Saturday, March 1, 2014

March-April 2014 FABB Newsletter

A bi-monthly publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

Bicycle Master Plan Public Hearings Scheduled

ffxcobmpThe Fairfax Co Bicycle Program Manager recently announced dates for public hearings on the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan. The Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 8 in the evening, and the Board of Supervisors hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 17. Both hearings will be held at the Fairfax County Government Center. This is a great opportunity for you to show your support for better bicycling in the county, either by attending a public hearing or writing a letter of support to your county Supervisor.

FABB plans to hold rides to the public hearings. Having a number of cyclists present at the hearings shows we care about our community and that we want the Board to approve the plan. The plan is not yet available on the county website but FABB has posted the July 2012 Draft Bicycle Master Plan text and maps (see FABB homepage for map links).

Wiehle Station Bike Room Applications Being Taken

0038~©DavidMadisonPhotography.comFairfax County DOT recently sent out applications to over 130 cyclists who requested information about renting a space in the new Wiehle-Reston East Metro station bike room. The room has capacity for over 200 bikes. Rates for use of the bike room are $40 for six months or $60 for a year plus a one-time $15 fee for a key fob. See the Wiehle Bike Room page for details and to request an information packet or see the FABB blog for other details, including the bike room FAQ.

Fairfax County Parkway Trail Repair to Begin in March

VDOT recently held an information meeting on the Fairfax County Parkway Trail repair project scheduled to begin this month. The first phase of the project will extend from Route 7 to Route 29, although the section around the I-66 overpass will not be included. Only the most damaged sections of the trail will be repaved. Where large cracks have developed but the remainder of the trail is in good condition, the cracks will be sealed. Where the asphalt has deteriorated, those sections will be repaved.

The section of trail being repaired will be closed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Cyclists using the trail for commuting during regular business hours should be able to complete their trips before and after those times. Otherwise we've asked that where possible, trail users be allowed to carefully bypass work in progress. Informational signage and maps will be posted on site. See the FABB blog for more info about the meeting. The work is a major undertaking and will greatly benefit cyclists who use this important north-south trail connection. Thanks to VDOT for funding the work and listening to our concerns. Their efforts are very much appreciated.

Fairfax County Board Approves Funding for New Bike Projects

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved over $200 million in funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects as part of a major 6-year transportation funding package. The majority of the projects are pedestrian sidewalks. Bicycle project funding was not identified separately. We've estimated that approximately $40 million is available for bike projects, approximately $7 million/year. This is a significant increase in funding from previous years although it is only a small portion (3%) of the nearly $1.3 billion in total transportation funding. Bike projects will be included in many of the road projects that were part of the package. Funds for improving bike access to the Silver Line stations are also available. Unfortunately none of these funds can be used for maintenance.

Meeting to Discuss Bike Lanes on Sherwood Hall Lane

On Wednesday, March 12 Fairfax DOT and VDOT are holding a meeting to discuss proposed bike lanes on Sherwood Hall Lane. This road is an important connection between Mt Vernon Parkway/Fort Hunt Rd and the Route 1 Corridor. Some nearby residents have voiced strong opposition to the plan. Cyclists are encouraged to attend the meeting and support the proposal. The meeting is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon Governmental Center, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306. See the meeting announcement for more details.

Fairfax County to hold Sidewalk Snow Removal Forum

At the Fairfax Co Board of Supervisors meeting on February 25 Hunter Mill District Supervisor Hudgins raised the issue of snow removal on sidewalks. She asked the Board to direct staff to hold a "forum for discussion of sidewalk snow removal." The Board has addressed this issue repeatedly in the past as we outlined in a recent blog post on snow-covered sidewalks and trails. We will suggest that snow removal on trails and bike lanes be included in the discussion. See the FABB blog for more info on Supervisor Hudgins' request. When a date for the forum is announced we'll spread the word via FABB social media.

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