Tuesday, March 28, 2017

FABB’s April Bike Meeting in Falls Church

Join FABB in Falls Church to talk bicycling and learn about upcoming city and county bike plans in and around the Falls Church area.  The meeting will be held at 7:30pm, April 19, in the Dogwood Room, Falls Church City Hall at 300 Park Avenue. 

Falls Church Principal Planner Paul Stoddard is scheduled to attend to discuss planned infrastructure improvements for the city and the pending arrival of Bikeshare. Adam Lind of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation will also be there to provide one of his regular updates on developments in the county with a focus on areas surrounding Falls Church.

This will be our first gathering in Falls Church as FABB continues to meet around the county in an effort to hear from local residents about their bicycling needs. The meeting, of course, is for all FABB members from all areas. Sharing knowledge and ideas for improving bicycling and the interconnected trails and routes throughout  northern Virginia is a major FABB goal. Please plan on joining us. 

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Monday, March 27, 2017

First Look at Fairfax Capital Bikeshare Data - Update

Mobility Lab just published a brief article on a heatmap visualization of Capital Bikeshare usage in 2016, including data from Fairfax County, Capital Bikeshare heat map visualizes 2016 rides, first look at Fairfax ridership:
At the 19 stations split between Reston and Tysons, a heat map weighted by the number of trips highlights a general preference for the former, despite the three Metro stops near the Tysons bikeshare stations. It is likely that the more biking-friendly street grid in Reston Town Center is encouraging more riders there, while others are making the last-mile trek from the Wielhe-Reston station, currently the terminus of the Silver Line, to the commercial and residential center.

fairfax trips
While the maps for “registered” and “casual” (unregistered) riders are virtually the same for both areas of Fairfax, a heatmap weighted by overdue rides suggests that riders may be taking longer, more recreational rides around the Town Center.

It is also worth noting that Reston’s stations are closer to the multi-use Washington & Old Dominion trail.
Update 30 March - See the Reston Now article FCDOT Happy With Reston Bikeshare Usage, Has Plans for 10 Additional Stations.
Residents interested in having a Bikeshare station installed in their neighborhood can email their request to DOTBicyclePrograms@fairfaxcounty.org or use the interactive map at www.cabistations.com. Lind said public outreach will also take place in the coming months to discuss suggestions about where the future stations will be placed.


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Workshop on W&OD Trail Bridge Over U.S. Route 29

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host a planning workshop to gather input from the public on bridge options and design details for the W&OD Trail Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge over U.S. Route 29 (Lee Highway), which will be built as part of the Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening Project. The workshop will be on Wednesday, April 5, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., at Yorktown High School, 5200 Yorktown Boulevard, Arlington.

Proposed Bridge Location
VDOT will hold a short presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. followed by a public participation session. There are local concerns about the bridge’s location, look, and impact on development. Alternatives have been proposed, such as taking the trail along Four Mile Run and under Lee Highway through an existing box culvert or adding a grade-crossing of Fairfax Drive and then taking the trail along I-66. The final choice for the bridge also will have impacts on the regional trail network. 

FABB members and others interested in supporting this critical improvement to the W&OD Trail are encouraged to attend and make their views known. 

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Volunteers Make A Difference – SpringFest

FABB needs help from our members with staffing a table to help promote better bicycling at this year’s SpingFest Fairfax. The county’s official Earth Day and Arbor Day event will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, from 10am – 4pm at the Sully Historic Site. If you are able to help support FABB, please contact Howard Albers at howardralbers@gmail.comVolunteers are needed for 2 hours shifts from 10 am to noon, noon to 2 pm, and 2 to 4 pm.

If you can’t volunteer, you should still consider attending. SpringFest features numerous workshops, vendors, and activities to help people become healthier and happier. There will be more than 75 vendors, exhibitors, and food trucks at the festival along with a petting zoo, puppet show, and other entertainment. Plus, admission is FREE!  

See you there!


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lee District Repaving Meeting, 28 March

Local FABB members are encouraged to make their voices heard at a Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) community meeting to discuss proposed bicycle improvements in the Lee District on Tuesday, March 28, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Crestwood Elementary School, 6010 Hanover Avenue in Springfield. The following areas in the Lee District are under review for the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) 2017 repaving schedule:

-- Commerce Street from Old Keene Mill Road to Franconia Road

-- Loisdale Road from Franconia Road to Spring Mill Drive

This will be an excellent opportunity to give feedback to VDOT and FCDOT on traffic safety, bicycling, pedestrian, and related concerns in the Lee District.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

What You Missed – FCDOT Progress Report

Last Wednesday at FABB’s March meeting Adam Lind of FCDOT provided an update of ongoing repaving, capital projects, studies and other developments related to bicycling in Fairfax County. 

