September 12, 2019 

In This Issue:
Next Steps on Addressing Panhandling in our Community : Next Tuesday, September 17th, the Board will be following up on how Fairfax County will be addressing increasing concerns with panhandling in our community including a potential "curb to curb" safety ordinance, a sign program, and a public awareness campaign. I am pleased to announce that the county has started a pilot program modeled in part after the "There's A Better Way" Program I proposed two years ago, designed to provide dignity through work and get homeless and panhandlers into needed services.

Springfield Nights Survey: We would like your feedback as we look to further improve our Springfield Nights Free Concerts in the Park Series for next summer. Please share your thoughts on a quick 60 second survey at the link here:
Other Happenings:
- Ramp From Route 29 North To I-66 East In Centreville To Close For Approximately One Month - September 9, 2010
- Fairfax County Strategic Plan Meetings - September 16 - 25, 2019 
- Lake Accotink Community Meeting - September 19, 2019 
- Design Public Hearing for Route 28 Widening - September 23, 2019 
- Fairfax County "Venture into Volunteering Fair" - October 2, 2019
- Clyde Luther Links to Freedom Golf Tournament - October 7, 2019
Next Steps on Addressing Panhandling in our Community
Next Tuesday, September 17th, the Board will discuss my recent proposal to address panhandling in our community. My proposal at the July 22nd Board meeting was to have staff draft an ordinance that would prohibit "curb to curb" engagement with cars while in medians and intersections. In addition to the "curb to curb" safety ordinance, the Board will be discussing a sign program and a public awareness campaign. I am also pleased to announce that the County has started a pilot program modeled in part after the "There's A Better Way" program I proposed two years ago, designed to provide dignity through work and get the homeless and panhandlers into needed services.
"There's a Better Way": As I mentioned in my last newsletter, the County provides many services for individuals in need. One new program that the County is rolling out on September 30th is a work program for individuals in need that will be facilitated by the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services in conjunction with The Lamb Center and New Hope Housing in Fairfax City. This program will provide individuals in need with a job cleaning up our stream and stormwater areas 2-3 times a week. These individuals will be paid in cash and provided the dignity of work to help them get back on their feet and back in the workforce. It will also serve as an avenue to connect them with counseling and other services. At the same time, they will be helping keep our environment clean in Fairfax County. This program is modeled after a similar program called "There's a Better Way" in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which I advocated the Board replicate here in Fairfax County when I first asked the Board to address the panhandling issue back in 2017 . The City of Fairfax started a "There's a Better Way" program last year. We need to continue to look at creative solutions to address the issue of panhandling and help residents succeed in the long term. I am glad to see this program finally move forward and look forward to working with the Lamb Center on some of their other creative proposals.

Feedback From the Community: Feedback from my recent newsletter about the scope of panhandling in our community clearly demonstrates there are no absolutes in panhandling - many are from outside of our area and organized, taking advantage of our residents' generosity, while others are truly in need. A few of the stories we have heard:

  • One panhandler called my office after hearing about the proposed ordinance and said that they would prefer to make $160 a day panhandling than use County services. He said he took a job through the County once, but it was too much pressure to get work done for less money than he could make panhandling, so he went back to panhandling.
  • A local business owner contacted our office to share that he had to buy back a former employee's work shirt because she was panhandling in it at the intersection. When asked why she quit her job to panhandle, she said she would prefer to make $15 per stoplight instead of $15 an hour.
  • A woman called our office to direct us to a man she had befriended who regularly panhandles. This man has lived out of his car for many years and panhandles to cover his basic needs. Neighbors were helping him get by to the extent that he did not pursue County services. County social workers had been occasionally checking on him and when our office followed up with them regarding his situation, we learned they were in the process of getting him the services he needs. This will hopefully provide him with a long-term solution that will improve his quality of life.
Options to Address Panhandling: There are also no absolutes in the solutions to address panhandling. We need to use a combination of programs like "There a Better Way", a strong public education campaign on why giving to panhandlers does not help them and encourages bad behavior, a sign program as a part of the education campaign, and an ordinance that allows our police to address the bad actors in order to provide for those truly in need. Any public awareness campaign should include, but not be limited to, placing signs in busy intersections that would discourage motorists from giving money to panhandlers and also provide the homelessness hotline number to get people in need in touch with County services. This has been an effective tool for other Virginia jurisdictions with panhandling issues.
I encourage you to tune in to the Board's Public Safety Committee meeting at 11 a.m. on Tuesday and follow the County's plans to address the health and safety concerns associated with panhandling in our communities. Committee meeting information is available below:

(703) 451-8873 



Slow Down Signs

Our next batch of signs have arrived at our West Springfield Office!
Come by during office hours if you'd like one for your neighborhood.
*Limit 2 signs per individual

Springfield Nights Survey
We would like your feedback as we look to further improve our Springfield Nights Free Concerts in the Park Series for next summer.
Please share your thoughts on a quick 60 second survey at the link below:

Your feedback is appreciated.

