DowntownDC BID and Local Leaders Gear Up for Bike to Work Day May 15

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

By Rachel Rose Hartman

If you're curious about a two-wheeled commute or are already a regular bicycle commuter, join the DowntownDC BID and 10,000 D.C. Metro-area riders and register for Bike to Work Day on May 15. This annual regional event celebrates all things biking and promotes biking as a regular form of commuting.

Bikers in the D.C. region can start their day by riding to a pit stop of their choice; there will be more than 75 pit stops operating that morning and a few in the afternoon.

At Freedom Plaza (14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) from 7-9 a.m., the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) will once again host the largest pit stop in D.C. and is expected to draw a number of local leaders to address the crowd.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and D.C. Councilmembers David Grosso and Brianne Nadeau are among the elected officials planning to attend.

Freedom Plaza cyclists will have access to bike-related demonstrations, including an empty DC Circulator bus facilitated by goDCgo, which will be parked at the plaza to allow bikers to practice loading and unloading their bike from the bus' front bike rack.

Cyclists at Freedom Plaza can get their bikes parked by Two Wheel Valet, walk the BicycleSPACE red carpet to a photo booth where they can commemorate the occasion, or test a Riide electric-assist bike or a Pedicab (care of National Pedicabs) in the Pennsylvania Avenue cycletrack. Attendees can collect their free t-shirt (for which they’ve pre-registered here at biketoworkmetrodc.org) enjoy coffee, water from DC Water, KIND bars, snacks from Whole Foods, enter to win prizes and more.

[Interested in volunteering at the Freedom Plaza pit stop? See information below]

Last year, 982 bikers registered for the Freedom Plaza pit stop where, despite a deluge of rain, cyclists heard from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak and District Department of Transportation Interim Director Matt Brown in addition to testing out bike-related products, enjoying hot coffee, getting free giveaways and more.

[Read more about last year’s event and watch a video of Lushniak addressing the crowd here.]

Participants across the region can pre-register online to participate in Bike to Work Day by May 8 to receive a free t-shirt (for the first 14,000 registrants) at your chosen pit stop location.

The BID’s entire 138-block area was designated by the BID in 2011 as the DowntownDC ecoDistrict as part of an effort to enhance living, working and visiting Downtown and last year unveiled a Healthy Communities initiative to promote healthy options available 24-7 in the BID.

The BID supports commuting by bicycle as a sustainable form of transportation and a way to help the District meet its Sustainable DC Plan goal of having 75 percent of all commutes to be non-auto by the year 2032 and for 25 percent of all commutes to be walking or biking. The BID in February won the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s (WABA) Bicyclists’ Choice award for “bike friendliest neighborhood or BID.”

The BID, formed in 1997, has successfully advocated for and helped implement cycle tracks, protected bike lanes and bike parking in Downtown. The BID in 2012 began working to double the number of Downtown bike parking spaces in three years—roughly 400 more places to park a bike—and is on track to achieve that goal by the end of this year. The DowntownDC BID was also home to the first bikeshare program in North America—what today is known as Capital Bikeshare.

For more information on Bike to Work Day, visit www.biketoworkmetrodc.org.

Interested in volunteering at the Freedom Plaza pit stop? Contact Samuel Mullins at samuel@downtowndc.org.