? Ten new bike parking spaces are now available in the bike corral at the corner of G & 13th Streets NW. Checking out the Navy Memorial?  Now you can park at the new bike rack just north of there at the intersection of 8th and D Streets NW. In the upcoming weeks and months, WABA will be installing additional U-racks by bike throughout DC.  Do you know of other places around town lacking bike parking or of a specific location you would like to see a rack? Tell us about it! And check out our website for more information about WABA’s bike installation services.  Specific requests for racks can be made on-line using this request form.  Requests will be considered as soon as possible.  Wanting racks installed outside of the District? Contact Megan at bikeparking@waba.org for more information. See more photos of the on-street bike corral installations on flickr.

DC Bike Parking Amendment Passed!

For those who missed it amidst the holiday hubbub, the Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Act of 2010 passed this week.  Thank you to the 300+ WABA members and supporters who joined us in drafting letters to the DC Council urging passage, and to DC Bicycle Advisory Council Chair Meredith Begin, who provided strong hearing testimony on behalf of the cycling community. Now, we look forward to seeing the regulations implementing these rules. A question for our readers: The fiscal impact statement assumes that enforcement will require specific building inspectors averaging $54,867 each.  Doesn’t this seem like a place for individual cyclists to help at much lower costs, assuming a good reporting system is put in place?  If you could be assured that someone would act on it, would you report facilities without the required parking to 311 or some dedicated hotline? Let us know what you think in the comments, and we’ll look forward to seeing (and commenting on) those regulations.

New Custom Bike Racks at Filter Coffee

For many local business, providing adequate parking for bikes is a serious issue.  Customers struggle to find safe, secure and convenient locations to park their bike while they patronize the business.  This was the case for Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar on 20th St. NW in the Dupont Circle area which was in constant need of more bike parking. Through a new partnership with DDOT called BikeBrand Your Biz, DDOT and WABA installed two custom bike racks in front of Filter to accommodate the large number of customer bikes.  Of the two custom racks installed, one rack was in the shape of a hot cup of coffee with the other rack in the shape of a French coffee press.   Both racks were painted bright orange for high visibility and to match the Filter branding. The custom racks are paid for by the business and installed for free.  Costs for custom racks range between $500 and $1500 depending on the design. Businesses interested in having a custom rack installed should contact WABA at bikeparking@waba.org to discuss details. WABA will be installing additional U-style bike racks throughout the District of Columbia through a grant from DDOT.  Please visit the WABA website for more information about our bike parking program.

Supporting Bike Parking Legislation

Tomorrow at 2pm, the DC Council’s Committee on Public Works and Transportation is holding a hearing on the “Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Amendment Act of 2010.”   This is an amendment to the 2007 law (conveniently titled the “Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Act of 2007),” which adopted certain design standards for bike parking and mandated that buildings have bike parking in the following numbers:

(1) The John A. Wilson Building: 16+ spaces; (2) Existing residential buildings with 8 or more units: “a reasonable number of bicycle parking spaces” as determined by residents’ written requests; (3) New residential buildings with 3+ units, or substantially rehabilitated residential buildings with 8+ units: 1 space for each 3 units; (4) Office, retail, or service uses: number of bike spaces at least equal to 5% of the number of automobile parking spaces. And if bicycle space occupancy reaches 90% during peak usage, at least 10% of the number of automobile parking spaces.

So that is the law, and it has been the law since 2007. And those building owners not providing the required spaces are in violation of that law right now. But because there is no enforcement provision in the original law, no governmental authority can cite a building owner and require the payment of a penalty. There must be explicit authority to levy a penalty or fine. That’s what the 2010 Amendment Act will provide, so we strongly support the amendment. Additionally, we propose that revenue generated from these fees be dedicated to providing bike parking in DC public space. Our brief, written testimony is below, and we encourage bicyclists to email the Committee by 5pm on Thursday to express their support for the Act. Bicycle Commuter Parking Expansion Amendment Act Statement

Ride Your Bike to this Weekend’s Events

We talk a lot about bike facilities, bike laws, and bike safety. And we’ve encouraged thousands to bike in the Washington area. But the one time our Bike Ambassador says he wouldn’t personally recommend biking to an event, that’s what gets repeated everywhere. To be clear, WABA still thinks biking is a good way to get to the rally (or wherever else you’re going this weekend). That is how I will be getting there. But WABA will not be providing parking and we don’t know of any arrangements by the organizers to supplement the minimal parking that is available on the Mall perimeter. So I’ll be arriving plenty early, well prepared to walk a few blocks after finding a secure place to lock up. Oh, and I’ll be bringing a good U-lock plus a cable for the tires. But I still expect to have a more pleasant trip than those who arrive by other means. Bottom line: Ride your bike. But bring a lock and don’t assume WABA will be able to watch your bike for you this time. The important thing for you, the bicycling public, is to know what to expect. And cut the Bike Ambassador some slack. The guy bikes to events for a living and answers questions from everyone, from new cyclists to journalists, while hauling a giant bike safety trailer all over the District. If he wants to take a day off and walk to an event for a change, WABA will look the other way.