2017 Repaving: 21 miles of bike lanes and sharrows will be added this year in Reston and the Dranesville and Lee Districts. Meetings on Dranesville and Lee repaving will be held on 23 March and 28 March respectively. Details are available on the FCDOT website

Capital Projects: Bike lanes and shared used paths for Route 1, Lorton Road Extension, and Workhouse Arts Road, which includes a trail that connects to the Cross-County Trail, are almost complete.

Studies: The Little River Turnpike study is complete and will be going to the Board of Supervisors for endorsement. The Cinderbed study for a trail linking the Franconia-Springfield Metro to the Fairfax County Parkway Trail is done and the determination of project phasing is underway. Studies are underway for the Fairfax County Parkway Trail at the Dulles Toll Road, the Monroe Street Bridge over Rt. 267, and neighborhood connections to north side of Innovation Station. 

Bikeshare: Twelve stations have been installed in Reston and the remaining three stations should be installed by the end of April. Eleven stations have been installed in Tysons with one more under construction and two more planned to start once locations are finalized.  FCDOT is moving forward on trying to acquire TAP funding for ten new stations in Reston to expand the network south of the Dulles Toll Road. 

Fairfax County Bike Map: A new map is being finalized with anticipated distribution during the first week of May. The map features routes that show levels of stress and has on-road and off-road routes. 

Bicycle Wayfinding: Signs are ready for installation and should be installed by the end of April in Franconia-Springfield, Vienna Metro area, and East Falls Church-Annandale. Mile markers are being added to the Fairfax County Parkway Trail.  Design of signs has started for the Fairfax County Parkway Trail and for Tysons-McLean area. 

Outreach: FCDOT now has a consultant to assist with campaigns to promote safety, the bike parking program, and responsible use of bike facilities.  Tentative plans are underway to conduct bike rides to tour new infrastructure.

The next FABB monthly meeting will be in Falls Church on Wednesday, 19 April, in the Dogwood Room, City Hall, 300 Park Ave. Hope you can join us.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Meeting on Georgetown Pike Trail Project March 22

From Fairfax County:
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is holding a community meeting concerning the Georgetown Pike Trail Phase III and Phase IV projects on March 22, 2017, at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, at 7-9 p.m., in the Large Meeting Room. There will be a presentation by County Staff at 7:30 p.m., followed by a brief question and answer session. Public comments will be accepted through April 14, 2017.

Owners of potentially affected properties and other interested parties are invited to review and discuss the project with County staff. Please use the online submission form on this page or call FCDOT at 703-877-5600 with any questions.

Project Background

In January of 2001, the Board of Supervisors entered into an agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to construct a pedestrian trail along the north side of Georgetown Pike from River Bend Road westward to Seneca Road, a distance of approximately 4.2 miles. Phase I, located in the Village Center and Phase II, between Utterback Road and Falls Chase Court, have been completed.

Phase III will complete a 250’ long section between Falls Chase Court and Falls Bridge Lane. Click on the image below to expand.

This segment of the trail is the recipient of federal funds. Because of the federal funding, and because Georgetown Pike itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this segment of the trail must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. In addition to presenting design features, FCDOT is actively soliciting comments regarding what effect, if any, the proposed trail is likely to have on historic resources in the vicinity.

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What You Missed - The Bureau of Good Roads Presentation

Fionnula Quinn and young designer.
(Photo courtesy of The Bureau of Good Roads)
Cold messy weather kept the turn out for our March monthly meeting unusually low. But those in attendance got to hear a wonderful presentation by our good friend Fionnula Quinn on the work of her company, The Bureau of Good Roads.

The main goal of The Bureau of Good Roads (BGR) is to help to communicate ideas to the public to gain support for transportation improvements. The core of BGR’s program is to show how safe and accessible infrastructure gets built and the importance of public involvement. BGR creates design challenges, field events, and hands-on demonstrations for children and adults to explain the ideas behind how our streets are put together and how they work. BGR classes and workshops help to educate the public about design basics to promote acceptance of ideas about safe and accessible infrastructure.

More young street designers.
(Photo courtesy of
The Bureau of Good Roads)
The business, which started in 2016, grew out of Fionnula’s earlier advocacy work with FABB and her desire to engage people and help them understand general aspects of multimodal transportation design before public meetings on specific projects are held. BGR projects include real-life design and safety principles and highlight the role of STEM professionals. 

The activities advance ideas through telling stories and simple design projects and often include presentation on the history of the original Good Roads Movement in the United States between the late 1870s and 1920s. These stories and activities highlight the importance of public involvement in getting streets built that meet community needs. 

