August 13, 2003 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee


Non-motorized Transportation Committee Meeting

August 13, 2003

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

Members Attending: Michael Brennan, Braddock District, Wade Smith, Dranesville District, Bruce Wright, Hunter Mill, District, Kevin Brugman, Mt Vernon District, Donald Emerson, Providence District, Walter Brodtman, WABA, Dan Iglhaut, NVRPA, Rebecca Cate, FCFCA, Jenny Pate, Park Authority

Staff Attending: Chris Wells, DOT, Sheng-Jieh Leu, DPZ

Visitors: Bill Byrnes, McLean Citizens Association, Dan Alcorn, McLean Citizens Association, Jaak Pedak, DOT, Cino Dabestani, VDOT - NOVA/TP, Fatemeh Allanhdoust, VDOT - NOVA/TP, Tina Curtis, VDOT - NOVA/TP, Sterling Wheeler, DPZ, John Dittmeier, WMATA, Neil Nott, WMATA

Don Emerson called the meeting to order at 7:35.

Kevin Brugman agreed to be the acting secretary.

The June Minutes were reviewed, Mr. Leu's name was misspelled and required correction. Bruce Wright moved to accept with corrections, Michael Brennan seconded. Minutes accepted.

Dulles Corridor Metro Station Pedestrian/Bicycle Access

Don introduced the WMATA Dulles Corridor Team

John Dittmeier presented the proposal for the first phase of the Orange Line extension to Whiele Ave in Reston. He focused his presentation on the actual stations. According to WMATA, all road, trail and pedestrian access beyond the actual station are the responsibility of the local governments. See attachment for actual presentation drawings and information passed out by WMATA.

In the Station facility planning, bicycle and pedestrian access and storage are linked together. Walter Brodtman expressed concern that pedestrian requirements, i.e. brick facings for walkways and other access requirements are different than requirements for cyclists, wheel chair and stroller users. Bruce Wright suggested that cyclist and pedestrian requirements be separated to Priority 1 and Priority 2 requirements.

Wade Smith expressed concern that so much of the design is already completed that changes could not be implemented. Neil Nott from WMATA replied that only 10 - 15 % of the planning is actually completed. Wade Smith then gave several examples of the current design features that are unfriendly to pedestrians. Wade wanted to know how the plans can be modified to make them pedestrian friendly. Neil Nott responded by showing the Tyson's West site plan where the parking garage had been scaled back in response to local concerns.

Don Emerson further asked how the improvements that the NMTC and others had could be brought up to the designers? John Dittmeier suggested that these be brought to future public hearings. John further suggested a charrette to discuss many of the access issues being raised by NMTC members.

Fatemeh Allahdoust from VDOT then explained the VDOT involvement. She confirmed that the total costs presented by WMATA do not include local access costs external to the site. VDOT is currently looking at necessary improvements at ¼ and ½ mile radius circles around the site.

Sterling Wheeler from FFX County DPZ further explained many of the local requirements at the sites. Many of the issues need to be resolved balancing the needs and concerns involved with local property owners, cost, access and other concerns. Jenny Pate suggested that a subcommittee consisting of the local district committee members, Wade Smith and Bruce Wright, WABA representative, Walter Brodtman, and Community Representative Rebecca Cate be established to make formal recommendations to the different entities involved, i.e. WMATA, VDOT, and FFX County DPZ. Kevin Brugman made the motion, Bruce Wright seconded and it was approved.

At this point Kevin Brugman had to depart and Jennifer Pate continued taking notes.

New Business

Metropolitan Washington council of Governments again has the opportunity to apply for participation in the Walkable Communities workshops. Last year's application was not accepted. COG is planning to submit an application to hold 8 workshops regionwide. The workshops include generic safe pedestrian information, combined with a hands on portion in which the area selected is walked and inventoried and analyzed. Fairfax County will submit at least one site, with a second site as a back-up in case some of the other jurisdictions don't submit. First choice is the Route 1 corridor. Chris Wells and Sheng Leu will be responsible for setting up the meeting if the application is accepted. Chris will write a summary for the COG application. There is a charge of $500 for the participating jurisdiction. The committee decided to also look at the possibility of submitting something in the Tysons Corner area. We would need a public meeting space for as many as 100 people within walking distance of the problem area.

Staff Reports - Sheng Leu presented the draft of a letter answering questions posed by EQAC's Chet McLaren (formerly of the NMTC). The intent of the questions is to get the NMTC more prominence on EQAC's agenda. The committee supported sending the letter under Ann's signature, with the following comments: 8. add residential development criteria; 3. check with DPWES to confirm; 7. mention VDOT regional bicycle planning effort and the studies done by the consultant; 6. add mention of bike lanes on a portion of Telegraph Road. Leu also reported that research into the status of trail escrows is continuing. At the September meeting information should be assembled to be presented. Chris is working on identifying available construction funding. After this information is gathered, DPWES will be working on cost estimates.

Jenny handed out a summary of projects currently under consideration for the Park Authority bond referendum in 2004. Comments and input are welcome from committee members.

Chris told the committee of a new effort by VDOT to identify and solve issues related to pedestrian and bicycle policies. The time-frame was originally set for completion by the end of 2003, but it is going slower than expected. Representing the local area are Charles Denney from Arlington, Allen Muchnick from the Virginia Bicycling Federation, and Chris Wells. Minutes of the meetings and other details are available on VDOT's website www.virginiadot.org. under bicycling/policy and procedural review. Any comments or feedback should go to the working group through Chris.

Discussion of Guidelines to Review Trail Waiver Applications deferred until September. Jenny handed out the guidelines she currently uses in reviewing stream valley trail waiver requests.

Old Business

Segway Policy discussion deferred until September.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.


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