Updates from Letty – September 27, 2019

Blog posts are the personal views of Letty Hardi and not official statements or records on behalf of the Falls Church City Council

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all the great feedback and questions following the last few posts about scooters, the end of year financial surplus, and library project. If you missed the posts, catch them here and here, and you can still send us your thoughts. We’ll be revisiting these topics in October – your input is important to me. You can also share your thoughts with me at my office hours next Monday at 9 am, Rare Bird Coffee.

This week, we received lengthy updates on two of the top citizen concerns we hear: stormwater management and traffic calming/walkability (if we covered parking, it would have been the trifecta!) We know both of these are critical to quality of life and safety, and we’re committed to making more and faster progress on both. Read on to learn about the work planned for this fall and expect continued coverage from me…

We’ll be on a mini hiatus until our next meeting on October 15th (due to a 5th Monday in September when we typically don’t meet, some members of Council away at a conference to receive an award for our newly opened Miller House, and the city’s recognition of Indigenous People’s Day.)


PS – For your calendars – we have two park openings coming up! The grand re-opening and dedication of Mr. Brown’s Park is next Monday evening and the new turf fields at Larry Graves next Saturday at 10 am.


What Happened This Week:

(1) Stormwater Management

The City Manager gave an update that there are two buckets of stormwater work underway following the July flooding event.

  • In house engineering will start immediately to address small localized issues, such as Poplar/Laura and the 900 block of Lincoln.
  • A broader engineering study on the larger watersheds will start, focused on areas where there has been residential damage: Trammel Branch at W. Columbia/Shadow Walk, Hillwood, Sherrow, Harrison Branch at E. Columbia, and Ellison Branch at Lincoln Ave. The goal of the study is to come up with possible solutions, cost estimates, and prioritization by this winter so they can be considered for inclusion in the next budget.

(2) Traffic Calming & Walkability 

We know that traffic calming and walkability improvements are among the top concerns from citizens. We’ve all experienced too many “near misses.” As I wrote about a few weeks ago – we are committing additional budget dollars to make spot improvements to connect missing link sidewalks, crosswalks, and other measures to make the city safer and more accessible for all. We also discussed additional police enforcement, lowering the speed limit to 20 mph, and prioritizing pedestrians using existing signals – giving them a head start with a walk signal or protected walk signals. In general, my bias is to prioritize areas of the highest pedestrian activity, especially near schools, parks, and main routes to commercial areas or civic buildings.

This week, the City Manager provided updates on a lot of transportation work that will be happening this fall:

  • N. West/Oak intersection at the base of Mt. Daniel will be receiving curb extensions to slow down traffic and shorten the crossing distance and ped activated beacons. A refresh of the other crossings at Greenwich and Highland is also planned
  • Lincoln Ave and Greenwich – sidewalk extension and crosswalk near Lincoln Park
  • Sidewalk extensions at S. Oak and S. Maple, as discussed a few weeks ago
  • Extensive re-paving this fall – Hillwood, Greenwich, Great Falls, S. Oak and S. Lee
  • Signal improvements – Broad & S. Maple, Little Falls & Broad, West & Broad
  • Ped activated crossings at Lincoln & Great Falls near Lincoln Park. Cost estimations to complete all 4 legs of the intersection at Broad & Spring and Broad & Lee with ped crossings


What’s Coming Up:

  • Monday, September 30 – Letty’s Office Hours (9 am, Rare Bird Coffee)
  • Tuesday, October 15 – City Council Meeting (730 pm, City Hall)
  • Wednesday, October 16 – West Falls Church Economic Development Town Hall
  • Monday October 21 – City Council Work Session (730 pm, City Hall)
  • Sunday, October 27 – Letty’s Office Hours (9 am, Cafe Kindred)
  • Monday, October 28 – City Council Meeting (730 pm, City Hall)
  • Tuesday, November 5 – Election Day

Campaign Info: If you’re interested in attending campaign debates and learning about the other candidates: https://www.lettyhardi.org/events/