2 February 2004 Sully District Land Use and Transportation Committee Report
by Jeff Parnes tr

  1. Attendees

    • Members: Carol Hawn (Old Mill), Judith Heisinger (Bull Run CA), Georgette Kohler (Rock Hill), Mark McConn (Bull Run CA), Jeff Parnes (Chantilly Highlands), and Larry Tessier (Franklin Glen)
    • Guests: Craig Carinci and Peter Schumann (Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services), Frank Ojoda (Rock Hill), Andrew Setter (Chantilly)

  2. Presentations:

    1. 7:30
      • Proponent: Craig Carinci and Peter Schumann, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services
      • Action: Stream Valley protection
      • Location: Sully District

        Craig Carinci, Director of Environmental And Faculties Inspections Division, and Peter Schumann, Erosion and Sediment Control Field Specialist, cover Fairfax County, but have no authority over Federal or State construction; however, they can contact their counterparts in the state and inform them of the situation. The Complaint Number is 703-324-1937. The county has no control of utility easements, which are within the purview of the State Corporation Commission.

        The major sources of Chesapeake Bay pollution are storm sewers, local sewer systems and farming. The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services is trying to control sediment runoff during the land construction phase, the fourth, but by a very much lesser magnitude, pollutant.

        The Division enforces county and state regulations for the reduction of runoff from sites with disturbed soil. The regulations are designed with a two-year storm in mind, but will be overpowered by anything much stronger than that.

        The first line of defense for sedimentation control is to limit the extent of denuded property. Usually, only half of a site can be denuded at once, and the area not immediately to be worked (within two weeks) should be mulched and seeded.

        Perimeter controls are used to divert and contain runoff to designated areas. Save areas, with unmolested trees, should be clearly marked. Committee members indicated that even with save areas heavy equipment could compact the soil and kill trees without ever actually touching the trees. In addition, when trees in a thicket are now forced to bear the full brunt of the wind when before they were protected, they may also not survive.

        The construction entrance needs to be 75 feet long, with adequate size rocks and a wash rack (cow grate) to ensure construction equipment doesn't track soil through the surrounding neighborhoods.

        The typical silt fence supported by wood stakes needs to be carefully maintained. This fence can be temporarily removed but must be replaced. SuperSilt fences, backed by chain-link fences with metal posts, and buried and back filled, do a much better job, and are less likely to be run over by heavy equipment. Silt fences act like tea bags, keeping in the big particles, but letting finer ones out. But the responsibility is still on the developer for any damage that is caused.

        Diversion dikes need be seeded, and supported by mulched areas, properly configured to move water to the associated basins.

        Sediment basins have to ensure their traps are protected so the water drains properly. Larger ones may have outlet pipes with overflow intakes. Basin intake protection include crushed stone, while outlet protection includes silt fences and rip rap. Check dams can be used to slow the flow of water and encourage seed to grow.

        Catch basins with standing water can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If a complaint is lodged, the county will send a specialist to do a larva count, and then as necessary spray the required controls.

        Several of the streams in western Fairfax flow out of Loudoun County, such as Elklick Run. When alerted, the county staff can contact their counterparts to resolve problems. If necessary they can contact the state authorities.

    2. 9:00
      • Proponent: Judith Heisinger
      • Action: Status of Battlefield Bypass
      • Location: Manassas National Battlefield Park

        Judith reported that the Battlefield Bypass Candidate Build Alternatives, available at the Battlefield Bypass Website, have been finalized. In addition to Candidate Build Alternatives A, B, C and D that were presented at the July 16th Public Workshop the set of Candidate Build Alternatives includes a revised alternative. This revised alternative would provide an alignment along the northern edge of I-66 and the southern boundary of the Park to accommodate east-west traffic movements. The planned extension of the Route 234 Bypass would provide for north-south traffic movements. This revised alternative has been labeled Candidate Build Alternative G. The complete set of Candidate Build Alternatives will be studied further in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) along with a No-Action alternative and a Transportation System Management alternative.

        New Alignment G was included in response to citizen comments that indicated collocation of Rt 29 and I66 was undesirable. But this alignment's right-of-way adversely impacts, and would result in the taking of, several Fairfax County residences in the Bull Run Estates.

        The committee passed a motion to the effect that:

        • The Sully District Land Use and Transportation Committee expresses its adamant opposition to Alternative G because of disruption to homeowner residences as well as environmental sensitive wetlands and floodplains.

          At this time it seems that alternatives C or D are more favorable, but we reserve final judgment until after the publication of the draft Environmental Impact Statement.

  3. Old business:

    • Jeff Parnes reported that a revision of the study George Mason University made of the impact the Air And Space Museum Annex traffic might have on the Route 28 corridor was presented to Mike Frey and officials of the Annex on 29 January. A copy of original report is available from the December committee agenda.

