Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force

January 24, 2011 Organizational Meeting Notes

Welcoming Remarks by Chairman Sharon Bulova and Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross

Participants at the meeting included:
Dorothy Beck, Dowden Terrace (City of Alexandria portion)
Elizabethe Hall, Springdale Civic Association
Linda Mass, Dowden Terrace (Fairfax County portion)
Bill Pike, Charleston Square Homeowners Association
Dave Dexter, Chairman, city of Alexandria BRAC 133 Advisory Group
Linda Shapiro, Dowden Terrace (Fairfax County portion)
Rita Zimmerman, Lincolnia Park Civic Association
Jennifer Porter, Palisades Homeowners Association
Kathy Hart, Lincolnia Hills/Heywood Glen Civic Association
Barry Wilson, Palisades Homeowners Association
Thomas Burke, Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT)
Aripita Chatterjee, FCDOT
Guy Mullinax, FCDOT
Maria Turner, FCDOT
Smitha Chellappa, FCDOT
Clara Pizana, Office of Supervisor Gross

Residents from the city of Alexandria and Fairfax County formally committed to work as a joint task force.  The task force would focus on neighborhood impacts created by the opening of the Mark Center facility, and work to hone in on what potential solutions would be realistic and achievable.  The selection of a task force chairman was made via a nomination by Jennifer Porter of Barry Wilson.  The group unanimously approved the nomination, which was accepted by Barry Wilson, a resident of the Palisades community in Fairfax County.

Representatives from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) distributed maps to the task force, which illustrated the neighborhoods/subdivisions that were in close proximity to the Mark Center.  Concerns expressed by the task force included safety concerns, such as speeding vehicles and the parking of cars on narrow roads; congestion on main roads adjacent to their neighborhoods; and cut-through traffic.   FCDOT staff presented information about topics that focused on potential areas affected by commuter traffic and overparking of neighborhood streets.

Mark Canale provided an update about the BRAC’s four main posts: North Post, Fort Belvoir, the Mark Center, and the Medical Military Command.  He also discussed his role as Fairfax County’s coordinator with the city of Alexandria.  His attention is focused on the localized impacts of parking and traffic along the Fairfax County/city of Alexandria boundary.  Traffic counts would be taken before the Mark Center opens to get baseline counts.  He asked the newly created task force to identify major cut-through roads and intersections to get baseline counts.

Tom Burke discussed a traffic analysis that focused on the impacts to Route 236/Little River Turnpike, Beauregard Street, Van Dorn Street, and the Mark Center.  Land use processes and revitalization opportunities were being reviewed by the Virginia Department of Transportation and Fairfax County to look for options that would provide potential improvements to traffic flow in the area.  The date of occupancy of the Mark Center is anticipated to begin August 9, 2011.

Maria Turner provided an overview of Fairfax County’s Residential Permit Parking District (RPPD).  She also discussed the initial plans of the city of Alexandria to establish its own BRAC RPPD.  The areas in the city of Alexandria for the potential BRAC RPPD were reduced from five to three, and the managers of the program were leaning toward a day time only parking restriction.  Fairfax County transportation staff already had planned to conduct a parking study in the spring to get baseline counts from neighborhood roads in close proximity to the Mark Center.  If in the fall, when the Mark Center was anticipated to open, the overparking of neighborhood streets became evident, the affected communities would be provided with a petition to initiate the RPPD process.

Seyed Nabavi did not attend the meeting because of an unexpected emergency.

Based on the presentations by FCDOT staff and questions by the task force, the topics for discussion at the next task force meeting were determined:

  1. Road Classification Primer and Traffic Calming Program Requirements Overview
  2. Summary of Engineering Review for Hillcrest Place (this road was accepted into the Traffic Calming Program and now has speed control devices)
  3. BRAC 133 Zip Code Analysis – Actual & Extrapolated Population
  4. Overview of Proposed I-95/395 HOT Lanes Project
  5. Task Force would identify for FCDOT staff additional major cut-through roads, congested intersections, and neighborhood roads to get traffic flow and parking baseline counts.

Barry Wilson, task force chairman, indicated the importance of future task force meetings to be held on evenings that did not coincide with other working groups’ BRAC meetings.  He suggested the first Tuesday of the month, rather than the last Monday of the month.  New meeting dates would be announced when the scheduled meetings of other working groups could be verified.  A tentative date of March 1 was suggested.  The meeting ended at approximately 9 p.m.

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