Completing the Spring Street path

July 10th, 2011

Completing the pedestrian path along Spring Street in Herndon is on my personal want list. This would allow Town of Herndon residents to walk along Spring street and safely reach the existing path that continues under fairfax county parkway to Target and the restaurants on the North side of Sunset Hills. At the last Herdon PBAC meeting I heard that a new joint project between Town of Herndon, VDOT and Fairfax county had been started and has a possible completion date in early 2012. The sidewalk will be an ADA required 5-foot sidewalk to fit within the existing right-of way. I am looking forward to finding out more information as the plans progress. I wonder if there is an opportunity to improve bike access as well.

Fairfax Snow Summit

March 13th, 2010

I posted the following on

I bike at least 2-3 times a week from Herndon to Tysons Corner, except after it snowed. Since the snow I have biked once, because the clearing snow for cars has take priority over other forms of transport, in fact the snow clearing for cars has had a negative impact on peoples ability to walk, bike or take a bus. During snow clearing side walks are used as a dumping area for snow from roads, huge piles of snow are formed at cross walks forcing pedestrians to walk on roads that are already narrow from snow on the roads. Bike paths were not cleared and bus stops had 4 foot high snow piles making the dangerous to use. I tried crossing the toll road using Wiehle Ave, and was forced to turn back because of a 10 foot snow mound on the bridge blocking the path. which was created by VDOT clearing Wiehle.

I see a huge amount of money being spent of clearing roads for cars, but I don’t see any focus on clearing roads to allow people to use mass transit. We should be focusing on creating snow routes that are chosen based on there use Transit not cars. We should then make it a priority to clear side walks and bike paths to allow people to forgo using their car and walk or bike to a transit line, where they can take mass transit. We should be focusing on clearing side walks to allow children to walk safely to school.

Notes from October 28th Herndon PBAC meeting

November 5th, 2009

The Town of Herndon Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee meets approximately every 2 months, next meeting is January 13th

Bike Racks,

Town of herndon reported that they have secured 16 inverted U bike racks from a fairfax county CMAC Grant, Parks and Rec have requested additional Green inverted U bike racks for use in parks.

Town of Herndon also has approximated $5000 to spend on post and ring bike racks that will be used in downtown preservation area.

We spent a lot of time discussing the location of bike racks, if you have any suggestions for locations in the Town of Herndon please leave a comment and I will send that feed back in. The major areas we looked at were bike racks close to the W&OD trail, Bike Racks at the library, then other bike racks dotted around close to businesses. The general rules for placement would be (space permitting) close the entrance of major buildings like the town offices and library, if no space is available then alternative locations could be used but signage should be added to direct people to bike racks

Also discussed street furniture like this example from Hungary 1 and 2

Transportation Enhancement Grant,

The Town of Herndon asked for support in the form of letters for money from the Federal T21 (Transportation Act of the 21 St Centrury), this is money that goes from Federal to state, then VDOT recommends projects to get funding. They are looking for support for Phase 2 of the Elden Street Scape project, which would be from Approximately Jimmy’s to Monroe Street. Unfortunately  nothing is in the plans for bike lanes on Elden due to space, however money from previous grants was used to install automated cross signals.

Future Projects,

Herndon is looking at Bike and Pedestrian connections to the furture Herndon Metro station. One possiblity is to extend the Sugarland Run trail to the North Metro drop spot. The other Trail  mentioned was extending the Folly Lick/Spring Branch Trail to the W&OD and the down to the Metro Station. This Trail is on the Wash COG (Washington Council of Government) unfunded list.

Downtown Master Plan

Herndon is holding public meetings were you can meeting on the Master plan on the 18th and 19th of november. This would be a good opertunity to review bike and pedestrian facilities for the future downtown redevelopment.

Bike to Work Day,

Town of herndon has expressed interest in hosting a bike to work pit stop.

Herndon Festival,

We discussed the possibility of providing bike Valet Service at the Herndon Festival, Ideally we would like it to be sponsored as part of the main event.

Can you survive with only one car?

December 27th, 2008

The choice to have a car is personal one,  I grew up in a two car family, but do you really need a two huge cars? I know people who have gone out and bought a new SUV because they were having a baby, on pressing a little more, it turned out the the stroller wouldn’t fit in the old car, which seems a little odd to me. For our family the only reason we have two cars, is that both are paid off and not costing us anything other than fuel and insurance, but we have made the commitment to walk and bike more. This year I have biked over 1400 miles while commuting to work and I intend on continuing that trend.

