Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Supervisor McKay's Board Matter on BikeArlington

Supervisor McKay
At today's Board meeting Lee District Supervisor McKay asked staff to "prepare an analysis of the BikeArlington program and that the analysis be added to a future Transportation Committee's agenda." When we met with Supervisor McKay we discussed the success of BikeArlington and that it is an excellent model for a similar effort in Fairfax County.

Supervisor McKay's earlier Board Matter on the Bicycle Master Plan kickstarted that effort.

As many of you know, BikeArlington is a very successful program that encourages more people to travel by bike. They also fund several bicyclist education classes, hold bicycle events, and conduct outreach to local employers. They produced the excellent infographic on bicycle and pedestrian safety as part of their PAL program: Predictable, Alert, and Legal.

This is an exciting development. As the Bicycle Master Plan nears completion, it will be important that Fairfax becomes more proactive in not only building an extensive bicycle network, but also changing our car culture to be more accepting of bicycling as a viable means of transportation. Having a BikeFairfax similar to BikeArlington would be a major step in the right direction.

Here is the text of Supervisor McKay's Board Matter from today's meeting:
Madam Chairman—Bicycle use as a mode of transportation in Fairfax County has grown in recent years. The reasons are many: high gas prices, environmental and health concerns, and the desire for transportation choices. When you consider that nearly 40 percent of all vehicle trips are fewer than two miles and could be made by bicycle, you can see the possibilities.

Our neighboring county has done much to encourage this simple and efficient mode of transportation. BikeArlington, a program of Arlington County Commuter Services, builds on existing partnerships between Arlington citizens and businesses to encourage more people to bike more often and to obtain private sector buy-in.

Now that the state is shedding its transportation responsibilities faster than you can say ‘pothole’, it makes sense to look at the Arlington approach and investigate if this model would work for Fairfax County and help us achieve some of the goals of our Fairfax County Bicycle Plan.

Madam Chairman, without exception I ask that staff prepare an analysis of the BikeArlington program and that the analysis be added to a future Transportation Committee’s agenda.

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