New video on bike room at Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail stationFairfax County recently released this video about the new bike room at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station. The room can hold 208 bikes but the capacity can be expanded. FABB provided some feedback on the types of racks being used. See the bike program website for details.
Air quality information from Clean Air PartnersFrom our friends at Clean Air Partners, some helpful information for cyclists about air quality as summer approaches:
Post article on WABA bike safety classes and local efforts to improve cycling conditions
|Photo: Washington Post|
WABA's bicycle education program is featured in the first part of the article. Our parent organization is doing a great job teaching safe cycling skills in DC, Arlington Co, and Montgomery Co., with affordable or free classes that fill up on a regular basis.
The instruction is not about the bicyclist alone, he noted. “Everything from where you position yourself in the lane to the body language you use communicates to drivers. You can actually prevent crashes and influence driver behavior.”
“It’s when bicyclists do things that are unexpected and act unpredictably, I feel, that the conflict arises.”
Enrollment is steadily increasing, Hoagland said. “A lot of folks have had a bad experience out there. A lot of them don’t know if it was caused by their actions or not. They just had a close call, and they want to know what they do to prevent that from happening.”
In the District, the first local jurisdiction to create protected lanes, a new one recently opened on M Street, boosting the well-used “cycle tracks,” as they are sometimes called, on 15th and L streets and Pennsylvania Avenue, all in Northwest.
First Kidical Mass Falls Church ride a successThe first Kidical Mass Falls Church ride was held this past weekend. Here's a report:
Article criticizing Fairfax Co bike funding gets facts wrong - UpdateI hesitate to give publicity to such a poorly written article on funding of pedestrian and bike projects in Fairfax County, but such a biased, one-sided article requires a response. Kenric Ward, a writer for Examiner.com and watchdog.org, recently wrote a misinformed and very negative article about Fairfax County's decision to fund most ped/bike projects using a transportation bond this Fall: Fairfax wants millions more to push bikes, pedestrians
For one, the referendum is for funding "transportation" projects, not "transit" projects. The $85 million is mostly for sidewalk projects that are part of a total of $200 million for sidewalks, trails and a very few on-road bike projects, NOT "on top of more than $200 million in bike-ped projects."
Most of the projects under consideration are sidewalk retrofits in neighborhoods that were built without them. There are very few bike projects being funded. The funding for one interchange on Fairfax County Parkway alone is costing $90 million (the first three road projects listed will cost nearly $350 million). The actual bike funding is a pittance compared to the $1.4 billion total of mostly road and transit projects.
The first quote sets the tone for the rest of the article:
Ward makes an offhand reference to a bridge over the Toll Rd that is only 59 feet wide with 35 feet devoted to bikes and peds. Does he make this stuff up? That would be a bridge with two 12-foot travel lanes, two 10 foot trails, and bike lanes on each side of the road that are 7.5 feet wide:
In other words, in the first four paragraphs there appear to be at least 3 blatant errors of fact.
Ward spoke to someone from Potomac Pedalers Touring Club and managed to extract two negative quoits about bike lanes and sharrows. I'm quoted in the article but no attempts were made to contact me.
Ward is the same reporter who wrote a very anti-bike article about Arlington's attempts to become more bike-friendly, Arlington peddles bikes at expense of cars, taxpayers.
See our earlier posts about the 2014 transportation bond.
Update: Fairfax Co recently posted a list of projects to be included in the 2014 Transportation Bond.
Fairfax Co Parkway Trail repairs update
|Trail signs at Baron Cameron -|
Note the page-size map (left)
and info (right) signs
Repaved trails in Burke areaAlan Young and his grandson James discovered this week that
As you can see above, Alan learned that Fairfax County was responsible for the work, so he has changed his quote:)
|James on the newly paved Burke Rd|
path across from Burke VRE station
Tour de Fat is a week away!Tour de Fat is almost here! The free bike party starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 31 at Yards Park in DC. Join hundreds of cyclists for a day of bike fun, beer, and food. The event is a major fundraiser for FABB.
Activities include the infamous Bike Pit where riders try out various trick bikes, the Slow Ride Race, le Tigre tent, and great music on two stages.
