Seven Corners Visioning Task Force


Quality of Life Committee

Seven Corners Special Study
Tuesday, December 11, 2012


In attendance:
Kay Cooper
Carol Turner
Nancy Vorona

Staff:
Mike Congleton
Jay Rauschenbach
Susan Epstein

Guest representatives from VDOT:
Lauren Mollerup
Andy Beacher

VDOT Discussion

First topic: Update on VDOT-Fairfax County agreement about illegal signs and litter.

  • Lauren provided details about the ongoing discussions to establish and agreement between VDOT and Fairfax County; details included current and future respective responsibilities, timetable for implementation, and anticipated results.
  • Emphasized that litter is not a major priority for VDOT – in regards to policy and available resources – so the agreement would allow Fairfax County to address the issue more efficiently and proactively. The few cases that VDOT does respond to come from the Governor’s Office.
  • Mike further explained that Fairfax County would work with the Sheriff’s Office to enforce the new agreement, though there will be a lengthy administrative process to figure out internal operations to get the program up and running.Committee cited the significant amount of litter on the sides of Route 50 – road and hillsides, especially under and just east of the Route 7 overpass.

Committee asked for clarification between illegal signs and litter.

  • Illegal signs – subject to fines; volunteers can remove when in VDOT right of way and the volunteer(s) have an Adopt-a-Highway permit for that stretch of road; volunteers are not permitted to help remove when not in VDOT right-of-way
  • Litter – best addressed through volunteered-based adopt-a-highway programs.

Kay suggested that education is a large component to solving the illegal sign/litter  problem.

  • Mike agreed, but unfortunately there isn’t a strong contingency in Seven Corners to provide outreach and education – like a Chamber of Commerce or the like. There may be some opportunities however, such as through the Baileys Crossroads Revitalization Corp. and/or the local Rotary Club.
  • Lauren indicated that she is seeking updates to the VDOT flyer about signage.
  • Once the new agreement goes into effect with VDOT, Fairfax County will regulate the major streets that VDOT used to manage; however, to improve local streets, adopt-a-highway programs may be the most efficient.
  • Distinguished that signs become illegal when they are advertising.
  • Mike indicated that sign spinners in the VDOT right of way are not legal and may be reported via non-emergency police. Committee stated they are often at the intersection of Patrick Henry Drive and Route 50.

Next topic: infrastructure.

  • VDOT works on a 6-year plan with limited funding.
  • The 6-year plan is a rolling plan and is addressed every year; includes public hearing.
  • The 6-year plan mostly includes large/major site- and corridor-specific projects; smaller-scale projects are difficult to achieve funding.
  • There are no projects currently listed for Seven Corners.

Committee asked how VDOT prioritizes projects.

  • Lauren explained the newly developed VDOT rating system based on a 0-100 point scale.
  • Primary roads are rated every year, whereas only 20% of secondary roads are rated every year; this coming year will complete ratings for all secondary roads.
  • Mike suggested the committee recommend that the county provide additional funds for secondary road maintenance; committee agreed.

Next topic: panhandlers.

  • Committee discussed with VDOT and staff about panhandler issues and possible remedies.
  • Mike suggested that the committee make a formal recommendation to the task force that police step up patrol for panhandlers; committee agreed.

Next topic: pedestrian bridge

  • VDOT is responsible for bridge maintenance; acknowledged that the lights often don’t work and there’s usually litter and defacement, and the ramps freeze over.
  • Currently looking at short- and long-term solutions, particularly partnerships between VDOT and Fairfax County.
  • Have fixed the fencing and have worked with police department to increase patrol.

Bus stops/shelters

  • Bus stops/shelters are often in VDOT right-of-way, but are maintained by Fairfax County; related back to panhandlers, who enforces?
  • VDOT and Fairfax County are working on an agreement to reconcile responsibilities.

Other

  • Committee asked about numbers and positioning of signs for reasons of clarity and aesthetics. Nancy to send Lauren photos of Patrick Henry Dr. / Route 7 intersection and possibly other areas relating to this topic.
  • Lauren indicated that she would review issues and report / return after investigating with VDOT associates.

VDOT representatives left and the committee moved to more general discussions.

  • Committee and staff discussed future plans for Willston Center; no formal commitments have been made yet. A Committee member had heard it may be converted to a school; Mike will investigate and report at the next meeting.
  • Exxon Station is illegally renting U-Haul equipment; Susan is working on case.
  • For next month’s meeting, Mike will prepare draft recommendations for the committee to review.
  • Mike committed to having a Sign Enforcement 101 class

 


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