Ramp From Route 29 North To I-66 East In Centreville To Close For Approximately One Month - September 9, 2019
The ramp from northbound Route 29 to I-66 East in Centreville will be closed for approximately one month beginning on or about Monday September 9, 2019. Traffic will be directed farther north to Route 28 North, stay to the right and follow signs to I-66 East.
The closure is needed for construction of the new I-66 bridge over Route 29. The ramp from southbound Route 29 to I-66 East will remain open. Drivers should expect additional construction-related detours and traffic changes as work progresses at the Route 29/I-66 Interchange.
If you are traveling through these areas at any of the times listed above, please pay attention to on-road signage. All work is weather dependent. 
Drivers should expect delays and use alternate routes.
Fairfax County Strategic Plan Meetings                   
The Fairfax County Government is currently undertaking a strategic planning exercise. Please consider attending an upcoming community meeting where you'll learn more about the progress on the first-ever Countywide strategic plan. In the months since the initial public feedback was received, staff developed nine areas of focus. County staff have been working to further define and shape these areas:
  • Cultural and Recreational Opportunities
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Effective and Efficient Government
  • Health and Environment
  • Housing and Neighborhood Livability
  • Mobility and Transportation
  • Safety and Security
  • Self-Sufficiency for People with Vulnerabilities  
Below are the dates, times, and locations of each meeting

Lake Braddock Secondary School
Monday, September 16, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
9200 Old Burke Lake Road
Burke, VA 22015

Justice High School
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
3301 Peace Valley Lane
Falls Church, VA 22044

Chantilly High School
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
4201 Stringfellow Road
Chantilly, VA 20151

South Lakes High School
Thursday, September 19, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Seahawks Drive
Reston, VA 20191

Gum Springs Community Center
Monday, September 23, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
8100 Fordson Road
Alexandria, VA 22306

Marshall High School
Wed, September 25, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
7731 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
You are encouraged to attend and share your thoughts, insights, opinions and experiences that will be used to help further shape a countywide strategic plan.

Lake Accotink Community Meeting - September 19, 2019

A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 19, 2019, to provide an update on lake management options.  The Park Authority will join the community to discuss the future plans for Lake Accotink. Members of the community are invited to Cardinal Forest Elementary School (Cafeteria), at 8600 Forrester Blvd in West Springfield. The community meeting will feature an open house from 6:30 until 7:00 p.m. where the public can discuss the lake management options with staff on an informal basis and a formal presentation with Q&A from 7:00 to 9:00 p. m.

Several management options were studied and presented to the community for comment on April 30, 2018. Public input coupled with additional analysis for lake management options were used to revise the plan. If you are unable to join us at this meeting, the presentation will be shared online after the meeting with an opportunity to provide additional comments.  
Previous meeting presentations and details about the lake management options studied can be found on the Lake Accotink Park Master Plan Revision webpage.
Please feel free to share this invite with anyone who may be interested in the project.
I hope to see you at the meeting on the 19th!

Reminder: Design Public Hearing for Route 28 Widening Set - September 23
The Fairfax County Dept. of Transportation will be holding a Design Public Hearing for a project to widen Route 28 to six lanes from the bridge over Bull Run to the Route 28/29 interchange. The project will include:
- Improvements at all signalized intersections by adding turn lanes and/or one or more additional lanes on side streets to improve signal operations and overall intersection operations.
-Proposed removal of selected existing unsignalized median crossovers (breaks).
- Stormwater management facilities as required to meet State and County criteria.
- A 10-foot shared use path on both sides of Route 28.  
The hearing is set for Monday, September 23, 2019 from 6:30 - 9 PM (with a presentation at 7 PM) at Centreville Elementary School, at 14330 Green Trails Boulevard in Centreville.

Fairfax County "Venture into Volunteering Fair" - October 2, 2019

Fairfax County invites you to the Venture into Volunteering Fair at the Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 10am-2pm.

Representatives from 90+ organizations will be there to share information about a wide variety of volunteer opportunities in Northern Virginia. Attendees can even help onsite that day by bringing shelf-stable food to donate to Food for Others, dental hygiene supplies for the Children's Project Mobile Dental Van, old hearing aids/eyeglasses for the Lions Club, or by donating blood to the American Red Cross. It's all free and no registration is necessary. There will be door prizes awarded throughout the event.

Go to  for more info.
Call 1-800-733-2767 to schedule your blood donation

Clyde Luther Links to Freedom Golf Tournament - October 7, 2019
This fall, the Springfield Golf and Country Club will be hosting one of its premier events to support Links to Freedom, a nationally recognized rehabilitative golf program for wounded, ill, and injured military service members and their families. I am looking forward to being the honorary starter for this event and seeing former Washington Capitals greats Peter Bondra and Rod Langway, who will be playing in the event.
The tournament is aptly named for a local golf legend, Clyde Luther.  Luther was an Air Force Veteran, past president of the Springfield Golf Country Club, an inaugural member of the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame, the NCAA Division 1 Head Rules Official for ten-plus years, and the Head Rules Official for the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Virginia State Golf Association Junior Match Play trophy is also named in his honor. 
Registration is now open. Please follow the link below for more information on registration and event details: