TAC Meeting Minutes for November 19, 2013

Meeting Summary

Regular MeetingNovember 19, 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), Secretary Roger Hoskin (Mason), Kevin Morse (Braddock), Michael Champness (Dranesville), Harry Zimmerman (Lee), Frank Cohn (Mt. Vernon), and Ann Pimley (Fairfax Area Disability Board).

TAC Members Absent:  Ed. L. Tennyson (At-Large), Micah Himmel (Providence), and Eric Thiel (Springfield)

Extended TAC Members in Attendance: Roger Diedrich.

Extended TAC Members Absent: Michael Caplin, Bob Chase, Colleen Colangelo, Edythe Frankel Kelleher, Jim Larsen, Heidi Perham, Frank Sellers, Joe Vidulich, and Alan Young.

Others in Attendance:  FCDOT staff: Todd Wigglesworth and Calvin Lam; Steve Yaffe (Arlington County).

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Parnes at 7:40 p.m. The minutes of the October 15, 2013 were amended with the corrections provided by Chairman Parnes (via email) and adopted by voice vote.

Note Taker:  Michael Champness

Main Topics Discussed

Fairfax Area Mobility & Transportation Options Survey for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Steve Yaffe, Co-Chair of the Fairfax Area Mobility & Transportation Committee, presented the results of the Fairfax Area Mobility and Transportation Options Survey for Older Adults and People with Disabilities. A copy of the briefing that was presented is attached, as is a two-page summary of key findings and recommendations. The survey contained 27 questions on trip patterns, unmet needs, barriers, and awareness of services. After a wide-scale public outreach campaign, it yielded 1,163 responses. Among the key findings were:

• 27% of respondents were not able to get to their desired destination because they could not find transportation
• A majority of survey respondents were not aware of free travel training programs
• Those with the lowest annual household income are most likely to be homebound

Many transportation and mobility barriers remain. It can be harder for riders to get to the bus than to get on the bus, often because stops are located in remote locations. Among the techniques identified to help lower access barriers are MetroAccess, Fastran, Taxi subsidies, travel training, and accessing information. Between 19% and 39% of the survey respondents were not able to get rides, or were unaware of the availability of taxi subsidies and travel training.

The top three recommendations coming out of the survey were (percentages are of the number of respondents citing the recommendation):

• Improve the availability of accessible and affordable public transportation (52%)
• Expand transit and taxi subsidies (46%)
• Develop information and referral services for transportation options (37%)

Recommendations were also identified in mobility management, public transit, bus stop accessibility and pedestrian issues, MetroAccess, Fastran, taxi programs, and awareness of existing programs.

The question and answer session that followed included short discussions of age restrictions on Zip Cars, the design of the taxi of the future, Ridescount, Uber, funding, trip categories, attracting riders, radial vs. circulator bus services, and applications that locate buses.

Update from the Countywide Dialogue on Transportation Public Outreach Meetings

Todd Wigglesworth, FCDOT, thanked Commissioners for always having at least one Commissioner in attendance at each public session. FCDOT has received 1,685 survey responses and counting. The comment period will close on November 22, after which time Tom Biesiadny, FCDOT Director, and FCDOT staff will meet with each supervisor individually. Over the four public meetings, a total of 136 persons attended.

FCDOT will meet with the Board of Supervisors (BOS) Transportation Committee on December 10 and hope to have the survey data compiled by that time. This may not be possible, as the last public meeting will take place December 6. The goal is to take a proposed list of priorities to the BOS in January so that funding can be secured in the spring.

The question and answer session that followed included short discussions of bike trails, sidewalks, how the survey results will be used, methods of project prioritization and funding strategy and possible ways the Commission could contribute, write-in projects, and the TAC role in the public outreach process.

Topics for Future Meetings:

• December 17, 2013:
    o Route 1 Transit Center Study – Caijun Luo, FCDOT
    o Feedback on the Draft Regional Transportation Priorities Plan for the National Capitol Region
• January 21, 2014: Columbia Pike Street Car Line Progress (and additional possible candidates)
• February 18, 2014: Status of 495 HOT lanes
• March 18, 2014: Route 7 improvements
• April 15, 2014: Legislative Package
• Countywide Transit Network Study – Summer 2014
• 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).

Commissioners also discussed trying to have TAC members invited to participate in the Dulles rail “field trip” taken by County Supervisors before the Silver Line opens. The impacts on transportation of changes to low-income zoning regulations were also discussed as a possible topic, as was getting a report on the operations of the new Silver Line.

Feedback on Previous Meeting’s Presentation

The Commission returned to a conversation of its role in advising the Board of Supervisors. On June 18, 2013, the BOS passed a resolution endorsing Metro Momentum for planning purposes only. To follow up, Commissioner Madden put together a draft letter to the BOS. The TAC noted that the letter was much more detailed than the resolution, and discussed providing its detailed comments on Momentum to the FCDOT staff instead of to the Board of Supervisors.

Regarding the Metro Momentum presentation in October, Commissioners noted that Momentum is not currently funded, and were reminded by Mr. Wigglesworth that Fairfax County will only fund projects in Virginia. He also said that funding Momentum would take double the funding currently allocated (from $28M/year to $56M/year), and that Fairfax County is providing $2.7M of a $30.7M Metro project. Supervisor Hudgins has talked in WMATA meetings about the need to prioritize Momentum projects. Mr. Wigglesworth closed the discussion by informing Commissioners of the original Metro funding strategy and various approaches that could be used to fund next generation Metro improvements.

Closing and Adjournment

Chairman Parnes suggested that a letter to the Board of Supervisors regarding Momentum was not opportune at this time, based on the conversations during today’s meeting. He asked Commissioners Zimmerman and Madden to rework it accordingly, and said that it need not be sent to the BOS.

Commissioner Morse suggested that the TAC send a letter to Ron Kirby’s widow to express our condolences on his passing. The TAC agreed by acclimation to have Chairman Parnes sign a letter on its behalf without further action by the TAC.

Chairman Parnes announced that a rail to Centerville meeting would be held the next day hosted by the Sully District Council, and that all Commissioners are invited to attend. He also urged Commissioners to contact their districts to urge people to complete the transportation survey.

In appreciation for the important contributions Ron Kirby made in getting the region to work together, the TAC held a minute of silence in his memory.

Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned as 9:45 p.m.

Upcoming Events:

December 10, 2013 10:00 am Board Transportation Committee Meeting
February 4, 2014 10:00 am Board Transportation Committee Meeting
May 6, 2014 10:00 am Board Transportation Committee Meeting

Upcoming Meetings:

December 3, 2013             7:30 pm     TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
December 17, 2013           7:30 pm     TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

January 7, 2014                7:30 pm     TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
January 21, 2014              7:30 pm     TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

February 4, 2014              7:30 pm     TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
February 18, 2014            7:30 pm     TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

March 4, 2014                 7:30 pm     TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
March 18, 2014                7:30 pm     TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

April 1, 2014                    7:30 pm     TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
April 15, 2014                  7:30 pm     TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

May 6, 2014                    7:30 pm     TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
May 20, 2014                   7:30 pm     TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

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