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Thanks for posting this. As a bike commuter for ten years in a more hostile part of Fairfax County, I have to say that this is depressing. I'm supposed to be happy about 61 miles of on-road bike lanes in a huge, wealthy county? I guess I should celebrate every victory, but I would like to see it read 610 miles rather than 61. VDOT is all about cars. Maybe someone can point me to the bright side.

The biggest problem is that once VDOT slaps down a sidepath they congratulate themselves and never think about it again. E.g., the FFX county parkway trail, which hasn't been fully repaved in 30 years, is often covered with debris and has low-hanging trees and other maintenance issues gets an A. There is no way that VDOT would give an A rating to a road in the same shape. The parkway itself, running right next to the badly paved trail, gets repaved at least every 5 years. (To be fair, VDOT did finally repave some parts of the trail a couple of years ago, but only the very worst parts--and that was done with leftovers from the road work.)

Isn't that 61 miles over the whole region? So it's even worse than that for Fairfax.

I used to commute from Arlington to Fairfax City. Fairfax does have some good trails, but if they don't go where you're going, it gets difficult. The cloverleafs around I-66 are especially problematic. VDOT plans them for cars, as it probably should, but leaves little realistic accommodation for pedestrians or cyclists.

"Propsed corridors" mileage should under no circumstances be included in the "Total Network" mileage.

There is no cost to propose facilities and put them down on paper. There is a cost to actually designing, building, and implementing them.

I don't consider anything as part of the network until the pavement/paint/barriers are in place.


"VDOT plans them for cars, as it probably should, but leaves little realistic accommodation for pedestrians or cyclists"

The "T" in VDOT stands for transportation, not cars.

A brief look at their website would tell you that the T might as well stand for Cars.

I second Mike's comments on the FFX county side paths. The Braddock Road side path is a death trap from the Fairfax county parkway all the way to the Cross County Connector. This could be made a well usable corridor with pretty reasonable investment.

I have been a resident of Fairfax County for 25 years, and have biked all over. I'm a regular bike commuter from my house in Springfield to Fort Belvoir, I've also bike commuted to a previous job in Alexandria, and I've ridden all over Alexandria, Arlington, and other counties in the region.

IMO FFX county has the worst biking infrastructure in the area. The path along the FFX County Parkway and the Franconia Springfield Parkway meanders, is hard to follow, and is frequently in poor shape, with sand, mud, uneven pavement, and often with overgrown trees. I know of several examples of paths that lead nowhere - these are just put in place with no thought to an overall plan. I'm sure the county pats themselves on the back for these, but they really don't add much of a real capability.

I've heard lots of plans, and plans for plans, over the years, but have seen little action. They keep revising the master plan and worrying about little things, when many improvements are obvious and don't need exhaustive study. For example, a major road near my house would benefit simply from a shoulder or a side path (both for bikes and pedestrians) and would enable non-motorized access to a shopping center, and might help enable kids to ride their bike or walk to school. (I submitted a request for a sidewalk to the county years ago, and received a vague response that they'd look into it.) Instead, it remains very dangerous to anything but cars, and my community is isolated.

A few more comments:

It looks like they give themselves credit for proposed corridors, and furthermore, these are the majority of the network. That's silly. A proposal doesn't do me any good now - it's just a proposal on paper.

Another metric in the report is that they've only built 20 percent of the trails that were planned in 2003. That's not very encouraging.

Their color coding of latent demand, BLOS, and so on, misses some obvious things, like where are trail doesn't connect. For example, the path along the FFX county parkway from where the parkway splits into the FFX county parkway and the Franconia Springfield parkway TO I-95, does not connect with either the path on the south side of I-95, nor to the FFX county parkway or the Franconia Springfield parkway. A path is only useful if it is contiguous. Again, it doesn't take a deep analysis, a hired consulting firm, and a long, drawn-out equation in the appendix to define BLOS: it's just common sense!

Fort Belvoir was increased in the latest BRAC, but none of the proposals are near Fort Belvoir. The only change in the southern part of the county is for Gunston Road. That's a nice road to ride on to get to Mason Neck, but I'm surprised that that made it as a priority, and that it's the only proposal for the southern part of the county. How about a good way to take the FFX county parkway over I-95?

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