Friday, January 2, 2009

Loudoun cyclists form advocacy group

A group of bicyclists in Loudoun County recently formed a group to advocate for better bicycling conditions in the county. Their first meeting was held on Dec. 18 with about 16-18 avid cyclists attending. One of their main goals is to have the county designate a dedicated bicycle coordinator staff position. They also formed a Yahoo Group to facilitate their communictation, Bike Loudoun.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Sterling, VA. (map).

See the Loudoun County Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan.

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i say get a 'program manager,' not a 'coordinator.'
i also think they should try to hook up with a pedetrian group, and possibly even a transit group -- might as well get big enough to actually influence someone.
Fairfax Co has a bicycle program manager. It implies that there is a program and there is funding as well.

I disagree that the bike group should include pedestrians and transit users. Their needs are much different. And, there will always be struggle to include the various interest groups in any general statement or goal. As a cyclist, I want to advocate for bicycle facilities, not sidewalks or other pedestrian infrastructure. When I attend a meeting I want to discuss bicyclists and their needs. Otherwise, in my opinion the message gets too watered down.
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I attended the initial meeting and supported the group's consensus to primarily focus on bicycling, while also asking the County to separately give more attention to pedestrian transportation.

Without a dedicated bicycle program, Loudoun is unlikely to advance on-road bicycling accommodations, bike-on-bus access, or bicycle parking facilities. Most likely, Loudoun would merely emulate the historic Fairfax model of specifying sidepaths as its sole bicycle facilities.

As for public transportation, Loudoun County still provides almost no such service, except for a handful of commuter buses.
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