Monday, June 11, 2007

Fairfax County gets serious about on-road bike routes

On June 8 Supervisor Smyth's office sent out an email message to Providence District bicyclists. The message contained a letter from Kathy Ichter, head of the Transportation Department of Fairfax County, to VDOT with a list of roadways to be retrofitted with on-road bike lanes, and to ask that roads that are undergoing summer maintenance be modified to include bike routes.

This is an excellent first step toward creation of a network of on-road bike routes in Fairfax. On-road routes are the most direct, safest method of cyclists to get around the county. Currently there are very few, and almost none of them are connected. We envision a system of signed routes that will allow cyclists to easily and safely ride to major destinations in the county. Thanks to Kathy Ichter and to Charlie Strunk, the county Bike Coordinator, for initiating this process.

Update: VDOT recently responded to this request.
Starting this year, two percent of our annual maintenance budge is dedicated to accommodate bicyclists by providing at least 2 feet (4 feet is desirable) of paved shoulder as part of our regular pavement plan.
Read the complete VDOT response.
This is most heartening. It's also interesting to note that most of the projects are in the districts of the two most vocal supporters of bike accommodations. Think what FABB could do by broadening its geographic base!

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