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Vienna Residents Want More Bike Routes, According To Survey

Bike Advisory Committee will present some findings Thursday to the Board of Architectural Review

Vienna residents are ready for more bike routes in town – now, it's just a matter of putting infrastructure in place to support them, says a survey conducted this summer by the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee.

“We are trying to make the Town of Vienna a more bike-friendly community,” said Cristina Janoski, co-chair of the Vienna BAC. “Ninety-five percent of the people that responded to this survey basically said that it is either important or very important that the Town of Vienna add more bike routes.”

The 12-question survey was distributed online and answered by more than 350 Vienna residents, business owners and employees.

More bike routes would provide more environmentally friendly ways for people to travel in Vienna, Janoski said, and would eliminate some of the traffic backups that seem to plague Maple Avenue regardless of the time of day.

“We in N.W. Vienna by Madison High School have no real good/safe way to get down to the bike path. It would be wonderful to somehow designate paths along Nutley, Lawyers, Orchard and Church/Ayr Hill Streets to facilitate [the] bike path and town,” wrote resident Shani M. “It is really unsafe riding with my 6-year-old son on the road down to the town."

Maple Avenue was the most requested spot for a bike route by residents taking the survey.

The other top five most requested streets were:

  1. Maple Avenue
  2. Church Street
  3. To Tysons Corner
  4. Cottage Street
  5. Lawyers and Tapawingo Roads

In addition to asking about bike routes and signage, the survey asked where bike racks were most needed in town.

“People are saying that if you had more bike racks in town, we’re more apt to run errands [or] go to a restaurant by bike,” Janoski said.

The top five most requested locations for bike racks, according to the survey, were:

  1. Giant
  2. "Shopping Centers and Strip Malls"
  3. "Grocery Stores"
  4. "Other Businesses In Vienna"
  5. Magruders

The BAC will appear before the Vienna Board of Architectural Review on Thursday to ask for an approval of a streamlined process for businesses to obtain bike racks.

The committee is also working on a map of Vienna highlighting more bike routes that could be added.

For some residents, bike routes are not just a matter of convenience or traffic – it's also about safety, they said.

"I bicycled across the country," wrote resident Antoine M in the survey. "Yet the only place I've been hit was by a driver on the bicycle trail crossing a road in Vienna in broad daylight."

Click here to see the complete survey results and comments from respondents. 

You can also see the full PDF of the survey in the media player above.

SH August 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM
I've lived across the country. Yet Vienna is added to the list of places where bicyclists blow through red lights, stop signs, treat pedestrians like nuisances and try to run them down. NO to more bike lane until bicyclists demonstrate better behavior.
MJSouth August 16, 2011 at 11:33 AM
No more roads until cars stop blowing through red lights, stop signs, and treat pedestrians and bikers like nuisances and try to run them down!!
Mmmmm! August 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM
I agree. There's an easy way to get more bike paths. The bikers should pay for them. Why do I owe bikers benefits I cannot use? All one has to do to see their arrogance is watch how they blow across Park Street near the Community Center illegally as if we're supposed to stop our cars on their noses because they suppose they have the right-of-way when they do not!
Mmmmm! August 16, 2011 at 11:55 AM
And, BTW why do we pay attention to a survey that's rigged for only bikers? Why is this even news?
Vivi August 16, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Regardless of improper bike and pedestrian etiquette- as drivers we have to be the most responsible and careful. However on the W&OD- bikers need to realize the path was made for runners and walkers to! Everyone needs to be respectful and more selfless. It can very well be a matter of life and death.
Pedro Burrito August 16, 2011 at 05:31 PM
I rode my bicycle through Vienna on Sunday. I was hit while I walked my bike on the sidewalk on Church Street near the bicycle repair shop. The driver was pulling out from a entrance and so intently looking left that she didn't see me. I think she was more scared than I but she was completely clueless. Then around 7:00 pm on the way home, as I approached the Park Street crossing, an oncoming rider warned me about a wreck. A driver, as most do, stopped at the crossing but the driver behind did not and rear ended the first driver. I could not believe how much damage was done to the second car who rear ended the first. My thoughts about this area... it's too damn dangerous to walk, ride or drive anything smaller than an armored car.
Craig A. Bozman August 16, 2011 at 05:42 PM
I believe that we ALL should be more vigilant of EACH OTHER. However, bikers and pedestrians need to be the most careful because of physics alone. Please don't assume that a driver is aware of you. Always observe STOP and Do Not Walk signs and even if you have the right of way, make sure that it is safe to go. Make eye contact with the driver or be 100% certain that they see you before you proceed. An even though you are on a trail, or you are training or racing...that white lettering that says STOP at the intersection of the trail and the road means exactly what it says...STOP!
Bozo August 16, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Who's ever seen bicyclists stop at any STOP signs? I certainly haven't. As for drivers pulling out of entrances, it's just good sense to make eye contact with the driver, whether you're a pedestrian or bicyclist. Oh, but wait, I've never seen bicyclists stop for anyone on foot or in a car. Excepting the traffic light near Whole Foods on Maple Ave., where anything crossing against the light has a great chance of being flattened.
Richard Risemberg August 17, 2011 at 02:19 PM
Who's ever seen drivers stop at a stop sign? I haven't....well, I kept track for a month once, and did see two drivers actually stop at a stop sign. See them run reds all the time too. See them driving 50mph down 25mph residential streets daily, including my street. Therefore, by the "logic" of many of my fellow commenters, we should close all streets to all drivers. Which would make them very safe for bikes! As for who pays for infrastructure: sorry, but in the US car and fuel fees and taxes cover only about 40% of the cost of building and maintaining roads, which drivers wear out rapidly with their heavy vehicles. The rest comes from increased general taxes on folks who drive less or not at all--including of course cyclists--and who are forced to overpay so that self-righteous blowhards can try to shout them off their roads. That's right, in the US driving is socialism, and cyclists are forced to pay for wide roads they don't need and don't wear out! See http://orange20bikes.com/2011/01/the-gas-tax-fallacy/ for details.
Mmmmm! August 17, 2011 at 03:56 PM
That is a ridiculous argument. How many bycycle owners do not own a car? How about - almost none. On the other side of the argument, how many car owners own a bike - a very low percentage especially if you include all the bike owners that park them in the garage? As for people not stopping at stop signs, there may be some, but your statement essentially says almost no one stops at stop signs. That's just totally inaccurate! This is one of those drivers that does stop. And, the web site you point us too is mostly a political statement which has no place in this discussion.
Richard Risemberg August 17, 2011 at 04:16 PM
The cyclists who own cars are not always driving them, hence giving a bit of tax relief to the municipality by not wearing out the roads so much, and not requiring so much expensive road space to be built to accommodate the driving they don't engage in when cycling. The more people drive, the more you need roads, and the more roads you have, the more you need to maintain them. And US tax structures don't charge drivers enough for the use they make of, and the damage they cause to, the roads they use. Since most driving is for minor nearby chores--50% of car trips in the US cover less than five miles-- a modest investment in giving people the freedom to choose to ride bicycles for those chores, or for visiting, dining out, etc.--greatly lowers demand for road supply and repair. Research in Denmark shows, as Jan Gehl points out, that "The benefits [of prioritising the bike in a city] are clear on many levels, not least in terms of economy. Danish research has found that for every KM cycled, society saves 30 cents. For every KM driven, society loses 20 cents." Denmark's GDP per capita, by the way, is $56,000, considerably higher than the US's at $45,000. Research in the US shows that around 70% of drivers blow through stop signs. As for the link being to a political argument, well, this is a political argument: what to do with public money is a political issue.
Mmmmm! August 17, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Comparing a small country like Denmark with the U.S. makes about as much sense as the rest of this discussion. Bottom line - pay your own way. If you want to ride your bike we certainly don't really care, but please stop your version of socialism. There's 800 miles of bike trails in the DC area and Fairfax County pays someone titled "Bike Path Coordinator" a salary of around $100,000 a year so we think that's plenty of taxpayer expense for your bicycle rides.
Richard Risemberg August 17, 2011 at 07:34 PM
I'm comparing a small country like Denmark with a region that is about the same size or smaller. And you're defiantly promoting your own version of socialism--for drivers only. I have no problem with a little socialism on the roads--they wouldn't exist otherwise--but let's use it to provide freedom of choice in mobility, so that people are allowed to choose more fiscally (and energy) efficient modes of travel when it's feasible. Right now drivers usurp road space they don't pay for, and refuse to allow cyclists and others to choose how to spend their tax money. The survey you derided redresses that grievance. Bottom line: if cyclists should "pay their own way," then so should drivers. In places where they do, gas taxes run $4 to $5 per gallon.
Mmmmm! August 17, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Fine with me if gasoline is $4 to $5 a gallon.
Richard Risemberg August 17, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Read it again. That was "gas taxes," not gas prices. $4 to $5 a gallon over the price. To pay for the demands and damages of the driving lifestyle.
Richard Risemberg August 17, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Now a question comes up of how would we build an equitable and effective road structure? I'd say begin with the burgeoning "Complete Streets" premise, which holds that all local roads (not freeways, obviously) be built to accommodate drivers, cyclists, transit users, and pedestrians together safely. Then charge a "roads tax" to each vehicle according to: 1) Footprint (larger vehicles require more road surface to be provided)--perhaps adjusted for average passenger load in a region, 2) Weight, 3) Horsepower, and 4) Yearly miles driven. Now, when these taxes have actually been modeled, cyclists end up receiving a tax credit, but I wouldn't mind if that were instead withheld and put into a fund for separated bike paths ("bicycle freeways") where needed, with perhaps a surcharge for car freeways (or tolls for both). That would preserve freedom of choice, favor more efficient modes of travel in developed areas where cars impose the greatest burdens, and generally apportion tax burdens more equitably among road users, probably reducing government expenditures considerably. Transit, which uses land area far more efficiently than cars or even bicycles, would have a separate calculation.
Mmmmm! August 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM
I'm convinced that you're a liberal who can't wait to redo the world in your own vision, so let's stop cluttering the Patch with this discussion to nowhere.
DFW August 22, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Richard, kudos to you for trying to have an intelligent debate with a right wing nutcase who is part of the problem.
Mmmmm! August 22, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Yep, when you run out of a good case, you resort to name calling. Pay for your own toys.
DFW August 22, 2011 at 11:39 PM
RAMC, I'm convinced that you are a troll paid by the oil industry. And yes, I am a liberal. Thanks for motivating me to get more involved!
Mmmmm! August 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM
You are absolutely wrong. I have worked in the renewables industry for my entire career. I have tried to make a small difference in this Counry's energy efficiency and future. I am as far froma right wing nutcase as you crudely stated as one could be. It's just that when you run into people who are so right about everything you cannot let it go without a challenge. The notion that one can compare bike paths to roads is utter nonsense. I ride a bike too for excercise and recreation, but I am not so righteous about it that I would compare roads to bike paths. The roads in our Country are the backbone of the economy. The roads carry our goods and provide our services. Bike paths are nice, but they do not make the economy what it is. For example, the groceries shipped to Giant and Safeway do not get there on a bike path. Without the roads in this Country, we would have no chance to compete with the rest of the world. I'm not saying that we did everything right with the road system, but this discussion has degenerated into a nonsensical comparison of two completely different entities - roads and bike paths. The next time you or your families load your vehicle with the weekly groceries, think about how that was made posiible, It certainly didn't happen because of a bike path.

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