Notes on the
RTF Vision Committee Meeting
March 9, 2011
Present: Kohann Williams and John Carter, Co-chairs; Fred Costello, John Bowman, Judith Pew, Sandi Smith (DPZ Staff), Patty Nicoson, Art Murphy. There were two community observers.
The purpose of the meeting was to make final changes to the Environment and Transportation chapters of the Vision Committee’s report to Task Force. The process the VC uses for reviewing chapters is to go around the room and give each person an opportunity to identify proposed changes. Changes of substance are agreed to by a consensus. Given that this was a final review and the draft chapters were excellently prepared, virtually all of the changes proposed were of an editorial nature. The VC will present its report to the Task Force at its next meeting on March 15, 2011.
The only substantial change proposed and adopted was in the “Forest & Trees” sub-section. It was amended to highlight the importance of trees an essential element of the Reston experience. In the course of the conversation on this topic, which targets a 45% tree canopy goal for Reston, it was noted that Reston’s current tree canopy is only 38% which is well below the County average.
Several substantive changes were adopted, including:
- While encouraging the use of “grid of streets,” the language was amended to add “…where beneficial” since it is not clear that a grid would always be advantageous.
- Under the “Provide Transit Options” sub-section, the sentence regarding expanding the bus system was specified to include access to the Metro stations and within the Reston-Herndon area.
- In the “Expand the Network of Streets” sub-section, the language concerning a crossing of the Dulles Access Road at the Reston Town Center was strengthened from “examine the potential for” to “construct.”
- Under the same sub-section, a bullet was added calling for construction of an additional trans-corridor roadway from South Lakes Drive, although there was some concern about the practicality of this proposal.
- Under the “Improve Operational Characteristics” sub-section, a sentence was added to build satellite parking garages at Reston’s outskirts (like the South Metro Kiss n’ Ride) with express bus service to the nearest Metro station.
- Under the “Expand Evaluation Techniques” sub-section, the paragraph instructing Fairfax County to enter into a contract for state-of-the-art transportation analysis was dropped as too prescriptive and detailed for the vision report.
(Comment: As Chair for Reston 2020’s Transportation Working Group, I was impressed that the VC report captured so many of the TWG’s recommendations.)