Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force

June 7, 2011 Minutes 

Called to order at 7:08 PM by Chairman Barry Wilson

Attendance of Task Force Members
Bill Pike                          
Kathy Hart
Barry Wilson                 
Dave Dexter
Rita Zimmerman           
Dorothy Beck
Elizabethe Hall              
Linda Mass                 
Jennifer Porter             
Linda Shapiro

Task Force Members excused from Meeting

Others in Attendance
Clara Pizana- Office of Supervisor Penny Gross
Thomas Burke-FCDOT
David Grover-BRAC Coordinator for City of Alexandria
Laura Miller- Fairfax County BRAC Coordinator
Mark Canale- Fairfax County
Seyed Nabavi- Project Manager and Liaison for I-95/395 Hot Lanes Project
Maria Turner- FCDOT
Steve Knudsen-FCDOT
Cindy Wilson- Fairfax County Resident
Janet Nguyen- FCDOT
Smitha Chellappa- FCDOT
Peter Colarulli- Alexandria City Resident
Guy Mullinax- FCDOT

Approval of April Meeting Minutes
The minutes for the April 5, 2011 Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force Meeting were approved as written.

Presentation by Mark Canale
Mark introduced Laura Miller who will be the new Fairfax County BRAC Coordinator. She has been working with Mark on the BRAC issues and now will report to Mark. Mark will now be working on the Dulles Rail Project and is now FCDOT’s Chief of Special Projects.  Mark met with Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Chairman and Under Secretary of Defense Robyn about the Mark Center.  Issues discussed during this meeting included:

  1. A parking management plan for BRAC needs to be in place, which would be beneficial for both the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County.
  2. The proposed delay for full staff realignment to BRAC 133 would be only for one year. This would allow for a completion of approximately one half of the short-term and mid-term improvements.
  3. 2,300 staff members are scheduled to move into the BRAC 133 facility starting in early August 2011 and must be completed by September 15, 2011 to be in compliance with BRAC law. This cannot be undone by any other action including the proposed one-year delay. 

Please Note: The Army has subsequently provided information that indicates their schedule is to move in an additional 2,500 by Dec 31, 2011 and the remaining 1,600 during 2012.

The House has passed legislation authorizing the Secretary of Defense to delay moves to seven locations. Please Note: We subsequently found out that the Senate does not have comparable language in their legislation.  This makes getting the Conference to include actual language similar to the House language as doubtful....not impossible....but unlikely.

An interchange modification report (IMR) needs to be completed by the Regional Federal Highway staff.  If the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and the Federal staff all work together to complete the IMR and the EA (Environmental Assessment) concurrently, six months would be saved on the overall schedule.  There is little to no chance that the CE (categorical exclusion) would be reinstated.

Presentation by Maria Turner
It will be the citizen’s responsibility to report “overparking” in their neighborhoods in order to start the process for RPPD (Residential Parking Permit District). See the handout with the flow chart at the top of the page and the words”BRAC opening”. The process to start both the temporary and permanent RPPD will begin at the same time. The criteria for establishment/modification of districts are noted.  The types of passes and uses are also described.  Privately owned streets (non-VDOT) are not eligible for this process.  The parking counts were done as requested by the task force.

Presentation by Steve Knudsen
The results are as noted on the documents titled,” Streets Requested for Review, Baseline Count Prior to Mark Center Occupancy.”  Recounts will be done at the same locations at the request of the task force. The task force must decide if they want the follow up counts to be done at the initial occupancy or full occupancy of the Mark Center.                                                              

Presentation by David Grover
The City of Alexandria formed an internal group of all city departments i.e., Police, Fire Schools, and Parks to improve communications between all parties as the move in date for BRAC 133 approaches.

An agreement is in place for Four DASH buses to transport people between BRAC 133 and the King Street Metro.  The same type of plan is being worked on to move people between BRAC 133 and the Pentagon with WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority).  Service from other metro stops and the Mark Center are being developed. Some of the possible sites include West Falls Church Metro Station and the Springfield Metro Station.  These shuttles would be free for Department of Defense employees. Other residents could use this service, but would pay an undetermined user fee.   These shuttles would provide express service from 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM and again from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM.  The City of Alexandria is still working on traffic counts that will be completed before the end of the school year.  The City of Alexandria will share this data with the Task Force as soon as it is available.  Traffic Control measures such as “Don’t Block the Box” and timing of traffic lights will be implemented by the city as it owns and maintains the streets.

