Wednesday, February 28, 2007

VDOT partnership...

part-ner-ship, noun, the state or condition of being a partner; participation; association; joint interest.

The Staunton District of VDOT scheduled two informational meetings to discuss the policy for integrating Bicycle and Pedestrian accommodations. The Staunton District Administrator was on hand to lend weight to the policy while Bob Ball ran the meeting on Tuesday. He's the local coordinator for bicycle/pedestrian issues. This was an outreach to begin the process of engaging stakeholders and educating them on this policy.

The policy was adopted in March of 2004 and shows that bicycle and walking are fundamental modes of travel. From the handout: Provides framework to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians with motorized modes during the planning, funding, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the roadway network. One interesting aspect is the 2% rule which states that 2% of the paving budget is to be used for paved shoulders.

There are exceptions to the policy:
  • absence of need
  • environmental or social impacts outweigh need
  • safety would be compromised
  • costs excessively disproportiante to need
  • project purpose and scope does not facilitate accommodations
  • bicycle and pedestrian travel is prohibited by state or federal law
I could see that these could be a problem and voiced my concerns. I wanted to know who determines the exceptions and at what decision making level this takes place. Stakeholder groups (Shenandoah Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee, bike clubs, etc) have to be apprised of the scope of projects and be provided a seat at the table to help VDOT in the process. VDOT and stakeholder groups need and will be partners to ensure the policy is implemented and safe roads are created for all users.

NBC29 was there filming and Daily News Record had reporter there as well. I was disappointed that the News Leader didn't have a reporter, considering they have been proactive on bike/ped issues and had run the meeting notice a couple of times. Anyway, here are links to the reports


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