Monday, April 13, 2015

Tell Fairfax County how you bike to VRE and Metro

The Bike Fairfax Wikimapping Project has now opened its interactive map to the public to post their routes to Metrorail and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) stations in Fairfax County and provide feedback until June 30, 2015. 

Photo Courtesy of Fairfax County
The project, which is an extension of the recently passed Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan, provides commuters and leisure bicyclists the opportunity to help prioritize future bicycle improvement projects in Fairfax County.  The information provided by the public will help guide the decision making process on future bicycle infrastructure improvements including wayfinding signage and bike lanes.

Instructions and a video demonstration on how to map your route and provide feedback can be found at  To access the interactive map directly, visit

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Support needed to save Kingstowne bike lanes

The proposed Kingstowne Village Parkway road diet and on-road bike lanes are in jeopardy unless we act now.  Your help is needed to show strong public support for the proposed bicycle improvements before the public comment period closes on April 15, 2015.  

Fairfax County Department of Transportation(FCDOT) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are proposing a road diet on Kingstowne Village Parkway that would reduce the current four travel lanes to two with one center turn lane and would provide on-road bike facilities in both directions. The addition of bike lanes on Kingstowne Village Parkway would help build out the County’s bike network as recommended in Fairfax County’s Bicycle Master Plan and would provide needed connection to existing bike lanes on Beulah Street.
Road Diet - Graphic by FCDOT

At the second public meeting held April 8, there was significant opposition for the proposed road diet.  Opponents voiced concerns that focused mostly on traffic volume and the effect a new nearby development would have on local traffic. VDOT’s traffic study, however, indicates Kingstowne Village Parkway has significant extra capacity and is well below the 20,000 vehicles per day threshold for determining road diet candidates.

Road diets and on-street bike lanes make streets safer for all users - bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers alike.  In 2010, FCDOT and VDOT completed a road diet on Lawyers Road in Fairfax County, a very similar roadway to Kingstowne Village Parkway.  A before and after study by VDOT found that while average travel times remained generally the same, there was a 67% reduction in motor vehicle crashes, and it reduced the number of people driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit.  

FCDOT Views - Graphic by FCDOT

Road diets provide traffic calming and the addition of bike lanes offer people who bicycle a safe place on the road, and an alternative to side paths that are often shared with pedestrians.  Let’s not allow a few vocal opponents to undermine efforts to make Kingstowne Village Parkway safer and more accessible for all users.  

Please email Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay (, and copy Adam Lind of FCDOT (, to let them know you support the road diet and bicycle lanes for Kingstowne Village Parkway.  Time is short so please provide your feedback before the public comment period closes on April 15. 

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FABB's Bruce Wright receives volunteer service award

Please pass along your congratulations to FABB Chairman Bruce Wright, who was recently awarded a Citation of Merit by the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations as part of its annual Citizen of the Year competition. The program seeks to recognize and honor those citizens whose voluntary contributions of time and talent have resulted in major accomplishments that have enhanced the quality of life for the citizens of Fairfax County.

We can think of no one more deserving than Bruce, not only for all of his tireless efforts to get the Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan passed last year but for his work since 2005 in advancing public recognition of the economic, health, and community benefits of transportation by bicycle. Bruce has been a major catalyst in getting the county government to commit to major new bicycling infrastructure throughout Fairfax and in implementing a myriad of measures designed to make our county a better, healthier, and more fun place to live.

Bruce and his fellow winners will be honored at the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations annual banquet, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 3, starting at 5:30pm at the Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 22102. Please join us in celebrating Bruce’s accomplishment.  You can RSVP online and the cost of the banquet is $65 per person. 

Posted by Steve Ward. 

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FABB testimony at county budget hearings

During the week of 6 April 2015 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors held public hearings on the budget for the coming year (FY 2016). Below is the testimony given by FABB member Steve Ward, which focused on asking the county to properly fund and staff the Bicycle Program office and an as yet established office to run the Bike Fairfax program.

 Photo: Board of Supervisors, Courtesy of Fairfax County Government

Fairfax County FY 2016 Budget Testimony
April 7, 2015

Good evening, Chairman Bulova and members of the Board. 

