Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cool Counties initiative

Fairfax County has partnered with several other large counties and the Sierra Club to develop the Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration. The Sierra Club will soon have more information about this initiative as part of their Cool Cities website. Fairfax County is committed to reduce global warming emissions 80 percent by 2050, an average annual reduction of 2 percent.

One way for the county to succeed is to start using bicycles for more trips. County staff could use bikes to conduct some field visits. More employees could be encouraged to bike to work, possibly using financial incentives. Better bike facilities in the county would allow more people to use their bikes for transportation. At least half of all trips we take are 5 miles or less, some of which are idea for using a bicycle. Even when hauling groceries or other items, bike trailers could be used.

Charlie Strunk, the County Bike Coordinator, is trying to implement a program for using small folding bicycles donated by bikes@vienna to ride between office buildings at the Government Center in Fair Oaks. The buildings were so poorly planned that many employees drive the few blocks between them. If they were built today, they would be located on the street, with parking in the rear. Instead, they are set back a long distance from the street, with parking in front. Charlie is not having much luck due to bureaucratic hurdles, but it's a step in the right direction.

Let Chairman Connolly and your county supervisor know that you support their initiative and that it should include better facilities for bicyclists so that we can help reduce global warming emissions by riding our bikes more.

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  Bike to Work Day 2004 at Reston Town Center

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