In mid-March I spoke to the Lyon Park civic association about biking in Arlington. This was one of many presentations I have done and will continue to do to reach out to the Arlington community about bicycling. The President of the civic association, Elliott Mandel, actually centered the whole meeting around biking and invited representatives from our very own Revolution Cycles shop in Clarendon and Arlington's Program Manager for Capital Bikeshare.
We had about 30 people sit and listen to our presentations. Not only did they sit and listen, they contributed with questions, concerns, and advice. The majority of the people in the room already rode bikes for leisure, commuting, or running errands. They were very enthusiastic about biking and extremely supportive of the new Capital Bikeshare station slated to go in at 7th St N and Washington Blvd this Spring.
The saying "it takes a village to raise a child" has been used over and over again and applied to numerous different situations. In this case, it takes a village to raise a bike friendly community - and that's exactly what I witnessed at Lyon Park. One woman who rides her bike to work (in DC), told me that her daughter also does the same thing. I used to live in the neighborhood and would always pass by children on bikes and scooters on the bike path, as well as kids in the park with their bikes strewn about the grass. I have also personally witnessed several parents walking their kids to school which is very encouraging to see because the children will learn at an early age that it's good to walk and bike to school.
Lyon Park is a great example of how a community can foster a bicycle friendly neighborhood simply by teaching your kids at a young age that it's possible to bike to the park or to school, and also by practicing what you preach and using your bike as often as possible. There are many other neighborhoods in Arlington that I've visited and spoken to who share some of the same qualities and, with some extra attention, could really support bicycling in their community. That's what BikeArlington is all about and that's what we plan to do!
Zanna is the Events and Outreach Coordinator for BikeArlington. She bikes to work and loves hearing people's stories about how they got started with bike commuting. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or visit the Washington Area Bike Forum.