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Snow Response Renews Talks Of County Road Takeover In Fairfax

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By Jonathan Wilson

Virginia's Department of Transportation has shifted out of high gear when it comes to snow removal after the recent string of storms. In Fairfax, supervisors and residents are wondering if plowing would have been more efficient if it had been controlled at the county level.

Fairfax resident Cameron Foote says she was surprised by how well VDOT's plowing operations cleared the roads in the past few days. But she still thinks subdivisions and back roads would have been plowed faster if county, rather than state employees, were making the calls.

"I think the county needs to step up and do more, instead of waiting for the state," she says.

At today's Board of Supervisors Transportation meeting, supervisors Linda Smith and Pat Herrity expressed frustration at having to sit back and watch as VDOT did its best to respond to historic levels of snow.

"So help me, I heard a truck at 4:30 am on my own street," says Smyth. "And I thought, No! Go over one street! I know the roads are worse over there.'"

"I don't have at my command the resources to address the problems of the people," says Herrity.

The state has owned and maintained Fairfax County roads since the Depression era, but dwindling road maintenance funds have left county leaders increasingly unhappy with VDOT's performance.

All supervisors seem to agree that some level of increased county responsibility would be a good thing, but they're trying to figure out how much more Fairfax can afford.

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