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Discussion Title Countywide Dialogue on Transportation

Fairfax County has identified more than 200 capital and operating projects important for maintaining or improving a safe and efficient transportation network. These unfunded projects provide new capacity and include interchange improvements, roadway extensions, spot improvements, roadway widening projects, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements. Join us on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m. for a discussion with Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, and tell us which projects are the most important to you and your community. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/cdot/


Tom Biesiadny : Good morning!  Welcome to our on-line chat regarding our Countywide Dialogue on Transportation.  We are seeking feedback on a list of projects that can be found on our website:  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/dot.  There is also in interactive map to help you locate the projects and description sheets that explain each of the projects in more detail.  We are here to take your feedback and answer your questions.


Bill Harvey : The Rolling Road and Old Keene Mill Road intersection, it seems could be improved by making the north bound lane of Rolling Road two lanes for a left turn to go west on Old Keene Mill Road--has anything be done to consider this option, if so what?

Tom Biesiadny : Project #37 would address this issue.  Project #37 proposes to add a second northbound left turn lane on Rolling Road, to westbound Old Keene Mill Road


Bill Harvey : To help improve the section of Rolling Road that goes south from Old Keene Mill to the Parkway, has any consideration been given to banning tractor/trailer vehicles?

Tom Biesiadny :

First of all, restrictions placed are for thru trucks. Local delivery trucks would not be restricted as long as one of their destination points falls within the prohibited area. The county maintains a thru truck restriction program, requests are initiated by the local community. There are several qualifying factors when considering trucks on any section of roadway. Some of the qualifying factors include the street must be a residential or collector road, or residential arterial or primary road with greater than 12 dwellings per 1000 ft. of road. A suitable alternate route must be available. The road is reviewed for safety issues. All requests for thru truck restrictions must be sent to your local board office. Once received the necessary studies will be conducted to determine if the road qualifies, and if so the Board will conduct the necessary public hearing and forward the request to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for final approval.


James Sobecke : What is the status of the long awaited improvement to the Braddock Road - Danbury Forest - Wakefield Chapel Road improvement?

Tom Biesiadny :

A study of the Braddock Road/Danbury Forest/Wakefield Chapel area was completed in 2011.  That study identified several proposed alternatives for improvements to the intersections.  Alternative A, which included improved signage and pavement markings, was completed in 2011.  Alternative B would relocate the raised concrete median to improve the left turn lanes on westbound Braddock Road to southbound Danbury Forest, and on eastbound Braddock Road to northbound Wakefield Chapel.  On July 10, 2012, the Board of Supervisors approved their Third Four-Year Transportation Program, which included funding for Alternative B, as a part of a 2014 Bond Referendum, which must be approved by voters before the project can proceed.  Subsequently, FCDOT allocated advanced funds to begin preliminary design of the project, and survey is underway.  The remainder of the alternatives at the Braddock/Danbury/Wakefield Chapel intersection remain unfunded, as are thousands of potential projects throughout the County.  This Dialogue on Transportation Funding is a way to gain community participation in helping to decide which projects should be prioritized for funding so that they can proceed to implementation.


James Sobecke : Will funding be available for the maintenance of the traffic calming devices (existing speed bumps) on Southampton and other streets in Kings Park? Almost all have degraded with use and need to be repaired and repainted.

Tom Biesiadny :

Funding for maintenance of traffic calming measures is a VDOT responsibility.  Once the traffic calming measure is installed on the roadway VDOT assumes the maintenance of all the measures including signage, striping and the integrity of the surface. We will forward your concerns to VDOT for appropriate action.


Lisa Mariam : Route 123/Dolley Madison Blvd/Chain Bridge Rd from Merrie Ridge Rd to Chain Bridge Rd. is the major connector between DC/Arlington/eastern Fairfax County and McLean/Tysons. Numerous bikers and pedestrians travel this route and it is extremely dangerous due to the lack of continuous sidewalks and road shoulders in certain sections. Why is this route not on the list of projects under consideration and is it too late to be included?

Tom Biesiadny : To implement this project, we would need to do a major reconstruction of the roadway.  Some interim improvements are planned at Dolly Madison and Chain Bridge and pedestrian improvements are currently underway between Dolly Madison/Chain Bridge westward to the McLean Metrorail Station.


Bill Harvey : There seems to be considerable discussion in the public domain about how cars are becoming the least desired mode of transportation. This is particularly true in meto areas where young adults prefer waling, bicycles, and public transportation over using a car to get around. Some reports show a drop in car sales, already, among this demographic group. Does Fairfax County subscribe to this notion, and if so, what will be the impact for transportation issues in the County?

Tom Biesiadny :

Clearly there have been changes to how we travel.  All modes of transportation are important in Fairfax County, and we are actively encouraging alternatives to the single occupant automobile.  While there is a shift in the reliance on the single occupant auto, cars will continue to play a role in a transportation choices for some time.  That said, we will be recommending that the Board invest transportation funding in all modes of transportation. 


