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Snow Removal On Sidewalks Board Transportation Committee Dec. 9, 2014

TRANSCRIPT

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 1

    Snow Removal on Sidewalks

    Board Transportation CommitteeDecember 9, 2014

    Neil FreschmanChief, Traffic Operations Section

    Fairfax County Department of Transportation

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 2

    Snow Removal on Sidewalks Snow & ice season beginning soon. Review current status of snow removal

    policies and other considerations. Recent meeting to discuss these issues. Increased focus on the issue as a result of

    the new Silver Line stations and redevelopment activities in Tysons Corner and Reston; however, this is not a new problem.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 3

    Key Issues VDOT does not clear sidewalks or trails. Snow removal on sidewalks is currently not regulated by the County. Many businesses, HOAs and residents are already clearing

    sidewalks, but not required to do so by County ordinance. However, many sidewalks are not cleared during snow events.

    Sidewalks can also be blocked with additional snow that has been plowed from streets and driveways.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 4

    Key Issues In the Countys Urban Centers and TODs there is an increasing

    dependence on walkways to support multi-modal transportation and an increasing expectation to use these facilities throughout the year.

    Pedestrians, including transit users, have difficulty during snow events.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 5

    Current Status County website: Neither the state nor the county clears snow and

    ice from public walkways. Residents and businesses are not legally required to clear snow, but

    are asked to help keep sidewalks safe.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Several state, local and regional entities currently have responsibilities for clearing snow from public facilities in Fairfax County.Fairfax County Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division (MSMD) manages snow removal for County facilities including:

    Walkways at the County Government Centers County-owned Commuter Parking Lots and Transit Facilities Public Safety Center Fire and Police stations Two Kiss and Ride areas on the Silver Line Health Centers and Essential County Facilities Libraries and Community Centers

    Department of Transportation 6

    Existing Responsibilities

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 7

    Existing Responsibilities (continued)(continued)MSMD performs snow removal through partnerships with Solid Waste Management, Wastewater Management, Sheriffs Office, and private contractors.Fairfax County DOT is responsible for clearing Wiehle Reston East Bus Vault and Kiss and Ride.DPWES is working on plans to clear snow on several commuter-oriented trails in Tysons starting next year.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 8

    Existing Responsibilities (continued)(continued)WMATA is responsible for most of the other Metrorail station facilities in Fairfax County.VDOT is responsible for VDOT-owned park-and-ride lots in Fairfax County.VRE is responsible for VRE stations and platforms.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 9

    Public Information Campaign On November 20th, a meeting was held to discuss a snow removal

    public information campaign. Participants included: Board of Supervisors representatives Virginia DOT Fairfax County DOT Office of Public Affairs Public Schools

    Public information campaign is being developed to encourage residents, businesses and civic groups to clear sidewalks and help your neighbors.

    This campaign is part of a voluntary program.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 10

    Neighboring Jurisdictions Some jurisdictions in the region do not have an ordinance requiring

    the clearing of sidewalks. These jurisdictions generally ask for voluntary action. Prince William County Loudoun County Town of Vienna: Assistance offered on limited basis to elderly

    residents. Town of Herndon: Town DPW clears some pedestrian facilities

    on select major routes and around schools.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 11

    Neighboring Jurisdictions Some jurisdictions in the region do have ordinances requiring

    residents and businesses to clear sidewalks: City of Alexandria City of Falls Church City of Fairfax District of Columbia

    Recently approved an ordinance allowing for fines for residents and business owners, if they dont clear public sidewalks.

    Previous ordinance permitted DC to clear sidewalks and then sue owners to recoup costs. No examples of actual enforcement were identified.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 12

    Neighboring Jurisdictions Arlington County

    The Code of Virginia allows Counties in Planning District 8 (Northern Virginia) to provide ordinances with reasonable criteria and requirements for the removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks.

    Arlington County has enacted such an ordinance: Requires removal of snow and ice within 24 to 36 hours of

    the cessation of the snow fall, depending on the depth of snow and ice.

    Civil penalties ranging from $50 to $100.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 13

    Neighboring Jurisdictions Arlington County (continued)

    County also has the right to clear snow and recover abatement costs against owner or entity in charge of property.

    Exceptions for handicapped individuals and those over the age of 65.

    County manager can modify requirements or suspend enforcement.

    Unclear whether citations have been issued.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 14

    Options for Consideration1. Continue with the current condition with

    enhancements: Additional emphasis on voluntary action by civic groups, HOAs

    and individual businesses. Encourage formation of business improvement districts in

    commercial areas to undertake snow removal, among other activities.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 15

    Options for Consideration (continued)2. Fairfax County takes on the responsibility to clear

    sidewalks in select locations. Locations to consider:

    Ten Metrorail stations in the County (potentially within mile of station).

    Urban Activity Centers. Along major pedestrian routes.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 16

    Options for Consideration (continued)2. Fairfax County takes on the responsibility to clear

    sidewalks in select locations. (continued) Issues to consider:

    Do not want to discourage snow removal by residents and businesses in these select locations.

    Areas not covered will continue under the voluntary system. Cost (specific cost information still needs to be developed).

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 17

    Options for Consideration (continued)3. Fairfax County could legally enact an ordinance

    requiring snow and ice removal from public sidewalks. Ordinance must comply with state law. Must include reasonable time frames for compliance. Must include reasonable exceptions for handicapped, elderly

    and those physically incapable of meeting the criteria. Civil penalty cannot exceed $100.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 18

    Options for Consideration (continued) Issues to consider:

    Property owner liability following snow removal needs to be clarified.

    How would an ordinance be enforced? Who would be responsible for enforcement?

    Problem of selective enforcement. Time constrained to issue citations. How to ensure due process after citation? Time constrained. Other circumstances (plowing after clearing sidewalk, snow

    piled on the sidewalk from driveways, roadways etc.)

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 19

    Options for Consideration (continued) Issues to consider (continued):

    Cost: County would be expected to meet the same standards for sidewalks adjacent to County owned facilities.

    Ordinance could require residents and business owners to clear snow from VDOT facilities.

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 20

    Options for Consideration (continued)4. Snow summit to explore these options and other ideas

    FCDOT VDOT Business representatives Civic groups

  • County of Fairfax, Virginia

    Department of Transportation 21

    Questions?

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