Walking + Biking Design Integration
Fionnuala Quinn is a passionate design advocate who works on integrating walking and bicycling into the built landscape and transportation network. Her engineering work has focused on the innovative design of safer and more comfortable places to walk and bike, whether by reconfiguring existing streets or through the creation of new facilities for people of all ages and abilities. She specializes in thoughtful advice on how to put together walking and biking infrastructure so these modes integrate successfully with transit and transit-oriented development. She seeks also to educate a wider audience about the language and ideas behind design so as to improve the civic discourse about how best to put together our streets.
Fionnuala has played noted roles in the national conversation about our built world and she is passionate about designing safe and accessible routes that serve local trip needs efficiently. She led the national Women’s Cycling Project designed to stimulate collaboration among professionals to create a hospitable transportation environment for women. She connects people through events and forums encouraging cross-collaboration among planners, engineers, and advocates involved in built world change. She creates new materials and tools for inter-disciplinary understanding of design ideas with the idea of improving understandings and civic conversations. In addition to her long career as a civil engineer, she ran an award-winning children’s elementary school engineering program. Fionnuala has written community design guides and conducted companion workshops. Her combined roles have given her unique insight into activities that explain design and how we use our streets. Fionnuala understands the need to focus on the details of how people travel so as to create useful facilities and connections.
Fionnuala is currently the Director of The Bureau of Good Roads, a company focused on creating innovative programs to provide civic education about the design of our streets. In her previous role as an engineer with Alta Planning + Design, her work focused on the design of safer and more comfortable places to walk and bike all around the U.S., whether by reconfiguring existing streets or through the creation of new trails. Fionnuala led APBP’s Women’s Cycling Project which engaged thousands of participants from all around the U.S. and became the catalyst for creation of new women’s biking programs and national forums. Fionnuala was the primary author of the Virginia Bicycling Advocates Design Guide, which subsequently received national award recognition for the creation of a groundbreaking new resource. Fionnuala has particular interests in suburban retrofit and currently serves on the advisory group for the Reston Transit Station Area Design Guidelines and served also on the Tysons Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Committee.
A longtime resident of northern Virginia, Fionnuala holds a B.E. in Civil Engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland. She received an Irish Technical Foundation Award to the United States, which launched her on her engineering career. She holds a Pennsylvania professional engineering license. She has served on numerous committees from the local to the national level including the Reston Transit Station Area Design Guide, the Fairfax Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Committee as well as National Women Bike and Advocacy Advance.
She has been recognized with regional and national awards for her work in creating materials to improve civic understanding of design improvements. Whether riding her bicycle for local transportation or combining her folding bicycle with the metro system, Fionnuala greatly enjoys using the region’s travel network to get around for work and pleasure.