Minutes of the Fairfax County Trails & Sidewalks Committee

January 13, 2010

Members Present - Wade Smith, Chairman (Dranesville), Douglas Pew, Vice Chairman (Hunter Mill), Roger Diedrich (Providence), Tom Kennedy (Braddock), Jan Reitman (Mason), Kala Quintana (At-Large), Elizabeth Cronauer (FCPA), Dennis Frew (WABA), Ann Pimley (Disability Services Board), Mark Tipton (FCFCA) Mary Flowers, Jean Voss (Clifton Horse Society)

Staff Present - Charlie Strunk (FC DOT)

New Start Time - Wade Smith, Chairman, convened the meeting at 7:10 p.m. He noted that this is the first meeting of the new start time of 7:00 p.m. Wade introduced two new members, Kala Quintana, the new At-Large member, and Jean Voss, the new equestrian member from the Clifton Horse Society. Wade then thanked Mary Flowers for her participation on the committee as the Clifton Horse Society representative for the past five years.

Review of Minutes of April 2009 Meeting - Minutes were corrected to correct the spelling of Kala Quintana. Minutes approved as corrected.

Annual Election of Officers. Wade mentioned it was time to elect a new Chairman and Vice Chairman. Since no one offered, Wade said he would do it for one more year, but that it would be the last year. He feels other members should get involved. Doug Pew agreed to stay on as Vice Chairman.

Staff Report. Charlie reported that:

  • A copy of the lobbying letter from the County Executive had been sent to Committee members on January 8. Tom asked if it was against the policy to write in support of grants to do trail work. Charlie agreed that an interpretation is needed and would check it out. Kala mentioned that as long as it is an approved program, it would not be against the policy.
  • There is a new Chief of Capital Projects & Operations Division, Eric Teitelman. He replaces Ellen Gallagher, who retired. Mr. Teitelman is expected to be at next month's meeting.
  • Chris asked him to report that Commercial and Industrial (C&I) is moving forward. They are taking a look at the problem of easements.
  • The Street Smart Campaign is kicking off its campaign.
  • Steve Aitcheson is the Volunteer Program person and also the trails maintenance person. He will be at the February meeting to discuss both maintenance and volunteering.
  • A copy of the Bicycle Program Update was distributed. It is a highlight of what they are working on or have completed. One of the items mentioned is development of the County bicycle parking standards. Also Charlie and Jeff Hermann are putting together a request for proposal to the on-call consultant for preparing a master plan study. It will be phased with the first segment focusing on the Tysons Corner area. Work is anticipated to begin in March 2010. He mentioned that the phases will be budget driven.
  • The draft Tysons Corner Plan will be released soon.
  • WMATA has been adding bike racks and lockers to certain stations. It was mentioned that VRE stations need and will get bike racks. There was some discussion about outfitting rail cars with racks. Kala mentioned it has been done on some of the new cars, although, it is feared, not nearly enough.

Roger asked, regarding the C&I projects; how do they make decisions where to put things. Wade asked Charlie to have Chris talk about the list of projects next month, in particularly the Commercial and Industrial tax. Wade also suggested we invite WMATA and VRE folks to a future meeting.

2010 Focus Issues. Wade commented that items the committee should focus on in 2010 are:

  • February-Maintenance and Volunteer Programs. We should then draft something to BOS about the issue of maintenance. Also, we will discuss items like how to deal with volunteer groups, etc.
  • March--Bike issues. For instance, what does WMATA do or VRE as it applies to bicycle issues. Charlie should get a list of areas of issues for February meeting so the committee can discuss in March.
  • April--Chris should tell us the vision, programs, and what 2010 plans they are proceeding with.
  • May (also March)--The committee will take a look at the web site and see what changes need to be done; for instance, making sure the meeting schedule/location is up to date. Doug said he would be happy to send in changes to the Webmaster.
  • Wade asked that sometime in the fall he would like to devote a meeting to equestrian issues; where are the trails, connectivity, surface type, trailer parking, etc.

New Business.

  • Tom Kennedy reported he had met with Braddock Council and said it would be good if all civic associations worked on their own trails. Tom passed out a sample letter that could go to all civic associations that would cover conditions which can inhibit the full enjoyment of our neighborhood sidewalks and trails, including low overhanging trees, overgrowth of grass or weeds, etc.
  • Doug Pew discussed his concern in construction not getting done in a timely manner. He feels we need to stress how much work needs to be done.
  • Charlie can find out what has happened to our committee survey "best practices" items and what other jurisdictions are doing. Also this committee should watch over changing legislative rules for VDOT Right of Way.

Old Business. Wade said the Old Business items (updating web page and Electronic Request Form) will be discussed in February. Also, the volunteer program will be discussed next month.

Motion to Adjourn - Meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


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