January 8, 2003 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee


Trails and Sidewalks Committee Meeting

January 8th, 2003

The meeting was called to order at 7:40.

Attending: Bunyan Bryant, Bruce Wright, Walter Brodtman, Mary Flowers, Evelyn Tomaszewski, Ann Bennett, Dan Iglhaut, Becky Cate, Wade Smith, Don Emerson, Jenny Pate, Kevin Brugman, Robert Michie, Chris Wells, Sheng Leu.

The Minutes were read. Bruce Wright Moved that they be approved as read. Don Emerson Seconded. Unanimous agreement

Snow and Sidewalks

Mr. Wright gave a quick brief on some of his findings regarding snow removal policies in the region. He will send out his finding to the committee. Mr. Leu advised that as far as he was aware there were no zoning or county ordinances regarding the removal of snow and that the school systems did not have a policy.

VDOT has sidewalk snow removal at the complete bottom of their priority system and only remove snow upon complaint from the public. There was also some discussion of public vs private sidewalks and who has the responsibility for snow removal with in VDOT right of ways. There was a general consensus to further investigate. Mr. Wright will take further action.

Trail Prioritization

Mr. Smith brought up a concern of his supervisor's that this list would restrict the supervisors from spending on small connecting segments. With further discussions we agreed that small projects would continue to require attention.

Ms Bennett advised that the county staff preferred large projects because they were more cost effective. Ending consensus was that we need to talk this over with our supervisors.

Changes to the current prioritization list

  • Ms Pate - Cross County Trail - Remove segment/district references and just list the entire trail.
  • Mr. Smith - Tyson's Corner - Include Drainesville District in areas included.
  • Mr. Brugman - Fairfax County Parkway Trail - Include Mt Vernon District in areas included.
  • Ms Tomaszewski - Old Keene Mill Road Trail - Include Braddock District in areas included.

Two general questions were raised, should we provide cost estimates and should we include where road improvements are scheduled. Mr. Wells advised that initial cost estimates can be expensive and are not necessarily accurate.

Mr. Emerson moved to pass the Trail Prioritization list with the above changes. Ms Tomaszewski seconded. Passed with unanimous consent.

Committee members are requested to try and talk with their supervisors about a two-track prioritization of Major trails and local minor prioritization.

Presentation by Chris Wells, Pedestrian Coordinator

  • The Bus Stop Project is out for bids.
  • The County is pursing efforts to beef up pedestrian safety laws and trying to make those laws state wide.
  • The VDOT sidewalk policy has changed. The Fairfax County PFM recommends sidewalks on both sides of the street, previously VDOT did not like to put sidewalks on both sides. VDOT will now put sidewalks on both sides of the streets.
  • October was pedestrian safety month, unfortunately it was overshadowed by general safety issues with the sniper threats.
  • Staff has been directed to perform a Pedestrian Impact Study. They are looking at a Pedestrian Task Force consisting of members from NMTC, TAC, Staff, Parks and the Police. The Task Force will focus on Education and work to complement the Trails Plan. It was requested that the March NMTC Meeting decide the NMTC Reps to the Task Force.
  • TEA-21 Projects - The original VDOT policy was to continue funding existing projects. They have now changed that policy and will consider new projects in July.

Ms Tomaszewski asked whether the Bus Stop Study will include the Slug Lines? Mr. Wells will look into it and respond.

Mr. Brodtman asked whether there was any consideration of purchasing the Circuit City and Long John Silvers properties on Old Keene Mill Road and turn them into a Parking Lot. Mr. Wells was going to look into that as well.

Presentation by Mr. Leu, Trail Coordinator

  • There have been 1000 copies of the Trails Plan printed and are available for $3 each.
  • Don Heime has requested NMTC endorsement for a Chesapeake Gateway Connector Grant for Hidden Pond. Mr. Leu will request more information.

Chair's Report

  • Sully Rep position is still vacant.
  • Builder's Rep position appears to be vacant.
  • According to a letter form WABA,VDOT is now authorized to build Bikeway Projects separate from Road projects.
  • Budget - Need to look at projects that can be accomplished with matching funds, then need to look for options for matching funds.
  • Rails-To-Trails - Ken Rosenfield is looking for projects that they can co-support.

Old Business

  • Mr. Smith brought proposed changes to PFM to the meeting.
  • Mr. Smith advised that the committee needs to get staff to provide more information on Metro-Rail extension plans and pedestrian access.

New Business

  • Ms Pate - FCPA is applying for a $28K Virginia Recreational Trails Grant for a $30K project. FCPA is requesting an endorsement letter from the NMTC. Mr. Wright moved to endorse the project and Mr. Brugman seconded. Unanimous approval.
  • Ms Pate presented the first Cross Count Status Report and announced a Cross County Trail Conference on 27 January at the Fairfax High School at 7:30 PM.
  • Mr. Wright announced that Bike To Work Day is May 2nd. We may want to have a presence at some of the activities. In addition if there are any other activities, pleas e notify him and he will post it on the NMTC Web site.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15.


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