Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sharing the Road: Lessons From History

FABB and the Microsoft Store at Tysons Corner Center are proud to present a public talk by Dr. James Longhurst on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the Microsoft Store. 

Dr. Longhurst, a historian, avid cyclist, and author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Roadwill be discussing the early 20th century battles over taxes, roads, and bicycle trails and the lessons these experiences offer us today. 

Americans have been riding bikes since the late 19th century, and Dr. Longhurst will explore why most American cities are still ill-prepared to handle cyclists. His talk will trace one of the contentious debates between American bike riders, motorists, and pedestrians over the shared road. His presentation and subsequent question and answer session will relate this history to contemporary transportation planning issues like those affecting Tyson’s future. 

Seating is limited, so mark you calendar and go to our EventBrite registration page here

FABB would like to thank Access Tysons for its help in arranging this event. 

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Gender Equity and the I-66 Trail Design

FABB wants to recommend a blog by sociologist Doug Barnes, who specializes in energy and environmental issues but also is a bicycling enthusiast. It takes an uncommon and thought-provoking approach to trail design by focusing on gender. It provides yet another reason why the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) should build a trail that will be popular among a wider variety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Doug suggests that seasoned male bicyclists will be the main beneficiaries of the proposed I-66 trail based on research on the distribution of bicycle riders that feel comfortable or uncomfortable in various forms of traffic. The current trail design for the I-66 corridor would be attractive primarily to those riders characterized as "strong & fearless" and "enthused & confident" (about 12% of the regional population). These two groups, however, are predominately male; women make up only about 20% of these types of riders. The trail needs to be improved to appeal more to riders in the “interested but concerned category, which includes more than twice as many women. 

Here is the link to the full post “Gender Equity is an Issue for the Transform I-66 Trail Design.” 

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Comments Needed for Rolling Road Widening Project

The VDOT public meeting on November 30 on the Rolling Road widening project covered a couple of issues affecting the project and its planned shared use path. 

The good news is that the shared use path, which will only be on one side of Rolling Road, will be extended beyond Viola Street (the end of the widening project) to the Fairfax County Parkway.  The bad news is that some property owners do not want a 10-foot shared use path or a 6-foot sidewalk in their front yards. There was significant group at the meeting asking VDOT to build something narrower. 

FABB is encouraging members in the area to submit comments to VDOT to let them know that bicyclists and other users need a wider path. In addition to your own ideas, you can highlight: 
  • The shared use path should be designed to support a heavy volume of users since it will be a major bicycle transportation route. 
  • Federal design standards specify that heavily used paths should be 12- to14-feet wide with a 2-feet graded area on both sides of path.  
  • Standard shared use paths are 10-feet wide. With the planned path serving as a commuter route and access way to an elementary school, unless there are exceptional circumstances, the path should not be built less than the 10-foot standard.  
  • Building anything narrower would endanger the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
You can submit comments via e-mail (please put "Rolling Road Widening" in the subject line) or mail through Monday, December 11.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Participants Still Needed for Travel Study

Participants are still needed for a Virginia Tech study of non-motorized travel behavior in the DC Metro area. Participants will receive a $25 gift card. Use of an Android phone is required. For more information about the study and to sign up, visit
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

FABB Needs You!

FABB volunteers have been an effective voice for more bike infrastructure, bike commuting, and education for bicyclists and motorists for many years. There is so much more we can do if more members get involved in our wide range of advocacy and supporting efforts.

Check out our new informational video and then send us a note.

FABB Needs You!

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Rolling Road Public Hearing Next Week

Springfield-area FABB members have an excellent opportunity next week to speak up to make bicycling better in Fairfax County. VDOT is holding a public information meeting on Thursday, November 30, on the Rolling Road widening project, which includes bicycle and pedestrian improvements. 

The project aims to reduce congestion and improve safety by widening Rolling Road (Route 638) from two to four lanes between Viola Street and Old Keene Mill Road. This project is being planned in two phases with the pedestrian and bicycle facilities being added during the second phase.  

The public information meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Rolling Valley Elementary School, 6703 Barnack Drive in West Springfield. We hope a number of local FABB members will attend to share their ideas on making the planned bike facilities as safe and easy to use as possible. 

If you would like to provide feedback but are unable to attend the meeting, please send your thoughts to Please include “Rolling Road Widening” in the subject line.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

I-66 Public Meetings Wrap-Up

The I-66 meetings last week went well with good turnouts and support for the parallel multi-use trail. FABB President Jeff Anderson provided the closing remarks at the November 13 meeting, and other advocates made comments in support of better trail design at each of the meetings.  

Some key points mentioned at the meetings that should continue to be emphasized with VDOT were:  
  • There are still opportunities to make additional improvements to reduce the length of trail between the sound walls and the highway to limit health concerns and permit greater access to nearby neighborhood.  
  • In particular, cyclists and pedestrians need protection from road debris and vehicle exhaust. 
    • Increasing the height of the Jersey barrier above 32-inches when the trail is on the highway side would enhance safety; 
    • User experience would be improved by measures on the highway side section to limit exposure to air pollutants.
  • Ensure that the trail has reasonable and convenient connections to bike facilities on bridges that cross I-66.
    • Some attendees noted that proposed trails at the Vienna Metro Station (south side) and Fair Oaks Mall do not appear to actually connect with each other or the local destination. The trail in the Fair Oaks area the trail is not in the I-66 right-of-way and instead circuitously follows nearby roads.
    • Proximity to mixed-use trails increases residential property values.
  • Steps should be taken to ensure that the shared use path has good drainage and design so there will be no standing water and ice will not form in freezing temperatures.  
  • If done well, the parallel trail will help our county compete for the best employers.  
These ideas can be included in written comments to VDOT that can be entered at the department's website here until November 29, 2017.

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