I'm sending a quick note to let you know that things are getting busy around WABA on all fronts--advocacy, outreach, education, and events--and to ask for your support during this busy season. Whether that support comes in the form of time and energy or money is up to you, but I am asking that everyone who bikes and benefits from the work that WABA does take one concrete action to help us push for better biking in the next two months.
- Next week the DC Council will hold it's budget hearing for DDOT. There is an impression among some that biking has grown so much in the District that little more is needed. We need to let Council know that's simply not true, and ensure that DDOT has local funds to improve the bicycle network.
- The same day, in Silver Spring, I will be meeting with MCDOT and representatives of a group that opposes the trail's grade separated crossing of Georgia Avenue. Cyclists have already been asked to compromise on the Capital Crescent Trail's crossing of Wisconsin Ave. We need to make it clear that we will not allow additional trail projects to be undermined.
- Meanwhile, April and May is the busiest time for our biking skills and safety classes. We will be teaching over a dozen classes between now and the end of May to reach those people interested in trying biking, but needing some advice or confidence to give it a try.
- And we will be doing many hours of bike outreach, both in underserved communities as part of our equity programming to ensure region-wide growth of biking and bike infrastructure and through our promotion of Bike to Work Day. (We already have nearly 4,000 people signed up for BTWD, and we want to exceed the 11,000 who signed up last year to continue to demonstrate the growth of cycling in the area.)
These are just the broad strokes. We're also doing the things we do every day: answering the phones when cyclists call in need of advice, advocating for better enforcement, commenting on roadway plans to ensure the needs of bicyclists are considered, and proposing legislation to make biking easier and bicyclists safer.
So here is what I'm asking of you: Take at least one concrete action today to support what WABA is doing.
- If you are not a member, make becoming a member your action. Your membership gives us not only financial support, but adds to the strength of our collective voice as we advocate for improvements.
- If you are already a member, consider making an additional donation to support our regional advocacy work and our equity programming that promotes the growth of cycling in areas where we do not yet have a strong core of members.
- If you cannot make an additional financial contribution at this time, help us by calling your elected representatives and asking them to support better bicycling outreach and education. Our voices are often heard on road and trail infrastructure matters, but as Bike to Work Day approaches, let your representatives know that the day-to-day work of encouraging people to bike, answering their questions, and teaching them to ride safely matters as well.
April and May are critical for biking in the region. This is the time that attention is focused on what we do, and we need to make our voices heard now to set the stage for better bicycling.
The WABA staff have ten voices. The WABA Board has 13 voices. And WABA members add 5,000 more. With these voices working together we have done some amazing things through four decades of bike advocacy.
But today I am asking 30,000 regional cyclists to take one concrete action to add your voice to ours. Imagine what the future of bicycling in the region could be with that added strength of 30,000 people working together.
Please do your part by taking that one concrete action to add your voice to ours and support our work to bring better bicycling. With big hearings and decisions coming in multiple local jurisdictions in the next two weeks, the time to be heard is now.