February 14, 2001 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

MEMBERS ATTENDING: Bunyan Bryant (Mason District), Chet McLaren (Braddock Distrrict), Ann Bennett (At-Large), Walter Broddtman (WABA), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill District), Deb Leser (Sully District), Don Emerson (Providence District), Kate Rudacile (NVRPA), Jenny Pate and Karen Lanham (FCPA), Michael Shannon (Springfield District), Bill Niedringhaus (Dranesville District), and Joan Edwards (Clifton Horse Society).

STAFF ATTENDING: Sheng Jieh Leu (DPZ), Ahmed Rayyan, Walter Wozniak and Michael Guarino (Planning & Design Division DPWES), Mary Flowers (Clifton Horse Society), and Rick Larson (Fairfax County Police Department).

Chairman Shannon called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM. The minutes were approved unanimously with three corrections: Ann Bennett and Don Emerson were removed from the list of members attending and Kate Rudacile asked that the work "board" be changed to "directors" in the paragraph pertaining to NVRPA's voting position.

Election of Officers: The Nominations Committee recommended the following slate of officers:

  • Ann Bennett Chairman
  • Deb Leser Secretary

MOTION: Mr. McLaren moved that the committee elect the recommended slate of officers. Mr. Wright seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The Nominations Committee asked Mr. Emerson if he would consider the position of Vice-Chairman. He will consider the nomination and will respond by the March meeting.

Mr. Shannon left the meeting at this time.

Transportation Summit: Mr. Emerson reported that the Transportation Advisory Commission is hosting a Transportation Summit beginning on March 13, 2001. The topic for discussion is non-motorized transportation. There will be four evening sessions. Only the chairman of the Countywide Non-Motorized Transportation Committee has been invited and will be asked to speak at the first session. Mr. Emerson encouraged committee members who would like to attend to contact their supervisors' offices.

Trail Construction Update: Walt Wozniak and Michael Guarino of DPW & ES presented a report and discussion of the status of funded trail projects. A written report, the Walkway Implementation Status Report was given to each committee member. Mr. Wozniak explained the Modified Design Process and its speeding effect on construction. The committee expressed support for this process as it has been used thus far. Ms. Bennett asked what the optimal staffing level for walkway projects is? Mr. Wozniak stated that optimal staffing for the unit is 7 people total with roughly 50% of their time spent on trails.

Projects to be Deleted: Ahmed Rayyan of DPW & ES presented a list of projects that the county staff is recommending for deletion from the official lists of projects. These projects are not funded and have never been chosen for funding for various reasons. Mr. Rayyan asks that district representatives contact him within two weeks if they disagree with the staff's decisions.

Change in Allocation Formulae for Walkway Projects: Mr. Rayyan reported to the committee that staff concurs with the committee's request that walkway projects be funded as part of one prioritized list, similar to the Transportation Advisory Commission's method, rather than divide the funds into allocations for each of the magisterial districts. The item will be sent to the BOS on March 19. Mr. McLaren stated that he had reconsidered his position on this method and now disagrees with a countywide method of fund allocation. Mr. Niedringhaus stated that he was concerned that smaller projects would no longer be funded. The remainder of the committee continues to support the newer method of walkway fund allocation.

Draft Trail Plan: David Marshall stated that the draft trail plan will go to the BOS within a month. Mr. Leu presented more changes.

On Sheet 1-1 , Item 15, the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail location is still unidentified. Due to the absence of the Mt. Vernon District Representative no vote was taken at this time. Ms. Bennett suggested a separate meeting to discuss the trail location. Committee members will be notified and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.

On Sheet 3, Item 39 had an error. The trail extends from the Alexandria City line.

