While advocates are often the ones who generate events and statements about road safety, now local bike shops are also speaking out about Vision Zero. On Monday, several local bicycle shop owners sent an open letter to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, urging her to make the District safer for people who bike. You can read it in full below.
Dear Mayor Bowser,
As DC bikeshop owners, we’re committed to keeping our customers mobile and active. Your administration has made this more difficult. We are demanding that you implement policies and practices that make Vision Zero a reality, not just a campaign promise.
Dave Salovesh was not just a customer, but a good friend, loyal supporter, and vocal critic of the DC government’s sluggish pace when it came to Vision Zero. We will miss his tireless advocacy. We now have to attend to his unfinished business.
People from every Ward and all walks of life use bikes as their primary mode of transportation, their means of making a living, and their gateway to a healthy life. We are committed to making sure that these customers, friends, riding partners, and neighbors have safe and connected infrastructure to ride on. Some of our customers use the roads and parks for recreation and training, things that make living in this city and region enjoyable. Some of our customers use their bikes to get to work or do their job. These DC residents and visitors are no less important but far more vulnerable than a car user and should be prioritized in planning decisions.
Bikeshops are active in their communities. Although we compete for the same customers, we share the same goal: put more people on bikes. More people on bikes helps all of us as business owners and the city where our shops are located.
We provide emergency repairs and some of us provide free tool use to get our customers and neighbors moving again.
We donate to local charities.
We create jobs and train young people that have just started working.
We create positive activity in retail corridors.
We create sales tax revenue for the District.
For some of us, this work has been our lifelong goal, some of us came to it recently. But none of us want to see another person die in the streets of Washington, DC.
We urge you to support any action that increases cyclist safety, to include funding the redevelopment of Florida Avenue and for a safer K street. We urge you to push for funding of Vision Zero and the MoveDC plan that has been on hold for so long. We urge you to install more protected bike lanes and bike lanes painted green so that drivers can differentiate the bike lane from the car lane. It will also help to keep cars out of the bike lanes. We want to see more efforts at educating drivers and cyclists alike about how to drive and ride with each other instead of at each other. We are all using the same shared space, we must teach our residents how to use that space together. Just a few years ago the District of Columbia was moving quickly to becoming a bike-friendly city. Our shops saw new riders and bike lanes saw more ridership. As business boomed, so did the tax revenue we helped generate for the city. This momentum has slowed considerably.
We are encouraged by the three separate pieces of legislation introduced by councilmembers this week. We are pushing for its swift passage. But once it passes, we need your support to implement it.
To keep our customers and neighbors on bikes, we need for you and the Council to support plans already made with funding and pressure on District agencies to complete the work.
M. Loren Copsey and Beth Rogers
The Daily Rider
600 H St. NE, Suite D
Washington, DC 20002
The Bike Rack Logan Circle & Bike Room Designs
1412 Q St, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Bicycle Pro Shop
3403 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
District Hardware and Bike
730 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
440 K St NW
Washington, DC 20001
District Cycle Works
2603 P St NW
Washington, DC 20007