Thursday, March 18, 2010
FABB meets with Supervisor CookIs a bicycle a transportation device? At today's meeting with Supervisor Cook, he indicated that many, many cyclists had given him answers that question, in response to his statement that a bicycle is not a transportation device.
FABB wanted to meet with the Supervisor to discuss his views on bicycling, which he expressed in his letter of response to those who wrote to him. We were encouraged when he wrote: "I want to assure you that I am not opposed to cycling or to using bicycles as a mode of transportation for either recreation or commuting. To be clear, I support bicycling for both of these uses. In fact, my family owns several bicycles."
We agreed that not many people currently bicycle for transportation, in part because we have so few facilities for these cyclists. While we realize there are limited funds for transportation, many bike projects can be built with little to no extra cost when wide outside lanes or bike lanes are added during repaving cycles. Bike lanes can be created by narrowing lanes as on Gallows Road, and road diets can be used to slow traffic by removing a lane and adding bike lanes as was done on Lawyers Road in Reston.
We asked that operating funding be restored to the bicycle program, which the county executive has recommended be completely cut next year. While most programs are being cut by a few percent, it's unfair that the bike program operating funds be cut by 100%. Funds are needed for long overdue wayfinding signage on the Fairfax County Parkway, shared lane markings in several locations, support for Bike to Work Day which has grown each year, bicycle planning, and many other outreach and project activities. When other communities are expanding their bike programs, we should not be cutting ours.
It seemed very appropriate that prior to our meeting, the Supervisor met with VDOT and county staff and state delegates to discuss the need for traffic calming on Wakefield Chapel Road. One proposed solution is to reduce the lanes and create bike lanes. This would be another example of making conditions better for residents (slower traffic), motorists (safety), and bicyclists for very little additional cost.
We were encouraged that Supervisor Cook had joined Chairman Bulova and Supervisor McKay in asking citizens to help clear snow from sidewalks around schools after the snowpocalypse, and he is interested in improving biking and walking conditions around schools. We hope to work with Supervisor Cook in the future to try to obtain some of the $13 million in Safe Routes to School funding for the county.
We think we can work together to help make Fairfax a better place to walk and bike in the future.
Labels: supervisor cook