April 10, 2002 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee


Members Attending: Deborah Leser (Sully District), Bill Niedringhaus (Dranesville District), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill District), Robert Michie (Lee District), Kevin Brugman (Mount Vernon District), Donald Emerson (Providence District), Bunyan Bryant (Mason District), Mike Shannon (Springfield District), Walter Brodtmann (WABA), Kathleen Rudacile (NVRPA), Ann Bennett (At-Large), Jenny Pate (FCPA), and Paul Johnson (NVBIA).

Staff Attending: David Marshall and Sheng-Jieh Leu (DPZ)

Guests Attending: Jennifer Burkin, Tom Johnson, Don Briggs, and Doug Pickford.

Chairman Ann Bennett called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.

Meeting Minutes

In February, Secretary Deborah Leser asked that members submit all requested changes to the minutes in writing. Several changes had been requested via email and Ms. Leser asked for the sake of documentation that the proposed changes be presented at the meeting.

MOTION: Deb Leser moved that the February minutes read: "MOTION: Mr. Brugman moved that the committee let their previous decision on Item 35 Huntington Avenue retaining the On-Road bike routes stand. Mr. Johnson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with one abstention". Mr. Brugman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with three abstentions.

MOTION: Deb Leser moved that the February minutes under the Hunter Mill section be changed to read, "Mr. Wright moved that the new suggestion changing Trot Ave, Angelica Branch Stream Valley, Lawyers' Road, and Stuart Mill Road be rejected by the committee. Mr. Brugman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously." Mr. Wright seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with one abstention.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

Planning for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHNST) has begun in Northern Virginia Loudoun County and Prince William County are, like Fairfax, beginning the process of more specifically locating the trail corridor through Northern Virginia. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is working to clarify the location and identify sources of funding - which may include grant and private funding. They are also trying to build support for the trail in the communities.

There are 21 national scenic trails in the U.S. The PHNST is the only one that involves our national heritage.

The attempt to determine cost is still very general since the precise location has not been determined and engineering needs will greatly impact the cost. The commission would like to keep the trail as close to the Potomac River as possible. The current proposed route involves 41.5 miles in Fairfax County; 25 miles are on the ground. Most of this involves the Mount Vernon Trail. There are 317 privately owned parcels of land along the currently considered route. Costs are estimated at $66.00 per linear foot. The commission members described the currently considered route and presented maps to several committee members for their consideration.

The committee discussed the locations described and also discussed the variety of trails surfaces proposed. Questions were raised about the feasibility of part of the route for bicyclists in the northern section of the trail in Fairfax County. The commission encourages written comments. You can email Doug Pickford at Pickford@novaregion.org.

Ms. Bennett asked Mr. Pickford what he saw the role of the NMTC in the development of the trail. Mr. Pickford noted three roles: 1. altering the Fairfax County Trails plan to include trails along the proposed route; 2. finding funds to construct; and providing community support for the trail.

Mr. Brugman asked about the reception in Leesburg of the proposal to connect Whites Ferry with Leesburg. Mr. Johnson stated that their was more support than previously in Loudoun for this stretch of trail.

Citizens Advisory Groups are being established to provide recommendations about the trail type and locations with representation from local groups.

Mr. Wright asked if grants from the federal government for the trail would require matching funds and was told not necessarily.

Chairman's Report

Ms. Bennett testified on the budget before the BOS. A copy of her testimony was distributed to the committee via email.

DPWES will be coming to the committee to provide a construction status report in May.

Ms. Bennett noted that on March 25, Supervisors Connelly and Frey met with Chairman Hanley and the staff of DPWES to express concerns about the pace of construction.

Staff Report

The Planning Commission deferred its consideration of the Out of Turn Plan amendment to April 23, 2002. It will go to the BOS on May 20. Mr. Leu distributed three new documents outlining the current amendment and proposals by citizens and the Planning Commission.

Pedestrian Safety Subcommittee Report

Mr. Leu attended a COG meeting on Biking and pedestrian safety. They were asking for support letters from the jurisdictions. Mr. Leu drafted a letter from the NMTC. The COG Biking Technology Subcommittee Task Force will be meeting on April 25 to discuss safety issues. Mr. Leu and Ms. Pate cannot attend. Mr. Leu asked if any committee members could attend. Mr. Wright and Mr. Brodtmann both stated that may be able to attend and would consult with Mr. Leu.

National Trails Day

NVRPA is working on the plans for National Trails Day. They are still seeking a featured speaker. FCPA will be hosting the Ultimate Cross County Hike - a three day hike - and will also be focusing on completion and unveiling of new signage for the trail.

New Business

Mr. Wright reminded the committee members that May 3 was Bike to Work Day and distributed flyers.

Mr. Leu thanked the committee members for their support and information during the waiver process.

Mr. Brugman suggested that the committee invite David Lyons, the chair of Safe Crossings, to an upcoming meeting. Ms. Bennett suggested the June meeting since the May meeting already has a full agenda.

Mr. Bryant asked for information on the costing of Annandale projects.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM.

Deborah Rimmer Leser, Secretary

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