Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Current plans for bike facilities on I-66 bridges to be rebuilt

At the March FABB meeting representatives from VDOT discussed the current planning for bike facilities on the bridges across I-66 that will be rebuilt as part of the I-66 outside the Beltway project. Not all bridges will be modified, including the Stringfellow Rd bridge.

For more info, consider attending the forum tonight, I-66 and Our Neighborhoods beginning at 7pm at Oakton High School. The meeting is open to all but RSVP is appreciated.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I-66 Forum and Mason District bike meeting Wednesday

Two important bike-related meetings are planned for Wednesday, March 25:

FABB is co-hosting I-66 and Our Neighborhoods, a forum on the I-66 outside the Beltway project. Learn more about the project and hear comments from Supervisor Smyth, Stwart Schwartz of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and reps from VDOT, Fairfax DOT, and the Fairfax Transportation Advisory Commission. The meeting is from 7pm – 9pm at Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Road, Vienna, VA 22181.

This is a great opportunity to voice concerns about the project's effects on our community and ask that bicycling and walking be an integral part of VDOT's multi-modal solutions to the I-66 corridor.

There will be a brief panel discussion followed by an extended open forum Q&A.
Introductory remarks by Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth
Moderated by Stewart Schwartz, Coalition for Smarter Growth
Speakers from Virginia Department of Transportation, Fairfax County
Department of Transportation, and Transportation Advisory Commission
Closing comments by Tania Hossain, Providence District Council
Also on Wednesday Fairfax County is hosting a meeting on two bike projects in the Mason District. Sections of Annandale Road and Evergreen Lane will be repaved this summer and bike lanes will be added. According to Fairfax County:
Each of these two projects proposes to reduce the existing travel lane width, and repurpose the extra space for bike lanes. No travel lanes will be removed. The meeting is being held March 25 at George Mason Regional Library 7001 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003. The meeting scheduled fro 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
Cyclists are encouraged to attend this meeting to learn more about these important projects and to support the County and VDOT in trying to make Fairfax County more bike-friendly.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tysons bike facilities - Recent articles

Several articles have appeared recently about proposals by Fairfax County and VDOT to add bike facilities to several existing roads in Tysons and other areas as part of the summer repaving schedule. The next public meeting is Monday in the Mt Vernon District to discuss bike projects on several roads being repaved. See the an earlier FABB blog post about the Tysons bike projects:

Proposal Could Bring Bike Lanes, Pedestrian Improvements to Tysons—News4's Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss looks at challenges for pedestrians and bicyclists in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Adam Tuss, News4

County’s bike plan comes into focus: ‘Road diets’ will allow cars, bikes to share arteries across Fairfax—Fairfax Times article by Kali Schumitz on creating bike facilities as part of the summer repaving process:
Adding bike lanes this way means that it is virtually no cost to the county, said Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

“We’re not widening the existing pavement,” he said. “We’re just taking the existing pavement and seeing if it can be used a little bit differently.”
Tysons will get its first bike lanes this summer—Greater Greater Washington article by Jenifer Madden, vice chair of the Fairfax Co. Transportation Advisory Commission:

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Friday, March 20, 2015

New bike lanes on Telegraph Road

Telegraph Road
Photo: VDOT
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on March 4 celebrate the completion of the widening of Telegraph Road between S. Van Dorn St. and South Kings Highway. Bike lanes are included as part of the project along with a new sidewalk and trail.

In the early stages of the project FABB members met with VDOT to discuss plans for the bike lanes and how cyclists would navigate this very congested and complex area. We haven't yet had a chance to see the new configuration. We'll be interested in seeing the end result. Kudos to VDOT for working with the bike community to add bike lanes on this roadway.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fairfax self-guided cherry blossom tour

Visit Fairfax, the county's tourist organization, is promoting a "self-guided tour of the area's splendid gardens." Three locations are listed, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, River Farm, and Green Spring Gardens. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is held between March 20 and April 12. According to Visit Fairfax, "During the Festival, visitors are encouraged to check in at the main desk at each garden to receive a special complimentary momento. Log onto the individual websites or call for hours and directions."

While the self-guided tour is geared toward motorists, it's possible to do the tour by bike. Using Google Maps bicycle directions we plotted a self-guided cherry blossom tour based on those three locations. We have not tried the routes and cannot recommend that you use them. Long sections of the W&OD and Mt Vernon Trails are included. From a quick review of the map, the least bike-friendly sections appear to be the short sections on Columbia Pike and Braddock Road.

If you try these routes, let us know about your trip.

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Mason District bike project meeting March 25

Image: Google Maps StreetView
Fairfax County has scheduled another bike project information meeting to discuss on-road bike projects on Annandale Road and Evergreen Lane in the Mason District. The meeting is Wednesday, March 25 at George Mason Regional Library 7001 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003. The meeting scheduled from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

According to the county, "Each of these two projects proposes to reduce the existing travel lane width, and repurpose the extra space for bike lanes. No travel lanes will be removed." Please consider attending this meeting to support these projects.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

More on Business, Millennials, and Biking

HZDG's new space in DC.
Photo by
A recent Washington Post story provides another example of how businesses looking to the future are considering transit options, accessibility, and bike facilities as necessary elements to attract talented employees. Karen Zuckerman, founder and co-owner of Rockville-based advertising firm HZDG, told the Post that her company is looking to add millennial workers and specifically acquired a 6,000-square-foot “co-worker” space in Dupont Circle (described by the Post as “millennial Ground Zero”) to keep her up-and-comers happy — and lure more to the company.

HZDG made the decision after discovering “almost by accident” last year that its employees preferred to work in a small temporary office in Chinatown rather than the Rockville headquarters because of the Chinatown location's accessibility. HZDG also is trying to make its Rockville headquarters more attractive to millennials and that effort has included providing bike racks and exercise boot camps.

Finally, this isn't just a Maryland business phenomena. The Post mentions that HZDG’s initiative comes at a time when, according to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, city leaders across the United States are moving away from traditional economic growth strategies that promote suburban and “far-flung industrial parks” to revitalizing downtown and urban areas. The Post also noted that CustomInk, a millennial-heavy T-shirt company with more than 1,000 employees, last year moved from Tysons Corner to Fairfax County’s Mosaic District, which re-creates a downtown with offices, restaurants, theaters and residences.

Fairfax County is moving in the right direction by planning major bike facilities in Tysons as part of the summer repaving schedule and completion of the Bicycle Master Plan. However, it is going to be a major challenge to remake many of our activity centers into walkable, bikeable places.

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