Monday, February 22, 2010

Letter to Supervisor Cook

Several outlets have picked up on Supervisor Cook's comments about a bicycle not being a transportation device:We've received copies of many letters to Supervisor Cook from concerned cyclists. We sent the following letter to him, Chairman Bulova, and the supervisor of my district, Supervisor Hudgins:
Dear Supervisor Cook,

As Chairman of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling and a bicycle commuter since moving to Reston in 1979, I'd like to share some statistics regarding non-motorized transportation. While bicycling for transportation is not for everyone, many, many people choose to go by bike in Fairfax, even though our roads are primarily designed for cars. Here are some figures to consider when discussing this mode of transportation:I agree that a small number of people bike to work. Many more could if the county provided places for them to ride, educated them in how to ride, and generally encouraged this mode of transportation.

I don't want to exaggerate your comments. I assume you know that some people use bicycles for transportation, and you were likely noting that it's not always an easy thing to do and not appropriate for many people. Bicycling is a small mode share. However, I think most people would like this to change. We think that in communities where bicyclists are welcome, they indicate the existence of quieter, safer streets that are for everyone, not just motorists.


Bruce Wright
Chairman, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
Update 2/22/2010 8:30pm: We're quite sure the $19M figure quoted in the Washington Examiner article about the Board of Supervisors meeting is incorrect: "In an effort to unclog roadways, the county approved more than $19 million last fall for pedestrian and bike projects through fiscal 2012." We're checking on the figure.


The biggest problem with his statement is that it was in context of discussing improving bike access to a future Reston metro station. People *absolutely* ride their bikes to Metro! The racks at Vienna are constantly packed, as they are at many VA suburban stations. To willfully ignore the fact that people are going to bike to Metro is, well, ignorant.
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