Monday, April 30, 2012

Bicycle protest in London and Edinburgh

10,000 cyclists turned out to protest the lack of bicycle facilities in London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland:
Central London was overrun by 10,000 cyclists today, as the biggest bike protest ever seen in the capital took to the streets.

The mayoral candidates Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones, as well as Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, joined the ride from Hyde Park to Blackfriars, which called on the candidates in next week’s local and mayoral elections to make concrete pledges to make the streets safer for cyclists.

Mr Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate, said: “I personally am too afraid to cycle on the roads and roundabouts in London and that isn’t right. We need to review all junctions, especially those on the cycle superhighways.”

Ms Jones, the Green candidate, told The Times: I am here to celebrate cycling and London has to understand that cycling is the future.”

A parallel event took place in Edinburgh, where more than 3,000 cyclists – three times the turnout expected - rode down the Royal Mile.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Bike events this weekend

Paul's Ride for Life, The Bike Lane Cyclefest Expo, Spokes, Etc./Trek Bicycle Demo, and two bike rodeos are on tap for the weekend. FABB will have a table at Cyclefest so stop by and say hi. The weather forecast was gloomy but now looks much more promising although you'll need to dress warmly. Cyclefest, Paul's Ride, and Spokes/Trek Bicycle Demo will be held rain or shine. Why not check out one or more of these events (info from event web pages):
  • Paul's Ride for Life—Saturday starting at 7am. Start at Reston Town Center Pavilion. All rides are out and back along the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail. The route is paved asphalt. The ride includes 10, 20, and 1/2 Century +2 mile options.
  • The Bike Lane Cyclefest Expo—Saturday starting at 10am. Join The Bike Lane for our 6th Annual Cyclefest Expo. A day to celebrate cycling at Reston Town Center Pavilion! Cyclefest Expo is open for everyone from 10 am- 3 pm. Trek, Felt, and Niner Demos will be available from 10-2:30 pm. Kids Bike Rodeo, sponsored by Trails for Youth, will be from 12:30- 3 pm. Group mountain bike ride to Lake Fairfax, sponsored by MORE- 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.
  • Bicycle Safety Rodeo—Saturday from 1-4pm at Lake Newport Pool, Reston. Join the Reston Association, State Farm Insurance Co., and The Reston Bicycle Club for our Annual Bicycle Safety Rodeo. Children will complete 8 safety stations and earn their bicyclist’s license. Children must bring their own bicycles and helmets. No registration required. This event is canceled in the event of rain. Contact or call 703-435-6577 for more information.
  • Spokes, Etc./Trek Bicycle Demo—Sunday 10-3pm. Join Spokes Etc. and Trek Bicycles on Sunday, April 29th for a Bicycle Demo and Education event at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, VA. Take advantage of this opportunity to take a brand new 2012 Trek bicycle for a real-world ride. Choose from mountain, road, triathlon and cyclocross bikes and ride them where they were meant to be ridden – on the trails, roads, and gravel paths.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Udvar-Hazy Ride

Our first sponsored ride will be to the Udvar-Hazy Center on Saturday, May 5. It will be a social ride of about 12 miles total and will include an hour stop at the Center to view the exhibits and the Shuttle Discovery

There are still plenty of slots open. The ride is for WABA members and should be a fun, casual ride. Registration is required. Bike parking is free compared to the $15 fee for cars.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No money for bicycle program

On Tuesday the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors made final decisions on the FY 2013 budget. Despite hearing from over 300 cyclists who asked for some funding for the Bicycle Program, the Board refused to allocate any operating funds to the program. The program received $375,000 in FY 2009, $204,544 in FY 2010, and $0 in FY 2011 and 2012. According to Fairfax Co DOT,"FCDOT has significantly reduced its participation in program outreach due to budget limitations.

It's not all doom and gloom. While we were very disappointed by the lack of operating funds, that doesn't mean there is no money for bicycle-related activities and projects. Funds from the Commercial and Industrial tax are dedicated to bike projects, primarily the Gallows Road bike lanes. Funds are also available from that source for pedestrian and bicycle projects, most of which are pedestrian access projects around Silver Line Metro stations. Read about the Bicycle Initiative on page 164 of the FY 2013 budget.

