Letters to the Editor: March 22 – 28, 2012

Snyder Assails Size, Cost of Pedestrian Plan


The City’s multi-hundred page “Pedestrian, Bicycling and Traffic Calming Plan” and related documents is set for first Council consideration on Monday, but was just unveiled this week during a poorly attended work session. While positive in intent and goals, it goes badly off track in terms of its huge, unnecessary costs and its multiple, serious negative consequences.

The overall price tag is $22 million, requiring the diversion of tax dollars from pressing City needs such as schools, stormwater and public safety, or higher taxes for all. Worse yet, dozens, if not hundreds, of property owners face the destruction of their fences, the uprooting of trees and the loss of their on-street parking. That’s because the Plan doesn’t just provide for needed safety improvements (something we could all agree on) but instead adds “wants” such as sidewalks where they are not needed and removal of on-street parking to allow for bicycle lanes and other “improvements”. The tragic irony is that this waste of money actually might make our streets less safe, by making some streets one way (thereby encouraging higher speeds and cut-through traffic) and removing our citizens’ parked cars ( an inexpensive traffic calming measure). It also jeopardizes the historic look and feel of Falls Church that sets us apart from the rest of NOVA’s suburban sprawl. And, the reduced on-street parking will also hurt our businesses that rely on it to serve their customers, who in turn, help support the City through meals and sales taxes.

It is imperative that we force the process to go back to the drawing board by identifying essential safety improvements and eliminating projects such as new sidewalks across the street where they already exist in residential neighborhoods. Otherwise, all taxpayers will face steep new bills and many property owners will wake up one morning to find City backhoes chewing up their yards, tearing out their fences, uprooting their trees and no parking signs placed where they have parked their cars for decades.

Dave Snyder

Vice Mayor, City of Falls Church


‘Shoddy’ Trimming of Trees Puts Them At Risk


I am writing you today to alert the citizens of Falls Church City and residents of Falls Chase Condominiums that our two beautiful oak trees have been seriously compromised due to shoddy tree trimming on March 13. We are a serious tree city and this type of thing should outrage all of us.

After seeing the damage I immediately called the City Arborist to come out and observe and assess the damage. Clearly, the crowns and amount of tree limb removal is so daunting that we will be lucky if the trees can survive their normal lifespan.

I am amazed that any company could do such damage.

The environment surrounding the trees is now naturally impacted, the trees themselves damaged and nothing can be brought back. These oaks were likely over 50 years old. They were reasonably healthy by all accounts. As a unit owner I am personally going to demand an explanation on why this happened.

This is a sad day. Beautiful natural beauty was butchered.

Charles Plymire

Unit Owner, Falls Chase Condominiums


A ‘Longboarder’ Asks for Respect from Motorists


I have been living in Falls Church since the age of five, I am 16 now and started longboarding (a type of skateboard meant for downhill riding) down the larger hills here, and using my board for transportation a little over a year ago. The community here is typically wonderful to me while I am on foot.

However, it seems that people think me a completely different person when I step on my board. over the past half year alone, I have had bikers riding on the path tell me to skate in a park, (something that is not possible, nor pleasurable to do with a longboard), curse at me and cut me off. all this while staying in my lane and following proper bike path etiquette. It gets worse when longboarders move to the street. Drivers in Falls Church are worse than inconsiderate towards us. We always follow proper traffic protocol, even giving drivers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to right of way. Despite this, I have been cursed at, spat at and all manner of other things.

Drivers in Falls Church need to realize that we do not become delinquents when we step on our longboards. The fact of the matter is, the drivers are the ones that are causing this situation. They need to realize that we are not going to intentionally harass them. We are riding a plank of wood. They are in a several thousand pound metal vehicle. We do not wish to cause them any suffering, and it is against our best interest to, because that is likely to cause the banning of riding our boards.

Please be more considerate of us when driving. We have done nothing but respect you while riding. We ask you to return the favour.

Ethan Hoskins-Propst

Falls Church


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