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April 2006 Newsletter

Payment of dues
Accompanying this newsletter is a request letter and a form for dues payment by each household. At the March 27 meeting the members present voted unanimously to set the 2006 dues at $20 per household in order to insure adequate funds for the proposed budget. We hope that all residents will act promptly to mail in the dues which enable our Association to provide services of value to all.

Report of March 27 Members' Meeting
The meeting was well attended. Most of the discussions were about measures to improve traffic safety, as described further below. Bill Stephens gave a report on activities of the McLean Citizens Association, where he sits on the Board as the representative of CWCA. Roger Nucho discussed snow removal operations. Tim Daley reviewed crime incidents and suggested measures by residents to improve security against break-ins. For a list of suggestions, see below. Tim also reminded members of the need for volunteers to support our neighborhood patrol program.

CWCA Treasurer Charles Hoyt presented the income and expenses for the past year and the proposed budget for the coming year. The budget provides for total expenses of $9,900 plus a reserve of $8,000 for unanticipated expenses such as additional snow removal and sanding expenses in the event of heavy snows next winter. Members present unanimously approved the proposed budget by voice vote.

Rosemary Ryan, as Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the Committee's nominees for CWCA officers for the coming year. The nominees were unanimously elected. The officers are:

President: Arnold Braswell
Vice-president: Kevin Connelly
Treasurer: Charles Hoyt
Secretary: Nicki Watts

Traffic Safety on Forest Lane
At our request a traffic analysis was recently conducted on the section of Forest Lane between Chesterbrook Road and Mosswood Lane to determine eligibility for possible traffic calming measures. Mr. Doug Hansen, Director of the Fairfax County Residential Traffic Administration Program, came and presented the results and his suggestions. The traffic volume and speeds recorded did not qualify Forest Lane for consideration of approved traffic calming measures, but Mr. Hansen acknowledged that the narrow street, the sharp curve near the Woodley Road intersection and limited sight distances presented hazards. He recommended "chevron" markers to delineate the sharp curve, which a VDOT official who visited our community had already recommended and stated that VDOT would install. In response to our previous recommendation for a yellow centerline to encourage drivers to stay in their lane around the curves, he stated that VDOT was not in favor of that but implied that he would ask VDOT to put a centerline on a portion of the road if we again ask for it, which members agreed that we should do. (VDOT is the final authority for any traffic control measures on our streets, which are all state roads.) Members also voted to request a sign on Forest Lane near the entrance from Chesterbrook Road warning drivers to watch for children.

Traffic Safety on Chesterbrook Road
As most residents will recall, CWCA last year requested consideration of posting signs announcing additional fines of $200 for speeding on Chesterbrook Road. The posted speed limit is 25 mph, but in reality that amounts to a limit of 34 mph because police are not permitted to cite speeders unless they are over the posted limit by 10 mph or more A traffic analysis three years ago revealed a volume of 5600 cars per day, with more than 15% traveling over 37 mph. However, we put the $200 additional fine proposal on the shelf, so to speak, because of mixed views on the issue by affected residents in our community and a lack of response at that time by adjoining communities.

Some residents who are still concerned about speeding on the busy road are requesting a renewed effort to get support for the increased fines within the communities bordering the road. In recent years there have been a number of serious accidents at intersections along this road, four of which involved fatalities, according to police records provided to us. At our members' meeting a substantial majority voted, following considerable discussion, to support renewing the attempt to establish an additional fine of $200 for speeding. VDOT has stated that such fines have proved to be effective speeding deterrents where established. Kathleen Cooney-Porter has agreed to take charge of this project. She will first attempt to get the views of the adjoining associations, which have been informed. If there appears to be sufficient support among those communities a canvass will then be necessary of those residents in our area who are determined by the office of Joan DuBois to be sufficiently affected that they should have a vote, pro or con. In a letter to us last year Ms. DuBois stated that at least 60% of those voting must support the proposal to justify her support for it.

Home Security Measures
Burglaries are rare in our community, but they continue to occur, along with thefts from parked cars. The recent disclosure of a serial burglar who burglarized at least 17 homes in McLean and Falls Church, most during the day-time, reminds us that we should think about ways to help protect our homes from criminals. Here are some ideas.

  1. Alarm system with motion detectors, linked to a control center.
  2. Ask neighbors to report apparent intruders when you are not at home. Keep neighbors informed of absences. If you see anyone entering a neighbor's home when it is vacant and have reason to suspect wrongful entry, call the police. Watchful neighbors are great crime preventers.
  3. Keep doors and windows locked. Lock your inside garage door at night and when away. Disable garage door openers when away.
  4. Install outside motion-detector lights, especially on streets without street lights.
  5. Put on-off timers on a couple of lamps when away.
  6. Install dead bolts on doors if needed.
  7. Stop newspapers when away, or ask a neighbor to collect them.
  8. Turn off answering machine beepers before going away overnight. They give away your absence.
  9. Keep cars locked if parked outside.
Appreciation of Alice Chambers
Alice did a great job as our Association secretary for the past four years, and we thank her for many contributions. She has long been a willing volunteer in our neighborhood patrol, and a wise counselor on neighborhood issues. We are glad that she and Ray will be around to lend a hand or give advice when needed.

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