The first ever Countywide Bicycle Master Plan is fully funded and should be completed this summer. However, without proper program funding or staff, we're concerned that the Countywide plan could meet the same fate of the Tysons Bicycle Master Plan which was completed in Feb. 2011 and has been sitting on the shelf ever since. It has not been approved by the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors.

Read the FCDOT's response to Supervisor Foust's questions regarding the Bicycle Program.

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PG County addresses need for better bike facilities

An article in today's Post, Prince George’s backs plan to ease the way for pedestrians and cyclists describes how PG County is giving the same priority to bicyclists and pedestrians as they do motorists when considering new developments.
The Prince George’s County Council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday that would make new developments more welcoming to cyclists and pedestrians, placing the county at the forefront of a movement to limit reliance on cars and reduce pedestrian deaths.

The measure places the needs of cyclists and pedestrians on a par with motorists and gives the county’s planning board a new tool to encourage walking and cycling. The bill was introduced by County Council Vice Chairman Eric Olson (D-College Park) and council member Mel Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro), and County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is expected to sign it into law.

For decades, new developments in Prince George’s and many other jurisdictions have been required to measure the potential traffic they would create and then pay to mitigate it by installing traffic lights, widening roads or adding parking. Little attention has been paid to making new developments more friendly to cyclists or walkers.
This is a major accomplishment. Developers in Fairfax County must submit a traffic impact analysis based on VDOT guidelines. While the guidelines contain some considerations for bicyclists and pedestrians, my experience in the past has shown that these studies often ignore the needs of bicyclists. We're encouraged by what is being done in PG County and hope they lead the way for the rest of the region.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

School Facilities and FFX Co Pkwy meetings tonight

See the FABB Events page for information on two meetings tonight. The School Facility Planning meeting is being held tonight at Carson Middle School, 13618 McLearen Rd, Herndon, VA 20171 and Glasgow Middle School, 4101 Fairfax Pkwy, Alexandria, VA 22312. Both meetings start at 7pm. This is an opportunity to speak out for the need to make our schools more bicycle and pedestrian friendly and to ask FCPS to spend less on making it easier for parents to drive kids to school, kids who could take the bus or walk or bike.

VDOT his holding a public meeting to discuss repaving of FFX Co Parkway. The trail is not part of the project but it desperately needs to be repaved and redesigned. The redesign should be part of the repaving project. That meeting also starts at 7pm at VDOT District Office, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.

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Bike to School Day May 9

Fairfax County Public Schools will celebrate the first National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9. Congratulations to FCPS for agreeing to be part of this event. From the FCPS news release:
Students are encouraged to bike or walk to school on May 9. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to assemble bike trains or walking groups for the event. Schools that are launching a schoolwide effort to participate can register online at

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) School Board chair Janie Strauss and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chair Sharon Bulova are joining forces to encourage county residents to participate in National Bike to School Day. “Increased physical activity is something we all should strive for,” said Strauss. “Using an alternative method of traveling to school will help meet that goal while reducing vehicular traffic on county roads.” Adds Bulova, “Bicycling is not only a great way to exercise, but an efficient mode of transportation. I encourage Fairfax County students to take this opportunity to learn bike safety, find the best route to school, and enjoy the trip."

Marshall Road Elementary School is one of several Fairfax County public schools that have recently adopted the Safe Routes to School program and have initiated a bike train. With the assistance and encouragement of the school administration and PTA, students from Marshall Road will be biking to the school on May 9 as part of the national event. In addition, Marshall Road Elementary students will be participating in the Vienna Bike Walk Challenge during the week of May 14- 18 along with students from Vienna Elementary, Louise Archer Elementary, Cunningham Park Elementary, and Wolftrap Elementary Schools.

The Fairfax County Police Department plans to have patrol officers on the roads on May 9, and motorists are urged to be vigilant of bikers and pedestrians on National Bike to School Day.

