Falls Church Vice Mayor David Snyder made a formal request of City Manager Wyatt Shields last week for a review of actions taken by the City’s Public Works Department in September to remove six formerly-legal parking spots at the intersection of S. Virginia Ave. and James Court/Street in the Winter Hill neighborhood of the City.
Documents obtained by a resident of the area by a “freedom of information act” request reveal the action was taken in response to a complaint made by a lone citizen, with no survey or advance notification of any other residents. The documents also show that a spate of parking tickets were issued beginning before 8 a.m. the next morning to cars in the previously-legal spots (which remain demarcated for parking to the present). Ticketing continued even at 3:30 a.m. the following day and is still occurring. Also, new parking restriction signs were posted on private property with no indication that permission was granted.
The complaining citizen provided City Hall with photos including one of an accident that did not occur at that intersection, where long-time residents testify there has never been an accident. Two adjacent intersections have no parking restrictions, where at least one serious accident occurred in recent years, and witnesses say parking at those is often into the intersections.
To avoid liability for discrimination, a neighbor noted, the City is now obligated to present a plan for imposing similar new restrictions at all other residential intersections in the City.