This summer, the Maryland State Highway Administration began a temporary experiment by installing a protected bike lane on MD-193/University Boulevard, between Amherst and Arcola Ave, in Wheaton. But now that the pilot period is over, SHA intends to remove the project on November 14, 2021. We need to act now to insist that SHA keep the protected bike lanes in place permanently!
From everything that we’ve seen, the changes on University Blvd have been a tremendous success. The lanes have made it more comfortable to bike and walk on this stretch of University Blvd, increasing safe access to transit and slowing traffic to the speed limit without creating congestion. The SHA should make these lanes permanent, improve them to better protect people on bikes, and extend them further east and west to bring these benefits to a wider set of users.
Use the form below to email MDOT Secretary Slater and SHA Administrator Smith and take a moment to explain why this is important to you.
This past summer, our advocacy team was busy collaborating with partners and volunteers on the ground—heating up the region with some major victories. Fall has only been hotter, and we’re excited to share some updates with you! Check out our quarterly report, which includes info on campaign updates, the building of new coalitions, upcoming events and actions, and more!
Washington, D.C. Advocacy Updates
Low Stress Bike Network
Our campaign to complete a low-stress bike network in Washington, DC has been ongoing, and our volunteers have been busy working on major projects. Here are some we’d like to spotlight:
The Eastern Downtown Protected Bike Lane. The long awaited 9th St. NW protected bike lane and pedestrian safety project is finally moving again, towards construction in late 2022! In September, WABA held a meeting with volunteers to plan our community outreach efforts to generate support for the project.
Kenyon St. NW Protected Bike Lane. Our volunteers kicked off a campaign to support DDOT extending the Crosstown PBL to 11th NW (at least). Petition & more coming very soon.
Tunlaw / New Mexico Ave NW. There is continued pressure on ANCs & DDOT to build this Glover Park Protected Bike Lane. If you live in ANC 3B and would like to support these efforts, feel free to reach out to us!
I (Eye) St. SE/SW. Getting east to west in Waterfront and Navy Yard is set to be a lot less stressful if DDOT’s proposed protected bike lane upgrade moves ahead as proposed. A petition and public meetings are coming soon.
Protected bike lane installation. Thanks to a newfound drive from DDOT and months of aggressive support from organized advocates, DDOT and NPS are currently (or very soon) installing ~3.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Virginia Ave NW, 15th St. NW, West Virginia NE, New Jersey Ave SE, Water St. NW, and Monroe St. NE. These join the 4+ miles already installed in DC this year.
If you are interested in joining an advocate-driven campaign to build an entire network, head to waba.org/network, click on Join the Campaign and fill out the form! Let’s complete the whole network!
Beach Drive Update
Next Steps. More than 6,500 park lovers have signed our petition with the People’s Alliance for Rock Creek, asking the National Park Service to continue keeping upper Beach Drive car-free after the end of the pandemic. Thank you—you’ve made a huge impact!
More than 2,400 people filed an official comment with the Parks Service over the summer, about the best way to manage the roadway for recreation, conservation, and health. If that’s you, thank you!NPS stated that it will release its recommended action “this fall,” so we expect news in November! You can read our full update here and PARC’s full comments here.
ANC Vision Zero Caucus
Caucus Meetings. WABA’s ANC Vision Zero Caucus met in July and October for official meetings, and we had a social hang out in August!
At the July meeting, Commissioner Eichler facilitated a workshop on how ANC Commissioners can find and use data for their transportation advocacy. You can view a copy of that workshop here.
Commissioner Erin Palmer discussed lessons learned from Sidewalk Palooza and Commissioner Anthony Green discussed how Commissioners can connect with peers east of the river.
At our October meeting, we hosted DDOT Director Lott for a Q&A. Out of that meeting Director Lott agreed to form an ANC Vision Zero Caucus Task Force to reform Traffic Safety Investigations.
