Post #518: The 1/28/2020 meeting of the Transportation Safety Commission

Posted on January 29, 2020

You can download my recording (.mp3) of the roughly 30 minute meeting at this Google Drive link.  The meeting was short, I took no notes, and the following items are a handful that I noted when listening to the tape.  Approximate times into the recording are given in mm:ss.

Scooters! (01:15).  The Town has posted its rules for rental scooter contractors who wish to offer scooters in the Vienna.  So far there have been no takers.  The Town Council modified the original TSC recommendation to a) reduce speeds to 6 MPH along Maple and Nutley (with the understanding that scooters would likely be on the sidewalks there), and b) asked that similar reduced-speed zones be set up around schools, parks, and (I think) the library (?).

Chick-fil-A drive-through exit pedestrian safety issue (03:08).  This issue is my reason for attending.  You can read the background in Post #423 and thereabouts.

Briefly, the transformers in front of Chick-fil-A prevent prevent persons exiting the drive-through from seeing pedestrians or bicyclists approaching from their right.  I raised this as a safety concern at the last TSC meeting.  The upshot is that a) Town staff and at least one TSC member agree that this is a hazard and b) Town staff are working with Chick-fil-A to get a mirror in place so that drivers can see pedestrians and bicyclists approaching from the blind side.  This is about as good an outcome as I could have hoped for.

Improvements to W&OD bike crossings (05:25).  They summarized the Town Council proposal for changing the W&OD bike crossings on Park and Church to make them, in effect, a raised crosswalk — like a speed table.

Bicycle Month (06:40).  This is a series of bike-related events sponsored by or with participation of the Town of Vienna government, slated for May 2020 this time around.   It sounded like the Bicycle Advisory Committee may be looking for sponsors for some of those events, and if so, presumably the chair (Beth Eachus) would be the person to contact.  They also discussed need for signs on the W&OD to direct bicyclists to businesses near there.

Revised Citizen’s Guide to Traffic Calming Measures (09:25).  This was a description of what is being planned to finish off the revised version of (what used to be called) the Citizen’s Guide, that is, the handbook that laid out how neighborhoods could apply to have traffic calming measures (e.g., speed bumps, signs) installed on their roads.  Later in the meeting, a citizen raised some questions about comments on the Citizens’ Guide to traffic calming (29:25).  At that point, they did a recap of the likely schedule moving forward.

Apps that direct cut-through traffic onto neighborhood streets (10:20).  This was a rather cryptic item, but apparently Fairfax County has noted that widely-available traffic apps are directing more traffic through neighborhood streets, to avoid slow arterial roads.  I’m not sure what the upshot of this is.

Plans for a Town of Vienna self-directed walking tour or historical sites walking tour (11:00).  This was just presented as a concept, no details.

Extensive discussion of the Robinson estate sidewalk bequest (12:10).  This is a sum of several million dollars, for use in sidewalk construction in the Town of Vienna, but it comes with numerous restrictions.  It’s to be used for concrete sidewalks only (not, e.g., for any associated storm water management), it’s to be used within a reasonably short time frame, it’s to be used to fill gaps in the existing sidewalk network, and so on.

Specific issues with Tapawingo (potholes), Marshall Road (pedestrian light), (15:40)

Followup on Tapawingo and Kingsley meetings with citizens regarding traffic calming (19:50).

School-zone 25-MPH flashing signs in 25-MPH zones (20:40).

Dealing with excess signage on some streets (23:50).

Timeframe for study of the neighborhood bounded by Maple/Courthouse/Nutley (28:15).  Upshot is that the study will be several months away, as they wanted to get traffic counts only after winter has passed.