Fairfax Co. to VDOT: Mow grass along roads, in medians more often

Some people choose electric mowers because they're environmentally conscious and want to reduce their carbon footprints. But benefits extend beyond the obvious. (Thinkstock)(Getty Images/iStockphoto/OlyaSolodenko)
WASHINGTON — Tall grass along the road can make it tough to see whether it is safe to turn and create an eyesore for the community, so Fairfax County is asking the Virginia Department of Transportation to mow more often.

“Even though summer’s winding down, we’re still seeing a number of challenges with the upkeep of medians and right of way alongside our roads,” Supervisor Jeff McKay said.

VDOT is responsible for most roadways across Northern Virginia, and generally schedules three mowing passes each year.

“Although they’ve been making a better effort at mowing this year, there are still a number of locations across my district — and the county for that matter — that have seen unacceptably high grass,” McKay said.

The Fairfax County board of supervisors is sending a letter to VDOT asking for an increase in next year’s budget to fund four mowing cycles each year.

“This is bad for everyone from residents to businesses to visitors and should not happen, and I will acknowledge it’s been an unusual weather year, that that’s part of the challenge, but frankly, three mowing cycles a year is the real challenge,” McKay said.

Supervisors also directed county staff Tuesday to look into what it would cost for the county to add some of its own mowing operations in locations where they are not satisfied with VDOT’s work, and to analyze where those locations may be.

McKay said other jurisdictions have done that already on key corridors, which is either a good thing since it addresses an issue, or a bad thing since it means the local government is footing the bill.

Even in Fairfax County, some private or homeowners groups already take on maintenance of some corridors.

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