Entries tagged: Washington Dc

Update on WABA Efforts “East of the Anacostia”

imageIn March, I wrote a post that looked at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s efforts in the District’s underserved Wards 7 and 8. Back then, the “East of the Anacostia” initiative was in its infancy, a proposal with a list of objectives that aimed to encourage residents to realize the positive benefits of biking.

Much has changed since my last post. In just four months, the “East of the Anacostia” program has made amazing headway. In its first phase, the initiative focused on increasing the number of bikes on the road in this area by running free classes for beginner cyclists, providing free bike repair and maintenance, and hosting a “Get on a Bike Contest” in which residents wrote in to the organization to describe how a bicycle would affect their lives.

Just last week, WABA announced the winners of the contest and provided five Ward 7 and 8 residents with brand new Jamis commuter bikes, helmets and locks. Another 50 residents received free Capital Bikeshare memberships. Applicant responses varied from saying a bicycle would lead to increased physical activity and improved personal well-being, to stating that a new bike would give the gentle nudge needed to begin bike commuting.

One contest winner, Keith, had previously considered using his bike to get to work, but just needed a final push to get his wheels rolling. “I would like a bike so that I can begin to commute to work,” Keith wrote. “I currently drive and would like to change that habit. It really isn’t that far and it’s about time that I joined this bicycle movement.” Another winner, Sondra, felt that a new bike would help improve not only her lifestyle, but also the habits of her friends and family. “In the long run it will make me stronger and healthier, and I envision that others will be encouraged by me and will want to follow suit,” Sondra said.

Now that they’ve help lay the foundation, WABA will be working with these cyclists to ride together and more regularly. Want to know the latest? Keep up with the progress of the East of the Anacostia initiative on WABA’s blog.

Photo: Smiling faces at the Anacostia Library mobile bike shop in May (WABA)

Posted by camie@PeoplePoweredMovement.org on July 20, 2011
Tags: washington dc, washington area bicyclist association, east of the anacostia initiative
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Complete Streets Victory in the Nation’s Capital

imageIt’s been a pretty stellar week for proponents of Complete Streets.

As Stefanie Seskin notes on the National Complete Streets Coalition blog, a new round of grant funding announced yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation is dedicating millions to projects that advance complete streets policies. From Illinois to Georgia, TIGER II dollars will bolster projects that account for all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders.

But DC isn’t just dishing it out. The nation’s capital inked its own complete streets policy this week, too.

In early October, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association started a petition campaign with a simple slogan: The District Deserves Complete Streets. As executive director Shane Farthing wrote on the Quick Release Blog, plenty of other jurisdictions — including the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia — had already enacted complete streets.

“Despite its world-class Metro system, its renowned L’Enfant streetgrid, its forward-thinking transportation leadership, the District of Columbia has no such policy,” Farthing wrote. “In the District, there is no law, rule, or even publicly stated commitment to ensuring that our roadways and streetscapes — our most basic public spaces — serve all users… As new leadership comes to the District and we continue in our daily travels to see dangerous intersections, near-misses, and disconnected sidewalks and bike lanes, we need to show DDOT and the District’s leadership that while we appreciate the individual projects and upgrades, we believe this holistic change in approach is important and that public space should be serve the entire public — not just motorists or just cyclists or just the able-bodied. Everyone. That is why we at WABA are launching a campaign for Complete Streets in DC.”

Well, mission accomplished!

Yesterday, WABA members, like me, got a celebratory e-mail: “I am writing to you to share the exciting news that DDOT Director Gabe Klein has signed a Complete Streets Policy ensuring that both bicyclist and pedestrian level-of-service will be considered in every significant roadway project! This is a huge step forward for the District, and comes as a direct result of WABA’s campaign initiated several weeks ago. Thank you to the over 350 DC WABA members and supporters who signed our petition. Your voice was heard, and DDOT now has a policy mandating that the needs of cyclists, pedestrians, and all roadway users be balanced in their projects.”

Read more on the WABA blog — or click here to send a thank-you e-mail to DC officials.