Lisa Mariam : Everyone knows route 66 is the worst traffic problem in the county. The orange line metro needs to be extended west from Vienna. Why is this project not under consideration?

Tom Biesiadny : Extending Metrorail in the I-66 is a more long term project.  For this effort, we are looking at the next six years.  VDOT is current conducting a Environmental Impact Statement in the I-66 corridor from the Beltway to Haymarket.  This effort is looking at several different options to improve transportation.  These options do include extending Metrorai,l as well as bus rapid transit, high occupancy toll lanes, and general purpose lanes, among others.


Nate : When will the proposed trail along RT. 7 be installed? This will provide a vital commuting, recreational, and transportation cycling/pedestrian link in an underserved part of the county. Please make it happen!

Tom Biesiadny : We current have a funded trail project from the Dulles Toll Road to Beulah Road under design.  Scheduled completion is late 2016 or early 2017, depending on land acquisition and utility requirements. 


Tysons Engineer : What is the status of the Jones Branch Drive Connector to Route 123 over 495? I spoke with Tom earlier this year and it was in the long term plans, but it was unclear if funds would be available for it. The project is critical to relieving traffic at intx of Route 123 and Tysons Blvd, as well as creating a metro connection for North Tysons/bicyclists/several Fortune 500 companies.

Tom Biesiadny : Final design of this project will begin in early 2014.  The schedule complete is late 2017 or early 2018.  The project is fully funded with local and VDOT funds.  We agree that it is a critical project.


Tysons Engineer : With construction on new rezoning projects (Spring Hill Station, Arbor Row) as well as work at MITRE 4, can we expect any new local road grid links to be constructed in the next 2 years; for instance -The extension of Colshire Meadow Drive to Anderson Road -Or the Right Of Way improvements along Westpark Drive

Tom Biesiadny : The extension of Colshire Meadow Drive to Anderson is part of the a rezoning that was approved by the Board of Supervisor earlier this year.  The property owner is finalizing details of their development.  The extension will be constructed as the development is implemented, but I don't whether that will be in the next two years or not.  This is also the case with other developer constructed roadways in Tysons.


Tysons Engineer : What is the next project anticipated to begin construction affiliated with Tysons Table 7 and when will that be expected to begin?

Tom Biesiadny : The first project will be the Jones Branch Connector.  Other projects under planning and design right now are Route 7 from the Dulles Toll Road to Reston, Route 7 from Route 123 to the Beltway, and Route 123 improvements from Route 7 to Great Falls Street.


Amber : There had been mention of bike lanes on Gallows Road that would continue all the way to Dunn Loring and central Merrifield area. Is this still a project that will be realized? Thank you!

Tom Biesiadny : This bike lane project is something that County is continuing to pursue in coordination with VDOT.


Julie W. : When will Silverbrook Road receive a triple left turn signal? The traffic at the intersection of Silverbrook Road and Lorton Road is horrible during the AM rush.

Tom Biesiadny : Improvements to the intersection of Silverbrook and Lorton Road is project #40 on our unfunded list.  We will be considering the feedback we receive from the public as we preparing our recommendations for the Board of Supervisor's consideration early next year.  You can access the survey on our website.


Nick : When can South County expect the Giles Run Road be removed from the comprehensive plan? A resolution has already been passed by South County Federation and eagerly supported by the surrounding affected communities.

Tom Biesiadny : Ultimately, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether or not to remove any roadway from the County's Comprehensive Plan.  Staff is working on an analysis related to this specific project.


Robert Poole : One of the criteria used is travel time savings. It seems that the purpose of transportation/transit for the purpose of this discussion is the movement of people. Why isn't throughput of persons variable Fairfax is focusing on?

Tom Biesiadny : We agree that the movement of people, rather than vehicles is the key factor.  Transit and ridersharing certainly helps with this, because more move in the same vehicle.   By reducing travel time, you are increasing person throughput. 


Anonymous User : How much money does Fairfax County need to complete all of its tranportation projects over the next ten to twenty years?

Tom Biesiadny : We have not calculated a 20-year needs estimate.  We did estimate that Fairfax County needs an additional $3 Billion over the next ten years prior to the General Assembly action to approve additional transportation funding this past April.  The General Assembly's action reduces the unfunded needs significant.   


Tysons Engineer : Westpark Drive currently has a significantly high speed limit (45mph) for a residential road with mixed use on the way. I encounter several dozen pedestrians along its stretch each day. Are there plans to make the entire stretch between Intx Dr and Tysons Blvd 35mph? Additionally, there have been two close calls as far as pedestrian incidents along Westpark in the past 3 weeks that I have personally witnessed. 1) At Westbranch, seems like a stop sign or something is needed because pedestrians don't realize it is a 2 way stop, not 4 way stop; and the 45mph speed limit makes it a dangerous location 2) At the new Kaiser entrance, the signage is so small that people suddenly realize it is the building and swerve into the entrance, nearly saw someone get hit who was walking on the adjacent sidewalk. Better signage for it, or some entrance improvement with turn lane, could avoid future tragedy

Tom Biesiadny : Unfortunately, I don't information about the future plans for setting the speed limits on Westpark Drive, but I can look into it.  I will also look into better pedestrian signage in the areas you identified. 


