Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fairfax Bike Summit—Ideas for Moving Forward

At the Fairfax Bike Summit we asked participants to tell us what they thought Fairfax needs to do to become a more bike-friendly place. These were called Ideas for Moving Forward. We've organized the ideas into categories reflecting the 5 E's, Engineering, Encouragement, Education, Evaluation, Enforcement. We've added a couple of other categories, Maintenance and Advocacy.

CategoryIdea for Moving Forward
EngineeringRt 29 between FFX Co Pkwy and Rt 50: Add paved shoulders with lane markers for bicyclists on both sides of Rt 29. Then area residents can work with the stores to add bike racks, at Costco, Home Depot, etc
EngineeringReduce curb radii in denser developed areas to encourage more walking
EngineeringBicycle highway parallel to Amtrak/VRE line from Burke Centre to DC. It should be grade separated and available 24 hours a day
EngineeringNarrow vehicular travel lanes to 10 or 11' to allow the striping of bike lanes and paved shoulders
EngineeringConcentrate on infrastructure. Push politicians to work!!!
EngineeringBetter lighting on the bike path for bike commuters
EngineeringAdd a put in parking lot at the intersection of Towlston Rd and Rt 7 on both sides. VDOT already has ownership of a small strip on northeast corner.
EngineeringBuild four demonstration projects to attract 30% of citizens to use them with their bikes. The should be high quality and safe
EngineeringIncrease connections between existing routes to enhance safety and practicality. Example: Greely to Cross County Trail via Jensen Dr south of Old Keene Mill Rd
EngineeringWe should try and connect trails and bike lanes better
EngineeringRevive and strengthen VDOT street connectivity standards for new residential developments
EngineeringFocus on connectivity
EngineeringMore bike lanes when repaving. In many cases it's just paint
EngineeringWiden the W&OD trail
EngineeringLower design speeds! The speed limit should be 35 mph or lower within community boundaries with very low exceptions! Neighborhood streets should be designed for speeds 25 mph and lower. We need more traffic calming and narrower streets to discourage speeding
EngineeringLook at principles that Randy Hestr used for urban design and community development
EncouragementProvide quick-wash materials free of charge to employees at companies without showers
EncouragementHelp employees set up event days like bike to work days with incentive programs and safe bike routes
EncouragementEncourage and provide incentives to bike for Fairfax County and Fairfax County Public School employees
EncouragementNeed to hold one or more Fairfax CiclovĂ­a events in which major streets are closed to auto traffic.
EncouragementAdd bicycling as a school sport activity
EncouragementSchedule and promote additional bike summits! At GMU annually and virtually online
EncouragementThrow a party to bring bike friendly streets idea to the general public. Declare a bike friendly street party one weekend or holiday. Close a section of a major road to traffic. Add vendors, music, food, businesses. Start the party with a bike ride.
EncouragementCiclovia events around the county
EncouragementBicycle advocates need to more effectively communicate what we offer: Lower incidences of overweight/obesity, lower public health costs; Favored by young, well-educated workforce employees that add to the tax base; If we get the curious but less experienced residents on bikes it reduces congestion and supports local retail, reduces pressure on WMATA when transportation funding is reviewed as zero sum game, we lose. We need to more effectively communicate what cycling infrastructure can offer Fairfax County.
EncouragementBicycle commuting to schools is absolutely critical. Recommend Fairfax County experiment with providing a bicycle commuter subsidy for kids age 11 onward to increase the motivation to ride a bike and to help pay for the commmunity necessities like bight lights and locks
EncouragementLead and offer tours of bike and ped facilities. Fairfax Co and Fairfax City should have a coordinated effort to promote bike and per use in the area. There are facilities and more people need to be encouraged to use them
EncouragementDo a bike to work week instead of day to encourage new riders
EducationHave some sort of informational booth about bicycling at every farmer's market
EducationImprove bicycle education in schools: All elementary kids should learn how to ride; All high school kids learning to drive should first learn to ride a bike
EducationMore bike education and bike safety classes for adults
EducationSafer paths from southwest Fairfax City to W&OD Trail and Vienna Metro; Advertisement making residents aware of cyclists and to please respect their space; Education for motorists, pedestrians, & cyclists to make them aware of each other & teach them the rules that each should obey.
EducationPost podcasts on your website on upcoming events, meetings, and issues; Organize a kick-start donation for small projects: Bike lane/trail snow plow; striping project - bike counters; maintenance in neighborhoods; Recognize HOA's that are bike-freindly neighborhoods; Recognize principals at schools that promote cycling, including staff and students
EducationWays to engage non-cyclists in traffic conversations
EducationPuch the crowd-sourced mapping for the county as a way to identify problem areas and possible innovative solutions
EducationDevelop and online tool that maps out bike routes in Fairfax City
EducationBicycle awareness campaigns, rules of the road for bicyclists, and information for motorists on how to ineract with bicyclists.
EducationHave a link on main for free paper bike map
EducationTarget libraries, universities, public and private schools, hospitals to distribute bike maps and literature to promote biking. Please link the Bicycle Master Plan with the Fairfax Co Master Arts plan in Tysons Corner and other art venues.
EvalutationSet a clear goal for % of commuter trips made by bikes. Drive improvements and transporation funding support to achieve this goal
EnforcementIncrease enforcement of safe driving, in particular intersections. Why can't we have more traffic cameras to enforce traffic laws? ,Impose tax on off-street parking, and provide off-setting credit for bicycle usage of the facility (mall, office, etc) served by the off-street parking.
EnforcementPromote legislation that would require all motorized vehicles to maintain a minimum distance of 1 meter from cyclists. This is the law in Spain
EnforcementGunston Rd to Mason Neck and Pohick Bay should limit speed to 25-30 mph with signs that infractions result in $150-$250 fines
EnforcementSupport speed and crosswalk cameras within 1.5 miles of schools to slow traffic and promote pedestrian and bicycle safety. It would coincidentally generate revenue for Fairfax County transportation funding. This would require a specific request to Richmond for authority.
EnforcementReplace STOP signs on trail crossings with SLOW signs. Recommend emplacing "slow" signs instead of stop signs at trail crossings. Stop signs do not appear to conform with Virginia law and certainly confuse motorists about who has the right of way as noted in a recent VDOT study. ( reports/Ddf/11-r9.pdf)
EnforcementNo public trails are to be closed at night to bicyclists with lights which meet Virginia Code requirements. Bicyclists without lights should be targeted for fines or at least severely mocked.
MaintenanceBest bang-for-the-buck is street sweeping. There are areas such as Annandale Rd with built up debris and tree limbs left over from Derecho clean-up. Also construction zones leaves nails, screws, etc. on the shoulders. Particularly dangerous at night.
MaintenanceMake some bikeways priorities that are cleaned and plowed of snow and lit when necessary for year around bicycling
MaintenanceCreate maintenance plan for repaving of bike lanes and trails such as Braddock Rd trail and Fairfax Co Parkway trail
MaintenanceWhat efforts can be done to remove bikes abandoned at Metro station bike racks?
AdvocacySummit participants recruit one additional advocate in 2013. It would double participation and double the impact of advocates
AdvocacyAttend FABB meetings and become involved in it's mission



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