In addition to classes and workshops, BGR leads walks in the region that talk about the history of the design of specific streets and discuss future ideas for evolving infrastructure. Upcoming walks are scheduled for 1 April in Downtown DC and Anacostia and for 4 May in Reston.   

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Using Subsidized Parking Benefit for Other Modes

Image: Washington Post
According to the Post, DC Councilman Charles Allen wants employers who subsidize parking for their employees to instead give them the option of exchanging that subsidy for cash to use for paying for using other modes of transportation such as transit or biking. If implemented, this idea could get more cars off the road.

Providing parking isn't cheap, especially structured parking where each parking space can cost around $30,000. When free parking is provided, only those who drive benefit. If commuters are given a choice in how to use that benefit, many might choose to use transit or pay for bike commuting expenses.

One of the bigger controversies in Reston is the decision by Boston Properties to charge for parking. People who drive are shocked that they might be expected to pay to park in that $30,000 parking spot. As our community grows we can expect more places to charge the real cost of parking.

Kudos to Councilman Allen for his innovative approach. We wish him well.
A D.C. Council proposal would require employers who provide their employees with free or subsidized parking to give them the choice to cash out. With that option, workers would be more likely to ditch the car for a more sustainable mode of travel to work, officials say.

“I can much more easily rationalize hopping in my car and driving downtown when I got a free parking spot,” said Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), a lead sponsor of the bill. “But if my employer says, we are going to give you a parking spot or we can give you transit benefits or cash if you bike to work, then I have the flexibility to make the choice that is best for me.”

The change, he said, would address a fairness issue for the workers who sometimes turn down a valuable perk because they don’t drive or who are forced to take it because otherwise they can’t get the benefit any other way.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Support Needed for Reston Bike Projects

Cyclists are needed to contact the county bike program by March 31 to support new bike projects in Reston. At a meeting last night several local residents spoke out strongly against proposed bike lanes on Colts Neck Road and North Shore Drive. There were minor concerns about the project on  Twin Branches Road.

When the Lawyers Road and Soapstone Drive road diet projects were proposed, the same arguments were used against those roads. On Lawyers Road there was almost no impact on traffic throughput while at the same time crashes were deducted by over 60% during the 5 years since project completion.

The most vocal opposition was against the road diet project on Colts Neck Road. During repaving of the road this summer Fairfax Co is proposing to reduce the regular travel lanes from two in each direction to one lane in each direction with bike lanes. Current traffic volume is well below the recommended level for implementing a road diet and less than the volume on the successful Lawyers Road project. The Colts Neck project will provide dedicated bike facilities and a safer road for everyone, including the many pedestrians in that area who regularly cross to access the shopping center on the east side.

Please contact the Fairfax County bike program by March 31 with your supportive comments:
I strongly support the bike projects on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive, and Twin Branches Road will make those roads safer for all users while providing much needed bike facilities. The road diet on Colts Neck Road, where many cyclists currently ride, is especially important.

Byclists will have dedicated space on Colts Neck and pedestrians crossing the road will be safer, having to only cross one lane in each direction rather than two. Speeds should be reduced as well. When the Reston Town Center Metro station opens, Colts Neck will be a major bike route to that station. The bike lanes on Colts Neck will connect to the planned cycletrack on Sunrise Valley Dr. and connect to the many developments planned along Sunrise Valley Dr.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bike/Ped Info in Transportation Status Report February 2017

Twice a year the county Department of Transportation submits a Transportation Status Report to the Board of Supervisors. On Tuesday they unveiled the February 2017 report that includes status info on bicycle and pedestrian activities. For more information you can attend the FABB Monthly Meeting tonight at Oakton Library starting at 7:30 p.m. Bicycle program staff will be present to take questions.

The report will be posted soon on the Transportation Status Report page or you can see Information Item 4 in the March 14 Board Agenda:
Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs

