September 18, 2002 Minutes - Trails and Sidewalks Committee


Members Present: Kevin Brugman (Mount Vernon - Acting Chair), Evelyn Tomaszewski (Braddock), Bruce Wright (Hunter Mill), Robert Michie (Lee), Don Emerson (Providence), Mike Shannon (Springfield), Walter Brodtman (WABA), Dan Igalhaut (NVRPA), and Jenny Pate (FCPA)

Staff: David Marshall, Sheng Leu - DPZ; Chris Wells - DOT

Call to order: Kevin Brugman, Acting Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

Approval of Minutes for July 10, 2002 - Minutes were approved unanimously following a motion by Mike Shannon, seconded by Dan Igalhaut

Introduction of Chris Wells - Pedestrian Coordinator - Fairfax County Department of Transportation

Chris is the new (since July) pedestrian program manager for the county. He has worked at DT for 5 years in the highway program and hazard elimination. He is charged with looking at the BIG PICTURE on pedestrian issues. Among his initial tasks:

  • Review of the top 20 most dangerous pedestrian intersections - a review by a group composed of county staff, VDOT, the Police, and citizen reps
  • Inventory and study of the county's approximately 7000 bus stops
  • Installation of "yield to pedestrian - fine $..." signs at 20 high profile locations (list to be e-mailed to committee members by Chris)
  • Creation of a pedestrian task force (duration, 2 years, or so) to work on a pedestrian plan
  • Recommendations to the BOS of state legislation that needs to be changed to allow enforcement of pedestrian safety issues - including the "yield" to pedestrians being changed to a "stop," investigation of the 35 mph law, etc.

Presentation by David Lyons, Safe Crossings

David Lyons (a retired county fire department employee) is the founder of a pedestrian advocacy group, Safe Crossings (more info at the website: www.metroped.org, under The Safe Crossings Campaign). The initial focus of the group is the Route 1 corridor since the accident level along that road has risen to an unacceptable level. The area is densely developed and features a high concentration of low-income persons, many persons riding bikes as a transportation mode, and a relatively high speed limit (45 mph).

Safe Crossings gives a voice to the people in the community who have the likelihood of becoming fatalities along the road. For example, other groups such as Walk DC, Rising Hope United Methodist Church, and bike advocacy groups have joined together with Safe Crossings to work toward a safe pedestrian and bike passage by Ft. Belvoir. The group would support any activities to provide trails and sidewalks along the Highway and would help oppose any potential waiver requests in the Route 1 corridor.

Staff Report

Sheng Leu announced that VDOT's regional bike plan effort is stopped briefly while some funding issues are resolved. Jenny Pate reported on the COG tech subcommittee meeting and the need to have a list of regional trail priorities. We also need to have our top 2 or 3 projects by the end of October to include in a top-ten list to be presented to the TPB. The Walkable Community organization is not going to be doing a presentation in the DC area, but the Rail-volution Conference will be in DC on October 3-6.

The Trail Plan maps have been delayed by staff work on the APR-south, but should be printed soon. An amendment to the trail plan has been proposed by Supervisor McConnell to remove all trails within the Occoquan protection area in Springfield District. It is under review. Included in Thursday's (September 19) Washington Post is the list of trail projects included in the sales tax referendum proposal.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Bruce Wright is working on scheduling a ribbon cutting for the Fairfax County Parkway Trail. Maps are being prepared and signage for the sections that leave the Parkway (such as West Ox Road, Burke Center Parkway, and Rolling Road) is being pursued by DT.

Bob Michie will present a report on the status of trails in Lee District to the Lee District Association of Civic Associations.

The Committee voted unanimously to recognize Debby Leser's long service to the trails community in an appropriate way. Ann Bennett will investigate possible options.

Adjournment - 9:30 p.m.

Minutes by Jenny Pate

 


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