TAC Meeting Minutes for August 20, 2013

Meeting Summary

Regular MeetingAugust 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM – FCDOT, 4050 Legato Rd, Fairfax, VA 22033

TAC Members in Attendance: Chairman Jeff Parnes (Sully), Vice Chairman Jenifer Joy Madden (Hunter Mill) via telephone, Ed. L. Tennyson (At-Large), Secretary Roger Hoskin (Mason), Kevin Morse (Braddock), Micah Himmel (Dranesville), Frank Cohn (Mt. Vernon), Eric Thiel (Springfield), and Ann Pimley (Fairfax Area Disability Board).

TAC Members Absent: Harry Zimmerman (Lee).

Extended TAC Members in Attendance: Michael Caplin, Roger Diedrich, Edythe Frankel Kelleher, and Alan Young.

Extended TAC Members Absent: Bob Chase, Colleen Colangelo, Jim Larsen, Heidi Perham, Frank Sellers, and Joe Vidulich.

Others in Attendance:  FCDOT Staff: Tom Biesiadny, Beth Francis, Michael Guarino, Michael Lake, Calvin Lam, Adam Lind, Todd Minnix, Randy White, and Todd Wigglesworth.   Paul Davis, Supervisor Hudgins Office.

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Parnes at about 7:35 pm.

Note Taker:  Micah Himmel/Roger Hoskin

Main Topics Discussed

BOS Four Year Transportation Plan (FYP)

Michael Guarino, FCDOT, gave a presentation of the current status of the Board’s Four Year Plan.  The first Four-Year plan began in February 2004 and ran through FY 2008.  The third Four-Year Plan began with FY 2013 and will continue through FY 2016.   The plan includes information on transportation projects by multiple agencies and levels of government.  Cost-benefit analysis was used as one of many factors for project selection.

The Board’s transportation priorities over the four-year period are: to enhance mobility, promote and increase safety, and to expand choices for the commuting public.  The many multi-modal projects are intended to add capacity to already existing infrastructure thereby reducing congestion, to connect missing sidewalk and bicycle trails thereby improving connectivity, and to provide augmented safe access to transit facilities.  Fairfax County Government and several public agencies are responsible for management and outcomes including VDOT, MWAA, and FCPA.

Chosen projects are funded from a $937 million budget which includes $237 million in Federal Regional Surface Transportation Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air quality funds which are expected through 2016.  An additional $245 million come from existing and proposed County General Obligation and revenue Bonds.  $262 million is anticipated from County Commercial and Industrial Tax revenues and $193 million in other Federal and private sources. 

Projects are chosen in coordination with the Board of Supervisors and FCDOT staff.  The final list of projects is approved by the Board of Supervisors.  Status reports are due twice yearly in June and December.  Reports include a summary of FCDOT activities since the last report and include input from VDOT.  A status report is given on each active project, those in the current Four-Year program, rollover projects from previous Four-Year programs as well as other County funded projects.

The biannual report is available on the web and contains project status reports organized by rout number, legend as well as general information and search tips.  FCDOT staff will attempt to export GIS layer of projects as PDF, perhaps by dividing up the County into quadrants to facilitate legibility.  A web based map available to the public is currently in development.  Each Commission member was provided a copy of the June 2013 Status Report of Third Four-Year Transportation Program.

Commissioner Cohn asked about using the FYP as a project management tool. Mr. Guarino responded that FYP is a planning document.  Mr. Wigglesworth, in response to a question, stated that the NVTA would issue bonds for local projects, so there would be no effect on Fairfax County’s bond limit.

TAC Achievement Award

The subcommittee recommended that Kenneth Moreland, FCDOT, for the TAC Transportation Achievement Award.  The TAC accepted the recommendation and will present the award to Mr. Moreland at a future Board meeting. 

Other Business

Anna Pimley stated that only 39 taxis are capable of handling passengers with special needs. This is insufficient.  The TAC asked to be included in future discussions with Consumer Affairs regarding taxi regulation.

Continuation of Countywide Dialogue on Transportation Project Selection 

At 8 pm the members of the extended TAC joined the meeting in progress and Tom Biesiadny, Director of FCDOT, presented the continuing dialogue on transportation project selection. 

In light of the General Assembly’s action in the last session which provided additional revenue sources for transportation funding, the purpose of reconvening the extended TAC is to seek advice on how best to engage the public in an outreach effort during the fall of 2014 to select high-priority projects for funding and solicit public comment on a six-year funding plan for FY 2014-2020.

The anticipated increase in State funding for transportation projects as a result of HB2313 will likely provide an additional $912 million through FY2020.  Each of the new funding sources has its own set of requirements and revenue committed to projects in the Board’s current Four-Year plan is not included in this effort.  Highlights of the types of requirements and guidelines were presented.  Estimates of revenue from each of the State’s newly enacted revenue sources as well as existing State and local funds is presented to reach the $912 million total were outlined.  Even with new revenues, it is estimated that $70 million is still needed.

