Advocacy Alert Fairfax to Eliminate Bike Funding

Copied from the Virginia Bicycle Federation
Fairfax County to Eliminate Bike Program — Write to the Board of Supervisors Now by admin on February 26, 2010

Take action now: write to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors.

In a flurry of budget-cutting and who-knows-what other politics, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors wants to eliminate, permanently, the bike coordinator position, and all County bicycle programs. This is at odds with recent efforts to develop a bike master plan, to improve quality of life and transportation options, and make Fairfax a more desirable location for businesses.

30% of Fairfax residents do not drive motor vehicles. To simply stop development of other options is a big step backward indeed.

Politicians need to hear from their constituents. Kate Schwartz of the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club asks all cyclists in Fairfax County to write to their Board of Supervisors, and provides some language for doing so:

“Please act now to write to the FFX county board of supervisors and spread the word since bicycling programs are at risk of permanent elimination. This proposed budget cut will create a lasting loss of future cycling & pedestrian facilities, trails, equipment and resources.

I urge you to sustain Fairfax’s bicycling programs since the county’s future business viability depends upon these programs. Creating new and maintaining existing cycling and pedestrian facilities must remain permanent pillars of the county; they are essential to fostering more innovative transportation solutions in an area that’s desperate for transportation alternatives. The Board has always emphasized that Fairfax County must preserve its national reputation as an attractive location for businesses and their employees. Bicycling programs, such as trails and on-road bike accommodation directly improve businesses’, residents’ and visitors’ quality of life by reducing traffic congestion, pollution and obesity, boosting employee productivity, and increasing cardiovascular health & fitness. What other county programs and facilities can claim these wide-reaching benefits?

How can the Board of Supervisors reconcile Supervisor Cook’s position (“bicycles are not transportation devices”) with the Board’s December 7 meeting, where the board discussed the need for the county to explore new and innovative approaches to transportation?

Dedicated bicycle and environment facilities and staff partnered with private- and public-sector employers can formulate and execute new transportation solutions, as we witness today with Tysons Corner’s new multi-modal transportation solutions plus walking and bicycling facilities integrated into the replacement bridges during the Beltway HOT lane construction. Eliminating bicycling programs will only increase congestion, pollution and obesity, while slashing employee/employer productivity. Fairfax County’s future business viability depends upon having a dedicated & permanent bicycling program.“

Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling are on top of this story. Check with them for updates, and follow them on Twitter (@WABADC, @BikeFairfax).

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