Waterway Traffic Calming Task Force at Mason District Government Center
November 5, 2009

Attendees: Task Force (TF) members: Kevin Kampschroer, Steve Veroneau, Kim Wilkins, Donna James and LBA Board Liaison, Stuart Feldstein. DOT Staff: Bill Harrell and Steve Knudson of Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDoT) and Kamal Suliman and Guy Mullinax of Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The meeting was facilitated by Clara Pizana, Office of Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross. Observers were: Cindy Waters [Lake Barcroft Association (LBA) President], Victoria Fernandez, Eva Kostrazab, Chris Pablionia, Ramon Garcia, Kim Smith, Pedro Turina, Bill Cook, John Frank, and Tom Penland.

Mr. Harrell:
provided a brief summary of progress to date, particularly for the observers.
March 30, 2007 a traffic study request was made
May 2007 a traffic study was done
August 2008 the TF was convened and met with FCDoT & Ms. Pizana at Mason District
June 2009 a lengthy field walk of Waterway Drive during which we talked about possibilities including speaking to Mr. Suliman.
August 2009 TF representatives met with Mr. Suliman

Ms. Pizana:
Indicated she did not feel caught up on these meetings

Mr. Kampschroer:
Indicated that all meeting minutes:
  September 1, 2008 meeting
  September 4, 2008 meeting
  September 30, 2008 meeting
  November 17, 2008 meeting (large community meeting)
  February 6, 2009 meeting
  June 29, 2009 meeting
  September 15, 2009 meeting
  June 25, 2009 Walk Notes
are on the LBA website & had been provided to Ms. Pizana recently.

On the walk, Mr. Mullinax had mentioned that his supervisor may be able to consider variations to the standard which might be applicable to the conditions on Waterway Drive.

Why did it take a while? Meetings were open to observers and we also allowed observers to comment at the end of meetings. As you know there was a lot of acrimony in the neighborhood at the beginning of this process and part of the TF’s job was to calm traffic, in a way not solely acceptable to a slim majority but broadly acceptable. There was a set of options made available to the TF by the traffic calming program. Anything outside of the traffic calming program can be suggested by the LBA rather than the TF. A few things have already come out of the field walk – improved signage around blind curves and street painting. We have a proposal to achieve traffic calming without speed bumps. There are some questions about our proposal of traffic circles, are they technically feasible and can they be constructed? They are among the series of options in the traffic calming guidelines. We’d also like a sign welcoming people to Lake Barcroft, reminding them to drive 25 and to beware of children. More speed limit signs are also needed.

Then Mr. Kampschroer went step by step through the TF proposals for Waterway Drive, beginning at the Potterton Bridge.

1) Circle and Crosswalk (Potterton and Waterway) (mocked up photograph of traffic circles prepared by Mark Cavich is shared with all). Circle would best be designed if it were not round, but elongated. Sketch of such a circle given to FCDoT.
2) Crosswalk at Stonybrae and Waterway (6200 block)
3) At Beach 5, road markings slowing traffic or indicating pedestrian presences
4) Crosswoods and Waterway, traffic circle, utilities would have to be raised
5) Section of Waterway with the median in the middle, any proposal of putting speed bumps on the tops of hills would exacerbate the problem rather than improve it. The TF recommends road markings, ideally zig zag markings or optical speed bars that Mr. Harrell was seen describing on video on the internet.
(Mr. Harrell: these are only for roads with high speeds such as Lee Chapel Road and it is still under study through a federal program. Not sure yet if it calms traffic.)

That’s all our recommendations. There are a few places where the TF considered stop signs, particularly one or two stop signs at Stonybrae and Waterway (6200 block) but will wait and see what effect the traffic circle has and evaluate in a year. A stop sign request does not require a TF. A crosswalk and island at Potterton and Waterway can help with traffic calming at Stonybrae and Waterway (6200 block), because it changes the field of view.

So far these TF proposals have received good feedback, and no negative feedback, from the neighborhood.

Ms. Pizana:
On the walk we discussed a raised crosswalk from Waterway to Stonybrae.

Mr. Kampschroer:
But we prefer if it is not a raised crosswalk.

Mr. Suliman:
Indicated a painted crosswalk should work (since its flat and the sidewalk is flat allowing less ADA clearance), but he hasn’t done a field inspection so it would need to be re-evaluated. A flat crosswalk is not within the list of traffic calming options. The LBA can request a flat crosswalk.

Mr. Kampschroer:
What we’d really like is a brick walkway like in Annandale.

Ms. Pizana:
Annandale has a streetscape revitalization plan. There is no revitalization money for LB area.

Mr. Kampschroer:
We have wondered what might be allowed if the LBA provided some money.

Ms. Pizana:
Let’s be clear on what is and what is not in the scope of traffic calming. I like your suite of options within the scope of the traffic calming options. Let’s discuss what could be done if it is feasible.

Ms. Pizana ran through the options discussed one by one and based on which type of request (TF or LBA) is needed.

Non-traffic calming/LBA request

Gateway Sign:
A welcome to neighborhood or “gateway” sign. This requires permit and a county sign ordinance. Call 703-383-2888 for more information. The application can also be downloaded. A website covers information needed including the type of sign, how it is made, the location, the sketch needed, and how it can break away if hit by a car. Utilities and manholes will have to be marked. Shrubs and sidewalks will have to be considered.

