Sunday, May 16, 2010

Biking in Tysons

That's the title of an article in the May-June edition of Viva Tysons! magazine. FABB was asked to put together the article on bicycling in Tysons, now and in the future. Hunter and I wrote the article with help from Alan and Chris.
How many of us have sat in traffic and thought, "I could walk there faster than this." In fact, in today's beep and creep standard of car transportation a bike will almost always get you there more quickly for shorter trips. Consider this: A typical bike rider of only moderate fitness can cover five miles in 30 minutes. That makes all of Tysons corner an easy bike ride in 15-20 minutes. Try getting from one end of Tysons to the other in a car any faster and find parking.

That said, we need to do more to help realize the potential of bicycling. With relatively inexpensive accommodations such as signed bike routes, wider car lanes, bike parking and bike lanes bicycling actually becomes a more practical form of transportation than driving. Approximately 40% of all trips are 2 miles or less, an easy bike trip. So with modest improvements, automobile traffic in and around Tysons can realistically be reduced 5-10% or more. Think about how much lighter traffic seems on a summer work-day when a hefty percentage of commuters are on vacation. That's the kind of reduction you can expect almost every day if we make it easier and safer for commuters to dust off their bikes...

Chris French, an information technology professional employed by one of Tysons Corner's largest employers - Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) - commutes each day by bike from his home in Oakton into the heart of Tysons Corner. With no on-road cycling facilities on any stretch of his commute, French practices 'vehicular cycling' - the practice of driving a bicycle on the roadway in a manner that is visible, predictable, and in accordance with the principles for driving a vehicle in traffic.

French rides on Courthouse Road through Vienna, crosses over Route 123 and continues north on Church Street. After traversing Glyndon Park, he continues north across Beulah Road using Creek Crossing Road, and then skirts the edge of the Westwood Country Club as he approaches Tysons from the south.
To read the full article, go to the Viva Tysons! Archived Issues page and click on the May-June Issue (Flash). The article starts on p. 68.

With Bike to Work Day coming up this Friday, May 21, there isn't a better time than now to use your bike for transportation. Many of us do already, but bikes are used for a small minority of trips. As the Gulf of Mexico fills with oil, why not kick the oil habit and leave the car behind and use your bike for as many local trips as you can?

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