Minutes
Waterway Traffic Calming Task Force
Wednesday, February 6, 2009

The Waterway Traffic Calming Task Force met Wednesday, February 6, 2009 at 8 pm. All members of the Task Force and Stuart Feldstein were present. Six observers were also present: Jim Bellas, Bill Cook, George Erikson, Chris Pabilonia, Ramon Garcia and Kim Smith. Observers were not participants in the meeting, but were asked for their thoughts at the end. They were also asked not to post their reactions on LakeLink until after the TaskForce meeting minutes were posted which usually takes several days after the meetings.

Agenda:

Update on list given to VDOT rep
Task Force recommendations for length of Waterway to present at walk with DOT representatives
Schedule walk

1) As recorded in the minutes of the last meeting, the Task Force sent VDOT a list of possible additional traffic calming devices/approaches. The Task Force chair was contacted via telephone by the VDOT representative who indicated that given the deficit in Fairfax County nothing will be approved that costs more than the usual amount allocated for traffic calming unless our community comes up with the additional funding. Things that are not affordable at this time include marked/embossed/patterned paving (with no vertical rise) and beautification of the Potterton/Finley bridge. A raised intersection was not vetoed. Crosswalks where there is no sidewalk are possible, but ADA concerns need to be addressed. Signage did not pose any problem. Variations in the size of traffic circles are allowed and are “done all the time.”

VDOT suggested the Task Force take a field trip to King’s Park (of Braddock Road/Rolling Road/Hawthorne) where there are lots of traffic calming remedies in place representing the breadth of what VDOT can do. The Task Force felt that seeing so many remedies in one place might be an argument against having so many and not really a model for Lake Barcroft.

A request was made to have the name of the VDOT representatives shared and to have their refusal in writing before or after the walk. The Task Force would also like to know what the typical budget for traffic calming is so that we know if we are inside that budget and what, if anything, Lake Barcroft could contribute to better enhance our community. For example, LBA could maintain plantings on any islands built.

2) The Task Force then narrowed down specific traffic calming strategies to discuss with the DOTs for each section of Waterway Drive from Potterton to Dearborn. This discussion will verify if VDOT will allow the use of these strategies. These are not the final recommendations, which are subject to the community vote, but an interim step.

Waterway & Potterton:
Painted lines on bridge approach, possibly visually narrowing bridge
And Triangle shaped island, possibly with a cut in the middle
And/Or a painted & striped crosswalk with good signage

Waterway & Stoneybrae (bridge side):
Painted & Striped crosswalk, Children at Play sign or School Bus Stop sign

Beach 5:
Painted speed limit and pedestrian crossing painted on roadway

Waterway & Crosswoods:
Traffic circle (large enough to slow traffic, but allowing residents to exit driveways)
No stop sign coming up hill
Trim bushes obstructing view (VDOT will send notice)

Waterway & Stoneybrae (Beach 3 side):
Stop sign heading away from Dearborn is obstructed by shrubs, VDOT should make it more visible in right of way

Waterway to Dearborn:
Visibility issues, need for blind driveway signs, trimmed foliage

A full inventory of signage recommended by the task force will be given to Stuart for the LBA board to request. Task Force is not sure if mileage painted on street counts as “signage.” Could recommend reflective sign posts used in Arlington. Residents can individually request “Blind Driveway” signs. Not sure of legality of mirrors for blind drive ways.

3) Next steps: Tentative dates were selected to meet with two representatives each from VDOT and Fairfax County DOT to walk the length of Waterway Drive again. The taskforce believes that 10 am is the best time for the DOT representatives. Several different dates were suggested and will be run by the DOTs for them to check their schedules. The possible dates are: March 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 or 23rd. Due to busy schedules, the 23rd is the best date for all task force members to attend.

Observers were asked to share their thoughts at the end of the meeting. Ideas shared for each of the above sections of Waterway Drive were:

Waterway & Potterton:
The island should be sufficient to slow traffic both ways, not just in the direction of Waterway and Stoneybrae.

Waterway & Stoneybrae (bridge side):
Should have a 3-way stop sign, not just a crosswalk.
Can a little center island be used there to slow traffic?
Is a raised crosswalk still a consideration?

Beach 5:
There’s a lot of acceleration going towards and past Beach 5.

Waterway & Crosswoods:
Make sure the circle at Waterway & Crosswoods has adequate visibility to pull onto Waterway.
There’s still a blind spot at Waterway & Crosswoods.

Between Cavalier Corridor and Half Moon Circle:
There’s a need for more traffic calming on Waterway past Crosswoods where a dip in the road makes it popular to “try to go airborne.” Is a chicane possible here?
Can there be more stringent speed signs in white (enforceable) rather than yellow?