We still need some help at our ID/Wristband station. FABB volunteers receive 2 beer tokens and a Tour de Fat t-shirt. Let me know if you can help.
From the Tour de Fat Facebook page:
This year marks the 15th season for Tour de Fat, which will travel to 10 cities across the U.S. These day-long festivities are free in every city, but the proceeds from beer sales and pre-registration donations go to local non-profits.
Since its inception, Tour de Fat has raised more than $3 million, and raised $500,000 last year alone. A celebration of bike culture and advocacy, the Tour de Fat features eclectic entertainment, from musical acts to yo-yo performers, bike contests and even vaudeville acts. This year will also include some brewing education and feature a “Bicycle Revival” to inspire festival-goers to believe in the power of two-wheeled transportation.
**A city-specific 2014 Tour de Fat license plate or frog light included with any donation of at least $5.
11:00 a.m. — Launch
12:00 p.m. — Fashion! (Best Costumes of the Tour de Fat)
12:20 p.m. — The Reals
1:10 p.m. — Slow Ride Race
1:40 p.m. — The Handsome Little Devils
2:30 p.m. — 1,000 Person Dance Contest
2:50 p.m. — Yo-Yo People
3:40 p.m. — Car for Bike Trade
4:00 p.m. — Reggie Watts
5:00 p.m. — Finale
Labels: tour de fat
Teaching the teachers: Women's only bike instructor seminar in JuneA women's only League Certified Instructor (LCI) class will be offered by the League of American Bicyclists in Washington DC on the weekend of June 20-22. The prerequisite for taking the course is successful completion of Traffic Skills 101. This prerequisite is being held May 26 and May 31. For more details, see the League Seminar Schedule page. For more info on the May 26 & 31 classes, contact the instructor.
Construction begins on Ashgrove Lane trail in Tysons on June 6 - Update
|View into Tysons from Ashgrove Lane trail|
Trail improvements are desperately needed. According to the Park Authority, during construction "The trail will be open from time to time, mostly on evenings or weekends when the contractor isn’t working, but it is impossible to predict on a daily basis."
From the Fairfax County Park Authority Ashgrove Lane Trail Improvements page.
The contractor, Environmental Quality Resources, LLC, will be mobilizing on site on or about June 6, 2014. Access to the site will be from Northern Neck Drive. Construction will take approximately one month, depending upon the weather.
Residents should expect occasional construction traffic with equipment and materials through Westwood Village and construction equipment on the trail during the construction period. As a safety precaution, the existing trail connection to
Please feel free to contact me by email at Elizabeth.Cronauer@fairfaxcounty.gov or by phone at 703-324-8629 if you have any questions regarding this work. An up-to-date schedule will be posted on the Park Authority’s website.
Vienna survey includes bike questionsThe Town of Vienna is sending out a survey to town residents to get their feedback on town issues. We've heard there are several questions related to bicycling, so we encourage Vienna residents to complete the survey. From the Connection article Vienna Seeks Feedback from Town Residents: Will conduct a survey on its programs and services:
#They may also be asked, for example, about quality of neighborhood life in Vienna, property maintenance in the neighborhoods, trash and recycling, service received from town employees, Vienna’s budget, communication of Town information, public safety, community events and various town policies and procedures.
Labels: town of vienna
Fairfax SRTS Coordinator at FABB meeting tonightSally Smallwood, the Fairfax County Public Schools Safe Routes to School Coordinator, is the invited guest at tonight's FABB meeting. She'll discuss efforts underway in Fairfax to encourage more kids to walk and bike to school. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave E, Vienna, a block from the W&OD Trail.
We'll also be discussing upcoming events such as the Tour de Fat on Saturday May 31 (we still need some volunteers) and the Tour de Tysons on Sunday June 29.
First Kidical Mass ride in Falls Church on SundayFrom Kidical Mass Falls Church:
Our very first Kidical Mass ride!
Sunday, May 25at 11:30am, Bikenetic, 922 W Broad St., Falls Church, Virginia 22046.
For those of you in town that want to join us for a short bike ride, we'll be starting at local bike shop Bikenetic - Full Service Bicycle Shop and riding through the quiet streets of Falls Church ending up at Lincoln park where the kids can play. Here's the route! http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4709349
Get in a nice family ride before the Memorial Day Parade, fun run and festival on Monday!
