Trail Waiver #025943:
|Article Prepared By Robert Michie
NMTC, Lee District
Last Reviewed: 11 November 2003
The subject area is located on the south side of Franconia Road, between Norton Road and Telegraph Road. The site is occupied by the Church itself. A Plan Change triggered the trail requirement. The Church is adding a substantial patio to the site.
The applicant is required to provide an 8-foot wide Type 1 trail along its property frontage, and a 6-foot wide Type 1 trail along the Virginia Power Easement. Applicant's Request: Wave the construction of a trail because of the following issues:
Figure 1: Map of Subject Area
In the last ten years, this area received two townhouse developments and improvements to Franconia Road. For unaccountable reasons, no thought was given to improving pedestrian traffic in this area. Neither side of Franconia Road has a public sidewalk from Norton Road to Telegraph Corners Lane (a small medical office that abuts Telegraph Road), a distance of over a third of a mile. The net effect is that the residents of one of the developments, Governor's Grove, cannot walk to bus stops on Norton Road or Telegraph Road. Two single family homes that abut the subject area to the west also have no walking access.
Field Check 6 November 2003
These photographs present views of Franconia Road in the vicinity of All Saints Episcopal Church.
There are no public sidewalks on Franconia Road east of Norton Road, except for about a hundred foot section at Telegraph Corners Lane. Photo 1 shows this area in its best condition, with a gravel road shoulder on the north (Governor's Grove) side of Franconia. The shoulder itself abruptly disappears a few yards behind the photographer for a distance of 600 feet westbound to Norton Road. There are no shoulders at all on the south side of Franconia Road in this area. Just behind the grey light pole in this photograph is one of two ornamental gateway into Governor's Grove. Not visible in the photograph is a Type 1 Trail behind the gateway that runs the full width of Governor's Grove frontage. The west end of this trail is roughly even with the photographer's left shoulder. However, the gully prominently visible on the left of the photograph makes an impassible barrier between the roadway and the trail.
Photo 2 shows the Type 1 Trail from the eastern end. The barrier is at the border of Governor's Grove property and the property of Cameron Methodist Church. Trail users must rejoin the shoulder for the next 150 yards before reaching a short sidewalk at Telegraph Corners Lane. Note the second of two ornamental gateways in the background of Photo 2. The Governor's Grove homeowners have a sign posted there that is oriented in such a way that it is directed to trail users. The sign warns trail users that they are on private property and no trespassing is allowed.
Grant the waiver on condition of a suitable contribution to the District Walkway Fund for future mitigation projects for the following reasons:
As a separate issue, Fairfax County should reexamine the permits and proffers offered by the developers of Governor's Grove. It is almost certain that a trail requirement or proffer is in the package. The trail in place at Governor's Grove could go a long way to mitigate pedestrian safety issues, if it is declared a public trail, and if access to it on the west side can be improved.
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