January 14, 2004 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee

January 14, 2004

Members Attending: Ann Bennett (At-Large), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill District), Robert Michie (Lee District), Christopher O'Brien (Mason District), Dan Iglhaut and Kate Rudicalle, (NVRPA), Mike Brennan (Braddock), Mike Shannon (Springfield District), Walter Brodtman (WABA), Jenny Pate (FCPA), Paul Johnson (NVBIA), Mary Flowers, (Clifton Horse Society), Wade Smith (Dranesville District), Larry Butler, (Sully District), Rebecca Cate (FCFCA)

Staff Attending: Sheng-Jieh Leu (DPZ), Mimi Murray (DOT), Ahmed Rayyan (DPWES)

Guests Attending: Mr Lee Davis (Virginia Bicycling Federation)

Chairman Ann Bennett called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

The November minutes were reviewed (There was no meeting in December). Wade Smith requested that in McLean be added to the following sentence from the November minutes: Mr. Smith said that there will be a ribbon cutting on a section of the Lewinsville Rd trail. This section was built by a developer on an offsite location near Spring Hill Recreation area. Minutes were approved unanimously as changed.

Staff Report

  1. Mr. Rayyan discussed the current process of responding to a citizen request for walkway projects. His office gets the request, one or two people go out and review the site of the request, they do a quick cost estimate, they do a feasibility study, then make their recommendation to the District representative on the NMTC. Recently, however, a request from a citizen sidewalk generated a call from Supervisor Bulova's office saying they preferred to take the request a little further. They want the requestor to provide a petition or other means to show they have local community support. The downside, according to Mr. Rayyan, is that after all that work the requestor would do, we would have to tell them no, due to funding.
    The Committee discussed the process and it was felt that people from other Districts have requested a change. A problem arises when the request is in front of a school, since school and managerial districts don't always coincide. Sometimes citizens within the area don't always want it, while the rest of the citizens outside of the area do. It was agreed that we shouldn't discourage anyone from requesting sidewalks or trails. It was suggested that maybe once Mr Rayyan gets the request, he immediately notify the trail rep; that it is important to get the request into the files in the Supervisor's office. He estimated that he gets three or four requests a month and that these requests always come to NMTC. It should be determined if the requested trail is on the Trails Plan.
    The conclusion is that Mr Rayyan should think about the process and have a recommendation at the February meeting. In addition, Ms Bennett suggested that Florence from the Braddock District attend in order to further discuss their request for a petition. We should also consider having a school district representative attend a meeting to talk to the committee.
  2. 2. Jenny Pate reported that 2004 is a park bond year, and it looks good for getting money for trails. They plan to build 75 miles of trails over the next 10 years. All representatives should encourage their park authority representative to spend money for trails. It was mentioned that we should be looking into people getting into parks without driving a car. Ms Pate mentioned that the last bond was in 1998 for $4.2 million and almost all of it is spent. She also reported that the Cross County Trail Caucus will be held January 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Woodson High School in Fairfax.
  3. 3. Ms Mimi Murray from DOT reported that she is working on the project of placing Yield to Pedestrian signs; the goal is placing them at approximately 150 intersections a year. She asked that trail reps notify her of either crosswalks that are missing and/or identify intersections where they would like to have Yield to Pedestrian signs installed. Also, she was looking for people to manage a pit stop for the Bike to Work Day on May 7. Her e-mail address for sign notification or managing a pit stop is mimi.murray@fairfaxcounty.gov. She also reported that a pedestrian task force is underway and expects to be functional by next month.
  4. 4. Mr Leu mentioned that trail waivers are not always responded to in a timely manner and that it is important that trail representatives do so. He also reported that he needed to respond to an Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC) by January 20 requesting what specific recommendations the NMTC had. Committee members said to mention the Priority List of Trails and that he should request money be given to the Trails Committee to complete those trails on the Priority List.

Chair Report

Ms Bennett mentioned that she had been reappointed for the At-Large Member until Chairman Connolly finds a replacement. She suggested that this year the Committee needs to focus on funding issues, bicycle issues, and schools. She then asked for nominations for Chair of the NMTC. Some names were mentioned by no one agreed to run. It was suggested a Nominating Committee get together and come up with a name or names. Mr Shannon and Mr Wright agreed to be on the Committee.

Old Business

Wade mentioned that rail station bike/pedestrian access will be discussed at a public hearing. It was mentioned that a car dealer in the Tysons area did not agree to the plan but hired an engineering firm and came up with a better design for access. Metro seems receptive to discussion alternatives to their plans.

New Business

Wade mentioned that if the HOT lanes on the Beltway were built, every bridge would have to be rebuilt and that the Committee should get in our requests for pedestrian walkways. We should be sure that pedestrian issues are considered whenever they redo anything on the Beltway. Wade mentioned that somehow we should find out when VDOT is doing paving and push for bike lanes.

The Committee members thanked Ann for all her hard work during her term as Chair, especially during the revision of the Trail Plan.

Meeting adjourned 9:00 p.m.

Mary Flowers, Acting Secretary


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