NOVEMBER 2009 FABB NewsA periodic publication of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling
FAIRFAX BOARD OF SUPERVISORS SUPPORTS BICYCLE MASTER PLAN
At the October 5th meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay presented a motion to "endorse the concept only at this stage of a bicycle master plan. He asked that the Department of Transportation investigate the cost of such a plan and provide a longer term recommendation to the Board for the possible funding and development of a plan." The motion passed unanimously. This is an important first step toward the development of the County's first ever Bicycle Master Plan. The next hurdle is finding funding sources for the plan.
BICYCLE LIGHT GIVEAWAY
FABB recently received a grant from the Transurban and Fluor Community Grant Program for the Capital Beltway Project to purchase bike lights to be given to area bicyclists. Riding at night without lights can be very dangerous. Reflectors are not enough, especially when two cyclists without lights meet on an unlit trail. We will be giving out the first batch of free bike lights to cyclists at two locations. Lights will only be available for those who show up with their bike. Limit 1 set per person:
- Tuesday, November 3, W&OD Trail and Gallows Road, Time: 4:30-6:00 pm
- Sunday, November 8, Annandale United Methodist Church, 6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale, near Gallows Road, Time: 1:00-4:00 pm
During the coming months we'll be at various locations around the county offering lights to cyclists riding without them. Lights flier.
BICYCLING ADVOCATE'S ENGINEERING WORKSHOP
Fionnuala Quinn of FABB will conduct a workshop, sponsored by Bike Loudoun, designed to assist those who want to play a constructive role, and make suggestions for change during the design of new road facilities in Virginia. Learn how to engage with the public hearing process and make the type of comments that can bring change. The workshop is on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 6-8:30 pm at the Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Sterling. Contact Pat Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Maria Nicklin (email@example.com) of Bike Loudoun for more information.
The workshop is an outgrowth of a grant received by FABB from the Alliance for Biking and Walking to develop a handbook to help bicycling advocates understand how to best influence and play a constructive role during the design of new facilities. The handbook is scheduled to be published next year. Workshop flier.
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL GRANT PROGRAM TO FIGHT OBESITY
In the last newsletter we discussed a CDC report entitled Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States. The report lists specific recommendations for preventing obesity, including development of facilities to enhance bicycling. The CDC recently announced a grant program, "Communities Putting Prevention to Work" which will fund community activities that will help reduce obesity and tobacco use. FABB is working with county health officials to develop a grant application. We are proposing that the application include funds for several bicycle-related efforts: the Bicycle Master Plan, a Safe Routes to School pilot program, and a network of signed bicycle routes. Alliance for Biking and Walking has put together a list of suggestions for bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs.
TOWN OF VIENNA BICYCLE NEWS
The Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee held its first meeting on Oct. 15, 2009. The committee was formed to review changes to the Vienna Bikeway Plan and to discuss ideas for making Vienna a more bicycle-friendly community. The meeting was well-attended by an enthusiastic group of Vienna cyclists. When minutes become available we'll post a link on our blog.
In September FABB met with the Vienna police. The meeting was a follow-up to concerns expressed by FABB members about the recent proposal to modify the Town Bikeway Plan to require bicyclists who ride on the sidewalk to stop at all intersections and road crossings.
We discussed several ways to get cyclists off the sidewalks: Printing and distributing the Vienna Bikeway Map so that cyclists know about on-road alternatives to riding on Maple Ave and Nutley St., and creating a network of signed bike routes.
We asked that any education or enforcement efforts, including the new Vienna Eye-to-Eye campaign, be directed at both motorists and cyclists. We support better enforcement of "right turn on red" violations and other blatant violations, including those by cyclists, as long as cyclists and pedestrians are not targeted exclusively. The police assured us they would treat everyone equally. Thanks to the Vienna police for reaching out to FABB.
MEETING WITH CITY OF FAIRFAX POLICE
FABB also met with City of Fairfax Police Chief Rick Rappoport and Sargent Pam Nevlud to provide comments on the city's new bicycle safety website. FABB asked that the website put less stress on the dangers of cycling and more on the many positive aspects of cycling. Bicycling is no more dangerous than many other common activities. In fact, the health benefits of cycling outweigh the dangers. We discussed the importance of bicycle education at all levels and we plan to co-sponsor a bike rodeo with the police in the spring.
TOP BIKE PROJECTS FROM FABB SURVEY
Back in August we tallied the responses to a survey of rider demographics and opinions posted on the FABB website. One of the questions on the survey was "What are the top two or three roads or stretches of road in Fairfax County that are in need of bicycle accommodations? (Lanes, route signs, wider road lanes or paved shoulders, etc.)." We have just finished summarizing those responses. Most are major roads with a great potential for bike commuter traffic. Most lack basic bike accommodations. The Fairfax Co Parkway trail is incomplete and very poorly maintained.
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We've included some of these projects in our list of the Top 10 county bike projects. We've shared the list with county and VDOT staff.
- November 3, 2009, Tuesday - Bike Light Giveaway at W&OD Trail and Gallows Road, 4:30-6:00 pm. Pick up a set of lights on your way to the polls.
- November 5, Thursday - Bicycling Advocate's Engineering Workshop, from 6-8:30 pm, Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Sterling.
- November 8, 2009, Sunday - Bike Light Giveaway at Annandale United Methodist Church, 6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale, near Gallows Road, 1:00-4:00 pm, Cascades Library Sterling, 21030 Whitfield Place, Sterling, VA.
- November 18 & 19, 2009, Wednesday & Thursday - Herndon Downtown Master Plan meetings. Provide input for a bicycle-friendly downtown Herndon.
- December 5, 2009, Saturday - Bicycle Film Festival comes to DC.
See WABA events page at http://www.waba.org/events/
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. If you would like to unsubscribe to the newsletter, send a message to .