Local Cycling Group Announces Free Valet Bike Parking for Inauguration
Many roads will be closed to vehicular traffic, access to bridges into the city will be restricted, and Metro will be packed. If you have a bike, we encourage you to ride it that day and we hope to make it as easy as possible for you to do so. -Eric Gilliland (WABA)
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), a local non-profit bike safety and advocacy organization, is pleased to announce it will be providing free valet bike parking services at two locations during the 2009 Inauguration festivities on January, 20th as a way to encourage more people to travel that day by bike. The bike valets are being made possible through the support America Bikes, Dero Bike Rack Company, and the District Department of Transportation. America Bikes, a coalition of national bike advocacy organizations based in DC, is working on incorporating the needs of cyclists into the forthcoming economic stimulus package as well as the future reauthorization of the federal transportation bill. Dero, a Minnesota-based manufacturer of commercial bike parking, will be supplying the bike racks that will be used to hold bikes in the valets.
According to WABA’s Executive Director Eric Gilliland, cycling could prove to be the ideal way to get around on the day of the inauguration. “Many roads will be closed to vehicular traffic, access to bridges into the city will be restricted, and Metro will be packed. If you have a bike, we encourage you to ride it that day and we hope to make it as easy as possible for you to do so,” Gilliland said. The association has also created a special inaugural web page with information about the safest routes to the valets, information on safe cycling and bike rentals, as well as other tips to make riding safe and enjoyable. That page can be found at www.waba.org/events/inauguralbikevalet.php. Cyclists who take advantage of the bike valets will receive a free commemorative claim check and bicycle wheel spoke card courtesy of WABA, America Bikes and Dero.
“In addition to making it easier for people to travel by bike on that day, we hope the bike valets will demonstrate the important role biking plays in our transportation system as a new Congress and president take office,” said Caron Whitaker, Campaign Director of America Bikes.
“Bike valets are very similar to car valets,” said Henry Mesias, project manager at WABA. “You simply ride up to the valet, a volunteer will attach one half of a claim ticket to your bike and hand you the other half. The volunteer will then park the bike in a safe enclosure while you head off to enjoy the inauguration. When you want to leave, you show us your half of the claim check and we get you your bike and you ride off. It’s quite simple.” Mr. Mesias says that the association is prepared to park well over 1000 bikes.
The bike valets will be located on the south side of the Jefferson Memorial and on 16th Street NW between I Street and K Streets NW. Both will be open from 7am to 5pm. In case of extreme weather, the valets will be closed, but the unattended bike parking racks will still be available for use.
For more information, please contact Eric Gilliland at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association at 202-518-0524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.