Friday, August 29, 2008

Revised FABB goals

We've posted a revised list of FABB goals on our site. Fortunately we're able to retire some earlier goals that have been accomplished. Our primary early goals were for Fairfax County to create a bicycle coordinator position, to produce a bicycle map of Fairfax County, and to develop a network of on-road bike routes. After much lobbying of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and others, the Board implemented their Comprehensive Bicycle Initiative which included the hiring of a bike coordinator, Charlie Strunk, who along with his staff, focuses on bicycle projects in the county.

Also part of the initiative is the new County Bike Map which was released on Bike to Work Day. A revised version will go to press soon. The third and fourth parts of the initiative: "examining roads and streets that may accommodate on-road bike lanes with minimal reconstruction and establishing a pilot program for an interconnected bicycling network" have not fared so well.

After discussion with County and VDOT staff, it is clear that a major reason so little progress has been made in creating an on-road bike network is the lack of a comprehensive bicycle master plan, which is now our major goal. While the current Trails Plan does contain some on-road routes, it was last modified in 2002 by a volunteer citizen group and a major revision, conducted by professionals, is needed.

We plan to meet with the Board of Supervisors and County staff over the next year to discuss the need for the plan and to determine the best method for getting the planning process started. A great deal of work has been done to create the bike map, and this work can be used in developing the bike plan.

Other goals include: identifying a prioritized list of bicycle projects, such as short segments of road that need shoulders such as Idylwood Rd between Hurst and Idyl; development of a bicycle parking policy by the County; identification of a number of cross-county bike routes; bicycle safety and police outreach; identification of data collection and analysis needs; and establishment of a VDOT bicycle advisory committee.

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