Newsletter

Board of Supervisors Suggest Anti-Panhandling Signage at Intersections

Commuters in Fairfax County may soon see new anti-panhandling signs at major intersections.

At a Fairfax County Public Safety Commission meeting today (Sept. 17), county officials discussed strategies to keep panhandling at bay while still helping community members in need.

Back in July, the board approved a board matter from Supervisors John Cook and Pat Herrity that would prohibit “curb to curb” interaction between drivers and pedestrians, and the board directed county staff to create a proposed ordinance for the board to consider at the meeting today.

The ordinance, though, wasn’t brought up. “I thought we were going to have a draft ordinance today,” Herrity said.

Popular ideas discussed included implementation of informational signs at intersections, conducting surveys among panhandlers to see what resources the county can provide them and the possibility of implementing future ordinances.

Representatives from the County Attorney’s Office and the Public Safety Office presented signage from other jurisdictions that addressed the issue by discouraging passers-by from giving panhandlers money. The signs included a hotline suggesting resources for those in need.

“I think we should go the signage route before we consider an ordinance,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust agreed with Bulova’s statement. “We should try to avoid criminalizing behavior that is not having a serious impact,” he said.

Throughout the discussion, board members echoed concerns surrounding panhandling, saying that people hanging out near intersections are more likely to be hit by cars.

“I don’t care who it is or what they are trying to raise money for… [panhandling] is unsafe and I don’t like it,” Cook, who represents the Braddock District, said.

A few of the board members said they think putting up signs makes more sense than passing ordinances because if drivers stop handing out money, panhandlers won’t be making money anymore and will lose motivation.

“You’ve got to find out how to get these folks into a different environment and how to help them,” Cathy Hudgins, a board member representing Vienna and Reston said, adding that she thought the board is off to a good start toward a solution.  

As for where the signs would go, Providence District Supervisor  Linda Smyth said that the county will need to coordinate with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Now, the motion to approve the suggestions will be voted on at the Board of Supervisors meeting next Tuesday (Sept. 24).

“Have at it — all of the above,” Smyth said about the anti-panhandling suggestions.

Images via Fairfax County

Recent Stories

Giant Food in Vienna (via Google Maps) A man who allegedly fired a gun during a family dispute in the parking lot of Vienna’s Giant Food has been arrested, the…

Inova workers who helped administer Covid vaccines, including for school employees, will be among those honored by Fairfax County (photo by Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools) As work gets underway…

Inside Fairfax City Regional Library (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Fire Department Gets Grant for Cancer Screenings — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department recently got a $450,000 grant…

The Fairfax Board of Supervisors recently got a preview of what future transit connections between Tysons and Maryland could look like. At a transportation committee meeting on Tuesday (Jan. 31),…

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.

Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list