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Fairfax Cycling Advocates Jealous of Arlington?

by ARLnow.com May 12, 2010 at 8:58 am 1,338 4 Comments

Fairfax County may be a bit jealous of Arlington’s bike friendliness.

With bike travel growing in both counties, one Fairfax cycling advocate is saying publicly that his county should take Arlington as an example and go farther than just paying lip service to bike-related concerns.

“Somehow Arlington was able to find $1 million a year for their bike program,” Bruce Wright lamented to the Fairfax Times. If Fairfax County leaders truly cared, “they would find the money to fund it.”

The article goes on to cite Arlington and Portland, Ore. as inspirations for bike-friendly policy making in urban areas.

A group called Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling “would like to see increased requirements or incentives for office buildings to include bike parking and shower facilities to accommodate bicycle commuters, similar to Arlington County,” the article says.

Arlington has 113 miles of bike lanes and trails.

  • MB

    Now now. No need to pour salt in the wound. 🙂 Bruce and Fairfax County staff have pulled off some impressive things, despite near-zero resources (see, for example, the CCT trail).

    The reality is that Arlington has been far more forward-looking on matters of transportation than Fairfax has been. Further, Fairfax has to contend with elected politicians that are blatantly anti-cycling, whereas Arlington has enjoyed explicit support from county board members for some time.

    On the other side, Arlington still has many places where it could improve – like a useful north-south connection, improved intersection markings, and allocation of more resources to maintaining trails like the Custis. It’s important that those that cycle in Arlington make their voices heard on these issues. If you’ve got an issue – let the county know. If you appreciate something that’s been done – let the county know.

    Chair, Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee

  • Arlington support of biking and bike commuting is * HOT *

  • Fat Kid.

    If you’ve ever been to Portland, Seattle or almost any European city – you know that Arlington still has a long way to go. Significantly more funding and planning is required in addition to cyclist and driver education, not to mention a complete change of attitudes by everyone on the roads.

    Cyclists here do not follow traffic signals, weave dangerously in traffic and often ride on the sidewalk. Drivers generally don’t give a poop about people on bikes, viewing them as second class citizens/commuters and don’t give them space or yield when required. Also – Arlington’s idea of bike routes is a joke and a danger to public safety. You can’t simply block of 3 feet of road with white paint and consider it a bike path, which seems to be the County’s approach. Several of the county’s routes are simply unsafe for all but the most experienced cyclists, even then it’s a bit of a crapshoot depending on the time of day and traffic situation.

    Here’s a link to Portland’s bike map – it’s full of safe routes, mostly on side streets, while also being extremely commuter friendly.

  • Yes, we in Fairfax are jealous of Arlington Co when it comes to providing bike facilities and promoting bicycling as a transportation option through Bike Arlington. At a time when most other communities are doing more for bicyclists and bicycling, Fairfax is going in the opposite direction.

    I do think that the majority of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors supports bicycling, but they really haven’t made adequate resources available. However, a couple of members of the Board are opening against spending resources on bicycling, and their opposition is creating problems.

    We’re also hindered by the fact that VDOT controls almost all of our roads.

    I do enjoy the fact that the banner ad I see at the top of this page is sponsored by Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (and that when I first clicked on the EDA link it was broken; it seems to be working now).


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