Fairfax County will introduce speed cameras to school and construction zones early next year.
At a meeting last night (Tuesday), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved amending the county code to establish a pilot program that will install 10 automated photo speed cameras in school and construction zones around the county.
The program is intended to “increase safety for some of our most vulnerable road users, that’s school children and roadway construction workers,” Fairfax County Police Department Traffic Division Commander Alan Hanson told the board.
The cameras will “hopefully” be installed in nine school zones and one construction zone by Feb. 1, staying in place for six months, Hanson said. Enforcement will begin when drivers go 10 miles over the speed limit with fines escalating to a maximum of $100.
Signage identifying speed camera locations will be placed within 1,000 feet of each camera, per state code, with the locations also being posted on the county’s website.
“We’re not trying to trap people,” Hanson said in the county press release.
It’s not immediately clear where exactly the cameras will be installed.
Each camera will cost about $3,000 per month, according to the press release. Adding in associated signage and other equipment, the total cost for the pilot program is around $180,000.
Speeding has become a huge concern, particularly around schools after a teen allegedly driving 81 mph struck and killed two Oakton High School students on Blake Lane in June. A third student was seriously injured. Residents had been seeking safety improvements, including speed cameras, in that area for years.
A pilot work group found that almost 95% of drivers in the school zone at Springfield’s Irving Middle School were driving 10 mph or more above the speed limit during a morning sampling period done last year.
“In the five school zones surveyed, hundreds and sometimes thousands of drivers exceeded the speed limit by more than 10 mph during the sample period,” the county said.
During the public hearing portion of yesterday’s meeting, Chris French from Fairfax Families for Safe Streets shared that four pedestrians have been killed since October, most recently near Graham Park Plaza on Sunday (Dec. 4).
Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said the goal of the speed camera pilot is to change behaviors.
“There is one reason we are doing this and that is to save lives, and to do that, we [need] to change people’s attitudes and behavior, around schools and around work zones,” he said. “And, hopefully, the program will be successful, not because we collected revenue [from fines], but because people have changed their driving habits.”
The two residents who spoke during the public hearing supported the addition of speed cameras but brought up several concerns.
One is that by levying fines only when a driver exceeds the speed limit by 10 miles, it effectively turns a 25-mph speed limit into 35 mph. The advocates asked for the school zone speed limits to be lowered to 15 mph.
Additionally, they urged the county to consider the locations of the cameras and to alter the fine structure so it won’t more heavily impact communities of color.
However, supervisors noted there are considerable limits on the county’s authority. The state code only allows speed cameras to be placed in school and work zones, and the Virginia Department of Transportation limits when and how localities can change speed limits around schools.
“We don’t have the authority right now, today, to lower the [school zone] speed limit to 15 mph,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said. “We thought we had it. The legislation on its face says we have it, but as our attorneys point out very accurately, there’s a caveat in there that VDOT is hiding behind.”
The board adopted a legislative program on Tuesday for the Virginia General Assembly’s 2023 session that calls on state lawmakers to give localities the authority to lower speed limits and generally structure the speed camera program as the county sees fit.
If the pilot program is successful, speed cameras will expand throughout the county. A first phase scheduled for implementation in the fiscal year 2024 — which starts July 1, 2023 — would add 50 cameras, while a second phase could add 30 more cameras in school zones starting in 2025.
Full implementation of the speed camera program would require four additional positions within the police department and is estimated to cost nearly $4 million annually.
Fairfax County is still working through negotiations with Comcast for cable service in Reston.
Although discussions are still underway, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an interim agreement that would extend the terms of Comcast’s cable franchise through June 30, 2023.
So far, a long-term renewal agreement has not yet been reached. Federal law — namely the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 — lays out the process by which local communities can renew a cable franchise.
Rebecca Makely, director of the county’s Department of Cable and Consumer Services, said that active negotiations are underway to achieve a “mutually satisfactory resolution.”
“Changes in the video service market in recent years, along with potential changes in the law, have impacted cable franchise renewal negotiations around the country. In Fairfax County, as in many other jurisdictions, this has led to a protracted negotiation process,” Makely wrote in a statement.
In the county’s case, the county is negotiating with the cable operate for a new franchise agreement.
Until a final agreement is reached, the limited extension will remain in place.
Comcast announced last month that it plans to expand its network in Reston to include businesses by the end of the year.
Photo via Mike Conway on Unsplash
A dog was shot and killed by Fairfax County police during a search of a house in Herndon this morning.
