Eight years ago FABB was building support for a bike route plan for Courthouse Road in Vienna. The Vienna Town Council was holding a public hearing on the plan that week and our group was encouraging riders to attend. FABB had earlier offered ideas to the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee but found some aspects of the plan problematic. Although the route would be marked by wayfinding signs, at the time the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) had not adopted the use of shared lane markings (sharrows), which the planned route needed. In addition, a decision to allow parking on a marked and widened paved shoulder meant that cyclists would have to navigate around parked cars using the travel lane. Following the meeting, during which several FABB supporters spoke up in favor of the plan, the town council unanimously approved the new Courthouse Road route.
The 2011 plan was an encouraging start to later improvements. During the following summer of 2012, VDOT started to use sharrows and painted these lane makers (two chevrons pointing forward with a bicycle symbol below them) on Courthouse Road. Two years later, during the summer repaving and restriping program, VDOT added bike lanes on Courthouse Road between Route 123 near Oakton to just west of Nutley Road in Vienna.
In a few short years Courthouse Road had become a popular route for cyclists avoiding bike-unfriendly Route 123. The marked bike lanes and sharrows made it much easier for riders to access Nottoway Park, the Vienna Metro station to the south, the W&OD trail, and other destinations in the Town of Vienna. The new bike lanes clearly encouraged riders who lived in that area to take more short trips by bicycle.
Our advocacy makes a difference. FABB needs you to keep up the momentum and to help us on the next “Courthouse Road.”
Please join us in helping to encourage and promote better bicycling in Fairfax County.