Additional information about FCPS and National Bike to School Day can be found at

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

FABB at bike events in Vienna

Vienna ES bike rodeo
We attended several bike-related events in Vienna this week. Around 90 kids took part in the Vienna Elementary School bike rodeo on Monday. Trails for Youth conducted the rodeo with mechanical support from both Spokes, Etc. and bikes@vienna. Bike rodeos are one of the best ways for kids to learn the rules of the road and bike handling skills. One day all elementary kids will have the opportunity to attend a bike rodeo.

Hunter and Liz at Vienna Green Expo
On Thursday evening we had a table at Vienna Green Expo. We handed out bike safety literature and bike maps and spoke to several people about bicycling in the area. A common theme was that if we had better bike facilities more people would bike.

Maple Ave Shopping Center rack
Today there were two events in Vienna. The first was a ride from the City of Fairfax to Vienna Metro highlighting the proposed route that will be signed. Six of us left from Oasis Bike Works at 10am and took the short ride to the station. A long section of the route is along Old Lee Hwy which is narrow in a few sections and needs to either be widened or have shared lane markings installed.

Vienna Mayor Seeman cuts the ribbon
From the station we rode to Maple Ave Shopping Center to take part in the bike rack ribbon-cutting. Center shops offered discounts and other goodies and bikes@vienna contributed a bike that was raffled off (the winner will be announced on Monday). Mayor Seeman and Councilwomen Kelleher, Cole, and Sienicki were in attendance.

Eleven custom inverted U-racks are installed along the front of the shopping center. There's been a need for the racks here for a long time and it's great that the center management worked with the Town and Cris Janoski and others on the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee to install the racks. Thank you!

Breezer Greenway donated by bikes@vienna
Good things are happening in Vienna. What about in your community? Do you have good bike parking at local stores, schools, businesses? If not, why not ask store owners to provide it? Print out the 12 Bike Parking Essentials for Retailers flier and hand it to them. If you need help, let us know.

Update: Read the Vienna Patch article on the bike rack ribbon-cutting celebration, Maple Ave Shopping Center Welcomes Bike Racks

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Blacksburg Cycle Chic

FABB's Fionnuala Quinn will be a featured speaker at what sounds like a great bike event in Blacksburg on Tuesday, May 1—Blacksburg Cycle Chic Commuter Celebration & Fashion Show! Fionnuala will be discussing the Women Cycling Project and empowering women to bicycle.

Elly Blue of Taking the Lane is one of the other featured speakers. Besides writing Taking the Lane, Elly's writings appear in Grist, BikePortland, Momentum, and others.

Blacksburg Cycle Chic is a great way to kick off Bike Month. I just wish it were closer to Fairfax.

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FABB sponsors ride to Udvar-Hazy Center on May 5

The Space Shuttle Discovery has arrived!  Why drive to the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center and pay $15 to park when you can ride and park your bike for free?  FABB is hosting a social ride to give WABA members a chance to share ideas about transportation cycling while enjoying a leisurely ride through Oak Hill neighborhoods.  We will ride 6 miles to the museum, lock up our bikes and spend 1 hour enjoying the museum.  Afterwards we’ll ride 6 miles back to Reston under a stream valley viaduct. WABA Members only (due to insurance reasons).  Helmets are required.  We are keeping our first ride small so register early.

Date:  5/5/2012 at 9 am

Rain Date: 5/6/2012 at 9 am **Rain date will be announced by 7am on ride day. Look for an email and in our events page.
  • Riders will depart at 9am from the Reston South Park & Ride.   The ride is a combination of neighborhood streets (on-road), multi-use trails and a short section of 4-lane road near the Museum.  We will cross a stream (1-2 inches over concrete) at a fair weather crossing.
  • The ride is about 12 miles round trip
  • We will stay at the museum for an hour before heading back to Reston.  There are U-racks to lock your bike.  Admission is free.
  • This is a no-drop social ride at a 10-12 mph pace... no lycra or fast road bikes needed.
  • The ride is for adult WABA Members.  Children 14-18 may participate if they are accompanied by an adult WABA member.
  • FABB will provide Ride Marshalls for the ride

