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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — March 20, 2013 at 9:05 am 1,052 38 Comments

View across the Key Bridge into D.C.

It’s the First Day of Spring — At 7:02 this morning, astronomical winter ended and spring officially began. Spring also means longer days. Currently, we’re gaining about two and a half minutes of daylight per day. [Capital Weather Gang]

EFC Has Fullest Metro Parking Lot — East Falls Church has the fullest parking lot in the Metro system, with a 120 percent usage rate. Demand for the lot is only expected to increase when the Silver Line opens. [Washington Examiner]

Playground Coming to Long Bridge Park — The Arlington County Board yesterday approved $186,000 in funding for a new playground at Long Bridge Park, near Crystal City. [Sun Gazette]

La Tagliatella to Open in Shirlington — La Tagliatella, which is starting to wrap up work on its new restaurant in Clarendon, will be opening a second Arlington restaurant in the former Extra Virgin space in Shirlington. La Tagliatella is a global, European-based Italian restaurant chain. The Arlington restaurants will be the company’s third and fourth locations in the U.S. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Board Approves Neighborhood Projects — As expected, the County Board yesterday approved $2.5 million in funding for five Neighborhood Conservation projects. The funds will come from bonds approved by Arlington voters. [Arlington County]

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  • John

    Won’t the East Falls Church mixed-use redevelopment plans by the county eliminate all commuter parking at East Falls Church?

    • Josh S

      I don’t think there were ever any specific plans, rather a vision for what it could be. In any case, in that vision, I think that the parking was to move underground. But I also think that the total number of spaces would go down. And worse, the vision called for the elimination of the park and ride lot altogether, an even greater loss if you ask me.

      • Josh S

        Kiss and ride, I mean.

      • DeportEmAll

        There was no provision for parking, underground or otherwise. This was one of the central defects of the plan.

  • Enough

    Wish this weather would hurry up and make up it’s mind. 60 and beautiful yesterday afternoon, but a quick look at projected lows this week shows 35, 29, 33, 36…

    So over it.

  • DeportEmAll

    EFC parking lot is the fullest? Isn’t this the parking lot that Arlington Co. wants to eliminate and turn into high-density mixed use buildings in its “East Falls Church Master Redevelopment Plan?” Good thing the parking lot is owned/administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation, which has disallowed the Arlington plan.

    • Arlington Chris

      Well, it’s only a matter of time for EFC.

      Nobody would propose a commuter parking lot in Court House or Clarendon today. In 20 or 30 years, it’s very likely that EFC will go the same way, given its proximity to DC.

      • South Awwlington

        Chris – How would this happen? VDOT shifts course and turns the lot over to Arlington?

        • Arlington Chris

          In the next 5 to 10 years? No.

          But once the density goes up in East Falls Church, sure.

          • R. Griffon

            I don’t see why they would. As a state entity they don’t have any real motivation to turn a profit on the sale of highly desirable property. So they can keep it as long as they darn well like.

            The real solution is probably to turn it into a parking garage with many levels instead of a simple parking lot in order to accommodate both more commuters and potential visitors to shopping and dining if such a thing ever happens there. But I’d also suspect that there are a lot of Dulles corridor commuters parking there, who will now park farther out on the Silver Line. So maybe it’ll work out.

          • Irv

            There is also the possibility VDOT is holding the land in order to complete the widening of 66 out to the access road split.

          • tburger

            Irv is the winner.

          • ARL

            “As a state entity they don’t have any real motivation to turn a profit on the sale of highly desirable property.”

            Governments never have budget shortfalls?

          • R. Griffon

            > Governments never have budget shortfalls?

            Sure, all the time. But I’ve never known them to sell property in order to make up the difference when it provides so relatively little for a 1-time transaction (with accompanying loss of land use) when it’s so much easier to make program cuts and/or raise taxes to generate continual relief. But you’re welcome cite examples of the former if you like.

        • Martin Torrijos

          Where did this VDOT refusing come from? Link?

    • ARL

      I wonder how many of those users of the EFC lot will no longer want it when the Silver Line opens.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Except things aren’t as rosy as this. See

      http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-03-10/business/37605713_1_fort-totten-metro-director-development-partners

      Current metro plans look to be flipping it over to private(in the process of adding tons of density) and the obvious increase in $/day that would accompany that.

      • DeportEmAll

        I love how the county’s EFC redevelopment plan continues to conveniently overlook that the crucial parking lot is owned by VDOT. The county’s multipage plan document is silent on this. And VDOT has reconfirmed it will not transfer the property or allow the parking lot to be eliminated.

        • Martin Torrijos

          Can you provide a link that confirms this? I looked around and can’t find any articles or announcements from VDOT. What did I miss?

          • tburger

            Not everything is in a book or can be found in a link. It is just common knowledge if you go to enough local hearings or talk with VDOT officials.

        • OX4

          Somehow I doubt VDOT has such a vested interest in this parking lot.

          • tburger

            What government agency/dept, at any level, voluntarily gives up control of anything. VDOT has a vested interesting in expanding 66 to 3-4 lanes and that is what they are holding the property for.

    • OX4

      Yes, let’s save a flat, hot, ugly, trash-producing, water-polluting
      concrete lot dedicated to the storage of metal and glass vehicles. It’s more important that our cars be close to the Metro rather than the existence of a vibrant living community.

      • Oscar

        Such drama!

        • OX4

          Hey that’s my bit! And where’s my oscar?

      • R. Griffon

        Public transportation isn’t much good if people can’t get to it. Not everyone lives along a bus line.

        • cyclist

          And not everyone can ride a bike to Metro.

          Though more people probably could.

        • Clarendon

          Is Metrorail suffering from a lack of ridership ?

          • R. Griffon

            I think that’s a matter of opinion. While rush hour trains are plenty full, they are continually loosing money. One of the most logical ways to remedy that is to increase ridership through increased capacity. But you can’t do that very easily if people know they can’t park their car when they get there.

          • OX4

            The purpose of a mass transit system is not to make money. It exists primarily to transport people.

            At any rate–and I have no data to back this up besides satellite views of the B-R corridor–allowing people and businesses to move closer to the station will increase ridership more than building 11 acres of parking lots.

  • electricbill

    It sure didn’t take long to fill the Extra Virgin space.

    • Deadite

      That’s what she said.

      • drax

        You are awarded 1/2 FREDTERP.

      • hak

        Pretty sure he set you up for that.

  • M5

    Looks like a great stretch to do 90.

  • GMo

    I’m fairly certain EFC also has the longest wait to rent out one of those bicycle boxes they have there. Something like a 8 year waiting list for those…

  • The Arlington Way

    “It’s not about school nurses,” snapped back board member Chris Zimmerman.

    Seriously?

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