Thursday, April 28, 2011

VDOT Six-Year Plan public hearing May 4

The Commonwealth Transportation Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP or Six-Year Plan). The meeting is Wednesday, May 4 at the new VDOT District Office, Potomac Conference Center, 4975 Alliance Drive, Suite 1N201, Fairfax, VA 22030 starting at 7 p.m. This is a chance for cyclists to ask for better bicycle facilities in Northern Virginia.

Maintenance of our roads and trails continues to be a problem. It's embarrassing how poorly our roads are maintained, with crumbling pavement and unswept debris that is a hazard to motorists and bicyclists, and vegetation blocking sight distance in many places. The FFX Co Parkway trail has never been repaved. It has grass growing in cracks and has no wayfinding signage in several places where the trail diverges from the parkway. We shouldn't be widening roads and building new infrastructure unless we can repair our existing roads and trails.

According to the VDOP bike/ped policy:
Maintenance of bike lanes and paved shoulders will include repair, replacement, and clearance of debris. As these facilities are an integral part of the pavement structure, snow and ice control will be performed on these facilities.

For sidewalks, shared use paths, and bicycle paths built within department right-of-way, built to department standards, and accepted for maintenance, VDOT will maintain these bicycle and pedestrian accommodations through replacement and repair.
VDOT also needs to fully fund bicycle improvements in the Tysons area (Tysons Metrorail Access Improvement project (UPC 100469)). In the SYIP only $19M of the requested $56M is being funded through 2017. Only $4M of the needed $14M for preliminary engineering in 2012 will be funded even though the Silver line Metro stations will open in 2013. In order for Metrorail to be successful, access to the stations needs to be improved for all modes. The county now has a plan for future bike facilities in Tysons and these should be funded before the stations open.

It's also time VDOT hired a bike coordinator and finalized the State Bicycle Policy Plan. It's inexcusable that the coordinator position has been vacant for nearly a year and a half.

If you cannot attend the public hearing, please provide comments at: See the public meeting schedule.

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