View Full Version : January 11, 2016 BPAC Meeting

01-04-2016, 02:49 PM
The Alexexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) will be meeting at 7 pm on January 11, 2016 at the Bradlee Safeway Community Room, 3526 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Guest speaker will be Alexandria City Councilman John Chapman will speak about his vision for people who bike and walk in Alexandria.

NOTE NEW LOCATION - Bradlee Safeway Community Room, 3526 King Street

01-12-2016, 04:55 PM
Councilman John Chapman addressed more than 30 residents at the monthly meeting of Alexandria's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) on Monday night. Councilman Chapman opened with remarks addressing his advocacy for safety city-wide; he viewed increasing vehicle speeds with concern and supported both education and enforcement campaigns to make Alexandria streets safer. He opened the floor for questions, with highlights as follows:

1. One resident reported that legislation had been introduced in the Virginia legislature to make 45 mph the minimum speed on all four-lane roads, not just divided, limited access roads. Councilman Chapman indicated he would raise his concerns about this legislation with legislators from Alexandria. (The legislation was introduced by Del. D. Marshall (R-Danville), and the proposed legislation is here: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?161+ful+HB126

2. A law was enacted in Virginia last year to ensure that the City of Richmond did not lose VDOT road maintenance funds as a result of converting a few road lanes to bike lanes, with an understanding that this provision would be extended statewide in the current legislative session. A resident reported that action to extend the legislation statewide had not been taken. Councilman Chapman indicated he would ensure that the City’s Legislative liaison was aware of this issue.

3. Alexandria recently posted signs “Bicyclists must stop” with Old Town Stop Signs. By singling out cyclists, the signs appear to condone stop-sign running by motor vehicles, rather than conveying a more appropriate message such as “All vehicles must stop”. The signage is also counter-productive to Alexandria’s efforts to attract visitors. Councilman Chapman was aware of the signs and the motivation behind them. He agreed that signage and enforcement targeting only bike riders was not the answer. He favored more education and enforcement more broadly aimed at safety for people who walk.

4. Residents suggested other steps to improve safety for people who walk in the King Street/Union Street section of Old Town. Suggestions included implementing a planned Pedestrian Plaza for the unit block of King Street and follow-through on a recent feasibility study for modifying the 100 block of King street. Councilman Chapman indicated that it would be important to have clear objectives and metrics before implementing any of the feasibility study options.

5. Multiple questions were asked about Capital Bikeshare, with residents indicating that there were opportunities to leverage existing Bikeshare stations in the Arlington portion of Fairlington, to better enable those residents to access places such as the Bradlee Shopping Center. Councilman Chapman indicated that he favored continuation of Bikeshare expansion, particularly in the West End. He saw opportunities, for example, to build out the Bikeshare network from the Van Dorn Metro Station to make that transit hub more accessible to people.

6. Residents asked about initiatives to restore the 2.2 cent reservation of property tax to its original purpose as enacted in the FY2012 budget process, namely to fund capital transportation projects. In the current budget, only 10% of the 2.2 cent reservation is allocated to non-WMATA capital transportation projects. John indicated that restoration of the 2.2 cent reservation (known as the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)) was a big issue, particularly with respect to options for funding the City's contribution to WMATA's expenses; Council is planning discussions with staff about options in advance of this year’s budget discussions. Councilman Chapman indicated that restoration of the TIP to capital transportation projects was important for keeping promises made to residents when this reservation was established.

7. A group of T.C. Williams High School sophomores asked questions related to their project to encourage more use of alternative transportation by developing an App, integrated across transportation modes, to provide more useful and real-time information to people. Councilman Chapman indicated that he strongly supported App development in the City of Alexandria for many purposes, and he would help the student with access to the City staff and others needed for their project to be successful.

8. In response to questions, Councilman Chapman addressed numerous other issues from the need to remove impediments to busing by persons with disabilities, to restoration of City-maintained street lighting that was not working, to improving safety for people who walk and bike at the Duke Street and Telegraph Road interchanges, to crossing safety at numerous locations such as the Potomac Yard linear park.

Jim Durham, BPAC’s Chair, thanked Councilman Chapman for the open and informative discussion in general and Councilman Chapman's emphasis on improving safety by reducing vehicle speeds in Alexandria