Greater Greater Washington

Posts about Waba

Bicycling


Ask GGW: Which is the best nonprofit to donate a car to?

As more people go car-free and families cut back on how many cars they own, a reader asked us the best way to put an unwanted car to use. Our contributors suggest nonprofits that accept vehicle donations.


Photo by Kars4Kids on Flickr.

Reader Rob asks:

Do you have any preference among the various charities that accept car donations? Are there any reputable ones around here that have better offers on the table than others?
Contributors recommended only a handful of locally-focused organizations. Greg Billing put in a plug for his employer, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association:
WABA receives 70% of a donated car's value. In addition to the donation being tax-deductible, WABA provides the donor with a free one-year membership and our sincere gratitude.
Jonathan Krall added that the annual Tour de Fat group ride, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company, offers a prize to a person willing to give up his or her car.

Canaan Merchant suggests our local NPR station:

WAMU will take your car, and I like that station enough that'd I'd probably go with them right off the bat if I were ever donating my car.

Also, WAMU's pitch specifically mentions people looking to cut down on the number of cars they own, which I see as a sign that more and more people are seeing car-free/lite living as normal.

Tina Jones opted to support another local nonprofit radio station:
Several years ago, I donated a car to WETA. They made it really easy. I just called and someone came to tow it and left some documents. Later, they sent confirmation of what it sold for at auction. I will say, though, that had I known, I would have donated it to WABA!
Yours truly adds:
One good organization that accepts car donations is the National Association of Railroad Passengers, for which I used to work and still serve on its national advisory body, the Council of Representatives. NARP advocates on the national, state and local levels for the investment necessary to modernize our passenger train network and make passenger trains an integral part of the national transportation network and a viable travel choice.

On a broader note, there are several companies out there that manage vehicle donations on behalf of many nonprofit clients. I believe it's free for a nonprofits to set up a car donation program with most of them, but the company takes a cut of the value of every car donated.

Another local charity suggestion from Chris Slatt:
If you want to be sure your donated car actually goes toward a good, local use, you can donate to the Automotive Technology program at the Arlington County Career Center. Vehicles donated by the community are used in instruction and/or are repaired by students and auctioned online. Proceeds from these vehicle sales are used to buy the latest tools and equipment for the automotive program as well as fund field trips and events.
Jim Titus provides some background on how car donation tax credits work:
If you are thinking about donating a car, my advice is to ask whoever you're considering donating it to what they're going to do with it.

The federal income tax deduction is limited to $500 or whatever the organization gets for selling the car, whichever is greatest. The larger programs that take cars still seem to be catering to people with junkers who want a $500 deduction regardless of what the car is worth. (I am not commenting on the worthiness of these charities, just the vehicle donation programs).

A few organizations partner with trade schools, or otherwise fix old cars, and sell them. If you give to that type of organization, you can still get the generous tax deduction, and to me, it doesn't raise the same questions about scamming when someone actually gets the old car in working order. Or if your car is worth (say) $2000 and just needs a few minor repairs, at least you get the $2000 fair market value deduction because they will fix it up just a bit and sell for its true value.

Do you have a question? Each week, we'll post a question to the Greater Greater Washington contributors and post appropriate parts of the discussion. You can suggest questions by emailing ask@ggwash.org. Questions about factual topics are most likely to be chosen. Thanks!

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Bicycling


WABA says an Arlington Boulevard trail is a good bet

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) thinks the region's next major bike trail should run along Arlington Boulevard from the National Mall to the eastern border of Fairfax City. On Tuesday, it released a report on how make it happen.


Sections of the existing and proposed trail. Map from WABA. Click for an interactive version.

Once a main artery into DC, Arlington Boulevard now alternates between being a high-speed highway and a suburban or urban boulevard that has various levels of development and density. This varied nature affect's Arlington Boulevard's pedestrian and bike facilities, making it relatively easy to travel some sections on foot or bike but also creating some where it's rather difficult.

Connecting the infrastructure that's already in place would give Arlington Boulevard a trail nearly 25 miles long in both east and west-bound directions, opening up several neighborhoods and commercial areas to non-drivers.

Part of WABA's report documents just where these gaps are and how long each one is.

Almost half of the total route is already built to a point where even the most inexperienced of cyclist should feel comfortable riding on it, but the longest stretch of this type is, currently, only 1.2 miles long. About 40% of the route requires cyclists to ride in traffic or are narrow enough that only experienced cyclists would feel comfortable riding.

Finally, there are parts of the route that are simply too dangerous for anyone not in a car. The longest of this type is where Arlington Boulevard meets I-495 and Gallows Road, where anyone looking to get through on a bike or on foot has to make over a mile-long detour.

