Around F.C., News

News Briefs: April 13-19, 2023

270 Petition Signatures Seek Action on Spring & Broad

Falls Church citizens seeking better safety measures at the intersection of West Broad and Spring Streets petitioned the F.C. City Council Monday, asserting that a petition signed by 270 nearby residents has been compiled urging the City to act. It was reported Sheriff Met Kaye observed with local residents the situation, considered unsafe by many, and during the period 50 persons sought to cross that intersection in one hour.

Citizens Urge More Transparency In Park Avenue Project

Following an open public discussion on plans for the redevelopment of Park Avenue between Virginia Avenue and N. Washington Streets for $11 million of federal “Great Streets” money to be spent on its upgrade, citizens testifying to the F.C. City Council Monday urged greater public transparency as the project moves ahead, citing the loss of 36 trees and other steps they consider problematic.
F.C. City Manager Wyatt Shields replied that every tree possible is being preserved in the effort, which will make the area more pedestrian friendly, among other things.

EDA Head Laments Lack of Marketing Specialist

Being sworn into another four year term Monday night, the head of the Falls Church Economic Development Authority said the inability to fill a position for a marketing specialist at City Hall has held development in the City back.

Bob Young outlined the formidable achievements of the EDA in the part year, including the highly successful holiday gift card program that deployed federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to provide major discounts for participants in the program that brought $450,000 of revenue into the City’s businesses.

Lincoln/Great Falls Signal Outage May See Action

F.C. City Manager Wyatt Shields reported Monday that parts for a permanent fix to the signal outage at the intersection of Great Falls and Lincoln Avenues may not be coming for up to three months, but because of the heavy traffic there, a temporary fix may come in the form of switching out a less busy intersection’s signals in the meantime.

He did not indicate which less busy intersection might be chosen.

F.C. Council OK’s Change To City Voting Places

At the request of F.C. Voter Registrar David Bjerke at Monday night’s F.C. City Council meeting, the Council approved changes different than the more drastic ones discussed at its work session a week earlier, now adding a second of the City’s three wards’ polling locations at the Community Center (for Wards 2 and 3) and keeping Ward I at the Oak Street Elementary. The old polling site at the Falls Church Apartments will be shifted to the Community Center.

With a small shift in the boundaries between Wards 2 and 3 also, the three wards will now be more balanced in population size, as well.

Child Abuse Prevention Pinwheels at Cherry Hill Park

A ceremony marking April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month in F.C. was held Monday at the Park Avenue entrance to Cherry Hill Park with citizens planting symbolic pinwheels in the soil there that will remain through the month.

In a proclamation presented later at the F.C. City Council meeting it was noted that in 2020, nearly 3.1 million children were involved with Child Protective Services across the U.S. In 2022 53,000 children in Virginia and 3,600 in neighboring Fairfax County were reported as possible victims of child abuse or neglect, and the county’s Child Protective Service’s 24 hour hotline that also covers the City of Falls Church received 13,300 calls last year.