Friday, October 9, 2015

Oct. 15 meeting to discuss Cross County Trail in Wakefield Park

Fairfax Park Authority is holding a meeting on a proposal to pave a section of the Cross County Trail in Wakefield Park. The meeting is next Thursday, October 15 at 7pm at Kings Glen Elementary School Cafeteria, 5401 Danbury Forest Drive in Springfield, VA.

The Cross County Trail in Wakefield Park is an important bike route between Little River Turnpike and Braddock Road. The existing trail has a rough, unpaved surface that is difficult to use and maintain. Fairfax Park Authority is proposing to pave that portion of the trail. Some local residents and others are opposing the plan. Some have criticized the paving on the grounds that it creates more impervious surface and that a natural surface trail is better.

The existing compacted gravel trail is considered a semi-impervious surface. After heavy rain the trail can be damaged and become difficult to use. A paved surface would not add significantly to the impervious surface, would be much easier to maintain, and would be preferred by most trail users. Anyone who uses the W&OD Trail knows that most cyclists, runners, and walkers use the paved trail, not the parallel unpaved trail.

If you cannot attend the meeting, send questions or comments to

From the Park Authority:
In response to recommendations and suggestions offered by community members and trail users, the Fairfax County Park Authority is planning trail improvements of the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail at Wakefield Park in Annandale, Va. A public meeting to discuss the project will be held at 7 p.m. on October 15, 2015 at Kings Glen Elementary School Cafeteria, which is located at 5401 Danbury Forest Drive in Springfield, VA.

The Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail is one of the most heavily used trails systems in Fairfax County. The Park Authority’s project includes paving approximately 7,800 linear feet of the trail in Wakefield Park between Braddock Road and Americana Park. The proposed route will follow the existing gravel trail, will be approximately eight to ten feet wide, and will be designed to minimize the impact to natural resources contained within the park. The Park Authority’s project team includes environmental and historic resource professionals who will be closely involved in the design process and will work to ensure that any impacts are limited.

For comments or questions about the project, please call Project Manager Bill Boston at 703-324-2710 or send email to

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wednesday is Walk and Bike to School Day

Fairfax County is celebrating Walk and Bike to School Day on Wednesday, October 7. From Fairfax County Public School:
Students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will participate in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 7, in an effort to promote physical activity and reduce traffic congestion and pollution near schools.

Students are encouraged to bike or walk to school on October 7. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to assemble walking groups for the event. Schools that are launching a schoolwide effort to participate can register online at

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs get kids physically active and take cars off the road. The percentage of students walking and bicycling to school declined from 48 percent in1969 to 13 percent in 2009. The increased number of Kiss & Ride users has exacerbated traffic conditions around many schools and has made it more difficult for student walkers and bicyclist to get to school. Find out more about Safe Routes to School in FCPS.

Local organizations that support walking and biking to school include:

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Board of Supervisors Candidate Survey

The Board of Supervisors election will be held on Tuesday, November 3. FABB recently sent a survey to all candidates running for Supervisor seats and to those running for Chairman. As a nonprofit organization we do not endorse candidates but we can let people know the candidates' views on various bike-related topics.

Candidates have until October 20 to return the survey. We will post the responses shortly afterwards. See our 2007 Candidate Survey results. Below is the letter sent to all candidates along with the questions:
Dear Board of Supervisor Candidate,

Since 2005 Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling has been promoting bicycle engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation throughout Fairfax County. The Bicycle Master Plan, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in October 2014, contains ambitious recommendations for transforming Fairfax into a more bicycle-friendly community. 

Unfortunately, Fairfax County has not provided adequate funding to implement the vision outlined in the Bicycle Master Plan. While significant engineering progress was made this year when several miles of bike lanes were implemented as part of the summer paving program, there is no dedicated funding for education, encouragement, and evaluation programs.

Better bicycling will attract new businesses, provide for safer routes to schools, reduce traffic, and promote a more active, healthier life style for ages 8 to 80. Beginning in 2016, our bicycle advocates will need the support of local elected officials to make meaningful changes in the county. Allocating scarce resources to implement the Bicycle Master Plan will benefit future generations and result in a safer, healthier, and more competitive communities.

So that our supporters and all county voters can be informed about your views and level of support for better bicycling, it would be greatly appreciated if you would complete, sign, date return the attached short survey to Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, P.O. Box 3752, Reston, VA 20195 or no later than October 20, 2015. We will compile and publish the survey results as a nonpartisan, educational tool before the November election. Please note that our 501(c)(3) status prohibits us from endorsing candidates and contributing to partisan election campaigns.

Should you have any questions please contact me at

Bruce Wright, 

Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling 
November 2015 Candidates Survey 

1. Do you agree with the following statement? "I support safe bicycling as an integral part of the overall transportation options in Fairfax County.”

2. One of the recommendations of the Bicycle Master Plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors in October, 2014 is to “Allocate an annual budget dedicated to bicycle planning and programming initiatives, and small scale capital projects such as: installation of bicycle parking racks and lockers; signs for signed bicycle routes; curb ramps; and small bicycle and trail access projects.”
     A. Do you support implementation of this recommendation?
     B. If so, how will you support it?

