About Fairfax County Advocates for Better Bicycling
Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) works to improve conditions for those who choose a mode of transportation with two wheels instead of four.
FABB is a volunteer organization affiliated with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association that strives to ensure that bicycling is an integral part of transportation in Fairfax County, said Bruce Wright, FABB chairman. The organization advocates for both on-road and off-road bike facilities.
FABB formed in 2005 when a group of cyclists got together at a local bike shop and began talking about the need for better bike facilities in the region. The organization now meets monthly to advocate for better bicycling conditions in Fairfax County and has been behind many of the recent safety improvements for cyclists in the region.
The organization worked with the Fairfax County Bike Coordinator to produce a bike map detailing major bike routes in the county. The map is available both online and in hard copy. They also helped place bike racks on all Fairfax Connector Buses.
FABB recently published the "Guide for Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations for Virginia Bicycling Advocates," a resource to help bicycling advocates get involved in the process of designing, approving, building and retrofitting roads to ensure bicycling plans are integrated into the plans.
Wright is also excited about significant changes for the future. FABB is working with Fairfax County on a bicycle master plan that includes bike routes, bike parking and shower and changing facilities – everything needed to support bikers. The organization also works on bicycle safety and police outreach.
Wright says he has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people biking in the past year – FABB's bimonthly newsletter about various local bike activities now has approximately 850 people on its mailing list.
"People are more concerned about the environment and global climate changes," Wright said. "There are also many younger families brought up with an environmental ethic and we've seen more families use bikes to get around."
495 Express Lanes Community Grant Support
Last year, a community grant from Transurban-Fluor helped FABB reach out to cyclists through the distribution of front and rear bike lights.
FABB scheduled the bike light giveaways within the 495 Express Lanes corridor and worked with local churches in areas where there are a lot of service workers who use bikes to get to and from work.
"Many can't afford to buy lights and rely on bikes for transportation," Wright said. "Bike lights are very important for safety and can be a lifesaving thing."
FABB held bike light giveaways at four locations and gave out a majority of the lights. At each location they provided equipment to install the bike lights as well as a bike mechanic to address any bike problems. FABB purchased 200 lights and reached about 160 people through the bike light giveaways.
Transurban-Fluor chose to support FABB and the bike light program because it values sustainable, safe, innovative and efficient transportation solutions.
"The 495 Express Lanes Project includes major upgrades for cyclists and pedestrians and aligns with the Fairfax County Trails Plan," said Tim Steinhilber, general manager of the 495 Express Lanes Project. "We value sustainable, efficient transportation solutions and are honored to work with Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling to provide better connectivity and safety for bicyclists as well as pedestrians."
Wright said FABB would not have been able to conduct the program without grant support from Transurban-Fluor. Transurban-Fluor employees also volunteered their time to attend the bike light giveaways and help install the lights.
For more information about FABB or to sign up to receive the FABB newsletter, please visit http://www.fabb-bikes.org