Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is consolidating operations and moving staff from three current locations; Reston, VA, DC, and Bethesda, MD. The move is part of the Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Act of 2005. Fairfax County is conducting commuter workshops at these locations to let employees know about various options for getting to work. FABB was invited to attend the first workshop that was held at the Reston office today.

The new NGA location is referred to as NGA Campus East. It's located less than 3 miles from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station. Given the number of employees coming to the new site, a mini-bike sharing system seems like an ideal solution to moving people from the station to the campus. It could be implemented with station location on the NGA campus, in Springfield, and at the Metro station.With 8,000 new employees commuting into the new offices, traffic and parking, which is limited, will be a nighmare.

Along with county bike program staff, we discussed various bike routes to the campus with employees who live within easy bike commuting distance of the new site. The Fairfax Co Parkway/Franconia-Springfield Parkway trails are just north of the new site. A new trail is being built across the Parkway on Rolling Road, and trails and bike lanes will lead into the site from both the Rolling Road and Backlick Road entrances. Saris Stack Racks are being installed in the parking garage. Bike lanes or a shared use path are still needed along Backlick Rd, the most direct route into the complex from the Metro station.

Bicycling conditions in this area have been notoriously dangerous in the past. It's encouraging that there is an acknowledgment that bicycling can be part of the solution for moving people in that area, and that some new facilities are being planned for the move. I-95 still presents a significant barrier to bicycle travel in that area and more options are needed for crossing. We plan to check out the new location in the near future.


Hopefully, as part of the plan, employees will be educated about how they can ride their bikes to bus lines which run directly to the site.
NGA is providing information about all modes of transportation and staff were available at the commuter workshop to provide information about bus routes that serve NGA and to show employees how to use the WMATA trip planner to plan their trip by bus or train. I've found that many people aren't aware of this excellent tool. I use it frequently to plan trips on Metro.

We also pointed out that all Metro and Fairfax Connector buses have bike racks on the front of the bus (for holding 2 bikes). When most people think about biking to work they don't think about the option of extending their ride by combining it with a bus trip, either to reduce the mileage or to overcome a barrier.

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