Thursday, November 29, 2012

Busy advocacy schedule

It's been a busy advocacy week for FABB. Here's a list of events and meetings we've attended this week:

Tuesday, Nov. 27 - We put in a few miles riding to the following meetings, despite a light rain.
  • Dunn Loring Metro Station sidewalk meeting - On Tuesday morning we met with several staff from WMATA at the station to discuss the temporary sidewalk leading into the property from the paved trail along Gallows Rd on the north. The new sidewalk is narrow and splits, with a wide lip that could, and did, catch a wheel and caused a crash. These "temporary" sidewalks will be in place for at least two years. We were told that some additional paving would be done to make the situation safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Tysons Bike Group meeting - Glenn Hiner of Fairfax Co Employer Services brought copies of the microfiber bike map of Tysons that he is using to promote bicycling in Tysons with the goal of reducing congestion. The map shows bicycling conditions in and around Tysons. A similar map is planned fro the area in Reston around the Wiehle Ave Metro station. Glenn also discussed the possibility of the county subsidizing small-scale, employer-based bike sharing in Tysons, similar to Patriot Bikeshare. We discussed the many funded bike projects in the Tysons area including bike lanes on Idylwood Rd between Helena and Idyl Lane, paved shoulders on Old Courthouse Rd at Freedom Hill Park, upgrading the Ashgrove Lane trail, building a new trail from Vesper Ct to the Tysons West Metro station, and sharrows and wayfinding signage in various locations.
  • Tysons Stakeholder meeting - Updates on various transportation projects around Tysons. As development occurs in Tysons, developers are being requested to contribute to a Tysons-wide transportation fund to be used for trip reduction strategies, probably managed by the Tysons Partnership. Bicycling will play a role in those strategies.
  • W&OD Trail Safety meeting - The Vienna Transportation Advisory Commission held a public hearing that evening on W&OD Trail safety. It was an unusual public hearing since there was no public information on which to base comments. We're well aware of many concerns expressed by some trail users regarding bad behavior, but there was no clear definition of the problems nor any proposed solutions provided beforehand. We suggested that a TSC subcommittee meet with reps from the various user groups to discuss the perceived problems and to develop suggestions. At the end of the meeting Bob McCahill, Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee chair, presented a list of proposed safety measures. The Town Council plans to meet with reps from the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority at a work session on Dec. 10 at 8pm to discuss the issue.
Wednesday, Nov. 28 - It was a cold but clear riding day with a very bright full moon that evening.
  • Alternative Transportation event at Defense Health Headquarters - DHHQ is located just inside the Beltway on Route 50. There are no safe bike/ped crossings of the Beltway on Rt 50 and only the most experienced cyclists will try to right through the intersection. However, there are many good routes from the north, east, and south. We had a table at the mid-day event and spoke to a few of the 3,000 employees working in the building.
  • Route 7 Public Citizen Information Meeting - VDOT now holds public meetings much earlier in the planning process than they did in the past. At this evening meeting information was provided regarding plans to widen Route 7 to 6 lanes between Reston Parkway and Jarrett Valley Dr. There will be multi-use trails on each side of the road. We asked about the possibility of dedicating a lane to transit service. The next citizen information meeting is scheduled for Fall of 2013 at the end of the preliminary design phase.
Thursday, Nov. 29
  • Transportation Planning Board Community Leadership Training - This training is provided for free by Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG). This is a "workshop designed to help community activists learn how to get involved more effectively in transportation decision-making in the Washington Region." The major part of the training takes place on Saturday. The sessions have received good reviews from other who have taken them in the past. The trip to the training was multimodal: bike to bus, bus to rail, rail to DC, Capital Bikeshare to the MWCOG offices.
Friday, Nov. 30
  • Historic Marker Bike Tour - We plan to meet with a cyclist interested in helping us put together a bike tour that would visit several of the historic markers located throughout the county. It would be a great way to explore the rich history of Fairfax.

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Hi, Bruce,

My husband and I would LOVE to get involved with creating an historical marker bike tour for Fairfax! (We're bikers and historical marker junkies!) How can we contact you and/or the cyclist who was interested?
You can send a message to chairman {at} fabb-bikes [dot] org. It would be great to have your help in putting together the tours.

We made some progress today on trying to put together a few tours. We're going to try to identify routes safe for a wide range of cyclists which will be a challenge. We also plan to include other sights in the same area. The tours would consist of a loop so they would start and end in the same location. We started with outlining a tour in the Centreville area and identified other marker clusters in McLean, Annandale, the Route 1 corridor, Burke, and a few others. The focus for now is on Civil War history and African-American history. Look forward to hearing from you.

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