Sunday, January 8, 2017
January-February 2017 FABB News
January-February 2017 FABB News
A bi-monthly publication of Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling
New FABB Board Member
FABB would like to welcome its new At-Large Board Member, Katie Kelly. In addition to being an avid bicyclist, Katie lives in Reston and is a director with SCORE Mentors, which seeks to foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. She also is a founder and president of Squij-Kat Inc., a Reston-based company that designs and sells products that celebrate bicycling and overall wellness.
Katie is replacing Alan Young. Alan, a devoted and hardworking FABB member for many years, led the FABB Futures Project that resulted in our group becoming an independent non-profit organization last year. Fortunately, Alan plans to remain active in FABB, especially in our advocacy training efforts.
Upcoming FABB Meetings
The first FABB monthly meeting of the year will be held on Wednesday, 18 January, at the Herndon Fortnightly Library, 768 Center Street, Herndon. Our focus will be on bicycling facilities in the Herndon-Great Falls-Hunter Mill District area. All cyclists and other interested residents are invited to attend and discuss how we can make this area even more bike friendly.
In the following month we will be meeting on Wednesday, 15 February, at the Mt. Vernon Government Center, to talk about bicycling matters and upcoming advocacy opportunities in the Mt. Vernon and Lee Districts.
Speaking of meetings, our December Holiday reception at the Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church was a great success with nearly 40 FABB members and supporters attending.
FABB Offering Fairfax County Bike Advocacy Workshop on 4 February
Have you ever noticed when riding your bike an issue that needs fixing but weren't sure how to get it done? Are you interested in making Fairfax County more bike friendly? Then this workshop is for you! FABB is offering a beginner level bike advocacy workshop to provide you the basic tools and strategies to effect change in your community.
FABB has successfully advocated for improved bicycling in Fairfax County over the past decade and would like to support others interested in continuing the progress. The workshop will focus on Fairfax County, understanding the local decision making process and how best to get your message out to have successful results. Together, with the right tools and resources, we can continue making bicycling our region safer and more accessible.
FABB's advocacy workshop will be held February 4, 2017 from 9:30-3pm, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 8304 Old Keene Mill Rd, Springfield. There is no charge for the workshop. Lunch will be provided. To sign up, register here. Online registration closes January 29.
2017 National Bike Summit
The National Bike Summit is the nation’s premier annual bike advocacy event, and it will be held from March 6-9, 2017, in Washington D.C. at the Renaissance Hotel. Since 2000, the League of American Bicyclists has gathered bicyclists from around the country to unite their voices on Capitol Hill and bring the message about better bicycling to our nation’s elected representatives. See the National Bike Summit schedule webpage for more information.
The Summit’s focus will be on regional planning, national and local messaging, and the road map for collaboration in advancing the bicycling movement. Workshops include topics such as youth bike education, Vision Zero safety initiatives, and Bicycle Friendly Community applications. There also will be opportunities to tour a National Museum of American History exhibition on bicycles and a behind the scenes look at NPR’s new state-of-the-art bike facilities with NPR bike group members. Learn more about the summit with this short Youtube video.
FABB Joining Capital Trails Coalition
FABB is joining the Capital Trails Coalition (CTC) and has already attended its first CTC meeting. If you are not familiar with it, the coalition is a collaboration of public and private organizations, agencies, and citizen volunteers working to advance completion of an interconnected network of multi-use trails for the DC metropolitan region. Its goal is to create a world-class network of multi-use trails that will transform public life by providing healthy, low-stress access to open space and reliable transportation for people of all ages and abilities. In addition, CTC continually works to identify trail funding, broaden the base of support, and cultivate widespread consensus that a capital trail network is a regional priority.
FABB is excited to be working with the other coalition members in this endeavor. We expect to be active in helping to define the Fairfax parts of the trails system and in establishing reasonable criteria that allows for the inclusion of Fairfax trails in the network.