The Board directed FCDOT to lead the effort to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and mobility, including constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities in high-priority areas of Fairfax County. In 2006, the Board endorsed a Ten-Year Funding Goal of $60 million for new bicycle and pedestrian projects. Through FY2020, the Board has greatly exceeded this goal by selecting $314 million in high-priority bicycle and pedestrian improvement projects.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Access and Safety: FCDOT staff advanced the Fairfax County Pedestrian Program by direct collaboration with other agencies and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for public information meetings such as the I-495 Tysons Pedestrian Bridge, the Tysons Experience (Open House), the Hunter Mill Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB), the Vienna Metro Bicycle Access Study, the Little River Turnpike Bicycle Corridor Study, the Scotts Run Trail to McLean Metro, and Great Falls Street and Kirby Road sidewalks. 
  • Safe Routes to School: FCDOT has collaborated with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), providing funding to build sidewalks needed to connect neighborhoods to schools. FCPS staff provides FCDOT sidewalk requests that would allow more children to walk to school. Projects are selected for funding based on FCPS priority and site-specific engineering. FCDOT currently has four SRTS-funded projects under design, at Terra Centre Elementary School, Flint Hill Elementary School, New Graham Road Elementary School, and Westbriar Elementary School. The Board’s adopted Transportation Priorities Plan for FY2015 – FY2020 provided additional funding for 23 school-walking-route sidewalk projects totaling $22 million. 
  • Trails and Sidewalks Committee: FCDOT provided staff support to the Trails and Sidewalks Committee which meets monthly. The committee is composed of representatives from across the County, including representatives from Washington Area Bicycle Association, building industry, community associations, equestrian clubs, Disabilities Services Board, and the Fairfax County and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authorities. The committee makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian issues in the County. [Note: FABB has several members on the committee. We are working on getting a formal position on the committee.] 
  • Yield to Pedestrians Fine Signs: Fairfax County is one of the few jurisdictions in Virginia allowed to designate certain crosswalks for Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk $100 - $500 Violation Fine signs. As of 2017, FCDOT has installed and maintains over 2,000 of these signs at over 500 intersections.
  • Education (Street Smart Media Campaign): FCDOT staff worked with regional partners on the Street Smart Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Media Campaigns. The twice-yearly campaigns utilized major-market television and radio, print, and bus advertising to promote safety awareness responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians in both English and Spanish. 
  • Enforcement: FCDOT staff worked with the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) which conducted pedestrian safety enforcement in high pedestrian crash areas countywide. The FCPD conducts pedestrian enforcement and public awareness through all district stations as part of annual traffic enforcement plans. 
  • Increase and Enhance Bicycle Parking: FCDOT added 17 new bicycle racks and completed one new bike parking installation, and is preparing several more for installation in 2017 at libraries, parks, and County government centers. 
  • Secure Bicycle Parking Facilities: Staff is finalizing work on new “Bike-and-Ride” facilities at various locations countywide including: Phase II Silver Line Stations and Springfield Community Business Center Commuter Parking Garage. The bike-and-ride at Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station continues to be heavily utilized (110 members to date) and the County now operates an additional bike-and-ride at the Stringfellow Road Park-and-Ride. Staff is also coordinating with WMATA on the addition of two bike-and- rides at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU-Fairfax Metrorail Station and the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail Station. These stations will be owned and operated by WMATA. FCDOT added 17 bike racks at the following locations: Mason District Park, West Springfield Government Center, John Marshall Library, and Audrey Moore Rec Center. More bike racks will be added throughout 2017. 
  • Bicycle Route Signage-Countywide: Three wayfinding projects are scheduled to be completed in spring 2017: Franconia-Springfield Metrorail Station, Annandale to the East Falls Church Metrorail Station, and along the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail from Route 50 to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail Station. FCDOT will continue to expand its bicycle wayfinding program throughout 2017, including the much anticipated Fairfax County Parkway Trail Wayfinding project. 
  • Western Fairfax Historic Cycle Tour: Cycle Tour Map is complete and sign design has been finalized. Printing of the route map is complete and design of the wayfinding is underway. 
  • Fairfax County Capital Bikeshare: Capital Bikeshare launched in Reston and Tysons on October 21, 2016. There were eight stations in Reston and seven stations in Tysons at the time of launch, which represented 50 percent of planned stations. Staff continued to add stations since the launch and there are now 12 stations in Reston and 11 stations in Tysons. The remaining seven stations will be added in 2017. Staff is also working to purchase and install more stations in 2018 through a VDOT Transportation Alternates Program Grant. More information on County Bikeshare, including station locations, can be found at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/bike/restontysonsbikeshare.htm. 
  • VDOT Repaving Program: FCDOT and VDOT once again partnered for a successful 2016 repaving program which added nearly 15 lane-miles of on-road bike facilities. A large concentration of bike facilities were added in the Annandale area (Mason and Braddock Districts), an area that lacked bike lanes until 2014. In 2015, 5.4 miles of bike lanes were added, and 14 miles of bike lanes by the end of 2016. Additional bike lanes were added in other areas of Braddock and Mount Vernon Districts as well.

