September 13, 2000 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee


 

Meeting Minutes - September 13, 2000

ATTENDING: Ann Bennett (At-Large), Kate Rudacile (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) Karen Lanham and Jenny Pate (FCPA), Mark Trostle, NVBIA

STAFF ATTENDING: Sheng Jieh Leu and David Marshall (DPZ)

VISITORS: Ron Miner (Supervisor McConnell's office), Joan Barnes and Elinor Weck (Great Falls Trail Blazers), and Charles Smith (Occoquan Watershed Coalition).

Chairman Michael Shannon called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m.

MINUTES: The minutes were approved with the following amendments: In the minutes section Page is misspelled. On Page 2, in the second paragraph, well placed is misspelled. Paragraph three on Page 2 now reads "Ms Bennett asked if VDOT would accept shoulder as an alternative bike route. VDOT prefers not to use shoulders as marked bike routes according to Mr. Brodtman and Mr. Brugman.

TRAIL PLAN REVIEW: Mr. Marshall explained that the results of the committee's deliberations would result in one more final map for review which would be voted upon for submission to the BOS.

There was discussion about how the committee would handle material that could not be completed in this meeting. The committee members agreed to meet before the regularly scheduled October meeting to finalize the plan to submit to staff for a final map. The committee agreed to defer unresolved topics to this next meeting.

GUEST SPEAKERS: Two guests spoke concerning issues involving the trails plan update. Mr. Shannon asked that the speakers restrict themselves to five minutes each. Mr. Brugman expressed concern that others who might have been interested in speaking at the meeting were not informed of this possibility. The general public should have been notified that the plan was under discussion and invited to participate or speakers should be asked to wait until the public hearing.

The first speaker was Joan Barnes of the Great Falls Trail Blazers from Dranesville District. Ms. Barnes presented a proposed categorization of trail types for the committee's consideration and a request that trails along Georgetown Pike, Walker Road, and Colvin Run Mill be designated "Shared Use " and be constructed of stone dust. All of their requests were presented in a written document "Proposed Primary Trail Types - County Trails Plan" which was provided to each committee member.

The second speaker was Ron Miner, an aide to Supervisor Elaine McConnell. Mr. Miner informed the committee of Ms. McConnell's belief that the trails proposed along Clifton and Henderson Roads in Springfield District are inappropriate for that district due to the R-C zoning restrictions.

TRAIL PLAN REVIEW: The trail plan review resumed at 8:10 PM. Mr. Leu distributed a worksheet with all of the submitted plan revisions. Several questions immediately arose concerning the difficulty reading the map due to many colors and lines (Pate) as well as the comment that the side of the road designated for trail construction was not easy to determine (Trostle). Mr. Brodtman noted that the Shirleygate extension was not on the map. The committee members also discussed the trail designations "recreational" and "transportation".

MOTION: Ms. Leser moved that the designations "recreational" and "transportation" be removed from the map. Mr. Trostle seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The committee members discussed the nature and nomenclature of on-road bicycle lanes. The committee described several different facilities that could be part of a system of on-road bicycle routes: shoulders, wide curb lanes, striped lanes, designated residential or neighborhood streets, or any road identified by signage. The primary considerations were those of safety and continuity.

MOTION: Mr. Trostle moved that on-road bicycle facilities should be labeled On-Road Bicycle Routes on the new trails plan. Mr. Wright seconded the motion.
The motion passed unanimously.

The committee discussed the appropriate categories of trail designations for the new trail plan.

MOTION: Ms. Leser moved that trails on the plan be identified as: Natural Surface; Stone Dust; Major Paved Trails which could be asphalt, concrete or brick and are 8 feet wide or wider; Minor Paved Trails which could be asphalt, concrete or brick and are less that 8 feet wide but not smaller than 4 feet wide.

Discussion included concerns about the need to designate the type of surface as well as concerns about the ability to require a specific type of construction in a particular location. Mr. Marshall stated that those concerns could be adequately dealt with during the zoning process. Ms. Pate asked that Stream Valley Trails be separately identified on the plan. The motion was amended to do so.
The motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: Mr. Niedringhaus moved that the committee accept Sheet 9 of the worksheet as written. Ms. Edwards seconded the motion. Mr. Brugman moved that the motion be amended to split items 1, 2, and 3 from Item 4 in the vote. The motion to amend was seconded by Mr. Brodtman. The amendment passed unanimously. The committee began discussion on the motion to accept items 1, 2, and 3 as written. Extensive discussion ensued which involved the following issues:

