• Upcoming Public Hearing Scheduled on E-Bike Use on Park Trails (2/7/19)
A public hearing will be held in Lorton, VA, on Thursday, February 7, 2019, regarding proposed changes to regulations on the use of Electrically Assisted Bicycles, or e-bikes, in Fairfax County and NOVA Parks.
The hearing will cover proposed changes to Park Authority Regulation §1.14 Motor Vehicles and Traffic. Under the proposal, the regulation would define an e-bike and clarify distinctions between e-bikes and mopeds. E-bikes would be allowed anywhere traditional pedal-powered bikes are allowed. Mopeds would be allowed only where motor vehicles are permitted.
As part of the proposed change in regulation, draft guidelines for the use of e-bikes within NOVA Parks and Fairfax will be presented. These guidelines outline the type and level of performance for e-bikes that are suitable for use within NOVA Parks and Fairfax. Draft guidelines define e-bikes as a “wheeled vehicle equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and ii) an electric motor with an input of no more than 750 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. This applies to both road and mountain style (e/MTB) e-bikes.” These use guidelines will be recommendations only and will not be enforceable by law.
The guidelines for e-bike riders would call for them to yield to pedestrians and equestrians and to travel at speeds no higher than 20 miles per hour. In addition, e-bike riders would be strongly encouraged to operate only in areas where traditional bicycles are allowed and not to disturb wildlife, livestock or domesticated animals on park property. E-bike riders would be expected to follow the same regulations and rules regarding access to the parks as other visitors. Riders would assume responsibility for the safe and respectful operation of their e-bike.
The joint hearing held by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board will begin at 7 p.m. at The Jean R. Packard Center at Occoquan Regional Park, located at 9751 Ox Road, Lorton, VA.
To sign up in advance to speak at this public hearing, please contact either the NOVA Parks Operations office (by phone [703-359-4612] or by e-mail) or the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office (by phone [703-324-8662] or by e-mail). All who attend are welcome to speak, however, and it is not necessary to sign up in advance to do so. Written comments/feedback may also be submitted, preferably by e-mail, but, regardless of the method of submission, all material must be received by March 11, 2019 in order to be included in the official public record. E-mail should be sent either to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board or to the Fairfax County Park Authority Board. The two appropriate postal addresses for traditionally transmitted submissions are:
Park Operations Office
5400 Old Ox Road
Fairfax Station, Virginia 22039
Public Information Office
Fairfax County Park Authority
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
• W&OD Trail 5K — Saturday, March 23, 2019 – 11:00 AM
Click on the link for all pertinent details regarding the event.
• Section of Trail in Falls Church to be widened for dual-use
Click on this link for further details regarding the 8-foot wide parallel section for walkers and joggers which is to be added by July 2019.
• Help support needed improvements on the W&OD Trail
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is seeking public input on its 2018-2023 Six Year Program. Included among the proposals is a NOVA Parks project to enhance the W&OD in Falls Church with separate paved trails for walking and biking. These trails will help to relieve congestion, to enhance both walking and biking to Metrorail, and to make the Trail safer. Since a greater number of projects is proposed than can realistically be funded, your public expression of support for the initiative carries weight and helps to secure the resources for a critically needed improvement to the Trail. You may submit your comments to NVTA by May 20, 2018 by clicking on this link. In addition, on Thursday, May 10, at 7:00 p.m., NVTA will host a presentation and public hearing regarding the proposal at its offices. Location: 3040 Williams Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22031.
• Do you have a green thumb that, from time to time, you would like to place in the service of a good cause?
If so, a group of volunteers seeks your assistance with the maintenance of two native plant butterfly gardens that are located along the Trail (near mileage marker 8) across the street from one another on Lee Highway (near the Econo Lodge Metro). Each, as the picture below of one of them illustrates, has been planted beneath a prominent sign.
You are invited to weed in either — or both — of these gardens at your leisure, or you may contact the primary gardener in order to arrange a time to work directly with others.
• Click here to access the final report from the working group assembled in 2014 to address safety issues on the W&OD Trail.
• Click here to access Bikeablebrews’ convenient list of the craft brew establishments that are located near the Trail.