Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force

April 3, 2012 Minutes 

Attendance by Task Force Members

Barry Wilson  
Bill Pike
Dottie Beck
Jennifer Porter
Kathy Hart
Rita Zimmerman
Linda Mass
Linda Shapiro

Task Force Members Excused from Meeting

Dave Dexter
Elizabethe Hall

Others in Attendance

James Hamre, Director, Office of Bus Planning, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
Tom Burke, Senior Transportation Planner, FCDOT
Seyed Nabavi, Project Manager and Liaison to 95 Express Lanes Project, FCDOT
Laura Miller, BRAC Coordinator, FCDOT
Clara Pizana, Office of Supervisor Penny Gross
Rick Tedesco, City of Alexandria resident
Roger Awad, Fairfax County resident
Cindy Wilson, Fairfax County resident

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Wilson at 7:10 p.m.

Approval of November 1, 2011 Minutes

The minutes for the Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force meeting were approved as presented by unanimous vote of the task force.

Presentation by James Hamre - Director, Office of Bus Planning, WMATA

Mr. Hamre discussed the feasibility within current guidelines of moving the current bus shelter/stop located at the southeast corner of Route 236 and Beauregard Street to west of the same intersection.  The current challenge is that traffic on southbound Beauregard Street turning onto eastbound Little River Turnpike stops if a bus is picking up or dropping off passengers.  However, if the stop were moved west of the intersection, the bus would have no place to stop, unless the stop for those routes was moved to Beauregard Street, north of the intersection.  There may not be a feasible alternative location that serves the same needs of the ridership.

Other options suggested by the task force members included splitting the stop into nearby bus stops on Lincolnia Road and Beauregard Street since these stops effectively also stop at the bus shelter in its current location.

The downside to the current location and to any potential additional lane improvements is that the buses loading and unloading effectively blocks one lane of traffic making a left turn onto eastbound Route 236 from Beauregard Street. 

Another option raised was the feasibility of closing the service road that runs behind the bus shelter and moving the bus shelter back enough to create a pull off area for buses.  By adjusting the timing of traffic signals near the intersection, the problem of buses reentering the main traffic flow would be minimized.  However, bus drivers experience delays in getting back on the travel lanes because drivers tend not to yield the right-of-way.  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) maintains the service road and would have to be involved with any decision affecting the service road.

The following handouts were used as a basis for discussion of how well moving traffic through the travel center at the BRAC Center is working to reduce the number of vehicles on the roadways around the BRAC Center and also has had a significant impact on reducing the  total number of vehicles parking on the garage at the BRAC Center:

  1. Bus OTP Detail (Peak Only) 07/2011 to 02/2012 Mark Center Area Service
  2. 25A, B, C, D Ridership by Month 07/2010 to 02/2011, and 07/2011 to 02/2012
  3. 28A, F, G, X Ridership by Month 07/2010 to 02/2011, and 07/2011 to 02/2012
  4. 29C, E, G, H, K, N, X Ridership by Month 07/2010 to 02/2011, and 07/2011 to 02/2012
  5. 7A, F, M, W, X Ridership by Month 07/2010 to 02/2011, and 07/2011 to 02/2012
  6. 7M Ridership - March 2012 - 22 Weekday Service Days
  7. Bus Service Changes and Improvements in the Mark Center Area
  8. Route 236 and Oasis Eastbound Stop Usage - Weekday

Presentation by Thomas Burke - Senior Transportation Planner, FCDOT

Mr. Burke reported that a new comprehensive Countywide Transit Network Study would evaluate transit corridors initially identified in 1991.  This would be an 18 month process. The FCDOT 2050 study would involve all of the nearby counties, Arlington, Prince William, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince Georges; the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax; the towns of Vienna and Herndon; and the District of Columbia.  This study will involve discussion with all the pertinent metro transit agencies such as DASH, ART, WMATA, VRE, VDRPT, and VDOT.  All main corridors would be assessed for future high quality transit.  Primary corridors include in this area likely would include: Little River Turnpike, Beauregard Street, Van Dorn Street, Seminary Road, Columbia Pike, Leesburg Pike, with potential connections to the proposed Columbia Pike Streetcar at Skyline, Alexandria’s proposed transitway projects (Route 1, Duke Street, Beauregard Street/Van Dorn Street).  The link to the Web site about this study is

Presentation by Seyed Nabavi - Project Manager and Liaison to 95 Express Lanes Project, FCDOT

Mr. Nabavi reported on issues, which are summarized on the milestone page of the 95 Express Lanes Update.  (See Supplemental Materials.)

Presentation by Laura Miller - BRAC Coordinator, FCDOT

Ms. Miller discussed issues which are summarized on the Virginia Megaprojects Website.  The six orange nodes identify the six intersections surrounding the BRAC 133 building that are being monitored as required in the 2012 Defense Appropriations Act.  This is the Act that placed a parking cap on the development until it could be demonstrated that the surrounding roadways were not impacted by the development. 

Currently, counts are being taken at six intersections in Alexandria and three intersections in Fairfax County at key points on a monthly basis for a year, which started in August 2011.  At present, 2400 parking permits have been distributed for workers at the BRAC 133 facility.  This was done before there was a cap on the number of vehicles became effective.  To date, no more than 1580 vehicles have been parked in the garage of the facility at any one time since the structure was opened. 

An application was submitted to U.S. Department of Transportation for three Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, one of which would have provided funding for the spot improvements surrounding the Beauregard Street and Rt. 236 intersection.  Unfortunately, the application was unsuccessful.  Staff continues to try to identify funding to help implement the spot improvements identified by the Task Force.

The next meeting of the Mason District BRAC 133 Task Force is scheduled for October 2, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:53 p.m.

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