Our ANC Vision Zero Caucus is continuing to grow and do amazing work! If you are a Commissioner or know of a Commissioner who is interested in joining our Caucus please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take Action. WABA is continuing to work with coalition partners to move traffic enforcement from DC’s Metropolitan Police Department to DDOT.
Transferring responsibility for traffic enforcement away from the Metropolitan Police Department is simply good policy—it reduces the likelihood of police interactions escalating into violence, since there are fewer reasons for an officer to initiate a stop. Long-term, sustainable traffic safety comes from investing in the built environment and educating drivers, not armed police enforcement.
You can support this campaign and take action here.
Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge
For the past few years, the District Department of Transportation has been quietly advancing plans to rehabilitate the Roosevelt Bridge which carries I-66 and an extremely narrow trail between Arlington’s Mount Vernon Trail and DC’s Virginia Ave NW. The plan includes cantilevering a new 10 ft wide trail on the upstream side, installing new, taller, bike-friendly railings, and lighting improvements.
However, the current plan will only widen the trail on the bridge structure, leaving hundreds of feet of narrower approach trail. This feature will continue to limit the safety, comfort, and capacity of this important interstate connection. Stay tuned for opportunities to push for a complete solution.
Prince George’s County
Southern Avenue Metro Station Area Pedestrian Accessibility. WABA has been attending community stakeholder meetings for the Southern Avenue Metro Station Area Pedestrian Accessibility project.
In June 2021 The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) launched the Southern Avenue Metro Station Area Pedestrian Accessibility Study. The overall goal of the project is to improve neighborhood connections, promote health equity, and stimulate economic growth.
Community engagement is a key component of this study, in order to to center the experience of the people that live, work, shop and worship in the area. If you are interested in getting updates, check out their project page here.
Next DPWT Director. WABA sent a letter to the Prince George’s County Executive and Council regarding the ongoing search for a new Director for the Department of Public Works and Transportation. Some of the priorities we would like to see the new Director focus on:
More inclusive and transparent public engagement.
Commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through less driving in Prince George’s County.
Embrace off-street trails as critical to transportation in the region and making a strong commitment to stronger partnerships with M-NCPPC and other stakeholders to complete and maintain the Capital Trails Network.
A strong commitment to Vision Zero’s safe systems approach.
You can read the full letter here and the response from County Executive Alsobrooks here.
University Blvd Protected Bike Lane project. The pilot of the 1.35 miles of protected bike lanes began on June 19. Dedication of the lanes included speeches by elected County Council and State Representatives, plus the daughter of two parents killed in traffic crashes in nearby Wheaton. The dedication was attended by around 75 people. (Event posting here)
WABA has met with MDOT SHA a few times to suggest improvements and to monitor success from the State’s perspective. WABA, along with the Open Streets Montgomery group is working to continue the pilot beyond the November 14 end date and to convince MDOT SHA to make the lanes permanent, improve the design, and extend the length of the lanes east and west.
WABA coordinated a letter from fifteen Montgomery County and State elected officials to MDOT leadership to support continuing the University Blvd pilot beyond November 14th. You can read that letter here.
Open Streets Montgomery. WABA and Open Streets Montgomery have been meeting with business owners involved in the Wheaton outdoor dining streetery (map link) and with MCDOT to encourage the County to make the streetery permanent.
These two advocate groups have also been advocating to make the streetery in Bethesda (on Norfolk and Woodmont avenues permanent too.
The groups are working to turn the closure of Newell Street in Silver Spring (map link here) into a County park, as well as working with advocates in UpCounty and East County to make transportation related improvements in Germantown and Burtonsville.
People Before Cars Coalition Kick-off! WABA partnered with The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID), Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County, Arlington Families for Safe Streets, and JBG to launch the “People Before Cars” Coalition to unite area organizations around shared priorities to create a safer and more accessible transportation network in National Landing!
The “People Before Cars” Coalition seeks to address community concerns around safety by championing the implementation of best practices in people-centric urban design and planning.
The Coalition is centered on a set of common priorities for key projects and opportunities to enhance multi-modal mobility in National Landing, and will work together to promote those priorities through public outreach, advocacy and engagement with key stakeholders, including Arlington County and VDOT.
