Much of the Pike — with four travel lanes, a turn lane and, eventually, a streetcar line — does not have room for bike lanes. Meanwhile, traffic tends to be too fast and too congested for safe shared use by bicyclists. And the sidewalks are too narrow for bicyclists and pedestrians to safely co-exist.
So what are cyclists — and county planners — to do? The solution being discussed tonight, which has been in the works since 2004, would create two “bicycle boulevards” that run on quiet residential streets parallel to the Pike.
The east-west routes — along 9th Street S. and 12th Street S. — would remain open to vehicular traffic but would be marked as designated bicycle boulevards. In addition to street markings, crosswalks, signage, and trail access, the project would include bicycle and pedestrian safety enhancements to the busy intersections of S. Walter Reed Drive and 9th Street, S. Walter Reed Drive and 12th Street, S. Glebe Road and 9th Street and S. George Mason Drive and 12th Street.
Some have expressed concern that the creation of the bicycle boulevards could produce additional safety hazards and disturbances for residents along the routes. Those critics and other interested parties will be able to learn more about the project tonight at a public meeting. The meeting is scheduled to be held at the Patrick Henry Elementary School Cafeteria (701 S. Highland Street) starting at 7:00 p.m.
Map via Arlington County
Arlington and the rest of the region is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch through 10:00 tonight.
Forecasters say today’s scorching temperatures — we’re also under a Heat Advisory through 8:00 p.m. — will help fuel potentially severe storms late this afternoon or early this evening. The scattered storms will accompany a cold front that is heading toward the region from the west.
“Thunderstorms will have the potential to become severe… producing damaging wind gusts and large hail,” the National Weather Service said.
With about 30 new Capital Bikeshare stations planned for the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor over the next 6-12 months, the county is seeking input as to where exactly the new stations should go.
Planners have already identified 33 potential CaBi expansion sites throughout the corridor. They have now scheduled a public meeting to discuss the proposed station locations and to gather additional location suggestions. The selection criteria for new stations stipulate that the stations get 4+ hours of direct sunlight daily, be on flat ground and avoid creating “a dangerous situation for street users,” among other requirements.
The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on June 27 , in the Cherry/Dogwood rooms of the county government building at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.
A list of the proposed station locations, after the jump.
Rep. Jim Moran has inserted an amendment into an agricultural funding bill that will continue to ban federal inspections of horse meat. The ban effectively prevents the slaughter of horse meat for interstate or foreign export.
Moran’s office has issued the following press release about the amendment.
Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, successfully included an amendment to the Fiscal Year ’12 Agricultural Appropriations Act to eliminate funding for USDA inspection of horsemeat. By defunding federal inspections, the amendment will prevent the cruel practice of horse slaughter in the United States.
“Industrial slaughter of horses should not be condoned by the United States Government,” said Rep. Moran. “We have to put an end once and for all to this practice. These animals are a proud symbol of the American West, treasured by all for their beauty and majesty. They deserve to be cared for, not killed for foreign consumption.”
Identical language was overwhelmingly approved in 2006 and has been included in the Agricultural Appropriations bill every year when introduced in subcommittee. This year the language had been stripped out and the Moran amendment sought to reinstate it.
A ban on USDA inspections halts the issuance of certifications for horsemeat exports, which has stopped operations at horse slaughter facilities and prevented new facilities from opening. In addition to improving U.S. animal welfare, the Moran amendment will reduce federal spending by $5 million each year. The FY’12 Appropriations Act now heads to the floor for a full vote by the House of Representatives.
The amendment has received the support of the Animal Welfare Institute and the Humane Society of the United States.
“Adding millions of dollars to the federal budget to inspect foreign-owned horse slaughter plants would have been a step backwards for America’s iconic horses and a waste of tax dollars,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Congressman Jim Moran for leading the charge to restore this critical horse protection provision, and to the House Appropriations Committee for reining in this multi-million-dollar subsidy that would paved the way for the needless killing of American horses for foreign gourmands.”
