Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July-August 2014 FABB Newsletter

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A bi-monthly publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

bmpcoverBicycle Master Plan

The final draft of the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan is now available, including quadrant maps showing recommended bike lanes, shared lanes, trails, and other bike facilities. "The plan will determine what steps should be taken to improve the existing transportation system and make Fairfax County bicycle friendly." Before the Plan is adopted by the county, public hearings will be held at the Planning Commission on October 1 and Board of Supervisors on October 28.

The first of three public meetings on the draft plan was held in Reston in June. Dates have not yet been set for meetings in the central and south parts of the county. FABB is encouraging cyclists to show their support for the plan by signing a petition that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors. FABB will lead rides to the public hearings to show our support for the Plan.

Fairfax Board Approves Bike Projects for 2014 Transportation Bond

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved a list of projects to be included on the 2014 Transportation Bond referendum to be held this Fall. The Board is asking residents to approve $100 million in projects of which $6.5 million is for bike projects and $77 million for pedestrian projects. Because the county decided that most bike/ped projects are not eligible for funding with new state transportation funds, the majority of bond projects are bike/ped. The county plans to spend approximately $1.4 billion in transportation projects over the next six years. Bike funding in the bond is approximately 0.46% of $1.4 billion. See the complete list of the bond projects. We encourage county residents to support the Bond in November.

threefeetpleaseThree Foot Passing Law Now in Place

Beginning July 1 Virginia motorists (or more specifically "Any driver of any vehicle") are required to allow three feet when passing a bicyclist. Virginia code 46.2-839 was modified in the 2014 legislative session to increase the passing distance from two feet to three feet. (As of today the code text had not yet been modified.)

Cyclists on trails should also take the three foot passing law into consideration when passing others. While experienced riders may be comfortable being passed by less than three feet, a margin of error should be allowed when passing anyone to allow for any erratic or sudden movements.

Bikesharing is Feasible in Reston

The final results of the Reston Bike Share Feasibility Study were released at a meeting in Reston last week. The consultant, Alta Planning + Design, concluded that bike sharing is feasible in Reston.

Phase 1 would consist of 13 stations with 130 bikes, all but one station located north of the Toll Road, with most in the Reston Town Center area. The station locations were determined based primarily on potential demand and the desire to reduce the space between stations.

The cost of Phase 1 is estimated to be $1.2 million, of which $54K is for Launch (startup costs), $766K for Capital (cost of stations, docks, bikes), and $397K for Operating costs. The final report was delivered to the county on June 30 and the report will be posted on the county bike pages eventually. In the meantime see the FABB blog entry for more details.

Courthouse-bikelanes-VDOTNew Bike Lanes on Courthouse Road

As part of VDOT’s  summer repaving program, Courthouse Road from Route 123 to the Town of Vienna is being reconfigured to include bike lanes. Where the road is too narrow for bike lanes, shared lane markings are being used. Final pavement markings are now being installed. This is a popular bike route that runs parallel to Route 123 between Oakton and Vienna.

Fairfax County Parkway Trail Repair Update

Work continues on the Fairfax County Parkway Trail Repair project. Repairs were made between Route 7 and New Dominion Parkway in Reston. Work crews then moved south and will work their way north from Route 50. They are currently working between Tuckaway Drive and West Ox Road. Check the VDOT Parkway Trail Repair page for the latest status.

Northern Virginia Cycle Fest

One of our special guests at the July 16 FABB meeting will be the organizer of Northern Virginia Cycle Fest, a series of mostly on-road rides in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. "The community is invited to the 5th Annual Northern Virginia Cycle Fest, Sunday, September 14, 2014. The ride, hosted by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV), in partnership with its sponsors, is open to all experienced riders. Set in the fall, riders enjoy the fall temperatures and scenery through the hills of Northern Virginia.

"Four ride options, departing at 7:30am, range from 11 to 62 miles. All rides originate and return to the JCCNV and are designed to be fun and challenging for riders of all levels and experience  — with a suggested minimum age of 12. Riders should be comfortable riding on roads with traffic. All ride options are supported with rest stops, SAG vehicle support, mechanical support, merchant sponsorship and light refreshments. The 2014 ride benefits Wounded Warriors Project and Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). For more information, visit the Northern Virginia Cycle Fest website. Fee: $50/ $45 JCCNV members/ $20 active military and first responders."

W&OD Trail Safety Report Released

The final report on the W&OD Trail safety stakeholder meeting was recently released by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. See our recap of the meeting. Recommendations that are considered feasible in the near future include Trail Signage, Trail Education for Motorists/Users, and Asphalt Treatments/Slow Zones.

Air Quality Alerts from Clean Air Partners

Now that summer has arrived, ozone levels tend to rise in the DC Metro area. Clean Air Partners is a regional air quality organization that offers AirAlerts, free, daily air quality notifications that inform recipients when the air quality forecast will be unhealthy and when it hits an unhealthy level (Code Orange or Red) in real-time.

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