New bike shop in Purcellville - Veloville USA
|Veloville USA in Purcellville|
The shop is owned by Scott and Nicole Davison. The couple formerly worked at "one of the largest bike shops in Portland, Ore" and decided to return to this area and create a "unique, family-oriented cycling shop in Purcellville."
From the Loudoun Times article Bikes, coffee and community at Veloville:
The Davisons completely stripped the interior of their store and redesigned it using local wood from Round Hill and Riverbend Saw Mill, to create an “inviting” atmosphere with a vintage feel.
They purchased an Italian espresso machine, to lure people into the shop for coffee, conversation and community. They use Hopscotch coffee from Winchester and will open the coffee bar at 7 a.m. Grab and go snack selections, including organic, vegan and gluten free options, will also be available.
Scott Davisons has focused on bicycle service for many years, and they are “especially proud” of the service department. Bill McCarrick, a former cyclocross
Nicole Davison said the shop caters to women cyclists and as a result, they offer women's specific bicycles, helmets, shoes and clothing. They also offer a weekly women's ride and monthly informative clinics for women.
With the growing wine and tourism industries surrounding Purcellville, they have a full fleet of bicycles for rental including a delivery service to area B&Bs and inns.
Intrepid cyclists persevere at Bike to Work Day - Update: Burke photos & Connection articleThe rain was coming down hard when I stuck my head out the door at 5:30 a.m. to ride to the Reston Bike to Work Day pit stop to volunteer at the FABB table. By the time I left at 6:15 the rain was very light and it was a surprisingly nice ride to the pit stop at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station, site of the future mixed-use development Reston Station.
A steady stream of soggy but upbeat cyclists visited the pit stop throughout the morning. I estimate that about 1/2 of the 500 or so people who signed up showed up. Some drove but most rode, and the conditions weren't that bad. Those who did show up had a good chance of winning one of the many raffle prizes offered by sponsors. We were lucky to have an indoor option thanks to Comstock Partners, developers of Reston Station.
Thanks to all the volunteers at the Reston and other pit stops around the county, and a special thanks to the volunteers who represented FABB at most of the events.
Update: See Connection article Biking to Work Despite Rain: Bike To Work Day highlights alternative travel in Fairfax County.
Here are some photos from the Reston event:
|One of our more well-prepared volunteers|
|Entrance to the event.|
|RA President Ken Knueven, Supervisor Hudgins,|
Delegate Ken Plum
|Inside the Reston Station development.|
|Intrepid FABB volunteer Kerie|
|FABB's Alan Young (right) inside the Burke garage|
Looks like a soggy Bike to Work Day
|Reston 2005 BTWD|
There have been a couple of wet Bike to Work Days in the past. In both 2005 and 2008 it rained off and on throughout the morning. As I recall, the weather had mostly cleared by the afternoon. In 2008 274 of the 500 people who registered for the Reston pit stop showed up.
|Supervisor Hudgins rode to a wet|
2008 Reston BTWD
Also check out Your last-minute guide to Bike to Work Day by Shane Farthing of WABA that appeared in the Washington Post today.
Labels: bike to work day
Fairfax Co Parkway Trail repairs progressing
|Fairfax Co Parkway Trail work|
just north of New Dominion Parkway
Bicycling to the Wiehle Metro stationThe Reston Pedestrian & Bicycling Advisory Committee is writing a letter to VDOT and FCDOT about "Critical intersections surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station." They are proposing specific changes to improve ped/bike access to the station. The letter will be discussed at their meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston. The committee "invites any interested RA members to attend and voice any concerns they have so we can try to include their input."
I plan to attend the meeting and have a number of concerns including curb ramp design, motorists turning right on red and ignoring trail users, ped signal timing, and bicyclists being able to activate traffic signals at the Isaac Newton Sq/Sunset Hills Dr intersection.
Another concern relates to the traffic signal at the entrance to the station at Reston Station Blvd. Why is the right turn arrow green when the pedestrian signal is indicating pedestrians and bicyclists should be crossing? I don't think there is a need for the green arrow, which I think encourages motorists to turn right without yielding to people in the crosswalk.
