Parks Agencies Oppose
At 11 a.m. tomorrow, officials from the county Park Authority and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority will hold a news briefing at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville to announce their opposition to the proposed Comprehensive Plan alignment of a tri-county parkway.
Harold L. Strickland, chairman of the Park Authority board, and William C. Dickinson, chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board, will join naturalists and other parks staff to discuss why the area's two major parks agencies are against the Comprehensive Plan alignment.
The parkway is intended to provide more direct access to the burgeoning Dulles corridor and alleviate congestion along Route 28 and alternative two-lane country roads. Two proposed routes would link Route 50 in Loudoun and Interstate 66 in Prince William, veering west of Manassas National Battlefield Park. A third would swing east of the park, stretching south to Manassas.
The most controversial route is the one known as the Comprehensive Plan Alternative, which would run through the eastern portion of Bull Run Regional Park.
The boards of the two parks agencies approved a joint resolution at their respective July meetings opposing the Comprehensive Plan alignment and asking the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to reconsider the proposed parkway alignment in future revisions of the county's comprehensive transportation plan. The resolution also urges local and state decision makers to consider what parks officials called less intrusive and expensive alignments.
Contact for Emergency Weighed for Cell Phones
County officials said they would evaluate a proposal to ask Fairfax residents to store a listing in their mobile phones to provide rescue workers with the name and number of the person to contact in case of an emergency.
Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) said he learned about such a campaign that started in Britain and has gotten more publicity following the recent terrorist attacks in London. The contact information would be stored in the phone's address book under "ICE," an acronym for "in case of emergency." For more than one contact, he said, British officials are suggesting "ICE1" and "ICE2."
Reston Study to Examine
Impact of Metrorail Plan
County transportation officials will determine the projected impact on the Reston area of the proposed extension of Metrorail, under a request approved by the Board of Supervisors on Monday.
Many Reston residents have expressed concern about plans to increase density in the area, especially near the planned Wiehle Avenue station, where Metro would terminate until a second phase is completed to Dulles International Airport.
Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) also asked the board to spend $500,000 of the county's budget surplus this year on a study of bus, road and pedestrian improvements for the transportation network around the Wiehle Avenue station. With the coming of rail, Hudgins said, bus service needs to work seamlessly with Metrorail.
Survey Shows Support
For Transit Improvements
Half of Northern Virginia residents surveyed recently said improved public transportation, not new roads, would help their commutes.
When asked about specific priorities, six out of 10 people surveyed by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority who travel regularly in the Dulles corridor said extending Metrorail to Dulles International Airport was their highest priority.
The telephone survey of 1,263 residents from Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax City, Manassas and Manassas Park was conducted in late April and early May to help the agency update its long-range transportation plan. There was no difference between jurisdictions in the overall finding that transit improvements, not road-building, are preferred.
A majority of Prince William residents, for example, backed transit over roads. However, most of the respondents who said they traveled the Interstate 66 corridor said they would favor widening the highway over extending Metro to Centreville.
Those surveyed also cited support for a range of road projects, including widening I-66 between the Capital Beltway and Gainesville. Respondents also said they would be willing to pay $1.67 a day on average to fund improvements to the region's public transportation system. Seven in 10 respondents said they would be willing to pay to travel in high-occupancy toll lanes.
The survey was done by QSA Research & Strategy of Alexandria.
Herndon Woman Injured
In Loudoun Car Crash
A Herndon woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries when she lost control of her car, then struck another car and a utility pole on Route 50 on Saturday morning, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said.
Selina Afzal, 40, was driving her 1993 Toyota Corolla east on Route 50 near the Loudoun County Parkway when she crossed the median, said sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell. Afzal then veered back into the eastbound lanes, where she struck a 2004 Toyota Camry, went off the road and rolled into a utility pole.
Afzal was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital. Her 15-year-old son was taken to the Lansdowne Campus of Inova Loudoun Hospital, where he was treated and released. The driver of the other car was not hurt.
Witnesses who have not already been interviewed by sheriff's deputies are asked to call the Sheriff's Office accident reconstruction unit at 703-771-5798.
Frying Pan Park
To Host 4-H Fair
The annual Fairfax County 4-H Fair will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Frying Pan Park in Herndon.
The event will feature pie-eating contests, crafts, livestock and rabbit judging, horse and dog shows, amusement rides and live entertainment. There will also be demonstrations of old-fashioned farming, iron-working and woodcarving.
Admission and parking are free. 4-H members will collect canned food donations that will be given to area food banks.
The Fairfax branch of Virginia Cooperative Extension, the county Park Authority and the county Department of Community and Recreation Services are sponsoring the fair.
The park is at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon. For more information, call 703-324-5369.
NVCC to Hold Classes
At South County Center
The Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College will offer evening classes during the fall semester at the South County Center. Subjects offered include business, childhood development, information technology and student development.
Classes begin Sept. 6; registration is underway. The government center is at 8350 Richmond Hwy. (Route 1) in the Alexandria area. For more information, call 703-845-6248.
Hunter Mill Task Force
Plans Fourth Meeting
The Hunter Mill Road area task force will hold its fourth meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lake Anne Elementary School in Reston. The task force was set up to provide county officials with input from the public about future development in the area, which in some plans calls for increasing density along the largely rural two-lane road linking Reston and Vienna.
On Aug. 24, the task force will meet at 7 p.m. at the school to discuss and outline the community input process, which will take place during September and October.
The process allows residents to ask questions and share ideas and concerns about current and future land use in the area.
The school is at 11510 North Shore Dr. For more information, call 703-324-1379 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/huntermill.
Gets New Director
Jose Comayagua Jr. has been named director of the county's Facilities Management Department, the Board of Supervisors announced Monday. He starts Aug. 23.
The department, which has 185 employees and a $33 million budget, maintains and operates county facilities.
A county news release says Comayagua comes to Fairfax from a job as East Coast facilities manager for Pearson LLC in Arlington. He also managed space and operations at George Mason University, where he earned two degrees. Comayagua's salary will be $89,000 a year.
-- Compiled by STEPHEN C. FEHR,
LISA REIN and DIANE MATTINGLY