Watch for Children:
“Watch for Children” is a separate program listed under the Residential Traffic Administration Program (R-TAP). This is the only type of pedestrian warning available. Requires a letter of request (RTAP chart has guidelines), from LBA President.

Crosswalk at end of Potterton Bridge:
The correct process for requesting a crosswalk at this location is for a formal request from LBA to be written to Ms. Pizana at the Mason District office (TF can draft the request for LBA). VDOT and FCDoT will need to re-measure and re-evaluate feasibility given ADA guidelines.

Ms. Pizana:
Crosswalks are not germane to traffic calming. Unless they are raised crosswalks, they are not covered under the special funding of the traffic calming program. Also, the crosswalks must have ADA ramps on both sides and this area may not have. (It was later verified that there is an ADA cutout on each side).

Crosswalk at Stonybrae and Waterway (6200 block):
This crosswalk does not have ADA ramps or the usual ADA clearance, but the sidewalk is flush with the street which may allow for a variance.
The correct process for requesting a crosswalk at this location is for a formal request from LBA to be written to Ms. Pizana at the Mason District office (TF can draft the request for LBA). VDOT and FCDoT will need to re-measure and re-evaluate feasibility given ADA guidelines.

Within traffic calming program:

Pavement Marking at Beach 5:
Request for hatchmarks on entire section by Beach 5 to show active pedestrian area.

Pavement Marking at Divided Section of Waterway:
The TF would like zig zags on the road on both sides of the median between Cavalier Corridor and Half Moon Circle. There was some discussion regarding what type of pavement marking can be used. VDOT and FCDoT will explore other pavement marking options.

Mr. Knudson:
Striping as a traffic calming measure is still new, still being evaluated. May work too well in slowing traffic. Has been tried in a 45 mph zone.

Mr. Kampschroer:
We are happy to participate in the research

Mr. Mullinax;
Federal government gave permission to try at two locations

Mr. Suliman:
Have to report back on the results. Is also being tried on Sterling Blvd. a 2-lane, rural road.

Mr. Veroneau:
What other painting markings can be used? Pavement markings fall within the traffic calming options. What can they suggest? Can they hatch out an area.

Mr. Mullinax:
Does affect parking. Cannot park on hatch mark areas

Mr. Kampschroer:
TF is interested in markings where cars come over a blind hill, rise up hill, and at the beginning and end of the divided road. Pavement width is 16’ (would have to verify from notes not at the meeting).

Mr. Harrell:
Pavement marking sometimes used at school entrances and a shield on the ground may be used to show a highway entrance.

Mr. Suliman:
This is not common.

Mr. Kampschroer:
It would be best in the middle of the roadway

Mr. Harrell:
We will review that section of road. It’s pretty easy to place.

Mr. Kampschroer:
Street painting is a lower cost than speed bumps. There is not enough width in the road for raised chicanes, probably not as good because the TF really feels that for this section markings in the middle of the road are better.

Traffic Circle at Waterway and Potterton:
VDOT and FCDoT will re-measure and re-evaluate this intersection. Residents at the end of Waterway Drive need to be able to make the turn to their homes. New measurements need to include grade, turning radius, width, utilities, configuration, etc. to determine whether feasible.

Mr. Kampschroer:
It may be best to use a different shape of island to allow clearance. Like a teardrop median, which, according to the guidelines, can slow speeding.

Mr. Suliman:
On second field walk can evaluate.

Mr. Knudson:
Sometimes called a “porkchop.”

Traffic Circle at Crosswoods and Waterway:
VDOT and FCDoT will re-measure and re-evaluate this intersection. New measurements need to include grade, turning radius, width, utilities, configuration, etc. to determine whether feasible.

Mr. Knudson:
Looked at intersection of Crosswoods and Waterway. Has constraints. Discussed with Mr. Suliman. If money is available, can it be done? How much money? Looked once. Approach legs not over 10% grade. There are two utilities in the middle of the intersection, one big and two little. It is guessed that these are 2 waters and a sewer (for future reference: blue is water and yellow is gas). Fitting it in is not the issue. While circle is a physical safety barrier, having to stop or slow down at the top of a hill is not good at this intersection. Need to measure turn radii of school buses, trash trucks, etc. Need to measure “horizontal deflection.” Hard to retrofit.

Mr. Kampschroer:
Will have sloped sides.

Mr. Suliman :
Called a “mountable curb”

Ms. James:
The TF could have proposed lots of bumps, but only have two traffic circles, even if a little more expensive.

Brief Recap

1) Gateway sign (LBA)
2) Watch for children (LBA)
3) Crosswalk (LBA, VDOT and FCDot will evaluate)
4) Circle (TF, VDOT and FCDot will evaluate)
5) Crosswalk (LBA, VDOT and FCDot will evaluate)
6) Painting (TF, VDOT and FCDot will evaluate)
7) Circle (TF, VDOT and FCDot will evaluate)
8) Painting (TF, VDOT and FCDot will evaluate)

Ms. Pizana:
There is good energy behind this. For the next meeting, the biggest constraint is use of a meeting room. Is Thursday at 1 pm a good time? She will look for available times to provide options.

Minutes submitted by TF secretary, Donna James, apologizing in advance for any misquotes or errors. Please send any corrections to me at going2work@aol.com. Thank you.