MAY-JUNE 2011 FABB NEWS

A periodic publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
Contents

FABB and WABA Join Forces

We are proud to announce that we have joined forces with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). While FABB has been affiliated with WABA since 2005, we are now formal partners. With the approval of the WABA board and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, FABB is now a sponsored project of WABA.

What does this mean? We are now able to work more closely with WABA to advance bike advocacy in Fairfax County, and we can now raise funds specifically for FABB and our efforts targeted in the Virginia suburbs. We are a volunteer organization and have struggled at times to find funding for hosting our website, paying for insurance for group rides, printing promotional materials, purchasing needed equipment, and paying other miscellaneous expenses. Now supporters of FABB can donate to WABA/FABB to help cover some of the cost of these expenses. Donations to FABB are tax deductible. If you would like to support our advocacy work in Fairfax, you can donate by sending a check made out to WABA/FABB to WABA, 2599 Ontario Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20009. We plan to have the capability for on-line donations in the future.

We're excited about this new partnership and look forward to working closely with WABA to expand bicycle advocacy in Fairfax.

Safe Routes to School in Fairfax County Public Schools

FABB considers Safe Routes to School (SRTS) important in advancing cycling opportunities in Fairfax. We have worked with several other parties (the Safe Routes to School DC Network Organizer, Trails for Youth, NoVi Trails Network, and parents) over the past nine months to preach the benefits of children walking and biking to school to Fairfax County Supervisors, School Board members, and several other school organizations.

The result of these meetings has been fairly unanimous support by these organizations for the SRTS Program. In a letter to the County Executive, FCPS Superintendent Dale has agreed to work with the County to identify schools that can most benefit from SRTS, to work with parent organizations to reduce kiss and ride traffic, and to develop a better process for applying for SRTS funds. See the FABB blog for details.

VDOT Six-Year Improvement Program Public Hearing

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will hold a public hearing on the proposed Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP or Six-Year Plan). The SYIP is the long range plan for all major transportation projects in Virginia. The meeting is Wednesday, May 4, at the VDOT District Office Potomac Conference Center, 4975 Alliance Drive, Suite 1N201, Fairfax, VA 22030. The public meeting starts at 7 p.m. This is a chance for cyclists to ask for better bicycle facilities in Northern Virginia.

We are asking for better maintenance of roads and trails, full funding of the Tysons Metrorail Access Improvements, the hiring of a VDOT state bicycle coordinator, and approval of the State Bicycle Policy Plan. The VDOT bike coordinator position has been vacant for nearly a year and a half. See the FABB blog for details. If you cannot attend the public hearing, please provide comments at: six-yearprogram@vdot.virginia.gov.

Tysons Bicycle Master Plan Final Draft Published

The final draft of the Tysons bike plan was recently posted on the County Bike Program site. The plan is the culmination of months of work by the county, bike plan contractor, bicycle advisory committee, and citizens who provided valuable feedback. The plan will be presented to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors this summer. We'll post information about public hearings when it becomes available. Cyclists are encouraged to attend the hearings to speak in support of the plan.

County Bicycle Master Plan Begins This Summer

Fairfax County and their contractor met recently to discuss expanding the Tysons bicycle master plan to the entire county. The contractor is currently analyzing data about the existing road and trail network that was collected as part of the bicycle route map project. The street data includes such factors as street width, speed limit, traffic volume, and pavement condition. Similar data is available for trails.

In July, a bicycle advisory committee will be convened to guide the overall process and provide feedback. The county will be divided into eight subareas based on demographic and economic characteristics. A core group of cyclists in each subarea will provide suggestions and comments on needed facilities and programs. There will also be a number of public meetings to solicit input. The process to develop the plan will last from 1-1/2 to 2 years. As this process moves forward we will provide information about how you can become involved.

Bike to Work Day May 20

This year Fairfax has nine Bike to Work Day events: Reston, Vienna, Herndon, Fairfax Corner, City of Fairfax, Merrifield, Tysons Corner, Springfield, and Burke. Celebrate riding to work; get free food, drinks, and raffle prizes; and enjoy fellowship with other bikers. Register at waba.org.

Bike Commuting Seminars

FABB is offering lunchtime bike commuter seminars for area employers. The seminars discuss reasons to commute by bike, bike selection and fit, bike gear, clothing, and how to find a good bike route. A short video depicts safe riding tips. If you would like your employer to host a bike commuting seminar, contact chairman@fabb-bikes.org. Funding from some of these seminars comes from the Transurban-Fluor Community Grant Program.

Vienna Bike Routes Survey

The Vienna Town Council recently approved a bike route that will eventually extend from the W&OD Trail to the Vienna Metro station. The first segment is a signed route along Locust St and Courthouse Rd.

The Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee is beginning to plan for additional bike routes in the Town. The advisory committee is asking cyclists to give them "feedback on where we need to add bike routes in the Town of Vienna." To do that you can take their Bike Route Survey.

Soapstone Dr Road Diet Public Meeting

VDOT is planning to narrow Soapstone Dr in Reston from four to two lanes from Glade Dr to Sunrise Valley Dr. This will enable them to add bike lanes on Soapstone. These new bike lanes will connect the existing bike lanes on Lawyers Rd, which were created using a similar road diet, to Sunrise Valley Dr and the future Metro station at Wiehle Ave. VDOT will discuss the project at a public meeting on Monday, May 9, at Terraset Elementary School, 11411 Ridge Heights Road, Reston, VA 20191, starting at 7 p.m. FABB encourages cyclists to attend the meeting and speak in favor of the project. It was only with the help of vocal cyclists that the Lawyers Rd project was approved. That project has reduced motor vehicle travel speeds, reduced crashes, and has made the road a much more bicycle-friendly route.

FABB Receives 2011 Alliance Advocacy Award

At the National Bike Summit in DC in March, the Alliance for Biking and Walking presented FABB with the 2011 Alliance Advocacy Award for Innovation for our Guide for Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations for Virginia Bicycling Advocates. The award "goes to an organization that's pioneering or inventing new ways to promote biking and walking." Published in 2010, the "28-page booklet simplifies and streamlines the confusing road design process with easy-to-follow flow charts, handy check lists and explanations that make sense to folks who don't have a masters degree in urban planning."

Events


For more details on above events, see the FABB Events page.


Also check out the WABA events page.


FABB BLOG

For other news and articles of interest, visit the FABB blog.


Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling is a grassroots initiative, affiliated with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, aiming to make bicycling an integral part of Fairfax County's transportation network. Visit us on the web at www.fabb-bikes.org. FABB News provides periodic updates on Fairfax County bicycling issues, along with occasional updates and action alerts on breaking news. We encourage all FABB supporters to join WABA at www.waba.org.

Contact FABB via email: info@fabb-bikes.org

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