Kojo in your community recently did a show on northern Virginia transportation, as centered on Falls Church. I had expected it to focus on roads and transit, but there were a surprisingly (and encouragingly) large number of comments about cycling as a transportation option. Most of the comments came, not from the officials - elected or otherwise - but from the general public. I know this is a self-selected group, but it makes me think elected officials are behind the voters on this one. The cycling comments (they were all pro) I heard are listed below (warning: I might have missed or misquoted any/all if these)
Almost the first person to talk was asked if he had changed his commuting patterns due to traffic. Kojo was looking for someone who took transit, but instead he got a gentleman who now rides his bike on his 10-mile commute about twice a week. "Biking makes me feel good," he said.
One lady stated that bike paths are critical infrastructure in the area's commuting patterns and that some plans, Tyson's Corner for example, haven't adequately considered bike facilities.
City Council Member David Snyder listed alternatives to highways and included bike paths on the list.
One gentleman talked about how, when he was a kid, he biked everywhere. Then he got a car and drove everywhere. But now he bikes everywhere again. He kept saying that people need to get back on their bike and he talked about the W&OD trail - it's history and it's use by over 2 million people every year, many of them for transit.
One lady, after talking for a long time about how more lanes need to be converted to HOV, finished by saying that she rides her bike. 45 minutes to Rosslyn.
Another younger woman talked about moving to Portland and learning to bike everywhere - about how the culture of cycling changed her. She said that it rains and it's hilly but people bike - because it's FUN (my emphasis) and you feel like part of a community. But when she came back here she found cycling less appealing and more difficult. [This I think has to do with the tipping point issue. If everyone rode bikes more, biking would be safer and more accepted. But people won't ride until it's safer and more accepted. Maybe that's a chicken and egg thing. How do we get to the tipping point?]
Finally a gentleman made the following point: In America we have cars and we're trying to switch to bikes. In China they have bikes and are trying to switch to cars. Then he asked who's ahead of the curve and when Kojo threw the question back, he said "they are." [Not sure I agree with this, but I get his point].