Officers with the Fairfax County Police Department’s SWAT team were serving a search warrant in the 1500 block of Powells Place Tavern, a neighborhood of single-family homes near Dranesville Elementary School, according to the department.
The team was looking to recover police equipment that had been stolen “from another jurisdiction,” the FCPD said at 7 a.m.
“During the service, at least one officer discharged their firearm striking a dog,” police said. “No other injuries reported.”
The department tweeted at 7:35 a.m. that the dog had died.
“Stolen equipment was recovered & the man was taken into custody. Our Internal Affairs Bureau is responding to the scene,” the FCPD wrote.
The dog was declared deceased. Stolen equipment was recovered & the man was taken into custody. Our Internal Affairs Bureau is responding to the scene.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) December 7, 2022
Photo via FCPD/Facebook
Residents served by Haulin’ Trash, the now-bankrupt private trash collector, will be allowed to use Fairfax County’s waste disposal facilities at no charge for the next month.
The Board of Supervisors moved yesterday to suspend charges for affected individuals who drop off their household trash and recycling at the county’s I-66 Transfer Station (4618 West Ox Road) and I-95 Landfill Complex (9850 Furnace Road).
“I think everyone was caught off guard completely by this, and it has been difficult for many of the people affected to get a new contract in place,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said when introducing the board matter at yesterday’s meeting.
The facilities open at 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, though there are scheduled closures on Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.
While most recyclable materials are accepted for free, they have fees for trash based on the type of material, volume, weight and number of bags used.
The fee waivers went into effect today and will continue until Jan. 1. A past bill from Haulin’ Trash must be presented for verification by on-site staff to get the discount.
Started in 2017 and based in Leesburg, Haulin’ Trash announced last week that it would permanently close on Dec. 1 after financial and staffing challenges reportedly resulted in lagging and missed collections.
Shared just hours following an earlier email that suggested the company was still trying to find a solution to its service issues, the news forced approximately 3,000 county residents to find a new hauler with essentially no warning.
The fee suspension is intended to hold over residents as they search for a new provider. Many community members had reported overflowing trash cans after Haulin’ Trash missed multiple pickups, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services said.
A list of haulers licensed to operate in Fairfax County can be found on the DPWES website. Questions and complaints can be submitted to the county’s Consumer Affairs Branch by phone at 703-222-8435 or online.
“We are encouraging customers affected by this to sign up as quickly as possible with an alternate carrier in the area,” McKay said.
With trash collection issues proving to be an ongoing headache, county officials have started considering alternative approaches to providing services, which is handled by private companies for 90% of residents.
The Board of Supervisors adopted a legislative program for the General Assembly’s 2023 session calling for the state to give localities “additional authority to manage solid waste collection” and remove “onerous requirements” that limit the county’s ability to develop a different model.
Photo via Google Maps
County Approves Automatic Car Tax Filings — “Effective Jan. 1, Fairfax County will now automatically file personal property tax returns for these residents, a change that will benefit owners of approximately 133,000 vehicles per year…[Residents] still must register their vehicles with the DMV within 30 days or face a 10% late-filing penalty.” [Fairfax County Government]
Police Investigate Homicide in Hybla Valley — A man identified as 26-year-old Jordan Summers from Lorton died Monday (Dec. 5) after a community member found him in the 7900 block of Audubon Avenue with a possible gunshot wound to the upper body. Police say community members reported hearing what sounded like gunshots before 8 p.m. that evening. [FCPD]
County Board Passes on Reston Golf Course Developments — Proposals to redevelop Reston’s two golf courses were left off a list of accepted site-specific plan amendment nominations. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn reiterated that “any proposal to change the comprehensive plan for properties from their current respective ‘golf course’ designations would need support from surrounding communities.” [Patch]
Metro Proposes Fare Changes to Address Budget Deficit — Facing a $184 million gap in its budget, Metro General Manager Randy Clarke has put forward a budget plan that eliminates peak fares, while increasing the cost of longer trips, topping out at $6.50. No express service on the Silver Line will be considered this year, as the agency gauges ridership on the new 11.5-mile extension. [DCist]
Gastrointestinal Illness Outbreak Reported at West Springfield School — The Fairfax County Health Department “is urging students and parents to remain vigilant and stay home when sick in the aftermath what it’s calling a gastrointestinal illness outbreak at an elementary school last month. In a Nov. 15 email to the Fairfax County School Board…Superintendent Michelle Reid said an increase in GI illnesses was first reported at Keene Mill Elementary Nov. 4.” [WTOP]