Labels: wiehle-reston east
Kidical Mass ride on Sunday in Arlington
When: Sunday, May 18, 2014 11:00am (roll out 11:15am)
Meet: Lacey Woods Park - at the play structure (near the restrooms on the map)
Parking: On the surrounding residential streets - I've heard Edison is a good bet.
End: Taste of Ballston -- Wilson Blvd & Glebe Road.
You can RSVP to our facebook event).
Upcoming Tysons meetingsTransforming Tysons Open House
Fairfax County will be holding the 4th Annual Transforming Tysons Open House on Monday, May 19 at 7:00 pm at Spring Hill Elementary School (8201 Lewinsville Road) to provide information on proposed development activity, ongoing transportation studies, potential Comprehensive Plan changes, and park and public facility plans for Tysons. More information on the Open House.
Daytime Tysons Parks Plan Meeting
Do you work in Tysons? If so, we really want to hear your thoughts on what park and recreational opportunities should exist in the Tysons of the future. Please stop in and meet with Fairfax County Park Authority planning staff at the Tysons Parks Open House, Thursday, May 29, 2014 from 12:15 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. Stop in and learn about park planning for the Tysons area. This is a great opportunity to tell planners what you want to see. The informal gathering will be held at Tysons Pimmit Regional Library located at 7584 Leesburg Pike in Falls Church, VA.
The Park Authority published the Draft Tysons Park System Concept Plan last month, putting in motion the opportunity for public review and comment on this planning document. The Tysons Park System Concept Plan will guide future park development by the public, private and non-profit sectors that will serve Tyson’s residents, workforce and visitors well into the future. The plan is available online atwww.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/tysons-park-planning.htm A 60-day public comment period closes on June 16, 2014.
Bike to Work Day is Friday
There is still time to register online for Bike to Work Day, which is Friday, May 16. T-shirts are available if you register early. Registration is free. This year there are new pit stops in Fair Lakes and McLean.
Even if you ride to work every day, Bike to Work Day is a great way to celebrate the many benefits of bike commuting. Most pit stops have free breakfast, raffles, and information displays. Participation numbers are used to show how bicycling is growing in the region so we encourage everyone to sign up. Stop by and say hi to local FABB reps who will have maps, route and safety info, and e-newsletter sign up sheets at most of the pit stops.
|2013 BTWD in Herndon|
at Reston Pit Stop
Labels: bike to work day
Dr Gridlock supports greater investment in suburban bike lanes
|Herndon-Monroe garage soon to|
more than double in capacity
Metro certainly cuts down on the number of car trips into the D.C. region’s core, which is swell for those who live and work in the core. But it adds tens of thousands of car trips each day in suburban communities. Many of those trips are short — just enough to jam streets and highway exits.
What's the solution? Investing in all modes benefits everyone by taking cars off the road. According to Dr. Gridlock, "A greater investment in buses, bike lanes and walkable communities in the suburbs won’t end congestion around Metro stations, but it could ease commutes for everyone, including drivers." It will help reduce congestion around stations; maybe not end it, but at least if it is safe to ride to the stations it will be a viable option for anyone willing to ride a few miles by bike.
Fairfax needs to keep up with it's neighbors. According to another article that appeared in today's Post (Washington is a walking, biking city), the District will add 14 miles of bike lanes this year to add to 50 already in place.
|Photo: Washington Post|
Washington has kept pace with its peers, creating more than 50 miles of bike lanes and planning to add 14 miles more this year. The popular Capital Bikeshare program puts more than 2,500 short-trip bikes on District and suburban streets, and it plans more expansion this year.
Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge - Final resultsDay 5 is in the books of Vienna's Bike/Walk Challenge Week. Over 5400 kids walked or biked to school all week. The Overall Challenge Cup goes to first timer Westbriar ES with a bang up job on the last day of the 5 day challenge - with 178 kids walking or biking to school.
|Vienna ES bike racks with 186 bikes!|
The coffee shops were a buzz as it's customers were wondering out loud if they took a wrong turn and ended up in Portland. Kudos to the teachers who took time out of their morning planning to greet kids at various meet up points and ride in.
