Bike Racks Encourage Sustainable Transportation About Dunn Loring Park and the Fairfax County Park Foundation
Dunn Loring Park in Fairfax County is pedalling forward with new bike racks for the highly congested area it serves.
Dunn Loring Park is a neighborhood recreational area that serves both the residential community and Metro riders using the Dunn Loring-Merrifield station – about a half mile away. The park is located close to the W&OD Trail and features tennis and basketball courts as well as picnic areas.
Working with the Fairfax County Park Foundation, local Brownie Troop 5689 identified the need for bike racks at Dunn Loring Park after participating in a cleanup day for a service learning project.
The Park Foundation supplements tax dollars to meet community needs for parkland and services and wanted to support the Brownies' efforts to secure bike racks, said Bobbi Longworth, executive director of the Fairfax County Park Foundation, and Paul Baldino, who recently retired from the position.
The Park Foundation decided to pursue bike rack funding for a number of reasons including that the area around the park is highly congested – cycling will help alleviate some of the traffic. In addition, the bike racks will enhance the park by providing a place for visitors to store their bikes and by encouraging cycling in the Dunn Loring area.
495 Express Lanes Community Grant Support
Due to the economic downturn and significant county budget restrictions, funding was a major obstacle in securing the new bike racks for the park. A community grant from Transurban-Fluor enabled the Park Foundation to purchase the bike racks.
"We wouldn't have been able to complete the project without the grant funding from Transurban-Fluor," Baldino said.
Transurban-Fluor chose to fund the bike racks because of its focus on regional mobility and travel choices.
"Transurban is committed to transportation solutions that are sustainable, safe, innovative and efficient," said Tim Steinhilber, general manager of the 495 Express Lanes. "As part of the 495 Express Lanes project, we will provide new bike paths and sidewalks on every Beltway crossing in the project corridor. We support projects like new bike racks in Dunn Loring Park because they encourage the sustainable and efficient transportation solutions we value."
Transurban-Fluor presented Brownie Troop 5689 and representatives from the Fairfax County Park Foundation with a check for the bike racks at Bike to Work Day on May 21, 2010. Bike to Work Day is an annual event designed to celebrate bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work. Transurban-Fluor sponsored a pit stop in Merrifield close to Dunn Loring Park.
The park is currently replacing the tennis courts. Once work on the courts is complete, the Park Foundation will install one bike rack near the picnic area and another near the courts.
Longworth said the Park Foundation will invite the Girl Scouts to a small ceremony at the park to thank them for their contribution.
For more information about the Fairfax County Park Foundation or to volunteer, please visit http://fairfaxparkfoundation.org/