Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) is the WABA affiliate spearheading efforts to advance bicycling in the northern Virginia suburbs of Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax.
A key piece of FABB’s advocacy work has been to push Fairfax County to prepare a master plan for improving bike conditions. Such a plan would build on existing information to create a coordinated long-term strategy for the county for developing bicycling facilities, such as a network of trails, bike lanes, and signed routes; bicycling infrastructure, such as parking; and bicycling education and culture. FABB is working with WABA to help develop the bicycle master plan for Fairfax County. FABB serves on the bicycle master plan advisory committee, which started meeting in June 2011. We expect the final plan to be completed in late Spring 2012. WABA and FABB will alert Fairfax cyclists about upcoming meetings.
The Tysons Bicycle Master Plan, the forerunner of the county-wide master plan, was completed in early 2011. The Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings in mid-2011 before the plan is approved, which probably will be later in 2011. WABA and FABB will notify Fairfax cyclists about these hearings, and we encourage everyone to speak out in support of the plan. Once the plan is approved, FABB will work with local officials to ensure the goals of the plan are met.
WABA and FABB are working with various interest groups in the county to enable more children to walk and bike to school. We have met with county school officials to develop a better policy for determining when kids can bike to school. We are working with a school advisory committee to come up with streamlined guidelines for developing Safe Routes to School applications. An initial goal is for Fairfax County schools to celebrate International Walk to School Day in October 2011.
Amenities for cyclists, such as secure long- and short-term places to park in residential, commercial, and retail areas, are important to the bike-friendliness of a community. While Arlington and Alexandria have bike parking standards that developers must follow, Fairfax County still is writing bike parking guidelines, which are supposed to be released as draft in summer 2011. These guidelines need to be finalized and implemented to ensure better bike parking for county residents and visitors.
Most cyclists receive little instruction in safe riding techniques to encourage the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation. Fairfax County residents need access to bicycle safety skill classes, such as confident city cycling and bike commuting seminars. FABB is seeking funding for holding adult bicycle education classes throughout the county. Although the county has a bicycle safety curriculum for elementary school students, the course is not being taught in most elementary schools. WABA and FABB are working with school officials to try to ensure the curriculum is taught in all grade 5 elementary classes.
Statistics on bicycle use in the county are very limited. WABA and FABB are working with VDOT to expand VDOT’s bike count program to collect more information about all bicycle trips in the county, not just bike commuting trips.
Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB)
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Fairfax Bike Listserve
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Fairfax County Bicycle Program
Charlie Strunk (Program Manager)
Fairfax County Department of Transportation
4050 Legato Road, Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22033
Fairfax County Trails and Sidewalks Committee
When: Second Wednesday of every month
Location: Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA
Contact: Chris Wells, Pedestrian Program Manager, FCDOT, 703-877-5772, firstname.lastname@example.org
VDOT NoVa Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
Northern Virginia District
4975 Alliance Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Report a Problem
Fairfax County bicycle line: 703-324-BIKE (2453)
VDOT hotline: 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623)
VDOT online maintenance request: http://www.virginiadot.org/