Fairfax County is in the midst of creating a Bicycle Transportation Plan that will include the town of Herndon.
Fairfax County is working to make the county’s roads better for bicyclists by identifying locations for future bike facilities, such as bike lanes, shared bike lanes and trails, as well as making an outline for implementation of the plan.
The Herndon Town Council discussed endorsement of the plan at its last public hearing and the discussion has been continued to its Aug. 14 public hearing. (See the town’s resolution on the plan here.)
The county’s plan will include recommendations for bicycle facilities inside the Town of Herndon. Fairfax County’s plan is expected to be considered for adoption by the Board of Supervisors this winter.
The following is the Town of Herndon’s FAQ on the Fairfax County Bicycle Transportation Plan:
Does the Town of Herndon have an opportunity to weigh in on the plan and make its own recommendations?
Yes. A resolution currently before the Herndon Town Council outlines specific bicycle facilities, located within the town that, if adopted by the council, will be formally endorsed for inclusion in the county plan. The Town Council will hear public comment at its public hearing on Aug. 14, 2012, and is expected to vote on the resolution at that meeting.
Who crafted the town’s recommendations, as outlined in the resolution the council will be considering on Aug. 14?
Upon receipt of the county draft plan, town staff worked with the town’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC), a committee formed by the Town Council to study and advise on issues related to bicycle and pedestrian access and safety throughout the town. PBAC worked to refine the county plan to specifically address issues within the Town of Herndon. The PBAC recommendation was then presented to, and subsequently recommended by the town’s Planning Commission for Town Council approval.
What types of recommended bicycle facilities are included in the town’s resolution?
The PBAC recommendations call for inclusion within the county plan of bike lanes on Dranesville Road between Herndon Parkway and Park Avenue, and on Elden Street between Monroe Street and Fairfax County Parkway. The recommendations also call for cycle tracks, trails and sharrows in specific locations within the town to facilitate safe bicycle traffic. A full outline of the resolution draft is available at www.herndon-va.gov, see “What’s New.”
I see references to “sharrows” in the PBAC recommendations. What is a sharrow?
A sharrow, or shared lane marking, which is identified with a distinctive bicycle marking: 1) identifies where bicyclists should ride in a lane where on-street parking is present to reduce the chance of being impacted by the open door of a parked vehicle; 2) identifies where bicyclists should ride in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and bicycle to travel side by side in the same lane; 3) alerts road users of where bicyclists are likely to ride within the roadway; 4) encourages safe passing of bicyclists by motorists; and 5) reduces the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.
If the Town Council does not adopt the resolution making specific recommendations to the county plan, what happens then?
Fairfax County may include facilities proposed in the Town of Herndon in its comprehensive planning effort, but the plan will not be considered as part of the town’s comprehensive plan. Comprehensive plans are long-range planning documents that set policy and do not usually indicate short-term construction projects. Inclusion in the county’s plan does not place any obligation on the town to finance or construct bicycle facilities, nor does it give permission to Fairfax County to build facilities in the town.
If the Town Council does adopt the resolution, what happens then?
Should the Town Council, after hearing public comment, adopt the resolution on Aug. 14, the town’s recommendations will be formally submitted to Fairfax County for inclusion in their plan. This action will not, however, automatically revise the town’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The town may opt to include its bicycle recommendations in future updates of its comprehensive plan; this would not happen without advertised public hearings before both the Planning Commission and the Town Council, so that public input may be provided.
How much will it cost to implement the county’s plan?
The costs to implement the county’s plan are unknown at this time. Should the Town Council adopt the resolution endorsing specific recommendations to the plan, the cost of implementation of bicycle facilities in the town would then be considered when bicycle facilities are added to the town’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan and Capital Improvements Plan. It is important to note that inclusion of the PBAC recommendations in the county’s plan will likely provide additional leverage should the town then apply for grants to fund the construction of bicycle facilities.
How can I get more information?
Visit the town’s Web site at www.herndon-va.gov; see “What’s New” to link to a page with information on the Fairfax County Bicycle Transportation Plan and the town’s proposed recommendations.
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