What to Expect at a WABA Ride!

Why come to a WABA Signature Ride? Well…a day spent outside riding bikes, eating snacks, and making new friends, all while knowing you’re supporting WABA’s mission to make bicycling better in our region? Sounds pretty good, right?

This year WABA is bringing you three bike ride events celebrating biking in Virginia, DC, and Maryland: the Sweet Ride (June), the 50 States Ride (September), and the Cider Ride (November). 

While each ride is a little different, they have a few things in common. Below is some information on what to expect at WABA’s rides. (Still have questions after you read? Drop a line to events@waba.org— we’re happy to chat.)

Come as you are—these rides are for everyone who wants to explore our region by bike! WABA’s Signature Rides are recreational rides, NOT races. There are 10-16  mile routes in addition to longer 30-50 mile options. You can ride in spandex and cleats if you want, but a lot of participants will be in t-shirts. It doesn’t matter what you wear! So dress comfortably, ride a bike that feels good to you,  don’t worry about the pace— and reach out to WABA staff at events@waba.org if you have questions about what to wear, bring, or ride. 

Check-in is important. When you register for a WABA ride, you’ll receive a start location and check-in time. This is where your ride will start—but when you arrive, make sure you go to the WABA tent first to check-in. This is where you’ll receive your cue sheet, ride swag, and the wristband that gets you into pit stops (access to snacks and water is clutch!) 

Pit stops are snack/water breaks. Along the ride route you’ll have the opportunity to stop at pit stops, where WABA staff and volunteers will have water, snacks, and cheers waiting for you. During COVID-19 pit stop snacks are pre-packaged, single-serving items. Be sure to bring your own water bottle to refill at pit stops— WABA does not provide plastic water bottles.

Ride routes are not marked or closed to traffic. WABA’s rides celebrate bicycling in our region using existing infrastructure. We don’t close any roads for our rides, and the routes go on trails and  streets with varying levels of bicycle infrastructure (protected bike lanes, painted bike lanes, and some roads without bike lanes. We do our best to plan the rides on low-stress streets, but you will be sharing the road with motor vehicles.  Feel like you want to practice before the ride? Sign up for a Confident City Cycling Class. Or, for a refresher, watch this webinar on How to Ride in Traffic

The ride is self-guided— here’s how to navigate!

  • Use your paper cue sheet. Participants navigate WABA ride routes using a paper cue sheet with turn-by-turn directions, which we’ll give you at ride check-in. This method of navigation means you need to consult the sheet every few turns. We recommend clipping it to your bike so you can glance down at a red light or stop sign and see what your next turn is. Feeling unsure about using a cue sheet? Here’s a helpful blog post on how to read a cue sheet, and one on how to attach your cue sheet to your bike.
  • Use Ride With GPS. If you have a smartphone, you can get turn-by-turn audio directions for the ride using the Ride with GPS app (after you register for the ride, you’ll get instructions on how to do this— you’ll need to make an account and join the WABA Ride With GPS club, which are both free, before the day of the ride) Registered for a ride and need help setting this up? Email events@waba.org.
  • You’ll probably take a wrong turn or two during the ride. Most people do! If you feel lost, remember that your cue sheet has a map in it, which can help you navigate back to the route or to the closest pit stop, where you can gather your bearings. 

You probably won’t ride with a group the whole time. Each check-in group at WABA’s rides has an optional group start. But not everyone will ride together, and even if you start with a group, you will probably spread out over the course of the ride. If you want to make sure you have a buddy for the whole ride, consider registering with the ride for a friend, saying hi to someone new at the group start, or chatting with a Ride Marshal.  Speaking of which…

Volunteer Ride Marshals are there to help! Ride Marshals are WABA volunteers who help you navigate and offer encouragement and support. Marshals receive a training from WABA staff before the event and know participants may look to them in their colorful vests with questions, for assistance, or to be a buddy. Marshals carry basic first aid supplies, and are instructed to call 911 in the case of an emergency on the ride.

How to Attach a Cue Sheet To Your Bike

So, you’re going on a bike ride…and you need to navigate using a paper cue sheet. But how are you going to attach that sucker to your bike so you can glance at it easily?

Here’s a low-tech solution that just might help.

