Saturday, September 29, 2007

What makes Portland, Oregon such a great bikeable community

Portland is a cycling paradise. There are bike lanes, bikeways on bridges, bike trails, bike boulevards, and many people who bike to work, to school, and for many of their local trips. Street Films has posted Portland: Celebrating America’s Most Livable City, a 30-minute film about what makes Portland a bikeable community. There are segments on Safe Routes to School, bicycle-activated traffic signals, bike trails, bicycle boulevards, and much more. It's well worth watching to see what Fairfax could be like in the future. (StreetFilms is a project of the New York City Street Renaissance (NYCSR), a collection of non-profits geared towards re-imagining the city's public spaces and making our streets safer for pedestrians, bicycles and non-vehicular modes of transportation.)
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Virginia Energy Plan encourages Virginians to bicycle

Governor Tim Kaine recently released the Virginia Energy Plan. The plan was mandated by legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2006. Much of the report addresses the need for energy conservation and use of alternative modes of transportation:
Walking and bicycling are the most fuel efficient forms of transportation. If more people regularly walked and cycled, fuel would be saved, air pollution would be reduced, and less energy would be needed to create, operate, and maintain roadway lane miles and parking facilities.
The report, along with the Cool Counties initiative in Fairfax County, is more support for our work in advocating for better bicycling facilities in Fairfax:
Virginia should continue to develop its transportation infrastructure to include facilities for no- or low-fuel methods such as walking, bicycling, and small scooters consistent with the Commonwealth Transportation Board's Policy for Integrating Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations [PDF].
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Friday, September 14, 2007

David Byrne Presents: How New Yorkers Ride Bikes

If you're in New York city on Oct. 6th you might want to catch David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads, in an evening devoted to bicycling. He's a longtime cyclists who used to carry a bicycle on tour and would ride whenever he could. From the Transportation Alternatives e-newsletter:
On Saturday, October 6th, as part of the New Yorker Festival, David Byrne will host an evening of music, discussion, film, readings, and surprises dedicated to the advancement of bicycling in New York City, including talks and performances by the Classic Riders Bicycle Club, Jan Gehl, Buck Henry, Calvin Trillin, Paul Steely White, Jonathan Wood, and the Young@Heart Chorus.

David Byrne Presents: How New Yorkers Ride Bikes
Saturday, October 6th
7:30 pm Town Hall, $16 123 West 43rd Street
Tickets are also available at the Town Hall box office.
Free valet bicycle parking will be provided.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cycling Friendly Cities

For some good examples of cycling best practices in several major cities, see the YouTube film Cycling Friendly Cities. See what is being done to encourage cycling in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Bogota, Colombia. Thanks to the WashCycle for the link.
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Contested Streets

We attended a viewing of the excellent film Contested Streets, produced by Transportation Alternatives, the New York City group “working for better bicycling, walking and public transit, and fewer cars”. The film explores the history of streets in New York, discussing how they evolved form being used mostly by people and horses in the early 1900's, to being dominated by automobiles now, and efforts underway to return them to the people. Examples from Copenhagen, London, and Paris are used to show how communities have taken back their streets from motorized traffic and made them more complete streets, usable by all.

A planner from Copenhagen explained that their success was not based on a comprehensive plan but was done piecemeal, retaking one street at a time and proving that people still moved, shops survived, and streets became safer when cars were limited or banned altogether.

Transportation Alternatives produces a very good bi-monthly newsletter to which we subscribe. They are an effective organization currently concentrating much of their effort on passing congestion pricing legislation for NYC. Stockholm implemented their system on August 1, 2007. It has worked in London where bicycle traffic has doubled since the law went into effect. It currently costs about $16 per day to enter the city by automobile.
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Thursday, September 6, 2007

September newsletter

We just published the September FABB e-newsletter. If you would like to receive future editions, sign up on the FABB homepage, in the right column. Read about the upcoming FABB public meeting to be held on September 18, 2007 at the Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E, Vienna, VA 22180 (Map). The library is located just south of the W&OD Trail on the corner of Maple Ave (Route 123) and Center St. The meeting will be held from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The core FABB members have been meeting monthly since 2005 and it's time for us to convene a larger meeting to let you know what we're doing and to hear what you want from a Fairfax advocacy organization.

There's also info in the newsletter about Stringfellow Road. The Fairfax County Board will soon be making a final decision on the Stringfellow Road widening project. VDOT is proposing wide curb lanes to provide better bicycling conditions. There is some local opposition, so it's important that Fairfax cyclists let the Fairfax Board know that it's time to finally put some pavement on the road for cyclists. Thanks to all the cyclists who have already written to the Board.
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