The coalition is meeting weekly, and we are currently working on updates to share in the near future!
Funding Priority. Holmes Run Trail is treasured by many residents in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County and trail users were devastated when heavy rain washed out portions of the trail in 2018.
Therefore, WABA, The Capital Trails Coalition, and the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) were thrilled to see that the City has identified repairing Holmes Run Trail as a priority and has fully funded this project. In response to this we sent a letter to Mayor Wilson, Vice-Mayor Bennett-Parker, and members of the City Council to express support. You can read that letter here.
Active Fairfax. WABA, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Audubon Naturalist Society, South County Task Force, Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions sent joint comments in support of the Active Fairfax Transportation Plan Vision, Goals, Objectives, along with some recommendations.
You can read those comments here. If you want to help shape the Active FairFax plan, check out the next community meeting here.
Richmond Highway Main Street Coalition. The residents of Gum Springs, a majority black community, have been fighting the expansion of Richmond highway. The residents believe that the expansion will lead to more traffic deaths.
To fight the expansion, they formed the Richmond Highway Main Street Coalition, and WABA joined the coalition. We look forward to following their lead and supporting their efforts to stop the expansion.
You can read more about the residents’ organization efforts here.
2022 Our Common Agenda
Agenda Released. Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) released the “Our 2022 Common Agenda”
This annual policy briefing book is the road map for state-based policy solutions to address the environmental problems facing Virginia.
Our 2022 Common Agenda is a collection of over 40 issue papers, and WABA co-authored the transportation issue paper. You can read the full agenda here!
We look forward to working with our coalition partners to turn those issues into legislative victories!
Capital Trails Coalition Updates
The Capital Trails Coalition (CTC) has been busy!
Arlington Boulevard Trail. This fall, the CTC hosted a site visit to the future Arlington Boulevard Trail with the Arlington Board Chair Matt De Ferranti. The purpose of the visit was to highlight key gaps and areas for improvement.
Prince George’s County Planning Board Public Budget Hearing. On Tuesday, October 19th, we testified at the Prince George’s County Planning Board Public Budget Hearing. The Planning Board approves MNCPPC’s budget request then submits the budget to the Council for final review. Our two main goals are to see the Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department hire an additional Trail Planner and to add additional dollars to the operating budget for trail maintenance. You can read the full testimony here.
Learn more about what the CTC has been up to here!
Interested in staying up-to-date on trail updates on social media? Follow the CTC on Twitter @TrailsCoalition.
Families for Safe Streets Updates
WABA has been busy collaborating with our Families for Safe Streets chapters throughout the region.
In August, we convened our first Families for Safe Streets regional meeting! In the meeting each group shared updates, we discussed WABA’s 3 year plan in support of the group, the DC-FSS Stories Initiative, and World Day of Remembrance.
Over the last couple of months the chapters have been working on innovative projects to center the voices of residents most impacted by traffic violence.
DC Families for Safe Streets (DC-FSS). DC-FSS will be hosting an InteractiveMemorial Wall at Union Station for World Day of Remembrance from Monday, November 15th through Sunday, November 21,2021 from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm each day.
DC-FSS chapter is coordinating with the Street Smart program, an initiative of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, to install an interactive memorial wall at Union Station in the lead up to and for World Day of Remembrance to create a shared space for those impacted by traffic violence in our region to celebrate the memory of loved ones lost and to share about our lived experiences as victims, family members, friends, and community members.
All are welcome to participate regardless of when, where, or how the crash that touched your life occurred.
Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets (MoCo FSS). MoCo FSS has a steering committee that has met monthly throughout this quarter, creating a web site that will go live soon, and creating policy asks of the State and M0ntgomery County DOT.
MoCo FSS is planning it’s first public event on World Day of Remembrance, November 21 at 4:30pm at the Marian Fryer Plaza next to the Wheaton Metro.
