News

News Briefs: November 17 -23

F.C. Council Proclaims Transgender Awareness Week

In a proclamation presented at Monday’s Falls Church City Council meeting, the Council declared Nov. 13-19 as Transgender Awareness Week and Nov. 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance, saying it “supports the bodily autonomy and human dignity of all members of our community.” It acknowledged the statements earlier adopted by the F.C. School Board and Superintendent to the same end.
“The City Council has demonstrated support for community members of all backgrounds and identities, including transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming persons,” the proclamation read, including a prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation adopted in 2002, “which has historically been linked to discrimination based on gender expression and identity.”

F.C. Council in Preliminary OK of Lower Speed Limits

The Falls Church City Council voted unanimously a preliminary OK to authorize City Manager Wyatt Shields to set out a new scheme for lowering the speed limit in some residential areas of the City from 25 to 20 miles per hour. The Council will vote on final adoption of the policy at its Nov. 28 meeting.
The Council also gave a preliminary OK for the allocation of surplus general fund revenues as proposed by the City’s chief financial officer and City Manager of $5,848,773 to a combination of employee bonuses ($1,000 per employee for challenges met during the pandemic), an array of transportation infrastructure and public safety steps (including $425,000 for the W&OD Trail), “small town character” investments (including $803,000 for development of three “parklets” in the S. Washington Street commercial zone, and $992,159 for an “affordable housing strike fund,” among others.

Tarter Urges “Bus Rapid Transit Plan” to Stop at Metro

Falls Church Mayor David Tarter, following a update by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission of an “Envision Route 7” plan for the institution of a “bus rapid transit” (BRT) route from Alexandria to Tysons Corner through Falls Church on Route 7, urged NVTC spokesman Xavier Harmony at Monday’s meeting that the plan be revised to include a stop at the West Falls Church Metrorail Station.
The plan does cover a stop at the East Falls Church station along what Harmony said is the second busiest bus rider corridor in Northern Virginia.
No stop at West Falls Church “is a huge mistake,” Tarter said. “We’ve designed our roads so you can use them.”
F.C. Councilman David Snyder, the City’s representative on the NVTC, said the BRT plans “will further establish Falls Church as one of the best located jurisdictions in the region. With this week’s opening of the Silver Line to Dulles Airport, that takes off at East Falls Church, and the completion of the BRT, it will be possible for us to travel conveniently and quickly almost anywhere in the region without a car.”

Metro Opens Silver Line Dulles Airport

Tuesday, the WMATA’s Metrorail service celebrated the opening of the Silver Line Extension, connecting customers to six new stations, adding 11.4 miles of track to the Metrorail system, and beginning operations at a modern rail maintenance facility. The Silver Line Extension gives customers a new connection to Washington Dulles International Airport. This week’s grand opening also marks the completion of the Silver Line project, a generational infrastructure investment in Northern Virginia.
Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke was joined by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other federal, state, and local officials, including from Falls Church, for the grand opening ceremony at Washington Dulles International Airport Station.

F.C. School Board ‘Office Hours’ at Cuates Grill

The Falls Church City Public Schools’ elected board chair Laura Downs and vice chair Tate Gould will hold “office hours” at Cuates Grill, 502 W. Broad St., on Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Parents, students, teachers, staff, and community members may drop by (no registration required) to ask questions and offer feedback in a casual environment.

F.C. Police Seeking Carjacking Suspect

City of Falls Church Police are looking for a suspect described as a black male wearing a light blue or gray shirt. Before 7 p.m. in the 6700 block of Wilson Boulevard, the suspected attempted one carjacking, then carjacked a second vehicle, described as a dark blue 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Virginia tags UGF2955. Anyone with information should contact the City of Falls Church Police, 703-248-5053 (TTY 711) or police@fallschurchva.gov.

Help With Water Bills Offered to Public

Thanks to the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, Fairfax Water can now offer assistance to eligible customers who need assistance with their water and wastewater bills. Eligible customers are asked to apply soon.