Start by gathering your materials (if you come to a WABA Signature Ride, we’ll have these available along with your cue sheet!). You’ll need:

  • zip tie
  • binder clip
  • plastic bag
  • cue sheet

1. Thread the zip tie through the binder clip. 

2. Fasten the zip tie around your handlebar stem to secure the binder clip to the bike.  (The stem is the vertical bar underneath your handlebars!)

3. Clip the cue sheet into the binder clip!  (You’ll have to take it on and off to turn the page.)

4. If it’s raining: use the plastic bag to keep the cue sheet dry

5. To remove after your ride: cut the zip tie off the handlebar stem with scissors. You can also leave it on for your next ride! Either way, don’t throw away the bag or binder clip—use them for something else, too.

To learn more about how to read a cue sheet, check out this post: How to Read a Cue Sheet

WABA Advocacy Update: Spring 2021

With the support of partners and volunteers, WABA has been busy this spring! Our planning and organizing in the winter is starting to bloom into big next steps this season!   

Check out some of the campaigns, projects and events we have been organizing the last couple of months! If you have any questions feel free to reach us at advocacy@waba.org. Enjoy!

Maryland

Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets

Currently, WABA is working with advocates to publicly launch the Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets chapter in the coming weeks. We hope to see the newly developed Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets chapter soon lead local advocacy to achieve vision Zero in Montgomery County. We believe the voices of families and individuals who are impacted by traffic violence should be at the policy making table and we are excited that this project is taking off. If you would like to get involved email advocacy@waba.org

Montgomery County Budget

WABA will be testifying at the Montgomery County Budget Hearing on April 7th! You can read our testimony here.

WABA is currently monitoring the Fenton Street and Amherst Avenue PBL projects in the Capital Budget process. The Fenton Street design recommended by WABA was approved by Council Transportation & Environment Committee, but additional $4 million funding not yet approved for construction in a specific year; and the Amherst project may also need additional funds.

Thanks to more than 150 advocates who wrote and called their councilmembers, the Council took a step to restore funding for a new Capital Crescent Trail Tunnel under Wisconsin Ave in Bethesda. One final step remains to secure this funding. Read more here.

MD General Assembly 

WABA and coalition partners have continued their advocacy on HB 564. It allows Montgomery County to transfer its automated traffic enforcement operations from the County Police to the County Department of Transportation. The bill is supported by all of the Montgomery County State Delegates and the County’s Executive and Council. The bill (as of the date of publication of this blogpost) has passed the Maryland House (97-39) and is under review by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. If passed by the Senate, the bill will place automated traffic enforcement with the same agency responsible for making changes on County roads necessary to reach the County’s Vision Zero goals.

WABA has been an active member of Bike MD, an organization that has been lobbying the MD General Assembly to pass multiple transportation safety bills. The key priority for Bike MD this year is the Vulnerable Road Users (H.B. 118 and S.B 293). The bill would enhance penalties for drivers who seriously hurt or kill Vulnerable Road Users.

Virgina 

Submit a Question for Northern VA House of Delegate Candidates plus General Assembly Public Forum. 

WABA, Virginia Conservation Network, Virginia Bicycling Federation will send a candidate questionnaire to all the registered Northern Virginia House of Delegate candidates. Candidates who have registered as a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or 3rd party will receive a questionnaire.

The questionnaire aims to educate the general public about the transportation policy positions of the Northern Virginia House of Delegates candidates. There will be no endorsement of any candidate. We are crowdsourcing suggested questions for the candidates, if you have a question you would like to ask the candidates, click here to submit a question.

Questionnaires will be sent to candidates on April 19th. Candidates will have 2 weeks to complete the questionnaires by May 3rd. 

WABA, Virginia Conservation Network, Virginia Bicycling Federation will then host a forum for the general public on May 10th at 5:30pm-6:30pm, to debrief this past general assembly, and discuss strategies for upcoming general assemblies. 

We will also examine the collective responses from questionnaires at the forum. 

Crystal City Protected Bike Network 

Arlington County staff have put forward a draft plan to implement a Crystal City Bike Network over the next 4 years! 

This could be an opportunity to create a future Crystal City that includes safe multimodal travel options for everyone. However, the current plans are not good enough and we need to tell Arlington County that these plans need changes. 

Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County (SUSMO) has taken the lead on creating an alternative plan and key demands for the County Staff. We sent a letter to Arlington County staff highlighting some of the demands developed by SUSMO. You can read it here. The next public meeting to discuss the plan will take place on April 28th at 7pm. For more information and to register for the public meeting visit the project page here.

