Residents of Balls Hill Road who have long suffered with trucks rumbling down their narrow winding two-lane residential street may get some relief in the future.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night requesting the Virginia Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of prohibiting thru truck traffic on Balls Hill which runs from Georgetown Pike to Lewinsville Road.
Balls Hill is "two winding lanes and at one point . . makes an almost ninety-degree blind turn that is dangerous to navigate especially when two automobiles pass. . . When it's a sizable truck coming the other way, it is always a tense situation trying to avoid either colliding with the truck, going into the ditch on one side, or into the railing on the other," said James Robertson, of McLean who lives just off Balls Hill.
Robertson, who waited for more than four hours to testify, was the lone community resident to speak. He is the co-chair of the Transportation Committee of the McLean Citizens Association. He was finally called to speak about 8:30pm.
Another resident, Lori Wertz, who has battled the trucks for several years said Wednesday, "Another waste of the taxpayers money. They have “studied” the traffic patterns and counts, speed, and the trucks numerous times over the past 17 years that I’ve lived on the corner, with no changes or improvements.
"The truck traffic must have tripled over the past couple years and I believe that the GPS may have something to do with it. Regardless, the trucks have increased noise and air pollution, not to mention the awful hours that they come barreling down the road, disturbing our sleep and quality time, and the fear of getting killed or seriously injured if they wreck. The speeding fine that they did post doesn’t seem to affect anyone, for the only time it was police enforced, was after I repeatedly called the station complaining," she said.
Dranesville Supervisor John Foust said after the passage of the resolution, “This does not end it today but gets the ball rolling.”
"I believe it’s a major safety issue," he said. "We should not have large trucks travelling over such narrow residential neighborhoods. . It’s also a quality of life issue for the neighbors because of the noise associated with the trucks," he said in an interview Wednesday.
Foust and the Balls Hill citizens have been working to curb truck traffic since 2009. Heavy trucks started using the road to avoid the Hot lanes and subway construction now choking the Beltway and other roads in Tysons Corner.
In a memorandum dated December 3, 2009, Foust requested the county staff to work with VDOT to implement through truck traffic restrictions on Georgetown Pike and Balls Hill Road due to continuing safety and noise concerns.
Next steps: the resolution goes to VDOT who will need to do studies and make a recommendation.