Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Herndon approves bike plan

The Herndon Town Council approved the bicycle facility recommendations of their Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. Those recommendations were based on the county bicycle master plan:
The Herndon Town Council approved bicycle facilities for inclusion in the Fairfax County Bicycle Plan by a five to two vote at their Aug. 14 meeting. Fairfax County commenced planning for bicycle facilities in the comprehensive plan about a year ago. They included incorporated towns Herndon, Vienna and Clifton so there would not be gaps in the network of trails.

"I think we have an opportunity here to be forward thinking and move forward with multi-modal [transportation] options, we’ve got Metro coming, we want our downtown more walkable," Mayor Lisa Merkel said. "Now is the time to plan for the very long term, for 20 years with Metro here and more and more of people moving here, maybe with one car or even no car, that we’re ready for that."
See our report on the earlier public hearing. Voting in opposition were Councilmember Charlie Waddell and Vice Mayor Connie Hutchinson. The term "sharrows" was removed from the recommendation which is probably OK:
"[The facilities] might be a sharrow, it might be a sign that says bicyclists can use a full lane, or, since this will be active at some point in the future, might be additional devices or signs to raise awareness or show changes," Gilleran said. "We’re leaving it open, because it’s long range items. A sharrow does not provide any changes to laws on the books, does not add additional rights, it is just a sign to increase awareness of cycles."
Sharrows are more than "a sign to increase awareness of cycles." They also indicate where cyclists should ride to avoid the door zone and other hazards. Other treatments are possible, including bike lanes or lane or road diets.

This is a first, major step toward Herndon becoming a bicycle-friendly community.

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