July 12, 2000 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

MEMBERS ATTENDING: Ann Bennett (At-Large), Dan Iglhaut (NVRPA), Walter Brodtman (WABA), Joan Edwards (Clifton Horse Society), Michael Shannon (Springfield), Bunyan Bryant (Mason), Don Emerson (Providence), Kevin Brugman (Mount Vernon), Tony Matos (Lee), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill), Bill Niedringhaus (Dranesville), Chet McLaren (Braddock), Deborah Leser (Sully) and Karen Lanham for Jenny Pate (FCPA).

STAFF ATTENDING: Randall Flowers (P & DD), Basil Sofi (P & DD), and Walt Wozniak (P & DD).

GUESTS: Jim Chesky, Occoquon Watershed Coalition; Dennis Rue, Fairfax Trails and Streams.

Chairman Michael Shannon called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM.

MINUTES: Walter Brodtman stated that on Pate 1, Paragraph 3, the minutes did not accurately reflect the recommendations of the On-Road Bicycle Subcommittee. The minutes should state that the committee does not believe that an on-road bicycle trail alone is an acceptable alternative to a tandem trail. After discussion the minutes were amended to remove the sentence beginning "No. 10 item in the report," and add the following sentence: The committee discussed on-road bicycle trails as a possible alternative to tandem (equestrian/bicycle) trails however no consensus was reached. There were no other comments on the minutes. A motion to approve was made by Kevin Brugman and seconded by Bunyan Bryant. The minutes were approved, unanimously, as amended.

Trail Plan Revision: David Marshall of DPZ discussed the Trail Plan Revision Out-of-Turn plan amendment. The committee agreed to finalize the plan revisions at the September meeting. Further discussion ensued regarding the tandem trail issue and the members agreed to discuss this issue during Old Business.

FY2001 budget requestsRandall Flowers of P & DD reviewed the FY 2001 budget requests. Several committee members had changes to that document. The final allocations are attached to these minutes.

The committee's request to consider the TAC approach was forwarded to Mr. Flowers. He will work with the committee to develop at plan to present as an action item to the BOS in the late fall.

Walkway Implementation Status Report: Walter Wozniak of DPW & ES presented the Walkway Implementation Status Report, a copy of which was distributed to each committee member. Several issues were discussed, including:

  • A request by Ann Bennett that the report be made available to the BOS
  • A question from William Niedringhaus about the ability to determine whether or not monies are available should a project cost less than estimated. Mr. Wozniak stated that leftover funds would be identified in Spring 2001.
  • Mr. Wozniak recommended that each of the magisterial districts work to reduce any contingency funds.
  • Ms. Bennett asked if staff could determine how many linear feet of trail has been or is being constructed by the county and developers. Mr. Flowers stated that a report is available on the construction by the county over the past 14 years. Staff with Bonds and Agreements should have information on the trail constructed by developers and turned over to the county but they may not collect this data. Mr. Flowers stated that he would send a report on the county's construction to committee members via email. Chairman Shannon suggested that obtaining this data would be a good project for the new year.

Trail Plan Inventory: Mr. Leu discussed the Trail Plan Inventory and Update. Additional data from Tyson's Corner, McLean, Hunter Mill and Sully Districts has been incorporated into the Inventory. Mr. Leu has consulted with members from Braddock, Hunter Mill and Sully Districts concerning changes in the trail plan in those districts. He asked whether such items as the Cross County Trail, Mount Vernon Trail and Potomac Heritage Trail should be included in the plan. Mr. Niedringhaus asked whether both interim and permanent routes of a specific trail should be included in the plan. Mr. Leu stated that the trail locations in the plan should be general enough to encompass both. Mr. Niedringhaus stated that major changes might require special consideration.

On-Road Bicycle Sub Committee: Mr. Brodtman reported on the work that the On-Road Bicycle Sub Committee has done on the Trail Plan. They met with Charlie Strunk of Fairfax DOT who indicated that fewer well place on-road bicycle lanes would be better received than more. Mr. Emerson asked what the county and VDOT had as criteria for an on-road bicycle lane plan. Mr. Brodtmann stated that they suggested the committee remove the Fairfax County Parkway and the lower portion of Route 123. They also suggested two levels of detail - short term and long term with appropriate notation.

Ms. Bennett asked if VDOT would accept shoulder as an alternative bike route. Mr. Brodtman stated this might be a problem. VDOT prefers alternative routes such as Backlick Road for the parkway.

Mr. Brodtman stated the subcommittee suggests that the new trail plan include trails along I-66 similar to the Custis trail in Arlington as well as a combination of trails along roads generally parallel to the Southern Railway. He noted that there are already existing trails on the plan that are parallel and close to the Southern railway. They are generally stream valley trails that could be use to provide a longer continuous route when combined with short segments along roads and trail improvements or short connections where there are missing segments

Planned Roadway Improvements: Don Emerson moved that the CWNMTC appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to review planned roadway improvements in the county and identify opportunities to add new trails and walkways and bikeways to the Countywide Trails Plan. The motion was seconded by Ann Bennett and passed unanimously.

Future Projects:Mr. Shannon listed four projects for the next year:

  1. Establish funding priority guidelines and methodology
  2. Support the staff in "cleaning up" the walkway list
  3. Identify developer constructed trails
  4. Identify projects for consideration for TEA-21

Old Business

Tandem trails, i.e. combined asphalt bicycle/pedestrian trails and natural surface equestrian trails, were discussed at length. The issues involved include citizen opposition to asphalt trails for esthetic reasons as well as due to the loss of property usage, the need for bicycle access, the need for equestrian trails, concern about impervious surface, and the loss of connectivity of trails through the involved areas. Jim Chesley, speaking on behalf of the Occoquan Watershed Coalition and the city of Clifton, stated that temporary easements were being discussed with the Great Outdoors which would last for 20 years and would allow multipurpose and natural surface trails.

Mr. Leu reminded the committee members that they can consult with him concerning trail plan changes in their districts.

The committee members agreed to meet at 7 PM in September to allow more time for discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.

Minutes submitted by Deborah Rimmer Leser, Secretary.


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