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Thread: More cyclists out there than last year?

  1. #21
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    It would be so nice if we had automated counters out in Fairfax County. We're only a county of 900,000 taxpayers, so I understand... it must be tough to afford a $1500 bike counter.

  2. #22
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    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    I just sent an email to FABB asking about trail counters. It's listed on their goals page, at least to collect trail usage and commuter data.

    Data Collection and Analysis

    Research current sources of data on bicycle use in the county. Review sources and publish summary. Identify priority data collection needs. Examples include:

    • Bicycle routes (miles)
    • Trails & paths (miles)
    • Bicycle ownership
    • Bicycle Trips (+ breakdown %)
    • Trip lengths
    • Bicycle commuting data
    • Bicycle accident data (fatalities+injuries)
    • Potential bike ownership + trips
    • Safe routes to schools programs

    General demographic and transportation data about the county (over time preferably) would also be useful to set the larger context:
    • Population
    • Households
    • Demographic profile (gender, age profile, etc)
    • Employment & commuting data
    • Car ownership
    • Bus data & passenger data
    • Pedestrian data
    • Car/bus/rail mode share & trips
    • Commuting data
    • Miles of paved road (state and county, different classifications)
    • Air quality data for county/region

  3. #23
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    The only bike counts conducted in Fairfax are done by VDOT in one or two locations. Unfortunately VDOT has not summarized or analyzed the counts. We've offered to help and plan to work on it this winter. FABB did conduct a mini count project this summer as a test. We know that Arlington and Alexandria have both participated in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, using volunteers to conduct counts at regular times during the year (the NBPD website appears to be down now but here's the url: http://www.bikepeddocumentation.org/).

    I counted cyclists at the intersection of the W&OD Trail and Route 123/Maple Ave. in downtown Vienna on July 7 (Thurs) and July 9 (Sat). See the FABB blog entry about the counts: http://fabb-bikes.blogspot.com/2011/...r-fairfax.html. VDOT had conducted a count at that location in 2008 for a 12-hour time period. The NBPD recommends doing counts for 2 hours during peak periods. The 2-hour data are extrapolated to a 24 hour period.

    It's difficult to compare VDOT's 12-hour count with our count. On June 16, 2008 (Monday) VDOT counted 337 cyclists. On July 7, I counted for 2 time periods, 7-9am and 5-7pm. During just those two time periods I counted 447 cyclists. That's 110 more cyclists than were counted during the entire 12 hour period in 2008. Using the NBDA formula, the daily estimate was 1661 cyclists. This shows a significant increase in cyclists in 3 years.

    I've noticed many more cyclists than in previous years, including at night during colder weather. The problem is that it's very difficult to prove without counts, which is why FABB is advocating for better bike counts in the county. There are recommendations for counts in the Tysons Bicycle Plan and I'm sure the same will be true for the countywide plan. However, the bike coordinator's operating budget is now $0. He has some funds from other sources but none for doing counts. VDOT has handed over the counting effort in N. Va. to MWCOG but there are so few locations in Fairfax that those numbers aren't very useful.

    The next NBPD count period is January 10-12, 2012. We may try to conduct another test count but ideally the county will eventually step up and start a counting program.

  4. #24
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    I know for a fact that there is at least one more commuter between Falls Church and Reston 4 times a week this year. (me)

  5. #25
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    Thanks for the reply Bruce. Be sure to let us know here if we can assist in advocacy of any sort! I'd be happy to write to my county supervisor.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wright View Post
    The next NBPD count period is January 10-12, 2012. We may try to conduct another test count but ideally the county will eventually step up and start a counting program.
    Let us know if you need help.

    Thanks very much for the update, Bruce.

    Liz

  7. #27
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    Just a comment on numbers from this week. Today I saw only twelve other riders on my twelve mile combination of W&OD/4MRT/MVT from East Falls Church to Rosslyn between 7:15 and 8:15. I would estimate double that yesterday, and at least triple that on Monday.

  8. #28
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    Lots of people out this morning on FMR and the MVT between 7:45 and 9 am. The cold weather (28-33 degrees F this morning when I was out) doesn't seem to be slowing us down too much!

    The only unavoidable icy part of the trail I saw was on the MVT just south of Memorial Bridge - about 20 feet of trail iced over. People were riding through the grass to avoid it. Be careful there.
    Last edited by Arlingtonrider; 12-12-2011 at 09:37 AM. Reason: added temps

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arlingtonrider View Post
    Lots of people out this morning on FMR and the MVT between 7:45 and 9 am. The cold weather (28-33 degrees F this morning when I was out) doesn't seem to be slowing us down too much!

    The only unavoidable icy part of the trail I saw was on the MVT just south of Memorial Bridge - about 20 feet of trail iced over. People were riding through the grass to avoid it. Be careful there.
    I have a feeling we'll be dealing with that patch of ice on the MVT on and off until the spring thaw. It seems that particular hillside "weeps" moisture across the trail unless we're in a real dry spell, and since we had a bumper crop of rain this year I doubt it will dry out over the cold season.

    I did not count the number of riders I saw this morning, but my overall impression was that it was about the same as our slightly warmer temperature of last Thursday and Friday.
    Last edited by consularrider; 12-13-2011 at 02:01 PM.

  10. #30
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    I say we all bring a pocketfull of sand, and pour it out on the west side of the path/ice... in time it will build up to something that is passable. My bike sank half-way down in the mud this morning before I was rescued by a penguin!

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