Sunday, March 4, 2012

Centreville/Chantilly bike meeting on Tuesday

The Fairfax Co Bicycle Master Plan process has been underway since last summer. There are only two more subarea bike planning meetings left. The Centreville/Chantilly meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 6 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly. If you're familiar with the western area of the county it's a good chance to provide input to the plan.

FABB's Fionnuala Quinn was interviewed by the Centreville Patch for the article Building a More Bicycle-Friendly Centreville:
“We have many suitable and enjoyable areas to ride in Fairfax County and it would be wonderful if more residents realized how many trips are already very bikeable,” said Fionnuala Quinn, vice chair of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB). “Biking on some of our beautiful trails and using our lovely neighborhood streets to get around can really alter your perspective about Fairfax traffic woes.”

“That said, we have very few dedicated bicycling facilities and the county hasn’t developed a ‘bicycling culture’ yet,” Quinn added. “There is certainly much to be done to create a safe and comfortable bicycling environment countywide.”

The Countywide Bicycle Transportation Plan provides recommendations in major areas Quinn calls “the five E’s.” They are engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation. Within these areas, the study assesses bike lanes and other on-road bike facilities, bike trails and parking, Bike to Work and School Day, community bike rides, bike safety classes, bicyclist counting and rules of the road, just to name a few.

“FABB has been advocating for a bicycle master plan from their initiation [in 2005] as it was recognized that in a large, complex county, a detailed plan was necessary,” Quinn said. “The county has been very supportive of developing the plan. Once it is adopted, adequate funding will be required for it to be implemented.”

Developing the Sully District

“This is everyone’s big chance to let their county officials know about specific safety problems in their neighborhoods or to alert them to connections that should be added to create better internal access and shortcuts for getting around,” Quinn added.

One specific topic residents are open to address at Tuesday night’s meeting is how new and improved bike paths can lead to safer, more convenient ways for locals to commute to work and school. For example, many area schools, like Bull Run Elementary on Route 29/Lee Highway, do not allow any students to bike or walk to school because there is no safe route that allows them to do so.

Fairfax County Department of Transportation Bicycle Program Coordinator Charlie Strunk has big plans for the Sully District.

“The Centreville area does present challenges … but it also offers opportunities,” Strunk said. “I want to focus on two projects currently in the design phase. One is the Bobann Drive Bikeway. This old roadbed runs parallel to I-66. We plan to improve this shared-use path providing a direct connection from the Centreville area to Stringfellow Road and the adjacent park and ride lot. The new Stringfellow Road will have wide outside curb lanes for bikes and we’re adding secure covered bicycle parking at the park and ride lot.”

“The second project that we’re excited about is a new bike map which we’re calling ‘Western Fairfax Bike the Sites,’” Strunk continued. “This map will layout a family-friendly bike loop that passes by many of the historical sites in the area. It will be fun, educational and a healthy way to explore some of Sully’s history.”
County residents who are unable to attend public meetings in their district can give input on the project through an online survey, open through Saturday, March 31.

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  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

  Transportation choices

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