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TAKE ACTION: Contact Fairfax Board Chairman Gerry Connolly today in support of VDOT's proposed design for Stringfellow Road. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has recommended an innovative design to make Stringfellow Road more bike-friendly. As part of the planned widening of Stringfellow between Fair Lakes Boulevard and Route 50, VDOT has proposed wider outside lanes that would enable bicyclists to ride on the road without impeding motor vehicles. The proposal also includes a 10-foot wide trail on one side for pedestrians, recreational bicyclists and other users.
VDOT's bike-friendly proposal for Stringfellow is in jeopardy. One consequence of the project is that small segments of privately owned land will be taken for the road. Some property owners oppose the widening. The four additional feet needed for the wider outside lanes have come under fire. So has the 10-foot shared use trail, which is in danger of being narrowed.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will decide on the final design of Stringfellow in September or early October. VDOT has frequently been criticized for not being responsive to the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. For this project, the agency has gone to lengths to balance the needs of all users. If the county rejects the more bike-friendly outside lanes, it may deter VDOT from proposing bike accommodations in future road projects.
TAKE ACTION: Contact Fairfax Board Chairman Gerry Connolly today in support of VDOT's proposed design for Stringfellow Road. Email email@example.com. Also contact Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey, firstname.lastname@example.org and Supervisor Elaine McConnell, email@example.com, whose districts are located on either side of the road. You may include the following points:
· Fairfax has an opportunity to set an important precedent for building more complete streets. On the other hand, rejecting VDOT's design will send the wrong signal for future road projects.
· On-road routes are needed to make bicycling a viable transportation option. While trails are important, roads connect to destinations. Getting from A to B requires on-road routes.
· Contrary to common belief, bicyclists are safer on roads than on trails or sidewalks. Most bicycle-related injuries occur at intersections, where motorists cannot easily spot bicyclists coming from trails or sidewalks.
· Stringfellow Road includes two public schools, a park and a library. Close by is the Greenbriar Shopping Center. Providing bike accommodations will make it easier to travel to these community destinations without having to get in a car.
VDOT has done the right thing, though not the easiest thing. If Fairfax is to become a bicycle-friendly community, the county must support VDOT's plan to make Stringfellow bike-friendly.
For more information, visit http://www.fabb-bikes.org/blog/blog.html