FABB wants to draw local riders’ attention to an On The Move article about the recent VDOT/FCDOT repaving and restriping meeting for the Mount Vernon, Lee, and Springfield Districts.
According to On The Move, during the question and answer period, several cycling advocates expressed dismay at the lack of protected bike lanes, which provide physical separation between cyclists and motor vehicle drivers, in plans for the Lockheed Boulevard area in Lee District. FABB’s own Jeff Gauger noted that one of FCDOT’s graphics had shown that 53% of county residents would ride their bikes if buffered or protected bike lanes were installed, adding that “Unfortunately, there are no protected bike lanes in Fairfax County.”
Officials responded that constraints of the repaving and restriping program prevent FCDOT from recommending protected lanes because they require a substantial capital investment and occasionally involve reconstruction of the roadway. The county, however, is designing and planning some protected lanes in conjunction with the Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit project.
FABB notes that the cost of protected lanes is miniscule compared to other road projects. Their cost is substantial only in relation to the restriping program, which is basically free because it involves only some extra paint for bike lanes as other street markings are replaced on new pavement.
Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk in a post-meeting statement emphasized the importance of community input to craft solutions that maximize safety. FABB agrees and encourages local riders to share their thoughts on maximizing safety in the areas covered by the 2022 restriping plan.
FCDOT will accept comments on its proposals through May 3 here. Please Speak Up! and show your support for expanding the scope of the repaving and restricting program to include protected bike lanes in future plans.