Photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid.

DC’s traditionally quiet summer is over. There are lots of events coming up this weekend and across the next few weeks. September is always a particularly big month in transportation, as Park(ing) Day and Car-Free Day both show up just days apart, sandwiching Walking(&Biking)

TownDC, not to mention government agencies ramping the public meetings back up and numerous other walking tours, street festivals, and more.

This weekend: If you’ve always wanted to green your home but don’t know how, find out at the Green Your Home Expo, featuring companies offering energy efficiency, renewable energy, green household products, and more. They’ll be in the plaza outside UDC, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW (by the Van Ness Metro) from 10 am to 2 pm.

The Surfrider Foundation is paddling the Potomac from 10 am to 2 pm, starting at the Thompson Boat Center where Virginia Avenue meets Rock Creek Parkway. And the DC Building Industry Association is helping out all day to improve Fort Mahan Park.

Celebrate car independence: The fall’s two major car-non-oriented events are coming up. Park(ing) Day started in San Francisco, where some local artists fed a meter, rolled out a rectangular piece of artificial grass, put in a park bench, and showed passerby how much green space you could get in the heart of the city by utilizing the 160 square feet of a typical parking space. This year, DC will have some parks of its own for the first time. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t just let you park some grass and a bench in a parking space the way you can a motor vehicle, so organizers have applied for permits for four spaces, in Georgetown, U Street, Gallery Place, and Adams Morgan. Park(ing) Day is Friday the 18th.

The following Tuesday, September 22nd, is the more official non-car event, Car-Free Day. As they have the last few years, DC will hold a celebration at 7th and F, NW. You can take the pledge to try to get around without driving for the day. The week is also Try Transit Week in Virginia, designed to encourage Virginians to give transit a try.

Walk and bike tours: There are lots of walking tours and biking tours coming up, including the 800-lb walking tour weekend, WalkingTown DC, on September 19th and 20th. This iteration has over 100 free walking tours, from Florida Market to Deanwood, African-American history, murals at the Department of the Interior, cemeteries, and estates in Georgetown. WalkingTown DC’s companion program, BikingTown DC, has six tours covering Anacostia, Ward 5, houses of worship, the Mall, and green buildings.

State-named avenues. Image by Matt Johnson.

Also back on Saturday the 19th but farther north is a big bike ride of Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. Participants can choose tours of 17, 25, 35, 54 or 67 miles, which start between 9:30 and 10:30 am at Poolesville High School.

Speaking of long bike rides, the following weekend is WABA’s 50 States Ride, which hits all 50 of Washington’s state-named avenues on a tough ride of over 60 miles. For those who want to see some state streets without so many hills, there’s also a 13 Colonies ride hitting the original 13 colonies, all of whose streets come into DC’s center, from Rhode Island just north of downtown to South Carolina on Capitol Hill. Both rides are on September 26th, start between 8 and 9 am, and cost $10-15.

Be festive: Adams Morgan Day is this Sunday, September 13th, featuring food, music, art, and culture from 12 to 7 pm along 18th Street. More on their annoying Flash site. And the next weekend is the H Street Festival, from 12 to 6.

In Montgomery, the Takoma Park Folk Festival is this Sunday (the 13th) from 11 to 6:30, and the Magical Montgomery Festival celebrates the arts in Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday, September 26th from 12 to 6.

Listen and learn: On Wednesday the 23rd, CSG is organizing a tour of the Capitol Riverfront, where you can hear the history and see all the development projects in this burgeoning part of the city.

The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association is having a discussion of bicycling in Brookland, including the Metropolitan Branch Trail and other trails, featuring folks from the Met Branch trail coalition, WABA, and Rails-to-Trails. That’s Tuesday, September 15th, 7 pm at the Brooks Mansion, 901 Newton Street, NE right near the Metro.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase will talk about transportation in a lecture entitled “Beyond Zipcar” at the National Building Museum on Monday the 21st at 12:30. That event is free, but you have to RSVP.

Photo by Amsterdamize.

And Mikael Colville-Andersen, who created the blog Copenhagen Cycle Chic, will discuss the nexus between making bicycling fashionable and getting more people to use this sustainable form of transportation. The talk is on Wednesday, September 30th, at 6 pm at the NCPC offices, 401 9th St, NW, 5th floor.

Give your input: You might not have time to weigh in at public meetings after all those festivals, lectures and tours, but there are two key ones. VDOT has finally started analyzing alternatives to widening I-66 after getting a wake-up call from COG. They’re presenting the alternatives at a series of evening meetings in Arlington on the 23rd, Haymarket on the 24th, and Vienna on the 30th. Meanwhile, WMATA will listen to X bus riders as part of their restructuring of those lines with a meeting on H Street (really G) on the 22nd and near Minnesota and Benning on the 24th.

If this is totally overwhelming, all of this is on the Greater Greater Washington calendar, with the next week or so of events always appearing on the right sidebar on the main page.