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Latest (May 11 2020) from VDOT on Route 7 Improvements

Trotting Horse Lane will be closed at Route 7 until 2021. Follow the detour on Forestville Drive and Fairpine Lane.
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National Park Service to Deploy Temporary Traffic Signs to Ease Traffic Problems at Great Falls National Park

 GFCA has been working with the National Park Service (NPS) on ways to mitigate the backups that occur sporadically near the park entrance on Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion.  NPS will soon launch a tool to address the traffic congestion near the park by piloting three variable message signs, one of which will be in Great Falls. The idea is to alert would-be visitors about full parking lots and wait times before they reach Great Falls National Park so that they might temporarily delay their arrival or go elsewhere.

One sign will be located adjacent to the eastbound lane on Georgetown Pike near the rear entrance to Great Falls Center and across from the Great Falls Library. The other two are in McLean, one near the Old Dominion/Springhill Rd. intersection and another just west of the I-495 exit to Georgetown Pike.

As there is no law or regulation regarding traffic control signs on Virginia Byways, and because these signs are temporary, the NPS pilot provides an opportunity to determine whether traffic near the park can be reduced. The signs will be lit only when needed and will be turned off at night when the park is closed. The signs will be removed in the fall. As required by VDOT, orange traffic barrels will be placed in front of the Variable Message Sign (VMS) units.

The signs are similar to the one that the park has been using on Old Dominion. At about 4 ½ feet wide by 7 ½ feet high, the NPS  solar powered sign is smaller than the typical VDOT VMS. Messages will be controlled and changed remotely by NPS.

GFCA’s Transportation Committee will continue to coordinate with NPS, McLean Citizens Assoc. and Fairfax supervisor Foust's office on the evaluation of this pilot.  We look forward to your feedback on this initiative: contact Transportation@GFCA.ORG

Phased Reopening of Fairfax County Parks Begins in Time for Memorial Day Weekend

May 19, 2020 - The Park Authority has begun reopening of parking lots and parks in the park system to be open for the Memorial Day weekend. Park Authority staff will begin the process of clearing barricades and opening parking lots at all 427 parks for our community on Wednesday, May 20 through Friday, May 22. These parks will reopen for limited use in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines from the Virginia Governor’s office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All facilities and restrooms will remain closed at this time.

Park visitors are asked to adhere to the physical distancing guidelines and small group guidelines (do not exceed ten people), to avoid closed facilities or apparatus, and to keep in mind that restrooms and park buildings will not be open at this time.

Of course, there are certain amenities that will remain closed at this time due in large measure to health safety concerns. Park Authority amenities that are closed are:

  • Restrooms and all portable restrooms
  • Dog parks
  • All playgrounds including Clemyjontri Park and Chessie's Big Backyard
  • Nature centers, visitor centers, horticultural centers, and RECenters
  • Volleyball and basketball courts
  • Athletic fields
  • Water fountains are turned off

To get the latest information about how the coronavirus is impacting parks and find answers to many frequently asked questions, go to the FCPA Coronavirus Response page on the Park Authority website. For more information, contact the Park Authority at 703-324-8700 or send an email to

GFCA Comments on Widening I-495

GFCA recently provided feedback to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) regarding the I-495 Express Lanes Northern Extension. Because construction of the Express Lanes will also include modifications to the Georgetown Pike/I-495 interchange, this project will have a direct impact on the Great Falls community. (Read More)

Glass Recycling Bin Returns to Great Falls
The GFCA Environment and Parks Committee learned on May 6 that the purple glass recycling bin has returned to the parking lot behind the library. Residents may once again drop off glass bottles and jars; Fairfax County will make an official announcement on May 11.

Board Election Postponed
Due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, the GFCA Board has unanimously agreed to temporarily postpone its annual in-person election of board members and officers at its June townhall meeting as required under the By-Laws. (Read More)

If you have an interesting news story you would like to share concerning the Great Falls Community, please send it along with any photos to Communications

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