June 8, 2005 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee


Members Present- Allan Jones (Braddock), Wade Smith (Dranesville), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill), Michael Shannon (Springfield), Dennis Frew (WABA), Dan Iglhaut (NVRPA), Rebecca Cate (FCFCA), Paul Johnson (NVBIA), Jenny Pate (FCPA)

Staff Present- Sheng Leu (DPZ), Chris Wells (DOT)

Guest Present- Walter Brodtman (WABA)

I. Call to Order – Bruce Wright called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m.

II. Approval of Meeting Minutes for May 11, 2005 – Minutes approved unanimously.

III. Staff Reports

DPZ - Sheng Leu handed out the table “2005 DPWES Decision on Trail Waiver Request,” a new committee membership list, and reported on the May 31, 2005 Mt. Vernon Trail Extension work group conference where the group discussed the three proposed alignments of the trail extension.

Bruce Wright commented that the committee needs to be more stringent with waiver requests and the committee discussed the trail waiver process including the “Guidelines for Determining Recommendations for Trail Waiver Requests,” the possibility of maintaining a database of waiver requests and the decisions made, and the issue of how waiver request are handled for the two districts with vacancies on the committee. Chris Wells suggested that a “comments” column be added to the Waiver Request table and Allan Jones suggested that…??? It was noted that the supervisors’ staff handle waiver requests in the districts with vacancies. Bruce will look into getting the two district vacancies filled.

Sheng Leu reported that the VDOT standard for trail width is 10 feet, whereas the standard in the County’ Public Facilities Manual is 8 feet. Bruce asked about revising the PFM to be consistent with VDOT and Chris offered to look into the issue.

Sheng Leu reported that the County has the ability to add many different layers to the Existing Trails Map such as trail widths and sidewalks. Bruce commented on the need to show connections between neighborhoods. Chris said that the County is working on a “My Neighborhood” mapping feature that shows neighborhood amenities. Bruce stated that we need to do a better job of marketing the trails map and Chris noted that there is interest by the County marketing staff in the map.

DOT - Chris Wells reported that Young Ho Chang resigned as Director of the Department of Transportation and that Kathy Ichter has been named Acting Director. Chris noted accomplishments under Mr. Chang’s tenure such as the Pedestrian Access and Safety Program and “Seniors-on-the-Go.”

Chris reported on the success of May’s Bike to Work Day, despite inclement weather. He noted that about 32 people attended the government center rally and Bruce noted that about 150 attended the Reston rally.

Chris reported that the County has just kicked off the annual Street Smart Safety Campaign. The Washington Council of Government’s budget for the campaign is $350,000 and the County’s contribution was $50,000, which is the largest contribution by a jurisdiction. The campaign includes radio, bus, and shelter advertising, and brochures in many languages. Chris will report on the Pedestrian Task Force at a future meeting.

IV. Chair Report

District Trail Priorities - Bruce commented that he hopes representatives are maintaining a list of district trail priorities. The committee discussed the importance of the list for future funding battles and when funds become available. Chris noted that his office is maintaining a list of requests and funded projects.

Transportation Policy Plan - Bruce reported that the committee’s comments on the plan are being incorporated into the draft plan and that Wendy Jia will release them to the committee prior to the joint NMTC/Transporation Advisory Committee scheduled for June 28, 2005. Wade Smith and Allan Jones offered to attend the meeting as representatives of the committee. Wendy Jia will send a notice to the committee regarding the June 28 th meeting.

V. Bylaws Discussion

The committee reviewed and discussed the NMTC Bylaws. There was discussion of adding a VDOT staff member and a member of the Disability Service Board to the committee (Paragraph A.2) and discussion about preparing an annual report to the Board of Supervisors on the committee’s activities (Paragraph D.1). There was committee consensus that an annual report would be an opportunity for promotion of the NMTC and Bruce recommended that Paragraph D.1 be an item for discussion at a future meeting. Jenny Pate referred to the NMTC’s 1994 charter, which she had a copy of. The charter will be emailed to the committee so that it can be reviewed along with the bylaws. Mike Shannon commented that the committee may want to get feedback from the Board of Supervisors regarding adding members since they approve committee members and there was some consensus that members should talk to their district supervisors about this issue. Wade Smith suggested having a VDOT representative attend meetings as “staff” instead of as a member of the committee. It was suggested that VDOT could attend quarterly and VDOT related issues could be addressed at those meetings. The committee also discussed inviting the public to meetings and changing the name of the committee. It was decided that amendments to the bylaws would be on the next agenda after the committee has had a chance to review the charter in conjunction with the bylaws.

VI. New Business

Allan Jones reported on the Braddock District task force’s comments on the Transportation Policy Plan. Allan was a member of the subcommittee on trails and the environment. He said that the task force was supportive of the NMTC’s proposed “on-road bicycle lane” language and that the Braddock District has a final report on its public hearings on the Transportation Policy Plan.

VII. Old Business

Wade reported on the Tysons Corner Transportation and Urban Design Committee and that representation on the committee is expected to expand from 13 members to 30. Kate Hanley has been appointed chairman and public outreach is planned. He noted that bicyclists and pedestrians will be well represented on the committee and that the success of Bike to Work Day needs to be conveyed to the Board of Supervisors.

Dennis Frew reported on McLean Day.

Walter Brotman stated that this was the last NMTC meeting that he would be attending. Bruce thanked him for his work and dedication on behalf of the committee.

Sheng Leu asked the committee if he should send trail waiver request to the committee for districts with current vacancies. A brief discussion followed and Bruce asked that they be forward to him and Becky Cate asked that they be forwarded to her so that she could share them with the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations.

VIII. Adjournment – 9:15 p.m.

Next meeting is July 13, 2005, Room 8, Government

Meeting minutes by Dan Iglhaut


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