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Bike events this weekend

  • Fairfax to Vienna Metro Ride - Leaving at 9:30am Saturday from Oasis Bike Works, the ride will be a chance to follow part of the proposed bike route from GMU to Vienna Metro. RSVP.
  • Vienna Bike Rack Ribbon-Cutting - 11am-1pm Saturday at Maple Ave Shopping Center, 311 E Maple Ave, Vienna. Win a Breezer bike donated by bikes@vienna. See the event flier for a list of other giveaways.
  • Cancelled - Wolftrap ES Bike Rodeo on Sunday. Due to predictions of rain, the bike rodeo is rescheduled to Sunday, May 6 from 12-2pm.
See the FABB Events page for other upcoming events.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

FFX Co DOT Chief's vision for Bicycle Program

Photo: Fionnuala Quinn
Tom Biesiadny, Director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation attended the monthly FABB meeting last night. He gave us an overview of the Bicycle Program and shared is vision for the program in the future.

Tom is a bicyclist who lives and rides in the county on a regular basis. For several years he has ridden in one of the more difficult and popular multi-day rides in the country, RAGBRAI. As a cyclist he is intimately familiar with the problems we face on a daily basis.

We were very encouraged by several comments he made:
  • The Board of Supervisors is researching various options for local funding of transportation projects and bicycle projects are an integral part of that discussion. Bicycling will play a bigger role in the transportation system in the future because it's a cost-effective solution to relieving congestion.
  • FFX DOT recently got approval to fill the Bike Program position vacated by Jeff Hermann nearly a year ago. While the new person will be asked to handle additional duties, working on bicycle projects will be a key part of the position.
  • The County will look into implementing encouragement activities similar to those conducted by BikeArlington. While our CMAQ funds are allocated for the next couple of years, other sources could be used and that will be discussed more in the future.
  • Trail Maintenance: There are funds in this year's budget to assess the condition of the 700 miles of trails in the county and to develop a prioritized list of needed maintenance. While we would like to have funds to actually conduct maintenance this year, this is a start to addressing a long term problem. There has been no money for trail and bike facility maintenance for many years.
After his talk we presented Tom with a FABB t-shirt. We look forward to working with him in the future.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Funding for the Bicycle Program

Thanks to all the cyclists who responded to our request, through a WABA Alert, to ask the Fairfax Co Board of Supervisors to fund the Bicycle Program. Operating funds were cut in 2010 and eliminated in 2011. Each Supervisor received over 300 messages from cyclists; they heard us loud and clear, so we don't need to send additional messages.

The timing was right. Most messages to the Board are received before Wednesday of last week when Hunter McCleary presented the FABB testimony before the Board at the budget hearings (see video of budget testimony on April 11). After his testimony there were questions regarding the funding levels. We sent a followup message to the Board responding to their questions. In part it stated:
In the FY 2010 advertised budget the Bicycle Program was cut by 45%. See page 121 of the budget document: "This reduction decreases the Bicycle Program operating budget by 45 percent or $170,456." In the FY 2011 budget all program funding was eliminated but as you know, the Bicycle Coordinator position was retained. The funding level before the cuts was around $379,000.

We asked cyclists to contact you about funding the program. We were encouraged by their response; there really are many cyclists who want to be able to safely bike in the county for transportation and recreation. Please consider funding the program this year.
The Board will mark up the budget on April 24. Prior to that session we will be discussing our request with a representative of the Board. Thanks to the messages from cyclists, the Board knows that the request is not just coming from a small group of activists. Thanks to WABA for helping us with the Alert. If you don't currently receive WABA Alerts, you can sign up online.

Below is a copy of testimony presented to the Board:

Testimony on 2013 Fairfax County Budget
Bruce Wright, Chairman
Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
April 11, 2012

Good evening. I am here today to ask that you fund the Bicycle Program. Program funding was cut in half two years ago and eliminated last year, at a time when more and more people are choosing to use bikes for transportation.

