Friday, April 27, 2007

Another Tysons tour article

The Times Community papers published an article on the recenty Tysons bicycle tour, A cyclist's view of Tysons. It includes a good quote from John Brunow about the importance of riding on the road vs. on a sidepath: “When you are on the road, you are seen as vehicular traffic, that's better than switching back and forth [between on-road and off-road],” Brunow said.

We were quoted as saying that “In rush hour, there's no way to get across Route 7, by bike or foot.” I don't think that's quite what I said. It's not that difficult to cross Route 7 by bike during rush hour if one rides in the road and waits for the traffic signal to change on a cross street. It's a different story for pedestrians. At the intersection where I made the comment there are no crosswalks nor pedestrian lights. Pedestrians usually run across even when there is a green light for the cross traffic.

The article sums up our main point, that “most destinations in Tysons are a five- to 10-minute bike ride from one of the four planned Metrorail stations.“, and that even though we need to plan for better bicycle access in the future, it is feasible now to ride in Tysons.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tour of Tysons photos

Here are some photos from the FABB Tour of Tysons. Click on the photos for a larger image.

Discussion of planned bike lanes at Towers Crescent development.Road around Tysons Corner Center Mall; future multiuse trail to left.Future Tysons Central 123 Metro station location in distance.
Crossing Westpark bridge. Site of future bike lanes, trail, and sidewalk.Tree-lined and wide Jones Branch Dr.Returning to Kilmer Middle School along Gallows Rd, site of planned on-road bike lanes.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

FABB bike tour of Tysons

We had an excellent tour of Tysons on Saturday, April 21, 2007. About 20 of the invited guests showed up on a beautiful, mild morning. Providence District Supervisor Smyth and Providence District Planning Commissioner Ken Lawrence stopped by on their way to a citizens meeting to great the cyclists and put in a pitch for the upcoming Fairfax County Transportation Bond that includes funds for on-road bike routes and pedestrian projects. Planning Commissioners Nancy Hopkins (Dranesville) and Walter Alcorn (At-Large) both rode with the group as did Tysons Corner Task Force Chairman Clark Tyler. Fairfax County Transporatation head Kathy Ichter and her husband Larry rode their tandem. Charlie Strunk, the Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager was also there with his wife. Several Fairfax County staff also rode with the group.

The article that appeared in today's Post contained some good information about efforts underway in the county to promote bicycling. We had hoped to show the group that bicycle access from Vienna is actually very good. There are 5 or 6 roads and a few trails that lead into Tysons from the south but we were not able to ride or view them all, and the article implies that Vienna is cut off from Tysons which is defintely not the case.

We even saw two others riding along Boone Blvd on sturdy mountain bikes and they seemed startled to see 20 cyclists streaming by. With hard work and a vision of a bicycle-friendly Tysons, it's possible that we'll have a future in which people have the choice of using the most efficient, non-polluting mode of transporation ever invented.

I'll post some photos of the tour soon.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Robert Cervero speaks about the future of Tysons

On April 17 world-renowned transit-oriented development expert Dr. Robert Cervero spoke to a large audience about what needs to be done to make Tysons work. Dr. Cervero is working with the design consultant team to develop alternative growth models for Tysons.

He spoke very eloquently about the need to provide transportation choices to the future residents of Tysons, including safe bicycle facilities. At one time he considered bicycling to be a fringe activity, but he now realizes that it is about creating choices. (See his article Travel Choices in Pedestrian Versus Automobile Oriented Neighborhoods).

While some options may not appeal to a majority of people, each option contributes to a reduction in congestion. Some options such as regular shuttles and bicycle commuting, add to the predictability of our trips. One appeal of bike commuting is while it may take longer to travel in some cases, the travel time is almost always more predictable than driving.

A plan for bicycle facilities needs to be created now so that as Tysons develops, there is right-of-way available for bike lanes, wide curb lanes, and other bicycle facilities. FABB is working with the task force, area developers, and the county to help create that plan.
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Tysons bicycle tour in Washington Post

There was a brief mention of the upcoming FABB bicycle tour of Tysons in today's Post. There has been a good response to the invitations sent out to local officials, county staff, and members of the Tysons Task Force. The weather looks good and we're hoping for a good turnout on Saturday. We'll post a summary of the event with some photos, so stay tuned.
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Employee bike parking

This is an example of the bike parking that is provided for 99.9% of employees in Fairfax. This photo was taken behind the Chipotle in Vienna on Maple Avenue. Many people ride bikes to work, and they have no choice but to lock them to utility pipes, trees, fences, etc. There is almost no bicycle parking in Vienna and the rest of Fairfax, mostly because there are very few county requirements for bike parking. That will hopefully change soon as Charlie Strunk, the new Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager, implements parking requirements and standards. Both Arlington County and DC have them and it's time we did.
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Monday, April 9, 2007

Tour of Tysons

FABB is hosting a small, informal tour of Tysons on Saturday April 21 for local politicians, developers, county staff, and members of the Tysons Land Use Task Force. We want to show people that there are currently many bicycle routes into Tysons from the surrounding neighborhoods, especially from the south. When most people think about cycling in Tysons they only think about the bumper to bumper traffic on Routes 7 and 123. However there are many low traffic streets and a few trails that lead into Tysons. Within Tysons there are some relatively wide, tree-lined streets such as Jones Branch Dr that are very bicycle-friendly.

We'll also show that neighborhoods like Pimmit Hills and McLean have little or no direct bicycle access to Tysons without cycling on Route 123 or Route 7. We'll review access to the planned Metro stations and discuss needed facilities. We may sponsor a tour for a larger group in the future.

Here are some photos of a Tysons trip that some FABB members took in 2005.
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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Website update

We've just updated the events page on the FABB web site with info on several upcoming functions. GMU will be holding several Earth Week events during the week of April 16-20 and FABB will be present on the 16th to discuss bicycling as a viable transportation option for students, faculty, and staff. We're also frantically trying to prepare for a tour of Tysons on April 21 for people involved in future development of that area. In a related event, there will be a new Bike to Work Day pit stop in Tysons this year, in front of Booz Allen Hamilton. If you haven't registered, visit the WABA web site and support bike commuting as a transportation alternative, and get a free t-shirt to boot.
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