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Dranesville Bike Improvements Meeting on March 23

Lewisville Road
(photo courtesy of InsideNoVa.com) 
Dranesville Supervisor John Foust is hosting a community meeting with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) to discuss proposed bicycle improvements in the Dranesville District. The meeting will be on Thursday, March 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Churchill Road Elementary School Cafeteria, 7100 Churchill Road, McLean. Proposals include adding bike lanes to Lewinsville Road from Titania Lane to Fallstaff Road (eastern intersection) and Chain Bridge Road from Great Falls Street to Westmoreland Street.

As always, your support and feedback are needed to make sure these improvements happen. 

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Reminder: FCDOT Reston Bike Improvements Meeting This Thursday

Cyclists are encouraged to attend the meeting held by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) this week to discuss proposed changes to street design on North Shore Drive, Twin Branches Road, and Colts Neck Road. Your support and feedback are needed. For full details, see our earlier blog post.

The meeting is this Thursday, March 16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Dogwood Elementary School, 12300 Glade Drive, in Reston.

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bicycle Parking at Wiehle-Reston Metro Station Inadequate

We received the following guest blog post from Richard Markeloff, a regular bike commuter to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. Richard is concerned about the lack of free bike parking:
Unsecure Free Bike room at
Wiehle-Reston East station.
Bike parking at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station includes a secure bike room available to subscribers for $75 a year and a room available to the public for free. While the secure room is underutilized, with the available rack space about half empty, the public room is too small to meet a growing demand. Often, all the racks are full and riders are forced to lock their bikes to the steal mesh walls.

On at least one day in 2016 the public bike room was full to capacity and it was impossible to find space for any additional bikes. Security guards employed by Comstock Partners, the owner of the property, will clip locks and confiscate bikes locked to any objects outside of the bike rooms.

More and more people are biking to the Wiehle-Reston Metro and days when the public bike room is full are bound to become more frequent. Not everybody is able or willing to pay for access to the secure bike room. Possible solutions include remodeling the bike rooms or adding outdoor bike racks. Perhaps the best solution would be to eliminate the $75 fee to use the secure room – no one should have to pay to park their bike at a Metro station.
We agree with Richard that the unsecured bike room, located near the secure bike room, is frequently overflowing with bikes. As we reported back in August 2014, the free room has a capacity of 36 bikes but usually contains several more than that. On Thursday of last week there were 39 bikes there. Many of them, we estimated 15 or so, have been parked there long enough for their tires to be flat or grossly under inflated. The bike room was not intended to be a long term storage area. The county needs to address the problem.

Another way to address the problem is to allow short term use of the secure bike room. Currently only those who pay the annual fee of $75 ($15 of which is refundable) can use the room. There is no daily use. Motorists can pay a daily fee to park cars using their SmartTrip cards and bicyclists should be able to do the same.

Yet another solution is to add bike racks on the plaza outside the station entrance. According to the approved development plans for the property, 29 hoop racks will be installed around the plaza. The only racks there now are outside the Blvd apartments, filled with bikes belonging to the Blvd. We're working with the county and the developer to have the required 29 racks installed. We've been told that temporary racks will soon be installed until the new permanent racks appear, and that the developer seeks to modify the locations of the racks and add 11 more racks on the plaza for a total of 40 racks with a capacity for 80 bikes. That will help.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Meeting Tonight on Burke Centre VRE Connector Trail

Tonight Fairfax County is holding an information meeting on Phase IV of the Burke Centre VRE Connector Trail. The trail will provide better pedestrian and bicycle access to the Burke Centre VRE station from neighborhoods west of Roberts Parkway. The meeting tonight, March 9, begins at 6:30 p.m., at the Oaks Community Center, 5708 Oak Leather Drive, Burke (map).

From the county's Burke Centre VRE Connector page:

The new pedestrian/bicycle facility will include the following:
  • A 1,200 ft. long asphalt trail through the wooded area north of Oak Bluff Court. Retaining walls and an open drainage system are required along this stretch to accommodate the trail. The trail will connect to the western terminus of Premier Court. 
  • A 600 ft. long concrete sidewalk along the south side of Premier Court. Other improvements in this area include curb and gutter, new pavement, parking modifications and on-road bike lanes.  
  • A crosswalk that will connect pedestrians from the new sidewalk on the south side of Premier Court to an existing sidewalk on the north side of Premier Court. On-road pavement markings will be added to Premier Court from the crosswalk to the Burke VRE Station


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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March-April 2017 FABB News

A bi-monthly publication of the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling

Board of Supervisors Endorses Bicycle Parking Guidelines

Bike Parking GuidelinesThe Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently endorsed the county's Bicycle Parking Guidelines that have been in development for almost 10 years. Kudos to the Board, and to FCDOT staff for their work over the years developing the guidelines and working them through the approval process.

