February 2007 FABB NEWS
A Bi-Monthly Publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
Bike Racks on Buses!
The County plans to install bike racks on Connector buses in late fall 2007. The entire fleet will be fitted with racks at one time. New buses will be delivered with the bike racks installed. The current fleet of buses will be retrofitted with racks at the same time.
Many Fairfax bicyclists have stressed the importance of installing bike racks on buses. Having all buses equipped with bike racks expands the options for bike commuting and recreational riding. Fairfax officials are taking quick and timely action on this key issue. Special thanks go to the Director of the Fairfax Connector, Rollo Axton, and Fairfax County bike coordinator Charlie Strunk.
Bicycling and Transit-Oriented Development
Fairfax County is planning to modify the Comprehensive Plan to include language that provides guidelines for future transit-oriented development in the county. This development will be clustered around current and future Metro stations. It will allow residents to bike and walk to transit stations, and nearby stores and jobs. For transit-oriented developments to work, bicycle and pedestrian facilities must be closely integrated throughout the development process.
The subcommittee of the Planning Commission has developed proposed text for the Plan. The text and the county staff report can be viewed at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning/tod.htm. (see subheading Next Steps). Bicycling is mentioned throughout the report. FABB has commented on earlier drafts and is supportive of the proposed text.
We are asking cyclists to attend the Planning Commission public hearing on February 8, 2007, some time after 8:15 pm in the Board Auditorium of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. Sign up to speak. You can also send comments to the Planning Commission.
The following points need to be stressed:
- On-road bicycle facilities must be included in all transit-oriented development projects. All roads in these developments must be bike-friendly.
- Bicycle routes are needed to connect surrounding areas to transit-oriented developments. Bicyclists can travel much farther than pedestrians if they are provided convenient, safe routes.
- Bicycle facilities, especially covered, secure parking, should be included in all residential, retail, and commercial parts of transit-oriented developments. All phases of development should include facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.
The Board of Supervisors will also hold a public hearing on March 12, 2007 at 5:00 pm at the same location.
Fairfax County Bike Map
Although the process has taken longer than originally anticipated, the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the County bike map, which includes inventorying all the roads in the County, is making its way through the system. The draft RFP is undergoing internal review by County staff. Once comments on the draft RFP are incorporated, the final RFP will hit the streets. In the meantime, FABB has produced a draft bike route map that we will share with the county. View the draft map.
Gallows Road Bike Lanes
Another part of the County's bike initiative is a demonstration program of on-road bike routes. This year they are aiming for about a dozen on-road bike routes that can be marked or signed relatively easily without major construction. Surveys indicated that Gallows Road is heavily used by cyclists, and the effort is focusing on putting striped bike lanes or at least signage and "sharrows" along Gallows Road from the W&OD trail to Tysons Corner. If there are other routes that you would like to see, contact county bike coordinator Charlie Strunk at Charlie.email@example.com, and copy FABB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bike Lockers for Rent
Fairfax County is now ready to rent bike lockers at the Reston East and Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride Lots. The lockers have been in place for several years. The county finally has a policy in place to rent them, thanks to county bike coordinator Charlie Strunk. Here is the fee structure: $10 administrative fee, $60 annual rental fee, and $50 key deposit. To encourage use of the lockers, for a limited time the county is waiving the $10 administrative fee and lowering the annual rental fee from $60 to $40. The total first-year cost now is $90, $50 of which is refundable.
The Reston East lot is on Wiehle Ave, very close to the W&OD Trail. The Herndon-Monroe lot is near the Fairfax County Parkway Trail. If you know someone who could use this service, please let them know.
To rent a locker call the county bike line, 703-324-BIKE (703-324-2453). You can also use that number to request on-road bike lanes, report dangerous bicycle conditions, etc.
Clermont Drive Bike Route Signs
On a down note, the County received a request to remove existing bike route signs along Clermont Drive near Alexandria, one of the few routes to the Eisenhower Valley. The County has not taken a position on removing the signs yet. FABB will keep tabs on the situation and will oppose the removal of the bike route.
Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling is a grassroots initiative aiming to make bicycling an integral part of Fairfax County's transportation network. Visit us on the web at fabb-bikes.org.