Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, FABB in 2021 continued its work to advance county and regional efforts to become more bicycle-friendly while making bicycling fun, safe, and accessible for people of all ages. We greatly appreciate your support for our work.
Sadly, we conducted two ghost bike rides in 2021 after Ray Buza and Fatima Del Carmen Alvarez Romero were killed in crashes in Fairfax County. These were the first bicyclist fatalities here in more than five years. Returning motor vehicle traffic has shown that efforts to protect vulnerable road users—including new laws that went into effect in July—are insufficient. Congestion remains a problem that more lanes cannot solve but that more bike infrastructure can.
Now more than ever, FABB and supporters like you need to encourage trends to create the more reliable and affordable transportation options, quieter and safer streets, cleaner air, and improved well-being that come from expanding bicycle infrastructure and encouraging more people to ride.
In 2021, FABB worked to encourage these trends by:
1. Working with nine other organizations and local government representatives to stage the Accelerating Active Transportation in Northern Virginia summit, the first regional transportation summit in many years. We supported ActiveFairfax initiatives as well as the Safe Streets for All plan, the Seven Corners Transportation study, Annandale city guidelines, Fairfax City bicycle master plan, and Route 29 Northbound improvements plan.
2. Sponsoring, co-sponsoring, and supporting several public rides, including events to bolster parks, explore planned transportation developments, and promote recreation and tourism. These included the sixth annual—and largest ever—Tour de Mount Vernon and the inaugural Tour de Hunter Mill.
3.Conducting multiple adult “Learn to Ride” classes–some for George Mason University students and employees and others for the general public (with thanks to the Reston Bicycle Club for a financial gift to support one class).
4. Continuing to collaborate with Safe Routes to School Coordinator Sally Smallwood to encourage student biking. FABB also has been spearheading efforts to ensure funding for the coordinator position.
5. Having members serve on the Fairfax County Trails, Sidewalks and Bikeways Committee, Transportation Advisory Commission, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and, starting in 2021, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Stakeholder Group.
6. Offering ideas to VDOT to improve proposed bicycling infrastructure for the Vienna Metro area, Richmond Highway, Telegraph Road, Spring Street, Frontier Drive, and Government Center Parkway projects. We continue to engage with state and local transportation departments on the annual paving and restriping program to expand bike lanes.
7. Pressed for equitable enforcement of vulnerable use and other traffic laws and improved education for police, bicyclists, and motorists. Our public meeting with the county’s Crash Reconstruction Unit in September helped to enhance education efforts and increase awareness of crash elements and prevention. A similar meeting in February with George Washington Parkway Supervisor Charles Cuvelier focused on rider safety needs.
8. Proudly continued its collaboration with the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Capital Trails Coalition, Fairfax Families for Safe Streets, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and others to make bicycling better in Fairfax County.
FABB depends on volunteers to improve the conditions and safety for bicycling in Fairfax County. Our volunteers continue to unite riders, government, local transportation planners, and other stakeholders around the common goal of making bicycling a viable option for commuting and short-distance travel to reduce congestion, improve the environment, promote active and healthy lifestyles, and make Northern Virginia more livable and economically dynamic. These steps also help address the climate crisis that is emerging as the major transportation policy challenge of our time.
We are grateful for and continue to need your support. Please consider making a generous end-of-year donation to FABB’s annual appeal here.
Also, please join us in our volunteer work by contacting us at [email protected].