FABB began advocating for these guidelines in 2007 when we met with Supervisor Smyth to discuss the importance of the county having guidelines for developers and others to implement safe, convenient bike parking. The guidelines will be applied to all new developments in the county. While existing developments are not required to install bike parking, they now have guidelines to use when bike parking is provided. Please refer to the guidelines when asking for bike parking.

New bike lanes -- and a sidewalk! -- connect GMU and downtown Fairfax

University BoulevardIn February, the City of Fairfax added bike lanes to a three-block section of University Drive between George Mason University and downtown. Fairfax opted for a road diet, converting the four-lane road to two through lanes with a center two-way turn lane and 5.5’ bike lanes. The road diet begins just north of City Hall and ends a few blocks south of downtown. In another piece of good news, the City also addressed a major safety hazard for pedestrians by adding a new sidewalk on the west side.

Representatives from FABB, George Mason University and other community members supported the road diet, and the City Council approved it in 2015 as a one-year pilot project to calm traffic, improve safety and increase bicycling. The new configuration will be evaluated for safety.  Other road diets in Fairfax County, and throughout the U.S., have measurably improved safety for all users.

Virginia 2017 General Assembly Wrap Up   

The 2017 Virginia legislative session ended with a win for bike lanes. Legislation ensuring highway maintenance payments are not reduced to municipalities who choose to reconfigure their roadways with road diets and bike lanes passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. This is an important win for bicyclists as it chips away at putting cycling needs on par with motor vehicles.  
It was an odd mix of legislation this year with several bipartisan bills put forward in the House and Senate. Other bills that passed included legislation that tightened vision test standards for drivers and another that addressed dog bites. Unfortunately, bills addressing distracted driving, vulnerable users and handheld phone usage all failed to get out of committee. Read more at the Virginia Bicycling Federation.

Vote for FABB as Most Valuable Clean Air Partner 

Clean Air PartnersFABB is excited to have been nominated by Clean Air Partners as a Most Valuable Partner in their Best in Air awards. Clean Air Partners recognize FABB’s work promoting bicycling and that more people biking would have a positive impact on our regional air quality.  We need your help to win!  Please vote for FABB here.

Clean Air Partners is a regional group working to educate the Washington-Baltimore region on ways to reduce their environmental impact and exposure to air pollution. FABB has worked with Clean Air Partners in the past, using their Air Quality Forecast widget to notify cyclists about Code Red and Code Orange air quality warnings.

Regional Vision Zero Summit Planned  

Vision Zero SummitThe DC region’s inaugural Vision Zero Summit is being held on March 31 at GW University's Milken Institute of Public Health.  Hear from leaders in the Vision Zero movement and learn about the latest regional efforts in ending traffic deaths. According the summit website, “Vision Zero is a public commitment to ending all traffic deaths and serious injuries. The data-driven initiative works by designing safer streets, effective traffic enforcement, and increased public education and outreach.” The Washington Area Bicycling Association is holding the summit in conjuction with GW University Hospital and AAA-Mid Atlantic. 
Around the region, Washington D.C. and the City of Alexandria have embraced Vision Zero. Fairfax County has not yet enacted a Vision Zero policy.  However, VDOT has adopted a similar effort and as we know, the State of Virginia owns our roads.  It's not as rigorous as Vision Zero but is a good start.

FABB will sponsor a couple people to attend the summit so if you’re interested in attending, please drop us an email.

FCDOT Holds Meetings on Roadway Safety Improvements

Hunter Mill Proposal Fairfax County is off to a productive start in 2017 holding several community meetings in January and February on proposed bike lanes and safety improvements to roadways around the county. The improvements are part of VDOT’s 2017 repaving program.  Proposals include enhancements to Greeley Boulevard, Hillside Road, and Braeburn Drive in Springfield and Braddock districts.

In the Mason District, they hope to build out more of the network laid down last summer in Annandale with the addition of bike lanes on Hummer Road, Sleepy Hollow Road and sharrows on Little River Turnpike service roads.  Several roads in the Lee District could see bike infrastructure including sections of Harrison Lane, Memorial Street, Bedrock Road, Vantage Drive, and Rolling Stone Way.

The Hunter Mill Street Design Improvements community meeting is coming up on March 16th.  FCDOT and VDOT representatives will be on hand to discuss proposed traffic, bicycling and pedestrian safety improvements in the Reston area, including sections of North Shore Drive, Twin Branches Road and Colts Neck Road. Support is needed to ensure these safety improvements happen.  Please consider attending the meeting or submitting comments. For more information check out FABB’s Reston Bike Meeting blog post.

