Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and County Board Chair Walter Tejada announced Wednesday that the state, county and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority are looking into leasing the air rights above I-66 near the East Falls Church and Rosslyn Metro stations in order to generate additional revenues for transportation improvements.
“By leasing airspace above certain transportation facilities owned by the Commonwealth, we can better utilize our existing infrastructure to generate additional revenues to fund future transportation improvements, while at the same time attracting new jobs and economic development,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Additionally, by co-locating these potential developments around existing Metro stations and other major transportation facilities, we can reduce congestion and create more livable communities.”
From the press release:
Air rights development projects have proven a successful revenue generator in other parts of the United States. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation, for example, generated $40 million in FY 2011 through leases, with long-term lease income projected at $868 million. Further, earlier this year MassDOT awarded a contract for an additional air rights project through a 99-year lease that will generate $18.5 million (net present value) in rental payments.
“Virginia has long been a leader in partnering with the private sector to advance innovative solutions to our transportation infrastructure needs,” said Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton. “The potential development of these air rights presents a unique opportunity to attract additional private sector investment to the Commonwealth and better utilize our existing assets to fund future transportation projects.”
Arlington County is currently undertaking a review of the Rosslyn Sector Plan. As part of that process, development over I-66 in the northern and eastern edges of the Rosslyn Metro Station area can be evaluated. While there are no existing mixed-use development rights over the I-66 right-of-way at either Rosslyn or the East Falls Church Metro Station location, the East Falls Church Area Plan currently supports mixed use development on VDOT and WMATA’s property next to I-66.
Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada emphasized, “It is important to involve our residents, businesses and developers in this conversation about air rights. We will ensure that any potential transit-orientated development using these air rights in Arlington County is consistent with our community’s vision and is consistent with the County’s land use and transportation plans.”
The state has issued a Request for Information to gauge private sector interest and feasibility. Following the RFI, the county, various state agencies and WMATA will weigh in on assessing how the air rights would match up with the planned development for the communities. The state will then issue a Request for Proposals in the fall, according to the governor’s office.
The Rosslyn project has a suggested location adjacent to the Lynn Street overpass, but staff of the state Office of Public-Private Partnerships said it would consider other areas of I-66 in Rosslyn if those were deemed feasible.
At East Falls Church, the area of I-66 between Sycamore Street and Route 29, including the Metro parking lot to the north, is the targeted area.
(Updated on 7/12/13) An Arlington County pickup truck struck a pedestrian in Crystal City this afternoon.
The county-owned Ford F-350 struck a female pedestrian on 12th Street between Army Navy Drive and Long Bridge Drive, according to scanner traffic. The woman was found under the truck and suffered non-life threatening injuries, including a leg and back injury.
The victim was transported to a local hospital. A police investigator took photos of the scene to document the incident. Firefighters were later called to the scene to wash blood from the pavement.
It’s unclear which county agency the truck belongs to. An Arlington County Police spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The Volunteers of America Residential Program Center at 1554 Columbia Pike is offering fitness classes to its residents and is looking for volunteers to help instruct.
The shelter is looking for qualified Zumba and yoga instructors. It describes the ideal candidates to teach Zumba as “fun, engaging and passionate,” and says all forms of yoga are welcome. The center writes in the volunteer announcements that it can be flexible with scheduling.
In addition to the fitness classes, the center is also hoping to start planting a garden in its backyard. It is looking for someone with gardening experience to work with the residents and teach them the finer points of starting a garden.
Those interested in applying should contact Volunteer Coordinator Joe Onyebuchi at 703-228-0017.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Mathew B. Tully of Tully Rinckey PLLC.
Q. If you get pulled over, what is the best way to respond to a police officer’s question of “Do you know how fast you were going?”
A. Of all the questions that we attorneys get, this is definitely one of the most common. At some point, almost everyone who drives will have some encounter with the police and nothing causes more anxiety than what to say. Since any statements will be used against you in court, it is of the utmost importance that you don’t incriminate yourself. Otherwise you may ruin any chance you have to contest the inevitable ticket.
However, you also do not want to lie to the police officer either. Experienced officers have heard just about any excuse or lie you may come up with, and they won’t get you out of the ticket. One of the biggest factors considered by the Commonwealth in any plea negotiations is your attitude towards the police officer, and lying may short-circuit any negotiations before they start.
