- Please let Fairfax County know you support safer standards for biking and pedestrian facilities in draft urban design guidelines.
- Comments being accepted through February 25.
FABB previously encouraged Annandale area riders to show their support for bicycle facilities included in the draft District Design Guidelines now under consideration. Going beyond a show of support, FABB will be presenting the following comments and asks others to include these recommendations in their comments.
FABB believes that experience shows that streets designed and built by developers tend to adhere to minimum acceptable standards and therefore shortchange the space and design quality for pedestrians, transit riders, and bicyclists. FABB asks Fairfax County to align the Annandale Urban Design Guidelines with minimums closer to safer national design standards and to design facilities to encourage more biking and walking to destinations in Annandale rather than use of vehicles.
- The two-way cycle tracks for boulevards should be a 10-foot rather than an 8-foot minimum to better meet National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and other street design standards. Narrower bicycle facilities make it uncomfortable to pass and ride alongside pedestrians. The additional space can be taken from the planted medians while maintaining adequate planting space and a comfortable pedestrian refuge space.
- For avenues, bicycle lanes so close to moving traffic should be a six-foot minimum, not including the curb and gutter. The medians here should be considered for reallocation to better protect and separate the directional bicycle facilities, improving their accessibility and utility for riders of all ages and abilities.
- On collector streets, the parking lane should be swapped with the bike lane as a standard to include a 6-foot bike lane and 2-foot buffer space between parked cars and the curb. Painted bike lanes in the door zone of parked on-street cars present a hazard to people using bicycles and micro-mobility devices. The lanes will get more use with more protection, which should be the default standard with an on street, narrow, door zone facility used only as a last resort.
- On all street types, the design guidelines should the actual use of vehicle lanes and whether multiple lanes are necessary. Traffic safety suffers when vehicles can operate at higher speeds, and speed is the most critical factor in determining the severity of a traffic crash.
- Sidewalk spaces in commercial areas and dense residential areas should be 8′ minimum to allow for a more comfortable pedestrian space and given COVID guidance and uncertainty of future pandemics, adequate sidewalk space is crucial for walkability and proper physical distancing measures.
As a reminder, the first virtual meeting on the design guidelines will be on Thursday, February 11, at 7:00 pm. The second will be on Tuesday, February 23, at 7:30 pm. You can register for the first meeting here and the second one here. Comments on the design are being accepted now through February 25, 2021, and can be submitted via this DPD CRS online form.