FABB held a public meeting last week at the Oakton Library where we were treated to excellent discussion from Sally Smallwood on Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and Chris Wells, the program manager for the Fairfax County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.
The county’s SRTS program continues to achieve great success in getting more kids to bike through education and encouragement programs. Among the highlights of Sally’s presentation was the fact that during the 2018-19 school year bike safety lessons were conducted at 38 schools to 12,689 students with fully 12% of those students being new to riding. Currently, 27 schools have their own sets of bikes for classes and there are 2 sets of traveling fleets Sally and program volunteers use at other schools. During the current school year, SRTS has started a pilot pre-Kindergarten class at 5 schools. In addition, SRTS has been facilitating a program in which George Mason University donated bikes to teach students at the Burke Alternative Learning Center to ride and do repairs.
SRTS is always looking for volunteers to help with teaching and maintenance. If you are interested in volunteering your time or donating a child’s bike, please send Sally an email here: [email protected]
FABB members expressed their great appreciation for all of Sally’s hard work. Given the importance of the role of the SRTS coordinator in making the program succeed, FABB determined that it was time to start an advocacy campaign with the county to transition the post from a part-time to a full-time position.
Chris Wells started his presentation by announcing that the BikeFairfax Team had grown. He was joined at the meeting by David Loss, who has just been made the new Outreach and Shared Mobility coordinator. The program also recently added Lindsay Marfurt as a new planner with a GIS consulting and technical background. After giving a brief background presentation on the mission and activities of the bike and pedestrian program, Chris answered a number of questions from the attendees among which were queries about the planned Arlington Boulevard trail and the I-66 trail. For the former, he reported that the portion inside the Beltway is funded while the there are still funding challenges for the “off-corridor” segments of the latter. Most important, Chris mentioned the importance of the ongoing collaboration between his program and FABB in promoting bicycling-related events and projects.
You can find out more about our planned meeting and other events but following us on social media or regularly checking our events page here.