Friday, December 23, 2011

December FABB meeting

Over 20 cyclists attended our December meeting on Wednesday. It was good to see some new faces. Some folks brought holiday treats that we shared before the meeting. We usually have a full agenda for most meetings and we don't often get a chance to just chat with fellow cyclists. We're thinking about having some social time before or after our meetings in the future. We may not go as far as Dublin cyclists who say it isn't a meeting unless you've been to the pub, but we like the general idea.

Charlie Strunk, the county bike coordinator, told us about the list of bike projects he is compiling in anticipation of a future Transportation Bond. In the past bike and pedestrian projects have been lumped together. As a result, trail or sidewalk projects predominate. Charlie is preparing a list of on-road projects by Supervisor District.

Charlie also noted that the Springfield-Burke Bicycle Master Plan area meeting is planned for January 24 from 5:30-8:00  p.m. at the Springfield District Office.

The county bike map is being revised and should be completed by the end of February. It's the most popular map produced by the county and needs to be reprinted so it's a good time to make appropriate changes, like adding the new bike lanes on Lawyers Rd and Soapstone Dr.

Jeff Anderson, Hunter Mill rep on the Trails and Sidewalks Committee, mentioned that the committee is preparing a list of mostly off-road projects for the anticipated Transportation Bond. If there are important bike projects, both on- and off-road, that you think should be included in the list, contact your Trails and Sidewalk committee rep. Jeff also reported on the biking and walking to school policy changes being considered by the School Board which we hope will result in more kids being able to bike to school. We are strongly opposing the removal of the Safety Education section.

Adam Froehlig of the Mt. Vernon Council of Civic Associations Transportation Committee asked if FABB could attend the January 9 meeting to discuss thoughts about allowing cyclists on the GW Parkway on weekend mornings. See his blog article about this issue. Another issue of concern to cyclists in this area that we'd like to see discussed is the ability of cyclists to safely cross the Parkway to reach the Mt Vernon Trail.

Jenifer Madden, vice chair of the county Transportation Advisory Commission, discussed the importance of including cycling and active transportation in the Community Transformation Grant awarded to Fairfax County in September. The county received "a grant of $499,559 per year for at least the next three years to build capacity to implement policy, system, programmatic and infrastructure changes to promote health and prevent chronic disease." Bicycling for transportation, getting people out of their cars for short trips, is one obvious way to promote health. You'll be hearing more about this effort in the near future.

The next FABB meeting is planned for Wed. January 18. We hope to have Nicole Wynands of the League of American Bicyclists to discuss the Bicycle Friendly Community program.

Because we ran out of time we didn't get a chance to schedule our annual retreat, which we hope to hold on Sunday, January 8. If you'd like more info contact me.

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