Washington, D.C.

ANC Vision Zero Caucus

WABA is starting a Vision Zero Caucus for elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC), a caucus that would meet bi-monthly. The Caucus would be a city-wide vision zero caucus to keep a line of connection and collaboration between WABA and ANC commissioners who champion and advocate for transportation safety issues. The Caucus would collaborate on city-wide issues e.g Movedc, Council Legislation, Budget. We would also share transportation advocacy tips and resources. 

Our first caucus meeting is April 19th. If you are an ANC Commissioner who is interested in joining our city-wide caucus, email us at advocacy@waba.org

Transportation Equity Network Grant Awardees 

WABA and our partners on the Transportation Equity Network steering committee awarded micro grants to 5 organizations to support in their efforts to carry out transportation equity related projects! We awarded up to $2,500 to the following organizations: 

  • DC Families for Safe Streets (DCFSS): DCFSS will use grant funding to collect (video) stories from families impacted by traffic violence
  • Prime Ability Bikes: Will use grant funding to buy bikes for youth at Dunbar High School, they will also hold a transportation related conversation with youths at the end of a scheduled bike ride. 
  • The Future Foundation: The Future Foundation Youth will be using grant funding to develop a transportation equity comic book. 
  • MLOV (Many Languages One Voice): MLOV will host two transportation related roundtables with DC residents who are immigrants. One in English, one in Spanish . 
  • HIPS DC : HIPS DC will use the funding to host a transportation related roundtable with employees and an additional roundtable with clients who are sex workers.

Police out of Transportation working Group

WABA formed a Police out of Transportation working group alongside our partners from Sunrise DC and Metro DSA. The working group is a part of the Defund MPD Steering Committee, and WABA joined the steering committee as a representative of the working group. 

The goals of the working group are the following:

  • Developing an “alternatives for police in traffic” campaign plan
  • Creating models for decriminalizing traffic violations

Connecticut Avenue Protected Bike Lane 

DDOT’s year-long study of potential changes to Connecticut Avenue in Ward 3 is nearly at an end! The agency hosted two public meetings to answer questions and get feedback from the public before moving forward! 

This is a major project and WABA has been working alongside Ward 3 Bikes to get residents to attend public meetings in support of Concept C, the only option with protected bike lanes to transform biking in this part of the city. You can find more details at the project website and send an email to DDOT with your thoughts to Conn-Ave-revstudy@dc.gov. Comments are due by May 1.

Beach Drive

Since the beginning of the 2020 lockdown, Upper Beach Drive has been closed to cars and open to people for biking, walking, and enjoying Rock Creek Park. We have been working closely with the People’s Alliance for Rock Creek and other groups to make the case that upper Beach Drive should be permanently open to people. At a recent DC Council Transportation & Environment Roundtable, more than 30 people showed up to ask for the Council’s support for permanent upper Beach Drive Open Streets. Learn more here.

Upcoming from WABA!

Stay tuned for the WABA Awards 

Due to the pandemic, we did not hold our annual WABA awards event in person this year. However, we are currently still planning on highlighting the work of advocates throughout the region! Stay tuned for more details to come. 

Capital Trails Coalition Impact Report

The Capital Trails Coalition, in partnership with a team of experts, has developed a report that quantifies the economic, health, and environmental benefits of completing the region’s 881-mile multi-use trail network. 

We will be releasing the report on April 28th at 2pm! 

Vision Zero Conference

Last year we held our 4th Annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit over zoom! This year we will be using the same platform to host our 5th annual Vision Zero Summit. Please save the date for Thursday, June 24th. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

New Protected Bike Lane Network Campaign in D.C.

WABA is hard at work developing the next stage of our protected bike lane network campaign in D.C! In the coming days, we will be rolling out a new bold campaign that is centered around the energy from our volunteers and supporters.