We appreciate your previous support for bicycling in Fairfax. Thanks to your support a great deal of work is being done to create the County Bicycle Master Plan and the Tysons Plan is now complete. Now we need your support to ensure that both plans become part of the Comprehensive Plan. We especially need your support to ensure that both plans get implemented. Most of the recommendations are not costly but they will take dedicated staff time and resources to become a reality.

FABB attends many events and we talk to a lot of people. Invariably when we ask people if they ride and we get answers from two types of people: The 1% of fearless riders who will ride anywhere, and everyone else who say they would like to ride more but don't because they don't feel it's safe. The second group represents a wide cross section of people and it's always the same answer.

I recently spoke to a woman from San Diego. I asked if she biked. She said she missed being in San Diego where they could bike to shops and to school. When they moved here her daughter asked her why they had to drive everywhere; why couldn't they walk and bike. If we want to provide our residents with a good quality of life, and be able to attract others looking for the same, we need to devote the resources necessary to make Fairfax a better place to bike.

Fairfax also needs to attract young professionals to stay competitive with surrounding jurisdictions. In Arlington Co, voters approved a bond that provides dedicated funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects. BikeArlington has dedicated staff to educate cyclists and promote the use of bicycling in the county. They've also committed to implementing the very popular Capital Bike Share system.

What would funding for the bicycle program mean? Money for shared lane markings (sharrows) placed on busy sections of road to remind motorists that bikes belong on those roads. Repaving of the Fairfax County Parkway trail, and installation of signs to guide users where the trail diverts from the Parkway. It would mean resources to ensure that the Tysons Bike Plan is approved by the Planning Commission and the Board. Building of small neighborhood connections so that cyclists can avoid riding on busy arterials that have no bike facilities. Support for Bike to Work Day and many other events to encourage people to travel by bike. Implementation of a bicycle counting program to show the increase in bicycling around the county. And much more.

Once again thank you for your past support for bicycling but we really do need some dedicated funds to make Fairfax a better place to bike and to live.

Presented by:
Hunter McCleary
2205 Trott Ave
Vienna Va.  22181

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vienna Elementary School bike rodeo

Mayor Seeman and Bruce Wright
(photo: Anne Pastorkovich)
Around 90 kids participated in the Vienna ES bike rodeo on Monday. The school is located adjacent to the W&OD Trail and close to neighborhood streets and many kids bike to the school. It was great to see so many kids having fun riding bikes and learning handling skills. Pat Childers of Trails for Youth was in charge of the rodeo. The event was sponsored by Vienna Elementary School PTA, Safe Routes to School, the Friends of the WO&D and the Town of Vienna.

Our friends from Spokes, Etc. and bikes@vienna were there to check out and tune the bikes. FABB was there to hand out the last of the county Bicycle Route Maps. The revised map should be available soon. Town of Vienna Mayor Seeman (right) was there as was Councilwoman Laurie DiRocco. Mayor Seeman said she plans to attend the Maple Ave Shopping Center bike rack ribbon-cutting event on Saturday. It's great to see so much support for bicycling in Vienna.

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Fairfax Co Parkway repaving meeting tonight

VDOT will be repaving 24 miles of the 32-mile, six-lane Fairfax County Parkway between Route 7 in Dranesville and Rolling Road in Springfield. While the road has been repaved several times, the paved sidepath has never been repaved. It's in very poor, dangerous condition and should be repaved.

Cyclists should plan to attend the repaving meetings to ask that the trail repaving be included, either as part of this project or concurrnetly as a separately funded project. The meeting starts at 7pm at Robinson Secondary School, 5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22032.

 If you can't attend tonight's meeting, two other meetings will be held on April 24 and May 2. See the FABB Events page for details.

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Space Shuttle lands today

The Space Shuttle Discovery will land at Dulles Airport this morning between 10-11am. It will then go on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center. See the Center's Discover activities page. You can drive there and pay $15 to park or bike there and park for free in the bike parking located near the main entrance.


