Minutes of the Fairfax County Trails and Sidewalks Committee

June 9, 2010

Call to Order: Wade Smith called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM on June 9, 2010.

Members Present - Wade Smith, Chairman (Dranesville), Peter Christensen (Mt. Vernon), Lisa Willey (Springfield), Kala Quintana (At Large), Thomas Kennedy (Braddock), Paul Kent (Sully), Robert Michie (Lee), Douglas Pew (Hunter Mill), Ann Pimley (Fairfax Area Disability Services Board), Jan Reitman (Mason), and Liz Cronauer (Fairfax County Park Authority)

Staff Present - Jeff Hermann (Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner)

Administrative Actions:

  • Thomas Kennedy was designated acting secretary.
  • The minutes of the prior meeting were discussed and approved.
  • The agenda was approved.

Staff Report:

  • Since the last report, five intersection upgrades have been completed. They are located at Rt. 7/Dranesville Rd.; Glen Carlyn Rd. and Magarity Ave.; Rt. 50/Olin Service Dr.; Rt. 236/Backlick Rd.; and Lewinsville Rd./Balls Hill Rd.
  • Four Bus Pads have been added with locations on Annandale Rd., Burke Rd., Burke Lake Rd. and Telegraph Rd.
  • Walker Rd Trail has been completed.
  • Six projects are actively under construction
    • Braddock Rd./Wakefield Chapel Rd.-Trail and Ped Crossing
    • Colts Neck Rd.- Sidewalk
    • Edgelea Rd. - Sidewalk
    • Fairfax County Pkwy./Fox Mill Rd. - Trail and sidewalk
    • Georgetown Pike. - Trail
    • Sutton Rd. - Sidewalk
  • Two bicycle/pedestrian fatalities (one bicycle and one pedestrian) have occurred over the last month.
  • Staff is finalizing recommendations for the Tysons Corner and Wiehle Metro Station pedestrian and bicycle access projects. Each location has $4 million of funding for improvements.
  • The committee requested that a draft of the pedestrian and bicycle plan be provided to the committee when it is completed for review prior to implementation.
  • Bike to Work Day was held on May 21. There were three additional pit stops this year. They were located in Herndon, Burke, and Merrifield.
  • A new Wolf Trap Rd bridge is now open in the vicinity of Kilmer Middle School. This has been of great benefit and allowed cancellation of school bus routes due to improved access to the school.
  • Construction of new bicycle parking projects are about to start at the Government Center and the City of Fairfax Court House Complex. These projects will install new bicycle racks and lockers.
  • A proposal for completing the bicycle master plan has been received from the contractor and is being reviewed. Work on Phase I (Tysons Area) is expected to start as early as July. This will be followed by Phase II which expands the plan to the rest of the county.
  • Reviews are being conducted to assess means to improve bicycle parking. Consideration is being given to privatizing bike rack stations in metro areas.

Old Business:

  • Jeff Hermann reported that the trail cut which had occurred on the Fairfax County Parkway trail at Route 50 would be repaired as part of the current Fair Lakes Blvd Interchange project. A schedule has not been established. The committee requested that a schedule be provided due to the number of complaints and impact on bicycle riders of this trail interruption.
  • The remaining old business items were not resolved and will be carried over to the next meeting for resolution. They are as follows:
  • There was a question about the success of proposed state legislation to permit construction of walkways over utilities rather than moving them. Chris will check on this.
  • There was a question about whether money is specifically set aside for ADA projects. If there is a small need, it may be possible to do this by using existing funds. Chris will check Ann Pimley’s list of disabled needs for status. Staff placed Ann’s list into the district lists.
  • It was questioned how VDOT handles liability on Adopt A Road projects. VDOT may be exempt from liability. It was questioned whether the county has the same status. There is a concern about volunteers cutting shrubbery on private property.

New Business:

  • A review was conducted of what changes should be made with regard to the Trails and Sidewalks Committee website with the following conclusions:
  • Doug Pew agreed to continue to coordinate changes in the web page as has been done in the past. The committee requested that he be allowed direct access to the new web content manager as has been the case in the past to facilitate these changes.
  • It was requested that reference to Trails, Sidewalks, Bicycles and Equestrians be included in the Fairfax County web site home page with linkage to the Trails and Sidewalks Committee web page to allow easier access to trails and sidewalk information.
  • It was noted that the term “horseback riding” (a more colloquial term for equestrian) is not within our web site and should be added to allow access via normal search patterns.
  • There is currently no linkage to the Trails and Sidewalks Committee web page from other web pages referenced by the committee web page such as the county pedestrian, bicycle, maintenance and safety web pages. Consideration should be given to including a link to the Trails and Sidewalks Committee web page from related county web site pages that are connected to the committee web page.
  • The committee requested clarification as to whom requests for new trails or maintenance work go within the county when a resident fills out an electronic request form. Jeff Hermann agrees to report back on this request.
  • Specific Changes were recommended within the following areas:
    • Index – Changes were recommended to the Index listing on the web page to:
    • Place subjects in an order more related to their interest to the web user.
    • Simplify Index item descriptions
    • Delete “Safety” and incorporate safety issues into the appropriate pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian areas.
    • Add a “Reports and Surveys” tab to consolidate significant reports of general interest to web users.
    • Place Maintenance FAQs within the Maintenance Index.
    • Home Page - Changes were recommended to the home page to delete old and obsolete information and to move referenced reports to the Report Index. Wade Smith agreed to propose additional information to be incorporated into the home page to bring this page up to date.
    • Contacts – The contacts page will be corrected to reflect proper names and phone numbers. A question of security was raised relative to use of committee member personal e-mails and phone numbers It was suggested that members could use the supervisor office contacts as a means to funnel requests to committee members to reduce this risk. Individual committee members should identify to Jeff Hermann the specific e-mail and phone connections that they would like on the committee web site.
    • Minutes – Committee meeting minutes have not been entered onto the website for almost a year. It was requested that prior meeting minutes be quickly incorporated onto the web site.
    • Maps – Liz Cronauer agreed to update the text on the map web page. In addition, it was agreed that all maps referred to within the Committee web page should also be directly referenced within the map page.
    • Links – Committee members were requested to review and provide corrections and clarification if needed to links identified on this web page. Additional links should be provided if appropriate and obsolete links deleted.
    • Accessibility – Issues associated with accessibility of trails and sidewalks are not explicitly discussed on the web site. While new trails and sidewalks specifically address accessibility in their construction, issues and concerns remain with many existing trail and sidewalks. It was requested that Chris Wells suggest how this might be done. Ann Pimley will provide input as to concerns and issues that she thinks should be incorporated. This will be pursued separate from the current updating of the web page.
    • Notes on details of specific recommendations were taken by Lisa Willey, Tom Kennedy and Jeff Hermann. All detailed notes will be separately provided to Jeff Hermann for consolidation and use in updating the web site.

Motion to Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 9:03 PM.

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