MoCo FSS steering committee members have also been working with the National FSS and Vision Zero networks, as well as having conducted a few memorials for pedestrians and cyclists who have died in Montgomery County the past few months. Email email@example.com if you are interested in getting involved.
Washington Region Vision Zero Summit
Save the date for next year’s Summit on June 9th, 2022! Please contact Hannah.Neagle@test.waba.org if you’re interested in participating in the planning committee or volunteering.
This conference brings together elected officials, decision-makers, advocates, thought leaders, and the private sector to share best practices, insights and innovations to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our region’s streets and highways. Please find more information from the 2021 Summit linked here.
Candidate Forums and Questionnaires. WABA has been convening organizations in DC and MD to collaborate on engagement opportunities in the upcoming 2022 elections in Maryland and Washington DC. Some of the organizations we are collaborating with include CASA-MD, Greater Greater Washington, Jews United for Justice, Sierra Club, Coalition for Smarter Growth, and Open Streets Montgomery.
In Maryland, we will be hosting candidate forums and/or sending questionnaires for the following races: MD Governor, Montgomery County Council and County Executive, Prince George’s County Council and County Executive.
In DC, we will be hosting candidate forums and/or sending questionnaires for the following races: Mayor and DC Council.
In addition, we will be asking all candidates to sign on to a transportation equity platform that will be developed by a coalition of organizations.
Stay tuned for public invites to the candidate forums!
Official Testimonies and Comments Submitted by WABA
Take Action to Keep University Blvd bike lanes in place!
Email the members of the Council to ask that they support Montgomery County’s Thrive 2050’s transportation priorities.
Southern Avenue Metro Station Area Pedestrian Accessibility Study Community Meetings
Prince George’s County ‘The Active Transportation Advisory Group’ meetings
Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group (PYMIG) meetings. The meetings will include updates on Potomac Yard Metrorail Station, City planned pedestrian and bicycle enhancements, planned bus service, construction activity, traffic concerns, and the construction look-ahead schedule.
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s (WABA)Women & Bicycles Program is looking for five volunteer moderators for the Women & Bicycles Facebook group. The 9,000+ member group is a virtual space for women/trans/femme/non-binary folks to ask questions and seek support about biking in the region. The group was created in 2013 and has continued to grow in size with ~3 member requests per day and ~9 posts per day. Since its inception, the group has been run by WABA staff and supported by volunteer moderators.
Moderators will be responsible for spurring conversation, moderating posts, and ensuring member adherence to the group guidelines. In addition to the support from other volunteer moderators, moderators will receive support from the WABA Outreach staff. Particularly challenging moderation will be reserved for WABA Outreach staff. Moderators are required to have some amount of capacity/time for online engagement and must serve a 6-month term commitment.
The Women & Bicycles Facebook Moderators, with support from the WABA Outreach staff, will moderate the group with a thoughtful lens focused on supporting and growing the women/trans/femme/nonbinary bicycling communities in the Washington, DC region.
The five moderators will collectively:
Spur and contribute to group engagement in the online space.
Approve and admin of group membership requests on a twice a week basis. This includes direct messaging reminders to people who haven’t answered all of the required questions.
Moderate posts and conversations in accordance with group guidelines. This includes notifying members who break group guidelines (commonly, compliance with housing availability, for sale posts, and job descriptions).
Notify the WABA Outreach staff in a timely manner (within 24 hours after seeing said engagement) when an engagement needs further staff attention.
Experience with Facebook and its capabilities.
Some amount of capacity/time for internet engagement a few times a week. We would like to have 2-3 people online Monday through Friday and 2 people online Saturday through Sunday. The specific time is not as important as general coverage of moderation duties Monday through Sunday.
Must be able to take on a 6-month term commitment (with the possibility of extension).
Some or lots of experience riding a bike for a variety of reasons including that we are looking for a moderator or two to join the moderation team who does not have much bicycling experience. We acknowledge that this is a great knowledge base for engaging with folks with similar experience levels.
