Wednesday, October 3, 2007
 

FABB chairman letter to Senator Cuccinelli

We recently wrote to Senator Cuccinelli to express our concerns about his desire to eliminate bike lanes on Stringfellow Road. He and other local politicians are holding a public meeting on Wed., Oct. 3 at Rocky Run Elementary School, 4400 Stringfellow Rd, Chantilly, VA 20151 (map) at 7 p.m.:
Dear Senator Cuccinelli,

I was very disappointed to hear that you are trying to eliminate on-road bike facilities on Stringfellow Road. As a year-round bike commuter who rides along Stringfellow Road on a regular basis, I strongly support this facility for safe cycling. Most of my cycling on Stringfellow is on the north section from Route 50 to the Fairfax County Parkway. The parkway has a wide shoulder and parellel paved trail. This northern section of Stringfellow is scheduled to be paved in the near future, with Fairfax County funding the paving of the now unpaved shoulder to allow room for cyclists. The proposed section along the southern portion of Stringfellow would connect to this newly paved section, would thus connect to the Fairfax Co Parkway which connects to Springfield in the south and the W&OD Trail and Route 7 in the north.

The state is encouraging more people to save energy. The recently released Virginia Energy Plan (http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/vaenergyplan.shtml) notes that one way to reduce vehicle miles traveled is to implement another major policy: "Virginia should continue to develop its transportation infrastructure to include facilities for no- or low-fuel methods such as walking, bicycling, and small scooters consistent with the Commonwealth Transportation Board's Policy for Integrating Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations." In another section, the report sums up reasons for promoting cycling:

"Alternative Modes - Using low-fuel methods such as bicycling, walking, or small electric vehicles for individual daily commutes. Walking and bicycling are the most fuel efficient forms of transportation. If more people regularly walked and cycled, fuel would be saved, air pollution would be reduced, and less energy would be needed..."

Cyclists will continue to use Stringfellow Road for commuting, going to the library, shopping center, schools, and other destinations because they know that they are safer riding on-road than on inadequate, discontinuous sidepaths where conflicts with motorists are more numerous and dangerous. Providing a mere 3 extra feet of roadway is the least we can do to provide for their safety. We prefer full 5 foot bike lanes but we understand neighborhood concerns and can live with the 3 foot wide curb lanes. I hope you can understand our position.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on this important matter.

Sincerely,

Bruce Wright
Chairman, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

Comments:
I bike on Stringfellow road regularly. I use the trail. I take my daughter down Stringfellow to school in Centreville. The problems I have are poor maintenance of trail (bumps and potholes), and half the crosswalk is missing at the FairLakes intersection.

What is the big deal about on road bike lane? I actually *prefer* to be as far away from the exhaust spewing automobiles as possible. It is harder to breathe nearer the cars unless there is a stiff breeze and the cars are downwind.

Shouldn't we fix the crosswalks, and maybe give bike/peds more priority at the signals? One of the benefits that led me to bike to work every day is to get *away* from the nasty cars. On road lanes seem like a step in the wrong direction.
 
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