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  1. #1
    gwd
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    DC Bike Scene Article

    This article is an overview of the changes going on in the DC biking scene geared toward recreational riding but there is some beneficial backwash for the car-free who get around by bike. I hope that when the national level politicians see their staff members getting around by bike and see us out on the streets hauling groceries and what not they might get a clue that bike transportation isn't so weird.

    http://www.momentumplanet.com/washington-dc

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    That's a cool article.

    I was in DC for the National Bike Summit last week and I happened to see some of the SmartBikes awaiting their riders. I also got to see what WABA was doing. It's an inspiration to other advocacy groups that focus on their local areas.

    If you want national politicians to get a clue. Start with Congressmen James Oberstar (D-MN) and Earl Blumenauer(D-OR). They're leading the peloton on Capitol Hill and Blumenauer is a noted bicycle commuter himself.

    And there is a free bike sharing program for congressmen and women. Write your congressmen and tell them to avail themselves of it.

    Washington City Paper had an article on helmet usage in the March 13-19 issue.

    Last edited by Artkansas; 03-17-09 at 04:53 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  3. #3
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Across the Potomac River lies Arlington, Virginia, a progressive transit-forward county, that is planning its own bike rental program. Unfortunately, because Arlington’s program will not be run by Clear Channel, the systems will not be compatible – a setback that is truly nonsensical in this dense and deeply intertwined region.
    Damn capitalism getting in the way of progress...

  4. #4
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd View Post
    This article is an overview of the changes going on in the DC biking scene geared toward recreational riding but there is some beneficial backwash for the car-free who get around by bike. I hope that when the national level politicians see their staff members getting around by bike and see us out on the streets hauling groceries and what not they might get a clue that bike transportation isn't so weird.

    http://www.momentumplanet.com/washington-dc
    I thought this was the most important section of the article. Implementation of these items would make travel by bike much easier, no doubt. Indeed if all the mayors of all cities would take these under their belts, we could see an explosion of bike commuting traffic.

    Action Items for DC mayor Adrian Fenty

    We hosted a happy hour to get some impressions of DC biking from various riders. The question which received the most response was: “What three changes would you implement if Mayor Fenty appointed you as the DC Bike Czar?” Few could think of only three things and several answers were repeated throughout. The top suggestions were:

    1. Impose a congestion/commuter tax on those who drive into the city from Virginia and Maryland. Since the population of Washington nearly doubles to a million during the work week, it is logical that those drivers who benefit from our roads ought to pay for them.
    2. Install cycle tracks (bike lanes) on all arterials and on all future construction.
    3. Initiate a widespread education campaign about the rules of the road, sharing, and how to be both a safe driver and rider; delivered through PSAs, driver education programs and public schools
    4. Complete the trails that are unfinished, repair those in disrepair, and begin construction on all others.

  5. #5
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    The idaes don't make sense:

    1. Impose a congestion/commuter tax on those who drive into the city from Virginia and Maryland. Since the population of Washington nearly doubles to a million during the work week, it is logical that those drivers who benefit from our roads ought to pay for them - DC residents and the city council want to impose this tax on all commuters inclding (and especailly cars).
    2. Install cycle tracks (bike lanes) on all arterials and on all future construction. - the roads are conjested now. Adding another lane makes auto trafiic worse and the existing bike lanes aren't used by cyclists
    3. Initiate a widespread education campaign about the rules of the road, sharing, and how to be both a safe driver and rider; delivered through PSAs, driver education programs and public schools - who's going to pay for this? This is a city where aids is at least 3% and education hasn't made an impact. A massive awareness campaign is needed and the audience likely doesn't care
    4. Complete the trails that are unfinished, repair those in disrepair, and begin construction on all others. - again, where is the money coming from?
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  6. #6
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    A congestion tax may help discourage driving into the city. But, public transit, especially Metro, has been at record ridership lately, and they're going to have a hell of a time adding more capacity even when the silver line gets finished (whenever that happens).

    Here in Capitol Hill, cyclists use bike lanes. They ride everywhere else, too, but at least they use the lanes when they're on those streets -- even if they ride the wrong way.

    And I agree -- I don't think that education or "awareness campaigns" will help at all. The people who are already the most ignorant aren't going to listen to anyone else. After all, it's how they became ignorant in the first place.

  7. #7
    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    That's a cool article.

    I was in DC for the National Bike Summit last week and I happened to see some of the SmartBikes awaiting their riders. I also got to see what WABA was doing. It's an inspiration to other advocacy groups that focus on their local areas.

    If you want national politicians to get a clue. Start with Congressmen James Oberstar (D-MN) and Earl Blumenauer(D-OR). They're leading the peloton on Capitol Hill and Blumenauer is a noted bicycle commuter himself.

    And there is a free bike sharing program for congressmen and women. Write your congressmen and tell them to avail themselves of it.

    Washington City Paper had an article on helmet usage in the March 13-19 issue.

    Those congressmen aren't the ones who need a clue are they? Maybe you noticed the "taxation without representation" signs? We don't have a vote in congress. I see a person riding a smart bike at least once a day from my office window. I think they are DC employees going between the Reeves center and somewhere downtown. So, was there any good car-free stuff at the Bike Summit? Did you get to bike around DC?

