Letters to the Editor: January 28 – February 3, 2016
Thanks for Stranger’s Help While Stranded
Often I read heartwarming stories about strangers helping those in need. Never did I expect myself to become a beneficiary so soon.
On Wednesday evening, before the projected weekend snowstorm, I was stuck on patches of ice on West Street. Some other cars were also stopped and people were on their cell phones calling for help. I came out of my car, pondering my options. I had no phone with me. I must have looked lost. One of the residents came out of the house and asked me if I needed any help. He offered to push my car but I said I was scared and asked if he could help me drive it out of that icy spot to the curb away from other traffic. He hopped into my car and after some spinning, expertly steered it to a safe parking spot alongside the curb. He advised me to walk home as there were many more treacherous icy patches ahead. I thanked him for his help and advice. It took me an hour or more to walk home in the cold but all through the long walk my heart was warm. I was grateful to this stranger’s kindness. Along the way I witnessed many skids, a few accidents, long lines of traffic on Lee Highway, people honking and walkers in both directions who have abandoned their cars.
Thursday was a totally different scene. West Street looked completely innocent of fender benders. I was able to retrieve my car and continue my way to work late but safe and happy to be alive and living among great people like the Williams on West Street. Thank you.
Why Did VDOT Take So Long to Plow Side Roads?
Why did VDOT wait three days to plow the side roads, until there was so much snow it couldn’t be moved with the trucks with plows that it contracted. Monday morning I watched two trucks with plows take three hours to try to clear out the intersection at Jefferson and Marshall near Route 50. They finally pushed all the snow to the last block of Marshall Street before it intersects Route 50, where it has made driving impossible. What a waste of time and resources to wait so long to plow the side roads. At how many other intersections was this costly and inefficient scenario enacted?
Keeping up with the snow would have enabled the plows to move the snow in a much safer and more efficient manner. I look out now and see a truck returned to plow about eight feet of surplus snow into the bottom of my driveway so I won’t be able to get out in the morning. As a senior with double hip replacements, this makes life very difficult for me, and for many thousands of other citizens affected by VDOT’s exceptionally poor and inefficient planning for snow removal.
F.C. Council Made Right Call in Hiring City Manager Wyatt Shield
While the City Council may get a few complaints from time to time, I had a pretty nice surprise Saturday walking around the City of Falls Church in the middle of a historic snowstorm. City plows are out struggling to get on top of a real mess, which as I write this is getting even worse; the streets are impassable, everyone is hunkered down in their homes (most likely watching a lot of TV); and, only “mad dogs” and our dedicated city workers are out in the cold and blowing snow fighting the good fight.
So, as I walked by a busy maintenance worker, wearing all weather gear and clearing his city truck half stuck in a drift, it was a real treat when he returned my wave with a wave and a really friendly smile. Then I realized I recognized our City Manager!
We talked and laughed for a minute in the wind; he couldn’t have been nicer and more upbeat. In fact, our most senior City officer, who could easily have spent the weekend in a warm office or in his home pretending to lead by calling staff on his phone, was not only out there in the cold leading the ground war against the storm, he was upbeat and radiated what passed for happiness at the opportunity.
Who do you write when the top dog does something that deserves recognition? The City Council, the ones who hired him – good job on that one.
When Clearing Snow from Sidewalks, Businesses Should Do What’s Right
I commend the majority of businesses that cleared their walks by Tuesday, enabling me to walk to the CVS for necessaries.
But what kind of human being decides to remove snow only to the exact boundary of their property and no further, and leaves 10 feet of a mountain of icy snow between their business and the next?
Really? How would you feel if your mother or grandfather encountered such dangerous conditions?
I don’t want to hear you did what was legally required. Do what’s right.
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