I’m here on behalf of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), and I thank you for this opportunity to speak tonight about the proposed budget and its impact on the implementation of the bicycling element of planned transportation improvements.

The proposed budget’s funding of bike projects is a great improvement over past years. But we believe that some additions or adjustments must be made to properly resource the current and proposed offices that will direct the bicycle program.  

We appreciate and commend the Board for its past efforts to make Fairfax more bicycle-friendly. Last year’s adoption of the Bicycle Master Plan, the inclusion of money for expanded bike infrastructure as part of the 6-year transportation funding package, and the county’s work with VDOT’s summer repaving program to add bike facilities in Tysons are major advances.

  • However, if Fairfax County is to stay on track with the Master Plan then the county will need to allocate sufficient funding to the bike program offices to make sure that the momentum behind this plan is sustained.

We know that the demand for more bike facilities exists and is waiting to be served. The opening last year of the Metro Silver Line stations in Reston and Tysons has been a great test case for the proposition that if we build bike facilities, they will be used.

  • According to local news reports last fall, at the McLean station, which isn’t in a very bike-friendly part of Tysons, most of the 72 available bike spaces were filled by 9 a.m. each weekday.  
  • FABB members have observed and can testify that usage of the Wiehle-Reston East bike room has been even stronger.

  • We believe these examples suggest that new bike projects around other transit hubs throughout the county would see similar use, but more direction and commitment is needed to make this happen.   

Having a physical bicycle network is only one aspect of becoming a true bicycle-friendly community and, as the Master Plan points out, other areas also need emphasis.

  • As Fairfax transitions to a more urban structure, residents need to be encouraged to use bikes and walks for short trips.

  • Motorists and cyclists need bicycle safety education, and enforcement of applicable laws needs to improve.

  • And kids need to learn safe riding skills at an early age.

Sadly, however, we see that funds for the Bicycle Program have not been reinstated and note that the county does not have enough staff to properly direct and implement the Master Plan’s recommendations.

  • This is true for the plan’s Engineering elements (the proposed infrastructure projects), which the County to its credit is emphasizing.  

  • But, as important, it also is true for the plan’s four other E’s--education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation.

We strongly believe that there is an immediate need to correct the virtual absence of funding for these 4 E’s in the proposed budget.

  • In particular, we think it is a major failure that Bike Fairfax is not funded.  There is a clear need for a more effective approach to education and encouragement programs.

  • Such programs require different skill sets than those needed for planning and engineering the physical bicycle network, and Bike Fairfax is intended to address this.

  • Because these programs will directly affect the safety of county cyclists, we strongly believe that it is past time to start allocating resources to this effort.

Again, we are very appreciative of the Board’s actions in recent years to make Fairfax more bicycle-friendly. We understand the county’s financial situation and the multiple conflicting demands on the budget.

But, we believe that these investments bring benefits to all of our citizens and that, along with our existing bicycling infrastructure, are helping to keep the county competitive with its neighbors in attracting new residents, businesses, and visitors.  We’ve included in your packages a review of 12 studies  from around the world that demonstrate how safe and accessible biking options are good for business and for local economies. 

  • However, it will take a commitment on the part of the County to make these programs and activities a priority and to provide them proper direction if we are to continue expanding these benefits.

  • And, to do this, the proposed budget, at a minimum, needs to be adjusted to fully resource the Bicycle Program and to create the Bike Fairfax office with its own dedicated staff.

  • We submit that for a modest amount of resources given to the Bicycle Program and Bike Fairfax, the County will see a great return in terms of safer, healthier, and more livable and economically vibrant communities.

  • And, as it has in the past, FABB stands ready to cooperate with the County in working with private businesses, the health care industry, and other interested organizations and volunteer groups to help make these efforts a success.

Thank you.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Join FABB at Tour de Fat on May 30

DC's Biggest Bike Party is May 30Tour de Fat DC is a free bike party held at Yards Park located next to Nats stadium on Saturday, May 30. The all day event is sponsored by New Belgium Brewery and is full of music, fun, and games. Proceeds from beverage sales go toward funding bike advocacy in the DC area including the work of FABB and WABA.

