Monday, September 2, 2013

Vienna disbands Bicycle Advisory Committee

At their June 17 meeting the Vienna Town Council disbanded the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee. According to the Sun Gazette, the council "agreed to disband the Vienna Transportation Safety Commission’s (TSC) bicycle advisory committee and a soon-to-be-formed pedestrian committee, saying their functions would overlap."

While there is some overlap between a bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee, bicycle facilities are often very different than pedestrian facilities. In a town like Vienna with many urban sidewalks and few sidepaths, cyclists generally ride on the road, with the major exception of the W&OD Trail. As former chairman of the county Trails and Sidewalks Committee, it's been my experience that combining the two interest groups does not work well. It's difficult for pedestrians, who may not even ride a bicycle, to make decisions that affect cyclists.

The committee is to be commended for developing a number of bicycle routes in the town. They promoted bicycle safety with bike rodeos and safety events, and they did great work getting good bike parking in some of the shopping centers. We're hoping that the bicycle advisory committee is reinstated soon.

Despite not having a BAC, the other day we noticed new wayfinding signs in Vienna. The photo on the right shows the one sign that we noticed at Center St and Locust St where one of the designated routes starts. It points to the Community Center, Downtown, and the W&OD Trail.

To be effective, there needs to be a dense network of route signs leading cyclists to major destinations. The sign in the photo is the only one that we saw. It's a good start and we assume many more signs are coming. Approximately 80 signs were recently placed in McLean that cyclists can use to navigate that town.

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