Official Comments and Testimonies from WABA

Testimony for Council Member Mary Cheh’s Roundtable on Transportation After the Pandemic

Letter regarding the Crystal City Bike Network Draft Plans 

Letter to the DDOT Director regarding the lack of a Trails strategy in the moveDC Plans

2021 DC Department of Transportation Oversight Hearing Testimony 

Montgomery County Operations Budget Hearing Testimony

Submitted Sign-on Letter from Environmental Organizations regarding the Connecticut Avenue Protected Bike Lane 

WABA Comment regarding moveDC goals and strategies

Petition in support of Lincoln Road NE Protected Bike Lanes and Traffic Calming

WABA Office of Unified Communications Oversight Hearing Testimony

Also Check out:

  • Stay up to date on what the Capital Trails Coalition is working on by reading their February newsletter here
  • Join Congresswoman Norton for a Surface Transportation Roundtable and share your ideas about surface transportation (buses, Metro, bikes, trains, scooters, and pedestrian safety) in the District! WABA’s ED Greg Billing will be speaking on a panel during the event. The event will take place on April 8th at 6pm, please email NortonEvents@mail.house.gov for the zoom link. 
  • To view all of the budget hearings throughout the region, check out this link
  • Center for Smart Growth Research and Education (NCSG) at the University of Maryland (UMD) is seeking to understand the transportation experiences of Maryland residents and employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Click here to take their survey before May 1, 2021.
  • Active Fairfax Transportation Plan: The ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan will establish a vision and a roadmap for implementation of safe, convenient, and enjoyable streets, sidewalks, bike facilities, and trails in Fairfax County. To provide your input and participate in the development of the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan, click here. Community input will be accepted through Saturday, May 1, 2021.
  • Alexandria released their Draft Transportation Master Plan. Comments due by April 30. Click here to submit feedback.
  • City of Fairfax is seeking public comment on the final draft of their new bicycle plan, Bike Fairfax City. The public comment period is open through April 23, and they invite you to review the plan online and provide feedback via email at bikeplan@fairfaxva.gov. The full draft plan and an executive summary are available to review online: www.fairfaxva.gov/bikeplan.
  • The next Maryland Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee (MBPAC) Meeting will be held online, Friday, April 23, 2021 at 9 am (EST). Additional information, including a draft agenda, will be available on the MBPAC website.
  • VA Bicycle Safety Act Signed into Law!
  • Also the MD Transit Safety & Investment Act is on it’s way to the Governor’s desk for a signature!

Meet Jeslyn Zakes, Our New Membership and Database Coordinator

Hey there! My name is Jeslyn Zakes and I am the newest member of the WABA team as the Membership and Database Coordinator.

Since childhood, I’ve held a very intimate relationship with biking. As a teenager growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where there is minimal public transportation, my bike became a means of freedom. I remember the excitement my family felt when an offshoot of the Empire State Trail—a 750 mile bike path that connects Buffalo to New York City,—was extended to the park at the end of my street. Since then, this trail has become pivotal to my family’s outdoor recreational experience, from long dog walks to bike rides along the Erie Canal.

When I arrived in DC five years ago for college, I was immediately inspired by the variety of ways that residents use bikes to better their lives. I still have a lot to learn about bicycling, but am lucky to be a part of such a vibrant community full of passion and knowledge.

As the Membership and Database Coordinator, I hope to share the excitement that I once felt about a simple bike path with every member, and every bicyclist that I connect with. If you’d like to chat about bikes, databases, membership, or anything really, feel free to reach out via email at jeslyn.zakes@waba.org. Nice to meet you!

Mantenimiento básico de tu bicicleta / / Basic Bike Maintenance

¿Tienes preguntas o dudas de cómo mantener tu bici? ¡Participa de nuestro taller en línea el día 22 de marzo a las 6:00 de la tarde para conocer más! Patricia Miguel, la promotora comunitaria de la Asociación de Ciclistas de la Región de Washington (WABA), y Evelyn Murcia, la coordinadora de eventos y divulgación de BikeArlington, presentarán un curso bilingüe (español e inglés) gratuito en Zoom.

Hablarán sobre cómo revisar tu bici antes de andar, cómo limpiar tu bici, y otros consejos básicos de mantenimiento. Además, tendremos tiempo para contestar tus preguntas y compartir tus propios consejos sobre cómo cuidar tu bici. Al registrarte, te enviaremos un enlace e instrucciones para unirte a la presentación en Zoom. Habrá subtítulos en inglés. Si necesitas acomodaciones o tienes preguntas sobre el acceso o el evento, envíanos un correo electrónico a patricia.miguel@waba.org.

REGISTRARTE/REGISTER

Do you have questions or concerns about how to maintain your bike? Join us for a Basic Bike Maintenance webinar on March 22 at 6:00PM to learn more! Patricia Miguel, Community Outreach Coordinator at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and Evelyn Murcia, Event and Outreach Coordinator at BikeArlington will host a free bilingual (English and Spanish) webinar on Zoom.

