Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields vowed at Tuesday night’s F.C. City Council meeting that there will be a police presence on Noland Street in the City, one of its most notorious “cut through” traffic residential streets, Wednesday morning to demonstrate the City’s support for the large contingent from that street who showed up at the meeting to regale accounts of the dangers to residents and the 36 children living there.
The passionate appeals of the Noland Street residents, including from a couple of their children present with them,was led by the Rev. David Kirkland, pastor of the Dulin United Methodist Church located on the corner of E. Broad and Noland.
City Council members were unconditional in their sympathy for the problem, some vowing that a good part of the $2.5 million surplus resulting from the Fiscal Year budget’s final numbers be put quickly to the task of a comprehensive approach to speeding on the City’s residential streets, a problem that has exploded in the last two years due to motorists looking to avoid the new tolling system on I-66 combined with new online “apps” like “Ways” that offer users fastest routes between locations, and recommends using Noland Street on routes to the East Falls Church Metro.
Shields said that City Hall staff will also meet with citizens of Noland Street by the end of this week on advancing a plan for traffic calming there, and will also meet with citizens in the Winter Hill neighborhood about imminent plans to adjust the intersection of W. Annandale and Gundry Road there to make it safer.
Other traffic calming plans around the City were also presented by Shields beyond the 32 new pedestrian crossings that have been painted at intersections, two new bike lanes, four sharrows and three pedestrian-activated “Hawk” signals that are slated for installation on W. Broad by 2021.
“In my view, traffic calming is the single biggest priority for the City,” said Council member Ross Litkenhous, a comment echoed by others on the Council. He said he will not vote for any use of the FY19 surplus if a good portion of it is not put to this use.