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Mark Blacknell
01-03-2011, 12:27 PM
[Note: as adopted at November 2010 meeting]

Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee
Meeting Summary
October 4, 2010


Attendees: Mark Blacknell (Chairman), Eric Goodman(Co-Chair Pedestrian Committee), Megan Jones, Steve Offutt, Allen Muchnick, Jakob Wolf-Barrett (Revolution), David Goodman (Arlington County), Barry Skidmore, Chris Eatough (Arlington County), Randy Swart, Michael Raizen, Rebecca Cooper, Ryan Arnold, Fionnuala Quinn, Beverly Realmontes, Steve Claeys, Elizabeth Kiker, David Patton (Arlington County), David Kirschner (Arlington County), Chris Hamilton (Arlington County) Kevin Stalica (Arlington County), Bethany Heim (Arlington County), and Dwight Hlustick.

1. Introduction: Mark Blacknell called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. and introductions were made.

2. Distribution of August Meeting Minutes: Approved with a few minor corrections.

3. Land Acquisition Study/Process Bethany Heim: Bethany explained that the Parks Department follows the following acquisition policy including trail connections:
1. Land for completing Parks.
2. Land for protecting natural resources.
3. Land for promoting environmental restoration and resource protection area (RPA).
4. Land for improving trail protection.
5. Land required for neighborhood conservation plans.

Bethany went on to explain that the County needs input from the BAC on land acquisition. The information could come from the BAC or directly from the members. The information should be for specific projects. The Four Mile Run Study was briefly discussed as an example. The project involved the moving of the trail to the other side of Four Mile Run south of Columbia Pike and north of George Mason Drive. This project is on hold due to neighborhood opposition.

4. Reviewing For Public Road Design & Bicycling Accommodations Fionnuala Quinn: Fionnuala works for Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) who wrote the document. This guide was originally developed for neighborhood review in Fairfax County but was expanded to include the rest of the state. Fionnuala worked with County Officials and VDOT in developing the Guide. FABB is now developing a national guide. Fionnuala gave out a few copies of the Guide. The Guide looks like it will be very useful in reviewing bike projects early in their development.

5. Bike Arlington Updates:

Capital Bike Share has started and 4000 trips have been made. The bikes are averaging one ride/bike/day. This was presented as is a very good average to start with, in comparison to SmartBike DC. According to Chris Hamilton there are 2000 members as of last week. According to Mark the launch was great with a large number of people and local government officials in attendance. More bike stations will be opening. Opening bike stations in DC seems to be a problem due to DC siting requirements. There is a Facebook page as well as smartphone application which give the locations of available bikes.

Bike Friendly Businesses Six businesses have been recognized as bicycle friendly businesses. Five are silver and one is bronze. These include Revolution Bicycles, Arlington County, Phoenix Bicycle Shop, and the Crystal City Business Improvement District. There will be a letter from the BAC to the businesses in appreciation of their effort.


6. Trail Updates: According to Kevin they purchased a new turbine blower. This will be used to keep the trails clear of debris. A favorite location for use is the Lyon Village switchback. Eric noted there are lots of pine needles on the Custis Trail. Randy noted a bollard problem as well as debris at Van Buren St. Allen would like signage to remind users to keep right even there sand on the trail such as the W&OD Trail under the Wilson Blvd Bridge. A ramp cut on the Harrison St. Connector is needed. David G. is working on this.

Kevin met with Dominion Power about trimming on the W&OD Trail which will be done this winter. The County is planning a new public meeting area at Columbia Pike and the W&OD Trail. The plan was for tables and benches. According to Randy the neighborhood would prefer a playground. However, the County is concerned about the motor vehicle traffic in the area.

The problem of root intrusion on the Custis Trail was mentioned by Eric Goodman. The major concern is upheavals near the church school next to the Trail. The problem originates along the sound wall near the school and one upheaval is very large creating a safety hazard. The County will look into correcting this problem.

7. Staff Report and Issues: David Goodman reported that Washington Blvd. Trail is a dead-end until completion of Trail improvements to Arlington Blvd. All trail improvements to Arlington Blvd. will be moved to the Westside since trail improvements are not practical on the eastside (west of Pershing Blvd.). $195,000 of enhancement money must be committed quickly or they may be pulled back by Richmond. The County is working on this item. A developer is working with the County on developing Trail improvements at Pershing Dr. for the Arlington Blvd. Trail (Westside).

David Patton discussed the new bike counters (10) that the County will be receiving in the near future. The counters will be used on bike lanes and trails. The infrared counter on the Four Mile Run Trail malfunctioned in the hot weather this summer. This has been repaired.

According to David Goodman, the contract for bike directional signs is being developed. This will not include the Shirlington signage for the W&OD Trail which is being done separately. Allen believed the County should keep a database of all signs installed as well as make it more difficult to steal the signs. The Ballston bike pit is to be removed. New bike racks will be installed and construction should begin this fall. The new facility will be an above ground donut for parking bikes. New covered bike parking for Clarendon is also planned.

The Route 110 trail requires additional funds and requests to VDOT with TE grants & CMAC money are being processed. The projects needs an environmental assessment and must meet NPS requirements. Signage is being developed for the Columbia Pike parallel bikeway.

VDOT wanted to know if Arlington wanted the old bridge over 495. Arlington decided that the bridge would be too damaged to be of much use for any project. The most likely site would have been a bike/ped. bridge over Four Mile Run parallel with the existing Columbia Pike Bridge from the W&OD Trail to the new Arlington Mill Center. The BAC will discuss further.

According to engineering (David Kirschner) there will be paving and stripping on Sycamore Street, Williamsburg St. (bike lanes), Lynn St. (bike lanes), and Eads St. (sharrows replacing bike lanes). The County hopes to get new signs at Shirlington Road by November as well as making curb cuts to the island near Arlington Mill Road. Bridge grates will be changed on Walter Reed Dr, where it crosses Four Mile Run. The existing grates are bike tire eaters. The bike lanes and sharrows for Military Road will be completed shortly.

Mark started a discussion about the bike lane on westbound Fairfax Drive at Glebe Road. The bike lane dead-ends into a bus lane. Buses pull out without warning creating a dangerous situation for bikes in the bike lane. Most BAC members believe the bike lane should be removed so that cyclists do not have a false sense of security.

8. General Discussions:

Mark made a brief summary of the September get together. He considered the meeting a success and would like to have another one. He also thought we may want to move our regular meeting around to different locations in order to allow a broader attendance. He wanted feedback from other BAC members on this.

Mark wanted input on information on educating police on improving the cycling environment. Information on Portland Oregon should be useful in this endeavor. Allen agreed to work on this.

Steve wanted information on what to say at any meeting with civic and education groups with respect to Arlington Bike Culture. This would include getting to school, traffic issues, speeding on trails. Public health issues, etc.

There will be a Street Smart event on November 9 at Wilson and Lynn Streets.

9. Liaisons: This discussion cut short due to time constraints.

10. Regional Issues - Allen Muchnick: Allen will get back to Mark in E-mails.

9. Items for April Agenda:
- East Falls Church Report/Analysis
- Support for Ciclovia in 2011
- Alternating Meeting Location

Dwight Hlustick