Trail Waiver #026955:
Calvary Road Baptist Church

6811 Beulah Street

 
  Article Prepared By Robert Michie
NMTC, Lee District
Last Reviewed: 10 October  2004
 
 

Summary:

The subject area is a Fairfax County church located in the vicinity of Manchester Lakes Shopping Center. The existing church building is 40,658 square feet in size. The Church is planning to add a new building addition of 35,623 square feet, and a new maintenance building of 1,200 square feet. The parking lot will be expanded from 234 spaces to 390 spaces as well. The trail requirement is for an 8 foot wide Type I asphalt trail along the frontage. Calvary Road Baptist Church asks for a trail waiver for the following reasons:

1.      Sidewalks already exists along the frontage.

[Calvary Road Baptist Church - Main Building]

Photo 1: Calvary Road Baptist Church

Discussion:

Beulah Road has a substantial sidewalk on its East side. The West side has a couple of missing segments. The East sidewalk is mostly a five-foot asphalt path from Franconia-Springfield Parkway to Franconia Road, a distance of approximately 1.3 miles. This area of Beulah Street was part of a VDOT improvement project, completed in the Summer of 2004.

The sidewalk on Beulah Road along the Church property is a five-foot asphalt construction from Charles Arrington Drive to the adjoining church. The sidewalk is brand-new (about a year old) and has modern features.

Construction History

At a recent Non-Motorized Transportation Committee meeting, I met with a representative of Fairfax County's Department of Transportation Planning and Operations Division. The design of Beulah Road is a compromise with Virginia State's  DOT.  The County in fact requested during the Design Phase (1999-2001) that Beulah receive both eight-foot wide Type 1 trails and bicycle lanes. Unfortunately,  the State-owned right-of-way was not wide enough to support both features. Buying or condemning land along Beulah for additional right-of-way was not considered feasible because of the construction schedule and budget constraints. Therefore, in order to include the bike lanes, the County and the State compromised and reduced the width of the trails to just five feet on both sides of Beulah Road.

Field Check  10 October 2004

This photograph shows the existing sidewalk at Calvary Road Baptist Church:
[Calvary Road Baptist Church at Walker Lane] Photo 2: East side Beulah Road, facing north. This is a new five-foot sidewalk. The principal obstacles to construction are VDOT-installed equipment.  This is true along most of the length of the frontage.Note the bike lane stripe on the pavement.

Recommendation:

Deny the waiver for the following reasons:

  1. There are no substantial barriers to construction of a wider trail.
  2. The applicant will probably be regrading parts of the site to support construction of the new buildings and the expansion of the parking lot.
  3. Calvary Road Baptist Church commands a substantial frontage of Beulah Road, and is near the Trail Head with both Franconia-Springfield Parkway, and is near intersections with Walker Lane and Fleet Drive.

Additional Recommendation:

  1. Allow the design of the trail along Calvary Road Baptist Church to narrow in the vicinity of VDOT-installed obstacles, such as signal towers and switching equipment.

 

 
 

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