This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we need at least 30 volunteers, especially in the afternoon. FABB volunteers are responsible for carding people who want to drink New Belgium beer. Please consider volunteering with FABB for a morning or afternoon shift at this event. All volunteers receive a merchandise coupon and two beverage tokens. Please volunteer to help FABB at Tour de Fat.


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Internship opportunity at Fairfax Co Bike Program

Fairfax County is looking for volunteer help this summer. They've announced an unpaid internship position in the Bicycle Program. From the internship announcement:
Job Announcement
Fairfax County Department of Transportation is looking for a summer intern to assist with bicycle and pedestrian projects. The bicycle program recently opened its first secure bike room at the Wiehle Reston-East Metrorail station and completed Fairfax County’s first Bicycle Master Plan. The bicycle and pedestrian programs recently saw $87 million of a $100 million transportation bond pass and many more projects are in both the planning and implementation phase

This position would include creating maps using GIS software, assisting with field review and scoping of projects such as bicycle signage and wayfinding, sidewalks, trails, and bicycle parking. Position may include attending public meetings and assisting with the creation of graphics for presentations.

Minimum Qualifications
Current graduate student or recent graduate in the field of urban planning, city and regional planning, transportation planning, or transportation engineering.

This intern position is UNPAID, but will work with intern to earn class credit if offered through his/her college or university.

The position requires 20 hours per week from May-August. Exact length of position will depend on candidates availability.

Preferred Qualifications and Knowledge-Experience with ArcGIS to create and edit maps, as well as perform basic analysis -Basic knowledge of transportation planning principles and traffic engineering -Knowledge of bicycle and pedestrian planning principles
-Experience using and knowledge of the MUTCD
-Experienced bicycle rider, some field work may require riding a bicycle
-Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others, including citizen’s groups, community, county, and state officials.

Please send resume and cover letter to by April 20, 2015. Call 703-877-5600 with questions.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Braddock Road corridor survey announced

Braddock Road Corridor
If you commute in the Braddock Road corridor, between Guinea Road and the Beltway, Fairfax County wants to hear from you. Fill the Braddock Road Corridor online survey to ask for better bike conditions and transit connections along this important roadway. It won't happen if you don't ask.

The corridor connects the relatively densely populated areas inside and outside the Beltway. It links the Cross County Trail on the eastern edge with George Mason University to the west.

As usual, bicycling is treated as an aside. The survey is part of the Braddock Road Multimodal Study which also has only a token mention of bicycling and seems to be "multimodal" in words only.

The main question on the survey about needed improvements in the corridor has a very limited scope:
7. What improvements do you feel are needed along the corridor? (Check all that apply)
__ No improvements are needed
__ Spot improvements at congestion points
__ One additional traffic lane per direction
Population around Braddock Corridor
Later in the survey questions about transit and biking and walking are added although the solutions for better bike access do not include bike lanes or separated cycletracks:
15. Do you bicycle in this area? (Check all that apply)
 __ For pleasure
 __ To commute
 __ For shopping
 __ I do not bicycle 

16. Which of the following would create conditions favorable for you to bicycle in this area? (Check one)
 __ Separated bike paths along Braddock Road
 __ More neighborhood bicycle connections
 __ More convenient access to work, shops, schools, etc
We suggest cyclists use the final question to ask for safer, more convenient bike access along the Braddock Road corridor 
What improvements would you like to see in this corridor?
From the Braddock Road Corridor survey page:
Fairfax County Department of Transportation is looking for input from commuters using the Braddock Road corridor between Guinea Road and I-495. We would like to hear how you utilize the corridor as part of your commute and what you view are the priorities in making improvements in this area. There are two ways you can submit your information:
Take the survey online.

Download the survey and mail to Fairfax County Department of Transportation/Braddock Road Survey, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033. Paper copies can also be picked up from the Braddock District Office, 9002 Burke Lake Road, Burke, VA 22015.

The survey is part of the Braddock Road Multimodal Study that aims to develop and evaluate a number of improvements for the corridor. The study will also look at the potential development of a transit center in the vicinity of the Kings Park Shopping Center. For more information, you can also visit the Braddock Road Task Force online or contact the Fairfax County Department of Transportation at 703-877-5600, TTY 711.


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