Monday, September 15, 2014
 

FABB meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 17

FABB will have a special guest at our September meeting on Wednesday. Vanessa Aguayo of Fairfax County DOT will give a presentation on bike projects she is managing. They include a bridge over Wiehle Ave on the W&OD Trail and Vesper Trail in Tysons that will connected the northern Vienna area to the Spring Hill Metro station. We will also be discussing the upcoming public hearings on the Bicycle Master Plan. The Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled for Wed. Oct. 1 starting at 8:15 p.m. The Board of Supervisors public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The FABB meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave E, Vienna (map), located a block from the W&OD Trail. Everyone is welcome.

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Friday, September 12, 2014
 

South county Bicycle Master Plan meeting on Monday, Sept. 15

To learn more about the Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan (Phase II), a public information meeting is planned for Monday, September 15 from 7:30-9pm at the Mount Vernon Government Center Community Room (map).  Public hearings on the plan are scheduled before the Planning Commission (October 1) and Board of Supervisors (October 28).

We are asking all cyclists to support the plan by signing the FABB Bicycle Master Plan petition and attending the public hearings. It would be great to have a large contingent of cyclists at the public hearings to show our support for the plan. Maybe we should all wear our bike helmets into the hearing.

See our earlier blog entry about Monday's meeting.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014
 

Northern Virginia Cycle Fest Sunday, September 14

Northern Virginia Cycle Fest is this Sunday. Cycle Fest is a series of mostly on-road rides in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. Four ride options, departing at 7:30 a.m., range from 11 to 62 miles. All rides originate and return to the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike. The rides are designed to be fun and challenging for riders of all levels and experience - with a suggested minimum age of 12. FABB will have an information table at the event.

Riders should be comfortable riding on roads with traffic. All ride options have rest stops, SAG vehicles, mechanical support, merchant sponsorship and light refreshments. The 2014 ride benefits Wounded Warriors Project and Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). For more information, visit the Northern Virginia Cycle Fest website. Fee: $50/$45 JCCNV members/$20 active military and first responders.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014
 

WUSA9 report on bike parking at McLean Metro station

We've heard that bicycle parking at the McLean Metro station regularly fills up by 9 a.m. most days. There is room for 26 bikes on both sides of Route 123 and the racks on the south/east side are the ones that fill up. Those on the north/west side are difficult to reach and there are few residents on that side of 123 to use the racks.

Martin DiCaro of WUSA9 TV interviewed Navid Roshan-Afshar of The Tysons Corner and me to discuss bike and auto parking at the McLean station. See his story Bike parking shortage along Silver Line. The 700 space private lot is mostly empty. The good news is that WMATA plans to add more bike parking in the near future.

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Friday, September 5, 2014
 

September-October 2014 FABB News

A bi-monthly publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
www.fabb-bikes.org

Bicycle Master Plan

Countywide Bicycle Master Plan will soon be considered by the Board of Supervisors. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on October 1 and the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on October 28. To learn more about the plan, the second of three countywide public meetings is scheduled for September 15 at Mt. Vernon Government Center, 2511 Parkers Ln, Alexandria, VA 22306.

Visit the county bike plan webpage for links to the "Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan - Final Draft" and the four "Maps of Recommended Bicycle Network." We encourage all Fairfax cyclists to consider attending the October 1 and 28 public hearings. See the FABB blog for details as we get closer to those dates.

2014 Transportation Bond Will Fund Pedestrian and Bicycle Projects

After a series of public meetings over the past year, Fairfax County identified a long list of high priority transportation projects. Funding for road and transit projects will come from money allocated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. After deciding that most pedestrian and bicycle projects were not eligible for those state funds, the county plans to fund those projects using the 2014 Transportation Bond. While most are pedestrian projects such as new sidewalks, several important bike projects are included.

We strongly support the Bond and encourage all county residents to vote YES on November 4 to improve pedestrian and bicycle access. See the list of all projects that will be implemented if the Bond passes.

Northern Virginia Cycle Fest Sunday, September 14

Northern Virginia Cycle Fest is a series of mostly on-road rides in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. The event will be held on Sunday, September 14. Four ride options, departing at 7:30 a.m., range from 11 to 62 miles. All rides originate and return to the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike. The rides are designed to be fun and challenging for riders of all levels and experience - with a suggested minimum age of 12. FABB will have an information table at the event.

Riders should be comfortable riding on roads with traffic. All ride options have rest stops, SAG vehicles, mechanical support, merchant sponsorship and light refreshments. The 2014 ride benefits Wounded Warriors Project and Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). For more information, visit the Northern Virginia Cycle Fest website. Fee: $50/$45 JCCNV members/$20 active military and first responders.

Bike Lanes Striped on Sherwood Hall Lane in Mt. Vernon District

VDOT is completing bike lanes on Sherwood Hall Lane as part of a repaving/pavement marking project to improve safety. Bike lanes were added in both directions from Fordson Road to Fort Hunt Road, about 1.5 miles. As the street is not wide enough for bike lanes in the one-block, 450-foot segment from Holland Road to Parkers Lane, shared-lane markings, known as "sharrows," were installed to let cyclists and motorists know that bikes will share the travel lane with motorists.