Fairfax County Budget Meetings Scheduled

Fairfax County is holding town hall meetings to allow citizens to learn about the proposed budget and a chance to tell your county representatives about your priorities. We encourage cyclists to attend one of these meetings to tell county representatives that our trails are in very poor condition and we shouldn't ignore needed maintenance any longer. Check out FABB’s blog for a list of town hall dates. If you can't attend a meeting, consider writing to your County Supervisor and Chairman Bulova.

FABB Meeting in Oakton March 15, Falls Church in April

Join FABB at our monthly meeting on March 15th to hear from Fionnuala Quinn about the great things going on at the Bureau of Good Roads. We’ll also discuss the latest bike news and county update. FABB’s meeting will be held at the Oakton Public library (10304 Lynnhaven Pl, Oakton, VA), starting at 7:30.

Mark your calendars! In April, the FABB meeting will be in Falls Church. We’re meeting at the City Hall Dogwood Room, 300 Park Ave. Hope you can join us.

FABB Board Convenes for Annual Strategy Session

FABB’s Board of Directors met on Saturday, Feb 18th for a strategy and planning session. This half-day working meeting included a review of the 2016 results before outlining our goals and objectives for 2017. Additionally, the team took some time to conduct a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats) analysis to help identify areas of growth. The objectives and activities discussed support FABB’s goals of expanding outreach, advocacy and public support throughout the County.

The board will review this plan in six months to assess progress and make updates as needed. A high-level version of the plan will be shared at an upcoming FABB monthly meeting!

FABB at SpringFest 2017

FABB will once again participate in SpringFest 2017, a free, all-day celebration of Earth and Arbor Days sponsored by the Clean Fairfax Council.  The event will be held April 29th and offer plentiful entertainment for children, environmental exhibitors, farmers market and much more. Temporary bicycle parking will be available. This year Springfest has a new location at the Sully Historic Site, 3650 Historic Sully Way in Chantilly.

FABB is looking for volunteers for Springfest.  Are you interested in organizing rides to/from the event, or helping at FABB’s table? Contact Howard Albers for more information.
If you don'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 news@fabb-bikes.org

Upcoming Events
  • March 6-9 - 2017 National Bike Summit, Washington, D.C.
  • March 9 - Burke VRE Connector Trail Meeting, 6:30pm, 6060 Burke Centre Pkwy, Burke, VA
  • March 15 - FABB Monthly Meeting, 7:30pm, Oakton Public Library, 10304 Lynnhaven Pl, Oakton, VA
  • March 16 - Reston Bike Lane Meeting, 6:30pm, Dogwood Elementary School, 12300 State Rte 4721, Reston, VA
  • March 22 - FABB Board meeting, 7pm, location TBD
  • March 28, Lee District Bike Lane Meeting, 6:30pm, Crestwood Elementary School, 6010 Hanover Ave., Springfield, VA
  • March 31 - Vision Zero Summit, 9am – 5pm, George Washington University Hospital 900 23rd St NW, Washington, DC
  • April 8 - Opening Days for Trails 5K Fun Run, 8am, Bluemont Park, N Manchester St & 4th St N, Arlington, VA
  • April 19 - FABB Monthly Meeting, 7:30pm, Dogwood Room, Falls Church City Hall, 300 Park Ave. Falls Church, VA
  • April 29 - SpringFest, The Sully Historic Site, 3650 Sully Historic Way​

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Bike to Work Day Registration Now Open

Bike to Work Day in the DC Metro area is on Friday, May 19. Registration is now open. There are 11 events in Fairfax County, one in Fairfax City, and one in Falls Church on the edge of Fairfax County. FABB plans to help out at most of the Fairfax events, providing information to cyclists and signing people up for the FABB newsletter. The event is an ideal time to encourage your co-workers and neighbors to try biking to work, to transit, to school.

List of Fairfax events:

Burke VRE Station
Fair Lakes
Fairfax City Downtown
Fairfax County Government Center
Falls Church
Fort Belvoir
Mt. Vernon – Collingwood Park
Reston – Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station
Springfield/Metro Park at Walker Lane
Tysons Corner Center


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Monday, March 6, 2017

Post's Courtland Milloy: OK for Motorists to Run Red Lights - Update

DC traffic camera
Image: Washington Post
Washington Post Columnist Courtland Milloy is a hypocrite. He thinks it's OK for motorists to run red lights but bicyclists don't belong on the road because they don't obey traffic laws.

You may recall that Milloy has published several anti-bike rants in his Post column in the past. In July 2014 he wrote that "It’s a $500 fine for a motorist to hit a bicyclist in the District, but some behaviors are so egregious that some drivers might think it’s worth paying the fine."

