Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bikes can be part of the Tysons traffic solution

Daring to dream of reducing Tysons traffic is the title of an article in today's Washington Post about measures being taken to get more cars off the road in Tysons, especially during the construction of Metrorail and the I-495 HOT lanes. A couple of new transportation options are now being offered.
A new free Tysons Connector shuttle loops around the malls and banks and restaurants at midday. And, starting next year, carpoolers will get points they can redeem at stores in Tysons, where 120,000 people work but only 17,000 live.
a new express bus service operated by PRTC OmniRide will bring commuters from Woodbridge to Tysons on weekdays.
One of the most obvious solutions to congestion isn't even mentioned: bicycles. A Tysons bike share system could handle many of the short, lunchtime trips, at a very low cost compared to the transit options. Bikes can be used for many commute trips for people living within a 5 mile or greater radius of Tysons, especially when combined with trips on Fairfax Connector buses, all of which now have bike racks. For those who drive, even short trips are now taking a very long time:
Pam Minett found another option entirely: She moved to Tysons. Life was good in her Vienna apartment until this year, when the trip to the small law firm where she works as office manager began to take over an hour.

"We're talking 6.92 miles," Minett said. "That's painful."

Her rent on WestPark Drive jumped 30 percent, but she says it was worth it. "That's how bad the traffic was."
At a very slow pace, cycling 6.92 miles takes just over half an hour.

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