How much should you tip a valet for your…Bike?

You just know Washington D.C. is going to be congested beyond imagination for the inauguration when they are offering to valet park your BIKE!

Bike Valet Parking Available
In DC on Inauguration Day
Free Service Offered at 2 Locations Near Mall

(Washington, D.C.) If you’re heading downtown for the Inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama, there is a way to avoid congested traffic and crowded Metro trains. With the support of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) will provide free valet bike parking services at two locations in the District on January 20, 2009. The local non-profit bike safety and advocacy organization says it is prepared to park more than 2,000 bicycles.
“We think WABA is providing a great service,” said Jim Sebastian, DDOT’s Bicycle Program Manager. “With the crowds that are expected, biking may be the easiest way to get to the Inauguration and the bike valet eliminates the hassle of trying to find parking.”

The bike valets will be located on the south side of the Jefferson Memorial and on 16th Street, NW, between I and K Streets. Both sites are within walking distance of the Inaugural festivities and will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. A limited number of commemorative valet claim checks and spoke cards will be offered to cyclists who use the valets.

WABA says the service will operate like a car valet. “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,” said Henry Mesias, the project manager at WABA. “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.”

The sidewalks on all bridges over the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers will be open to bicyclists and pedestrians, and the Memorial Bridge will be dedicated to bicyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists coming from Arlington, Alexandria, Southeast and Southwest DC can use the valet station at the Jefferson Memorial, while riders from the north can use the station at 16th and K Streets, NW.

Volunteers will help staff the valet parking and the Dero Bike Rack Company of Minnesota will supply the specially designed, American-made ‘event racks’ free of charge. In the event of extreme weather, the valets will be closed, but the unattended bike parking racks will still be available for use.

For more information, including tips on the safest routes to the bike valet locations, please visit WABA’s special Inaugural web page at www.waba.org/events/inauguralbikevalet.php.

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