Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Connector Trail opens Saturday

Meadowlark Park connector trail from W&OD Trail
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is owned and managed by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the same organization that owns the W&OD Trail. The two parks are within a mile of each other. They will soon be connected by a new paved trail.

On Saturday October 25th at 10:30 Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) will host a ribbon cutting for the W&OD to Meadowlark Connector Trail. They will also be dedicating an interpretive sign donated by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The connector trail is near mile marker 14.5; between Vienna and Hunter Mill Road.

Rails to Trails Conservancy is holding a ride that begins at the Connector trail. The ride begins after the ribbon-cutting and follows a 12-mile route from the Connector trail to Herndon, with a stop at Green Lizard Cycling before returning.

See detailed plans for the trail.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vote YES on 2014 Transportation Bond - Update

We are encouraging everyone to vote YES for the 2014 Transportation Bond on November 4. $6 million in bicycle projects, $78 million in pedestrian projects, and $16 million in spot road improvements will be funded by the bond. See a detailed list of projects. These projects will help make biking and walking conditions safer for everyone.

Fairfax County produced the following informational video on the bond:

Update; See the Fairfax Times letter to the editor from the Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax Transportation bonds will make Fairfax a safer place.


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Fairfax County Parkway Trail repair update

From VDOT regarding the latest phase of the Fairfax County Parkway Trail repairs:

Fairfax County

Direction: Rte. 286 N/B Fairfax County Parkway.
Where:  From Sunrise Valley Drive to Dulles Toll Road.
When: Monday 10/20/14 thru Friday 10/24/14 10/31/14 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(weather permitting)
What: Temporary Bike Trail closure.
Why: Maintenance repairs.
Project0286-029-112, N501
Contact Info: Erwin Milian: 571-237-5211
Emergency Contact: Sam Ghobadian: 571-722-5315


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vesper Trail information meeting Oct 20 - Update

On Monday, October 20 Fairfax County is holding and information meeting on the proposed Vesper Trail. The trail will provide direct bicycle and pedestrian access from communities in north Vienna to the Spring Hill Metro Station in Tysons. In the image on the right the trail is indicated by the green line between 24 and 17.

From the Hunter Mill District newsletter:
On October 20th, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will be hosting an informational meeting to discuss the Vesper Trail transportation facility. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., at Westbriar Elementary School (1741 Pine Valley Drive, Vienna, VA 22182).

Vesper Trail is an important link between the Tysons transit area and northern Vienna neighborhoods. FCDOT staff will discuss the project background, current progress, and timeline to completion. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Hunter Mill District office at 703-478-0283.

Update 21 Oct 2014 - Several Fairfax County staff attended the meeting as did several residents and other interested parties. Comments were generally favorable regarding the trail. Concerns were expressed about the types of lights planned for the trail. People wanted to avoid seeing the light from their houses as much as possible, although I think everyone agreed that lighting was a good thing.

Other concerns were expressed about the lost of a few trees due to placement of a bridge. People wondered why stream restoration wasn't occurring during the same time frame, but that work is not funded whereas the trail is fully funded. From my understanding of the process, stream restoration will likely lead to extensive loss of tress.

We were encouraged that the trail will be lighted and that current plans include plowing snow that accumulates on the trail in the winter.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Fairfax Co Parkway Trail closed north of Sunrise Valley Dr

We just learned that maintenance/repair work on the Fairfax County Parkway Trail started up again today. As a result, the trail is closed just north of Sunrise Valley Dr up to just south of the eastbound Dulles Toll Rd ramp. If you're riding south and encounter the barrier, you will have to backtrack all the way to Sunset Hills/Spring St near the Target to find an alternate route. You could also try to make your way through the closed trail section.

As you can sort of see from the map image above, there are not many alternative routes to bypass the closed trail section. You could ride east to Reston Parkway or west to Monroe Street. You should be able to click on the map to see the google map version.

We've asked that the north Trail Closed barrier be placed closer to the decision point for using an alternate route; at Sunset Hills/Spring Street.


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Millennials in Motion

Millennials are "driving less; taking transit, bik- ing and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, not a necessity" according to a new report entitled Millennials in Motion.

This trend has major implications for how we spend our transportation dollars in the future. Most local jurisdictions are now basing their spending on outdated models that assume nearly everyone will drive in the future. Numerous road projects will be built in the near future based on these projections.

From the Executive Summary:
Now is the time for the nation’s transportation policies to acknowledge, accommodate and support Millennials’ demands for a greater array of transportation choices.

Millennials are less car-focused than older Americans and previous generations of young people, and their transportation behaviors continue to change in ways that reduce driving.

  • Between 2001 and 2009, the average number of miles driven by 16 to 34 year-olds dropped by 23 percent, as a result of young people taking fewer trips, shorter trips, and a larger share of trips by modes other than driving. Young Americans drive less than older Americans and use public transpor- tation more, and often use multiple modes of travel during a typical day or week.
  • In recent years, young people appear to have continued to shift away from driving:
    • Census data show that the share of 16 to 24 year-olds traveling to work by car declined by 1.5 percentage points between 2006 and 2013, while the share of young people getting to work by public transportation, on foot or by bi- cycle, or else working from home, had increased.
    • Young people aged 20 to 30 are less likely to move from central cities to suburbs than a decade ago.
    • Driver’s licensing among young people has continued to decline. The percentage of high school seniors with driver’s licenses declined from 85 percent to 73 percent between 1996 and 2010, according to the AAA Founda- tion for Highway Safety, with federal data suggesting that the decline has continued since 2010.
  • Young people are not the only Americans who are driving less. The number of miles driven by the average American has declined nearly continuously since 2004. Americans now drive no more in total than we did in 2005 and no more on average than we did at the beginning of President Bill Clinton’s second term in office.


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Tell the Park Authority you want better bike access to parks

The Fairfax County Park Authority is updating their Needs Assessment. The effort is called Parks Count! In the 2004 Needs Assessment report there is no discussion of bike access to parks. The only mention of bikes is on unpaved bike trails.

This is a great opportunity to let the Park Authority know the importance of good bicycle access to the parks and the need for bike parking.

After collecting ideas and initial input, the Park Authority will "design and send a survey to almost 15,000 randomly selected Fairfax County households in early 2015."

One way to participate is to use a web-based application for getting citizen feedback. You can comment and vote on proposed ideas or propose your own ideas. The application requires entering an email address and creating a password. Please consider voting for this idea that was recently added:
Better bicycle access to parks: Most of us live within a short distance of nearby parks, and yet accessing our parks by bike is often not easy. We need safe, direct bike access into the parks, and good bike parking when we get there.
The topic with the most votes, 8, is Horseback Riding on more trails. The above idea has 1 vote.

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