To the Editor:
Thank you for your article in the March 19-25, 2014 issue of the Great Falls Connection ("Great Falls Citizens Association Talks Ticks and Trails"). We did, however, want to clarify a few points. The presentation by Robert Mobley focused on trails, not roads, where the question of surface material has been a matter of much discussion.
As presented, hard surface "village" trails would be used in Great Falls village and along our most heavily traveled routes to the village (e.g. Georgetown Pike). Ideally, "village" trails would also connect to the new paths being constructed along Route 7, the Reston trail system, the Wiehle Avenue Metro Station, and to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. Soft surface "county" trails would be used to connect neighborhoods to each other and to neighborhood parks.
While initially more expensive to install, impervious asphalt would work best for "village" trails since it requires less maintenance and resurfacing than stone dust trails. It can also be partly made from recycled materials. Stone dust, mined from quarries outside Great Falls, needs to be redone at least twice a year (assuming that the stone dust trail is properly maintained as a true multi-purpose trail), thereby increasing overall costs in the long-run.
It should also be noted that much of the stone dust from soft trails eventually makes its way into our watershed, while the runoff from hard trails is rain water—not stone dust or asphalt.
Great Falls Citizens Association welcomes feedback on the proposed "village" and "country" trails concept and invites interested residents to attend our monthly town hall and committee meetings as well as visit our website: http://gfca.org.
Robert Mobley, AIA
Bill Canis, Pam Grosvenor, and Scott Knight -- Great Falls Citizens Association