Ability to read written conversations of a diverse community and be able to moderate with an understanding of how the context of power, privileges, and lived experience might be occurring in conversations. This is a shared responsibility and all moderators are expected to call out harmful behavior. *Caveat: really challenging moderation will still be staff only*
If you have this experience or these skills, let us know.
Experience with social media management.
Experience with online platform or group moderation.
Prior membership in the Women & Bicycles Facebook group.
Limited experience with riding a bike is a valuable knowledge base that we look for especially when connecting with those with similar experiences.
Varied experience with biking whether for transportation, recreation, employment, or otherwise.
Knowledge of some history and/or present realities of biking in the Washington, DC metropolitan region will be helpful for providing context to discussions about the built environment.
There will be a mandatory virtual orientation for moderators in which the WABA Outreach staff will facilitate introductions, walk moderators through administrative duties, and discuss the level of thoughtfulness we expect when moderating.
The group guidelines provide moderators and members with a baseline of precedent for group operations.
The WABA Outreach staff will be available to help answer questions and provide comments when asked and ensure moderator tasks are intentional with respect to equity and inclusion amongst the group.
The WABA Outreach staff will handle responding to particularly heated or otherwise complex posts in the Women & Bicycles Facebook group.
Other moderators will be available to answer questions, provide comments, and carry out assigned moderator responsibilities.
The WABA Outreach staff will provide a schedule to act as a reminder and accountability tool so that moderators can share equal responsibility of approval and admin of group membership requests.
At the end of the first month (of the 6-month commitment), moderators will receive a one-year WABA classic membership that they can use for themselves or gift to someone. Moderators will receive the same benefit after any additional 6-month commitments.
WABA empowers people to ride bikes, build connections, and transform places. We envision a just and sustainable transportation system where walking, biking, and transit are the best ways to get around.
HOW TO APPLY
Fill out this application and we will be in touch within two weeks of the application closing on November 10. We anticipate virtual orientation being late November.
Since May 2021, we have been eagerly awaiting a DDOT decision on the future design of Connecticut Ave in Ward 3. At stake is whether Connecticut Ave will be transformed into a safe, multimodal street with protected bike lanes or remain a six lane highway, just for driving. But that project, now funded to move ahead immediately, is stuck waiting for a months-late decision from DDOT.
On Tuesday, October 26, the DC Council is holding a confirmation hearing for Mayor Bowser’s pick to lead DDOT, Everett Lott. He has said publicly, as recently as this week, that this decision is currently on his desk. We think that we and the DC Council deserve a clear answer on Connecticut Ave’s future at the hearing.
If the Mayor and her pick for DDOT Director are willing to go against the declared preferences of all four adjacent ANCs, Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh, immense resident input, DC’s own long range transportation plan, and the simplest principle of putting safety first on Connecticut Ave, then we need to know that now.
Hundreds of resident advocates wrote letters, attended meetings, and waded into difficult community debates. All four ANCs, dozens of community organizations, and businesses supported Concept C which removes the reversible lanes and repurposes driving and parking lanes for protected bike lanes, safer intersections, and slower speeds. You can find more information on the concepts at DDOT’s project page.
You can weigh in three ways:
Sign up to testify at the hearing on Tuesday, October 26 at 12pm – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 724-8062 before Monday at 11am to add your name to the witness list (details here).
Submit written comments for the hearing record – email your testimony to email@example.com or leave voicemail testimony for the Committee by calling (202) 350-1344, which will be transcribed and made part of the hearing record.
Email Committee Chair Mary Cheh and ask that she press Director Lott for a clear answer and a commitment to a Connecticut Ave protected bike lane at the hearing.
For more background and guidance on preparing testimony or speaking at a DC Council hearing, click here.
Thanks for speaking up for a safe, inclusive, and bikeable Connecticut Ave!
Earlier this summer, the Maryland State Highway Administration began a temporary experiment by installing a protected bike lane on MD-193/University Boulevard, between Amherst and Arcola Ave, in Wheaton. But now that the pilot period is over, SHA intends to remove the lanes on November 14, 2021. We need to act now to insist that SHA keep the protected bike lanes in place permanently!
