Sunday, December 30, 2007
Congressman Earl Blumenauer sets an example for us allCongressman Earl Blumenauer rides his bike to work, and to everywhere else for that matter, and has been doing so here in DC for the past 10 years, ever since he was elected to represent the Oregon district that includes the city of Portland. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, For Congressman, Life in the Bike Lane Comes Naturally:
In his more than 10 years in Congress, Mr. Blumenauer says he has saved tens of thousands of dollars by not driving, money that helped pay for the townhouse he bought. And when he cycles across town to an event, he often gets there faster than his friends in Congress do.The article also mentions his work as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Even though the Bicycle Commuter Act that he sponsored was removed from the Energy Bill, there's a good chance another attempt will be made to pass it next year.
Below is a brief video of Congressman Blumenauer riding to work and wheeling his bike into his House office. Thanks to Hunter for pointing out the article.
Friday, December 21, 2007
HOT Lanes project deal signedAccording the Washington Post article Deals Clinched on HOT Lanes, “Virginia transportation officials announced late Thursday that they have finalized all the agreements needed to start construction in the spring on a $1.4 billion project to add HOT lanes on a 14-mile stretch of the Capital Beltway.” We have been working with Fairfax County to try to ensure that bicycle facilities, as outlined on the County Trails Plan, will be included in the project. VDOT and the County have been meeting to discuss proposed facilities and it sounds like many will be included.
We are still very concerned about the lack of information being provided to the public. We have not officially seen any plans for the HOT lanes bridges. From the VDOT press release issued yesterday, it will be VDOT's responsibility to rebuild the bridges over the Beltway. VDOT will:
Provide a $409 million financial grant to the project to support the construction of key elements including the final phase of the Springfield Interchange (Phase VIII), improvements to the I-66 interchange, participation in the regional congestion management plan and reconstruction of aging bridges on the Beltway.It will be critical that bicyclists attend the public hearing this spring to speak out for bike facilities on the HOT lanes bridges. There won't be another chance in our lifetimes. VDOT is required to provide information to the public one month before the hearing. As soon as that information is available we will get the word out. To learn more about the project visit either the VDOT project page or the Fluor and Transurban project page, VirginiaHOTlanes.com
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Bicycle Commuter ActIt appears that Congressman Earl Blumenauer's Bicycle Commuter Act provision that was passed by the House last week was removed from the Senate bill. According to BikePortland, the Senate bill was likely not changed when the two bills were reconciled and passed today. We'll have to take Congress at their word that there will be other attempts in the near future to enact the Bicycle Commuter Act and approve other subsidies for wind, solar, geothermal and other alternative energy sources.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tysons Task Force Meeting on TransportationThe Tysons Land Use Task Force will hold another “public” meeting on Monday, Dec. 17 at Marshall HS starting at 7 p.m. The Transportation and Liveability/Walkability subcommittees will report on work they are doing. Both committees are developing recommendations to help make Tysons a more bike-friendly place. The Transportation committee works closely with the transportation modelers from Cambridge Systematics. Unfortunately the models used do not properly integrate non-motorized transportation, which is analyzed after the initial motorized transportation models. This results in an inherent bias towards motorized transportation, in that the factors being used all reflect motorized travel. If you are interested in the future of bicycling in Tysons you may want to attend. While this is not a formal public meeting, there will be an opportunity for comments and questions from the audience.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Fairfax County Bike PagesFairfax County now has a section of the county website devoted to bicycles, the Fairfax County Bike Pages. We will add a link to this page on our Cyclist Resources page. While there isn't a great deal of information on the pages, it's a start. There is contact information; the bike hotline, (703) 324-BIKE (2453) and the contact form both of which can be used to suggest new projects, complain about existing conditions, etc.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Environmental Quality Advisory Council public hearingThe Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC) is a citizens group that provides advice to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. They publish an extensive Annual Report on the Environment. In the 2007 Annual Report, on pp. 47-48 of the Land Use and Transportation section, is information about the County's comprehensive bicycle initiative, for which FABB lobbied heavily among Board members.
EQAC is holding their annual public hearing on Tuesday, December 11, 2007
starting at 7:30 p.m. in rooms 2 and 3 of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. Cyclists are encouraged to attend and discuss the need for better bicycle facilities in the county to allow more people to get out of their cars and onto bicycles. Bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation invented by man. Their use generates no greenhouse gases and they provide exercise opportunities for an increasingly overweight population. Many of our local trips of 5 miles or less can easily be made by bicycle given adequate facilities, both on- and off-road. You can also send comments to EQAC@fairfaxcounty.gov.