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The Comstock Connection
Friday, December 2, 2011

Dear Friend,   

With the Holiday Season upon us, I know that many of you are very busy.  I have had the opportunity to see many of you at events throughout the 34th District as I prepare to return to Richmond in early January for the 2012 Legislative Session.  I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on issues and events I have been involved with.


As you know, my office is always available to you and if you have a question or concern, please email or call my office if we can assist in any way.  I can be reached directly at [email protected]com, which comes directly to me and my legislative assistant, Elise Marsh.  I am only budgeted for one staff member, so if you do not reach us initially, please try again.  Our district office phone number is 703-772-7168.   

McLean Winterfest Parade
I look forward to seeing many of you at the McLean Winterfest Parade this weekend.  This is "McLean's only community parade" and Peggy Fox, from WUSA/Channel 9, will call the parade.  This is a wonderful annual tradition and a great opportunity to see many from our community.
Santa and McGruff

TONIGHT:  Great Falls Christmas Tree Lighting

The 21st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be held tonight on the Great Falls Village Green.  Festivities are ongoing throughout the day today, and the tree lighting will take place from 6-8pm.
Great Falls Santa 

Prepare for Winter Weather

VDOT SnowAs winter approaches, it is time to once again prepare for winter weather.  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provided us with some useful information to share with you. VDOT is responsible for clearing snow and ice on all state roads, which are marked by black and white route number signs. In Northern Virginia, there are more than 17,000 lane miles to clear when we have a storm. This year VDOT has a statewide snow-removal budget of $126 million ($11 million more than last year), of which $55 million has been allocated to Northern Virginia ($22 million more than last year).


VDOT Road Priorities are as follows:

  • Interstates (I-66, I-95/395, I-495)
  • High-Volume Routes (Routes 1, 7, 28, 29, 50, Fairfax County Parkway)
  • Main thoroughfares in neighborhoods or developments
  • Residential Streets
  • Cul-de-sacs

Once 2 inches of snow has accumulated on the roads, crews can begin plowing. Please note that it is VDOT policy to start plowing once 2 inches have accumulated. This year, trucks will be pre-positioned in subdivisions whenever a forecast calls for 2 or more inches. In the past, trucks have not deployed until after 2 inches had accumulated.   


The main thoroughfares in subdivisions are repeatedly plowed during a storm. Once the storm has stopped and these roads are clear, crews will work to make residential streets and cul-de-sacs "passable." A neighborhood street is considered passable when a path is drivable, with caution, for an average passenger vehicle. The road will not be cleared curb-to-curb or to bare pavement, and it may remain snow-packed, uneven and rutted, especially following any refreeze. Chemicals are not typically used in subdivisions, but crews will sand hills, curves, and intersections as needed to provide traction. For most storms, one snowplow pass, about 8-10 feet wide, is made.

VDOT Guidance:

  • Stay off the roads, let the plows clear the snow, and be patient
  • VDOT does not remove snow from sidewalks (there has been additional training for all plow drivers to not shovel onto fire hydrants, side walks, driveways, etc)
  • For an average 6 inch storm, VDOT's goal is to make 1 pass of all roads within 48 hours of the end of the storm
  • VDOT tries not to deploy trucks during rush-hour
  • Do not clear the last couple feet of your driveway until a plow has been through
  • When shoveling your driveway, shovel the snow to the right as you face the road
  • Avoid parking on the street, but if you have to park on the street, please park on the odd numbered side of the street to leave more room for trucks to drive through


During and after a storm, if you have a safety concern regarding a specific roadway or situation, please feel free to report it to our office or directly to VDOT:


My Office:

[email protected] 



In the event of a winter storm, I intend to post updates as I receive them on my website, www.delegatecomstock.com, and on Facebook and Twitter. I would also like to invite you to keep in touch and to send me information throughout a storm.



[email protected]

1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623)


Additional VDOT Resources:

  • www.511virginia.org - Provides real-time updates on traffic incidents and road conditions
  • Twitter - Follow VaDOT and 511northernva for news and information on VDOT projects and programs around the state and updates on traffic incidents and road conditions
  • www.facebook.com/virginiadot - learn about VDOT news and programs
  • www.youtube.com/vdotweb - view videos on snow removal and several other topics


Childhelp has teamed up with RESTAURANT.COM to provide you DINNER4DONATIONS by matching anything you give DOLLAR4DOLLAR up to $100. With the money you would spend at your favorite restaurant anyway, you can help a child in need - dollar for dollar. That means when you give to Childhelp, you will receive the same amount in a gift certificate to one of the 19,000 participating restaurants - DOLLAR4DOLLAR.  Click http://www.restaurant.com/available.asp to see participating restaurants in your area.


To participate, donate $25, $50, $75 or $100 to Childhelp and they will send you a Dining Code (within 24 hours) via email that you can enter into our Donations4Dinner - Dollar4Dollar website and download your Dining Certificate for dinner in that same amount. Restaurant.com has limited the matching to $100 but that doesn't mean you have to - if you're able to give more.  It could help pay for a child's meal for the entire year!   

McLean Orchestra Christmas Around the World

Join the McLean Orchestra for the Christmas Around the World concerts this weekend.  They are holding two concerts, Saturday, December 3 at 8pm or Sunday, December 4 at 3pm.  Both concerts will be held at Oakcrest School in McLean (850 Balls Hill Road).    

For a special treat, join the orchestra after the Sunday 3:00 p.m. concert at the new McLean 1910 Restaurant, which is hosting a special dinner for McLean Orchestra guests.  Anyone attending Saturday night or Sunday's concert who brings their ticket or stubs will receive 10% off all food orders. The restaurant is extremely excited about participating in McLean Orchestra's 2011/12 "Soiree Series."  To make reservations for the December 4th event, call McLean 1910 at 703-356-1700. 

Governor McDonnell Launches "Opportunity to Help Others" Month

Today, Governor McDonnell launched the "Opportunity to Help Others" (OTHers) month in Richmond.  OTHers month recognizes the ongoing need for support of faith-based and charitable organizations across the Commonwealth during the holidays.  For more information, visit the Governor's website.

Save the Dates:


Please let us know of any other events in your community that you would like us to feature in our newsletters.


Barbara Comstock

Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.