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Neighborhood Projects Set for Approval

by ARLnow.com — March 13, 2013 at 11:15 am 36 Comments

Proposed Tyrol Hill Park improvementsThe Arlington County Board will consider approving $2.5 million worth of Neighborhood Conservation Program projects at its meeting on Saturday.

Out of the 27 projects considered by the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee in December, five were recommended for funding.

  • Park improvements at Tyrol Hill Park in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood. Improvements — pictured, left — include demolition of the old existing play area, construction of a new tot and school-age play area, accessibility improvements, new concrete walkways, new site furnishings and a new water fountain. ($670,000)
  • Street improvements on N. Buchanan Street between 24th Road and 24th Street N., in the the Old Dominion neighborhood. The project proposes a 24-foot wide roadway, curb and gutter improvements, and a 5-foot wide sidewalk on either side of N. Buchanan Street. ($310,246)
  • New streetlights on 9th Street, 7th Street and S. Highland Street in the Arlington Heights neighborhood. The project will install “Carlyle style” LED lights. ($477,339)
  • Park improvements at Chestnut Hills Park in the Yorktown neighborhood. The project includes “frontage and beautification improvements,” as well as new benches, a new accessible pathway to a portable toilet, a new enclosure for the toilet and pedestrian safety improvements. ($708,776)
  • New streetlights on N. Cleveland Street between 1st Road N. to Washington Blvd, in the Lyon Park neighborhood. The project will install “Carlyle style” LED lights. ($147,843)

This round of Neighborhood Conservation funding also includes $200,000 for “missing link” projects.

Funding for the projects will be provided through Neighborhood Conservation bonds. The Neighborhood Conservation program allows neighborhood groups to apply to the county for public improvements requested by residents.

  • JimPB

    I am at a utter lost as to how the improvements at Chestnut Hills Park can cost $708,776.

    Edited from ArlNow.Com: Park improvements at Chestnut Hills Park in the Yorktown neighborhood includes “frontage and beautification improvements,” as well as new benches, a new accessible pathway to a portable toilet, a new enclosure for the toilet and pedestrian safety improvements. ($708,776)

    • JoshInBallston

      Toilet enclosures are as frivolous as million dollar dog parks.

    • drax

      So are you going to go find out why it costs that much? Or are you going to just assume why? I think I know which.

      • http://twitter.com/Dezlboy Dezlboy

        Bingo!

    • Ashton Heights Represent

      one acronym: ADA

      • novasteve

        I pray for the day that NYC and the MTA has to comply with the ADA for the NYC Subway. That would be SO FUNNY.

      • JimPB

        The park and portable toilet are already functionally ADA.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Two times now we were supposed to get new streetlights in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Two times folks came out and surveyed the site.
    Two times they did nothing.

    Does the county just say they’re approving things so it seems like they’re doing something then never follow through?

    • Josh S

      If it going to be through the Neighborhood Conservation funding, then it only happens if your project is approved by the committee (largely citizens). If you guys already won and it is still being held up, that’s a different story….

  • Alex

    Not enough street improvements.

  • JoshInBallston

    It would be nice to see a traffic light at 9th and Quincy. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed there at rush hour.

    • B_Lee_D

      Or at least stop signs (4-way)

    • Gman

      Seriously! I’ve had some close encounters myself.

  • Ashton Heights Represent

    Ashton Heights has been promised a sidewalk from N. Pershing to Wilson Boulevard (VA. Square Metro) along N. Oakland street for years. There have been petitions, the civic association wrote letters, but it’s going nowhere. I thought the county was in favor of walking corridors and car free commutes?

    • brown before green

      Promised? Through what process? Petitions and letters make a fuss, but there is a well-established process (called Neighborhood Conservation) to actually make these things happen.

    • ARL

      Promised? It was in a budget somewhere? What does promised mean exactly?

    • Josh S

      It is possible that individual property owners are balking. Normally, the addition of a sidewalk where there is none will mean taking some of the property owners’ land.

