Being Street Savvy in Middleridge
By: Jerry Reynolds, Neighborhood Watch
Several matters have emerged in Middleridge during the past few months that relate to our essential, shared thoroughfares. While markedly diﬀerent, each matter has had one thing in common … it related in some way to the Courts, Places, Drives, Lanes, Streets and Roads we use everyday
to get into and out of the neighborhood we call home!
The first challenge we faced as Autumn arrived was “gutter clutter!” The primary culprits were accumulating leaves, limbs and litter. Realtors often remind us that such a condition, particularly if widespread within a community can significantly detract from the positive curb appeal and value of the properties we hold dear! To our credit, Middleridge residents performed exceptionally well this Fall in the task of gathering up and removing the enormous quantity of leaves and stuﬀ that, for a while, covered everything. As responsible home owners/ occupants, we remembered that, except for what we might retain as mulch for our own lots, we had to rake, bag, and remove the rest of that pesky debris from our lawns AND the gutters and streets adjacent to our property — either by
ourselves or with the help of various commercial services. This outstanding eﬀort throughout Middleridge was a worthy tribute to a neighborhood celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Nice work Neighbors!
The second frustrating, uninvited issue that arose along our suburban throughways these past few months was a rash of unprovoked, senseless vandalism attacks against our private property. During the divisive period of the political campaigns, it took the form of egging and toilet papering
homes, spray painting children’s playground equipment in the park, and burning or stealing candidates’ signs from people’s yards. However, sadly, it has now taken a more costly and dangerous form of overnight, drive-by shootings into parked vehicles. Since October, in Middleridge and the
adjacent communities of Lindsey Park, Country Club View, and the western portion of Kings Park West, there have been over two dozen incidents of broken windows and paint chip damage to personal vehicles parked primarily in front of homes along residential through streets. The police have reported that in most cases nothing was taken in these “break-ins” and only vehicles parked in the street have been targeted. I recognize that in the unusual circumstances imposed upon us by the COVID-19 Pandemic and Quarantine, there are many and valid reasons why our garages and carports may be unavailable. However, I strongly urge you, whenever possible, to park your vehicles overnight in your garage, carport, or as far forward as possible on your driveway. If you become a victim of
such vandalism, please report it promptly to the non-emergency telephone number (703-691-2131) of the West Springfield District Station, Fairfax County Police Department. With the arrival of more ice and snow than we’ve seen so far, the third inevitable diﬃculty we are likely to encounter this Winter on our narrow, increasingly crowded streets in Middleridge will be getting from our home to the nearest primary State right-of-way that has been cleared. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is responsible for preparing/clearing all of the road surfaces that we’re going to need if we must go out, except for our driveways and the sidewalks in front of our homes; those are our responsibility to clear, usually within 24-hours after the end of the storm. If our weather forecasters predict a snowstorm/blizzard, please park as many of your vehicles as possible OFF THE STREET. To be eﬀective in their work, the snowplows need a clear,
open run down your street and a place to pile all that snow.
Since Middleridge is an open subdivision without gates, full-time guards, or dedicated leaf and snow removal services, it would be wise to become street savvy and actively employ the private passive measures available to us for enhanced preparation, safety and security!