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Board Says 'No' to Trucks on Stevenage

Reston residents tired of idling trucks engines in the middle of the night will soon be able to sleep more soundly.

During its Dec. 9 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution, pushed by Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), to install "No Parking" signs along a truck-strewn stretch of Stevenage Road in Reston.

Stevenage connects Reston Parkway and Bennington Woods Road and it serves as an access to the nearby Home Depot shopping center. The road, and the many trucks parked there overnight, with their refrigerators running, has resulted in numerous complaints from residents in the Whisperhill community of Reston. Residents were so fed up with the constant humming of trucks and the loitering of truck drivers behind their townhouse community that they submitted a petition of more than 1,000 signatures to the board.

Previously, Stevenage had been zoned commercial on the south side and residential to the north. Neighbors organized a petition that, in the end, effectively changed the zoning for Stevenage.

"It just shows you that it is always good to get involved in your community," Hudgins said, praising the Whisperhill community's action. "They identified a clear problem and luckily we were able to find a solution. I think it is a good outcome."

<b>"I AM ECSTATIC.</b> I can't tell you how pleased I am that the board acted in the way that they did," said David Pierpont, one of the leaders of the Whisperhill petition drive. "I moved to Reston because of its unique balance with residential and commercial, so I know that Stevenage was zoned with the right intentions. Unfortunately, people took advantage of that and the road became a safety hazard and an eyesore. This was the right move."

The resolution orders the introduction of "No Parking" and "No Parking 9 p.m. to 7 a.m." signs on the disputed stretch of Stevenage. A portion of the north side of the road will be posted with the time-sensitive signs, according to Hudgins. Signs for the portion of the roadway in front of the Reston North Park, the remainder of the north side and all of the south side will be posted with the "No Parking" signs. According to a spokesperson for Hudgins, the signs have already been ordered.

"My hope is that by installing these signs we will have appropriately responded to the concerns of community members near Stevenage Road and will effectively lift the blight of non-resident commercial vehicles in their neighborhood," Hudgins said.

To change the county code, Hudgins needed to persuade her fellow supervisors that parking on the north and south side of Stevenage created "a safety hazard for pedestrians traveling along both sides of the road."

The Hunter Mill supervisor first addressed the issue with the full board on July 1. At that time, the Board of Supervisors approved the installation of "No Parking" signs along the north side of the 30-foot-wide street.

According to Hudgins, residents have complained about parking along Stevenage for several years. "Over the past two years, efforts have been made by both the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and the Reston District Police Station to remedy the situation," her office said in a release announcing the board's decision.