Monday, November 23, 2009

Region Forward 2050 Comments

If you haven't made comments on the Region Forward 2050 report, the deadline is November 30. The report contains many goals that will advance the use of bicycles for transportation in the future, and the report needs your support. Provide comments online. We made the following comments:
We strongly support the goal to "Increase the share of walk, bike, and transit trips." As noted in the report, "Walking & biking account for 9% of all trips in the region." In places like Fairfax County that number is much lower and there needs to be a concerted effort to increase that mode share by providing better, safer bicycle and pedestrian facilities. This should include providing funding commensurate with the desired more share.

We also support the goal of concentrated development in Regional Activity Centers. Dense development around transit will allow residents to access services, work, and recreation locations more easily by using bicycles and walking.

The goal to "Increase the rate of construction of bike and pedestrian facilities from the Transportation Planning Board's plan" is worthy but not nearly enough. That plan is much too general; many more facilities are needed. The region needs a more up-to-date and comprehensive plan for development of bicycle facilities. These should include on-road bicycle routes that are safer and provide more direct access than trails. While both are needed, on-road access can be provided sooner and more cost-effectively than building trails.

Bicycle support infrastructure is needed to support an increase in bicycling. End-of-trip facilities such as covered, secure long- and short-term parking and changing and shower facilities are needed in the Regional Centers.

There needs to be better transit/bicycle connectivity. Bicycles should be allowed on all transit systems. There should be adequate bicycle parking at all major transit stations. We strongly support the notion that bike sharing stations will facilitate taking short neighborhood trips by bicycle.
See our earlier blog entry about the report.

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