Whether you’ve never ridden a bike before or it’s been a while, goDCgo is here for you! Biking has many benefits like saving you both time and money, and it’s good for your health as well as the environment. Our nation’s capital makes it easy with over 150 miles of bike lanes and trails for you to get your roll on. To get started, we want to build up your biking confidence by starting with the basics before turning this into a habit. Riding a bike is a great way to engage in physical activity while practicing safe social distancing.
Learn to Ride
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is a non-profit organization that educates children, adults, and motorists about biking as a transportation option and how to safely bike in the DC metro area. They also advocate for better biking infrastructure and healthier environment in the DC metro area.
Find good routes. Some of the best bike routes are hidden from street traffic. You can try a practice run on a weekend, or you can try biking to the nearest Metro station or bus stop if you want to become a multi-modal commuter!
Sharrows are street markings that serve as reminders to road users that bicyclists have rights to the lanes on these routes. Sharrows are often placed on routes that see more bike traffic or on streets that are too narrow for drivers to pass bicyclists safely as reminders.
Bike lanes provide a dedicated space for bicyclists on the roadway. Without a lack of physical barriers, however, cyclists still must be wary of riding in the “door zone,” the 3 to 5-foot area along parked cars, double-parked vehicles, road debris, and turning vehicles. Parking in bike lanes is illegal in DC.
Cycletracks are protected bike lanes. Some provide physical barriers from other road-users and effectively form an on-street bike path.
Wayfinding encompasses things such as street signs placed throughout the region to direct bicyclists to trails, paths, and other amenities.
Bike boxes give priority to bicyclists at intersections by providing a designated space to queue up in front of cars. Bike boxes improve the visibility of bicyclists and can help prevent right-hook collisions.
(photo courtesy of WABA)
Mixing zones are merging areas. Traffic that is turning at intersections must yield to bicyclists just like they would with another automobile and enter the mixing zone. Sometimes this means the vehicle may need to wait in the bike lane at the intersection before turning. This is perfectly fine as long as the driver yields to bicyclists.
Designed for bikes and scooters, corrals are an efficient use of on-street bike parking. They transform a parking space or sidewalk area into bike parking.
Find the bike route for you! We teamed up with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to customize the best local routes for beginner cyclists.
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is low-stress with few intersections and limited interactions with cars making it an easy starter trail. Riders can choose between three segments:
A local favorite, Rock Creek Trail has scenic riverside trails and shared, multi-use paths that take you through DC’s most iconic sights and the natural oasis that is Rock Creek Park. Riders can choose between two trail segments:
Join the Bike Forum
Try using the online Washington Area Bike Forum to find a ride buddy. You can look for riding buddies, ask questions about commuting and route selection, and discuss bicycle safety, advocacy, and so much more. The community on the forum is helpful, knowledgeable, and open to riders of all ability levels.
The District of Columbia is not only our nation's capital, but it's also a home for many creatives. In addition to the staple Smithsonian museums, the city offers plenty of FREE must-see sites that are outdoors and easily accessible using public transportation. In all eight wards, you can find a variety of street art, sculptures, and murals beaming vibrant colors and celebrating a range of cultures, music, iconic figures, historic moments, inspirational messages, and more.
In fact, the DC Department of Public Works (DPW) created the MuralsDC initiative to help clean and beautify our nation’s capital. Since its pilot in 2007, MuralsDC has painted 133 murals across every ward of the city – that's more murals than any other entity in the District.
Although teachers, staff, and students no longer will be returning to school this month, it's important for school administrators to plan and prepare for safe commuting when students do return. We've compiled a list of ways your school administration can prepare to support the commutes of your teachers, staff, and students.
Promote Commuting with Care
No matter what form of transportation your teachers, staff, or students use, encourage them to commute with care. That includes wearing a face covering/mask, using hand sanitizer, and staying 6 feet away from other passengers when possible.
If you work nontraditional or late-night hours, you may find that you are left with fewer commute options to get to and from work. Since the public health crisis, public transit and other commonly used travel options have become even more limited in order to encourage people to stay home, practice social distancing, and ultimately protect the safety and well-being of commuters.
On Sunday, November 1 at 2am, we will depart from Daylight Savings and fall back to Eastern Standard Time. According to our friends at National Geographic, “Daylight saving time in the U.S. began in 1918 as an attempt to save energy during the throes of World War I, following Germany's earlier shift in 1916. The idea was to maximize sunlight hours during the longer days of the year by taking an hour of morning sun, when many are sleeping, and adding it to the end of the day.”
For several months, restrictions have been in place to reduce the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. The District government understands that it’s important for businesses and individuals to responsibly resume normal activity. The Mayor’s reopening plan allows that, phase by phase.
As more people are getting out, it's important to remember to still recreate responsibly. This means you need to wear a face covering or mask whenever you leave home and maintain six feet of distance from others to keep everyone safe.
Many gems in DC, such as national parks and memorials, allow you to remain socially distant. Go for a solo bike ride or take a walk with family or your furry friend(s) to sightsee in DC. This is the perfect time to rediscover all the city has to offer and use the amazing network of transportation options to get you there.
Thousands of residents and visitors use shared bikes and scooters to get around the District and suburban neighborhoods. Most dockless vehicle companies are weathering through the public health crisis and continuing normal operations. In fact, these types of micromobility options have been a go-to for many essential workers during the peak of the pandemic. Riding a bike or scooter allows for safe social distancing and serves as a great transportation option to commute to work or for leisure.
Ready to get your ride back on? Per the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, dockless bike and scooter operators have implemented strict cleaning and disinfectant protocols so you can rent a two-wheel ride with confidence. As the District reopens, many companies have also added new safety practices, including face coverings/masks and social distancing protocols, and offer FREE or discounted access for first responders; healthcare, pharmacy, public transit, restaurant delivery, and retail workers; and income-eligible residents.
In 2019, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) conducted a district-wide school transportation survey to evaluate the state of school commutes in Washington, DC. In the survey, they found that students and families are more likely to choose sustainable transportation options than teachers and staff. Results show that only 33% of elementary students are driven to school, while another 33% of parents walk their youngest child to school, and 59% of students have used Kids Ride Free cards. On the other hand, 78% of the District's school staff drive to work alone, while only 2.2% ride a bike to school. The survey also revealed that 43% of school staff commute from Maryland and Virginia.
Get a transit display at your school! Transit displays are a great way to show off all mobility options near your school, at a glance, and in real-time. These options include the bus, Capital Bikeshare, carshare, and the Metrorail. By providing a digital display with real-time transportation arrival data in lobbies, main offices, and teacher break rooms, your students and staff can plan their sustainable commutes back home more easily and efficiently.
Many schools are hesitant to use their limited budgets on transit display software, but thanks to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), schools can install a live transportation feed for at no cost to you! All you have to do is provide the television screen or monitor and use Ride DC's portal to set-up a live feed. School administrators will have the ability to create a custom dashboard specific to their school's location.
In the best interest of public safety during the health crisis, transportation providers nationwide have taken effective, protective measures to support the "stay home" advisory and to encourage safe social distancing. This includes aggressive cleaning and disinfecting protocols, temporarily pausing or reducing services, closing stations, and more.
Please be advised that you should be traveling for ESSENTIAL TRIPS ONLY in Washington, DC which includes obtaining medical care that cannot be provided virtually; purchasing food and/or household goods; performing or accessing essential government functions; working at essential businesses; engaging in essential travel; or engaging in recreational activities, as defined by Mayor Muriel Bowser's Stay-At-Home Order.
Below is a breakdown of limited transportation services in the District of Columbia: