WASHINGTON — Concerns from drivers that cyclists and pedestrians get too much attention and funding are often focused inside the Beltway. But now members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have concerns that the “war on cars” is nudging its way into the suburbs.
Supervisor Pat Herrity raised the issue as the board voted Tuesday to move a $100 million transportation bond issue onto the ballot this fall.
“The scope and extent of the $85 million in bike and pedestrian projects included in this referendum far exceed both the current and projected mode share, especially given that we’ve got so many unfunded projects that would relieve significant congestion,” said Herrity, the Springfield district supervisor.
But county Transportation Director Tom Biesiadny says the bond money would cover smaller projects that it does not make sense to cover with federal, state or regional dollars.
“Some of those revenue sources have restrictions on them, and some of them actually complicate implementing the type of projects that are included in this bond referendum. For example, adding federal funds to pedestrian projects actually makes them significantly more expensive and increases the amount of time it takes to implement those projects,” Biesiadny told the board.
Some of the statewide sources that were approved by the General Assembly are more geared to larger projects such as the I-66 and Route 28 interchange, which has received significant amount of funding from state sources and will continue to receive money from the new transportation funding bill for its implementation.
“Right now, there is adequate amount of money on that project to continue the design and also go into Phase 1 improvements,” Biesiadny added.
Other members of the county board say they hear the demand for sidewalks, bike lanes and bike trails on a regular basis.