Friday, November 21, 2014
 

November-December FABB Newsletter

November-December 2014 FABB News
A bi-monthly publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

Fairfax County Now Has a Bicycle Master Plan

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the county's first-ever Bicycle Master Plan on October 28. The plan is now officially incorporated into the Transportation component of the Comprehensive Plan. Thanks to the Board and the Planning Commission for their support. A special thanks to everyone who took the time to attend the final public hearings and who testified in support of the plan. Thanks also to the more than 850 people who signed the FABB/WABA petitions.

Some key recommendations from the Plan (as referenced in the final Board package and posted on the county website):

Bike Fairfax - Creation of Bike Fairfax for conducting bicycle encouragement and education programs. The program "should have a dedicated staff, separate from the FCDOT Bike Program staff. It would require its own funding to support program administration, marketing materials and events."

Trail Maintenance Funds - Fairfax County, VDOT and other key agencies/entities that own and manage Transportation Trails should establish dedicated funding for annual maintenance of Transportation Trails in the Bikeway Network;

Strengthen the Bicycle Program - Continue to expand the number of full-time employees staffing the Bicycle Program in order to accomplish the goals and objectives outlined in the Plan. Allocate an annual budget dedicated to bicycle planning and programmatic 
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.
Fairfax Voters Overwhelmingly Support Ped/bike Project Funding

The 2014 Transportation Bond was approved by over 70% of voters. The $100 million bond includes $77.5 million in pedestrian projects, $6.5 million in bike projects, and $16 million in spot road projects. The vote shows that Fairfax residents want safe pedestrian and bicycle routes. Thank you Fairfax voters!

Bike projects include:
  • Wakefield Chapel Rd Walkway/Bike Lanes
  • Lake Braddock Drive Road Diet
  • Burke VRE Connector Ph. IV
  • Cross County Trail Upgrades
  • Burke Road Bike Lanes
  • West Ox Road Trail
  • Route 50 Trail
  • Elm St/Dolley Madison Blvd Improved Pedestrian and Bicycle Crossing
  • Franconia-Springfield Metrorail Station/VRE Enhanced Bicycle Parking
  • Government Center Area Bicycle Demonstration Project
  • Northern Virginia Community College Medical Education Campus, Springfield
  • Vienna Metrorail Station Area Bicycle Connectivity Improvements
  • Westmoreland Street On-Road Bike Lanes
  • Westmoreland Street/Rosemont Drive
Fairfax Park Board Endorses Tysons Park Plan

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board recently approved a comprehensive parks plan for Tysons. The plan includes a recreational trail loop connecting many of the current and future parks. "As Tysons transforms from a suburban commercial center to a major regional urban center, a connected network of urban parks will help to distinguish Tysons as a great urban area and bring benefits to the local economy and quality of life. To help ensure that happens, the Park Authority developed a comprehensive park system concept plan for Tysons."

See related info on the Tysons Park Planning project website.

Trail Repaving Updates

VDOT has nearly completed the first phase of repairs on the Fairfax County Parkway Trail, from Route 7 to Route 50. Several of the most damaged sections of the trail have been repaved. Also, NVRPA recently repaved a major section of the W&OD Trail, from Crestview Dr in Herndon west to Ashburn Rd.

Arlington County to Plow Major Trails This Winter

From the Washington Post: "The Parks and Recreation Department has purchased two small plows to clear up to 10 miles of Arlington’s busiest trails after each snowfall. At the same time, the Environmental Services Department will launch a pilot program to pretreat and clear snow from the protected bike lanes that have been established on some county streets.

"The targeted areas include 5.2 miles of the Custis trail from Lynn Street to the Washington & Old Dominion trail; 1.25 miles of the Bluemont Junction trail from Fairfax Drive to the W&OD; 2.25 miles of the Four Mile Run trail from National Airport to Shirlington Road; and 0.4 miles of the Route 110 trail between the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington Cemetery."

Reston's Healthy Community Design Summit

Reston Association recently sponsored a talk by Mark Fenton, a nationally known consultant on building healthy, more physically active communities. Mark's talk was filmed and the video of the Healthy Community Design Workshop is now online.