When the adjacent El Chaparral Meat Market closed earlier this year, the owners of Boccato Gelato & Espresso in Clarendon (2719 Wilson Blvd) spotted an opportunity. They signed a lease for the space, and are now in the process of converting it into a bar/lounge.
The new “Boccato Lounge” will serve as a “place for families and the community to gather,” according to co-owner Cristian Velasco. Featuring beer, wine and live entertainment, the lounge will similar to Tryst in Adams Morgan — a hybrid coffee/alcohol hang-out spot.
Velasco says the lounge will allow Boccato to give its coffee and espresso program the attention it deserves, while giving customers more room to enjoy their drinks. There will, of course, be free WiFi.
The lounge will include a stage where local musicians will be able to perform and movies will be able to be screened. Velasco envisions Latin, jazz and bluegrass musicians taking the stage on some nights, and DJs performing on other nights. The rest of the lounge space will be able to accommodate various community uses, including yoga in the mornings, educational events during the day, salsa dancing at night and kids activities on weekends.
“Chill atmosphere, good music,” is how he summarized the concept.
Meanwhile, Velasco is busy opening a second Boccato Gelato on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. He expects the store to open in late June. No word yet on when Boccato Lounge may open.
H/t to John Fontain
Arlington has one of the lowest rates of sex offenders per capita in the region, according to local sex offender registries.
Arlington County has 70 resident sex offenders registered with Virginia State Police. When compared to the county’s population (approximately 210,000), that means that Arlington has one sex offender for every 3,000 residents. Compared to a selection of other local jurisdictions, that’s the lowest rate in the area.
- Arlington Co. — 1 : 3,000
- Loudoun Co. — 1 : 2,600
- Fairfax Co. — 1 : 2,500
- Prince William Co. — 1 : 2,000
- District of Columbia — 1 : 675
Of Arlington’s 70 registered sex offenders, 48 have South Arlington addresses and 22 have North Arlington addresses.
Panel Recommends Building New Schools — An Arlington Public Schools advisory council has come out with a report that recommends new construction to help ease the looming school capacity crisis. The panel recommends building one or two new elementary schools and adding capacity at two existing middle schools. In addition to the construction, they suggest adding as many as 40 classroom trailers. Questions linger as to whether the county has enough debt capacity to follow the building recommendations. [Sun Gazette]
Adopt-a-Cat Month at AWLA — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (2650 South Arlington Mill Drive) has declared June to be Adopt-a-Cat Month. With the shelter — and other shelters like it – inundated with homeless felines, AWLA is trying to find homes for its “Desperate Housecats” — cats that have been at the shelter more than four months. The adoption of such cats is free through the end of the month. [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]
‘Art Every Day’ at Artisphere — Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) is unveiling two new murals to the public today. The words “Art Every Day” and “Live For Art,” designed by notable local artist Linda Hesh, will appear on two glass panes within Artisphere. The cultural center will also distribute “Art Every Day” decals to visitors, who are then in turn encouraged to photograph the decals in various locales and situations. “Art Every Day” will also appear on food court tabletops at the tourist-laden Pentagon City mall, which should give a boost to Artisphere’s promotional efforts. [TBD]
First arriving firefighters found heavy smoke and flames at the front and back of the house on the 5100 block of N. Carlin Springs, said Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl. One victim had managed to escape the blaze, but another was still trapped inside on the second floor.
“[Firefighters] made an aggressive interior attack and search,” Karl said. “They located the victim and removed the victim via ground ladder from a second floor window.”
The two victims were transported to Virginia Hospital Center. The woman who had been rescued was then flown to Baltimore Shock Trauma for treatment of smoke inhalation, Karl said.
The flames broke out around 1:45 a.m. Northbound and southbound Carlin Springs Road was closed near the scene for much of the morning, as the Fire Marshal’s office investigated the cause of the blaze.