MAY 19, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – City officials joined the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) and bicycling advocacy organizations on May 19 at Freedom Plaza for the District’s largest Bike to Work Day (#BTWD2017) pit stop to tout bike safety and accessibility for the region.
“Nine hundred people move to Washington, D.C. each and every month,” District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said in her remarks to the cyclists at Freedom Plaza. “And one thing I know is true— they cannot all drive and we are not growing any more roads, so, we’d better make the best use of the capacity we have,” Bowser said to cheers.
The mayor said that sharing the road with cyclists, ensuring their safety and the safety of pedestrians as well as investment in public transit all contribute to a “vibrant, thriving and growing downtown” and city.
Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, chairman of Metro’s board of directors, on Friday also noted his support for securing dedicated funding for Metro in addition to the strides D.C. has made to integrate biking as a commute mode, including allowing bikes on Metrorail. “Just look at the amount of bike lanes we now have in the District of Columbia,” Evans said.
D.C. Councilmembers David Grosso (At-Large) and Brandon Todd (Ward 4) also addressed cyclists on Freedom Plaza
Friday, as did Greg Billings, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Phil Koopman, co-founder of BicycleSPACE.
“Hosting the Freedom Plaza Bike to Work Day pit stop is just one of the many ways the DowntownDC BID supports bicycling as a commute and overall transportation option,” said BID Executive Director Neil O. Albert. “Biking is not only a healthy and affordable way to travel in DowntownDC, but it helps alleviate traffic congestion in our growing destination for residents, workers and visitors.”
Since the BID’s inception in 1997, the organization has advocated and with partners has helped secure protected bike lanes and cycletracks in DowntownDC. Additionally, the first bikeshare program in the United States, now known as Capital Bikeshare, was piloted in DowntownDC.
In addition to doubling the number of bike spaces in DowntownDC from 2012-2016 in partnership with the District Department of Transportation, the BID in 2017 began installing 50 additional bike racks in public spaces and undertook a new effort to place them in DowntownDC parks.
The BID’s 2017 pit stop featured many partners, supporters and vendors in addition to BicycleSPACE including DC Water, DC Public Library, DC Department of Parks and Recreation, Carmine’s, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC Circulator and SoulCycle.
Bike to Work Day is a national event, which in the D.C. region is hosted by Commuter Connections, the regional network of transportation organizations coordinated by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The regional event is sponsored, in part, by goDCgo, DC Bike Ride, Bike and Roll, Giant and the American Automobile Association (AAA).