10th National Bike Summit Paramount Event

imageAccording to the League of American Bicyclists, “The 10th National Bike Summit ended last Thursday, March 11th, with a momentous Congressional Reception, inspiring bike advocates from around the country – and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood – to bring the American bicycle movement to the next level! The 2010 Bike Summit was a paramount event for countless reasons but there are 10 clear highlights. Drum roll please…

10. Rewards for A Decade of Service – The Summit really wouldn’t be what it is today without the ongoing support of three people we recognized for their decade of commitment to the event: Congressmen Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have spoken at all ten Summits, offering words of wisdom and inspiration; always challenging us to aim higher. The third award was to Bikes Belong, the title sponsor of all ten – a serious financial commitment which they exceed every year by also drumming up attendees. Thank You! Just before the Summit kicked off, at the League’s annual meeting, we also recognized more than a decade of service by outgoing Chair of the League Board, Amanda Eichstaedt. She received the Paul Dudley White award for her contribution to bicycling over the years, including service on the League board and as Chair of the board for the past three years.

9. The League’s six asks for the Congressional Lobby Day were well received by our nation’s Senators and Congressmen.  H.R. 4722, the Active Community Transportation of Act of 2010, had nine additional bill co-sponsors as a result of our meetings on Capitol Hill.

8. Bike/Ped Eligibility for Transit Funds Increased – Speaking at the opening plenary of the Summit, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff confirmed that the eligibility of FTA funds for bicycling and walking projects has been extended. Following a Federal Register notice last year, FTA has agreed that bicycling projects that increase access and service to transit facilities are eligible for FTA funding provided they are within a three-mile radius of a transit station (one mile for walking). Eligibility doesn’t guarantee any more funding for bike/transit projects, but certainly removes a major hurdle that has prevented it in the past.

7. The Bikes Belong Coalition Political Action Committee (Bike PAC) – the bicycle industry’s bipartisan political action committee – had 10 members of Congress join the meeting!

6. Bikes Belong rolled out their new campaign People for Bikes – a brand-new initiative to put more people on bikes more often.

5. We had two members from Capitol Hill join us for the 10th Annual Congressional Bike Ride – Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Senator Merkley (D-OR)!

4. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) pedaled a pedicab at the League’s National Bike Summit the afternoon of the Lobbying Day.

3. Google announced at the Opening Plenary Session at the National Bike Summit an addition to their suite of online directions -  Google Maps biking directions! “This new tool will open people’s eyes to the possibility and practicality of hopping on a bike and riding,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists.

2. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood energized and thanked the crowd at the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit on March 11, 2010 declaring, “You have a full partner in Ray LaHood.” On March 15, LaHood issued his new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. LaHood then made the most substantial statement the DOT has ever made about bicycling and announced, a “sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”

And finally, the number one reason the 10th Annual Bike Summit Rocked…
1. More than 725 bicycle advocates, educators, enthusiasts, and industry leaders attended the 10th Annual National Bike Summit and had more than 425 scheduled meetings on Capitol Hill! That is approximately 600 more Bike Summit attendees than we had 10 years ago!

To recap, the National Bike Summit was a great success, and the League is confident in the progress we will make in the year to come in conjunction with the Bike Summit! The League thanks all of our sponsors, advocates, supporters and industry leaders who turned out in record numbers to support the cause we all know will make America a healthier, better place to live – bicycling”.

For more summit news and information visit http://www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit10/index.php

DC Bike to Work Day Draws Thousands

Man Biking to WorkAccording to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, “Thousands of bicyclists turned out to celebrate Bike to Work Day 2009 at locations in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia.  Over 8,000 people signed up to participate in advance of the event, which set a new record for registrations. Bicyclists gathered at a total of 26 “pit stops” featuring entertainment, food, drinks, and raffles.  Experienced WABA volunteers helped lead “commuter convoys” from across the area to Freedom Plaza and other pit stop destinations. Convoy leaders assisted participants with safe riding and equipment tips as well as showing riders the best route to their destination.”

For more information, click here…

Posted by brighid on June 11, 2009
Tags: washington dc, washington area bicyclist association, waba, bike to work day
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WABA Wins New Bike Safety Bill for DC

The City Council of Washington, DC recently passed the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 at the urging of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA).  Following the death of cyclist Alice Swanson in Washington, DC last summer WABA worked hard with their local political leaders to pass a bill that would better protect cyclists on the city’s streets.  The bill requires advanced bike and pedestrian safety training for the drivers of city-owned heavy vehicles, mandates blind spot mirrors, blind spot warning stickers, and rear wheel under-run guards on the city’s heavy vehicle fleet, adds a new fine for driving in bike lanes, and establishes a three foot passing law.

Click to read more...

Posted by 000joshua on February 25, 2009
Tags: washington dc, washington area bicyclist association, waba, bike safety bill
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