- Time to Speak Up for wider shared use trails on county property.
- Let Planning Commission know that a minimum 10-feet-wide trail must be the standard for Public Facilities Manual.
FABB is asking members and interested citizens to participate in an upcoming Planning Commission virtual public meeting on 17 September 2020 at 7:30 pm to discuss changes to the county’s Public Facilities Manual (PFM) requirements.
This meeting is an opportunity for cyclists and others to make the case for wider paved trails on county land and for the adoption of a minimum 10-feet-wide trail as the standard for Public Facilities Manual “Off-Street Shared Use Path.” With the growing popularity of active transportation and the need for socially-distanced outdoor recreation, less wide paths are inadequate, less safe, and will become more expensive when they ultimately need to be widened.
The county staff report describes changes to Chapter 8 in the PFM concerning Sidewalks, Trails, and Recreation (see Table 8.1) that list Bikeways as being 8-feet wide Type I or Type IV trails (suitable for 2-way bike travel where low to moderate use is anticipated). Unfortunately, the park authority and DPWES are not recommending changes to the shared use path width requirement on county owned property.
County officials need to be reminded that the Capital Trails Coalition’s criteria require off-street trails, separated from moving traffic, with a minimum width of 10 feet. The PFM width requirement must be revised so that county trails can be included in the regional network and its promotional material. In addition, in 2021 the League of American Bicyclists will be re-evaluating the county’s Bicycle Friendly Community designation. The application specifically examines off-street bicycle facility statistics that are greater than 8 feet wide while trails less than or equal to 8 feet are not considered because they are categorized as considered substandard trails. Keep Fairfax County’s Bronze designation, much less reaching the Silver level, requires 10-feet-wide trails.
To be placed on the Speakers List, you can sign up by calling the Planning Commission Office at 703-324-2865 or by registering online here no later than 3:00 pm on the day of the meeting. You also can make a video, but it needs to be submitted no later than 9:00 am the day prior to the meeting. In addition, written testimony and other submissions can be sent to [email protected]. and to 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 552, Fairfax, 22035.
Planning Commission Meetings can be seen live on Channel 16 or on your computer with Live Video Streaming.