3. Would you sponsor or support a motion for Fairfax County to seek recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists?

4. The Bicycle Master Plan also recommends development of an encouragement and education program call Bike Fairfax with dedicated staff separate from the Bike Program staff. The program could be funded using Transportation Demand Management (TDM) and Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) sources. Will you support Bike Fairfax funding in the FY 2017 budget?

5. Please comment on your bicycling experiences and your efforts to support better bicycling to places of work, play, study, and worship.


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Meet WABA's New Executive Director Greg Billing

From our friends at WABA:
Meet & Greet with WABA's New Executive Director
October 7, 6:00 PM
REI Community Space at Wunder Garten, 150 M St NE, Washington, DC.

Stop by, grab a beer or a snack, and say hello to our new Executive Director, Greg Billing. Nothing too formal, just a nice fun after-work gathering with our friends from REI.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Faces of Fairfax - Bryan Sweeney

Bryan Sweeney
At the Burke Centre Virginia Railway Express station Bike to Work Day pit stop, Burke-resident Bryan Sweeney told FABB that he rides as part of his commute to DC and for training and enjoyment around the Clifton area.

Asked what he likes most about biking, Bryan responded “Everything!”  In response to another question about what he thinks would make cycling easier and safer in the county, he suggested that efforts to increase motorist awareness of bicyclists would be helpful.

FABB continues to work with Fairfax County government and local law enforcement to expand public consciousness about safely sharing roads and to increase knowledge of the “rules of the road” that protect law-abiding cyclists from motorists who do not understand or choose to ignore the law.

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

More renters want secure bike parking

Home is where the bike is appeared in the Washington Post recently, describing how more and more renters are asking for secure bike parking when they look for a home to rent. Most apartment buildings in Fairfax County either have no bike parking or the parking that's provided is inadequate. We hope this will change in the near future as Fairfax adopts new Bicycle Parking Guidelines and county officials encourage more developers to provide safe, convenient bike parking.

From the article:
Photo: Washington Post
Some renters want to live close to a Metro station. Others look for a building with reasonably priced parking. But for a growing number of District residents, a place to park one’s bike is the most crucial component of apartment living.

As the city adds bike lanes to make commuting easier, local apartment buildings have gotten on board with the trend, adding bike-friendly amenities to entice renters who cycle.

Shankar Kulumani, 28, bikes to class at George Washington University, where he’s a doctoral student in mechanical and aerospace engineering. He and his wife, Christine Kulumani, 24, have three bikes between them, so they made finding a bike-friendly building a priority in their apartment hunt.

A year ago, the couple moved to 2800 Woodley (2800 Woodley Road NW; 877-698-4894), which has a secure bike storage space and a bike repair station in the garage.

The bike storage means that when he gets home, “I don’t have to lug my bike up four flights of stairs to my apartment,” Shankar says. “This bike space is a lot better than a lot of other [apartment buildings] I’ve looked at.”

The bike repair station includes an air pump for tires and a set of tools to fix chains and other bike parts in need of maintenance. The video-monitored storage space can accommodate around 40 bikes. Renters who want to store their bikes there get a separate key to access the caged area.

2800 Woodley, which is managed by WC Smith, added the bike amenities about two years ago in response to the popularity of the similar amenities offered at a newer WC Smith-managed property, 2M Street (2 M St. NE; 855-374-5266), says Tanya Congdon, community manager at 2800 Woodley.

The effort has paid off; the bike storage space is currently full and has a waiting list, Cong­don says.
Kudos to WC Smith for providing good bike parking and the bike repair station. They are setting a great example for others to follow.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

I-66 Outside the Beltway detailed plans now available

I-66 at Nutley St, parallel trail shown as solid green line
The drawings for the I-66 Outside the Beltway project are now available on the VDOT website. We are very encouraged that the parallel trail on the north side of I-66 is an integral part of the project. Many of the ramp crossings are grade-separated using either a tunnel or bridge to allow safer crossings of the high speed ramps. Kudos to VDOT for including the trail, an extension of the Custis Trail, in their plans.

Also shown on the drawings are the bike facilities across the bridges that will be rebuilt as part of the project. In the Nutley/I-66 drawing on the right you can see "Proposed Shared Use Paths" as solid green lines. The parallel trail is on the north side weaving through the interchange with bridges or tunnels crossing the ramps. The dashed green line in the upper left is the "Proposed Shared Use Path (By Others)," which in this case would be a section of the parallel trail built by Fairfax County.

There's a great deal of information in a large number of drawings. These will be printed and placed in sequence at the public information meetings planned later this month. Cyclists are encouraged to attend these meetings and learn more about the proposed bike facilities and support VDOT's trail proposal. Even if you don't support the expansion of I-66, if the project is built, we strongly support the trail proposals.

I-66 Outside the Beltway meetings held between 6:30 and 8:30 (as per comment below):
Monday, October 19, 2015,
Oakton High School
2900 Sutton Road, Vienna, VA 22181

Tuesday, October 20, 2015VDOT Northern Virginia District Office
4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030

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