Ms. Pate discussed the changes to the stream valley trails on property owned by the FCPA. Mr. Leu created a working map for the FCPA that Ms. Pate compared with the master plans for the FCPA. A draft list of trails with surface construction identified was created. Some areas continue to be undesignated due to the lack of information about the topography in those areas. An information only board item was sent to the FCPA that is being held tonight also. The item lists what is already constructed and what is recommended. At this time, FCPA staff proposes to support the draft trails plan as amended at the Planning Commission hearings. Mr. Brodtman asked about the Wakefield/Accotink trail link that is designated stonedust. Ms. Pate indicated that community meetings show community support for the stonedust trail. The Lake Accotink plan is the next area of the parks under review for creation of park specific plan. Mr. Wright asked if the current plan is still subject to change. Ms. Pate indicated that it was. Committee members discussed the trail's designation as stonedust in light of the FCPA request for TEA-21 funds which identifies the trail as a "commuter trail".

MOTION: Ms. Leser moved that there be no designation other than stream valley for Wakefield and Lake Accotink. Mr. McLaren seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with Ms. Rudacile, Ms. Lanham and Mr. Niedringhaus abstaining.

MOTION: Mr. Niedringhaus moved that there be no designation other than stream valley for the Difficult Run Stream Valley. Mr. Emerson seconded the motion. Ms. Pate explained that the staff of the FCPA recommends asphalt due to the difficulty in stabilizing the trail in the narrow stream valley. There is insufficient room for dual trails. Mr. Niedringhaus noted that the citizens in that area would prefer natural surface or stonedust trails. Ms. Pate stated that FCPA staff believe that stonedust or natural surface could not be maintained in the entire area.

The vote was:

Yes No Abstaining
Ms. Edwards Mr. Bryant Ms. Lanham
Mr. Niedringhaus Mr. Brodtman Ms. Rudacile
Mr. Emerson Mr. Wright  
Ms. Bennett Ms. Leser  
Mr. McLaren     

The motion passed 5 - 4 - 2.

MOTION: Mr. McLaren moved that the committee accept the FCPA plan as modified. Mr. Emerson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with Ms. Rudacile and Ms. Lanham abstaining.

MOTION: Mr. McLaren moved that Items 1 and 2 on Sheet 13 be amended to Minor Paved. Ms. Leser seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with Ms. Rudacile and Ms. Lanham abstaining.

MOTION: Ms. Leser moved that Item 1 on Sheet 14 be accepted. This motion will cause the inclusion of all trails on the existing trails plan not amended by the committee. It also designates those trails by construction type - Major Paved, Minor Paved, Natural Surface, or Stonedust. Mr. Emerson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with Ms. Lanham abstaining.

MOTION: Ms. Leser moved that Major Paved Trail be added to the east side of Old Mill Road west of Old Centreville Road and the north side of Mt. Olive Road between Compton Road and Old Centreville Road in Sully District. This trail is proposed to circumvent the need for trail through a shooting range. Mr. Wright seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with Ms. Rudacile and Ms. Lanham abstaining.

MOTION: Ms. Leser moved that minor paved trail be added to the north side of Old Lee Road in Sully District. This trail connects a high school and future recreational resources. Mr. Wright seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with Ms. Rudacile and Ms. Lanham abstaining.


Ms. Pate informed the committee about a conference on Greenways on September 16 - 19 and encouraged committee members to sign up early for reduced fees.

Mr. Wright informed the committee of a VDOT study of non-motorized transportation heard about at the Bicycling and Walking Symposium in Annapolis. He will follow up on the study and keep the committee members informed.

Ms. Pate distributed the Blading report and a report on the Cross County Trail.


Officer Rick Larsen of FCPD presented statistics on five years of accidents involving pedestrians. He has maps showing the accidents by location in the county. He also brought copies of the laws pertaining to pedestrians. Officer Larsen reported on a VDOT project to build a lighted raised crosswalk near Arlington Blvd on Route 7. Mr. Wright suggested that the committee form a subcommittee on safety and pedestrian issues. The committee agreed by consensus.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.

Deborah Rimmer Leser, Secretary

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