TAC Meeting Minutes for March 18, 2014

Meeting Summary

Regular MeetingMarch 18, 2014 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), Harry Zimmerman (Lee), Micah Himmel (Providence), Eric Thiel (Springfield), and Ann Pimley (Fairfax Area Disability Board).

TAC Members in Abstance: Edson L. Tennyson (At-Large), Mike Champness (Dranesville), and Frank Cohn (Mt. Vernon).

Others in Attendance: FCDOT staff: Calvin Lam; Michael McGurk (Transurban) and Michelle Holland (VDOT Megaprojects).

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Parnes at 7:40 p.m. The minutes of the February 28, 2013 were unanimously approved.

Note Taker:  Micah Himmel

Main Topics Discussed

One Year Review of I-495 HOT Lanes Performance/Progress on I-95 Lanes Construction

1. I-95 Express Lanes Construction Update

Mike McGurk, Transurban, provided some background on the I-95 project.
    • $1 billion, 29-mile corridor improvement
    • The HOV facility will upgrade to HOT lanes.
    • Free with HOV+3
    • The Interstate will expand from 2 to 3 lanes for 14 miles from Edsall Rd to Prince William Parkway. It will also add nine new miles from current end at Dumfries.
    • This project will provide a connection to I-495 HOT lanes and nine new bridges.
    • Access includes flyover ramps connected to the general purpose I-95 lanes to provide access to/from HOT lanes.

The project is 70 percent complete. Completion is anticipated at end of this year. The timing of summer and autumn 2013 paving work has helped prepare the project for a quick finish in 2014.

Commissioner Parnes asked about accessibility of I-95 HOT lanes from the general purpose (GP) lanes. Flyover ramps will enable access from the GP lanes.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked about the times for the reverse HOV lanes. Michael McGurk said that Transurban will make the reversible lanes more responsive to demand as the operations mature.

Commissioner Parnes asked about getting people traveling I-95 from origins like Florida or Canada educated about the need for a transponder to use the I-95 HOT lanes. Also, he asked about 2-axle cars pulling a trailer. McGurk responded that a trailer does not disqualify one from using the HOT lanes.

Michelle Holland responded to a question about the terminus of the HOT lanes on I-395 NB. She pointed out that the project will construct an auxiliary lane to Seminary Rd for Mark Center that will help with the narrowing of the facility in Arlington.

2. 495 HOT Lanes Performance/Progress

Project representatives noted that drivers are still not familiar with functionality of the HOT lanes. Drivers are especially unfamiliar with new options like the Lee Highway ramp. The most popular trip is the full length of the HOT lanes.

The average toll is $2.32 in December quarter. 58% of customer are women and 60% are younger than 45.

Regarding one of the promises of operating managed lanes, they then discussed transit operations. Transit is now active on I-495. Omniride and Connector are operating buses in the corridor.

Commissioner Parnes asked about VDOT policies on EZ Pass transponder fees. As a VDOT matter, and no relevant VDOT officials present, there was no answer.

Commissioner Madden asked about the forecast of usage. McGurk mentioned that Transurban structured forecasts within the past few weeks.

Commissioner Zimmerman asked about weaving through Springfield as a result of drivers avoiding I-95.

Commissioner Madden asked about the increase in pedestrian access due to bridge reconstruction, (in Quantico and also at Telegraph Rd). There are plan in the works for extending new pedestrian access at Idylwood Rd and Route 123.

Commissioner Parnes made a comparison between I-495 HOT lanes signage and I-95 HOT lanes signage. I-495 is 14 miles; I-95 is 30 miles. How will Transurban display options over that long a distance on 95?

The commissioners entered into general discussion of how prices have risen on I-495. Representatives acknowledged an increase.

General Discussion

Regarding the event on the AOL Loudoun campus, Chris Lineberger delivered a message that more TOD-compatible development is necessary for Loudoun. Commissioner Parnes said that he was glad that the Loudoun BOS has “entered the 21st century.” Commissioner Madden said that she was impressed with the bluntness of the message about how suburban design is passé.

Commissioner Pimley talked about pedestrian safety at roundabouts. She suggested a future meeting with FCDOT and VDOT to discuss design, safety, etc.

Topics for Future Meetings:

• April 15, 2014: Legislative Review - Noelle Dominguez
• May 20, 2014: Proposed Route 7 Improvements
• June 17, 2014: Bike Master Plan – Charlie Strunk, FCDOT
• July 15, 2014: Wayfinding/Signage – VDOT
• Dulles Rail Field Trip/Update
• 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).

Closing and Adjournment

Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned as 10:05 p.m.

Upcoming Events:

May 6, 2014                 10:00 am         Board Transportation Committee Meeting

Upcoming Meetings:

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)

June 3, 2014                         7:30 pm             TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
June 17, 2014                       7:30 pm             TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)

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

August 5, 2014                         7:30 pm              TAC Work Session (FCDOT)
August 19, 2014                       7:30 pm              TAC Regular Meeting (FCDOT)


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