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October 14, 2003 Newsletter

Most of us were without power for six days after Isabel damaged the power grid throughout Northern Virginia. We are seeking information from Virginia Power about measures they may take to reduce the vulnerability of the power transmission grid to storms, why we were among the last to have our power restored and what they could reasonably do to better inform us about the progress of restoration during an extended outage. The matter will be discussed at the next membership meeting, which will probably be in March.

On Friday, October 10 the Fairfax County refuse collection office informed us that the street-by-street collection of Isabel brush piles would continue through Saturday, October 18. After that date, residents with brush piles not yet picked up must call the usual number for a special brush pick-up (802 3322). This is for brush, not for yard debris such as leaves, twigs and clippings. Those must be bagged (paper or clear plastic bags) or tied in bundles no longer than 4 feet and placed at the curb for pick-up on scheduled trash pick-up days. Some areas currently have leaves and twigs scattered along the curb. Please try to get those bagged and placed at the curb for pick-up as soon as possible. Of course, leaves will be falling soon, necessitating more bagging for those who have not signed up and paid for county leaf pick-up, unless you have arrangements with a contractor for leaf removal. All residents are urged to avoid leaving leaf piles at the curb over the winter. They turn to mush and create hazardous driving conditions, in addition to being unsightly and impeding walkers.

About 80% of current residents have paid 2003 dues of $40 as voted by members last March. If you haven’t paid but wish to do so, thereby becoming a voting member of the Association, send your dues payment -- check payable to CWCA -- to Treasurer Charles Hoyt at 1532 Woodacre Drive. If you are a newcomer who arrived after July 1, you may pay one half the full amount. If we have a normal winter (not one like last winter) we should be able to recommend 2004 dues payments of less than $40 per household. The 2004 dues payment will be established by vote at the March meeting.

Our list of confidential e-mail addresses is growing, and we are finding it very useful for sending information to residents on a timely basis. If you have e-mail but have not been receiving our e-mail notices you are encouraged to send your address to Maureen Hurley at Her address may change soon, and you will be notified. Maureen generously and bravely offered to take over the e-mail list from Ellie LeBaron, who is now in Mauritania but is still maintaining our web site,

CHESTERBROOK ROAD TRAFFIC STUDY: Last June we began making plans for getting petition signatures of affected residents in Chesterbrook Woods and adjoining neighborhoods to have the County and Virginia DOT conduct a special traffic study of Chesterbrook Road. The purpose of the study would be to determine if the “cut-through” traffic volume (vehicles not leaving or arriving in our neighborhoods) is sufficient to warrant consideration of physical measures to help reduce the number of vehicles using that road to bypass other routes such as Old Dominion. Such measures might also be helpful in slowing the speeders. DOT rules require that at least 75% of more than 400 residents in the neighborhoods bordering Chesterbrook Road must sign the petition just to have the traffic analysis conducted. Then a special committee would be formed to examine and recommend what measures, if any, should be taken. (As a matter of information, two thirty-minute counts of vehicles entering Chesterbrook Road from both east and west ends during rush hour were made by CWCA president Arnold Braswell in June. The counts revealed that the cut-through traffic is more than sufficient to satisfy the criteria for considering physical measures. But such spot checks do not satisfy DOT requirements.)

Only a few residents responded to our request for volunteers to canvass the residents and get the petitions signed, obviously a time-consuming process. Also, discussions with various residents during the summer have led us to conclude that perhaps only a small number are concerned enough about the traffic on Chesterbrook Road that they would support physical measures, such as speed humps, to slow the traffic and possibly reduce the number of cut-through vehicles. We are now not confident of getting enough volunteers to canvass residents and not sure we could expect to get 75% of affected residents to sign the petition, or, if we did, that the necessary majority would then support physical measures proposed. So we are putting this project on the shelf, at least for the time being. It will be on the agenda for discussion during our March membership meeting. Our three neighboring associations along Chesterbrook Road have been advised of this decision.

No security incidents except two mail-box bashings have been reported in our community in recent months. Serious incidents should be reported promptly to Tim Daley, our security coordinator, after they have been reported to the police. E-mail reports of serious incidents will be sent then to all on our e-mail list. We also are sharing information on incidents with neighboring associations. The recent kidnapping and robbery of a congressman’s wife in McLean should remind us all not to leave garage doors or other doors unlocked for extended periods, daytime or nighttime.


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