Friday, January 12, 2018
 

FABB News January - February 2018

Thank You for a Successful End to 2017 

Happy New Year! A huge thanks to all of our supporters who helped FABB finish strong in 2017. Because of supporters like you, FABB had a successful end of year fundraising campaign and is GEARED UP to make bicycling in Fairfax even better in 2018. Together with your support we will continue fighting for the best and safest I-66 trail possible, advocating for better bike facilities around the county, hosting more social rides and continuing to build our great bike community. 

FABB Hosts Book Discussion on Sharing the American Road

FABB is hosting its inaugural public book talk on the hidden history of bicycle law and policy conflicts in the United States and their lessons for our current bicycle debates. Our speaker, Dr. James Longhurst, is the author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road, which examines the different ways that Americans have thought about the bicycle through popular songs, merit badge pamphlets, advertising, films, newspapers and sitcoms. FABB is teaming up with Access Tysons to host the discussion on January 9 at 7pm in the public theatre of the Microsoft Store in Tysons Corner Center. 

Embark Richmond Highway Open House

The final Embark Richmond Highway community open house is this Wednesday evening.  FABB encourages cyclists and pedestrians in southern and eastern Fairfax to attend to find out the latest details on the effort to update the land use plan for Richmond Highway, including bicycling and pedestrian improvements.

The open house will be Wednesday, January 10, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Whitman Middle School, 2500 Parkers Lane, in Alexandria. At the meeting you can learn about the proposed comprehensive plan recommendations from county staff. More important, your questions and input will help the staff finalize recommendations that will prepare the corridor for pedestrian and bicycle enhancements. These recommendations for updating the comprehensive plan, in turn, will be given to the Planning Commission. 

Mark your calendars now for the final steps in the process. The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the comprehensive plan amendment on January 25 at 7:30 p.m. The Board of Supervisors will then hold a public hearing on the amendment on March 20 at 4:00 p.m.

VA Legislative Session Opens This Week

FABB is working with the Virginia Bicycling Federation (VBF) and other state-wide bicycle advocates to understand the numerous House and Senate bills impacting bicyclists in the 2018 legislative session. With the new political make-up of the General Assembly, how these bills will fare remains unknown. Proposed legislation address a variety of issues including vulnerable users, stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks, passing in a bike lane, distracted driving and value engineering that would fast track transportation projects. Stay tuned for more information on the bills as the session gets underway. If you are interested in representing FABB on VBF’s weekly legislative calls and helping us stay on top of the state bills, send an email to  president@fabb-bikes.org.  

Upcoming FABB Meetings to Host Rails-to-Trails and FCPD

Join FABB at our January 17 meeting to hear from the Fairfax County Police Department’s Traffic Safety Division on efforts to keep us safe on county roadways. Learn about the process to report aggressive drivers and how bicyclists can work with FCPD to ensure their concerns are heard.   

At FABB’s February 21 meeting, we’ll hear from Rails to Trails’ Brandi Horton on Making Connections: Trails at the Heart of Healthy, Thriving Communities. As transportation habits change and technologies like autonomous vehicles become mainstream, a new opportunity exists to prioritize biking and trails in in the places where we live. But that future isn’t guaranteed. Explore how we can create the change we want, and put trails at the heart of healthy, thriving communities. 

Both the January and February FABB meetings will run from 7:30-9pm at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave E, Vienna, near the W&OD Trail. All are welcome.

National Bike Summit in D.C. March 5-7

The National Bike Summit is the premier bike advocacy event of the year and is held here in Washington, D.C, March 5-7. This year's theme is Grass Roots Grow Together. As in prior years, the event showcases successes at the local level and provides opportunities for peer learning. The summit is three days packed with chances to learn and share information, to network and to bring our message to Capitol Hill.

Are you interested in attending the summit? FABB would like to sponsor a couple volunteers to take advantage of this great opportunity. Please contact us if you’re interested.  

How Can You Support FABB in 2018? Communications and Volunteer Coordinators Still Needed 

FABB continues looking for two volunteers to help us grow the organization and make it a more effective advocate for better bicycling in Fairfax County. Both positions can be performed at home and require as few as 5 hours, but no more than 15 hours per week. The Volunteer Coordinator would support FABB’s volunteer recruitment and management efforts. The Communications Coordinator will become FABB’s primary social media and outreach coordinator. For more details on the positions, check out our blog here. If you are interested and would like to talk about one of these positions, please contact Steve Ward. Or help us by spreading the word.  Likewise, if you know someone who may be interested, please forward these positions along.

Fairfax County Launches Website Redesign


Fairfax County recently launched its redesigned website offering a new look and feel to the bike and pedestrian resources. On the new Bike & Walk Fairfax pages you can access much of the same information but in a more consolidated way. Resources include the County’s new bike map, information on current projects, and bike commuting and Capital Bikeshare resources.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018
 

Long Bridge Bicycle and Pedestrian Connection Needs Your Support

FABB is encouraging everyone to visit this WABA website to speak up in support of improving plans for a new biking and walking trail. 


