Thursday, June 16, 2016

Reporting Trail and Sidewalk Problems

Active Prince William, a new bike/ped advocacy group, recently posted an article entitled How to Submit a Request to Clear Debris from Sidewalks and Trails. It describes how to use VDOT's reporting mechanism myVDOT to identify and describe the problem. You can upload a photo if you have one. We use the system regularly and VDOT is very good about looking into the problem. We've had mixed results on getting the problem resolved, especially related to sand, gravel, and debris on trails.

One problem is that Fairfax County owns some trails and sidewalks so ownership must first be determined by VDOT. The W&OD and Mt Vernon Trails are not owned by the county or VDOT. Nearly all sidewalks are owned by VDOT as are many trails.

Another problem is that the forms used for reporting problems do not include "trails" or "sidewalks" as options. The Active Prince William article addresses how to get around that issue. We've requested that the form be broadened to include trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, and other bike facilities.

For sidewalks and trails owned by Fairfax County you can report problems by filling out a form on the Report a Walkway Problem page. At last night's FABB meeting the bike coordinator mentioned that there are now some funds for trail and sidewalk maintenance. More on that later.

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