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Thursday Morning Notes

Magazine Article Makes Case for Paid Parking at RTC — A breakdown of the paid-parking controversy at Reston Town Center that appears in the April issue of Washingtonian argues that “parking is never actually free” and that RTC “was designed so people could get there without a car.” [Washingtonian]

Fifth-Graders Debate School Issues — Students from Terraset and Forest Edge elementary schools recently worked on their speech-writing and public-speaking skills as they squared off in a debate. Topics argued during the event included school uniforms, homework and recycling. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Asks Residents to Report Potholes Properly — Sharing a news blast originally written last February, Fairfax County is reminding residents that they can call or use an online reporting tool to let VDOT know where potholes are in the county. [Fairfax County/Twitter]

Technology Services Company Moves to Reston — CDW has moved its D.C.-area headquarters, one of 24 offices nationwide, to Edmund Halley Drive. Among the features of the new space is a technology demonstration lab featuring the latest technologies from the company’s top partners. [CDW]

Fairfax County Republican Delegate Stepping Down — Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), who has served the area in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994, announced his retirement Wednesday on the House floor. Among his legislative contributions, Albo listed securing transportation funding for Northern Virginia, closing DUI loopholes, allowing marijuana-derived oils to be used to treat epilepsy, boosting punishments for child molesters and writing the language that banned smoking in restaurants. [Richmond.com]

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Potholes Ruining Your Ride? Here’s How to Tell VDOT

Pothole/Credit: State Farm InsuranceAfter the snow comes the inevitable potholes.

Rather than getting mad, get active — as in tell the Virginia Department of Transportation (or whomever is responsible for the street) the pothole’s location and get on the fix-it list.

First, determine who is responsible for the road. Most of the major arteries in Fairfax County are in VDOT’s jurisdiction, but check out this map that will show you who maintains every street in the county. Fairfax County itself is not responsible for pothole fixes.

You can then access VDOT’s new online reporting tool, which makes it easier to pinpoint exactly where you see a pothole. You can also report potholes directly from your mobile device and include images (but don’t try this while driving, of course).

You can also call VDOT at 800-FOR-ROAD to report potholes or ask who maintains a road.

So which roads in Reston are not VDOT roads?

  • Dulles Toll Road, contact the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority.
  • Many private roads are maintained by businesses, apartment/condo complexes, homeowner/civic associations or residents. If you know there’s a pothole on a road that’s privately maintained, contact your HOA or the business that’s responsible.

Photo: pothole/file photo

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VDOT Working on Repairing Winter’s Damage

Pothole/Credit: State Farm InsuranceIt’s pothole season in Northern Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says it has filled more than 10,000 potholes in Fairfax and surrounding counties as of late last week. Crews are using a “cold” and “hot” mix asphalt, with both mechanized and hand work to fill the holes.

Crews also have the mechanized “pothole killers” that shoot a temporary asphalt patch. VDOT owns two “Python 5000s,” which make a permanent patch with a scraper and roller in about two minutes. There are only a handful of Pythons in use in the United States, with about 30 total in operation, says VDOT.

Crews are also using Aquaphalt, a fast-drying material that creates a durable, permanent patch.

VDOT also says it will start a $168 million paving project in April that will further improve roads and rides for drivers across the region.

“This is the largest paving season we’ve seen in Northern Virginia,” said Branco Vlacich, VDOT’s district maintenance engineer, said in a statement. “We estimate crews will place about one million tons of asphalt and four million linear feet of pavement markings this spring.”

Vlacich says the $168 million in paving includes “31 lane miles of interstates, almost 50 lane miles of primary routes as well as extensive paving on secondary roads and neighborhood streets of almost 1,000 lane miles. Crews are also extending the life of more than 110 lane miles with preventative maintenance such as latex and sealing.”

See roads scheduled for paving in Northern Virginia, see this interactive map on VDOT’s website.

Regarding potholes, VDOT asks drivers to continue to be alert to lane closures for patching. Crews in northern Virginia are on the road from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays, and may work other times outside of rush hours.

Drivers can report potholes to VDOT online or to operators 24/7 at VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).

VDOT is responsible for the vast majority of roads in Fairfax County. Some roads are maintained by the county, however. If you see damage on a county road, call 703-877-2800. In Reston, many residential streets are maintained privately. If there is damage on your street, contact your homeowners association.

For more information on how potholes form and what to do if your car sustains damage, visit this VDOT page.

Have you seen any potholes that still need attention in Reston? Tell us in the comments.

Photo: Pothole/Credit: State Farm Insurance

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