2010 was a big year for biking in Arlington. More people are talking about biking, and yes, more people are actually doing it. Biking became safer through improved infrastructure and education, and there are now more options than ever to go by bike. Read on for a summary of bike initiatives, activities and improvements from 2010. It’s a long list, so we have broken them down into the categories of Encouragement, Education, Engineering, Evaluation, Enforcement. These are the same 5 E’s that the League of American Bicyclists uses to rank Bicycle Friendly Communities – Arlington ranks as silver.
Here’s to even more progress and hopefully a gold ranking in 2011!
●Launched a new and improved BikeArlington.com website built on a new platform that incorporates Web 2.0 and social media outlets:
www.BikeArlington.com and an online forum went live on January 1, 2010 to coincide with Chairman of the Arlington County Board Jay Fisette’s announcement of the 2010 Bicycle and Pedestrian Access and Safety Program.
The BikeArlington Twitter account continued to gain momentum throughout the year and the bike forum expanded regionally through partnerships with goDCgo, WABA and now has almost 1,500 posts. The forum can be found at WashingtonAreaBikeForum.com
●Expanded Bike to Work Day to include three pits stops in Rosslyn, Crystal City and Ballston:
Bike To Work Day was held on May 21st. Rosslyn hosted 700 attendees, Crystal City hosted 406 attendees and Ballston hosted 314 attendees, which in total was the highest number ever for combined Arlington County pit stops. Additional media attention was garnered from the announcement of the new Capital Bikeshare regional bike sharing system.
●Continued on the past successes of the annual "Bike DC – The Washington and Arlington Community Bike Ride" event:
Right on the heels of Bike to Work Day, Bike DC was held on Sunday, May 23rd and more than 3000 riders from across the region participated. Breakdown of Jurisdiction Registered riders: Arlington - 443, Alexandria - 278, DC - 718, Maryland - 690
●Launched Capital Bikeshare regional bike-sharing service at a joint kickoff with the DC Department of Transportation:
Capital Bikeshare launched on September 20th to major media coverage including Fox TV and Washington Post front page of the Metro section. With 114 stations across the region (14 in Arlington, 100 in DC) membership quickly reached more than 5,000 members and more than 100,000 trips in the first two and half months. The program is changing the face of transportation in the region and a winter contest is slated to begin January 1st to encourage cold weather ridership. Capital Bikeshare Facebook and Twitter accounts both have more than 1100 very active members.
●Promote the the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Program to bring bike culture into workplaces:
Through a region wide workshop and with the assistance of BikeArlington six new Arlington businesses won Bicycle Friendly Business Awards in September, making a total of seven nationally recognized BFBs in Arlington. BikeArlington and Arlington Transportation Partners continue to assist businesses in applying for this program. The complete list of Arlington BFBs is as follows:
Silver: Arlington County Government, Corporate Executive Board, Crystal City BID, Destination Sales and Marketing Group, Phoenix Bikes, Revolution Cycles (awarded in 2009)
Bronze: Java Shack
●Assisted with Arlington’s Car-Free Diet campaign to promote biking:
BikeArlington assisted with the Ross & Todd Car Free Skeptics campaign on their efforts to go car free for 30 days by providing bike mentoring and routing. In the end both Ross and Todd successfully completed the challenge and Ross even ended up selling his car!
●Collaborated with Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) on outreach efforts to make workplaces, properties and hotels more bike-friendly:
All ATP commuter services for businesses, commercial properties and residences included the promotion of bikes for transportation. While touching on all urban villages in Arlington, ATP’s fall “Redefine Your Commute” campaign centered on Crystal City with a focus on Capital Bikeshare and cycling in general.
●Established partnerships with Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and other organizations to promote biking:
We are lucky in Arlington to have such great partners in the BIDs and local alliances. The Crystal City BID is a shining example. Sponsorship of Capital Bikeshare and the Revolution Cycles City Hub program, hosting the finish line activities of Bike DC, and running a successful Bike to Work Day pitstop are just a few of the endeavors that the Crystal City BID committed to in 2010. That’s more than most states do in a year to promote bike culture! The Ballston Partnership also assisted with the Bike to Work Day pitstop in Ballston and are keen to raise the status of biking in Ballston now that they are becoming a fully fledged BID. The Potomac Yard Transportation Management Area also provided funding for a Capital Bikeshare station in their area.
●Developed and printed a new and improved Arlington County Bike Map:
Arlington already has a great bike map--and it's about to get even better! BikeArlington along with Arlington County planners and engineers, with feedback from the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee, have worked together to finalize a new bike network. A completely new map will be distributed in January 2011.
●Organized and promoted bicycle related community events to build bike culture and encourage more bike use:
BikeArlington attended and promoted many group rides put on by local bike shops including the Conte’s Tuesday Night bike ride and the Revolution Cycles City Hub Hub Spins, Lunch Spins and Ugly Sweater Ride. Additionally, BikeArlington took part in community events such as the St. Patrick’s Day parade through Clarendon, the Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment Green Living Expo and the Arlington County Fair.
Playing on last year’s success, BikeArlington held three more Lights for Bikes giveaway events through which more than 100 sets of front and rear bike lights and reflective bands were given away to those who would otherwise ride without them.
For a recap of and video tour of Arlington County’s highlights in 2010 check out the below video:
The BikeArlington Year End Review will continue next week with the summary of education and engineering activities. Check back then for the details on Arlington’s bike safety classes and bike lane additions.
BikeArlington is an initiative of Arlington County, Virginia to encourage and enable more people to go by bike more often. To stay up to date on biking in Arlington, follow BikeArlington on Twitter or visit the Washington Area Bike Forum.