From everything that we’ve seen, the changes on University Blvd have been a tremendous success. The lanes have made it more comfortable to bike and walk on this stretch of University Blvd, increasing safe access to transit and slowing traffic to the speed limit without creating congestion. The SHA should make these lanes permanent and extend them further east and west to bring these benefits to a wider set of users.
To show support for this pilot project, the first of its kind on a Maryland State Highway, send a note to the project team, urging MDOT SHA to continue the pilot indefinitely and to extend the protected bike lanes to a longer stretch of University Boulevard. Make a comment on MDOT SHA’s web site for this project by clicking here.
Here are some helpful points you can make in your own words:
I have loved how safe it is to ride my bike along these lanes
I am now able to use University Boulevard to safely bike/walk to restaurants, retail shopping, and other amenities in downtown Wheaton
Please extend the pilot indefinitely. Do not remove the lanes.
Extend the bike lanes permanently eastward past MD-29/Colesville Road
I love that there is now a safe connection between the Sligo Creek Trail and downtown Wheaton
For the first time, I feel safe walking on the sidewalk along University Boulevard
It is much easier now for Northwood High School students to safely bike and walk to school
I am more likely to bike/walk to the outdoor dining area in Wheaton
It is safer for me to access bus stops along University Boulevard
You can learn more about this project on the SHA project page. Thanks for taking action by writing in support of this vital project!
Your street doesn’t feel safe. How could you change it to make it better? You don’t need a traffic engineering degree to come up with workable solutions that you can share with your neighbors, elected officials, and agency staff.
Let’s start with the basics: Streets and sidewalks are asphalt and concrete, but they’re not set in stone. They’re public space, and they should accommodate everyone’s safety and accessibility needs. In reality, they often don’t. But: how our cities use that public space is a policy decision, and we can change it.
Below we’ll outline a fun, engaging way to explore and visualize options for making a street safer and more accessible using Google Streetview and a free tool called Streetmix.
Step One: Get the facts.
Pull up your street in Google Streetview, or go out and take some photos. If you can do so safely, bring a tape measure and get some numbers.
Key questions to answer:
How many driving lanes are there? Roughly how wide are they?
How many parking lanes are there? Roughly how wide are they?
Streetmix lets you move and resize the elements of your street by dragging and dropping the various elements. It’s pretty intuitive. If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll be able to figure it out. Start by mocking up your street as it is now. Save it so you can refer back. Now, start moving things around. What happens if you replace a parking lane with a bus lane? Widen the sidewalks? Add a protected bike lane?
Explore some options, and invite your friends and neighbors to do so as well.
This video offers a great explanation of a “Road Diet” which is common way to make more space for biking and walking on a street, and may give you some ideas:
Step Three: Reality Check
There’s no single or linear way of looking at a street and figuring out how to improve it. While it’s important to envision something radical, there are some constraints and minimum requirements to consider, some of these are more flexible than others. Take a look at your Streetmix designs and make sure they’re in line with these guidelines:
Standard Bike Lane
One way protected bike lane
Great protected bike lanes are wide enough to comfortably ride at speed, to allow safe passing, and to ride next to someone to carry on a conversation.
Two way protected bike lane
10 ft (11 ft max)
Wide driving lanes have no place in an urban environment because they encourage speeding. Driving lanes should be reduced to 10’, especially on multi-lane roads, to make room for other street users.
Narrower for cars, wider for truck loading zones.
Step Four: Consider scope and timeline
Rebuilding an entire street to expand sidewalks and add high-quality protected bike lanes can be transformative when done right. Sometimes ripping up the whole streets and starting over is the best way to make a street work for its most critical needs. But doing so can also take a decade of planning, engineering and construction.
