I drove hospital staff during the storms and got a good overview of the Fairfax/Arlington/Prince Wm area. VDOT did a great job, considering the "storm of the century" totals, clearing just two lanes initially to maximize road access. What made it so dangerous for pedestrians was that it took a week or two to open roads curb to curb, which provides a lot more clearance between vehicles and pedestrians. No one had the ...more »
More training, more training, more training and try hiring a few plow operators from up north or out west with a lot of experience. We get large snow storms every few years and it seems like we have to learn all over again every year. Planning: mark the edges of streets with tall poles so that plow operators know where the edge of the street it. It was immediately apparent from what I saw that more of them had no ...more »
1. overall training on how to plow streets without blocking storm drains and not damaging plants/trees.
2. not being facetious, I would also recommend requiring a vision test of supervisors and drivers.
After major storms (snow, hurricane, etc.), Fairfax County could provide notice to the home owners that the damaged trees will be picked up without cost to the homeowner. The owners would still have to place them at the curb and the pickup would only be within 1-2 weeks after the end of the storm. This community type of support would allow neighbors to help neighbors to recover from the storm.
Many apartment and condo complexes have private plow contractors that do the parking lots. Why not allow the same private contractor to plow the public streets leading up to complexes. This would reduce the need for VDOT plows and would allow some streets to be cleared quicker.
VDOT should hire these local plowers in times when there is so much snow that it may take days for all the VDOT plows to get the job done.
The county should purchase snowplow attachments which can be affixed to any resident's 4x4 in order to convert it into a snowplow. The county should maintain a list of residents who own 4x4's all over the area who are willing to VOLUNTEER to help plow in emergency situations. The county would bring the snowplow attachment to the volunteer's home, and then the volunteer would be assigned to plow specific side roads nearby ...more »
In our neighborhood, I understand my small side street was a mess for days, but even the intersection at Melville and Stringfellow was not touched. At least salt/sand should be placed at intersections.
I understand it is more efficient to clear the whole neighborhood at once, but the primary streets within each neighborhood should be cleared first. This did not happen in our area.
When plowing roads with multiple turn lanes, please be sure that the same number of lanes exist after the turn. One example is 3 left hand turn lanes cleared on Frontier Drive that turned into only 2 cleared lanes on Franconia Road (heading toward the 495/395 ramps). It is quite dangerous in busy intersections such as that to have an immediate yet unexpected merge.
There needs to be two parallel plans for snow containment: 1: clear the interstates 2: clear the residential areas at the same time This would save money because we would not waste resources on tiny trucks with plows who up to now have mainly just barely made a path over old snow and ice making transit dangers because the "plowing" was done too late. Public safely demands much better planning. Likewise wise use of community ...more »
Once the snow accumulates, the plow drivers don't seen to know or be able to identify where the road is. The county should mark the edges of streets with tall poles so that plow operators know where the edge of the street it. It was immediately apparent from what I saw that most of them had no idea where the edge (or center) of the road was. Stone Heather near the Franklin Farm shopping center is usually plowed in more ...more »
The snow might be less paralyzing if more people could walk to work. When we consider the quality of life in Fairfax, one way is to get rid of traffic is to make better-paying work sites closer to more affordable homes.
I heard or read somewhere that VDOT does not use chemicals (i.e. rock salt) in the subdivisions. This is crazy! What in the world is the reason for this? VDOT normally doesn't get to the residential streets for several hours after the snow has stopped falling, and sometimes DAYS. By that time the snow has been driven on and turned into a 4-6 inch layer of packed snow and ice that does not melt for weeks. Please ...more »