Thursday, June 20, 2013

Do you think regional bike projects are "frivolous" or "cosmetic?"

A public hearing on regional transportation projects to be funded by new state transportation funds will be held tonight at City of Fairfax City Hall. The Northern Virginia Regional Transportation Authority is holding the public hearing. They will decide which projects will receive funds. See a list of proposed projects (appendix D) and more detailed info about each project.

There is definite opposition to using these funds for bicycle projects. At a VDOT hearing Delegate LeMunyon said bike facilities don't ease congestion and should not be funded with regional funds. It was reported that he and Del. Ramadan said that funding of bike facilities was "frivolous." 

At a Loudoun County public hearing on the NVTA projects, Leo Schefer, President of the Washington Airports Task Force, stated that funding for bike projects would not relieve congestion and are "cosmetic?" Any wonder that the 10,000 employees at Dulles Airport have no safe bicycle access? (Schefer's comments start at around 37:30 of the meeting video.)

Cyclists are encouraged to attend tonight's hearing and speak out in support of important regional bike facilities like the W&OD Trail, a continuation of the Custis Trail outside the Beltway, and bike access to transit centers and higher density commercial and retail centers. Well-designed, high quality bicycle projects do reduce congestion and should be funded.

From a news release about the hearing.
The Authority urges the public to get involved by learning about and commenting on the proposed first fiscal year FY2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014) transportation project list during an Open House and Public Hearing on June 20, 2013 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers at City Hall in the City of Fairfax, 10455 Armstrong Street, Fairfax, VA. The Open House will be followed by a presentation and the Public Hearing. 

There will also be opportunities for public comment during local community meetings to be held in several Authority jurisdictions in June and July. More information about those local meetings will be available soon. The public may email their comments on the projects to: 

In addition to the June 20, 2013 Open House and Public Hearing a second Public Hearing will be held in July, 2013. Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks. 

“Our goal is to jumpstart those congestion relief projects in the region that give us the most bang for our buck. The Authority wants to hear what the public thinks about these projects,” said Martin Nohe, NVTA chairman. “However, this is only the first wave of projects. In the coming years The Authority will implement dozens of transit, rail and highway projects, all with the same basic goal: Getting Northern Virginia residents home from work faster. Through increased connectivity these projects will improve the ease of getting around the area and allow for greater opportunity for economic development.”



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  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

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