It's well worth taking the time to view the presentation. Mark presents an excellent summary of the reasons we need physically active communities to help combat obesity and diabetes, very preventable and costly diseases.

Holiday Bike Drive

On Saturday November 29 volunteers will be in the parking lot next to Bikes@Vienna (128-A Church Street NW, Vienna) and at Antioch Christian Church (1860 Beulah Road, Vienna) collecting gently-used bikes for holiday distribution to local families. The program is being sponsored by Committee for Helping Others. Questions: edjporter8@gmail.com

Bike Lanes Recommended in Fairfax City

At a November design workshop sponsored by Fairfax City and George Mason University, transportation consultants recommended restriping University Drive for bike lanes between the Mason campus and downtown Fairfax. More than 200 individuals attended the three-day workshop, which focused on developing various short-term and long-term visions for strengthening the Mason-Fairfax City connection. Downtown Fairfax City is about 1 ½ miles from the Mason campus, an ideal distance for bicycling. The recommendation included a road diet for the north end of University Drive approaching downtown. The City will be evaluating the workshop recommendations in the coming months. See the final workshop presentation. To get involved in advocating for implementing these recommendations, contact Douglas Stewart at douglasbstewart@gmail.com.

  • November 19, Wednesday - FABB monthly meeting
  • November 27, Thursday - Reston Thanksgiving Day Ride
  • November 29, Saturday - Holiday Bike Drive at bikes@vienna and Antioch Christian Church
  • December 17, Wednesday - FABB monthly meeting

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014
 

WABA Publishes Arlington Blvd/Route 50 Trail Concept Plan

Yesterday WABA released a plan for creation of a connected bike trail along Route 50 from Arlington to Fairfax City, the Arlington Boulevard Trail Concept Plan. Bike facilities on Route 50 are a high priority for FABB and WABA. Thanks to WABA for putting together this plan. Now the local jurisdictions, working with VDOT, have concrete guidance for building of this trail.

From the Executive Summary:
Arlington Boulevard runs just over twelve miles from the National Mall in Washington, DC to Fairfax City, VA, crossing several jurisdictional lines and the Potomac River along the way. The thoroughfare connects over 110,000 people living in the adjacent neighborhoods to offices, retail, parks, schools, and government services. But it lacks a consistent, high-quality bicycling route.

Such a route would encourage bicycling and walking along its length, increase the value of existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities by making them part of a more connected network, and improve the character of the corridor for all users. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) have identified this route as an import-ant, yet underdeveloped, bicycle route in several planning documents--but to date, improvements have been piecemeal. This document shows how those piecemeal improvements could combine to form a functional trail for transportation and recreation.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014
 

The Bike Lane supporting new Fairfax bike facilities

Photo: The Bike Lane
The Bike Lane and People for Bikes are supporting MORE's efforts to built youth bike facilities in Fairfax County through The Bike Lane's "Round Up for Better Riding" program. Why not help this effort by donating directly or by visiting The Bike Lane through tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 14:
Only two days left to receive huge discounts for this weekend. Come into The Bike Lane, today or tomorrow, and make a donation to the Round Up For Better Riding Program. Donate $5 or more and receive a secret envelope containing a discount up to 20% off everything for this Saturday and Sunday. Use your discount to do some holiday shopping for yourself or your loved ones. (To receive a super secret discount coupon, donations must be made in store by 8 pm tomorrow Nov. 15.)

The Bike Lane is partnering with MORE (our local mountain bike club) and PeopleforBikes to use the donations to build pump tracks (bike playgrounds) and youth bike facilities in Fairfax County.

Want to be a corporate sponsor to get more kids riding? Contact Anne Mader at anne@thebikelane.com for details on how your company can help our Round Up for Better Riding Program to get more kids riding bikes in our community.opleForBikes will match every donation. Let's get more kids riding! Ask a Bike Lane employee for more information.
Read more about this program and what The Bike Lane is doing to support local cycling at PeopleForBikes retailers in action: Virginia's The Bike Lane.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014
 

Video of Reston's Health Community Design workshop with Mark Fenton

Reston Association recently sponsored a talk by Mark Fenton, nationally known consultant on building healthy, more physically active communities. Mark's talk was filmed and the video of the Healthy Community Design Workshop is now online.

