Monday, May 22, 2006

Bikes and cars

This is not the usual story about the constant battle between bikes and cars. This is a story about a partnership between an auto dealer and a bike dealer. During May, which is Bike Month, Don Beyer Volvo will be giving away a Dahon folding bike with every car that is purchased. We are providing the bikes. We know it would be better if people just bought the bike without the car, but we are realists. Knowing that the cars will be sold anyway, we thought this was a good way to give people an alternative.

Maybe some day those same people will make the decision to use their new bike instead of their car for those many short, local trips that we make each day. Those trips generate a great deal of pollution because cars don't have a chance to properly warm up. It's bad for the car and bad for the environment.

I do wonder what the folks at Don Beyer think when they receive messages from John with his signature line that reads: "We're fighting 'oil addiction' with human powered transportation. Join the fight—park your car and ride your bike."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fairfax County to get bicycle coordinator

On May 1, 2006 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to include $465,000 in the 2007 budget to fund a bicycle coordinator position, a bicycle plan and bicycle map of the county. Thanks to the hard work of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, Eric Gilliland of WABA, and WABA members for making this happen. More information will be forthcoming on the FABB Web site, including how you can get involved to help produce the bike plan and map.

This is a great step forward for the county. Most other local jurisdictions currently have bicycle coordinators and bike maps. The maps will help county cyclists find bike-friendly routes throughout the county. As the W&OD Trail gets more and more crowded each year, it will be necessary for cyclists to explore other bike routes. Many of us know our local routes, but there is not good, detailed map of county bike routes. The bike coordinator will ensure that the needs of bicyclists are addressed in major development and road projects in the future.

There will also be public meetings during the production of the bike plan where cyclists can help document existing routes and identify gaps in the potential bike network. Check the FABB Web site for updates.