Monday, June 21, 2010

Annandale and Bailey's Crossroads bike plans

Planning for the redevelopment of the Annandale and Bailey's Crossroads business centers (community business centers, CBC) is nearing completion. We just learned that the Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold two public hearings on June 23 to discuss changes to the comprehensive plans for these two areas. The changes include recommended bicycle facilities. The Annandale plan contains general language about the need for better bike facilities, including: "Bicycle lanes should be provided within the Annandale CBC where appropriate."

The Bailey's Crossroads plan contains much more detailed recommendations for bicycle facilities, including a map showing planned bike lanes on specific streets. Street cross sections show recommended bike lane widths. However, bike parking guidlines are vague:  "In an effort to encourage bicycling in Baileys Crossroads CBC, safe, secure, and convenient bicycle parking should be provided. The number of bicycle parking spaces should be determined based on the planned land uses."

If you are familiar with these areas, please take the time to review the proposed plans and see what you think. The Annandale plan needs work. At a minimum we think that the bike routes shown on the county bicycle map should include bicycle facilities, either bike lanes or wide curb lanes. Bicycle parking guidelines for the county, that have been under development for three needs, need to be finalized. Send comments about both plans to Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross and Mason District Planning Commissioner Janet Hall. It would help to attend the public hearing and speak out for better bicycle facilities in these two urban areas.

If the county had a comprehensive bicycle plan and bicycle parking guidelines, updating the area plans would be straightforward. As it is, each plan is approached in separately, as resources become available. Fortunately the bicycle planning process has started. Phase I of a countywide plan will begin in Tysons. A contract for the bicycle master plan for Tysons Corner is being negotiated this month, with work expected to begin in July.

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