The third spot was taken up by Wolftrap, the only school that participated in all six years for the entire week. Wolftrap with it's bike train culture ran one that passed through the Old Courthouse Road S-Curve, which is on the County's list of projects to create safer bike conditions. A second bike train was run from within the Town of Vienna limits. We've heard that the parents will make that bike train a weekly event for the rest of the year. In addition, those kids had a great time delivering bike safety tips and the weather with ABC7 on National Bike to School Day.
Here is the link for that: EILEEN BIKE TO SCHOOL
View on www.youtube.com
Louise Archer, with notoriously difficult walking routes, has spent the last two years working with parents to encourage more walking. It's rumored that a bus stop was eliminated as a direct result of this week long Challenge. A group of Louise Archer students who attend that school's AAP center, but whose base school is Vienna, organized a bike train originating at Vienna Elementary School. How's that for leveraging how schools can work together? With that kind of effort, Louise Archer also set a new week-long high of bikes to school.
Cunningham Park also had a slight down year but the ever popular Casey the Cardinal, their giant red mascot, greeted walkers and bikers with 'free high fives'. Even commuters on the way to work on Park St. were excited to see Casey. Any ideas on who is inside?
The week is a lot of fun and huge thanks go out to the students who love it and have fun, parents who see just how important walking and biking to school is, and the school's principals, staff and teachers who get the direct benefit - kids ready to learn all week long. We'd also like to thank the Vienna Business Association for recruiting 30 businesses to donate a percentage of week long sales to the seven schools. Community involvement is always important.
Keep up the momentum kids. Great job on showing how to get to 'your' workplace for the adults who will join Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16. We look forward to the 7th version of the Challenge next year, tentatively scheduled for May 4th-8th.
More photos from the Challenge:
|Louise Archer ES|
|Vienna ES bike train|
FABB bike counts - volunteers needed tomorrow
|Count at intersection of Soapstone Dr and Sunrise Valley|
Dr near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.
We still need two count volunteers at the W&OD Trail at the Fairfax County Parkway trail, and at the W&OD Trail at Gallows Road. If you can help count cyclists at either of those locations from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow, please let me know.
Labels: bicycle counts
Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge - Thursday resultsHere are the latest results from the Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge (click on table to enlarge). The challenge demonstrates what happens when kids are encouraged to bike and walk to school:
- Marshall Road
Vienna set what we believe is a county-wide record of 155 students ride bikes to school today - that's 41% of K-6 students in attendance. We’re seeing a lot of young cyclists getting involved this year. Vienna Mayor Laurie DiRocco was handing out Biking Viking wristbands to the students that biked in. With the addition of 62 walkers Vienna Elementary beat their Walking Wednesday totals (as did Westbriar) and has retaken the lead for the Challenge Cup. Vienna appears to have a well deserved lock on the Biking Cup but both Wolftrap and Marshall Road deserve recognition for their exceptionally strong biking numbers.
Wolftrap has slipped to third place in the Challenge Cup with a strong showing by Westbriar. Westbriar is currently a very close second to Vienna and Louise Archer is licking at the Wolfie’s heels.
A strong turnout by either Westbriar or Louise Archer is all that is needed to capture the Challenge Cup for the first time. Westbriar had their best day yesterday and is poised to set a school best tomorrow. Louise Archer is making a push including running a bike train from Vienna Elementary. It would be quite an end to the challenge if mostly former VES students have a hand in spoiling a VES sweep.
Labels: vienna bike/walk challenge
Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge - Wednesday results- Updated
Over 1200 kids at the following 20 schools reported huge numbers of riders. Four schools had over 100 bikers with a few getting very close. Kids who didn't biked walked in droves. What a great day with lots of fun stories and memories. (Updated on May 11 with reports from Kent Gardens and Kilmer MS)
- Aldrin 130 - A new record for FCPS
- Armstrong 121 - Delegate Plum attended
- Cunningham Park 9 (209 walkers) - Casey the Cardinal greeted students.
- Haycock 54 - Great job now that old policy changes were just removed last week.
- Forest Edge 81 - Only started promoting this in the last week or so.