They will go over how to do an ABC Quick Check, how to clean your bike, and share other tips about basic bike maintenance. There will also be time to answer your questions and share your own tips on how you take care of your bike. Upon registering, we’ll send you a link and instructions for how to join the Zoom meeting. There will be English captioning. If you need accommodations or have questions about access or the event, send us an email at patricia.miguel@waba.org.

We’re Hiring! 2021 DC Trail Rangers

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

Do you love being outdoors and connecting with people? Want to be part of a collaborative trail team in DC this summer, and be paid to engage with folks about trails and fix trails?

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for two passionate and energetic professional trail champions with a wide range of skills and experiences for our 2021 Trail Ranger Team. We are looking to hire two dependable and thoughtful people. Beyond this, there is not a standard job history, experience of biking, years of experience or skills set for previously successful Trail Rangers. 

These positions are expected to begin April 29th and will end on September 30th, 2021. Pay will be $18.50 per hour for new Trail Rangers, and $19.00 per hour for returning Trail Rangers. These positions are seasonal, full-time opportunities. Shifts will still vary in start time, and will be scheduled on weekdays and weekends. 

About the Trail Rangers Program

WABA’s Trail Ranger program encourages trail use through daily trail presence, community engagement, trail maintenance, and trail user assistance. Reporting to our Outreach Manager, Trail Rangers cover trails within the District, including the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Anacostia River Trail, Marvin Gaye Trail, Oxon Run Trail, and connecting street routes. Trail Rangers act as trail ambassadors, offering a consistent and friendly presence from May through September to make the trails more approachable, enjoyable, and dependable for transportation and recreation.

Intangible benefits include: working outside on those perfect spring days, getting to know your city better through talking with neighbors, and appreciation from fellow trail users. 

You can learn more about the Trail Ranger program here.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Spend the majority of your work hours outside, biking on or between trails (except during thunderstorms and other hazardous conditions).
  • Work in shifts with a partner riding electric-assist cargo bikes at a relaxed, conversational pace on an 8 hour shift.
  • Collaborate with your team member to determine daily priorities and share program information. 
  • Support and encourage trail use with friendly and helpful trail presence, regular maintenance efforts and consistent outreach events.
  • Help lower barriers to bicycling, build community, and build a more robust trail network.
  • Run cleanups and community events with the program coordinator (currently paused, subject to Covid-19 precautions and community spread).
  • Perform trail condition inspections and trail corridor maintenance, including pruning branches, gathering trash, and removing obstructions.

Qualifications

Trail Rangers must have:

  • A proven track record for being dependable, timely, and communicative.
  • The willingness to be positive and engaging in a public setting.
  • The willingness and enthusiasm to work in a collaborative team and as a proactive, self starter. 
  • The capacity to be available for 40 hours per week in 8 hour shifts with weekday and weekend availability. Shifts are generally:
    • 6:30 am – 2:30 pm or 11:00 am – 7:00 pm on weekdays.
    • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on weekends.
  • A commitment to work April 29th to September 30th, 2021.
  • The ability to ride a bike with a willingness to ride in mixed city traffic and off-street trails.
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist.
  • A commitment to respect, include, and be kind to all.
  • An understanding of how race, gender, and other factors shape conversations and experiences. 
  • The willingness to further their knowledge of trail and neighborhood history.

Additional qualifications and experience that are helpful but not required:

  • A proven track record for working collaboratively within a team.
  • Excellent communication skills in informal settings and across lines of difference.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and capacity to innovate.
  • The ability to prioritize and a thoughtful attention to detail.
  • Lived experience with our program trails and the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Working knowledge of basic bicycle maintenance including patching a flat tire and adjusting brakes.
  • Fluency in Spanish, ASL and/or Amharic a strong plus.

Support

WABA is committed to:

  • Teaching you the skills necessary for the job (urban bike riding, basic trail maintenance, basic bike maintenance, how to do bicycle outreach).
  • Ensuring an inclusive, collaborative professional team environment.
  • Run an intersectional outreach program that recognizes the multitudes of identities and promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity for employees and the public.
  • Orientation and team management that prioritizes your well-being, including training in preventing common biking injuries.
  • Doing our best to have a consistent schedule that respects your time and outside obligations. 
  • Providing all the tools, bikes and materials needed to perform the job, including electric cargo bikes.