For quicker results, we can leave the curbs in place and redesign the space between them. Many streets are overbuilt—that is, there are too many, or too wide lanes for driving and parking. Removing or narrowing driving lanes and removing car parking frees up street width for new protected bike lanes, bus platforms, street cafes, and sidewalk extensions built on top of the existing asphalt. See the Road Diet video above for more details. Projects like this are less expensive and easier to execute, so they can be completed on a shorter timeline (as little as a year).
More Detailed Reading: Design Guides & Resources
For inspiration on great street design or more details and guidance on more complicated things like intersection design, explore these resources:
More than 6,500 park lovers who have signed our petition asking the National Park Service to continue keeping upper Beach Drive car-free after the end of the pandemic. Thank you – you have made a huge impact!
More than 2,400 people who filed an official comment with the Park Service over the summer about the best way to manage the roadway for recreation, conservation and health. If so, thank you!
I want to bring you up to date on the status of the campaign for “Rock Creek Park Seven Days a Week.”
The comment period regarding “Concept 1” (restoring weekday commuter car traffic) or “Concept 2” (continuing the current no-through-traffic protocol) has ended. The Park Service is now evaluating the huge number of comments. We know that there was a huge outpouring of interest, but we don’t know the “score” between the options. The Park Service could also choose to come up with a compromise based on time-of-day, day-of-week, season or something else.
NPS stated that it will release its recommended action “this fall,” and we’ve heard that might mean late October. After the announcement, the People’s Alliance for Rock Creek (PARC) – along with everyone else – will have 30 days to comment on the proposal. Then NPS will finalize its decision.
The Park Service says it will maintain the current traffic program (no commuting cars) on upper Beach Drive until any decision is made.
PARC is awaiting the outcome of the formal process, but in the meantime, we do not want this issue to disappear from public awareness. To that end, we are maintaining a three-pronged program:
Getting more petition signatures to show the Park Service how much we care. Our goal is “7,000 Petitions for Seven Days a Week.” Please help! Direct friends and family to our website: waba.org/PARC.
Getting more photographs of happy non-motorized users along upper Beach Drive – in every season, every time of day, using every form of mobility, accompanied by every kind of pet, and enjoying themselves in every possible way. We’ll use some pictures for our website and for our pressure on the Park Service. Send your photographs and your selfies to firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting the word out about Beach Drive on weekdays – before and after work, during lunchtime and other breaks, and on days off. Schedule some personal events and invite your friends to come along – it’ll be double the fun!
Once NPS publishes its recommended action, all of us will need to be ready to spring into action with either praise or an outpouring of criticism. Once again, you will be an important part of this effort, so please stay vigilant. If we don’t succeed this time, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get another chance for a 7-day-a-week park.
The Thrive Montgomery 2050 general plan for Montgomery County was recently passed by the Montgomery Planning Board and is now under consideration by the County Council Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee before the Council votes to adopt it. To lower our carbon emissions and make biking and walking safer, you can show support for this Plan that calls for enhancing our biking, walking and transit networks and plans for people not cars!
Thrive Montgomery 2050 will reduce the County’s reliance on single occupancy autos and prioritize completing safe bicycle and walking networks, especially for the majority of our trips that are under 3 miles in length. Use the tool below to email the members of the Council to ask that they support Thrive 2050’s transportation priorities.
The transportation section of Thrive 2050 (read it in full) proposes decreasing our current dependence on single occupancy cars and calls for providing safer and increased options for walking, biking and use of transit. The Plan calls for a cessation of planning and construction of more highways and road widening, while at the same time creating more space on our roads for biking and walking, especially to reach transit nodes. This means narrowing car lanes, placing more dedicated lanes for transit, widening sidewalks and putting in protected bike lanes. 50% of trips people make each day are less than 3 miles. Thrive 2050’s Complete Streets approach aims to transition these from most driving to biking, walking and transit.
Please email the Council to share your support for the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Plan’s transportation priorities which prioritizes people walking and biking over cars!You can also call your district and at-large Council Members using the phone contact information here. To read the full Thrive 2050 Plan, see the Thrive 2050 website and review the Coalition for Smarter Growth’s summary of the other sections here.
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