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It should be clear at this point that urban bicycling isn’t just a dandyish affectation of the wealthy. It also seems to symbolize something very enticing to the District government, because the mayor’s office and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins have roped the Washington Area Bicyclist Association into their initiative to drum up excitement for the planned redevelopment of St. Elizabeths East. At today’s “Bike Carnival” on the 180-acre campus, WABA is hosting a family bike parade, games, bicycle decorating, and a bike raffle for the curious public. It’s cute, but the message is smart: More bicycle tires should touch down in Ward 8. While St. Elizabeths East is already linked to buses and two nearby Metrorail stations, DDOT has committed to accommodating bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly transit throughout the campus as development rolls in. That’s good news not only for the 14,000 employees of the Department of Homeland Security who will be commuting there each day, but also for local residents, who, ideally, will snag a healthy chunk of the jobs that will accompany the District’s $113.5 million investment. WABA is savvy enough to know that a carnival is fun and games, but bringing more two-wheeled transit east of the river is serious—and very good—business.
The St. Elizabeths East Bike Carnival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE. Free. More information at waba.org.