Monday, May 2, 2011

FABB chairman arrives first in Bike/Car/Bus Challenge in Reston

Delegate Plum, Bruce Wright
RA President Driscoll McKee, and
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Hudgins
Photo: Reston Patch
It turns out that the fastest way to get to the Reston Town Center from the neighborhood near South Lakes High School, about 3 miles away, is to ride a bicycle. Bruce Wright of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) made the trip in just over 13 minutes.

Another bicyclist who took the same route but rode at an easier pace, Kerie Hitt, also of FABB, arrived next 3 and a half minutes later. Delegate Ken Plum's trip in his hybrid car took him 19 minutes. Taking the long route with a ride through Hunter's Woods Village Center on the RIBS 2 bus on her way to the Town Center was Reston Association President and School Board candidate Kathleen Driscoll McKee. She had a leisurely trip of 50 minutes.

"This was a good simulation that demonstrates real alternatives to the automobile for short trips in Reston and the rest of our community" noted Delegate Plum. He also said that short car trips are the least efficient, even for his hybrid car, which only averaged 30 mpg on the 3 mile trip.

The group was met at the Pavilion by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins who is a long-time supporter of transportation alternatives for Hunter Mill District residents. She has supported Bike to Work Day in Reston from the beginning in 2002. The last several years she has appeared at the event on her folding bike. Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20. The Reston event will be held at the Town Center Pavilion. Susan Stillman, who is a member of the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee and a FABB member, rode from Vienna to greet the group at the Pavilion and to congratulate Bruce.

According to Bruce, "Riding a bike for transportation is a viable option for many people. What we showed today is that bicycling and driving travel times are very comparable for short trips, and bicycling costs much less and is better for the environment. I didn't use any foreign oil on the trip."

While RA President Driscoll McKee had the longest trip, she noted that the RIBS 2 bus was nearly full during the trip. The fare was $1.50. As a bus rider she could read, check her email, or otherwise make productive use of her time. To schedule her trip we used WMATA's Trip Planner, entering an origin, destination, and either arrival or departure time and selecting from the options. When Metrorail arrives in Reston local bus routes will be modified to provide more frequent service for accessing the Wiehle and Reston Parkway stations, making them a much more attractive alternative to driving and paying to park.

See coverage of the event on the Reston Patch, including a video segment.

See additional photos from the event. Photos by Mike McKee.

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Congratulations Bruce. I think that this is a convincing experiment demonstrating the practicality of cycling for many.
I want to add that during the bike commute challenge, I was carrying about 10 pounds of stuff on my bike, including panniers, rain gear (just in case), and bike lock.
Great job Bruce and Kerie! Nice promo for Bike To Work Day. Perhaps we should also have a Bike Somewhere Nice Close To Home Day, so we could get even more people out of their cars.
Thanks Jonathan. We've thought about doing other events like bike to the farmer's market, bike to the park and ride, etc. One FABB member does a bike to school event (Wolfie's bike train). There are so many of these short trips that can be taken by bike now, and many more could be taken in the future with improved bike conditions.
I knew it Kerie - Bruce had an unfair advantage! :) Congratulations to you both.
I live too far from work to ride my bike the whole way, but I also have a folding bike, so what I do is ride to the train station, take the train (bike in hand), and then ride to work on the other end. I doubt riding would be the fastest way for me to do the whole commute, but for the 2 miles or so on either end of the train ride, it definitely saves me tons of time.

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