Trail Waiver Renewal #017649 (1996):
Franconia Shell Service Station
SE 2004-LE-008
6136 Franconia Road

 
  Article Prepared By Robert Michie
NMTC, Lee District
Last Reviewed: 22 May 2004
 
 

Summary:

The subject area is a gas station located at 6136 Franconia Road, on the North side of Franconia Road, at the intersection of Valley View Drive. The Special Exception Request cited above triggered the trail requirement. The Special Exception is for various improvements to the property, including the addition of an additional pump island. The applicant is required to provide an 8-foot wide Type 1 trail along its property frontage. Applicant’s request: wave the trail requirement for the following reasons:

1.      A five-foot sidewalk already exists along the frontage.

2.      A Trail Waiver, L017649, was granted in 1996.

[ Franconia Shell Station at 6136 Franconia Road ]

Figure 1: Photo of Subject Area

Discussion:

Franconia Road has a substantial sidewalk on its North side from the intersection of South Van Dorn Street to Commerce Street. Approximately two miles of this sidewalk was constructed with widths varying from four feet six inches to five feet. In the vicinity of Lee High School, the width jumps to eight feet.

On the property area, the sidewalk abuts the street as expected. The inside edge of the sidewalk abuts a curb provided by the service station. Immediately on the other side of the curb is a service lane just wide enough for one car. The other side of the service lane has a pump island holding the gas pumps themselves. Expanding the sidewalk to the eight foot standard is going to make the service lane unusable. It is likely that all service lanes and pump island locations will have to be moved to accommodate the increased width of the sidewalk. This is likely to add considerable expense and risk to the project, as that underground gas lines will have to be moved, too.

The curb cuts into and out of the station are of an old design. Pedestrians on the sidewalk must avoid a definite hump when transversing the aprons. These humps can also destabilize the passage of wheeled vehicles, such as bicycles, baby carriages, wheel chairs, or luggage carts.

An earlier Special Exception, SE 95-L-058, was granted in 1996, along with the Trail Waiver. The earlier Special Exception covered most of the same items that the current one does. SE 95-L-058 lapsed because the improvements were not installed within the statutory time frame.

Field Check  22 May 2004

These photographs show apron cuts and sidewalk traverse issues at the Franconia Shell Station:
[ Variable Plane Traverse from Driveway Apron to Sidewalk ] Photo 1: An old-style variable plane traverse. This type of cut destabilizes wheeled vehicles, such as bicycles, baby carriages, and wheelchairs. Location is at the Franconia Shell Station itself.
[ An example of a single-plane traverse from Driveway Apron to Sidewalk ] Photo 2: A modern single plane traverse located at Franconia Center, a shopping center approximately 150 feet east of Franconia Shell Service Station.

Recommendation:

Renew the waiver under the following condition:
 

  1. Upgrade the aprons to provide a single plane ramp of modern design to improve the traverse from sidewalk to aprons. Such a design is in use at the Franconia Center, a shopping area about 150 feet east of the subject property on Franconia Road.
     
  2. Maintain the present five-foot sidewalk width.
 
 

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