Faab recently posted a story about one less car in Virginia and how Paul  made the choice to sell the family’s second car which echos the bike manufacture Trek‘s message of biking any trip under 2 miles with their 1 world 2 wheels program. They hope to increase the number of trips taken in the U.S. by bike from the current 1% to 5% by 2017.

When we look at other reasons why people have two cars, a common reason is to ferry their children back and forward to school.  20%  to 25&%  of morning rush hour traffic is attributable to parents driving their children to school. We should be looking at is how to create safe routes to our schools, especially for those living within two miles of their school where bike trains or creating a walking school bus is possible. This would also reduce our reliance on the need for the 1700 school buses in Fairfax county which is facing painful choices on how to cut it’s budget.

Obama for public transit

December 21st, 2008

A Greater Greater Washington Post echoed my concerns I had when I heard coverage of Obama’s stimulus package.

As a country we need to be looking towards the future. To make the US better we need to be thinking smart about the money we invest in transportation projects. We should be looking at ways to move more people in less space, and we need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. We should be looking at building an integrated transit system that combines high speed inter city rail links, with regional commuter lines, local buses with dedicated lanes in congested areas, and biking facilities to accommodate biking from you home to the closest transit hub. With all this we can be a country where we can be one or no car family.

Instead I hear this

“[W]e will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.”

So we get more bridges with more lanes, creating more pollution, more accidents, and more deaths.

Where is the change in that? That just sounds like the status quo to me.

CVS to sell Metro Smartrip Cards

December 21st, 2008

As of the 23rd of December you will be able to buy a SmarTrip card from 190 CVS locations in the DC, MD, and Washington area. The cards will be available for $10 which include $5 which can be used for fares for Bus and Metro Trips as well as Metro parking. You can also purchase the cards at Metro Stations and select Giant Stores.

You can add value to the card at either a fare machine at a Metro station or using the fare box on a Metrobus. I am assuming that you can also add money to you card using the fareboxes on the regional buses that accept SmarTrip.

Should we have rapid bus lanes?

December 4th, 2008

Greater Greater Washington has an article up on why we should add rapid transit bus lanes.

WMATA believes that the future of Greater Washington’s transportation rests on priority bus corridors throughout the region, like the MetroExtra (#79) bus from Silver Spring to downtown DC. With Metrorail running out of capacity by 2030 and serious core expansion costing billions, Metro sees rapid buses as the best chance for a real capacity boost.

This has been adopted in many countries include the UK where I grew up, and if the DC area can move away from a car focused transport policy, then rapid bus lanes might actually become a reality.

Silver line passes another hurdle

December 4th, 2008

The Dulles Rail Silver Line extenstion passes another hurdle by getting the sign off from the FTA for the federal contribution of 900 million to the $1.63 billion needed to build the first stage of the Metro rail extension out to Dulles Airport.

Metro has also started procurement of 64 new 7000 series metro rail cars that will look significantly different from the existing fleet. The rail cars would have a stainless steel exterior. The exterior brown paint and stripes would be gone. The Fiberglass seats would be replaced with stainless steel ones and carpet would be eliminated. They are also considering interactive linear maps, and automated announcements stating the station names. While I am all for the automated announcements, I remember the 6000’s doing it when they first started rolling out, so why don’t they do it now?

With the silver line looking like it might actually be built Track Twenty Nine has some very interesting diagrams on the capacity issues the Silver line will create at Rosslyn Station.

Metro is considering routing some blue line trans across the bridge to DC rather than going to Rosslyn as they currently do. When you add the silver line in the rosslyn tunnel it doesn’t look like metro will have any other choice than to reduce the blue line service to the station unless they expand or build another tunnel into DC.

High speed rail link between DC and Baltimore

November 2nd, 2008

Seems I am not the only person that thinks that we should have a high speed rail link between DC and Baltimore. I didn’t realize that Baltimore and DC were seriously considering building a Maglev high speed rail link between the two.

The project was chosen in 2001 as one of two finalist for the future development of a magnetic levitation technology rail link. If the 40 miles are completed it would take 18 minutes to travel between the cities.

The Baltimore Business journal is reporting that $15 million may become available from the Federal Government to continue working on the BW Maglev project, however it is not clear that Maryland and DC have money spare to match the funds being released.

Morning Commute

October 31st, 2008

Not my commute, but I do something similar by biking to the park and ride then the 980 bus to West Falls Church then on to DC.

Here is my timelapse from DC through georgetown to West Falls Church