October 8, 2002 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee
Members Attending: Ann Bennett, Chairman (At Large), Walter Brodtman (WABA), Bunyan Bryant (Mason), Donald Emerson (Providence), Mary Flowers (Clifton Horse Society), Robert Michie (Lee), Jenny Pate (FCPA), Michael Shannon (Springfield), Wade Smith (Dranesville),.Evelyn Tomaszewski (Braddock), and Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill).
County Staff Attending: Sheng Lieu (DPZ), Michael Guarino (DPW), Walt Wozniak (DPW), and Leonard Wolfenstein (FCDOT).
Call to Order
The meeting called to order at 7:30 by Chairman Ann Bennett.
Chairman Bennett noted that the Committee currently lacks a Secretary due to the departure of Deb Leser from the Committee. She requested volunteers to assume the position and take minutes.
The minutes of the September meeting were approved as written.
Trail Construction Program Update
Mr. Guarino presented the Walkway Implementation Status Report dated October 9, 2002, and discussed the progress on projects in Fund 307, Sidewalk Construction. Committee members commended staff for the progress made since their last report.
Mr. Wozniak noted that the staff position for trails is now vacant due to the resignation of one employee. Randall Flowers has been permanently reassigned to the UPB. Two design teams have been created - one headed by Mr. Guarino and the other by Mr. Randall Flowers - which will carry projects from start to finish. This is expected to expedite the design and implementation progress. The use of consulting firms is also expediting the process. Mr. Wozniak said that staff is pleased with the timeliness and quality of the work done to date by Burgess and Nipple. Other consultant contracts are being issued for Georgetown Pike and Walker Road, and another contract is in procurement.
Mr. Wozniak indicated that UPD has made its budget request for FY 2004. Staff is proposing $1,170,000 for the trails projects listed in the October 9 Status Report. This includes a request for $300,000 for Sidewalk Replacement/VDOT Participation, $400,000 for Columbia Pike Phase II, $20,000 for Minor Sidewalk Improvements and $450,000 for Cross County Trail. Mr. Wozniak added that the budget for 2004 is expected to be very tight, and some capital projects may need to be put on hold. He urged Committee members to identify projects to reduce contingency balances.
Mr. Wozniak also reminded members of a May 2000 letter to Chairman Hanley in which the Committee suggested that walkway funds be allocated countywide, rather than to each district. He asked if this was still the Committee's view. Chairman Bennett replied that this could be considered again once we complete our list of priority projects.
Mr. Smith reported on the status of the trails projects in Tysons Corner. The HJR276 Committee (chaired by Delegate Scott) has spent considerable time on pedestrian needs. The County is trying to assemble $1.3 M to fill missing links. The Board of Supervisors has allocated $300,000 from the Tysons Transportation Fund for sidewalks, plus another $0.5 million from other County funds. The Board is trying to get Federal "welfare to work" money for the rest. Meanwhile, VDOT is proceeding with design.
Other Staff Reports
Mr. Leu noted that the adopted Trails Plan has not yet been printed for distribution. He is receiving requests. The plan is available in .pdf format on the web site, but the quality/readability is not very good.
Mr. Wolfenstein reported that the Pedestrian Task Force has not yet been created.
Priority List of Trails
Mr. Wolfenstein distributed a table showing the results of the Committee's June meeting at which seven projects were prioritized using the June 14, 2002 Draft Criteria for Trails Plan Implementation. Chairman Bennett invited Committee to offer additional projects for consideration using the criteria. Four following projects were evaluated:
- Columbia Pike Phase II
- Pimmit Run Stream Valley
- Old Keene Mill Road Bike Lane (Commerce Street to Rolling Road)
- South Lakes (Colts Neck to Old Craft)
Ms. Pate noted the short-term need to propose projects for inclusion in the Council of Governments' list of the region's "Top 10 Regional Trail Priorities". After discussion, the Committee agreed that Ms. Pate should offer the following recommendations:
- Route 29 from City of Fairfax to City of Falls Church
- Route 1 from Alexandria to Prince William
- Route 7 from Alexandria to LoudounM
Chairman Bennett said that she is following up on a request from the Committee to writing a letter thanking Ms. Debbie for her service.
Mr. Michie reported that the "Tour de Lee" is at the end of this month, and he is looking for topics he might use to publicize the work of the Committee.
Mr. Wright reported that the ribbon cutting for Fairfax County Parkway Trail in Hunter Mill is scheduled for October 24.
Mr. Smith reported that a group has been formed to identify pedestrian connections to Dulles Corridor Rail stations. He suggested that the Committee get involved. Mr. Smith also noted that VDOT construction on Dolly Madison has reduced the width of the bike lane, and that the last missing link on Magarity Road has been paved except for two short missing links (apparently caused by a process breakdown). Chairman. Bennett asked that a meeting be set up on the checklist in order to avoid similar situations in the future.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.
Minutes by Donald Emerson