Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WABA Fairfax Meeting report

About 15 people attended the meeting last night hosted by WABA to discuss bicycling in Fairfax. WABA is preparing a Regional Call to Action that will be unveiled at the Call to Action Summit to be held on November 3.

Several good ideas emerged in the comments from the group. One common theme was the need for better education; of cyclists of all ages, motorists, and police. There are a lot of misconceptions about where cyclists should ride and how they should behave on the road. Residents have very few opportunities to get good bicycle safety education. It needs to be taught in the schools and the county could sponsor adult bike skills classes. Another way to spread this information is to include it in high school drivers ed courses, the VA drivers manual, and on DMV driver's license test.

As you would expect, most people stated that we need more bike facilities; bike lanes, wider outside lanes, well-maintained paved trails, and better bike parking. On four-lane roads Charlie Strunk, the county bike coordinator, said that VDOT has recently agreed to narrow the inside lane on some roads and increase the width of the outside lane, giving more room for bicyclists.

Fairfax should hold fun, community bike rides. We also discussed the possibility of holding a "civlovia" type event where a major road is closed to motorized traffic and bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, etc. can enjoy these public spaces for a change.

All of the ideas were recorded by WABA volunteers and will be used as input to the Regional Call to Action. Thanks to Greg Billing of WABA who facilitated the discussion, and to the other WABA volunteers.

More details about the November 3 Summit were released by WABA yesterday in their blog post Nov. 3rd Call to Action Summit’s Speakers:
  • 9:45 am – Tools for Planning Healthy Communities - Gina Arlotto (WABA’s Safe Routes to School Network Coordinator)
  • 10:15 am – Crashed! Your Legal Rights In A Bicycle Accident – Bruce Deming, Lawyer
  • 11:00 am – Panel: Regional Bikesharing – Speakers TBA
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch Break (1 1/2 hour)
  • 1:30pm – Panel: Planning Bicycle & Pedestrian Access to Metro – Nat Bottigheimer (WMATA Assistant General Manager), Patrick Schmitt (WMATA Parking Manager), Kristin Haldeman (WMATA Manager of Access Planning & Policy Analysis), Justin Antos (WMATA Transportation Analyst)
  • 2:30 – Panel: The Role of Bicycle Businesses in Advocacy – Jakob Wolf-Barnett (Chief Operating Officer, Revolutions Cycles), Erik Kugler (Owner, BicycleSPACE), Stephen Marks (Managing Partner, Bike the Sites), Debora Hardng (CEO, City Bikes), Anne Mader (Owner, The Bike Lane)
  • 3:30 pm - WABA’s Presentation of Regional Call to Action

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