      Of the three intersections with the largest negative impacts, two are slated for improvement by the Rt 28 Private/Public Partnership, the Willard and McLearen Road intersections with Rt 28. The third, Centreville Road and Rt 50, although planned for a grade separation, is not expected to happen for years.

      In the meantime, the museum is considering alternative practices to alleviate the parking situation. The first is collect parking fees on the way out to decrease dwell time. They are also thinking of establishing a short range AM radio to broadcast traffic and parking conditions. They already have arrangements with local radio stations.

      The crux of the problem may not be a lack of parking, but rather a building capacity problem, where more people show up than are allowed in the building at any one time. The museum will continue to monitor its visitor count, and after experimenting with these alternate methods, will meet again with Supervisor Frey and George Mason University representatives in late spring/early summer.

  4. New Business:

    • The House Finance Committee To Consider Gas and Sales Tax Bills

      The House Finance Committee has announced its intention to consider bills to raise the state's gasoline tax on Wednesday afternoon. Votes are expected.

      Bills to be considered include:

      • HB 60 (Parrish) - increases gas tax by 6.5-cents per gallon. Revenues to be used for transportation purposes.
      • HB 428 (Watts) - raises gas tax by 6.5-cents per gallon. Starting January 1, 2005, indexes motor fuel tax annually to the % increase in U.S Labor Dept. Producer Price Index for highway & street construction.
      • HB 531 (Stump) - increases state portion of sales tax by 2% (3.5% to 5.5%). Half of new revenues go to Transportation Trust Fund; the other half to fund Standard of Quality for public education.
      • HB 885 (Plum) - increases gas tax by 6-cents/gallon. Revenues to be used for transportation purposes.

      The last gasoline or sales tax increase was 17 years ago (January 1, 1887). Since then the purchasing power of the state's gas tax has declined by 40% while the number of drivers (34%), vehicles (53%), miles driven 79%) all have increased dramatically.

      House Finance Committee Members Need to Hear from You Today.

      Steps YOU can take to register support of this important legislation include:

      • Call and urge House Finance Committee colleagues to support gas and/or sales tax increase legislation to improve transportation. Here's contact information on House Finance Committee members. Note: Northern Virginia Delegates on Finance are Hugo, Hull, Lingamfelter, Parrish, Shannon and Watts.
      • Fax a supportive letter or e-mail House Finance Members. General fax number for any House member or committee: 1-804-786-6310.
      • Here's contact information on individual House Finance members.
      • Click here to send an e-mail to all House Finance Committee members. Compose your own message or cut and paste the copy below. If you favor a specific bill(s), please note that fact in your message. Be sure to include your name and address.
        • I urge you and your House Finance Committee colleagues to support legislation raising the gas or sales tax and dedicating all new revenues to transportation purposes. Virginia has a transportation-funding crisis. In the 17 years since the last transportation tax increase, the purchasing power of state transportation dollars has declined 40% while the number of vehicles and miles traveled have increased dramatically. Today, the Commonwealth struggles to operate and maintain the nation's third largest state-operated road system with one of the lowest gas tax rates. It's time to reinvest in Virginia's future by supporting increased investment in transportation infrastructure essential to our prosperity and quality of life.
        • (Name)
        • (Address)

    • At the December Transportation Advisory Commission Meeting, staff made a presentation regarding the SMART Traffic Signal System VDOT has implemented in Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun counties.

      Ten years ago the synchronization was done by hand. The new system used by VDOT allows a central office to communicate with each controller (each controller has its own phone number).

      A permanent team has been established to consistently time lights. The new system allows VDOT to develop more, and more accurate, time-of-day programs to be more responsive to traffic conditions.

      Traffic count log history is generated by loop detectors - 11000 in the three counties - that determine speed and dwell time and are not used for vehicle detection at lights.

      There are eight time of day plans used at Tysons, and the system could have up to 34 (including holiday plans).

      VDOT is spending $27 million for traffic light signalization in three counties. There are 770 traffic lights in Fairfax County and 1100 in the three counties.

      The first automated optimization started in 1999 and was completed in 2001. The second round (including Routes 28 and 29) started that same year and should be finished in 2004

      More clearance time is being built in to the signalization: four seconds for yellow and two seconds for all red.

      Fairfax City signal times don't agree with VDOT's, and VDOT's, Alexandria's and Arlington's systems don't communicate with each other. Several Fairfax County lights are keyed to other jurisdiction's timing systems - Waples Mill and Rt 50 with Fairfax City and Patrick Henry and Rt. 50 with Arlington. The commission asked if even though the systems don't talk to each other, whether the cycle times could be similarly adjusted..

      Timing problems should be reported to Ling Li at 703-383-2778 (703-383-VDOT). Please provide the following information: intersection, time of day, day of week, and direction of traffic.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeffrey M. Parnes
Chair, Sully District Council
Land Use and Transportation Committee

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modified by Jeffrey M. Parnes