In January 2015 in a column after two recent deaths of cyclists he wrote: "What cyclists need is a separate network of biking roads, not bike lanes. Give them trails through wooded areas, away from cars and trucks. Once they enter high-traffic areas in the city, it’s off the bicycle and onto alternative transportation. Like two feet."

In his column today he talks about receiving two citations for running red lights when turning right. He was caught by a red light camera. He doesn't think he should stop so he contested the tickets:
“Your honor, this is so unfair. It’s incomprehensible.” She appeared unimpressed but still reduced the fine by $15.
Motorists turning right on red without looking for pedestrians or bicyclists approaching from the right are one of the most common causes of fatalities and injuries among those vulnerable road users. That's one reason I carry a whistle, to get the attention of motorists at a busy intersection I pass through on a regular basis. I personally know several cyclists who have been injured by motorists turning right on red. With almost no enforcement, the problem will continue.

Update 9 Mar 2017 - At least two other people agree with the above as indicated by their Letters to the Editor of the Post about Milloy's comments:
Don’t want to get busted by a traffic camera? Don’t break the law.

Regarding Courtland Milloy’s March 6 Metro column, “A turn for the worse with traffic cameras”:

I am amazed by people complaining of being penalized for getting caught breaking the law, then whining about it in court and shifting blame. The infraction concerns turning right on a red light after stopping, a privilege put in place to expedite traffic flow by allowing right-turning vehicles to proceed on red after having stopped and determined that it is safe. Many drivers ignore the “stop” portion of this privilege. Redefining “stop” is dangerous and must be curtailed.

Cameras have reduced violations by motorists running straight through a red light. Perhaps the use of cameras to catch right-turn-on-red violators will also reduce violations.

f motorists paid attention to their speed and the color of traffic lights, they would not trigger any of those unfair, inconvenient, invasive, scamming, money-grubbing cameras.

Stephen Frank, Fulton

As someone who drives at the speed limit, comes to a full stop when the law says I’m supposed to and usually drives with my child in the car, I hope all state and local governments in the region increase the number of traffic cameras to issue tickets. Like casinos that reap huge funds for tax coffers from those who decide to take a risk, traffic cameras pour needed funds into government programs only from those who decide to endanger the rest of us, while those of us who follow the laws can sit back with our money in our wallets and a smile on our face.

Rudy Porter, Gaithersburg

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Reston Bike Meeting March 16

Fairfax County is holding a meeting to discuss possible bike improvements in Reston as part of the summer repaving program. Your support and feedback are needed. The meeting is on March 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Dogwood Elementary School, 12300 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20190
For more info see 2017 Proposed Hunter Mill Street Design Improvements:

Reston Community Meeting, Bicycle, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Improvements

Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will host a community meeting to discuss proposed changes to street design on North Shore Drive, Twin Branches Road, and Colts Neck Road. The proposals are coordinated with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) 2017 repaving program. Representatives from FCDOT and VDOT will present plans for the following proposals:
  • North Shore Drive
    • Ring Road to Wiehle Avenue (southern intersection) Two Options:
      • Existing parking remains. Narrow travel lanes to add bike lanes and shared lane markings.
      • Restrict on-street parking to one side of the street from Ivy Oak Square to Wiehle Avenue. Add bike lanes in both directions for this segment. Existing parking remains from Ivy Oak Square to Ring Road. Narrow travel lanes to add bike lanes and shared lane 
    • A road diet is proposed near Tall Oaks Village Center as approved in the rezoning
  • Twin Branches Road: Narrow travel lanes to reduce speeding and add bike lanes. Parking will be identified 
  • Colts Neck Road
    • Reston Parkway to Glade Drive: Narrow travel lanes and add bike lanes. Existing parking remains 
    • Glade Drive to Sunrise Valley Drive: Proposed road diet to create a center turn lane, reduce speeding, add crosswalks and bike lanes
    *Note: No proposals for Glade Dr will be discussed at this meeting

    Thursday, Mar 16, 2017, 6:30-8:30 PM
    Dogwood Elementary School Cafeteria
    12300 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20190

    To view a map of the proposed project areas, visit: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/bike/ huntermillstreetimprovements.htm

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Biketown: Celebrating Victoria BC's Bike Culture

In the Victoria Transport Policy Institute's newsletter we happened across a reference to this fun video about Victoria, British Columbia's bike community. Last summer my wife and I spent a week in Victoria riding the many bike lanes and trails in the area. We were impressed by the number of bike commuters and the infrastructure to support them, including a park and ride lot adjacent to one of their major trails, filled with cars with bike racks.

From Youtube: "Biketown is a celebration of cycling in Victoria, BC. A parody of Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Biketown features the people and places that make Victoria the cycling capital of Canada."

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