Summary of BikeLoudoun’s 2011 Activities
In January 2011 we met with Arkopal Goswami, a senior planner who was recently hired by the Loudoun County Transportation Department. He has been assigned bicycle and pedestrian responsibilities.
During late 2010 and early 2011, BikeLoudoun Co-chair, Pat Turner attended meetings of the Route 7 Task Force, which was convened by State Senator Herring to look for solutions, including bicycling, to relieve traffic on this corridor.
Last year, BikeLoudoun participated in a number of expositions and events, such as the Indoor Outdoor Celebration at Claude Moore Park, Purcellville’s “Paint the Town Green” environmental celebration, and Earth Day events.
Via conference call, Pat attends bimonthly meetings of the Washington Metro Council of Governments (COG) Bicycle and Pedestrian Subcommittee that take place at COG headquarters in D.C. These meetings provide a lot of good information on what other jurisdictions are doing to promote and support bicycling.
At their request, we met with Cascades HOA to discuss better bicycle access along their local roads. We also participated in a well-attended joint AOL-Raytheon “Lunch and Learn” event sponsored by the Loudoun Office of Transportation Services Employer Outreach Specialist. Many employees were already bike-commuters or interested in starting.
Over 2011, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors (BOS) asked transportation staff to compile and prioritize a list of bicycle and pedestrian projects that would complete connections around the county, and also to devise a plan for bicyclists and pedestrians to access the forthcoming Metro stations in the county. BikeLoudoun attended various public input sessions about the projects, and subsequent transportation subcommittee meetings where the projects were discussed. We provided testimony before the BOS several times during the deliberations. We were pleased when the Board approved both the Metro plan, and the bicycle-pedestrian projects.
VDOT has introduced plans to build two roundabouts on Rt. 9 and at the intersection of Rt. 9 and the Rt. 7 bypass west of Leesburg near Clark's Gap. The W&OD Trail would be impacted because it appears it may have cross one of the roundabouts at five locations: in the approach, within the circle and across the exit. This presented a problem as it would be perilous for cyclists. Maria and I attended several meetings with planning staff, transportation staff and Northern Va. Regional Park Authority staff (the Trail is under NVRPA jurisdiction). County staff and NVRPA asked VDOT if the W&OD could be realigned to avoid both roundabouts. Those meetings were followed by a site visit and walkabout with county planning and transportation staff and NVRPA staff and BikeLoudoun. VDOT is amenable to the trail relocation at their expense. However, this project will require more public input, and is dependent on VDOT’s budget.
We are currently looking forward to participating at Earth Day Loudoun to be held April 22 at Clyde’s Willow Creek in Broadlands. Last year’s Earth Day attracted more than 6,000 visitors.
BikeLoudoun is working with the county staff-person who coordinates Bike to Work Day, and we again plan to be at both Loudoun pit stops on Friday, May 18.
BikeLoudoun Co-chair Pat has registered for the National Bicycle Summit to be held during March 20-22 in D.C. This is a national advocacy meeting held each year in Washington, and includes a day set aside to lobby and educate congressional members on bicycle issues in their state.
- Pat Turner