  8. #8
    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    The idaes don't make sense:

    1. Impose a congestion/commuter tax on those who drive into the city from Virginia and Maryland. Since the population of Washington nearly doubles to a million during the work week, it is logical that those drivers who benefit from our roads ought to pay for them - DC residents and the city council want to impose this tax on all commuters inclding (and especailly cars).
    2. Install cycle tracks (bike lanes) on all arterials and on all future construction. - the roads are conjested now. Adding another lane makes auto trafiic worse and the existing bike lanes aren't used by cyclists
    3. Initiate a widespread education campaign about the rules of the road, sharing, and how to be both a safe driver and rider; delivered through PSAs, driver education programs and public schools - who's going to pay for this? This is a city where aids is at least 3% and education hasn't made an impact. A massive awareness campaign is needed and the audience likely doesn't care
    4. Complete the trails that are unfinished, repair those in disrepair, and begin construction on all others. - again, where is the money coming from?
    The commuter tax provides money for 3 and 4 right? I see cyclists in the bike lanes with me every time I use them. Unfortunately, because 3 hasn't been implemented cars like to double park in the bike lanes. The last time I attended an information meeting about bike issues they said that #2 is being implemented as streets are resurfaced to minimize costs. They appear to be doing that. When a major street gets a new surface it also gets striping for the bike lanes. So, we see it happening piecemeal. DC's downtown was laid out before cars so it has these wide boulevards with wide lanes so there is plenty of space for a car lane and a bike lane. The wide lanes are one of the nice things about biking in DC compared with the suburbs.

  9. #9
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd View Post
    Those congressmen aren't the ones who need a clue are they? Maybe you noticed the "taxation without representation" signs? We don't have a vote in congress. I see a person riding a smart bike at least once a day from my office window. I think they are DC employees going between the Reeves center and somewhere downtown. So, was there any good car-free stuff at the Bike Summit? Did you get to bike around DC?
    Plenty of congressmen and congresswomen need a clue. But it's a start.

    Yes I saw the "taxation without representation" license plate holders.

    Lots of good car-free stuff. You must remember that this was essentially a lobbying effort rather than designed to reach out to the public. So there was not so much as a specific program about car-free living, but that you got many car-free types together talking their mind to congress and that much of what was talked about was good for car-free such as talking about mass transit and bicycles. Bills like the "Complete Streets" bill and the "America Bikes" adgenda should help the car-free trundle down the road.

    I got to see a bit of DC during the "Congressional Bike Ride". It's a lot nicer than Little Rock for bicycling. though it was snowing while we rode.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  10. #10
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Yes I saw the "taxation without representation" license plate holders.
    (maybe a small point, but..)

    For those who aren't here and haven't seen them, they're not even license plate holders -- the plates themselves have "Taxation Without Representation" printed on them. You just can't get away from them. The previous mayor pushed to have it printed on the plates as a sort of public protest.

    DC is all about protesting. Here in the middle of the city, there are four things to do -- tourism, lawyering, intern sex, and protesting.

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    (maybe a small point, but..)

    For those who aren't here and haven't seen them, they're not even license plate holders -- the plates themselves have "Taxation Without Representation" printed on them. You just can't get away from them. The previous mayor pushed to have it printed on the plates as a sort of public protest.

    DC is all about protesting. Here in the middle of the city, there are four things to do -- tourism, lawyering, intern sex, and protesting.
    You can forgive me when I assumed they were holders. Not the kind of thing a government agency would usually put on it's license plates.

    But here they are....

    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  12. #12
    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post

    Lots of good car-free stuff.
    What about the schwag? I hope they've stopped giving out biker water bottles at these things.

  13. #13
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd View Post
    What about the schwag? I hope they've stopped giving out biker water bottles at these things.
    Nope! I got mine, insulated and everything. They also gave out some good little Cateye headlamps that came in very handy because I was staying in a 6 person Hostel room and it was perfect for finding stuff in your locker when the roomies had the room dark and were attempting to sleep. The bag they put the stuff in was pretty well designed.

    Beyond that, was a nifty bicycle pin to identify ourselves as summit members around town and on Capitol Hill. They were handy. I took a short while to go up to Dupont Circle for an informational interview and as I was waiting in the Metro station, a man in suit and tie noticed my pin and we started talking. Turned out he was also at the Summit. But he was a little unsure of the fastest way to the Rayburn Office Building. So we travelled together. At the end of the summit while walking through the Mall, I was passed by a couple of tourists who had noticed all the people with the bicycle pins and were commenting to each other. So I took a moment to explain to them what it was all about.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  14. #14
    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    They also gave out some good little Cateye headlamps that came in very handy because I was staying in a 6 person Hostel room and it was perfect for finding stuff in your locker when the roomies had the room dark and were attempting to sleep. The bag they put the stuff in was pretty well designed.
    Did you stay at the Hostel on 11th street? I know several people who lived out of that Hostel when they first came to DC without a job. There are a couple more Hostels a few blocks from my home but I think they're focused for these international student programs.

    It reads like the schwag served a purpose in getting people to talk to each other. I met a woman with a nice Timbuk bag with big summit logos.

  15. #15
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd View Post
    Did you stay at the Hostel on 11th street? I know several people who lived out of that Hostel when they first came to DC without a job. There are a couple more Hostels a few blocks from my home but I think they're focused for these international student programs.

    It reads like the schwag served a purpose in getting people to talk to each other. I met a woman with a nice Timbuk bag with big summit logos.
    Yes, we stayed at Hostel International on 11th and K. There was quite a mix of people. I think that one of the people in our room was staying there while he got established. He was the one always getting to bed early so we had to rummage through our stuff with a flashlight. While it was always humming, it wasn't nearly as wild as some of the Hostels I stayed at in Europe, especially one in Copenhagen called "Active University".

    Yes, the pins and the bags helped you identify each other when not in the meetings. There was some kind of GSA (General Services Administration) convention in the same area at the same time, but it wasn't hard to tell which crowd was which. My bag wasn't a Timbuk, but it was big enough that I used it to when going around to the legislators.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 03-20-09 at 03:01 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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