Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March-April 2015 FABB Newsletter

March-April 2015 FABB News
A bi-monthly publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

I-66 Project Opportunity for Custis Trail Extension Outside the Beltway

VDOT is planning a significant construction project for the I-66 corridor outside the Beltway that includes additional lane capacity. The county Bicycle Master Plan and Trails Plan both call for a trail parallel to I-66 that would be an extension of the Custis Trail. Both plans also include bike facilities on bridges across I-66, many of which will be re-built to accommodate the additional highway lanes.

Please contact the Board of Supervisors to ask that bike accommodations be included as part of this project. See the FABB I-66 Info Page for more supporting documentation.

VDOT staff plan to attend the March 18 FABB meeting to discuss how they plan to accommodate bicyclists as part of the I-66 project. Everyone is welcome to attend and learn more about this important project. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Braddock Hall, 9002 Burke Lake Rd, Burke, VA 22015.

Bike Bills Passed in 2015 Virginia Legislative Session

Two bike-related bills were passed in this year's Virginia legislative session. They now await signature by Governor McAuliffe. See the full recap from Virginia Bicycling Federation.

Following too closely - This bill changed a single word in existing law so that motorists are not allowed to follow too closely behind another vehicle, including a bicycle, not just another "motor" vehicle. If signed by the governor, the new law would not prevent a bicyclist from following another bicyclist closely as in a paceline.

Passing with a double yellow line - The law will allow a motorist to pass a bicyclist when there is a solid yellow line on their side of the road. The original bill was modified to apply to both a double yellow line or a single solid yellow line on the driver's side.

Several Bike Projects Proposed for 2015 Repaving Schedule

This year VDOT plans to repave a number of roads in Fairfax County. County Bike Program staff are working with VDOT to determine which roads could be modified to include new bike facilities, either through eliminating lanes (road diet) or reducing lane widths (lane diet). Public information meetings will be held on each of these projects. We'll be announcing future meeting dates on the FABB blog and Events calendar. It's important that cyclists attend the meetings and/or contact the Board of Supervisors to support these projects. Otherwise, local opposition could derail the bicycle improvements. Meetings on three projects were held in February. Write to Supervisor McKay to support the Kingstowne Village Parkway road diet, and write to Supervisor Herrity to support bike lanes on Burke Road and Shiplett Boulevard.

Speak out for Bike Program Funding in FY2016 Budget

Now that Fairfax County has a Bicycle Master Plan, funding is needed for implementation. As the county urbanizes, its transportation priorities are changing, and the funding priorities need to change as well. While new funds for a few bike projects were provided by the 2014 Transportation Bond, funds for the Bike Program have not been reinstated, and the county does not have enough staff to implement the many recommendations contained in the bike plan. Please submit budget comments or write to your Supervisor to ask for funding for the Bike Program and for Bike Fairfax. Also consider attending one of the budget town hall meetings this month.

Bike Coordinator Position Still Unfilled

On January 13, Charlie Strunk, the county's first bike coordinator, retired. The county recently re-advertised the position and will be interviewing candidates in the near future. This is a critical time to have a bike coordinator in place given the recent bike project funding and the large number of bike projects being considered as part of the summer repaving schedule.

Be a FABB Ambassador on Bike to Work Day!

Believe it or not, Bike To Work Day is only two and a half months away, on Friday May 15. FABB is seeking volunteers to staff pit stops at the 14 Fairfax locations. FABB volunteers talk to people about our efforts to improve bicycling conditions, have them sign up for our e-newsletter list, and give out FABB materials. If you'd like to help out at one of the pit stops, please contact Douglas Stewart at douglasbstewart@gmail.com. To learn more about Bike to Work Day and see the pit stop locations, go to www.biketoworkmetrodc.org

Tour de Fat is Back on May 30

Tour de Fat is a free bike party held at Yards Park located next to Nats stadium on Saturday, May 30. The all day event is sponsored by New Belgium Brewery and is full of music, fun, and games. Proceeds from beverage sales go toward funding bike advocacy in the DC area including FABB's work. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we need at least 20 volunteers. FABB volunteers are responsible for carding people who want to drink New Belgium beer. Please consider volunteering with FABB for a morning or afternoon shift at this event. All volunteers receive a t-shirt and two beverage coupons. Contact us for more info.

Fairfax Hosting 2015 World Police & Fire Games

Fairfax is hosting the World Police & Fire Games, the largest multi-sport event after the Olympics. Road and mountain bike races will be featured, including Time Trial, Sprint, Criterium, Road Race, Hill Climb (Road), and Cross Country (Mountain). While Fairfax is hosting the event, it appears that the only road races to be held in Fairfax County are the Sprint races at the Police training academy on the far western border of the county. The other races are in Prince William Forest (Time Trial and Road Race), Fairfax City (Criterium), and Mount Weather (Hill Climb). The Mountain bike events will be held at Fountainhead Park.

2014 Outstanding Crossing Guards

Virginia celebrated Crossing Guard Appreciation Day on February 11. This was also the opportunity for VDOT's Safe Routes to School program to recognize Virginia's Most Outstanding Crossing Guards of 2014. Over forty crossing guards were nominated this year with six being recognized by VDOT. Those crossing guards routinely go above and beyond what is expected and are standout members of their communities. 

Two of the six recognized were from Fairfax County: Edie Adcock, Wolftrap and Colvin Run Elementary Schools (Vienna) and Cheryl Belloli, Centreville and Union Mill Elementary Schools and Liberty Middle  School (Centreville).  FABB appreciates all the work they do to facilitate walking and biking to school on a daily basis and their help during International Walk to School Day and National Bike to School Day.  See the FABB blog for photos and more info.

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