November 9, 2005 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

Non-motorized Transportation Committee Meeting

Members Attending: Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill District), Kevin Brugman (Mt Vernon District), Mike Shannon (Springfield District), Allan Jones, (Braddock District), Wade Smith (Dranesville District), Jenny Pate (FCPA), Mary Flowers, (Clifton Horse Society), Dennis Frew (WABA), Paul Johnson (NVBIA), Jack Pedak (FCDOT), Ann Pimley (FADSB)

I. Call to order - Chairman Bruce Wright called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m.

  • Approval of Minutes for October 12, 2005. The October minutes will be reviewed at the next meeting.

III. Status of Transportation Plan Update. Mr. Pedak, Fairfax DOT, reported on the Transportation Plan Update. He mentioned that they are close to making a recommendation to the Planning Commission and expect to present it to the BOS later in the spring. His focus tonight, however, is to identify the changes from the old Plan. Mr. Pedak pointed out the following changes:

  • Objective 1, “Provide for both through and local movement of people and goods via a multi-modal transportation system that provides transportation choices, reduces single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) use and improved air quality.” Reference of the HOT lanes was added (Policy c and Policy d).
  • Objective 2, “Increase use of public transportation and non-motorized transportation”, Policy g “Provide safe and convenient non-motorized access (e.g., sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalk signals and markings, trails, on-road bicycle routes and secure bicycle parking) and user amenities (e.g., paved waiting areas, bus shelters and route/schedule information) to transit services and facilities” was changed. Mr. Wright asked what was the percent changed from the year 2000 for pedestrians struck in crosswalks. The committee discussed if we wanted performance measures in it. We want to look at the broader transportation issues.
  • Objective 4, “Provide a comprehensive network of sidewalks, trails and bicycle routes as an integral element of the overall transportation network, in accordance with the Countywide Trails Plan Map”, Policy d “Provide sidewalks on both sides of streets”. Mr. Pedak said he was not sure this change would hold. The committee discussed the code that covers putting in sidewalks. It was mentioned that old houses that are renovated do not need to follow the 2005 code; however new houses do have to follow the 2005 code. Same question came up regarding replacement of ramps in a neighborhood. The code would apply depending upon when they were originally installed. The committee also discussed the limits to the Countywide Trail Plan and felt we needed to expand Policy d, which contradicts words in Objective paragraph. Mr. Wade proposed wording for Objective 4 to match the policies.
  • Objective 13,”Review and update the Fairfax County Transportation Plan once every five years”, Policy d, “Integrate planning and review so that non-motorized, mass transit, and motorized transportation needs are evaluated concurrently”. The committee discussed this policy in that if all the plans were evaluated concurrently, it would put our Trails Plan out of the 5-year review process.

IV. Staff Report. None. No staff members were present.

V. Chair Report.

  • Mr. Wright mentioned the public hearings for providing access for people with disabilities; on the Metro, etc. Information on public transportation for people with disabilities and seniors is being gathered for a report, which will then go to the BOS. He also mentioned that curb cuts, which will be two at each corner. They are still doing it the old way; need to do it the right way.
  • Tysons Urban Design. A transportation consultant has some good ideas for pedestrian and bike access in Tysons Area. Currently, parking is subsidized. Maybe businesses could give employees the money instead, which would provide incentive not to drive to work. Or parking regulations could be changed. He mentioned people would pay for convenience. Tysons should get people out of their cars and into public transportation.
  • Pedestrian Task Force. The report is near being completed. It was e:mailed earlier to Committee Members. Chris Wells will be going to the BOS in January. We need to take a look at it. Chris has said the attorney’s office said it was not appropriate for Staff to present to Board; consequently, Bruce will present as a private citizen.
  • May 19 is set for the Bike to Work Day. The South County Government Center would be a good location? We should let Mimi know if that is a possibility.

VI. New Business.

  • Mr. Smith mentioned that the Great Falls National Park has published a new draft Management Plan that could change the trails in the Park. He noted that the Georgetown Pike trails are missing from the Plan. He will provide comments on the draft plan to NMTC members and respond as a committee.
  • Ms Pate reported that there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cross County Trail on December 17. Two new bridges are scheduled to be built on this trail. She also mentioned that the CCT Caucus will be held in January at Green Springs Park. On May 6 there will be a county-wide CCT celebration.
  • Mr. Shannon mentioned that the Hillside Bridge is completed and is beautiful. It is a very functional bridge and everyone is very pleased with it.
  • Mr. Brugman said that a letter sent to the BOS regarding the crackdown by the police on the pedestrians/motorists issue on Route 1 had not been answered. He wondered if a meeting should be scheduled. Mr. Wright suggested inviting the Chief of Police to a future meeting. The consensus of the committee was that it might be a good idea.

VII. Old Business:

  • December meeting. Mr. Wright asked the committee about holding a meeting in December. It was moved, seconded and passed that a December meeting not be held.

B. Ms Pate offered to send a get-well card to Mr. Leu, who was absent due to surgery.

  • Meeting adjourned 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Mary Flowers, Acting Secretary

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