  • The need for a trail which would facilitate a variety of uses (Mr. Brugman)
  • The need to recognize what trails are already in existence (Ms. Bennett)
  • A usage comparison by Montgomery County, Maryland involving two trails in similar locations - one that is natural surface and one that is paved. Usage of the paved trail was much greater than the natural surface trail (Mr. Brodtman)
  • Problems in other jurisdictions with stone dust trail involving maintenance (Mr. Brugman).
  • The fact that the involved community opposes paved trails (Mr. McLaren)
  • The belief that the committee is mandated to look at the needs and desires of the entire community, i.e. countywide needs (Ms. Leser)
  • The W & OD Trail and Mount Vernon Trails, now enormously popular, were initially opposed by nearby residents. (Mr. Brugman)
  • Stonedust trails are almost as expensive to construct as paved trails (Mr. Trostle)
  • The need for a trail to access large nearby recreational facilities (Ms. Bennett)
  • The possibility of Old Dominion Drive being used as an alternative route (Mr. Niedringhaus)

MOTION: Mr. Emerson moved that each proposed trail amendment be voted on separately. Mr. Wright seconded the motion. The vote was:

Yes: Shannon, Edwards, McLaren, Matos, Brugman, Brodtman, Wright, Leser, Emerson, Bryant, Bennett, Rudacile, and Lanham.
No: Trostle, and Niedringhaus
The motion passed.

The vote to accept the amendment Item 1 on Sheet 9 ( Old Georgetown Pike) was:

Yes: Shannon, Niedringhaus, Edwards, McLaren, Trostle, and Matos
No: Brugman, Brodtman, Wright, Leser, Emerson, and Bryant Abstentions: Rudacile, Lanham, and Bennett
The motion did not pass, thus the trail designation would remain major paved. Mr. Niedringhaus resubmitted the motion. Mr. Brugman seconded the resubmission. Before a vote could be taken Mr. McLaren moved that the motion be tabled to the next meeting. This motion was seconded by Mr. Emerson. The vote was:

Yes: Shannon, Niedringhaus, Edwards, McLaren, Trostle, Matos, Brugman, Brodtman, Wright, Emerson, Rudacile, Lanham, and Bennett.
No: Bryant and Leser
The motion passed.

MOTION: Mr. Shannon moved that Items 1 (Clifton Rd), 4 (Compton Rd), 5 (Henderson Rd), and 6 (Maple Branch Rd) on Sheet 10, Springfield District, changed on the comprehensive plan from Equestrian and Bicycle to Natural Surface. Ms. Edwards seconded the motion. Discussion focused on the desire of residents in the area to have natural surface trails and the desirability of a continuous system of trails in the area and the gap in the southwest corner of the county if there is no paved trail or on-road trail available. After extensive discussion the committee members agreed by consensus to vote on each trail separately.

The vote on Item 1 (Clifton Rd) was:

Yes: Niedringhaus, Trostle, Matos, Edwards, Shannon, and Emerson
No: Brugman, Brodtman, Wright, Bennett, McLaren, Bryant, Lanham Rudacile, and Leser
There were no abstentions.
The motion failed.

The vote on Item 4 (Compton Rd) was:

Yes: Niedringhaus, Edwards, Shannon, and McLaren.
No: Brugman, Brodtman, Wright, Bennett, Leser, Emerson, Bryant, Lanham, Trostle, Rudacile, and Matos
There were no abstentions.
The motion failed.

The vote on Item 5 (Henderson Rd) was:

Yes: Niedringhaus, Edwards, Shannon, McLaren, and Bennett.
No: Brugman, Brodtman, Wright, Leser, Emerson, Bryant, Lanham, Trostle, Rudacile, and Matos
There were no abstentions.
The motion failed.<.p>

The vote on Item 6 (Maple Branch Rd) was:

Yes: Niedringhaus, Edwards, Shannon, McLaren, and Bennett.
No: Brugman, Brodtman, Wright, Leser, Emerson, Bryant, Lanham, Trostle, Rudacile, and Matos
There were no abstentions.
The motion failed.

MOTION: Ms. Leser moved that the meeting be adjourned and the discussion of the other trail plan amendments be deferred to October 4 at 7:30 PM. Mr. Shannon seconded the motion. The vote was:
Yes: Brugman, Brodtman, Leser, Emerson, Lanham, Trostle, Rudacile, Matos, Niedringhaus, Edwards, Shannon, McLaren, and Bennett
No: Wright and Bryant.
The motion passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 PM.

Minutes submitted by Deborah Rimmer Leser, Secretary.


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