Friday, January 2, 2015

FABB 2014 Year in Review

2014 was a banner year for bicycling in Fairfax County. The county adopted their first-ever bicycle master plan which will guide the development of bicycle facilities, programs, and policies for the next 10-20 years. Below is a summary of major bike-related events during the past year.

Bicycle Master Plan adopted

At their October 28 meeting the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the county's first-ever bicycle master plan. The plan is now officially incorporated into the Transportation component of the Comprehensive Plan. This is a major accomplishment for FABB and will guide development of bicycling in the county for the next 10-20 years. See our coverage of the bicycle master plan approval process.

Funding for bike projects approved by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors 

For the first time in many years the Board of Supervisors committed to spending $204 million over the next six years for pedestrian and bicycle projects of which about $40 million is for bike projects. While specific funding sources have not been identified for all projects, the Board is committed to finding those funds.

The major bike-related projects included on the list are: Old Keene Mill Road Bike Shoulders ($9 million), Route 236 Corridor Improvements (bike lanes, wide curb lanes, bike shoulders, $7.5 million), Scotts Run Stream Valley Trail ($3 million), Cinderbed Road Bikeway ($4 million), Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail) ($6.5 million), Mason Neck Trail ($5 million), and improvements to Holmes Run Stream Valley Trail ($1.5 million).

Bike/Ped projects in Transportation Bond overwhelmingly supported by voters

In November 72% of Fairfax voters agreed to fund $100 million in pedestrian, bicycle, and some road projects. While only 6% of those funds were earmarked for bicycle projects, cyclists will likely also use many of the pedestrian projects.

Silver Line opens; cyclists flock to Wiehle station bike room

In July the five Fairfax Silver Line stations opened along with the county's first secure bike room at Wiehle station. Biking to the Wiehle and McLean stations was popular from the start, with free parking at the Wiehle station filling during the first week and the McLean station racks also heavily used. WMATA placed additional bike parking at the McLean station. Metro service along the Dulles corridor is having a major impact on redevelopment and on how residents get around. See FABB's Bicycling and the Silver Line page for links to bike routes to the stations.

NVRPA plows W&OD Trail

For the first time, NVRPA cleared snow on major sections of the W&OD Trail. In other W&OD trail news, NVRPA released a W&OD Trail safety report in June. NVRPA also completed a connector trail from the W&OD Trail to Meadowlark Gardens Botanical Park.

VDOT conducts repairs on Fairfax County Parkway trail

For the first time that we're aware of VDOT devoted extensive resources to repairing the Fairfax County Parkway Trail. FABB has advocated for repaving of the trail for several years. While only portions of the trail are being repaved, the entire length of the trail has been evaluated by VDOT and repaving and repairs are being made as needed.

VDOT also installed wayfinding signage on the Parkway trail detour in the Fair Oaks area. In other trail repair news, Fairfax County completed repairs of the Ashgrove Trail, a bicycle connection to the Spring Hill Silver Line station. If you know where other trail safety improvements are needed, use the new Pedestrian Safety Improvement Request Tool to identify them.

Route 7 bridge over Dulles Toll Road to include grade-separated trails

The Route 7 bridge over the Dulles Toll Road will be replaced and the current design includes trails on each side of the road with ramp crossings that are separated from high speed traffic. FABB and other potential trail users advocated for this design from the early stages of the project. We are also advocating for a similar treatment for the proposed trail along Route 123 under the Beltway.

Three foot passing bill adopted by Virginia

After several failed attempts, the three foot passing bill was approved by the VA Senate and House by wide margins. The law went into effect on July 1. Several other bicycle-related bills failed. VBF's 2015 legislative agenda has not yet been made public.

Bike lanes installed on Sherwood Hall Lane and Courthouse Road

As part of the repaving of Sherwood Hall Lane and Courthouse Road, VDOT reconfigured the road to reduce some on-street parking and add bike lanes along most of Sherwood Hall Lane between Fort Hunt Rd and Route 1 and on Courthouse Rd in Vienna from Route 123 to Nottoway Park. Cyclists spoke out in support of the Sherwood Hall Lane project which was approved despite some local opposition. When bicyclists attend meetings and show their support it makes a difference.

Bikesharing is feasible in Reston

According to the Reston Bike Share Feasibility Study, a bike sharing system is feasible in Reston, implemented in two phases. Phase 1 would consist of 13 stations with 130 bikes, with all but one station located north of the Toll Road. Most proposed stations would be located in the Town Center area. The station locations were determined based primarily on potential demand and the desire to reduce the space between stations. The county received $400,000 from MWCOG to begin implementing the system.

Bicycle access through Ft. Belvoir completed

The primary bicycle route through Ft. Belvoir, Woodlawn Road, was closed after 9/11. Since that time bicycle access through the facility has been difficult. With the opening of Jeff Todd Way/Mulligan Road, bike access has been restored.

Bike to School Day and other Safe Routes to School events

Bike to School Day continues to grow in Fairfax, especially in Vienna and Reston. A Safe Routes to School Workshop was led by Mark Fenton, nationally known expert on public health and active transportation. Mark also was the featured speaker at the county's Healthy Communities by Design Summit.

Route 50/Arlington Blvd Trail Concept Plan released

WABA published the Route 50/Arlington Blvd Trail Concept Plan which outlines the creation of a connected bike trail along Route 50 from Arlington to Fairfax City.



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  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

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