.Public Comment Period Open for Draft Bike Parking Zoning Regulations

As part of the comprehensive DC Zoning Update, the Office of Planning has released a draft of its proposed Bike Parking amendments to the zoning regulations. WABA is reviewing and will submit its comments , but also encourages members and supporters who live, work, or ride in the District to take a moment to review the proposal and provide feedback. These regulations could vastly improve both long-term (employee/resident bike storage) and short-term (bike racks) bike parking, as well as mandating changing rooms and showers in some buildings. Find the Office of Planning’s comment page and link to the full text of the draft regulations here. The public hearing before the Zoning Commission regarding draft changes to parking, bike parking, and loading is scheduled for November 15 at 6:30pm.

New On-Street Bike Parking

Together with WABA’s bicycle parking program coordinator, District Dept. of Transportation crews installed new on-street bike parking corrals in five locations in northwest Washington, DC. On-street bicycle parking is new to the DC region–the first corral was placed in front of the WABA office last Spring. We worked closely with Georgetown BID to install three of the five in that neighborhood, where relatively narrow sidewalks combine with lots of pedestrians to make parking a bike on the sidewalk difficult at best. Now, at M St and Thomas Jefferson, Prospect St and Potomac St, and on K St right in front of the movie theater, cyclists can park safely out of the way on the street. For local business owners, on-street bike parking makes sense too. They can fit 8 potential customers into the space previously reserved for one car, while their business becomes known as one that supports bicycles as effective transportation. Two more on street bike parking corrals were installed at the bike-friendly corner of 11th St. and Park Rd NW, one in front of Redrocks Pizzeria, and the other in front of Meridian Pint. Given the number of bikes we used to see locked to the fences nearby, we’re sure these two new racks will be filled up in no time!

Bike Valets, Bike Racks, and WABA’s Parking Efforts

When we first heard of Jon Stewart’s plans for a “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington, DC, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to The Daily Show offering a bike valet during the event and re-posted it on Facebook.  In addition to a great deal of support for the idea from our friends, we’ve gotten a fair number of questions about valets and about bike parking in general.  (What we haven’t gotten is any response from the event organizers–but we’re still hopeful.) But I wanted to take this opportunity to explain WABA’s bike parking efforts and how they fit into our overall mission: First and foremost, we want people on bikes.  And we do everything we can to eliminate barriers or impediments to cycling.  Sometimes that includes advocacy campaigns for better street design.  Sometimes it means fighting for stronger enforcement of safety laws.  But in some cases, it just means giving people a safe place to put their bikes once they get where they’re going. Bike Valets: For large events expected to draw a substantial number of cyclists to the same space, we host bike valets.  Essentially, a bike valet is a cordoned-off area with sturdy, portable racks.  You show up, hand the bike to the valet staff or volunteer, sign your name and cell number, and we watch your bike for the duration of the event.  You don’t need a lock, you don’t need to compete for rack space, and you know someone is keeping an eye on your bike. For us, valets are a rather significant logistical undertaking involving moving many racks (usually by bike), setting up fencing, organizing check-in and check-out, and ensuring staff and volunteer coverage for the entire event.  (Most folks who try to do it themselves once decide to let us handle it the next time.)  But for you, it’s meant to make arriving by bike easier than any other mode of transportation by taking away the parking-related stress entirely. Our costs for providing valets are generally covered by the event organizer and any profit goes to fund WABA’s advocacy and educational activities.  So one way to help WABA as an organization is to ask event organizers to include WABA valets.  And where there is a valet, please use it. Bike Racks: More recently, WABA has begun a program, in partnership with DDOT, of installing bike racks in the District.  At the outset, we are focused on installing racks in locations where they have already been requested through DDOT.  But we soon hope to be able to provide secure rack installation as a fee-for-service program, with all proceeds again going to fund advocacy and education.  Our partners at Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling have also submitted an application for grant funds to allow them to install a limited number of racks in Fairfax County, VA.  So we are hopeful that our capacity to install permanent racks in response to user demand will grow rapidly with the support of property owners and local jurisdictions. Bike Parking Expertise: If you have questions about bike parking, need advice on how to configure your setup, or want feedback from a guy who has researched the options, managed the parking of thousands of bikes, and locked his own bike to nearly every type of rack/sign/and possibly tree in the District, please contact our Bike Parking Program Coordinator, Danny Koniowsky, at danny@waba.org.