Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bike to Work Day Should Be Everyday

May 18th, 2012 is Bike To Work Day in the DC area. It's an annual event sponsored by Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Commuter Connections to promote a greener and healthier way to get to work (not to mention cheaper).  They set up stations around the area and you can rent a bike for you can rent a bike for FREE but you need to register first at   If you live in the Downtown Silver Spring area, your location is the Discovery Communications building located at 1 Discovery Place.  They will also give you a free t-shirt and free prizes for give-aways.

Early pick-up is available from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday, May 17.  Day of pick-up begins at 7am.  Please refer to the website for details.

I fully support biking as an alternative for a healthier and greener option, but it doesn't feel like we have the County's support.  For one, there are NO bike lanes anywhere on Georgia Avenue, the main artery of of Downtown Silver Spring.  I couldn't find them on any of the other major roads either. I see bikers every now and then but not even close to what we see in DC, Arlington, or Bethesda.  

Georgia Avenue north bound

 Georgia Avenue eastbound towards DTSS between Spring & 16th. No bike lanes in addition to narrow sidewalks

Georgia Avenue west bound between Spring & 16th. More narrow sidewalks.

Georgia & Thayer. No bike lanes AND no crosswalks

Hopefully with  Bike Share coming this fall on 2nd avenue, there will be more awareness and future plans for change sooner than later.

Another reason to bike is the proposed change in parking fees for garages and meters.  Under the Executive’s budget, the long term rate would increase from $0.60/hour to $0.70/hour and from $113 to $132 for the monthly Parking Convenience Sticker. Also, beginning October 1 of 2012, the County would begin charging for parking on Saturdays.  

The fees would go towards managing and operating the parking lots, supporting the clean and safe teams (red shirts), and building reserves so that repairs can be made to some of our older garages.  For example, only two floors of the garage near the World Building are open because the others are deemed unsafe and in need of repair or replacement.

If you work in DTSS, these proposed changes could affect you directly.  Biking could help off set the increase in parking and avoid the cluster of the lack of spots. 

As an alternative to increased parking fees and enforcement hours, it has been suggested that the County consider leasing space in garages and lots to private businesses for such services as car detailing, windshield replacement/repair, even vending machines. 

Stay tuned...

Update!! May 2nd, the recommendation to begin charging for Saturday parking was rejected.  In addition, parking enforcement selected not to extend parking hours until 10pm. W I N!

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