Tuesday, October 9, 2018
I strongly disagree with the conclusion of Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking that the proposed bike paths in Huntley Meadows Park are feasible and would have little impact on the surrounding area.
In particular, the power line right of way at the south end of the park, which is where one of the two proposed paths would be located, is in a low-lying area that frequently has 3-4 inches of water, and in a wet spring has as much as a foot of standing water in some places.
The only feasible way to create a bike path in the right-of-way there would be to construct a berm high enough to stay above the maximum water level and attempt to pave on top of it. Even if that were feasible, it would interfere with the movement of water through the area, with adverse impacts on the environment.
Audubon Society Northern Virginia has submitted a letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors explaining in more detail the adverse impact on the environment that would result if the county were to install a bike path on that right-of-way.
I am a bike rider myself, and have been pleased with the county's efforts to install more bike lanes and paths throughout area. However, consideration needs to be given to whether proposed bike paths are both feasible and consistent with environmental concerns. The proposed bike paths in Huntley Meadows Park are neither, and should be removed from the county's plans.
Audubon Society of Northern Virginia