Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meeting with Vienna Police

This morning FABB members met with Vienna Police Chief Carlisle, Officer Bill Murray and others to discuss bicycle safety in the Town. The meeting was a follow-up to concerns expressed by FABB members about the recent proposal to modify the Town Bikeway Plan to require bicyclists who ride on the sidewalk to stop at all intersections and road crossings.

We agreed that it's very dangerous to ride on the sidewalk, noting that it is much safer to ride with traffic, on the road. One way to get cyclists off of sidewalks is to publicize the Vienna Bikeway Map so that cyclists know about on-road alternatives to riding on Maple Ave and Nutley St. Signed bike routes would also be helpful. While previous attempts to create a signed bike route from the W&OD Trail to the Vienna Metro station were fought by some residents, we think that attitude may be changing and many more people would support a non-polluting, healthy commuting option.

Any education or enforcement efforts should be directed at both motorists and cyclists, including the new Vienna Eye-to-Eye campaign. We support better enforcement of "right turn on red" violations and other blatant violations, including those by cyclists, as long as cyclists and pedestrians are not targeted exclusively, and we were assured that would not be the case.

The recently proposed Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee will be established in the near future and they will provide a good sounding board for creative engineering, education, and enforcement ideas.

Thanks to Chief Carlisle and his staff for holding the meeting and hearing our perspective. We look forward to working together in the future.

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