- Dogwood 24 (400 walkers) - This school knows how to get walkers out.
- Hollin Meadows 86 - Senator Surovell attended
- Hunters Woods 25 - Principal scootered in and Asst Principal rode in.
- Kent Gardens - 121 bikes. Another century of bikes in the bag.
- Kilmer MS - 126 walkers and bikers.
- Lake Anne 98 - Award for best swag....
- Langston Hughes 28 - Ride organized by a student .
- Louise Archer 25 (281 walkers) - These guys also bring out their walkers in droves
- Marshall Road 44 - And their arrival area is under construction
- Terraset 47 - 16 scooters too
- SouthLakes 9 - Not bad for a high school
- Springfield Estates 79 - A new school record
- Sunrise Valley 114 - The W&OD must have been swamped.
- Vienna 87 - Rolling out with the Mayor and Hunter Mill Supervisor on Thursday.
- Westbriar 11 (105 walkers) - Students were carrying flowers for teachers so walking was the mode of choice.
- Wolftrap 101 (1 unicycle) - Rode with Fairfax Police Bike Patrol, Fairfax County DOT and WABA.
Lastly, today was also the grudge match between the Reston and Vienna communities. This past October, Vienna eeked out a win over Reston on International Walk to School Day with a little over 60 more walkers. It was clear from the very first reports in that Reston was ready for battle. When the final numbers were tabulated, Reston had more than double the bikers than Vienna. With 3 schools over 100 and one within 2 riders of such, Reston showed up Vienna which had only one school over 100. 634 kids rode their bikes to school in Reston while 308 rode in Vienna. Congrats to Aldrin, Armstrong, Forest Edge, Dogwood, Hunters Woods, Lake Anne, Terraset and Sunrise Valley for bike bragging rights for the next year.
Only 7 days have passed in Bike Month and the kids are setting a high bar for the adults who will bike to work next week on Friday, May 16.
Hit and run driver on W&OD Trail gets reduced sentencedrove on the W&OD Trail from Hunter Mill Rd to Route 123, scattering pedestrians and severely injuring a bicyclist. She was given a 6-month sentence. According to the Post article Fairfax woman gets 6-month term for trail hit-and-run:
40 mph last June, a Fairfax County prosecutor said.
Several pedestrians leapt off the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to avoid being struck, but Joseph Suriol, 65, never saw the car coming, and it plowed into him as he biked near Vienna. Chopra kept going.
By the time police caught up with her, she was driving on a rim that was sparking and could not stand when asked to perform a field sobriety test, the prosecutor said. A breath alcohol test registered nearly two and a half times the legal limit.
On Tuesday, Chopra, 29, of McLean, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and hit-and-run charges for the bizarre incident after reaching a deal with Fairfax County prosecutors to avoid a more serious felony charge. She was sentenced to nearly six months in jail.
Suriol, of Vienna, said he had hoped for more. The crash left him with a broken arm, a head wound, a dislocated shoulder and a blood clot in one leg. A purple scar snakes down one side of his face.
“I am disappointed she committed a felony, but ended up charged with a misdemeanor,” Suriol said after the hearing.
Board of Supervisors receive DRAFT Bicycle Master Planbriefing on the Bicycle Master Plan along with printed copies of the latest draft. Charlie Strunk, the county Bike Coordinator, gave a brief overview of the plan. The four quadrant maps that contain recommended bike facilities were not presented as they are not yet final. We hope to have an electronic copy of the plan available in the near future on the county bike plan site.
We're disappointed that the public hearings for the plan, that were most recently scheduled for May and June of this year, will be delayed until September at the earliest. See the last schedule from the Board briefing in September 2013. Here is the latest schedule:
- Distribute Draft-Final Master Plan (May)
- Document and Maps to the Planning Commission (June)
- Work sessions with Planning Commission Transportation Committee (June)
- Hold two public information outreach meetings (June)
- Planning Commission Public Hearing for Plan Adoption (September)
- Forward to Board of Supervisors for Public Hearing and Adoption (September)
At the Transportation Committee meeting held on Tuesday, May 6, several comments were made regarding bike funding, biking in general, and the Bicycle Master Plan. Many of the comments made indicate why we need a Bicycle Master Plan. As the FABB representative on Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Committee, who attended all public and stakeholder meetings, I would like to offer the following responses:
HB 2313 Funding: I am very concerned with the comment that most bike and ped projects do not qualify for HB 2313 local or regional revenues and that many of those projects need to be funded from the transportation bond. Many jurisdictions are including bicycle and pedestrian facilities in their project lists. Providing bike/ped access is critical to making mixed-use, transit-oriented developments successful. Arlington has shown that providing good transit, ped, and bike facilities does relieve congestion.
