March 13, 2002 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

Members Attending: Deborah Leser (Sully District), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill District), Robert Michie (Lee District), Kevin Brugman (Mount Vernon District), Donald Emerson (Providence District), Bunyan Bryant (Mason District), Kathy Cleal, alternate for WABA, Dan Iglhaut (NVRPA), Ann Bennett (At-Large), Jenny Pate (FCPA), and Paul Johnson (NVBIA).

Staff Attending: David Marshall and Shen-Jieh Leu (DPZ)

Chairman Ann Bennett called the meeting to order at 7:33 PM.

Secretary Deborah Leser asked that members submit all requested changes to the minutes in writing. Several changes had been requested via email and Ms. Leser asked for the sake of documentation that the proposed changes be presented at the meeting. The February minutes were deferred until March for approval so that members could prepare their requested changes.

Budget Request for 2003 FY

The committee members discussed alternatives for the FY 2003 Budget. The consensus of the meeting was that safety considerations should be paramount in the current fiscal situation. Another area of consensus was the need to look at alternative methods of funding with an emphasis on combining any county funds with federal or other sources. This position is in agreement with that of the Transportation Advisory Commission. The committee members agreed that one area of concern is the Route 1 corridor although Telegraph Road and Little River Turnpike were also mentioned as areas of need.

The committee also discussed the impact of the trail construction backlog on the committee's ability to ask for more funds. Mr. Emerson has examined the reports for DPW & ES from January 2000 and those of December 2001 and found very little progress. The committee would like to discuss these issues with the John Wesley White to see if progress can be assisted.

Out of Turn Plan Amendment

David Marshall discussed the county attorney's opinion concerning the need to take all proposed changes in the plan since January 16, 2002 to another public hearing. Those changes were those submitted by the committee after reviewing requests and recommendations from the public as directed by the Planning Commission. The committee had recommended that 37 of 138 proposals submitted since January 16, 2002 be added to the new Trails Plan.

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission move forward on those recommendations submitted by the NMTC before January 16, 2002 and were presented at the public hearing. Mr. Leu has prepared a new list identifying those changes affected by such a decision. The Planning Commission has deferred its decision until April 4, 2002 with a decision by the BOS expected on April 29, 2002.

MOTION: Mr. Emerson moved that the NMTC inform the Planning Commission that we are in agreement with the staff recommendation to move the eligible proposed trails plan amendments forward to a decision by the Planning Commission. Mr. Wright seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with no abstentions.

Priority List of Trails Projects

Ms. Bennett described a meeting on February 5, 2002 with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. Dick Frank, the new chairman of the TAC, Ms. Bennett, Ms. Pate, and Mr. Leu attended the meeting. The purpose was to begin work together on pedestrian issues. The TAC recommendations that arose from their workshop were reviewed. Fairfax DOT is to assume coordination among DPW & ES, TAC, and the NMTC. At the May 2002 meeting of the NMTC Leonard Wolfenstein will attend to assist the committee in the development of a priority list of the top 20 projects in the county. Criteria will be established to set priorities. The goal is to provide recommendations to the BOS by November 2002.

Mount Vernon Trail Extension

A report is available from Mr. Leu. Specific Routes have not been identified.

Potomac Heritage Trail

Ms. Bennett, Mr. Niedringhaus, and Mr. Brugman are to meet with Doug Pickford to identify routes for the Potomac Heritage Trail in Fairfax County. They will report on the result at the April meeting.

National Trails Day

Dan Iglhaut reported on the plans for National Trails Day. NVRPA is the coordinating agency for this event. Carol Ann Cohen, Public Information Officer for the NVRPA, is coordinating and creating publications for the event. The committee members agreed that a booth outlining the proposed trail plan amendment should be prepared and committee members are encouraged to attend to man the booth.


Mr. Michie reported on HB 905 ER, a bill that has passed the Virginia General Assembly authorizing the use of the Segway on all trails in the state. The Segway is a one-person motorized transportation device that moves at 15 mph or less. It is currently being tested in several police departments and other agencies throughout the state. The committee discussed the safety implications of the use of the device on trails and sidewalks.

National Bike Summit

Mr. Wright and Mr. Brodtman attended the summit. Mr. Wright discussed the Metropolitan Branch Trail, a segment of which was built with six million dollars of TEA-21 funds.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 PM.

Deborah Rimmer Leser, Secretary

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