Nov-Dec 2015 FABB Newsletter
November-December 2015 FABB News
A bi-monthly publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
Board of Supervisors and School Board Candidate Survey Responses
On November 3, all members and the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are up for re-election as are all members of the county School Board. FABB recently sent questions regarding bicycling in Fairfax County to candidates for the Board of Supervisors and a separate set to candidates for the School Board. We received responses from 12 of 19 Board of Supervisors candidates and 19 of 24 School Board candidates.
All Board of Supervisors candidates who responded agreed with the statement "Do you support safe bicycling as an integral part of the overall transportation options in Fairfax County." Three quarters or 75% of respondents said they support implementing the Bicycle Master Plan recommendation to "Allocate an annual budget dedicated to bicycle planning and program initiatives." All School Board candidates who responded to the survey generally agreed with the statement "The school system and school board should be doing more to enable FCPS students to walk and bike to school instead of driving or being driven."
FABB does not endorse candidates. We provide the information so that you can better understand candidates' views on improving bicycling in Fairfax.
Extension of Custis Trail Included in I-66 Outside the Beltway Project
On October 27, the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the latest plans for the widening of I-66 Outside the Beltway. The plans include the parallel trail that will serve as an extension of the very popular Custis Trail, which is located inside the Beltway. The rebuilt bridges also will include new ped/bike facilities. We are very encouraged that the parallel trail is now included as an integral part of the project and that most of the ramp crossings are grade-separated using either bridges or tunnels.
Unfortunately much of the trail is located on the highway side of the soundwalls, mostly due to opposition from residents living adjacent to I-66, particularly in the Dunn Loring area. As the project moves forward we hope residents will begin to understand the major benefits of having access to this trail and that the final design will be modified to reflect that support.
Adam Lind Named as New Fairfax County Bike Coordinator
Fairfax County recently named Adam Lind as the new Bicycle Program Manager, commonly referred to as the Bike Coordinator. Adam has been serving as the acting Bike Coordinator since Charlie Strunk retired in January of this year. Congratulations Adam!
Adam has done a great job as acting coordinator, working with VDOT on the creation of more than 34 miles of new bike lanes as part of this summer's repaving program. The work included conducting numerous meetings around the county to seek comments on individual projects. He is developing a plan to implement bike sharing in Reston. Most recently he has worked with VDOT on the design of the I-66 parallel trail and other bike facilities related to the project.
Soapstone Connector Across Dulles Toll Road in Reston to Provide New Bike Access
Last week Fairfax County presented the latest plans for the Soapstone Connector, which will extend Soapstone Drive from Sunrise Valley Drive to Sunset Hills Road across the Dulles Toll Road. With limited crossings of the Toll Road, intersections around the Reston Parkway and Wiehle Ave. crossings become very congested during rush hour, making them especially dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. The Soapstone Connector will provide a new way for cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross the Toll Road and access the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station and other destinations on both sides of the Toll Road. Bike lanes are included in the project and serve as an extension of the current bike lanes on Soapstone Dr.
Unfortunately the proposed road will extend only to Sunset Hills Road on the north where no bike facilities exist. The W&OD Trail is located a short distance north of Sunset Hills Road but there are no nearby connections to the Trail. Please contact the county and ask that a connection to the W&OD Trail be included in the project. Deadline for comments is November 6. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the Proposal for Paving Cross County Trail in Wakefield Park
Fairfax Co. Park Authority has proposed to pave a section of the Cross County Trail through Wakefield Park. The trail is heavily used by commuter and recreational cyclists. The unpaved trail is in poor condition and is difficult for most transportation bikers to navigate. A paved surface will be easier to maintain and would provide a much better surface for most trail users with minimal adverse effects on the environment. Cyclists are encouraged to send a message to Project Manager Bill Boston, William.email@example.com, to voice support for paving the trail segment. See the FABB blog for more info.
County to Apply for Federal Funds for Bike Projects
At their October 20 meeting, the Board of Supervisors endorsed four bike project applications to VDOT and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government's Transportation Planning Board for FY2017 Transportation Alternative funding. See the Board Agenda for details (Action Item 3):
Vienna Metrorail Bicycle Access Improvements: $400,000 [Application postponed until after planned Vienna Metrorail construction is completed.]
- Cinder Bed Bikeway: $400,000
- Van Dorn Street Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements: $400,000
- Reston Bike Share Capital Equipment: $400,000 (See FABB blog for details of recent Reston bikeshare meeting.)
Fairfax County SRTS Coordinator Conducts Bike Safety Classes
Using Safe Routes to School grant funds, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has purchased 30 bikes and 6 Strider bikes for bicycle safety lessons at elementary schools. Week-long lessons were conducted at 12 elementary schools last spring for grades 4, 5, and 6, reaching over 8,000 students. Students at several more schools received lessons this fall. Additional grant funds will be used to purchase more bikes to expand the bike program to middle schools. Lessons include bike skills, safety education, signaling, and road simulation riding.
Elementary schools where classes have been held include: Island Creek, Kings Glen, Rolling Valley, Stratford Landing, Washington Mill, Greenbriar West, Lane, Hollin Meadows, Canterbury Woods, North Springfield, West Springfield, Colin Powell, Fort Hunt, Hunters Woods, and Rose Hill. Kudos to Sally Smallwood, FCPS SRTS Coordinator for implementing this program. We hope the program can grow in the near future to allow all elementary students to learn safe bicycling skills. See the Fairfax SRTS Newsletter for more info.
Fairfax County Parkway Trail Restored Between Fox Mill and Pinecrest Roads
Fairfax Water recently replaced a major water main adjacent to Fairfax County Parkway. Major construction work required removing and relocating the Parkway trail. Fortunately, Fairfax Water provided a paved detour throughout the long construction phase, which lasted for several years. In October, construction was completed and the original trail was replaced and opened. We want to thank Fairfax Water for their diligent efforts toward maintaining trail access during the construction period.
Help FABB Identify Bike Rack Locations in Fairfax County
To improve bike parking in the county, help us locate and map existing bike racks. Rackspotter is a web-app that Arlington County is using to map bike racks. The application is now available for mapping racks in the greater DC area. The app allows you to identify the rack type, capacity, and location. You can also add a photo of the rack. As you travel around the county, why not take a minute to map bike racks that you encounter.
November 18, Wednesday - FABB Monthly Meeting in Vienna at 7:30 p.m.
December 16, Wednesday - FABB Monthly Meeting at Mosaic District at 7:30 p.m.
Labels: adam lind, candidate survey, fabb newsletter, i-66, I-66 multimodal study, rackspotter, safe routes to school, soapstone connector, soapstone drive, transportation alternatives, wakefield park