Parking in residential neighborhoods seems to be a modern-day problem, with some residents concocting interesting schemes, either to maintain a parking space, or to discourage others from parking. Unless otherwise regulated, vehicles may park legally on most public roadways in Fairfax County. Public roadways, including the right-of-way in front of most homes, in Fairfax County are maintained and administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Some regulations are posted by signage indicating, perhaps, “No Parking to Corner,” or Residential Permit Parking Districts, which are designated through a rigorous community process. Placing boulders, logs, or even lawn chairs, on VDOT right-of-way, sometimes very effective in dissuading people to park, is not legal.
In 2017, police received many complaints about mopeds and traffic cones being parked in the Culmore area to “hold” parking spaces for their owners. Mason District Police Station officers removed the cones and worked with community members to ensure safety. Not surprisingly, cones and mopeds gradually returned, prompting officers, again, to clear the parking spaces late last month, ticketing and towing 16 unregistered or inoperable mopeds. Several other mopeds were identified for towing after the legally required notification time expires. The cones will be removed in the very near future. This proactive community police effort highlights the ongoing work of the Fairfax County Police Department in many of our residential areas.
The Mason District Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) meets the first Tuesday of each month (except August), at 7 p.m. in the Main Community Room of the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. The CAC meetings enhance communication and dialogue with command staff and officers of the local police district and provide significant safety updates. Although many civic and homeowner associations designate a CAC representative, CAC meetings are open to the community, and all are invited to attend.
The annual National Night Out observance will be held Tuesday, Aug. 7, in neighborhoods across Mason District, the metropolitan region, and the nation. Many civic associations sponsor picnics, ice cream socials, barbeques, and other family activities to raise awareness that, together, we can keep crime out of our neighborhoods. Years ago, everybody knew their neighbors, their family members and vehicles, when they might be away for vacation, etc. Knowing the “rhythm” of the neighborhood makes it easier to figure out when something might not be quite right, like a strange car parked down the street, or packages piling up at a neighbor’s front door. National Night Out, as well as CAC meetings, provides an opportunity to learn when you should call for police assistance, either 911 for a life-threatening emergency, or 703-691-2131 for non-emergency calls. Officers usually try to visit all the National Night Out observances, sometimes with McGruff the Crime Dog. Fairfax County is fortunate to have outstanding police officers who focus on community policing, which helps make the county one of the safest jurisdictions of its size in the nation. National Night Out is a perfect time to say “thanks” to all the men and women who strive every day to keep us safe.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at email@example.com.