October 12, 2005 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

Non-motorized Transportation Committee Meeting

Members Present- Wade Smith (Dranesville), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill), Robert Mitchie (Lee), Michael Shannon (Springfield), Dennis Frew (WABA), Dan Iglhaut (NVRPA), Rebecca Cate (FCFCA), Kevin Brugman (Mount Vernon), Paul Johnson (NVBIA), Jenny Pate (FCPA)

County Staff Present – Sheng Leu (DPZ); Chris Wells (DOT)

Guests Present – Hillary Zahm (Cooley Godward), Chuck Cape (Macerich Cos), John Harrison (Macerich), Doug Kennedy (PHR&A), Dave Steigher (PSR&A)

I. Call to order – Chairman Bruce Wright called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes for September 14, 2005 – Minutes approved unanimously as corrected.

III. Presentation of Macerich Company’s Rezoning Application for Tysons I

Ms. Zahm and Mr. Steigher made a presentation on the Tysons I rezoning application that was submitted to the county in December 2004. It is scheduled for a Planning Commission public hearing February 23, 2006. The property is currently zoned C-7 and C-4. Macerich is applying for a Planned Development Community (PDC) to include a residential mix in lieu of retail only. The Tysons Central/123 Rail Station is planned to be located on the opposite side of their center off Rte 123. The station is to be connected to their area with a pedestrian overpass.

The base Floor Area Ratio (FAR) on the property today is 0.8 – currently built at 0.75 FAR (this includes the recent expansion and the proposed Hechts expansion, which is in review at the County). The rail option in the Comprehensive Plan offers a 2.0 FAR for property within 1,000 feet of the commercial turnstyle of the station or a 3.0 FAR if commercial is converted to residential (a 3:1 conversion formula). Within 1,000’ to 1,600’ of the station, a 1.65 FAR is allowed and outside the 1,600’ band, a FAR of 0.8. Ms. Zahm stated this PDC proposal before the County is in conformance with the current Comprehensive Plan.

Several residential/office towers are proposed. One located on the west side of the Rte 123 crossing, closest to the Metro stop, one on the east side of the 123 crossing, one by International Dr and one near the LL Bean store.

From the County’s Trail Plan, a major paved 8’ trail is to be built along Rte 7, International Dr and Rte 123. An on road bike lane is planned for Rte 7, along the interior ring road, across the Rte 123 bridge to Westpark. Macerich is requesting a waiver of the on road bike lane with a modification to build a 10’ off road trail along I-495, which will separate bicyclists from the entrances to the parking garages. Much discussion ensued regarding this proposal:

  • NMTC members requested greater flexibility with providing a wide curb lane vs a painted bicycle lane;
  • Macerich is constrained with utilities located along the Beltway and the expansion of the roadway;
  • Members expressed some consensus that placing the bike lane away from Mall drivers was appropriate;
  • Along the ring road near the Beltway and the “shopping bag” building – it was a good idea to have a signalized three way stop that would allow a “scramble” crossing for cyclists;
  • A signalized 4-way stop with a crosswalk on the southern transition was appropriate;
  • All sidewalk pedestrian handicap access ramps should be perpendicular to the roadways to the extent that they can be accommodated;
  • Along Rte 7 and International – there was no consensus of the proposal to provide a 6’ sidewalk with a 12’ hardscape plan that included a tree planted every 60’ and a proposed 4’ on road bike lane;
  • No consensus about the proposal to not provide sidewalks along Rte 123, where the bus bays are to be located, but providing only a 22’ hardscape plan with bus shelters;
  • Macerich is proposing a waiver of the on road bike lanes along Rte 123 and the sidewalk up to the Beltway, going east along Rte 123 (there is no way for pedestrians to currently cross. Members and Macerich agreed that some mitigation plan should be involved that would allow the intent of the Trails Plan to be accomplished;
  • Pedestrian and bicycle access along the entire frontage of Rte 123 seems to be a problem – Macerich is looking for alternatives to accomplish the intent of the plan.

Macerich committed to meeting again with the NMTC to discuss further options and compromises to their plan to make the site friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists.

IV. Staff Reports

  • Chris Wells
    • Reported that a proposed change to modify the Public Facilities Manual to require sidewalks on both sides of a street will go before the Planning Commission around 10/27 and to the Board of Supervisors 11/21.
      • This was a recommendation that came out the Residential Infill Study that would increase connectivity. Although this proposal does not address problems with cul-de-sacs and grass ditch section, DPWES wanted to go forward now with the amendment to allow more sidewalks to be built now.
      • DPWES is attempting to capture VDOT requirements to combine more sidewalks on both sides of streets and include an extra two-feet strip behind the sidewalks for maintenance purposed.
      • The staff report on the proposal should be on the County’s website.
    • Provided a status update on the BOS 4-year Transportation Program
    • Invited all to attend the Open House for the Pedestrian Task Force
    • NMTC concern that there have been three pedestrians killed in one week – the Committee should write a letter to the BOS of our concerns that, where there are no sidewalks, pedestrians are walking in the street against traffic – where they belong – this is endangering the lives of pedestrians. We need more funding for sidewalks.
  • Sheng Leu
    • Presented a list of trail waiver requests for the last month;
    • Discussed the Potomac-Mt Vernon trail extension and EIS alternatives;
    • Discussed the Potomac National Heritage Scenic Trail and working with the FHA alignment.

V. Chair Report

Bruce Wright reported that he had discussed with David Marshall the NMTC charter that was approved in 1993 by the BOS. Apparently the Board had never approved the NMTC Bylaws. David recommended presenting the bylaws to the Board with suggested changes as an administrative item at the next BOS Board meeting; if there were any changes to the charter we would need a BOS member to present it to the Board. Mr. Wright will prepare a letter, on behalf of the Committee requesting actions on the charter and bylaws.

FCDOT will have policy plan public meetings on November 1,2,3,5,7,9,and 10 to discuss changes to the Transportation Policy Plan. Jak Padak will be at our next meeting.

VI. New Business

  • Jenny Pate presented a letter to the Committee to endorse rerouting the Cross County Trail from the Accotink. She is wanting, also, a NMTC letter of support for a VDOT grant application for a pave 8’ asphalt trail with bridges, estimated cost of $3M. These letter were presented for our approval. Michael Shannon made a motion to approve Jenny’s requests, seconded by Kevin Brugman. Motion passed unanimously.
  • Kevin stated that the last week in October there was going to be a Woodlawn Community Meeting for pedestrian and bike access for Telegraph Road and Rte 1.
  • Mr. Wright will communicate to the Supervisors in Sully and Providence that we still need them to appoint a representative on this committee.

VII. Old Business - none

VIII. Adjournment – 9:55 p.m.


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