Mode Share of Bike/Ped: It's estimated that 10% of all trips are made by walking and biking. Fairfax does not have a bike and pedestrian counting program so it's very difficult to estimate how many trips are made by bike. We have two first class bicycle facilities in the county, neither of which is managed or funded directly by Fairfax County; the W&OD Trail and the Mt. Vernon Trail. Several years ago it was estimated that each trail attracts over 2 million trips/year, and use has grown recently (at least that is our perception). Residents from around the county drive to these facilities because bike conditions are so poor elsewhere. Trail congestion is getting to be a major problem. If safe bike conditions were available throughout the county, many more people would ride.
Fixing Past Mistakes: Supervisor McKay noted that most of the $200 million in bike/ped projects is for fixing what was built in the past. Of that $200 million, I've estimated that only $11 million is for bike-only projects. Most are pedestrian projects. Some are bike/ped.
Supervisor McKay's comparison of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge vs. Springfield mixing bowl was very apt. This weekend my wife and I rode from Reston to National Harbor using the WW Bridge trail. There was a very diverse crowd of trail users on the bridge on Sunday and a significant number on Monday. I wouldn't think of riding anywhere near the mixing bowl.
We need to fix our past mistakes and begin building a real bicycle network in the county, starting in our Activity Centers.
Maintenance Funds: Supervisor Gross highlighted a major problem that has been raised by other Board members; the very poor condition of our trails and sidewalks in general and especially during and after snow events. There is almost no maintenance money for maintaining what we have. Fortunately VDOT and the county have allocated funds to finally start to fix the Fairfax County Parkway trail. Much more needs to be done and we need to find the maintenance funds soon.
16 Foot Sidewalks in Tysons: I am attaching some photos of a section of Route 7 sidewalk in Tysons near the Spring Hill Metro station, south side. You will see in one photo that about half of the sidewalk, which I estimate to be around 12 feet wide, is taken up by large metal grates that will (or do now) hold trees, leaving approximately 4 or 5 feet on one side and about 2 feet on the other side, barely enough for a sidewalk much less two-way bike access. I assume a similar design will be used on the north side. The second photo shows a sign taking up a majority of the sidewalk.
When the new Metro stations open with many pedestrians walking to the stations, the Route 7 sidewalk on the south side is not an appropriate bike facility which is why FABB thinks that bike access on Route 7, a major future destination for bicyclists, is inadequate.
Bicyclists riding on the road: Federal guidelines for bike facilities (AASHTO bike guide) state that in order for a bicyclist and motorist to share a lane safely it should be 14 feet wide. Most lanes in Fairfax County are 12 feet or less, meaning that most lanes cannot be safely shared by bicyclists and motorists side-by-side. Sharrows (shared lane markings) indicate that cyclists should ride in the lane and motorists must wait until it is safe to pass. Without a completed bike (or pedestrian) network it is almost impossible to ride a bicycle for transportation in the county without riding in the road. It has been shown that riding in the road is often safer than riding on the sidewalk because of the many potential conflicts on sidewalks between bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists exiting and entering the road in disregard of oncoming cyclists.
Bicyclist's behavior: Unfortunately too many bicyclists are seen "blowing through stop signs and traffic signals." Wouldn't it be nice if bicyclists were taught how to ride safely? They are not. The bicycle curriculum in our schools is not taught. Drivers education is available to almost everyone but very few people learn to ride a bike safely.
Unfortunately most motorists also often disregard the law, and they can cause much more damage. On my ride to the Government Center to attend the committee meeting I saw motorists breaking the law at almost every intersection by running red lights when making right turns, and rolling through STOP signs. Three motorists nearly hit me as I rode past them on the West Ox trail as they rolled into the intersection from cross streets, assuming that they could roll through the STOP sign. When I drive the speed limit in my car I am constantly passed by speeding motorists. We all need to obey the law. FABB is working with police on this topic.