Specific parts of the route that need attention

The latter half of the report details how Arlington could improve specific sections of the route. In many cases, the county could use Arlington Boulevard's wide right of way along with some of the access roads that run parallel, carving out space for pedestrians and bikes without cutting existing travel lanes. Other trails and paths along the route simple need to be better maintained.


Pedestrians along Arlington Boulevard. Image from WABA.

There are parts of the route, though, that would need substantial work.

There's currently a plan to widen Arlington Boulevard underneath the Seven Corners interchange, and that would need some sort of path if non-drivers are to avoid a lengthy detour. Another significant challenge lies between Annandale and Gallows Road, where WABA notes that a bridge would be needed to cross 495. That'd likely be the most expensive part of the project.

WABA estimates final costs to be around $40 million, but says a trail would pay long-term dividends

WABA estimates the full 23-mile route would cost around $40 million, but that's just an estimate. WABA says it needs more information to fully understand what the project would cost, but does do believe bundling trail work with other road work along Arlington Boulevard could keep costs low.

To be clear, WABA isn't just throwing these proposals up out of the blue; its suggestions are actually in line with a number of projects for which the Virginia Department of Transportation recently identified Arlington Boulevard as a potential recipient.

Continuous pedestrian and cycling facilities will help make Arlington Boulevard a road that connects neighborhoods rather than divides them. It can also help shape future land use and planning decisions in areas that might otherwise be fated to be stuck next to a high speed highway.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Events


Events roundup: Celebrate our trails, parks, transit, and more

Through trails, transit, or walking, this week is all about greener cities. Celebrate future bike trails, learn about park-oriented development, and figure out how alternative transit can lead to a greener region.


Photo by Kevin Kovaleski

Celebrate our trails: Biking is more popular than ever in the DC area. This Saturday, November 15, join the Washington Area Bike Association and REI for the "Future Trails Celebration" to celebrate the many walking and biking trails that connect our region. Music, food, bike repair, carnival games and more will adorn the grassy field at First and Pierce St NE in NoMa from 11 am to 2 pm. Come join the fun!

After the jump: park-oriented development, biking and walking to a greener region, the purple line, and the road to happiness.

Park oriented-development: We hear a lot about transit-oriented development, but what about park-oriented development? Peter Harnik, Director of the Trust for Public Land's Center for City Park Excellence and founder of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, will talk about the pros, cons, and dynamics of a "POD movement this Tuesday, November 11 Tuesday, November 18, 5:30-6:30 pm at the American Planning Association, 1030 15 St NW. Sign up here.

Saving the world through transit: Alternative transportation could save our world from rising carbon emissions, if only our regional transportation officials would agree. Join the Coalition for Smarter Growth on Thursday, November 13, for a panel of local and international experts talking about shifting our transportation investments for a greener region and a greener world. The event is at the Sierra Club, 50 F Street NW, floor 8, from 6:30 to 8 pm.

Vibrancy on the Purple Line: Do you live or work near the Purple Line corridor? Do you want to take part in making it a healthy and vibrant neighborhood? The second of two workshops on Monday, November 17, from 4 to 6 7 pm will focus on community and economic development in the region. The Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC) is hosting the event at the Silver Spring Civic Center, 1 Veterans Place Felegy Elementary School in Hyattsville, 6110 Editors Park Drive. RSVP requested.

The road to happiness: On Tuesday, November 18, Fionnula Quinn, transportation engineer at Alta Planning and Design, will look back at the early days of the automobile and its continuing impact on our US highway system. Quinn will share research on the topic along with scenes of the Ford Motor Company's silent film "The Road to Happiness." The talk is 12-1 pm at 1502 Wilson Boulevard #1100, Arlington, VA. RSVP here.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Events


Events roundup: Bicycle tech, bicycle art, bicycle tours

Get your helmet on; this week is all about the bicycles. Learn about new apps and technology for cycling, bundle up for an urban design bike tour, and warm up at a bike-themed art show. You can also learn about historic preservation in Georgetown and planning for large buildings.


Photo by Joe Flood on Flickr.

Biking and technology: The second Bike Hack Night is this Thursday, November 6. People will present software and hardware bike projects like a counter from New York City, dockless bikesharing, apps for crowdsourcing, an "invisible" helmet, and more. The event is at 1501 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA from 6 to 8 pm.

After the jump: Georgetown history, a bike tour, bike art, and planning talks.

Change in Georgetown: Moving historic neighbor­hoods into the future can be difficult. Georgetown is trying to do that with its "Georgetown 2028" plan. On Tuesday, November 4 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Georgetown BID transportation director Will Handsfield will discuss how the area can continue to develop a thriving commercial district and preserve its historic flair.