Hybla Valley Building Fire Started by Refrigerator — “On Monday, December 5, at 7:07 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported building fire in the 2900 block of Woodlawn Trail in the Hybla Valley area of Fairfax County…No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.” [FCFRD]
Park Service Shares Details of Proposed GW Parkway Road Diet — The proposed road diet at the Belle View Blvd intersection would turn the right lane into “a pyloned-off through lane toward Old Town Alexandria, while the left lane would become a left-turn-only lane onto Belle Haven and subsequently serve as a dedicated acceleration lane for drivers turning left (northbound) from Belle Haven onto the Parkway.” [On the MoVe]
New Vienna Police Station Not Yet Ready for Move-ins — “The builder still is checking off final details on the ‘punch list.’ Morris said he hopes the department, now ensconced at the former Faith Baptist Church at 301 Center St., S., can move into the new station by year’s end.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
It’s Wednesday — Possible drizzle in the morning. High of 59 and low of 50. Sunrise at 7:15 am and sunset at 4:48 pm. [Weather.gov]
Whether you are ready to move-in now or would prefer to personalize a new home from the ground up, Brookfield Residential is here to help make owning a brand new home that fits the needs of your family a reality.
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To learn more about Snowden Bridge and the incredible Brookfield Residential Mix and Match Savings opportunity, visit BrookfieldOffers.com.
The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com
Close to 600 racers gathered at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston over the weekend to raise money for the park’s trails.
The annual event, called 2022 Capital Cross Classic, took place on Sunday (Dec. 4) at the park, which is located at 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive.
The Bike Lane, a Reston-based business, took over the race more than 10 years ago, according to Todd Mader, co-owner of the business.
Money raised from the fund is specifically used to restore multi-use trails that surround the parking, Mader said.
“We won’t know the final figure until we see how much grass was ruined and how much we need to reseed, but this was a good year so at least $4,000,” Mader wrote in a statement to FFXnow.
The Bike Lane is a family-owned bicycle shop that has locations in Reston and Springfield.
Fairfax County is refreshing its website.
A website redesign is currently underway as the county looks to update “the look and feel based on new design trends to serve our community better,” the county’s digital content lead Greg Licamele told FFXnow in an email.
The new website is expected to be launched in early 2023. No interruptions or downtime are expected for the site or services while work is underway, county officials confirmed.
The project is being led by the Department of Information Technology and was laid out in its 2023 adopted plan.
Making sure the website is easy to navigate and accessible on mobile devices is a county priority.
“Mobile devices continue to be the main way people see the county website, we’re also conscious of presenting information that works well on smartphones,” Licamele said.
The refresh for both desktop and mobile includes a new color palette and “contemporary” design tweaks.
It will also add a Spanish option for the Fairfax Virtual Assistant, a chatbot that provides automated information on some topics.
Additionally, the IT department plans to integrate some website content with voice assistant devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Beyond updating the design and compatibility, the refresh was also prompted by resident requests to have important services and items accessible on the homepage.
“For years, we’ve heard people’s desire to have important services highlighted, which is what our current homepage provides with the Find, Pay, Report and Register section at the top,” Licamele said. “The proposed refreshed design keeps our laser focus on those top tasks people want to find easily, as well as spotlighting a few more priority items such as the county’s Strategic Plan.”
The county’s website was last redesigned five years ago, in 2017. There will be no additional costs associated with the new website update, the county says.
By Nicola Caul Shelley, Synergy Design & Construction
It seems like no time at all since we took a leisurely stroll admiring the calming and soothing colors of last year’s color trends! This year, the biggest names in the paint industry are ready to move things forward and are looking optimistically to the future with new colors that are lush, gorgeous and versatile.
As a full service home remodeling company that focuses on design-thoughtful interior remodels, Synergy doesn’t provide painting as a standalone service. However, we believe painting should be included as part of every home remodel and our Interior Designers will even help you pick out the perfect palette for your space! Not every home remodeler or general contractor includes painting in their scope of services, so be sure to ask the question before you sign a home remodeling contract.
With that said, time to get inspired and take a look at the top color picks by some of the biggest names in the painting industry.
