Monday, September 11, 2017

Park Authority Draft Master Plan Meeting Tomorrow

FABB wants to remind members and other interested bicyclists in the area that the Fairfax County Park Authority is holding a meeting tomorrow, September 12, on its draft Master Plan for the county’s parks. The meeting will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria. There will be a presentation about the plan and, more important, an opportunity to give your comments to park staff at various tables there. This is our chance to speak up about the condition of park authority bicycle trails and help the FCPA revise the master plan to make bicycling (and walking!) better within the park system.  

FABB members attending the meeting may want to raise the following issues about the plan: 
  • The draft plan should include details on how trails will be improved and set reasonable near-term timelines to insure changes are made before the county in embarrassed by unsafe trail conditions.  
  • The draft plan is unlikely to be effective unless it includes specific and measurable goals for gauging the progress made on satisfying the trail needs identified by a recent park needs assessment. 
  • The draft plan should outline how more general fund tax dollars will be provided to properly fund the park authority.    
  • It also should include specific pictures and examples where trail maintenance or trail additions are needed. This is an area where citizen advocates who use the trails can provide assistance to the FCPA by submitting their own photos and identifying areas in need of repair. 
  • The draft plan should provide details on the roadmap for system maintenance it states will be provided. 
  • The draft plan’s statement that overall park facilities are in good condition is too general to give an accurate impression of assets spread across 23,000 acres. More specifics about the conditions of specific types of facilities, especially trails, are needed to avoid giving a false impression of the park system’s needs.
  • The draft plan only commits to developing a strategy for maintenance document, which is insufficient and possibly only delays action to address current maintenance needs. 

At a minimum, attendees should encourage the FCPA officials to insure that the plan includes more specifics and addresses the problem of continual funding shortages for repairing deteriorating conditions. 

If unable to attend, members should to send their ideas to the FCPA comment page here or via by the September 22 deadline.  

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