Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good turnout for the Burke-Springfield bike plan meeting

Around 40 60-70 cyclists attended the Burke-Springfield bike plan meeting tonight at the West Springfield Governmental Center. Bob Patten of Toole Design Group gave an overview of the planning process. Bob noted that the average commute to work trip for the Burke-Springfield area is 14.2 miles which means that commuting by bike is not going to be an option for many people. However, the average length of approximately 75,000 other trips is less than three miles and could easily be taken by bike.

Bob mentioned the idea of having a mini bike share system connecting the north Ft. Belvoir area with the Franconia-Springfield Metro station.

A cyclist in the audience noted that when he rides his bike to the store there's often no place to park his bike.  Another cyclist said that Arlington, Alexandria, DC and many other cities around the U.S. have somehow found the funds to make their communities more bike-friendly and we should be able to do the same. We're often forced onto major arterials and we need better bike connections.

Another cyclist said that kids should be able to ride to school. In many cases kids live directly across the street and can't even walk there because they need to cross a major arterial. Using buses to cross barriers was suggested as one solution that needs to be publicized and made easier.

A woman noted that she likes to ride with her 7 year old around Lake Accotink but she's encountered archers hired to kill deer in those areas. She refuses to ride there and ends up going to other, less dangerous areas outside the county. We've heard about this from a FABB member who has the same concern along the W&OD Trail between Reston and Vienna. If you aren't aware, Fairfax County has opened up many parks to archers this year.

After the group discussion people gathered around large scale maps and made comments on where they ride, where they want to ride but can't, and where they'd like to see improvements. They could also comment on other aspects of the plan including bike education, enforcement, and encouragement.

The next bike plan area meeting is for the Annandale area on February 15 at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale starting at 4:30 p.m. Since that is on the same night as the FABB meeting, we plan to hold the FABB meeting after this meeting at the same location in Annandale.

DancesWithCarsDC has posted videos of the presentation and Q&A session:


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