Saturday, December 31, 2011

FABB - 2011 Year in Review

Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

2011 in Review

“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”  H.G. Wells

FABB entered its seventh year of volunteer advocacy in Fairfax and continues to play a major role in ensuring that the needs of bicyclists are being incorporated into the county’s future. FABB is a strong local voice for those wishing to ride comfortably and safely to work, their child’s school or for recreation.  

Planning in Fairfax:  Early in the year, FABB assisted in finalizing the Tysons Bike Master Plan. Fairfax County is now working on the county-wide bicycle master plan which will determine how bicycle-friendly design should be incorporated into roadway and transit projects as well as what program and policy changes are needed to support bicycling. FABB members serve on the county bicycle plan advisory committee and play a very active role in the project. Several local public meetings will be held in 2012 that will give cyclists opportunities to give input on the plan. The Burke-Springfield area meeting is planned for January 24.

Safe Routes to School for Fairfax Kids: FABB is part of a successful ongoing coalition that has worked behind the scenes to bring about policy changes to increase walking and biking to schools all over Fairfax County.

New Infrastructure:  Bike facilities were installed along Gallows Road, as part of the Soapstone Drive road diet and on the rebuilt bridges over the Beltway.  WMATA plans to improve bike access to several Metro stations. WMATA is also planning a bike and ride facility at the Franconia-Springfield station.

Volunteers Out and About:  FABB representatives continue to speak at many public meetings, appear in media articles, and provide input to various committees. FABB spoke to many groups including the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee, Transition Centreville, Burke Walks, Transportation Advisory Commission, Reston Bike Club, and the YMCA. Volunteers worked in all weather at bike light giveaways, bike rodeos, Bike to Work Day events, and more.  Thank you as always to all our volunteers.

Modes of Communication:  While continuing to post more than 250 articles this year alone on the FABB blog, FABB has almost 500 friends on Facebook and 1000 followers on Twitter.  We send out our bi-monthly newsletter to more than 1250 cyclists. We have several regular FABB columnists and many articles appearing on the Patch sites.

Meetings and Visitors:  All are welcome to attend FABB's monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna.  Usually around 15 people including the county bike coordinator attend. While we conduct a lot of business at the meetings, we also socialize and network.  This year, meeting presenters included Randy Dittberner of VDOT, Police Officer Alice Eggers, Allen Muchnick of Virginia Bicycling Federation, as well as speakers on Complete Streets and Open Street Maps. We hope to hold some of the monthly meetings in different parts of the county in 2012.  Next meeting: Wednesday January 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna.

Awards and Honors: In March, FABB received national recognition from the Alliance for Biking & Walking for the Virginia advocates guide that we published in 2010. At the WABA Annual Meeting, FABB member Fionnuala Quinn received the Bicycle Advocacy Award.  We appreciate the support and recognition for our work.

Fun Times on Bikes:  FABB participated in many rides including Bike to Work Day in May. FABB members Bruce Wright and Kerie Hitt organized and participated in a bike/car/bus challenge, which demonstrated bicycling can take less time than driving or riding the bus for short trips in Reston. In August, FABB greeted and provided refreshments for 30 velomobile riders along the W&OD Trail in Vienna.  We joined some of the monthly bike trains at Wolf Trap Elementary School, organized by parent Jeff Anderson.  The bike trains continue to be an inspiration to the community and we hope to see many more children riding through the Safe Routes to School program in 2012.

Conferences and Other Events: FABB representatives attended the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, Bike to Mason Day at George Mason University, Cyclefest, Paul’s Ride for Life, Earth Day, Herndon Festival bike valet, county health events, Graham Road Elementary School Bike Rodeo, and congressional visits on the Hill.  We learned lots and met a wide range of folks working hard on bicycling issues.

Disappointment:  The three-foot passing law, championed by the Virginia Bicycle Federation, failed to be adopted into law. Another attempt to pass the law will be made in 2012.

Happily, No Bicycle Fatalities:  After four fatalities in 2010, we are unaware of any biking-related deaths in the county in 2011.  However, a number of serious injuries occurred and our work for safer design, education and driver awareness continues. See stats on 2011 bike crashes.

News from the Agencies:  Several key appointments were filled this year: VDOT Northern Virginia District Administrator, Fairfax County Transportation Director, VDOT State Bike Coordinator and Virginia Safe Routes to School Coordinator.  We have established good working relationships with the new officials.

Thank Yous: A sincere thank you for the help and support from our volunteers, well wishers, and donors.  Thank you also to the public officials who patiently listen and work with us on an ongoing basis.  We are all working for safety, access, and the health and well-being of our community.

We wish you good riding in 2012 and always remember to use bike lights after dark.
For more details on FABB events, see the
FABB Events page. See also theWABA events page.
FABB BLOG - For other news and articles of interest, visit the FABB blog.
Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling is a grassroots initiative, affiliated with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, aiming to make bicycling an integral part of Fairfax County's transportation network.
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