      All of this would not necessarily be public.

      • ARL

        Yeah, in fact, there used to be a requirement that a certain percentage of owners on that street approve. Don’t know if that’s still true.

        It’s funny how people want government to be responsive, but then don’t like it when it responds to someone else instead of them.

      • UrsaJ

        Actually, the county owns a certain number of feet along each street…people assume that they own to the street…but they don’t.

    • http://twitter.com/Dezlboy Dezlboy

      Why don’t you contact your ArCo Community Association or your neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee to find out

  • John Rambo

    Imagine how great the neighborhood improvements could be if we do not go through with the Trolley. A project which like many others like it in the past will be plagued by optimistic ridership and revenue forecasts, financial losses and capital cost overruns which we in Arlington will have to suck up to the detriment of being able to projects like these.

    • ARL

      “A project which like many others like it in the past”

      What other projects are you referring to?

      • John Rambo

        Nearly any and all mass transit projects in the past 30 years…From the Detroit Rail to the Tampa Trolley….all over budget and all fell way below ridership forecasts.

        • ARL

          Prove that please.

          • John Rambo

            Detroit people mover had estimate of 67, 700 daily riders when planned; averages about 7, 000. Max ridership ever was 54, 000. Costs to operate are over $4.20 per passenger mile…the buses in detroit operate at $0.82 per passenger mile. Infrastructure is there so they cannot get rid of it and it continues to drain the bank.

          • Juanita de Talmas

            Yes, economically declining Detroit is always a good comparison to economically booming Arlington.

    • OX4

      ” A project which like many others like it in the past will be plagued
      by optimistic ridership and revenue forecasts, financial losses and
      capital cost overruns which we in Arlington will have to suck up to the
      detriment of being able to projects like these.”

      Interesting sentence structure you got going on there.

      • speonjosh

        Hey Strong Bad, I’ve been meaning to ask a question – are you now moonlighting as Prof Doofenschmirtz?

    • JohnB

      Streetcar = neighborhood improvement.

      • John Rambo

        If you like Electric wires running along a street and iron tracks on the concrete that will share a lane with cars and buses….

      • Guest

        Obamacare will cost every employer $3,000 per employee per year starting
        2014.There are ~10,000 Arlington County employees which means 2014
        budget needs $31 million extra dollars. I hear no discussion of this but
        plenty of pet projects being sneaked in. Have you noticed that? Mark my
        words, January 2014, Arlington County will start to whine about the
        shortfall in the budget and that taxes are necessary to move forward.
        Meanwhile 2013 pet projects will be pushed through. Making sense?

  • Bob

    The best use of Arlington County money was spent on the lights placed in the streets “lighting up” the cross-walks at Ballston. That was so cool. Sometimes I’d walk out after midnight just to look at them, and I’d say to myself “These lights safely light the way to the heaven of Ballston Mall!” Now we have some bike lanes actually painted green on the street. That’s so cool, too! We should adorn the bike-lanes with those same lights. That way bikers don’t have to spend money to wear reflective vests and put all those silly lights on their bikes.

  • Guest

    Obamacare will cost every employer $3,000 per employee per year starting 2014.There are ~10,000 Arlington County employees which means 2014 budget needs $31 million extra dollars. I hear no discussion of this but plenty of pet projects being sneaked in. Have you noticed that? Mark my words, January 2014, Arlington County will start to whine about the shortfall in the budget and that taxes are necessary to move forward. Meanwhile 2013 pet projects will be pushed through. Making sense?

    • Matt Petco

      If you repeat it enough times, maybe it will.

  • NCACisaJOKE

    Why are neighborhoods forced to compete with each for the basics like lighting and sidewalk improvements?

  • Mike in Barcroft

    It’s amazing that the tone of these comments differ from those on the cost of the first super stop for the Columbia Pike streetcar system, which only cost Arlington 200K.

    Reading this article and just picking one item, the “Carlyle style” LED lights at $477,339, makes me wonder why so many people have so much negativity to say about ANY development along the Pike.

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