FABB Tysons Plan Comments

Fairfax County Planning Commission Public Hearing
Bruce Wright
April 21, 2010

Good evening. My name is Bruce Wright and I served as a member of the Tysons Task Force. I also represent many bicyclists in the county. First I want to commend county staff for their hard work assisting the task force and developing planning text from task force recommendations. As a task force member I appreciated their help, hard work, and dedication to development a new plan for Tysons. The county is fortunate to have them as employees.

In general I support the plan language. The proposed plan recognizes that for Tysons to succeed in the future, there is a limit to accommodating more single occupant vehicle trips in Tysons. However, when we make decisions about the future transportation infrastructure based on the level of service for motorized traffic, it is too often at the expense of improved level of service for all other modes, which are currently failing. Using a multimodal LOS would address this concern.

The plan has good provisions for bicyclists throughout Tysons with the exception of the two main boulevards where the majority of future residents and employees will travel, the sections of Routes 7 & 123 where the stations are located. Having no bicycle facilities on these Route 7 will lead to inevitable conflicts with pedestrians and motorists, that will need to be fixed in the future. I hope it's not too late to tame these roads and make them truly complete streets.

Regarding funding of the transportation infrastructure, there are no planned bicycle facilities listed on Table 8 of the Plan text nor in the March 3, 2010 presentation to the PC Tysons Committee. In a way this is a good thing. The advantage of having all modes integrated as part of complete streets is that there is less need to single out individual modes. However, in the first phases of development the grid of streets will not be complete and there will be limited bike facilities.

The county is embarking on a Tysons bicycle plan and I think we should prepare for implementation of the initial phases of that plan, and it should be included in Table 8. There are several low-cost measures that can be taken now: Restriping existing roads, installation of wayfinding signs, more bike parking, and construction of connections to and from surrounding neighborhoods. These could all be accomplished in the near term but not unless they are identified and funded. I suggest a line item in Table 8 to indicate this need.

A comment on the proposed zoning amendment. It contains extensive language regarding motor vehicle parking, including specific off-street parking recommendations on page 21, but nothing about bike parking. There are bicycle parking guidelines contained in the plan language and I think these should be included in the proposed zoning language.

Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments.

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.

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

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