Thanks to Supervisor Hyland and Delegate Surovell for supporting the project and to Fairfax County and VDOT staff for their work on the project. The newly configured road will benefit all users by making it safer and providing a dedicated bike facility.

Back to School in Fairfax

Fairfax County Schools resumed classes on Tuesday, September 2. Drivers who have been commuting past empty schools all summer will face a plethora of walkers/bikers/buses and additional cars on their normal commute. The best advice to drivers is to simply slow down and enjoy watching all the kids make their way to school for another year of learning.  Students and parents also need to be reminded to be safe. If walking, cross at intersections and look both ways before crossing. If riding, wear a helmet, ride with traffic and signal your intentions. Some advice from our Police Department: Back to School Safety Reminders.

We hope this year in FCPS will show a marked increase in schools participating in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programs.  Some dates to remember:  September 15-19 is VDOT's Student Tally Week, October 8 is International Walk to School Day and October 28 is the Greater Washington DC SRTS Regional meeting. The National SRTS Partnership is also looking for feedback about the types of services and support you need in your work to advance Safe Routes to School. Please take the SRTS Survey. Lastly, here is a good article from our UK brethren: Pedal Power: Why Cycling to School is Good for Learning and the Planet. And here is a nice school-related graphic from our friends in Arlington.



Bicyclists Flocking to Wiehle-Reston East Station

FABB has been doing midday counts of bikes parked at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station since the station opened. There are 10 U racks at the south station entrance, with a capacity of 20 bikes. On the north side there are 16 U racks outside the bike room that hold 32 bikes. There is no charge to park at those racks located under cover. The secure bike room can hold over 200 bikes.

Below is a chart of counts from July 31 to August 28. Over time the number of bikes has gradually increased from a low of 61 on the second count to a high on August 28 of 107. If you compare the high number with the 2013 Metrorail bike parking census conducted by WMATA, the Wiehle station would rank 3rd in the category "Top Stations for Total Bikes Parked".

The free racks outside the bike room were over capacity (bikes locked to the fencing) 6 of the 10 days. An average of 13 bikes (of 20 capacity) were parked at the south racks, so there was usually a place to park. The bike room was at about 1/4 capacity with plenty of room for more bikes for those who pay the $60 annual fee (approximately 25 cents/day for daily commuters).

Upcoming Events

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Monday, September 1, 2014
 

Bicycle Master Plan meeting for south county on Sept. 15

The second of three planned meetings on the Bicycle Master Plan is scheduled for September 15 from 7:30-9pm at the Mount Vernon Government Center Community Room (map). Cyclists are encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the plan as the county prepares for public hearings before the Planning Commission (currently scheduled for October 1) and Board of Supervisors (Oct. 28).

The Mt. Vernon center is located on Parkers Lane, which intersects with Sherwood Hall Lane where bike lanes were recently striped. Why not arrive early and check out the new bike lanes?

See our report from the earlier Bicycle Master Plan meeting held in Reston (which was combined with the Reston bikeshare feasibility study meeting).

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Alexandria bikeshare system expands - Update

Fairfax County recently completed a study that concluded that bikesharing is feasible in Reston*. The City of Alexandria installed Capital Bikeshare in 2012 and they recently doubled the system with eight new stations. See Councilman Justin Wilson's report about the expansion from his newsletter, Council Connection:
Capital Bikeshare Grows
Late last month, the City's Capital Bikeshare network doubled. The addition of eight new stations in Del Ray and Carlyle showcases the bike sharing public/private partnership that now counts the District of Columbia, Arlington, Montgomery County and Alexandria as members.

The expansion did not come without a full performance review of the existing system, which was originally installed in the Fall of 2012. 

The City's Capital Bikeshare system was originally funded using Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. The CMAQ funds now purchase new stations, while the City's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) now fund operations for existing stations. 


Public transportation systems of all kinds depend on heavy public subsidies. In Alexandria, the DASH Bus system recovers approximately 30% of its costs from fare box revenue. Original estimates of Capital Bikeshare's performance were expected to be similar. Surprisingly, Alexandria's cost recovery in the first year reached 72% from rentals. 

The system has provided a critical, low-cost connectivity option for short trips, used frequently by our residents and visitors alike. Current plans will allow continued expansion over the next few years. Please use this link to suggest station locations.

The new stations that were just recently added were:

  • Eisenhower Avenue at Mill Race Lane
  • Ballenger Avenue at Dulany Street
  • Duke Street at John Carlyle Street
  • Mount Vernon Avenue at East Nelson Avenue
  • Mount Vernon Avenue at East Del Ray Avenue
  • Mount Vernon Avenue at Kennedy Street
  • Monroe Avenue at Leslie Avenue
  • Potomac Greens Drive at Slater's Lane
*The Reston bikeshare feasibility study was completed on June 30 but no information is available on the county's Bike Pages site. The county is extremely slow in updating the site. The last bikeshare meeting was held on June 25 but according to the Bike Pages site, an open house will be held January 29. Other old news includes an upcoming VDOT meeting on June 11 and a May Bike to Work Day announcement. There is no information about an upcoming Bicycle Master Plan meeting scheduled for September 15 or about the upcoming public hearings on the Bicycle Master Plan. The county can do better than that.

Update: We've heard good news from county staff that they are making a concerted effort to update the Bike Pages site, including posting the Reston bikeshare report in the near future.

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