Friday, August 15, 2008

Post article mentions Herndon bike confiscation policy

Herndon Could Tighten Screws On Day Laborers is the title of an article in the Post on proposals by the Herndon Town Council to discourage day laborers congregating in public: "The measures are designed to make life difficult for day laborers. The workers have a constitutional right to solicit jobs in public, but their presence has infuriated town leaders, who say they are a nuisance." As mentioned earlier, they also want to confiscate bikes parked in the public right-of-way.

While some of the anti-day labor measures are limited to a specific area of town, the bike parking proposal would be town-wide. According to a memo sent by a town councilman to the council, one of the proposals would "Establish a Town policy to confiscate all bicycles that are chained, tied to trees or road sign posts in the public right-of-ways."

What this tells me as a cyclist is that I'm not welcome in Herndon. Since there is almost no bike parking in the town, just about anywhere that I park my bike will be considered illegal. I rode through Herndon today looking for racks and saw one full of bikes at Herndon Middle School, one at Great Harvest Bread Co. and that's about it.

Regardless of what you think of the day labor issue, I think it's time the council heard from some of the cyclists who pass through Herndon on a daily basis on the W&OD Trail. The bike policy would apply to us all. Many of us patronize stores and restaurants there, others work there. You could start by sending a message to the mayor. See the town website for other council email addresses.
I found another, The 20170 Herndon Post office has a grill style one.
To the towns defense, there are more bike racks in the area around the town hall than were mentioned here.

I thing the real problem is that the shopping centers (private land) do not provide adequate bike parking. There are some racks but they are not in obvious locations and sometimes very hard to find.
The main reason that there is so little parking in private developments is that neither the town nor the county have requirements for bike parking. They have very strict motor vehicle parking requirements that cost developers a great deal of money, but none for bicycles.

The county bike coordinator, at the direction of the Board of Supervisors, is developing specifications and guidelines that can be used for requiring bike parking at all developments of a certain size. Arlington Co, Alexandria, and DC all have bike parking requirements as should Fairfax Co.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oops - let's try this post again...
dunno what happened there! ;-)

I've written to the Mayor and Town Council. I posted what I sent them on my blog at:

I hope that anyone (cyclists or otherwise) with an opinion will write to the Mayor and Town Council before they have reached a final decision on this.

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