Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Proposed Changes to Public Facilities Manual

Fairfax County is modifying the Public Facilities Manual. "The Public Facilities Manual (PFM) sets forth the guidelines which govern the design of all public facilities which must be constructed to serve new development." Guidelines include specifications for trails and sidewalks. Also included are bike parking requirements. Changes will be made in two phases. There will be a public hearing on proposed changes in Phase 1 at the Planning Commission meeting on October 18. For more information on the proposed changes see the Public Facilities Manual Flexibility Project.

FABB has briefly reviewed changes affecting bicyclists and pedestrians. We are encouraged to see new text in Chapter 7 (7-0602.5) that refers to bike parking: “Bicycle Parking. Bicycle parking must be consistent with the Fairfax County Bicycle Parking Guidelines.” However we don’t think the wording of those guidelines is strong enough. We suggest that the wording of the bike parking guidelines be strengthened and incorporated into the PFM during Phase 2. 

Also included in Chapter 7 are typical road sections, none of which includes bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks, etc. We assume these will also be addressed in Phase 2.

Chapter 8 contains sidewalk and trial requirements. Proposed changes are relatively minor. However, the Bicycle Master Plan should be referenced and added whenever the Countywide Trails Plan is referenced since both contain trail requirements. Other changes may be proposed under Phase 2.

FABB plans to track proposed changes under Phase 2 and participate where possible in stakeholder meetings. If you would like to be involved, contact us. You can also submit comments to the Planning Commission or attend the Planning Commission public hearing on October 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fairfax Co Government Center.

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