Bicycle Master Plan: The Plan will address many of the concerns raised by the Board through the policy and facility recommendations. I look forward to passage of the Plan and eventual implementation. Please contact me if you or your staff would like to discuss these issues further.
$200 million in bike/ped project funding now in doubt - Update
Update May 27: Presentations are now available on the Transportation Committee website.
Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge - Tuesday resultsThe latest results from the Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge are in. The Day 2 standings are:
- Louise Archer
- Marshall Road
Click to enlarge the image (Revised May 7):
Labels: vienna bike/walk challenge
Volunteers need for FABB bike counts on May 8 & 10
Thursday, May 8, 5-7 p.m.
-W&OD Trail at Route 123
Sat., May 10, Noon-2 p.m.
-W&OD Trail at Gallows Rd
-W&OD Trail at Fairfax Co Parkway
Labels: bicycle counts
Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge - Monday resultsEvery day this week FABB will be reporting on the Vienna Schools Bike/Walk Challenge. This is the 6th annual version, with all seven schools in Vienna participating this year. The schools include Cunningham Park, Flint Hill, Louise Archer, Marshall Road, Vienna, Westbriar and Wolftrap. Last year saw Wolftrap awarded the Overall Cup and Vienna repeated for the Biking Cup. Westbriar was awarded the Rookie Cup. Over 5,500 kids biked or walked during the week last year.
So let's get to Day One results.
The morning arrived with perfect weather to ditch the car or avoid the bus and walk or bike to school. Last year 866 students walked or bike to school on Day 1. (Note: Only six elementary schools participated 2013). This year 888 students got to school in what we consider the best method possible - self propelled. The numbers for all seven schools are below but it looks like Vienna has a slight lead in the Overall Cup. This one often comes down to the last day as momentum builds over the course of the week. Vienna also had an impressive 91 students ride to school today. That 60.7% puts it in a big lead in the Biking Cup. Their Bike Friday initiative has certainly paid off.
Weather for Day 2 looks to have some residual rain from over night but it should be out of the area by the time wheels and feet hit the pavement. Per NOAA, a chance of showers before 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 69. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Great job kids. Keep up the great work. Here are the results (revised on May 6). Click on the image to enlarge it.
May-June 2014 FABB Newsletter
- Bicycle caravans demonstrating three routes to the Tysons Metro stations and to get cyclists to the event from three different points, arriving at 9:30 a.m.
- Midday social ride open to everyone on the race course. ($3 participant fee for insurance.)
- Food trucks and other vendors will be present.
- Commuter Seminar - "How to Ride Your Bike to Work - save money, have fun!" 10:30 a.m. in front of Firehook Coffee Shop.
- FABB table with maps and bike-related info.
- May is Bike Month.
- May 3, Saturday - Vienna Bike Rodeo from 9 a.m.-noon at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.
- May 4, Sunday - Alexandria Spokeswomen bike shop ride leaving from Jones Point Park at 10:00 a.m.
- May 5, Monday - Safe Routes to School Workshop at Mt. Vernon Woods Elementary School from 12:15-3:30 p.m., facilitated by Mark Fenton, an expert on Safe Routes to School initiatives and walkable communities.
- May 6, Tuesday - Healthy Community Design Summit at the Kena Conference Center from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Mark Fenton is the keynote speaker.
- May 6, Tuesday - Bicycle Master Plan briefing at Board of Supervisors Transportation Committee meeting at Fairfax County Government Center. Meeting starts at 10 a.m.
- May 10, Saturday - Reston Bike Rodeo at Lake Newport pool from 1-4 p.m.
- May 11, Sunday - Crystal City Phoenix Derby from 2-6 p.m.
- May 21, Wednesday, FABB Monthly Meeting, Vienna, VA.
- May 31, Saturday, Tour de Fat at Yards Park from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- June 18, Wednesday, FABB Monthly Meeting, Vienna, VA.
- June 29, Sunday, Tour de Tysons.