Urban design bike tour: The Potomac Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will lead an urban design and landscape architecture themed bike tour on Saturday, November 8. The tour will stop at notable design landmarks where riders will hear from the designers themselves. It starts at 11 am at Diamond Teague Park near Navy Yard and runs until 2 pm. RSVP here.

Bike art: ArtCrank, an art show that features handmade bike-themed prints made by local DC artists, is Saturday, November 8. It's free to get in but all of the proceeds if you buy a print go to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The show is 4-10 pm at the 1776 incubator, 1133 15th Street NW in the 12th floor penthouse.

Large buildings, large cities: Georgetown's Urban and Regional Planning program's weekly lecture series is talking about "planning large buildings in large cities." On Monday, November 10 at 5:30, James Von Klemperer, a Managing Partner at Kohn Pedersen Fox, will discuss the pros and cons of planning large buildings in cities. The talk is at Georgetown's SCS building at 640 Massachusetts Ave, NW. RSVP here.

Parks are smart growth: The smart growth movement has focused a lot on building transit and adding housing near transit, but it's also important to help people live near parks. Peter Harnik will talk about "Parks-Oriented Development" at the American Planning Association on Tuesday, November 11, 5:30 pm a 1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 750W. RSVP here.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Events


Events roundup: Buses, buses, buses (and walking and biking)

If you care about buses, this is the week for you! The events calendar is filled with Virginia bus meetings, but if you get tired of sitting and listening during your weeknights, CSG and WABA have got your exercise with a walking tour and bike tour this weekend in Maryland.


Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.

Virginia buses (and other transportation): If you're a Virginian and care about buses, boy is it a busy week of public meetings for you! Tonight in Woodbridge and tomorrow in Fairfax, learn more about the Route 1 transit study.

Also tomorrow night, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will hold a listening session at Fairfax City Hall to gather input for its TransAction 2040 long-range plan. Finally, weigh in on the next ten years of Fairfax Circulator service in Chantilly, also Thursday night.

Walk Saturday morning: Saturday morning, join the Coalition for Smarter Growth on one of their popular walking tours. This week's tour is Making Silver Spring a Great Place to Walk. Talk high speed roads and narrow sidewalks, but also the many things Silver Spring is doing right. RSVP requested.

Bike Saturday afternoon: Also Saturday, join WABA in their bike tour series as they explore the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis (WB&A) trail in northeast Prince George's County. The 9-mile rail trail tour will start and end at the Race Track Road parking lot.

#GGWchat: Don't forget, Monday at lunchtime, GGW will live chat with DC mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser. As with our previous live chats, we'll select questions to pose to her and she will respond. Submit your questions in advance, or during the chat on Twitter using #ggwchat.

Vision Zero: Join the Action Committee for Transit at their monthly meeting next Tuesday night in downtown Silver Spring to hear about Vision Zero from the editor of Streetsblog USA (and GGW contributor) Tanya Snyder.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Events


Events roundup: Streetcars, tech, tours, and more

If you're a streetcar fan, bike enthusiast, history buff, or social media nerd, heads up! There are terrific events coming up that you should check out. Do some family biking, speak up at a hearing, or have a drink and nerd out about social media.


Past Transportation Techies meetup. Photo by Ted Eytan.

All that and more is coming up our events calendar in the coming days, so read on and mark your calendar.

Overhead wires: Care about the K Street Transitway and DC Streetcar? Head over to Carnegie Library tonight at 6 pm to share your views with DDOT and FHWA. Some elements are contentious, especially whether to allow overhead wires anywhere along the route.

Tech for transit: The monthly Transportation Techies Meetup is also tonight, at 1501 Wilson Blvd. Hear about three local projects and their impact on local transportation: Conveyal and Arlington County's Transit Tech Initiative, Boontrek, and TransitIQ. Doors open at 6:00 with pizza and drinks, and the presentations start at 6:30.

DesignDC: The American Institute of Architects continues its DesignDC conference through Friday. The event is pricey, but there's a great student discount, and you can also register for just the closing plenary, which promises to be pretty cool: Stephen Chung, host of PBS's Cool Spaces: The Best of New Architecture is speaking.

PechaKucha: Friday night, get your (brief) talk on in Silver Spring at a PechaKucha Night (co-hosted by GGW's own Dan Reed). If you've never experienced it, a PechaKucha is a speaking event where each presenter has 20 slides, and 20 seconds per slide. You won't be bored! Plus, for just $5, snacks, beer, wine, and sodas are included.

Bring your little ones: Saturday at the Deanwood Rec Center, check out the second annual Let's Move! DC Children and Families Health Expo. Check out cooking demonstrations, fishing and dance lessons, music, games, a farmers market, clinics by the Street Basketball Association, and a lot more.

