Archive for the ‘Bicycling’ Category

Notes from October 28th Herndon PBAC meeting

Thursday, 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?

Saturday, 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

Sunday, 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.

Morning Commute

Friday, 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

Maryland Proposing a network of interconnected trails

Friday, October 31st, 2008

On a more positive note Maryland is proposing a series of interconnected dual use trails through out the state. Wash Cycle has the scoop

This summer, Maryland started a plan that would establish a safe, accessible and fully interconnected network of “dual-use” trails across Maryland.

Read more about the trails at the Baltimore Sun and the Maryland DOT sites

Looking for a new commute

Monday, October 27th, 2008

While working in DC I was able to to put my bike on the 980 bus in Herndon and then bike from West Falls Church to DC. While traveling in China last month my contract came to an unexpected screeching halt. So I now find my self looking for a new job and as a byproduct a new commute.

The Strongest contender at the moment is in Tysons Corner, but they don’t have shower facilities which will officially suck in the summer.

So now I am looking for the best way to get there by bike. My first thought was W&OD trail from Herndon to Gallows Road, then up Gallows to International Drive. Another option might be to hit 123 north. On looking at the Fairfax bike map more closely I came up with a third plan but I don’t really know the roads so not sure if there are any gotchas that I am missing.

Also if anyone has any leads on shower facilities near Tyson’s Mall please let me know, I checked with fitness first, but they don’t offer a shower and locker only plan.

DC adding a fine for blocking bike lanes

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

This is great news

Tommy Wells reintroduced his amendment to add another fine for blocking bike lanes, currently an illegal act but one with no fine. Before the recess, Wells tried to introduce the amendment, but some other Councilmembers wanted to first hear more research on the appropriate size of the fine.

The bill passed with no opposition on voice vote.

Now all we need is for some tickets to start being issued.

Fairfax Connector Union to go on strike

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The union representing employees of the Fairfax Connector bus system voted last night to strike today, meaning that service will be sharply reduced in south Fairfax County, a spokesman for the county said.

Affected bus routes include those serving the Huntington, Franconia-Springfield, Pentagon, Van Dorn Street and Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro stations, Burke Centre VRE, and VRE EZ-Bus. The route numbers of buses that will run hourly are: 101, 151, 152, 171, 310, 321, 322 and 401.

In addition, the following routes will not run today: 161, 162, 231, 232, 301, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 331, 332, 380 and VRE EzBus North and South.

Fairfax Connector bus service in north Fairfax County (Routes 402-980 and all RIBS) is not affected, the Connector said. More information may be available on the Connector Web site.

Bike Racks in Herndon

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Since we have an offer from Councilman Hursh to install bike racks in Herndon I thought I would go out and map the ones I have found. You can see my results below.

View Larger Map

If you know of any other locations please let me know.

Councilman Husch’s poposal to confiscate bikes in Herndon

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

In response to Councilman Husch’s proposal to confiscate all bicycles that are chained, tied to trees or road sign posts in the public right-of-ways, I decided to take a trip out to Historic Herndon and see who would be affected by his proposal.

I saw a lot of bikers, most of them were using the trail to travel through Herndon. Other were stopping to buy drinks or ice cream. Two bikes were locked outside Jimmy’s Tavern. Another outside the bread shop.

What I didn’t find were any people who would fit the profile of an illegal, instead I found mostly white Americans.

As a biked a little further along the trail I spotted this couple locking up their bikes to a street sign next to an open house.

The couple had biked to Herndon and were looking to buy a town house in Herndon specifically because it was close to the trail. They chose to lock up their bike to the street sign at Branch Drive because it was close to their destination and was a solid secure object.

If Councilman Husch’s proposal becomes law, I wonder what their reaction would have been to coming back to find their bikes had been confiscated?

Councilman Husch said that a Virginia Law already prohibits bicycles from being chained to signposts or left in the public right of way. I searched the Virginia law and didn’t find anything that would appear to give them the authority to confiscate bikes parked in the public right of way. So I would ask Mr Husch to let us know the section of the code he is referring to so we can review it.