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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Busy week ahead in Fairfax

There are several events and meetings this week that cyclists should be aware of:
  • Monday, April 16 - Vienna Elementary School Bike Rodeo, 128 Center St. South Vienna, VA 22180 from 1-3pm. FABB will be there along with a mechanic from bikes@vienna who will do minor repairs on kids bikes.
  • Tuesday, April 17 - Fairfax Co Parkway Repaving meeting at Robinson Secondary School, 5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22032 at 7pm. Speak out for repaving of the parallel trail that is in bad condition and has never been repaved. Other meetings include April 24 at VDOT District Office, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 and May 2 at West Springfield High School, 6100 Rolling Rd, Springfield, VA 22152
  • Wednesday, April 18 - Pohick Valley Stream trail meeting at White Oaks Elementary School, 6130 Shiplett Blvd, Burke at 7pm. The trail is an important connector between Burke VRE and Rolling Road VRE stations. This is a chance to speak out in support of the trail.
  • Wednesday, April 18 - FABB Monthly Meeting at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave E, Vienna, 7:30-9pm. Tom Biesiadny, Director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, is our invited guest speaker.
  • Thursday, April 19 - Vienna Green Expo at the Vienna Community Center from 6:30-9pm. FABB will be there along with the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee, bikes@vienna, and Spokes, Etc.
  • Saturday, April 21 - Bike Rack Ribbon-Cutting and Family Event in Vienna at the Maple Ave Shopping Center, 11-1pm. Sign up to win a Breezer bicycle.
See the redesigned FABB Events Page for details.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Restore funding to the Bicycle Program

Today WABA sent out an alert asking all Fairfax cyclists to contact the Board of Supervisors to ask them to restore funding to the Bicycle Program. Bicycle Program funds were cut in half in 2010 and eliminated in 2011. The program was originally funded with $375,000. See our earlier post about the 2013 budget.

What would the program funding support? Money for shared lane markings (sharrows) placed on busy sections of road to remind motorists that bikes belong on those roads. Repaving of the Fairfax County Parkway trail, and installation of signs to guide users where the trail diverts from the Parkway.

It would mean resources to ensure that the Tysons Bicycle Plan and Countywide Bicycle Plan are approved by the Planning Commission and the Board. Building small neighborhood connections so that cyclists can avoid riding on busy arterials that have no bike facilities. Support for Bike to Work Day and many other events to encourage people to travel by bike. Implementation of a bicycle counting program to show the increase in bicycling around the county. And much more.

If you haven't done so already, please send a message to the Board letting them know you care about the future of bicycling in Fairfax. At a time when more people are choosing to use bikes for transportation, we should be providing more funding and better, safer bike facilities for these cyclists.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

REI supports FABB

This week we picked up our latest donation from REI Fairfax, including sets of tire levers and patch kits for us to give to needy cyclists, a first aid kit for our upcoming FABB Rides, and panniers to help carry all the supplies we use at various events throughout the year. Thank you REI!

Unfortunately our REI friend Rhonda Krafchin was on vacation so we didn't get a picture of her, but that's me with my trailer at REI picking up the donations.

Notice the gentleman in lime green to the right bending over his bike. At the same time we were there we ran into FABB's Fionnuala Quinn's husband Skip who had stopped by REI to check out their bike gear. About a year or so ago Skip started bike commuting one day a week and became hooked on bicycling. Now he commutes often and uses his bike to run short errands. After his REI visit he was headed to the local grocery store to pick up a few supplies.

Read about REI's earlier donation of our rain/sun shelter. REI carries a full line of bikes and bike gear.

As we arrived the crew from Bikes for the World was just packing up after a successful bike collection hosted by REI. We appreciate REI's support for FABB and for all the other community work they do with other organizations.


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Thursday, April 5, 2012

I-66 Multimodal Study Inside the Beltway update

The I-66 Multimodal Study team has released new information gathered at earlier public meetings (see FABB summary of the Fairfax meeting held in Dec. 2011). Fact Sheet 3 is new and there's a list of public involvement comments from the December meetings.