DC's Department of Transportation is making plans to upgrade the rail bridge between DC's SW Waterfront and Crystal City and is considering adding a biking and walking trail alongside it. Unfortunately, the current trail designs only go from the Mount Vernon Trail to Hains Point. 

A better plan would extend the trail across the George Washington Parkway to Arlington County’s Long Bridge Park. At the other end, extending the trail to Maine Avenue would avoid sending users through an indirect and congested route across the Washington Channel. The WABA website has a few additional suggestions to improve the design that you can include in note.

Please let DDOT know that they should make the most of this opportunity to improve the pedestrian and bicycling connection between Virginia and the District. It only takes a minute at waba.org/longbridge.

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January Meeting to Feature Police and Safe Routes to School

Please mark your calendars and plan to join FABB at 7:30 pm on January 17 for our monthly meeting at the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna.  
During the meeting we will hear from a representative of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Traffic Safety Division on efforts to keep us safe on county roadways. Come learn about the process to report aggressive drivers and how bicyclists can work with FCPD to ensure their concerns are heard.   

Sally Smallwood, the Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Fairfax County Public Schools, will also be joining us to provide a brief summary of upcoming SRTS activities. 

See you there. 

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Sunday, December 31, 2017
 

Reminder: VDOT Meeting on Thursday

FABB encourages members and others from Vienna, Fairfax City, and nearby areas around I-66 in Fairfax County to attend this Thursday's VDOT public hearing. The hearing will focus on various projects that will affect cyclists and pedestrians. In particular, there will be information available on additions to the George Snyder Trail in Fairfax City, the planned multi-use trail along Nutley Street in Vienna, and pedestrian improvements along Monument Drive and Lee Highway.  

There will be an open house at 6 p.m. with the hearing beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office, 4975 Alliance Drive, in Fairfax. If you cannot attend, you can email comments to meetingcomments@vdot.virginia.gov. Please reference “I-66 Concession Projects” in the subject line. You also can mail comments to Maria Sinner at VDOT’s District Office, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 through next Monday, January 8, 2018.

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Friday, December 29, 2017
 

Embark Richmond Highway Open House on January 10

FABB encourages cyclists and pedestrians in southern and eastern Fairfax to attend the final community open house on the effort to update the land use plan--including bicycling and pedestrian facilities--for the Embark Richmond Highway project.

The open house will take place on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Whitman Middle School, 2500 Parkers Lane, in Alexandria. At the meeting you can learn about the proposed comprehensive plan recommendations from county staff. More important, your questions and input will help the staff finalize recommendations that will prepare the corridor for pedestrian and bicycle enhancements. These recommendations for updating the Comprehensive Plan, in turn, will be given to the Planning Commission. 

Mark your calendars now for the final steps in the process. The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the comprehensive plan amendment on January 25, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. The Board of Supervisors will then hold a public hearing on the amendment on March 20, 2018, at 4:00 p.m.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017
 

More on Bike Battles Talk

The FABB-sponsored public talk hosted by the Tyson’s Microsoft Store on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, will focus on a major early 20th century policy and funding battle that might have changed the face of American transportation—if not American history—if it had succeeded. 

You may know about the “Good Roads” movement in which bikers allied with farmers to create paved shared routes through the countryside. But are you aware that early in the 20th century there was a movement to include sidepaths—in effect, protected bike lanes—along newly constructed public roads and streets in urban areas? Come hear James Longhurst's talk to find out more about this movement and the lessons it provides for contemporary policy planning. 

In the meantime, check out this video summarizing Dr. Longhurst’s book, Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road. It gives a taste of the fascinating detail he will be providing during his talk. 

Seats are still available. Go now to our EventBrite page and reserve your place. 

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017
 

Bicycle Commuter Benefit — Use It Now!

From our friends at The League of American Bicyclists:

The recently signed-into-law Tax Cut and Jobs Act suspends the Bicycle Commuter Benefit from 12/31/2017 until 1/1/2026. If your employer currently offers the Bicycle Commuter Benefit, the safest thing to do is to submit all documentation and pay out all reimbursements by December 31 2017. 

In addition to suspending the benefit, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act eliminates the ability of employers to deduct the cost of providing subsidized commuting to employees, reducing the employer’s taxable income, as part of cutting the business tax rate from 35% to 21%.

Sadly, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act did not:
  • Do anything to expand the availability of commuter benefits – which are currently 7 times more likely to be offered to workers in the highest 10% of income than workers in the lowest 10% on income;
  • Do anything to provide incentives to modes of transportation that reduce congestion, such as walking, biking, telework, or carpooling; and
  • Do anything that affects employees who put their pre-tax earnings towards a commuter benefit.

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