Mr. Grover said there is a list of short- and mid-term road improvements.  They are as follows:

  1. Widen the northbound I-395 off-ramp from two to three lanes and provide two through lanes and one right turn lane.  Restripe the rotary to provide dual lefts for the northbound- to-westbound movements and eastbound- to- northbound movements.  Restripe the westbound approach at the I-395 southbound off-ramp intersection to provide two through lanes and one left turn lane.
  2. Widen the Seminary Road westbound approach and gore area [triangular area where roads merge or split] from the rotary back to the Mark Center Drive intersection from one to two lanes and provide a dedicated right-turn lane into Southern Towers.  Restripe the westbound Seminary Road flyover to allow one through lane on Seminary Road and one left-turn lane into Mark Center Drive. Provide a physical separation between the two lanes from the rotary and the left-turn lane at Mark Center Drive.
  3. Widen westbound Seminary Road to provide a deceleration lane and widen northbound Beauregard Street to provide an acceleration lane for the westbound-to-northbound right-turn lane.
  4. Widen the eastbound Seminary Road approach to Mark Center Drive to allow three through lanes.
  5. Widen the northbound Beauregard Street between Mark Center Drive and Seminary Road to provide a dedicated right-turn lane at the northbound approach to Seminary Road after the direct connect ramp from northbound Beauregard Street to east bound Seminary Road. Reconfigure the intersection to allow the three-to-two through lane drop at the new dedicated left–turn lanes. The new dedicated right-turn lane will be signed for Seminary Road eastbound to allow eastbound Seminary Road traffic to avoid the weave condition between the direct connect ramp exit and Mark Center Drive.
  6. Widen the eastbound Seminary Road and the southbound I-395 on-ramp by one lane from Mark Center Drive to the ramp meter signal to provide a continuous two-lane ramp from Seminary Road to the ramp meter.  Restripe the southbound ramp connection from the rotary to provide a merge into the two-lane ramp from eastbound Seminary Road.
  7. Construct a Pedestrian Bridge across Seminary Road near the intersection of Seminary Road and Mark Center Drive.

Presentation by Thomas Burke
The early results of BRAC 133 short-term and mid-term improvements were discussed.

There are two parcels undergoing the Area Plan Review Process.

They are:

APR #09-I-1L The Plaza at Landmark

APR #09-I-2L The Plaza 500

There will be a Mason District APR Task Force Meeting on Thursday June 9, 2011 at 7:30 PM for both the Plaza at Landmark and The Plaza 500 sites. The meeting will be held at the Mason District Governmental Center.

The current Comprehensive Plan would:

  1. Widen Route 236 from 4 to 6 lanes
  2. Build a southbound flyover from Beauregard Street to Route 236 east
  3. Close Green Spring Road
  4. Establish a newly designed collector road connecting Route 236 with Braddock Road.

Please Note:  The Comprehensive Plan, “Fairfax Planning Horizons,” was a total revision of the Policy and Area Plans, and occurred from 1988-1991.  There have been numerous policy plans, area plan and editorial updates since then, including trsnsportation policy and area plan changes approximately five years ago.  As a part of the Area Plan Review retrospective, staff is tasked with the recommendation about future review.

Preliminary recommendations for spot improvements in the Route 236 and South Van Dorn corridors were discussed.  A more comprehensive priority list of spot improvements will be produced for discussion at the next Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force meeting.

Presentation by Seyed Nabavi
Supervisor Penny Gross and Seyed Nabavi met with VDOT on June 6, 2011 about the proposed I-95/395 HOT/HOV Lanes project.  Issues addressed at the meeting include:

  1. The environmental assessment process has started and data is being collected.
  2. Surveying and soil testing is in progress.
  3. The initial design process will begin when the survey and soil tests are completed.
  4. Sound wall issues, such as sound tests/readings to see where sounds walls are warranted, and the type and height of sound walls are to be determined.
  5. Citizen Information Meetings and Design Public Hearing probably will be scheduled in September 2011.  No dates have been determined yet.

The next meeting of the Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force, subject to room availability, will be July 6, 2011 to identify the priorities of spot improvement projects  that the Task Force would recommend be completed by Fairfax County.

Please Note:  After the meeting ended, it was recognized that there was a conflict with the July 6date.  This date previously was scheduled for the Beauregard Corridor Stakeholders Group (BCSG) Informational Meeting with Alexandria leadership to discuss proposed transportation improvements.  The Task Force Chairman indicated attendance at the BCSG meeting could help give Fairfax County and the Mason District BRAC 133 Traffic Task Force additional background that could enable them to make a more informed and holistic prioritized recommendation to Fairfax County.  It also would give Fairfax County additional time to prepare the list of improvement projects for the Task Force to consider.  As such, the next Task Force meeting was scheduled for August 2.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:38PM

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