Monday, December 2, 2013

Biking to the Silver Line

Bike parking at Spring Hill station
Photo: Chris French
That's the online title of our Letter to the Editor that appeared in today's Post. It was based on the print article Parking worries loom over Silver Line (of course the Post uses a different title for the online article).

There is a common misconception that there is no parking at the Tysons Metrorail stations. While it is probably not sufficient, there is bike parking at each of the four Tysons stations, and biking to the station from surrounding neighborhoods is very feasible and will get better once planned bike facilities are built.

Here's the letter:
In “Parking worries loom over Silver Line’ [front page, Nov. 28], those who live near the Tysons Silver Line Metrorail stations bemoaned the lack of parking at the stations. While there is no car parking planned, there will be bike parking at each of the stations.

Sally Horn of the McLean Citizens Association said “many members of her group live just far enough away that driving to a station is their best option.” For some of those residents, bicycling to the station is one of the better options. For John Lucas, who lives about a mile from the station, driving his car, parking and walking to the station entrance would probably take him longer than taking the same trip by bike. And if he biked, he would get some exercise, burn no fossil fuels, generate no pollution (short car trips generate more pollution than longer trips) and avoid adding to the already-congested Tysons streets.

Bicycling is one of the best first- and last-mile solutions. It’s not for everyone, but those who are willing to try might find it’s easier than they think.

Bruce Wright, Reston.

The writer is chairman of the Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling.
Fairfax County has also made extensive changes to transit around the stations that will facilitate taking short trips to Metro. In order to entice residents, who know of no other way to get around than to drive, to take transit, it need to have frequent service and be convenient. Even if that is the case it will take a major change in mindset for many Fairfax County residents to try transit or biking. It's delusional to think that if there are be massive parking garages at each of the stations there would not be more congestion in Tysons. Driving alone for short trips just does not make sense; it's wasteful, expensive, and does not contribute to creating livable spaces.

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