So many choices in multimodal Ballston! Image by BeyondDC licensed under Creative Commons.

Reduce traffic congestion, save money, and improve air quality by dropping your keys. Instead of suffering behind the wheel in traffic, why not try bicycling, walking, taking transit, or carpooling (going car-lite)? Challenge whatever assumptions you might be making about these alternatives — you'll never know what an active commute could do for your body and mind until you try it!

Take the pledge to go car free or car-lite for a day, on either Friday, September 21 or Saturday, September 22. Registrants will also have the opportunity to participate in several local area events including: PARK(ing) Day, Clarendon Day, The Great Frederick Fair, Try Transit Week, and many more. Sign the pledge and check out the car-free fun!

Other events from around the region:

Monday, September 17

Plan to show off: Join the American Planning Association's National Capital Chapter at Planners' Trivia Night from 6:30 to 9 pm at Right Proper Brewing Company (624 T St NW) for a chance to test your planning brain and amaze your colleagues! Trivia topics will cover city planning, the Washington region, and other planning-adjacent esoterica. Prizes will be awarded to the highest-scoring team and the most creative team name. Bring your own power team or mix it up with others at random. Get your tickets here!

Tuesday, September 18

Don't worry, be appy: Head to this show and tell of Metro-related apps and data visualizations being developed to help everyone who rides the rails. Come to WMATA's HQ (600 5th St NW) from 6 to 9 pm to see the latest in Metro apps, hacks, and visualizations from a new way to map Metro trains to new features in Metro trip planning. You can find more info here.

Friday, September 21

Cross town in a pop-up crosstown bike lane: From Wednesday, September 19 through Friday, September 21, you can be among the first to experience a “pop-up” trial of the Crosstown Protected Bike Lane along Kenyon Street NW between Park Place NW and Warder Street NW.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) project team will be at the pop-up bike lane on Friday September 21 from 7 to 9 am and from 4 to 7 pm. You can ask them questions and offer your enthusiastic support for constructing a permanent cycle track in this critical gap in DC's bike infrastructure between Columbia Heights and Brookland. You can learn more here.

Learn how a green roof grows: Witness sustainable agriculture and green roof design by walking on UDC's 20,000-square-foot green roof (on Building 44 at 4200 Connecticut Ave NW) from 5:30 to 6:30 pm (or you can choose the next tour on Saturday September 22 from 9:30 to 10:30 am).

The roof showcases four types of production: (1) high revenue plants (i.e., herbs, greens); (2) high nutrition plants that can cover the entire range of dietary needs (i.e., tomatoes, peppers, chard, cabbages); (3) pollinizer plants to ensure bee health in our urban environment; and (4) low maintenance plants that help capture rain, reduce runoff, cool the building in the summer, and provide insulation in the winter. The green roof is also used to conduct research on plants that thrive in roof environments. Sign up here.

Saturday, September 22

Run, walk, and play like Lincoln: During the Civil War, the Lincoln family lived in President Lincoln's Cottage (140 Rock Creek Church Road NW). What better time to visit this historical site than on a day chock full of fun and free activities?

From 10 am to 3 pm, you can explore a Civil War encampment, view the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers (the “Bucktails), take a pony ride on Lincoln's front lawn, make cards for veterans and those in need, craft your family tree, and create your own top hat! Enjoy a picnic on the grounds with delicious food for sale from Old Smokey Bar-B-Que, or pack your own lunch. Register for this free event here. (For a fee, you can also run the Freedom 5K starting at 9 am.)

Sunday, September 23

We may not be a state (yet?), but we do have a State Fair: The DC State Fair is a free showcase of the District’s agricultural and creative talents, and a daylong celebration of all things homegrown. From growing and gardening, animal husbandry, and deep-fried foods to finding the tastiest mumbo sauce, best honey, and most creative hula hoopers in the city, come out to the Waterfront-SEU Station (375 and 425 M St SW) from 11 am to 8 pm. Register for this free event here.

Clean and protect your local waterway: Celebrate National Public Lands Day, the single largest volunteer effort for public lands in the nation, by enjoying food, fun, and a trash cleanup from 10 am to 2 pm at one of our favorite local spots, Anacostia Park (1500 Anacostia Drive SE)! Just bring close-toed shoes, a reusable water bottle, and a smile; all tools, drinking water, and supplies will be provided by your hosts. As a thanks for all your hard work, light refreshments will be served before and after the event. Volunteer here!

Check out more urbanist events at Do you have an event you'd like to see featured in the weekly events post? Submit it here.