Benefits

  • This is a full-time, non-exempt, temporary position from April 29th to September 30th 2021.
  • Wages will be $18.50 an hour for new Trail Rangers and $19.00 for returning Trail Rangers. 
  • 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance premiums from May 1st to September 30th. 
  • Sick, holiday, and funeral leave. Employees will accrue 8 hours sick leave per month, and have paid time off for every federal holiday during employment. 
  • WABA supports and promotes the health of it’s staff. You may use accrued sick time for unscheduled leave when not feeling well (mind or body), as well as for scheduled medical appointments.
  • Optional commuter transit benefit (pre tax deduction).
  • A fun and relaxed workplace environment.
  • Passionate, supportive colleagues who are dedicated to working together for our mission and seeing the impact of our work. 

COVID-19 Operational Staff Safety Plan:

WABA expects that COVID-19 precautions will be necessary for all of the 2021 season.

  • Properly worn quality masks will be required on the job at all times, except for distanced water and snack breaks. KN95s and surgical masks will be provided. 
  • The majority of Trail Ranger work will be performed outside, with minimal inside work. Shift setup and breakdown will be staggered between employees to avoid sharing air space. 
  • Trail Rangers should expect to see limited other WABA staff in the office, but they will be working in a separately-ventilated space. 

Apply

This position is full-time from April 29, 2021 through September 30, 2021 for 40 hours per week. 

Please email a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Trail Ranger” as the subject line. Please make sure your application illustrates how you meet the qualifications for the job and what additional skills you would bring to the team. 

Here are some helpful resources as you prepare your job application materials: compilation of resources and resume basics.  

Applications will be accepted until March 15th though candidates are strongly encouraged to apply earlier and a first round of decisions will be made on March 1st. Phone interviews will begin March 25th, hiring decisions will be made by April 16th and team orientation will begin April 29th. 

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

What is the deal with the Met Branch Trail?

When complete, the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) will be an 8.5-mile multi-use trail from Union Station in the District of Columbia to Maryland’s Silver Spring transit hub. With advocacy and concept plans going back 30 years, this rail-with-trail has been a long time coming. So far, about four miles are complete. The remaining pieces can be a bit overwhelming to track, so here is an update on the latest happenings from south to north. For a truly detailed look, you can follow along with this interactive map of the Met Branch Trail’s progress.

8th St. NE in Edgewood

Under the Franklin St. bridge, the Met Branch Trail emerges onto 8th Street NE for a half-mile where walkers move to the sidewalk and people on bikes share the road with cars and trucks. WABA, trail advocates, and the local neighborhood commissioner are pushing DDOT to transform this often stressful road with a two-way protected bike lane on the west side. DDOT has drawn up rough plans and aims to install them in 2021. Click here for more information and to sign our petition in support.

Brookland to Fort Totten

DDOT broke ground on this ~1 mile addition in summer 2018 to link the existing trail on John McCormac Dr to the Fort Totten Metro Station along the Metro and freight rail tracks. Though progress has been very slow due to contractor issues, work is in full swing and expected to be complete by May 2021. Find construction photos and progress updates on the project website.

Fort Totten to Takoma

The last long section in DC runs ~2 miles from Fort Totten to Takoma. In 2017, WABA worked closely with DDOT, neighborhood advocates, and Takoma’s advisory neighborhood commission to solidify the trail’s route along First St. NE, McDonald Pl, and Blair Road NE. In 2020, DDOT began final design, which will be complete by March 2021. Construction is funded and should be done by Fall 2023. 

DDOT is holding a virtual public meeting to present and collect feedback on the current design on February 10th at 6:30pm. The trail will run along Blair Road as a wide side-path as it crosses many wide driveways, parking lots, and business entrances. It also includes needed traffic calming and new pedestrian crossings on Blair, so getting the fine points of design right is critical. Please attend to ensure this trail is a great experience for trail users of all ages.

Get Meeting Details

Takoma’s Main Street

How to route the trail from Blair Road around Takoma’s main street and Metro Station has been a persistent question for the Met Branch Trail since the beginning. The 2011 Environmental Assessment identified two possible routes east and west of the elevated rails tracks in a mix of on-street signed route, protected bike lanes, and off-street trail. The eastern alignment continues the trail at Sandy Spring on Maple, left on Carroll, right on Cedar around the Metro parking lot and up the steep hill on Eastern Ave.

