Monday, April 13, 2009

Proposed cuts to the Fairfax Bicycle Program

The Fairfax County Executive is proposing to cut the Bicycle Program operating budget by 45 percent or $170,456 (pdf, page 121). This is money that was supposed to go toward several bicycle pilot projects that would create bicycle facilities in targeted areas.

With the Comprehensive Bicycle Initiative passed in 2006, the county has made progress in providing funding for bicycle activities; now is not the time to cut what little funding is available, especially now that more people are being encouraged to use alternative forms of transportation.

Please write to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to ask them not to cut the bicycle program. Write to the entire Board or individual Board members. Below is text from a message FABB recently sent to the Board:
I am very concerned about the proposed reduction of $170,456 from the Bicycle Program budget, "001-40-137 Reduce Operating Expenses for Bicycle Program". At a time when Fairfax County is trying to reduce their carbon footprint and give transportation options to all of their citizens, these proposed cuts are very short-sighted. For many years the county had no bicycle program and almost no funds were dedicated to bicycle facilities.

The Comprehensive Bicycle Initiative that was begun in 2006 was a good start. The bicycle community is thankful for the recent accomplishments of the bicycle program. However, the momentum that is building for bicycling in the county will be greatly affected by the proposed budget cuts.

I urge you not to make the proposed cuts to the fledgling bicycle program. We should be spending more funds on providing safe facilities for bicyclists, funds that were not available for these facilities in the past.


Bruce Wright
Chairman, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling

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The Restonian blog today posted a piece advocating that the plan for Lawyers Road allowing bike paths be resisted, on the basis that it will impede traffic flow and cause more slowdowns/accidents. According to the blog, "A public hearing will be held next Wednesday from 7-9pm at Langston Hughes Middle School". Judging by the comments, I'd say some local residents will show up ready to contest this plan.
Thanks, Bruce. I sent the entire Board my two cents on the subject...

- Chris (Oakton, VA)
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