Dear WABA Members, Supporters, and Friends,
I wanted to write to you directly as I end my first calendar year at WABA to reflect briefly on where we have been and set the stage for where we hope to go in 2011. To keep from getting too long-winded, I've worked with the WABA staff to boil the 2010 year in review into a quick Top 10 List, with achievements in no particular order:
1. Adoption of a Complete Streets Policy in DC. This has long been a priority of WABA's, and with ongoing advocacy capped by a stong petition campaign in early October, DDOT has adopted a Complete Streets policy that includes bicycle and pedestrian level of service (LOS) metrics for roadway projects.
2. Opening of the Southern Portion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. After years of work and planning by WABA staff and volunteers, numerous other advocacy groups and funders, and local officials, we were able to celebrate the opening of a significant portion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail this year.
3. The Launch of Capital BikeShare in Arlington and DC. It's beating all projections, getting more people on bikes, and showing that bike sharing can work in the U.S. And it's set to expand soon.
4. Increased Member Communication. With our new website, blog, and forum, we are better able to communicate with you, understand your priorities, and work with you to advocate for better bicycling in the region.
5. Successful Executive Director Transition. This is not meant to sing my own praises, but rather to say that a nonprofit's ability to manage a leadership transition is a key indicator of its strength, and under the leadership of our active Board of Directors, WABA has transitioned smoothly and continues to pursue its mission.
6. Record-setting Event Attendance. In 2010, we had the largest Bike to Work Day, 50 States Ride, and Vasa Ride in the organization's history.
7. Substantial Adult Education Growth. In our Confident City Cycling and Learn-to-Ride classes, WABA taught over 3,900 adults how to ride, or how to ride more safely.
8. Quality Bike & Pedestrian Education for Youth. Through school-based curriculum, WABA delivered bike and pedestrian safety information to over 8,500 elementary school students.
9. Bike Parking Program. After securing a transportation enhancement grant, WABA initiated a program to install bike racks in the District and provide valets for neighborhood events to encourage people to go by bike. In surveys asking why people don't bike, "lack of bike parking" is always in the top five. We're combating that problem.
10. Roadway Infrastructure Improvements. There are too many to count. The high-profile ones include the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes and 15th Street cycletrack, but these are just the tip of the iceberg.
But we still have more to do. We still have trails that need improvement and connections that must be made. We still have significant issues that require response, whether through improved infrastructure, enforcement, or education. And we still have hundreds of thousands of people who should be on bikes but aren't yet.
We want a region in which all can safely bicycle from their doorsteps to their destinations, with a network of well-built and well-maintained trails and properly-designed streets that account for bicycle level-of-service.
And we want many, many more people on bikes in 2011. In addition to our annual events, please watch for other activities taking place throughout the region, outside our core areas of support. For 2011, we have already penciled in additional outreach events in Montgomery County and a mobile bike shop to serve DC east of the Anacostia, and we plan to intensify our efforts to attract cyclists with outreach events throughout the region to bolster our local advocacy capacity.
For those who simply cannot wait for the next WABA Event, our New Year's Resolution Ride is January 8th. And we hope that even if you aren't up for the winter ride you will take the time to consider signing our New Year's Resolution for Responsibility at www.waba.org/resolution.
And finally, I also want to offer my sincere thanks to those of you who have contributed--whether through your advocacy efforts, your financial pledges, or your volunteering of time--to making 2010 a successful year for WABA. In this time of difficulty for many nonprofits we have not been spared the need for significant belt-tightening. But thanks to your ongoing support, we have been able to continue to deliver on our mission.
So as we move into 2011 (and remembering the Tip O'Neill maxim that "People like to be asked"), I would like to ask you for your continued support of WABA and bicyling in the region through whatever means best suits you.
- If you are not a member, we would value your membership. Membership dues fund many of our advocacy activities and our political strength is derived from our numbers.
- If you are a member and are able to make an additional year-end gift, we would appreciate that further financial support.
- If you believe in riding responsibly, recognize the value of leading by example, and will help us rebut those who might attempt to minimize our right to equality on the roadways by saying that cyclists are irresponsible, dangerous, or scofflaws: please take a moment to sign our Resolution to Ride Responsibly.
- If you want to keep up-to-date on the latest WABA and cycling news, alerts, and events, follow WABA on Facebook or add our Quick Release blog to your RSS reader.
- And if you would like to help us get more people on bikes by volunteering at events to help with rides, or just to share your enthusiasm for biking: Tell us here.
And again, thank you for all your support.
Washington Area Bicyclist Association