Two open house meetings to review progress to date are planned in April:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Navy League Building
2300 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
Public transportation directions to open house

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School
7130 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
Public transportation directions to open house

From the public comments regarding bicycle facilities:
  • Improvements in bicycle travel and key connections are needed throughout the study area. This includes new and wider pavement on existing paths such as W&OD and Custis as well as new connections to transit. (6)
  • Provide a bike/pedestrian crossing near West Falls Church Metro to link Haycock Rd./W&OD with Pimmitt Hills neighborhood. (2) More bicycle parking is needed at Metro stations. (2)
  • Provide bicycle access along U.S. 50 across the Beltway to connect Merrifield and Graham Rd. areas. (2)
  • Try to create a safe bike trail into the heart of Tysons Corner from the W&OD trail.
  • Extend the Custis Trail beyond East Falls Church.
  • The Custis Trail needs to be completely redesigned and rebuilt. The steep slopes discourage commuter cycling. The trail should have the same gradual changes in elevation as do the highway travel lanes.
  • A viable two-way solution to reducing traffic is to further promote the use of what is already there along I-66 - a bike path.
  • Need an improved bike/pedestrian connection from Rosslyn/Iwo Jima Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.

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Article on Central Fairfax meeting

See the Fairfax Connection article by Bonnie Hobbs on the Central Fairfax bike plan meeting. This was the final area meeting, held on March 29. Now the bike plan team is working on the first draft of the bicycle route network recommendations. They are also preparing for focus group meetings with the goal of having draft route network and policy/program recommendations by June.
Goodman [Dan Goodman of Toole Design Group] said they'll then have two, countywide meetings summarizing the eight meetings, plus all their fieldwork. Next, they'll make specific recommendations to the county Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The finished product may then be incorporated into the county's Comprehensive Plan and into the City of Fairfax’s plan.

"We're trying to create a linear bike network to make biking a feasible, transportation option in Fairfax County," he said. "We want to have biking be part of the culture of this county. We’ve already had meetings with the Bicycle Advisory Committee and, in April and May, we’ll meet with representatives from law enforcement, public health and schools for their input."
See our earlier report on this meeting and the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan website.

Update: Second Fairfax Connection article Residents Speak Out about Bike Plan.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DC receives Bikes Belong grant

DC was one of six cities selected as Green Lane focus cities. From the Bikes Belong website:
The six cities were chosen from a pool of forty-two city applications. The selected cities have ambitious goals and a vision for bicycling supported by their elected officials and communities. They are poised to get projects on the ground quickly and will serve as excellent examples for other interested cities.

The Green Lane Project will provide resources and technical assistance to help the six focus cities accomplish their goals of creating protected space for people on bikes. Over the next two months, the Green Lane Project will work with elected officials, staff, and community groups in each city to finalize details, solidify the vision, and identify the unique story each city can tell. Details will be released at a national kickoff May 30-31 in Chicago.

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Virginia shipyard has 6,000 bike sharing system

We happened across this article in Virginia Business about the Newport News Shipbuilding company: Shipyard resembles a small city doing big things. The company has their own bike sharing system with a fleet of 6,000 bikes to allow employees to get around the 550-acre site:
There is a place in Virginia populated by 21,300 people who ride around on 6,000 bicycles.It is not a college town like Blacksburg or Harrisonburg; it is Newport News Shipbuilding.

The shipyard has 6,000 bicycles, but like good seats at a football stadium, you practically have to inherit a bike to use one. Our tour guide remembers having to put down $20 in collateral for the privilege of borrowing a bike.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ped/bike bridge at Wolf Trap being installed

Bridge span being lowered into place.
The first span of the pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Dulles Toll Road at Wolf Trap Farm Park was installed last night. This bridge will connect the trail on the south side of the Toll Road with a new trail on the north side that will lead to the park. The existing bridge on Trap Road over the Toll Road is very narrow with no room for pedestrians.

This project is part of the Beulah Road Walkway Project that was initiated by the NoVi Trails group headed by Jenifer Madden. It shows that hard work, persistence, and patience pays off. Funding was obtained from several sources with the help of Congressman Moran and the support of Supervisors Hudgins and Foust.

The final span of the bridge will be installed tonight. Congratulations to Jenifer for her work on making this facility a reality.

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