Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ULI survey shows broad support for biking and walking

The DC chapter of the Urban Land Institute recently surveyed their members on their attitudes toward walking and biking. According to the Post article Real estate survey shows broad support for biking and walking commutes, "Almost everyone — 96 percent — said the region would be better off if more people walked or rode bicycles to work, and 86 percent said they expect that trend to grow significantly in coming years."

People are driving less, especially young people, and they want to live in walkable, bikeable communities. This survey of real estate professionals shows that they get it; building places where we can safely bike and walk for short trips is popular and economically successful.

The survey also noted that local governments are not doing enough to support this trend.
Only about half of survey respondents — 49 percent — said local governments were doing enough to support biking and walking, and only 20 percent said employers were doing enough. Among the most popular suggestions for improvement were more bike lanes, sidewalks and trails (49 percent); increased public and private funding (22 percent); employer-based incentive programs (10 percent); and more legislation and enforcement of drive, pedestrian and biker rules (9 percent).

Rother said she expects to see owners and managers of office buildings in urban areas begin to offer more incentives for bike commuters, including private bike rentals for employees and bike repair stations.
While we are marking some progress in Fairfax with dedicated funds for bike and ped improvements near the new Silver Line Metrorail stations, progress is much too slow. The Tysons Bicycle Master Plan was completed over two years ago and has still not been adopted by the Board of Supervisors. The same is true of the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan that was completed over a year ago.

The Board of Supervisors needs to fund the bicycle program, increase the number of staff devoted to bicycling, and increase funding, and priority of bicycle infrastructure projects, or Fairfax will not be able to compete with places like Arlington, Alexandria, and the District.

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I agree -- and the business community needs to understand how supporting bike infrastructure will benefit them as well!

See: No, Bike Lanes Don't Hurt Retail Business


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