Reston, VA, July 14, 2010 – Virginia bicycling advocates have a new resource to help them review and comment on public road projects. The new guide, prepared by Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) in consultation with the Virginia (VDOT) and Fairfax County departments of transportation, outlines ways bicycling proponents can get involved in the process of designing, approving, building, and retrofitting roads to ensure that bicycling accommodations are integrated into the plans where needed. Although geared for Virginia, many of the ideas contained in the report could be applied to other locations as well.
As described in the guide, planning, approving, and constructing road projects is a long process that presents many opportunities for bicycling advocates to provide input into the final outcome. Readers will find helpful tips for speaking at public hearings and meeting with engineers. The easy to read booklet covers the basics of understanding engineering plans and also outlines various roadway features (such as intersections, roundabouts, wide curb lanes, and bike lanes) that could be shown in the plans. Design standards and guidelines, design and safety issues, and a checklist for each of these features help advocates review and comment on road design plans.
“As far as we know, no one has compiled material like this before,” said Fionnuala Quinn, primary author of the guide. “I wanted to use my background in civil engineering to help demystify the road design process and to help people take advantage of occasions to incorporate bike facilities whenever roads projects are being designed. A crucial point to remember is that the earlier you provide input to the road design, the better your chances of having an effect on the final design. Besides the printed version of the report, we also plan to have an online version on the FABB web site that contains links to additional information.”
Funding for the report came from an Advocacy Advance Grant from the Alliance for Biking & Walking. Funding for the grant was provided by SRAM, Planet Bike, Bikes Belong Coalition, and 42BELOW. Additional funding was received from the IEEE.
The report “Guide for Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations for Virginia Bicycle Advocates,” by Fionnuala Quinn and Bruce Wright, will be provided to major bicycle organizations in Virginia and to the Alliance for Biking & Walking. Copies are available free of charge upon request to finnbike [at] gmail.com or can be downloaded from www.fabb-bikes.org.
For more information on the guide, contact Fionnuala Quinn, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bruce Wright, chairman [at] fabb-bikes.org, 703-328-9619. FABB is a grassroots initiative in Fairfax County, VA, affiliated with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), aiming to make bicycling an integral part of Fairfax County’s transportation network. Visit us on the web at www.fabb-bikes.org.