Benjamin Moore is our go-to paint company when it comes to our home remodels. This year, they’ve named Raspberry Blush (2008-30) as their color of the year. Providing “Joie de Vivre”, it is described as “a vivacious shade of color tinged with pink, this electric hue is the definition of charismatic color.”
One of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients is how to best use color without overdoing it and overpowering the space. This depends on a lot of factors (including your personal design aesthetic when it comes to use of color), but it is possible to paint a room all in the same color, or simply use it as an accent. Benjamin Moore provides some helpful suggestions for using this paint color to maximum effect in different ways:
- Bring a blushed update to the deep red dining room with Raspberry Blush walls and Onyx furnishings.
- Create a lively living room with walls and wainscoting.
- Add a pop of color to your home with a powder room or ensuite painted in this rich coral.
Farrow & Ball
Based in England, Farrow & Ball have long held a reputation for quality paint and interesting colors (or should we say, ‘colours’) and they are also high on our list of favorites when it comes to paint names!
This year, they introduced 11 new colors to their collection of high-performance, low-VOC, water based paints. According to Farrow & Ball they are, “inspired by moments of joy, comfort and refreshment to bring delight to your decorating. The first additions to our much-loved colour card in four years, these versatile new shades range from a lively, flame red to a delicate pink. With our signature richness, depth and extraordinary response to light, each one is unmistakably Farrow & Ball.”
This is a big deal for Farrow & Ball who haven’t introduced any new colors for four years. They are retiring 11 of their older colors to make way for these new ones, so if you’ve used their paint in your home in recent years, it might be a good time to look into which colors are being discontinued in case you need a touch up.
“Our relationship with our home has changed so much over the last few years, it felt like the perfect time to introduce these new colours,” said Joa Studholme, color curator for Farrow & Ball, in a press release. “We all feel ready to show off our spaces and personal style.”
Say hello to the new Farrow & Ball colors:
- Tailor Tack
- Templeton Pink
- Hopper Head
- Wine Dark
“Minimal”, “calming” and “intriguing”, Sherwin-Williams has chosen Redend Point (SW 9081) as their color of the year. Inspired by connection and care, it is described as a color of “warmth” by the company which, “embraces a spirit of connection with the world around us with this soulful-yet-subtle hue.” Well, I’m sold!
Redend Point (SW 9081). Photo courtesy Sherwin-Williams
Fans of a more neutral color palette rejoice! BEHR® has selected Blank Canvas (DC-003) as their color of the year. According to BEHR® it, “sets the tone for relaxation” and allows homeowners to “renew every room of your home.” Erika Woelfel, Behr’s vice president of color and creative services, said, “White is the perfect color for starting fresh. It’s restorative.”
It is a modern and bright take on an off-white with undertones of brown and gray that make it a true neutral shade. It doesn’t contain yellow so it can easily be paired with other neutrals without looking ‘tired’. This is also a completely new shade from BEHR® as part of a brand new Designer Collection.
Glidden describes their top pick Vining Ivy as a “bluish-greenish-something-in-betweenish” color that “serves up versatile vibes, making it an on-trend addition to any room. No matter if you think it looks more blue or more green, either way, it’s a vibe.” The perfect color for people who can’t decide between blue or green, this one might end up solving a lot of problems when deciding which color to get in the paint aisle!
This color is also another one that puts emphasis on the restorative side of life. According to Ashley McCollum, Glidden color expert, “The overarching theme for 2023 is about reflection on what matters most to us, our relationship with the planet, and how we want to engage with others. Its versatility takes the guesswork out of design, leaving consumers with more time to indulge in the things that matter most to them.”
The color also works well on an accent wall, a front door and can even work in small spaces. Per McCollum, “even the most modest spaces can benefit from the teal treatment. For those short on square footage but big on style, we recommend using this rich hue as a bold contrast to a neutral palette, making a petite room feel plush.”
The preceding sponsored post was also published on FFXnow.com
A new Greek restaurant is officially serving up meals in the Town of Herndon.
Knossos Restaurant will host a grand opening ceremony on Jan. 14 at 11 a.m. to celebrate its opening at 150 Elden Street.
The first 50 customers will get 50% off their total purchase during the ceremony and 15% off all purchases.
The eatery was previously located in Leesburg, but that location closed in 2006. Items on the menu include gyros, subs, burgers, falafel and platters.
“We have been diligently working to train staff and get ourselves ready for a grand opening,” said owner Sarfraw Naza.
The restaurant, which had a soft opening earlier this month, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.