The western alignment takes 4th street to the (now rebuilt) Cedar/Blair Road intersection, squeezes between the building at 343 Cedar St and the rail embankment to meet Spring Street, then right onto Chestnut Street. From here, it either ramps down to the south side of Piney Branch Road or bridges to the north side before joining the existing trail at Eastern Avenue. See this interactive map for more detail.

Until now, DDOT has worked to preserve both routes, while negotiating to add pieces of the trail as part of some recent housing developments. Both routes are still viable, but the western alignment is getting attention first. DDOT has committed to beginning preliminary design of the western alignment starting in Spring 2021.

Eastern Avenue

Work is finally set to begin on a short trail segment on Eastern Avenue between Piney Branch Road and the already-complete trail through Takoma Park, Maryland. This project will repurpose some parking spaces to build a new trail, curb extensions for traffic calming and shorter crossings, and bioswales for some extra greenery and stormwater management. DDOT issued a Notice of Intent in December 2020 and work should start in February 2021.

Montgomery County’s Section

Montgomery County’s ~1.3 miles of the Met Branch are being built slowly but steadily in small segments. More than a decade ago, Takoma Park built it’s half-mile piece on Eastern Ave and Fenton Street. This was extended as part of the Montgomery College expansion that built the footbridge over the Metro tracks, and Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) extended it to King St. in 2018. The Silver Spring Transit Center brought a large stretch, and another piece, so far disconnected, came with the new Progress Place development.

North of King Street, MCDOT will run the trail along the rail tracks, under Burlington Ave in a new tunnel, and alongside Selim Rd. It will cross over Georgia Ave on a new trail bridge and run around the parking lot of the reconstructed historic B&O train station to connect with the trackside Progress Place Trail. Final design has been complete since 2019. MCDOT is in the final stages of obtaining the final permits and sign-offs to move forward with construction. They are planning to put the project out for construction bid in Spring 2021 and could potentially move forward with construction in Fall 2021. Construction will take about 2.5 years.

The final 400 feet will be built as part of the planned Ripley II mixed-use development project which is expected to finish in 2022. At the Silver Spring Transit Center, the Met Branch Trail will directly connect to the Capital Crescent Trail bridge over Colesville Road when the Purple Line project is complete.

Want to stay up to date on the project status? Be sure to follow us on Twitter @TrailsCoalition and sign up for our quarterly newsletter! You can also sign up to receive project updates and notifications here: http://www.capitaltrailscoalition.org/metropolitan-branch-trail/

Online How to: Riding in Traffic

COVID may have thrown a wrench into things, but we still need to get around. For many people, taking public transit just isn’t an option right now. Fortunately, we still have bikes.

Biking is often faster, more enjoyable, liberating and less crowded than the alternative. For those looking to run errands, commute to work or just get around more quickly, we recommend trying it by bike. Streets are not only for cars after all, and often they are the quickest way to travel.

Join us for a lesson on how to ride in traffic and take your riding to the next level. You will learn how to prepare for your ride, where to ride in the road, communicating with motorists and how to build confidence!

Be sure to tune in and bring plenty of questions!

Hosted by WABA Instructor, Leah Fantle.

This online class is brought to you thanks to the generous support of the DC Department of Transportation.

Tune in on Zoom

Add to your calendar by clicking here.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting!
Meeting ID: 991 4625 0045  Password: bike

Online How to: Riding in Traffic

COVID may have thrown a wrench into things, but we still need to get around. For many people, taking public transit just isn’t an option right now. Fortunately, we still have bikes.

Biking is often faster, more enjoyable, liberating and less crowded than the alternative. For those looking to run errands, commute to work or just get around more quickly, we recommend trying it by bike. Streets are not only for cars after all, and often they are the quickest way to travel.

Join us for a lesson on how to ride in traffic and take your riding to the next level. You will learn how to prepare for your ride, where to ride in the road, communicating with motorists and how to build confidence!

Be sure to tune in and bring plenty of questions!

Hosted by WABA Instructor, Daniella Acosta.

This online class is brought to you thanks to the generous support of the DC Department of Transportation.

Tune in on Zoom

Add to your calendar by clicking here.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting!
Meeting ID: 968 5657 1716  Password: bike