A Little Confused : Can you explain what this county process is about compared with efforts by VDOT and then I think there's another transportation board that also decides funding. It's very confusing as a member of the public to know which group I should be providing feedback to. I feel like this dialogue thing should be more important, but then I'm not sure. VDOT recently held hearings on transportation. Politicians hold meetings. Please help demystify all of this. Thanks.

Tom Biesiadny : As part of the Dialogue we are seeking input from the community on the County's overall transportation needs.  The Board of Supervisors directly controls some of the new funding approved by the General Assembly.  For the funding approved for the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the County will make it priorities known to them as they consider their individual actions.  At a staff level, we will also be providing input to the Authority and VDOT as to which projects should be funded in Fairfax County. 


Anonymous User : Are there any major transportation projects planned in the western part of the county (centreville/chantilly)? There is so much focus on Tyson's and the rest of the county.

Tom Biesiadny : Yes, there are a number of unfunded project listed in the Centreville/Chantilly area.  They include five projects on Route 28 from Prince William County to the Dulles Toll Road; the Stone Road overpass over I-66 from Route 29 to Route 28; the Popular Tree Extension over Route 28 (Stonecroft to Walney); intersection improvements at Pleasant Valley and Herndon Avenue; and Route 29 widening west of the Fairfax County Parkway, among others. 


Tysons Engineer : Last question, I promise. Street lighting at the Westpark Transit Center along Jones Branch Drive is extremely dangerous. The intersection in front of Freddie Mac is extremely confusing for motorists, and this happens to also be where pedestrians cross after getting off the numerous buses that use the facility. There needs to be a lit pedestrian cross walk, with signals embedded into the pavement, to alert traffic to stop when pedestrians are present, and far better overhead lighting. Thank you for answering all of my questions (after this one)

Tom Biesiadny : Thank you for the comment.  We will look into this one as well.


Daniel Benson : I will not be at the 11 AM session on 11/12, will be but have questions: #1 UNFUNDED LIST - Wolf Trap Segment of NoVi Trails is not on the Unfunded list. Spvr Hudgins had a list of unfunded Hunter Mill Projects prepared in 2012 - this included the two parts of the Wolf Trap Segment - A. the 28ft of missing paving at Trap/Gelding with curb cuts on Gelding opposite the Sside corner of Trap/Gelding and B. Stripping at intersections at 4 Corners, Hicks, Massonoff, and Gelding. This project has been repeated discussed at HMD-TAC meeting and with FCDOT staff. #2 UNFUNDED LIST - Your Project #35 - Old Courthouse/Besley - description omits details of an earlier, more extensive FCDOT proposal for $5.5 Mil. including Old CH widening from Wolf Trails Park to Creek Crossing Rd with adjacent paved pedestrian/bike trails with bridge over Wolf Trap Creek. This trail would connect the NoVi Trail at 4 Corners, the Wolf Trails Park trail along Wolf Trap Creek, and the Wolf Trap SV Park trails to Creek Crossing.This also would have straighten the alignment and improved drainage. The project has long been an objective of FC Trails & Sidewalk Cmt.

Tom Biesiadny : We will take your suggestion on the Wolf Trap Segment of the NoVi Trail and include it in the consideration.  Project 35 is a less extensive version of the larger project.  Thank you for your input.


527 : Since the VDOT 527 process started, has FFX seen a decrease in developments with cul-de-sacs? Has FCDOT been able to observe a rise in connectivity in the roadway network? Has this process been an net pos or neg for FFX?

Tom Biesiadny : Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for this question, but can look into it.  In Tysons and other major activities centers in Fairfax County, we are looking to implement greater street connectivity and fewer cul-de-sacs. 


Nick : Hi, would just like to add that moving traffic into PW County by widening the Route 1 south underpass under the CSX bridge is of paramount importance to the Lorton Community. Also the South County Federation passed a Transportation Priority Resolution that was submitted by Supervisor Hyland at last month's meeting at Hayfield that outlines the importance of projects by magnitude for our community. Thanks in advance for taking those projects under consideration.

Tom Biesiadny : Yes.  We do have the Richmond Highway projects you mentioned on our list.  See projects #59 and #61.  We also have the South County Federation list and will be including it in the consideration.   


Tom Biesiadny : Thank you very much for your participation in today's on-line chat.  We appreciate your questions and project suggestions.  We will be summarizing all of the input we receive for the Board of Supervisors and will be using it to make our final recommendations.  If you haven't taken the survey yet, we encourage you to do so.  Thanks again, Tom

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