Ride with WABA: Curious about the growing trail network in Southeast DC? Saturday at 1:00 pm, join WABA to pedal through a tour of about 10 miles, looking at the Suitland Parkway, Oxon Cove Trail, and the planned-but-unbuilt South Capitol Street Trail.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Events


Events roundup: Movies and more

Take an evening to relax and enjoy a documentary (or two)! The Summer in the City film series kicks off tomorrow with an illuminating look at public housing in America in the 1950s and 60s. If movies aren't your thing, RSVP for a reception to honor 50 years of the Urban Mass Transit Act.


Photo by Pruitt-Igoe Myth on Flickr.

Pruitt-Igoe on the big screen: Watch the tale of the infamous St. Louis public housing development and the residents who share their experiences and challenges living in public housing in the 50s and 60s. This film is the first of five films the Housing for All campaign is showing this summer. It starts at 6 pm, Wednesday, July 2 at the Southwest Library at 900 Wesley Place SW.

After the jump: Transportation Tuesday at APTA, more movies, and a women's health and biking workshop...

Happy 50th, UMTA! The American Public Transportation Association will be hosting a presentation and discussion to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964. The act has played a pivotal role in the mass transit renaissance in the US in the last half-century.

The event is July 8th at 1666 K Street NW, 11th Floor. A wine and cheese reception will begin at 5:00 pm, with the presentation and discussion to run from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Please RSVP to Cynthia Owens at cowens@apta.com or 202-496-4851.

The Legend of Disco Dan: This film follows infamous graffiti artist Cool "Disco" Dan as he discusses the changing city he once marked. The documentary highlights the culture of DC during the crack epidemic and the evolution of Go-Go. See the film at the MLK Library, 901 G Street NW, on Wednesday, June 9th at 6:00 pm.

Biking and Women's health: Ladies! Join WABA's Women & Bicycles initiative to talk biking and women's health in Georgetown. Women's Health Expert and Roll Model Laurie from Proteus Bicycles is hosting a skillshare on women's health and biking on Sunday, July 13 at 1:00 pm at the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Events


Events roundup: Books, bikes, bridges and more

Bikes are in the spotlight this week. Help clean up a bike trail in NE DC, talk bicycle and pedestrian planning in Tenleytown, support bicycle advocacy at BikeFest, and more. It's a busy time of year!


Photo by DDOT DC on Flickr.

WABA BikeFest: Join other bicycling enthusiasts for WABA's annual fundraiser. Enjoy tacos, drinks, dancing, art, and more while supporting our region's bike advocates at Eastern Market's North Hall on June 13 from 8 pm to midnight. Tickets are $45 for WABA members and $55 for the public.

Bike trail cleanup: The Metropolitan Branch Trail needs some spring cleaning. On Sunday, June 15, from 10 am-12:30 pm, WABA's Trail Ranger team and community volunteers will tame vegetation and clean debris from the trail for smooth summer riding. Volunteers will meet at the Met Branch Trail at 4th and S Street NE. You can RSVP here.

After the jump: see plans for the north-south streetcar and 11th Street Bridge Park, and take a walk in Wheaton.

Meet the 11th Street Bridge Park designers: The field has narrowed to four teams competing to design a park on the piers of the old 11th Street Bridge across the Anacostia. Though the designs are not yet complete, each of the four teams will talk about their approaches and early ideas tonight, 6:30-8 pm at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE.

Streetcar planning: DDOT is holding its final round of open house meetings for its study of a future north-south DC streetcar. You can see DDOT's analysis of possible streetcar routes and weigh in. All three meetings last from 3:30-8:30 pm, with overview presentations at 4 and 7 pm. The full schedule is below:

  • South meeting: Tuesday, June 10, at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 2nd floor community room, 1100 4th St SW.
  • North meeting: Thursday, June 12, at the Emery Rec Center, 2nd floor community room, 5701 Georgia Ave NW.
Downtown Wheaton walking tour: The Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC) invites you to join their annual Wheaton walking tour this Saturday, June 14 at 10 am. The tour will be divided into three parts to encourage community feedback and conclude at 1 pm. RSVP by this Wednesday. Details and RSVP info.

Dead End book talk: This Thursday, June 12, join Ward3Vision to hear Greater Greater Washington contributor Ben Ross talk about his book, Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, at the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave NW) at 7 pm. A lively discussion on walking and biking in cities will follow. Please RSVP.

Do you know an event that should be on the Greater Greater Washington calendar? Send an email to events@ggwash.org with the details and a link to a page on the web which has more information.

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Support Us