Workshop: Getting Safe Streets that Work for Everyone

In this workshop, WABA’s Organizing Manager walks through some of the specific ways that we approach making streets safe, comfortable, and accessible. We review our proven strategies for getting attention and action from DC agencies on sidewalk fixes, intersection improvements, traffic calming, and more to improve traffic safety and reduce traffic crashes.

Agenda

  • Basic steps for interacting with DDOT and city agencies—getting the most out of 311 and traffic safety assessments
  • What to ask for—effective changes for more walkable, safe, and low-stress streets
  • Building support—looping in elected officials and civic groups to get things done
  • Tactics, tips and resources for escalating—proven strategies for demonstrating support and how WABA can support getting results

Download the slides here.

Next Steps

Do you have a street safety issue that affects walking, biking or traffic safety that is not getting traction with a DC agency? Do you have an idea for a design change to make a street near you more walkable and bikeable? We would love to hear about it and connect you with people and resources to make it happen. Email garrett.hennigan@waba.org to get started. Learn more about our campaign to build DC’s Low Stress Bicycle Network and get involved at waba.org/network.

Lotuses & Water Lilies: A Trail Guide

Ever seen a leaf four feet wide? You can at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens just off the Anacostia River Trail! It is probably THE bike ride (or walk!) for July in DC and the Trail Ranger team is here to help you out.

Where are these lotuses?

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is home to a lot of lotuses though some can also be found at other sites around the region. The aquatic gardens is the only National Park Service site dedicated to aquatic plants and home to many unusual varietals.

Map address is:
1550 Anacostia Ave SE
Washington, DC 20019

Google Maps screenshot of Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens (at red pin). Image Courtesy of Google Maps.

How do I get there?

Heading north on the Anacostia River Trail:

Go along the trail until 40th St and Anacostia Ave NE. It looks like this (but with leaves and the grass is greener now!):

Ride on Anacostia Ave for 0.6 miles until you arrive at the parking lot for the park. Once in the gates, walk into the park past the parking lot. The path will take you to the first pond, 50 feet from the biking parking. Take a right to find the parking!

If you want a longer ride, keep going on the trail for 1.5 miles instead of turning right onto Anacostia Ave and connect with the park via the north trail entrance described below.

Heading south on the Anacostia River Trail:

Go along the trail past Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Ride until the trail dips under the Amtrak tracks and multi-lane bridge of New York Ave. Just after the trail will arrive on land again and you’ll see:

Trail and a gravel entrance. the chalk on the trail reads Lotus Festival with a left arrow to the gravel path. The trail is very green and shaded
Entrance to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (photo from 2019)

Signal, stop and walk your bike (this helps protect the turtles and water chemistry of the surrounding wetlands) on the gravel path for a few hundred feet. You’ll come upon the bike parking (photograph of it above) just as you arrive at the main portion of the park.

From Marvin Gaye Trail:

You can ride to the park by going west on Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE from the end of Marvin Gaye Trail at Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave and Minnesota Ave NE. Ride to the traffic circle entrance to Kenilworth Park. Ride along Deane Ave into Kenilworth Park and turn right onto the trail at the pavilion in 0.2 miles. Once on the trail, you can either connect to the Anacostia Ave route in 0.1 miles or keeping going on the trail to the north park entrance. This is a stressful route – Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE crossing Minnesota Ave and the ramps off and on 295 has terrible sidewalks and a lot of turning vehicle traffic.

Nannie Helen Burroughs and Minnesota Ave NE. Image from 2019. Roadway conditions are different now though sidewalk conditions remain the same.

There are a few pedestrian bridge connections across 295. There is a connection via the Minnesota Ave Metro station and existing pedestrian bridge to Hayes St NE. Continue straight on Hayes St NE and you will reach the Anacostia River Trail. Go straight onto the trail and you reach Anacostia Ave and 40th St NE in 0.8 miles.

Additional bridge are at Polk St NE (take Douglas St to Anacostia Ave, and then turn right to get to the park) and Nash St NE (take Nash St to Anacostia Ave, and then turn right to get to the park).

Capital Bikeshare

The closest Capitol Bikeshare station to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is currently at Nannie Helen Burroughs and Minnesota Ave NE (station map here). Capital Bikeshare ebikes can be docked at stations or locked remotely as a single bike outside of National Park Service property. See Capital Bikeshare for pricing and more details.

When to go?

If you want to visit when its less crowded: weekdays! The lotuses are still kind of a hidden gem but less so every year. If you want to visit the park and not be crowded, visit during the weekday.

Information about the 2021 Lotus and Water Lily Festival hosted by the park can be found here. Most programming this year is online with a limited selection of in-person events. The park is open to visit and has extended hours for July 2021.

Bikeable, Walkable Workshop for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners

in early 2021, WABA hosted a Bikeable, Walkable Streets workshop for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. We explored some effective options for making streets more inclusive, how DC’s Department of Transportation moves forward street safety and redesign projects, how to participate in that process some tactics to get a good idea moving.

In the second half, a panel of past and current commissioners shared their experience and tips on workshopping ideas, building consensus among residents and stakeholders, and getting safe streets projects done.

Panelists

  • Salim Adofo – Commissioner 8C07
  • Monique Diop – Commissioner 8D04
  • Randy Downs – Former Commissioner 2B05
  • Erin Palmer – Commissioner 4B02

Questions? Email garrett.hennigan@waba.org. Click here to download the slides.

Exploring Our Regional Trails

Curious to learn more about trails in the region? The Capital Trails Coalition has fantastic comprehensive maps for a bigger picture context of the options and Google Maps is usually a decent option for specific directions. But here is more about some of our favorite trails:

Captions were done post-event by a professional service. We know the screen recording didn’t center our slides so here’s the full text:

And unfortunately, we don’t have a recording copy of our Fairfax County trails tour but we have a slide version!

Trail Basics

Brightly lit greenery and trail with some black eyed susans and a green yard sign that says Go Slow Enough That Everyone's Safe with the Trail Ranger logo

Trails are great! Oxon Run Trail, Capital Crescent Trail, WB&A Trail, Cross County Trail – our region is full of lots of options. There are a few trail basics to know;

Go Slow Enough That Everyone Is Safe. Some trails have official speed limits, often 15 mph, but regardless, you are responsible for riding responsibly. Be extra careful around hard-to-see corners, under slippery conditions and when trails are crowded with other trail users, especially kids and pets that might have more unpredictable movement. Go slow enough that you can safely react to expected and unexpected hazards. 

Ride Right, Pass Left. Trails are kinda like roads, but better! Help everyone out by having consistent “vehicle” travel patterns. When you are passing someone, call your pass with voice or bell in advance of passing. But never assume they will hear you, they might be hard-of-hearing and/or distracted – give everyone plenty of space when passing! 

Share the Space. Trails are great for walking, rollerskating, bicycling and more! Most trails are multi-use and should have clear signs if bike riding is prohibited. If you are in a group, leave width so that others can go around you. If you stop, try and pull off the trail to keep the active travel lanes open. Bright lights may be necessary for unlit trails at night, but tilt your light towards the trail pavement to make sure oncoming trail users can still see. 

Learn more with our trails webinar! Available closed captions are professionally done.