So what is a driver to do when admitting guilt or lying about it can cause you problems at court? My recommendation is simply to express uncertainty or ask the officer to tell you how fast you were going. One of the most common issues in speeding cases is the calibration of speedometers, so it is quite likely you weren’t going exactly the same speed you thought you were anyway. The most important thing is to be polite, courteous, and non-argumentative with any police officer. Even the most skilled orators are not likely to talk their way out of a ticket, so why risk aggravating the officer and ruining any chances of leniency at court? The best advice is to say nothing substantive and let your attorney handle the talking at court.
Meet Benji, a sweet rescue dog with a spicy side, and this week’s Arlington Pet of the Week.
Here is what his owners had to say about him:
Benji is a four-year-old (we think) rescue dog who lives with us in Cherrydale. We adopted him just about three years ago and couldn’t have been more fortunate to find him. He’s an absolutely wonderful dog who has rebounded incredibly well from a very rough former life.
He really enjoys Arlington’s numerous dog parks, his over-sized bone, sleeping on pillows he’s not supposed to sleep on, and spending time with (or chasing) his fellow rescue brother, Leeroy (pictured in the third photo), around the house. He also has a knack for sneaking into the garden in the summertime and stealing Jalapeno peppers off the bush. We’ve affectionately nicknamed him peppers.
The Arlington Pet of the Week is sponsored by Dogma Bakery, which has locations at The Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) and the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2445 N. Harrison Street).
Want your pet to be considered to be the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a 2-3 paragraph bio and 3-4 photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a $25 Dogma gift card.
The Fourth of July — traditionally filled with fireworks exploding and open flames for barbecues — can be dangerous for pets, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington warns. All sorts of hazards can cause dogs and other critters harm or cause them to run away.
“Dogs have acute hearing — far more sensitive than human hearing — so firework explosions, excited voices, visual stimulation and smells can panic dogs causing them to be fearful, which can activate their fight or flight response,” Alice Burton, Chief Animal Control Officer for the AWLA, said in a press release. “For their own safety this holiday, indoor-outdoor cats should be kept indoors and when outside, dogs should be kept on a leash.”
The AWLA offers some tips to make sure the household pets have a safe holiday.
- Leave them at home inside. Fireworks, crowds and fanfare can be stressful for pets, causing them to panic or run off. Leave them in a safe area with a television or radio playing to mask frightening sounds.
- Alcoholic drinks poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure.
- Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent that is not specifically indicated for animals. Ingestion can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Deet, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
- Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets. Chlorates, a chemical substance found in some matches, if ingested, can cause difficulty breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. Lighter fluid can cause skin irritation, respiratory and gastric problems.
- Citronella and insect coils harm pets. Insect repellants are irritating toxins to pets. Inhalation can cause severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia, which can harm a pet’s nervous system.
- Resist feeding table food. A change in diet can give a pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
- Keep pets away from glow jewelry. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling, gastrointestinal irritation and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing the pieces of plastic.
- Never use fireworks around pets. While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
Flickr pool photo by ameschen
Miss Arlington Wins Miss Virginia Pageant – Desiree Williams, this year’s Miss Arlington, has captured the crown of Miss Virginia. The Newport News native and Hampton University graduate will compete for Miss America 2014 in September in Atlantic City. Williams performed Cubana Cubana on the piano for her talent and won support with her “Fit and Fun” platform. [Roanoke Times]
Deputy Accused of Murder Denied Bail — Arlington sheriff’s deputy Craig Patterson, accused of murder in the May 22 shooting of Alexandria resident Julian Dawkins, has been denied bail. He’s due back in court on Aug. 6. [WJLA]
Guilty Plea in Smash-and-Grab Robberies – Floyd Davis, 43, of Washington, D.C. pled guilty Tuesday to a role in the smash-and-grab robberies of several high-end retail stores in the D.C. area, including the March Tourneau robbery at Pentagon City mall that cost the store $600,000 worth of merchandise. Davis admitted in Alexandria federal court to scouting the store to see where security guards and patrons were positioned, but said he didn’t break glass or steal merchandise. [Washington Post]