Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Planning Commission unanimously approves bicycle master plan

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted unanimously tonight to approve the county's first-ever Bicycle Master Plan. Thanks to the Commission for their strong support for the plan and to Commissioner Hedetniemi for leading the effort. Thanks to everyone who supported this planning effort over the past five years, especially Supervisor McKay who presented the Board Matter asking staff to begin the planning process. Thanks to everyone who spoke very effectively at the Commission public hearing two weeks ago, and thanks to the 822 people who signed the FABB bike plan petition that we presented to the Commission this week. Thanks also to those who wrote to the Planning Commission in support of the plan.

The final step in the approval process will be adoption by the Board of Supervisors. They will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 28 some time after 3:30 p.m. Several supporters representing a wide range of interests are lined up to speak in support of the plan. We'd like you to join us at the hearing to show your support. We'll post more info about the hearing as we get closer to the 28th hearing date.

Smiles all around after the bike plan vote
The Bicycle Master Plan text consists of 6 chapters. Four of the chapters deal mostly with the physical bike network. Chapters 5 and 6 are Bicycle Program Recommendations and Implementation. Without those elements the plan will fail. While Chapters 5 and 6 were not incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan, they were endorsed in concept and will be part of Appendix 5 of the Transportation Policy Plan. Some changes were made to the plan and map and we hope to post info about those changes in the near future.

We were encouraged by comments made by Commissioner Ulfelder of the Dranesville District who said that Chapters 5 and 6 were key to implementing the plan and to success in the long run, which will require more staff and other resources, including maintenance funds.

We agree. We don't want a plan that will sit on a shelf. Passage of the plan implies that resources will be made available to implement the important recommendations included in the plan.

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