June 11, 2003 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee


Non-motorized Transportation Committee Meeting

June 11, 2003

Members Attending: Ann Bennett, Chairman (At Large), Walter Brodtman (WABA), Chris O'Brien (Mason), Mary Flowers (Clifton Horse Society), Robert Michie (Lee), Jenny Pate (FCPA), Michael Shannon (Springfield), Wade Smith (Dranesville), Michael Brennan (Braddock), Larry Butler (Sully), Dan Iglhaut (NVRPA), Rebecca Cate (FCRCA) and Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill).

Staff Attending: Sheng Leu (DPZ), Michael Guarino (DPW), Walt Wozniak (DPW), and Chris Wells and Mimi Murray (FCDOT)

Call To Order: Chairman Bennett called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM.

April Minutes: Adopted as written.

Trail Construction Program Update

Mr. Guarino presented the Walkway Implementation Status Report dated June 11, 2003, and discussed the progress on projects in Fund 307, Sidewalk Construction. The last report by Staff had been October 2002. Mr. Guarino noted the existence of a Special Team for managing these project per a DPWES memo dated March 18, 2003. Mr. Guarino attached a County document about a $115 million Fall 2003 transportation bond referendum with $5 million earmarked for pedestrian initiatives, including trails and sidewalks throughout the County. He suggested each member review the Report for details and contact him if there were questions.

Mr. Wozniak indicated that in the County's FY04 budget, $300, 000 had been approved for Fund 307 maintenance projects. The work would be done by VDOT. No funds for new projects were in the FY04 Fund 313 budget.

Mr. Wozniak also discussed the issue of carryover funds and the possibility of consolidating the 307 and 313 Funds into one Fund. Probably Fund 307. The question/issue then is what to call this Fund. There was discussion about calling the Fund the “Pedestrian Improvement Project Program”. Concern was expressed about the mixing and matching of projects. Mr. Wozniak noted the Committee's concern about the new name. The County will make a decision on this matter in the Spring 2004.

Other Staff Reports

  • Mr. Wells discussed the new County Pedestrian Task Force. Formally creating the Task Force was to be a Board Item on June 16, 2003. Members would be as follows: 2 from the Transportation Advisory Committee, 2 from FCDOT, one Planning Commission member, plus others from VDOT, school, and the police department.
  • Mr. Wells discussed the April 15, 2003 press event regarding the new signage for better pedestrian safety. Publicity coverage was good from the press and TV. Signage for 20 improvements has been approved with 12 already installed. Staff has identified 65 intersections for possible improvements.
  • The bus stop safety study has begun and is funded with $1.3 million of County FY03 funds. There are about 5000 bus stops in the County. There are several pilot improvement projects underway (Baileys Crossroads and Route 1 corridor).
  • Mr. Wells discussed the very unsafe slug line access problem on Old Keene Mill (OKM) Road near the American Legion bridge over OKM. In the AM rush hours commuters parking in the Kmart shopping center cross OKM to the south to reach a slug line. Although the bridge has sidewalks with a stairway to OKM, pedestrian cross 8 lanes of traffic instead of using the bridge or going to a signalized intersection to the west of the slug line. There does not seem to be a resolution to this kind of problem but it is being evaluated.
  • Mr. Leu noted that the County's EQAC (Environmental Quality Committee) wants to include a section on trails in their annual report. Mr. Leu will contact EQ with a response on behalf of the NMTC. Mr Leu was continuing to get feedback from member on the status of the Priority Trails Project List. He needs input so the information can be submitted to the Board of Supervisors.

Chair's Report

None.

Old Business

The Committee discussed the issue of proffered trail improvements and waivers. Everyone shared experiences in their districts. The committee agreed that the process was better but needed improvement. The importance of good communications between District representatives, their Supervisor's offices and County Staff was emphasized.

The Committee also discussed the matter of getting VDOT to pave shoulder when roads were being paved. The purpose of this being that the road shoulders could be then used for better bicycling. The Committee would look into better ways of tracking VDOT road paving projects.

Jenny Pate reported that National Trails Day activities were very successful. About 25 people walked portions of the Cross County Trail.

New Business

Mr. Smith discussed the Tysons II Lerner application for major construction in the Tysons Corner area. The project includes 7 buildings and parking facilities for 18, 000 vehicles. There was a discussion as to whether Lerner's site plan for trail improvements was adequate. It was agreed that the Committee would send a letter to County Staff pointing out that the site plan did not adequately address trail improvements especially regarding pedestrian access. Sidewalk width was another concern. Mr. Smith was to prepare a letter for the Committee Chair to send to Staff expressing concerns.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM.

 


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