Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bike to Work Day Prize Awarded to Local Commuter

Kerie Hitt of FABB (right) and Charlie Strunk,
Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager (left),
give Scott Smith the key to a bicycle locker.
Photo by Michael Olson.
Scott Smith never has to search for a parking spot at the Sunset Hills Park and Ride in Reston, which often is almost full to its capacity of 600 cars. He knows he can wheel directly to his reserved parking space next to the bus stop, and he can leave his vehicle under cover, sheltered from the elements. Scott is not a VIP with special privileges. Thanks to a Bike to Work Day promotion set up by Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), for the next year Scott has free use of one of the 20 bike lockers at the park and ride lot.

FABB member Kerie Hitt is part of the organizing committee for Reston's Bike to Work Day event and thought up the idea of raffling the use of a bike locker to promote bicycle transportation. Kerie said, "I realized that many people don't even know what a bike locker is, let alone that we have lockers practically right next to Reston Town Center, along the W&OD trail. Since Reston has the largest Bike to Work Day event in Fairfax County, I thought a drawing would be a good way to raise awareness about the lockers and the transportation options they offer."

Having a bike locker at the park and ride allows bike riders to string together car/bike trips or bus/bike trips. All county Connector buses are equipped with bike carriers. Combining bike travel with other modes can help bicyclists go farther distances and get to places they might not be able to access solely by bike. Every time a person travels by bike, traffic congestion is eased somewhat.

Kerie mentioned her idea to staff at the Fairfax County bicycle program, the office that administers the lockers. Almost immediately they decided to support the drawing and offered to waive the usual fees involved in securing a locker. The Reston Town Center Association agreed to cover the key deposit. On the morning of Bike to Work Day on May 20, several dozen people entered the drawing, and Scott's name was selected as the winner.

After the necessary paperwork was completed, Kerie and Fairfax County bicycle program manager Charlie Strunk presented Scott with the key to his locker a few weeks later. At that time in mid June, several other lockers still were available for rent at the Sunset Hills Park and Ride, at 2050 Sunset Hills Road.

Fairfax County also manages bike lockers at the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride on Sunrise Valley Drive and the Reston South Park and Ride on Reston Parkway. The usual yearly rental fee is $60 with a one-time administrative fee of $10 and a key deposit of $50. For more information about renting a bicycle locker, go online to the Fairfax County Bicycle Locker Rental Program at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/bike/bikelockers.htm or call the bike program office at 703-324-BIKE (2453).

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