Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

prenny-fcnpNo matter what happens during the national political discourse these days, it is at the local level that the people’s work gets done. Three cases in point here in Mason District address parking and truck traffic in the Bailey’s Crossroads area. At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, two Residential Permit Parking Districts (RPPD) were expanded to address parking of non-resident vehicles on Nevius, Payne, and Church Streets in the Culmore area, and on Munson Road in the Springdale neighborhood of Bailey’s Crossroads. Both areas were plagued with vehicles parked by non-residents, in some cases, blocking mailboxes. The RPPD process is not an easy one, and is designed to alleviate existing problems, not prospective ones. Signs for the expanded RPPDs will be installed later this fall.

A separate proposal for the Courtland Park area of Bailey’s Crossroads is a Through Truck Restriction (TTR), which prohibits any truck, truck and trailer, or semi-trailer combination, weighing more than 7,500 pounds, from cutting through the residential roads of Washington Drive, Courtland Drive, and Tyler, Church, and Payne Streets. The restriction does not apply to pickups and panel trucks, or to larger vehicles with deliveries on those streets. A TTR must have a suitable alternate route available; and affected trucks must re-route to Leesburg Pike and Columbia Pike for through traffic. Following the public hearing on Tuesday, the Board approved a TTR resolution, which will be forwarded to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for its engineering review of the road’s qualifications. Following an additional VDOT public comment period, VDOT will be responsible for installing “Through Trucks Prohibited” signs.

Both RPPDs and TTRs require resident involvement throughout the process, and I want to thank the neighbors in all of these communities for working with my office to identify problems, processes, and solutions. An additional shout-out to Ravenwood Park neighbors for their determination to have three speed tables installed on Patrick Henry Drive between Beachway Drive and Leesburg Pike. The traffic calming process is another example of neighbors working together for solutions to speeding traffic. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, speed tables and speed humps do have the requisite outcome of lowering speeds on residential streets.

One little-known responsibility of the Board of Supervisors is to consider applications for designation of land as a Local Agricultural and Forestal District (A&F). A & F Districts encourage the preservation of significant tracts of agricultural and forested land throughout the county by providing a reduced real estate tax assessment in return for a commitment to preserve the land for the length of the eight-year A & F term. On Tuesday, the Board approved renewal of three parcels to the A & F District designation, totaling almost 105 acres. The A & F District is a legacy of a time when Fairfax County’s economy was farm based. The minimum acreage size for an A & F District is 20 acres, so many of the A & F Districts are in Dranesville and Springfield Districts, but the environmental benefits apply countywide. Currently, there are 45 A & F Districts designated locally, for a total of 3052 acres preserved. Another 1337 acres are state-designated A & F Districts.

 


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at [email protected]