Friday, January 11, 2008

NVTA public hearing update

About 20 speakers testified before the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority at their public hearing last night. Several people mentioned the need for better bicycle and pedestrian facilities in N. Va. There was a great deal of support for the proposed transit improvements that are on the project list. Overall, the Authority seems to be doing a good job of including many transit projects. However, there are almost no on-road bike projects on the Six Year Plan (pdf); we calculated that 0.06% of the money is going to on-road routes, those proposed in Falls Church. Full text of FABB testimony.

NVTA logo
We did learn an important fact, that the subject of the hearing was only for the projects in the Six Year Plan. These projects are the Regional projects that receive 60% of the new revenue. The other 40% is allocated to the jurisdictions based on population. Of that 40%, half is designated for urban and secondary roads, the other half for projects from the long range plan, TransAction 2030 or transit. We are waiting to see the list of projects from Fairfax County. We are told that it will include several on-road bike routes.

I see two problems. 1. The bicycle community needs to develop some Regional, cross-jurisdictional on-road bike routes that can be included in the future NVTA 60% Regional project list. 2. Those projects should be part of TransAction 2030. However, the bike projects in TransAction 2030 are based on those in the NOVA Regional Bikeway and Trail Network Study, which in Fairfax County is based on the Trails Plan (large pdf). While there are some on-road bike routes in the Trails Plan, the plan is out of date. A major goal of FABB is to update the Trails Plan, removing the on-road bike routes from the plan and including them in the Transportation Plan (large pdf) where they belong. Updates to the plan will be based on results of work being done now to produce the county bike map.

Actually, there is another problem. Is there something missing from the above NVTA logo?

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