FABB is looking for a volunteer to serve as our representative to CTC meetings and to help drive FABB efforts to support the CTC mission by engaging Fairfax residents about the trail network and gathering their feedback and input. FABB anticipates that this effort will require 3-4 hours per month to attend and report on the meetings and then to work with the Board to determine the need for any actions. If you might be interested in serving in this role, please contact Jeff Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
W&OD Overpass Included in I-66 Inside the Beltway Widening Project
A grade-separated pedestrian and bicycle overpass of the W&OD Trail at the intersection of Washington Boulevard/Lee Highway in Falls Church is included in the proposed build scenario for the I-66 Inside the Beltway Widening Project. The W&OD bridge proposal is part of the preliminary design plans and final Environmental Assessment (see page 3-42 of the report) unveiled at public hearings hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in early December. The W&OD bridge would offer significant safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians at this intersection.
Public support for this overpass is essential to make sure this critical component of the trail is built. You still have until 30 January to provide written comments to Ms. Amanda Baxter, Special Projects Development Manager, at Transform66@VDOT.Virginia.gov. Please reference “Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening” in the subject line.
The I-66 Inside the Beltway project involves adding an eastbound travel lane on I-66 from just east of the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) to Fairfax Drive/Glebe Road (Exit 71). Project information, including preliminary design plans, environmental technical studies, project schedule, and right of way and civil rights information, can be found at www.Transform66.org.
Rolling Road Widening Project Modifications Undermine Goals
FABB recently sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors objecting to modifications to the initial proposals for the Rolling Road Widening Project. The projects proposed bicycle improvements, which were recommended by VDOT, FCDOT, and endorsed by FABB, have been modified to the point of being unhelpful. The Fairfax County Sidewalks and Trails Committee has expressed its concerns that the current proposal for a sidewalk on one side of the road and an 8-foot path on the other is inadequate for this critical connection between West Springfield and Fort Belvoir.
The project’s goal is to reduce congestion and improve safety by widening Rolling Road (Route 638) from two to four lanes between the Fairfax County Parkway and Old Keene Mill Road. In addition to the now modified and inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities, the project will add turn lanes and stormwater management facilities. Work on interim improvements (dual-left turn lanes from Rolling Road to westbound Old Keene Mill Road and upgrading signal and intersection alignment) is expected to begin this spring.
Your help is needed to ensure this project includes safe and accessible biking and walking facilities. Please send comments to email@example.com. Please include “Rolling Road Widening” in the subject line.
On Tuesday, 13 December, the City of Fairfax held a meeting on the extension of University Drive north of Fairfax Boulevard. The project includes bike lanes on both sides of the street and is part of efforts to revitalize Fairfax Boulevard as a more walkable and bikeable destination. Unfortunately, most of the city residents who spoke at the meeting were opposed to the plan. In reaction, the Fairfax City Council decided it needed more time to consider the community’s comments and obtain more information about its options. Further discussion has been deferred until 24 January and FABB encourages local cyclists to contact the city council to support the extension.
Fairfax City University Drive Extension Decision Deferred
Bike Lessons at Fairfax County Schools in 2017
Fairfax County Public Schools are offering bicycle safety classes to elementary and middle school students. The class will be held at the Hunter Woods Elementary School in January and at King’s Glen Elementary School in February.
Students are provided bikes for the class. After getting lessons on helmet fitting and bike safety checks, the students practice basic riding skills. A second lesson allows students to practice stopping at stop signs, yielding to traffic, riding in groups, and making decisions. New riders work on balance bikes until they are ready for a pedal bike.
See the schedule for the rest of the school year, initially posted by Sally Smallwood, Safe Routes to School Coordinator for FCPS, and learn more about the program by visiting this FABB blog on the program.
If you haven’t already, please Like us on Facebook and follow our Twitter feed. If you have news about bicycling in Fairfax to share with our readers, please submit brief articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 18 - FABB Monthly Meeting for Herndon-Great Falls-Hunter Mill District, Herndon Fortnightly Library, 768 Center Street, Herndon, VA.
January 23 – VDOT Bike/Ped Advisory Committee, Richmond, VA
February 4 – FABB Bicycle Advocacy Training Course, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 8304 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA
February 15 - FABB Monthly Meeting for Mt. Vernon and Lee Districts, Mt. Vernon Government Center, 2511 Parkers Ln, Alexandria, VA.
March 6-9 – 2017 National Bike Summit, Washington, DC.
March 15 – FABB Monthly Meeting at Oakton Public Library, 10304 Lynnhaven Pl, Oakton, VA.
April 29 - SpringFest Fairfax, The Sully Historic Site, 3650 Sully Historic Way.