April 12, 2000 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

ATTENDING: Chet McLaren (Braddock), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill), Tony Matos (Lee), Bunyan Bryant (Mason), Michael Shannon (Springfield), Marianne Werz O'Brien (WABA), Kate Rudacille (NVRPA), Ann Bennett (At-Large), Jenny Pate (FCPA), Mark Trostle (NVBIA) and Clay Peters (FCFCA)

STAFF ATTENDING: Sheng-Jieh Leu, DPZ, Scott R St. Clair, Maintenance and Storm Water Management Division (MSMD), Steve Aitcheson, MSMD, Mannan Qureshi, MSMD, Walter T. Wozniak, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPW & ES), Judy Cronauer, DPW & ES and Ahmed Rayyan, DPW & ES

Chairman Michael Shannon called the meeting to order at 7:35.

FAIRFAX COUNTY WALKWAYS: A Maintenance Perspective: Steve Aitcheson gave a presentation on the maintenance of county walkways that included two handouts, a checklist for existing walkway deficiencies, and a copy of his slide presentation. Although MSMD maintains the majority of trails on the Trails Plan, school sidewalks, and the majority of public street sidewalks constructed after 1981, they share these maintenance tasks with the Fairfax County Park Authority, VDOT, and other agencies/volunteer organizations/homeowner associations. The current estimate of MSMD maintained trails is 445 miles, although there are many trails that are regularly added to the inventory as it is updated. MSMD is cooperating with VDOT on $300K of maintenance that will commence in July 2000. Generally problems with trails are identified from citizen complaints, although MSMD staff are encouraged to report problems found in the field. Once identified and funded, maintenance projects can be completed very quickly since many of the design, survey, land acquisition and utility relocation costs not incurred.

Steve encouraged the NMTC to consider using contingency or other funds to fix problem walkways identified in each district and to use the provided checklist to help identify other concerns in the districts as they are found. He also mentioned that curb cut projects will be receiving $500K in the next two months and to send any requests to MSMD. Steve and Mannan met with each district representative and reviewed trails needing maintenance as identified on a district handout given to each rep. For further info, refer to the handouts or call Mannan at (703) 934-2860.

TRAIL PLANNING AND DESIGN: Walter Wozniak, Branch Chief of the Utilities Design Branch of DPW&ES provided a handout entitled WALKWAY IMPLEMENTATION STATUS REPORT, a list of current sidewalk construction projects (FUND 307) and trail construction projects (FUND 313). His visit was a follow-up to his January status report to the committee. After that meeting he received feedback that is being addressed: Older projects should be given higher priority, Identify at-large-funding, and Improve timeliness of project completion. He requested that the committee review the report contained in the handout and suggest improvements. He hopes to report to the committee every 3 months.

Judy Cronauer discussed page one of the handout, Significant project milestones since the January 2000 meeting and Initiatives to expedite the implementation of walkways. She mentioned that an Engineering III position was recently filled, and in July interviews will be conducted for 2 vacant positions. Contacts: Randall Flowers for planning issues, and Walter Wozniak or Judy Cronauer for design issues.

REQUEST FOR NEW MONEY: Ahmet Rayyan of DPW&ES stated that his office needs all requests for new funding as soon as possible. He also handed out the county map booklets.

MINUTES: Mrs. Pate moved and Mike Shannon seconded that the minutes be approved as distributed. The minutes were approved unanimously. If there are changes made to the draft minutes, it was requested that the final minutes be sent to the committee members.

COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS BIKE PLAN: Jenny handed out a draft sample from the Council of Governments "Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for the National Capital Region" that is being updated. She also handed out a list of long term bicycle trail projects in the region that will be included in the report. Jenny would like any comments on the plan and/or list by April 19.

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY: Jenny discussed a draft hand out for use at the NTD events that includes a page-size map of the trail on one side and background information on the back. Dotted lines on the map indicate areas in which the county does not own the land or the trail is undefined. Jenny said she would send out the final agenda for the day to district reps and asked for corrections/comments. She also mentioned that the Accotink Creek Trail in the Mason District will be recognized as a Community Millennium Trail. [from the Internet at the American Hiking Society site] Millennium Trails is a joint project of the White House Millennium Council, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and partners from the trails, conservation, preservation, and education communities. Each group whose trail is approved as a Community Millennium Trail will receive: a Community Millennium Trail memento for display on the trail; and inclusion of the trail in a new national trails database.

EXISTING TRAILS MAP: Sheng-Jieh presented the latest version of the existing trails map. The map is now in four parts, NW, NE, SW, & SE. The map was well received by the committee, both the larger scale and the style of the maps. The map can be printed on both sides, with either the north quadrants and south quadrants together or the east quadrants and west quadrants together. Either choice will result in districts being represented on two separate maps sheets. The consensus seemed to be to have the maps grouped as north/south. Mike will discuss with David Marshall an appropriate deadline for submitting final change requests, probably by the June meeting. The maps will be sold for $3.50.

C0UNTYWIDE TRAILS PLAN: Changes to the existing countywide trails plan are requested by the June meeting. Submit changes to Mr. Leu. A discussion of policy changes, such as the definitions of the trail descriptions, portrayal of on-road bike lanes, etc. needs to be held at an upcoming meeting, possibly in May.

CHAIR'S REPORT: Mike reported that Don Emerson attended the March 29 Infill meetings that are part of the comprehensive planning process. Sheng-Jieh also attended. There were three sessions; Site Design, Environmental, and Transportation. Don will continue to attend the meetings and report back to the committee. Mike reported that he had received a note from Kate Hanley regarding a citizen request about on-road bike lanes. Mike testified at the recent budget hearings and he handed out a copy of his remarks to the Board, which were reviewed earlier by the committee.

OLD BUSINESS: The committee has still not received an answer from staff regarding the letter sent to the board regarding trail escrow funds. It is being worked on and we should expect a report by the next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS: Kate Rudacille met with Jim Connors, a Loudoun County resident of the Cascades subdivision. He is interested in producing a trails map for the Cascades area and wanted advice from the committee.

Ann suggested the possibility of developing a list of county-wide trail priorities rather than doing it at the district level. Mark voiced his agreement with the idea. To be discussed at a future meeting.

Minutes submitted by Bruce Wright.


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