Mark asks the rhetorical question, if you build a physically active community, will it work, will people get out of their cars and bike, walk, and take transit? His answer is yes if you have a mix of land uses, a connected ped/bike/transit network, inviting designs and destinations, and it's safe and fully accessible for everyone.

It's well worth taking the time to view the presentation. Mark presents an excellent summary of the reasons we need physically active communities to help combat obesity and what was once adult onset diabetes, very preventable diseases that everyone ends up paying to treat through increased health care costs.

Another good resource is a slide presentation on this topic from Mark's website.


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Tuesday, November 4, 2014
 

Fairfax voters overwhelmingly support ped/bike project funding

According to the unofficial results from Fairfax County, the 2014 Transportation Bond was approved 214,344 to 83,999. The $100 million bond includes $77.5 million in pedestrian projects, $6.5 million in bike projects, and $16 million in spot road projects. The vote shows that Fairfax residents want safe walk and bike routes and they are willing to pay for them.

The bike projects include:
  • Wakefield Chapel Rd Walkway/Bike Lanes
  • Lake Braddock Drive Road Diet
  • Burke VRE Connector Ph. IV
  • Cross County Trail Upgrades
  • Burke Road Bike Lanes
  • West Ox Road Trail
  • Route 50 Trail
  • Elm St/Dolley Madison Blvd Improved Pedestrian and Bicycle Crossing
  • Franconia-Springfield Metrorail Station/VRE Enhanced Bicycle Parking
  • Government Center Area Bicycle Demonstration Project
  • Northern Virginia Community College Medical Education Campus, Springfield
  • Vienna Metrorail Station Area Bicycle Connectivity Improvements
  • Westmoreland Street On-Road Bike Lanes
  • Westmoreland Street/Rosemont Drive
Even though Springfield District Supervisor Herrity opposed the bond in a broadcast message sent out yesterday, Springfield District voters thought otherwise, voting 23,834 to 11,220 in support of the bond.

Thank you Fairfax voters!

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Fairfax Co Parkway Trail repair update

Below is the latest update from VDOT on the trails repairs underway on the Fairfax County Parkway Trail. It will be difficult to pass through the current section under repair due to the narrow right of way on the Dulles Toll Rd bridge:

Temporary Bike Trail Closure:
Fairfax County

Direction: Rte. 286 N/B Fairfax County Parkway.
Where:  From Dulles Toll Road  to Sunset Hills Road.
When  Wednesday 11/5/14 thru Friday 11/7/14 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM-(weather permitting)
What: Temporary Bike Trail closure.
Why: Maintenance repairs.
Project0286-029-112, N501
Police: NO
Contact Info: Erwin Milian: 571-237-5211
Emergency Contact: Sam Ghobadian: 571-722-5315

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Fairfax Park Board endorses Tysons park plan

Fairfax County recently developed a comprehensive parks plan for Tysons. As Tysons transforms from a car-dominated commercial center to a mixed use, transit-oriented area with many more residents. Those residents will want safe places to walk and bike and parks recreation and other outdoor activities. The plan includes a recreational trail loop connecting many of the current and future parks.

We recently received this message from the Fairfax County Park Authority regarding a new parks plan for the Tysons area:
Thanks for participating in the planning process for the Tysons Park System Concept Plan! We considered the many public comments on the draft Plan received during last spring's public outreach process and made some minor revisions to the Plan as a result. A final, revised document was presented to the Park Authority Board's Planning & Development Committee in September and was endorsed by the full Park Board on Wednesday, October 22nd. See related info on the Tysons Park Planning project website.

The Park Concept Plan will now be used to inform Phase 3 of the Tysons Urban Center Plan Amendment. Possible changes to the Tysons Comprehensive Plan pertaining to parks and recreation will be discussed at public meetings held by the Planning Commission's Tysons Committee beginning in January 2015.


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