ABAC Meeting Summary May 2011

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    Mark Blacknell

    Minutes of the Meeting of Monday, May 2, 2011
    in the Azalea Room at Courthouse Plaza, Arlington, Virginia 22201

    Members Present: Mark Blacknell (chair), Ed Blanton (Fairlington), Franz Gimmler (East Falls Church), Eric Goodman (Bluemont), Dwight Hlustick (Fairlington), Megan Jones (Virginia Square), Allen Muchnick (Columbia Heights), Steve Offutt (Dominion Hills), Angela Parrotta (Revolution Cycles), Michael Raizen (Boulevard Manor), Barry Skidmore (Courthouse), and Randy Swart (Barcroft). County Staff present: David Goodman, Dave Kirschner, and David Patton

    1. Introductions. Mark Blacknell called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Everyone in the room introduced themselves.

    2. Approval of Minutes. Minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and approved with minor changes.

    3. Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Eric Goodman and Dave Kirschner attended the last meeting. They reported on crossing light issues. They said Anna Manard is to attend the next meeting and give advice on handicapped individuals. Eric said he wants to follow up with the police, especially the incident involving a pedestrian getting hit by a vehicle on North Quincy Street.

    Barry Skidmore as D.C. Liaison reported on D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council meetings he attended in the District of Columbia. Mark commented that we share more issues with D.C. than with Fairfax and that we want to maintain a good relationship with both. He asked everyone to let him know if anyone else is interested in attending D.C. meetings.

    4. Regional Issues. Allen Muchnick discussed the U.S. Bike Routes 1 and 76, stating that Virginia had 835 miles, the most miles of any state. Mark said Virginia did a good job signing the route around Richmond. Allen also talked about biking along US Bike Route 1 in Prince William County, calling it “a total nightmare.” He also said bike education classes were coming up.

    5. Trail Updates. No report in Kevin Stalica’s absence.

    6. Staff reports. n reference to the Columbia Pike parallel bike routes project, David Goodman spoke about the need to involve larger communities, not only neighbourhood civic associations, on issues such as the bike boulevard and sharrows. The public benefit is much larger than for cyclists alone, he said. The next meeting will have to get down to the nuts and bolts and nitty-gritty of planning, he said, adding that sharrows could be implemented as early as this summer. The idea now, he said, is to get neighbourhoods comfortable with the changes that come with a bike boulevard. There is a huge pedestrian safety benefit, he added, we just need to explain it and package it. With respect to way-finding, we’re in good shape to roll out signs in June, he said. First phase will be in the Rosslyn and Ballston areas.

    Dave Kirschner reported on the Shirlington Road crossing of the W&OD Trail. He cited the need for bike signals at Scott and Oak Streets along the Custis Trail. He said the County will be doing studies of bike/pedestrian compliance with signals. The aim is to improve compliance, he said. On striping, he said there’s “not a lot at the moment. Maintenance mostly.”

    David Patton passed out a sheet on year-over-year Custis Trail Bike and Pedestrian Counts, saying we now have six months of data. He reported the numbers show a “solid increase” in trail usage for the period November 2009 to April 2010. He said there are currently 18 counters on the Mount Vernon Trail, and the County plans to install three more. “So be nice to the Park Service people,” he added. Joyce Street project. Joyce Street runs under nine interstate bridges, he said, and we want to make it more inviting for non-motorized users. We don’t have all the money we need, and it’s complicated, he continued, but the spirit of cooperation is high. Goals include installing 10-foot sidewalks on both sides of the street, and improved lighting. Pentagon area. David reported on the Pentagon’s interest in a new Secure Access Lane (S.A.L.) near the Pentagon Memorial. The Pentagon wants to relocate the bike path along Washington Boulevard, currently between the memorial and the truck security station so that it runs along a narrow strip of land on the other side of the security station and Washington Boulevard, which he characterised as a “goat trail.” Secondary road requirements. David brought up an issue currently before VDOT called a “connectivity index,” involving subdivision developers whose street planning consists of cul-de-sacs. David said he will send out an announcement about it.

    7. Topical discussions. Randy Swart reported on attending the County Board meeting/hearing involving the East Falls Church Area Plan Adoption. It was mostly about density, he said, how tall buildings would be allowed to be. They did take up our report and discussed it, he said. Mark expressed his thanks for their help and said he felt like we had made our point. Paying attention to development does matter, he added.
    Dave Patton said he had a small issue to bring up in the East Falls Church area. Access to the W&OD Trail near the basketball court is scheduled to be rebuilt this summer, he said. It will also have better signage.

    8. County Board Bike Ride. Not discussed.
    Meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m. Next meeting: Monday, June 6, 2011.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Edward L. Blanton

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