7.25.2011

The List Part One

last year there was an opening for the Executive Director at WABA: The Washington Area Bicyclists Association
I applied for this job

I made a list of ideas that I thought I could bring to the interview... I never got the interview
so... I never got a chance to share this list
so... I will share sections of this list in between my rants and my photos

GWADZILLA IDEAS FOR BETTER CYCLING IN THE WASHINGTON DC METRO AREA

GET MORE PEOPLE ON BICYCLES

MAKE CYCLING MORE SAFE AND MORE ENJOYABLE

PART ONE
WABA Minority Outreach Campaign

Create a WABA Staff Position focused on MINORITY OUTREACH
Washington DC is a multi-cultural city. WABA should have a position where minority-specific problems are addressed. This of course includes getting more minorities on bicycles and getting more minorities to become WABA Members.

Within the Minority Outreach Campaign there would be an effort to get more of the DC African-American population on bicycles. In a city with such a high percentage of African Americans, it is incongruous that there are so few African American bicycle commuters. The DC road riding community seems to have a strong African American contingent yet somehow the bicycle seems to be overlooked as a utilitarian device by this demographic. And of course this effort would also extend to try and educate the DC African American population about how to safely drive when approaching a cyclist.

WABA should be Bilingual

There is a large Latino population in Washington, DC, many of whom ride bicycles for transportation and recreation around the city. WABA should work to educate the Latino community about cyclists’ laws, cyclists’ rights, and cycling safety. One initiative of this campaign could focus on educating the Latino community about how to drive around cyclists. WABA could offer bilingual bicycle safety classes and bilingual bicycle repair clinics.

WABA and Sport

I would like to see a greater link between WABA and the various bicycle racing communities. A good number of the people in the area who race mountain bikes, road bikes, or cyclocross bikes are also bicycle commuters as well as family people who ride bikes. Networking with already existing cycling groups would be an easy way to make WABA and the DC cycling community stronger.

There are differences… but there may be benefits to be a certain level of solidarity.

More on WABA AND SPORT…

WABA could build greater awareness if it were to sponsor, not necessarily with money but with promotion, various bicycle efforts in and around the city. There are pushes for A VELODROME, a PUMP COURSE, and MOUNTAIN BIKING in the District of Columbia. These options should be explored. Although WABA cannot spearhead every bicycle related project, WABA can certainly support and publicize various projects around the city.

Personally I think that the time has come to make bicycle riding on the dirt trails of Rock Creek Park legal. WABA should work to get Mountain Biking in Rock Creek Park Legal.

Two additional bicycle sport and recreation issues that could be addressed are Beach Drive on weekends and the Haines Point rides. Sections of Beach Drive are closed on weekends. Although these stretches of road may be closed to through traffic there is still plenty of car traffic either going to one of the many picnic groves or just lost. A flip sign and some police attention could be used along with a campaign to educate the people getting grove permits. The Speed Limit Sign could be a FLIP SIGN with information about slower weekend traffic and yielding to pedestrians and cyclists. It is dangerous to have cars flying through at 45MPH while people are walking their dogs, roller blading, or cycling with their families. As for the education… when issuing the permits the officer on duty could simply remind the park user of the rights of the people on the roads and ask that people in the park observe the speed limit.

Although road cycling is not really my scene, I am still aware of various unofficial group rides. There are lunchtime rides at Haines Point several times a week. This area is for recreation. Why not treat it as such? Let the cyclists maintain momentum and roll through the stop signs. A simple sign stating WARNING: Approaching Cyclists Do Not Stop at the Stop Sign a block before the intersection would do the trick. It should not be that hard.


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