Bond validation suit went to court for validation to ensure constitutionality of authorizing legislation.  Other funding sources for FYP include CMAQ and RSTP until FY2019 as well as 2014 transportation bond referendum.

A cost benefit analysis (CBA) is to be used as a systematic approach for comparing among competing projects.  The cost benefit calculus was explained in some detail.  Benefits incorporated in the CBA for highways and transit included user travel time savings, user vehicle operating cost savings and emissions reductions.  A more qualitative evaluation is to be used for bicycle and pedestrian projects.  Commissioners were concerned how highway and transit projects would be evaluated in a mix with bicycle and pedestrian projects.  It was explained that the two would be evaluated separately.

FCDOT will seek more feedback from the public on priorities now that funding is available for projects.   The public is to be engaged in the process through a series of outreach meetings.  There, suggested projects will be vetted by the public and results used as part of the valuation process in the CBA.  The extended TAC is invited to participate in the planning and execution of the public outreach process.  A TAC working session was decided on for September 10, 2013 to begin this process.  FCDOT intends to present BOS with intended list of projects at September 17, 2013 meeting.

Commissioner Pimley asked whether the HB 2313 funds allocated for localities can be used for maintenance or not.  Mr. Biesiadny replied “Yes”.  Commissioner Tennyson asked about the shovel-ready projects eligible under HB 2313.  Mr. Biesiadny replied “Yes, but funding is also being used for design.”

Commissioner Hoskin raised a question about revenue shortfall for projects.   Mr. Biesiadny stated that “the inflation built into the projections should compensate.”

Regarding cost-benefit analysis, only projects within the same transportation mode will be compared (i.e., NOT pedestrian project vs. roadway project).  Commissioner Tennyson stated that “travel time savings” should not be included in CBA because it is not an economic factor.  Commissioner Himmel disagreed.  Mr. Diedrich questioned use of the cost-benefit analysis criteria at NVTA relating to HB 3213.

Commissioner Cohn asked in regarding to public input that FCDOT was looking for prioritization only or agreement to move forward with these projects.  Mr. Biesiadny said “both”.

Mr. Young asked a question about trails and pedestrian accessibility.  Mr. Biesiadny indicated that about $5 million under the federal Transportation Alternatives account would be available to fund pedestrian/bike projects.

Commissioner Thiel suggested having the list of projects available on the web sortable by multiple columns. Commissioner Madden asked about whether presentations will be made to specific target groups.  Mr. Davis suggested using the TDM contact lists to spread the words to the public.  Commissioner Thiel suggested improving Fairfax County website to advertise outreach for public input.

Mr. Caplin asked about the overlap between Table 7 Tysons projects and the FYP.   The response was that all Table 7 projects are shown as funded, but not prioritized. The feedback on Table 7 projects will not be of the yes/no variety but, rather, for prioritization only.

Mr. Young asked about safety improvements for bikes and pedestrians and why uses CBA for prospective projects, but not for existing projects at Tysons?

Commissioner Cohn suggested ensuring that future meetings acknowledge input of citizens from last round of meetings.

Topics for Future Meetings:

  • September 17, 2012:  Momentum: The Next Generation of Metro and the projected loading statistics for the Dulles Metrorail Silver Line - Shyam Kannan and Gregory Potts (WMATA)
  • October 15, 2013: Fairfax Area Mobility & Transportation Options Survey for Older Adults and People with Disabilities – Steve Jaffe (Arlington County) and Jill Clark (DFS)
  • November 19, 2013: Route 1 Transit Center Study – Caijun Luo, FCDOT
  • December 17, 2013: Columbia Pike Street Car Line Progress (and additional possible candidates)
  • Countywide Transit Network Study -
  • CTB Determination of Corridor of Statewide Importance through Loudoun/Prince William Counties
  • Comprehensive Plan staff and Planning Commission discussions with TAC on what their vision is for future development and any changes in planning and zoning guidelines that may be needed to account for future work environment given the pace and impacts of technology advances (including guest speaker to explain impact of self-driving/smart cars, buses and trucks on traffic, roadways and intersections).

Announcements: none   

Adjourned: the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 pm. 

Upcoming Meetings/Events

September 10, 2013                7:30 pm           TAC Work Session (FCDOT)

September 17, 2013                10:00 am         Board Transportation Committee

September 17, 2013                7:30 pm           TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

October 1, 2013                      7:30 pm           TAC Work Session (FCDOT)

October 15, 2013                    7:30 pm           TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

October 29, 2013                    7:30 pm           TAC Work Session (FCDOT)

November 19, 2013                7:30 pm           TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

December 3, 2013                   7:30 pm           TAC Work Session (FCDOT)

December 10, 2013                 10:00 am         Board Transportation Committee

December 17, 2013                 7:30 pm           TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

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