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Morning Notes

by Katie Pyzyk | June 13, 2013 at 9:30 am | 819 views | No Comments

Stormy skies over Pentagon City on June 13, 2013

Clarendon Center Wins Architectural Award — The Clarendon Center development has won a 2013 Charter Award, which is a global architectural award for excellence in urban design. The building straddles the 3000 block of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd. Clarendon Center was highlighted for being an example of walkable urban density in a suburban context and for its use of Art Deco styling. [Congress for the New Urbanism]

Arlington Transit Bus Survey — Arlington Transit is asking residents to fill out an online survey regarding the county’s bus service. Survey respondents are asked to suggest improvements for ART and Metrobus service. The information will help shape updates to the county’s six-year Transit Development Plan. The survey closes on Friday, June 28. [Arlington Transit]

Dream Scholarship Award Ceremony on Friday — Twenty-nine students from Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax will be honored at Friday’s Dream Scholarship award ceremony. Undocumented students in good academic standing qualify for the scholarship if they or one of their parents were born outside of the United States, and the student will attend an accredited college or university. The ceremony takes place on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Arlington Education Center (1426 N. Quincy Street). [Facebook]

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | June 26, 2012 at 8:29 am | 3,902 views | 117 Comments

Arlington Assists With Falls Church Barricade — The Arlington County Police Department’s SWAT team relieved the Fairfax County SWAT team overnight at the scene of a barricade situation on Hillwood Avenue in Falls Church. Despite efforts to coax him out, an armed man remains in a Hillwood Avenue house, in a standoff with police. Alexandria’s SWAT team is now relieving Arlington’s team, ARLnow.com is told. Paramedics from the Arlington County Fire Department are also on the scene. [WTOP]

Survey: More Residents Will Ride Streetcar — According to a survey cited by Arlington County officials, 60 percent of area residents say they will never take the bus, while 60 percent of residents say they’re willing to try a streetcar. In an ARLnow.com survey on Friday, just over 50 percent of respondents said they would prefer a streetcar on Columbia Pike, versus bus options. [Washington Post]

Citizen Seating at Bus Stops — A local resident has added plastic chairs to 10 bus stops along major thoroughfares in Arlington and Falls Church. The chairs demonstrate “a latent need for dignified seating at the region’s bus stops,” according to writer Matt Caywood. [Greater Greater Washington]

Leonsis on Kettler Iceplex – At the inaugural annual meeting of the new Ballston Business Improvement District, Washington Capitals owner and former top AOL executive Ted Leonsis said Ballston’s Kettler Capitals Iceplex is essential to the team. “I’m not sure if we [the Washington Capitals] would be able to keep MVP-caliber players, like [Alex] Ovechkin, without a facility like the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston,” Leonsis said.

Resident Satisfaction with the County Increases

by Katie Pyzyk | May 23, 2012 at 11:00 am | 1,971 views | 63 Comments

Arlington residents are not only happy with the county government’s services, they’re more satisfied than before, according to a new study commissioned by the county.

This is the third time Arlington has done a Resident Satisfaction Survey; the first took place in 2004, with another in 2008. The county uses the results to target areas for improvement, and to figure out the public resources residents find most beneficial.

This year’s results showed that overall satisfaction with county services increased to 89 percent, up from 87 percent in 2008. Satisfaction with overall quality of life in Arlington increased from 87 percent in 2008 to 92 percent this year.

Some areas for improvement were also identified by the survey. By a wide margin, maintenance of county streets and management of traffic flow were identified by respondents as areas that are “most important for the County to improve.”

Other trouble areas where the county hopes to improve include quality of human services, management of smart growth practices, preserving affordable housing, preserving nature areas and enforcing traffic laws. There was also a lower satisfaction rating this year for the hours of library operation, which county staff hopes will be solved by an already-funded increase in library hours starting in July.

When compared against other communities of similar size Arlington came out 32 percentage points above the national average for satisfaction with county services.

“I’m pleased with the results of the survey. It shows we are clearly moving in the right direction — and that we need to continue to invest in our streets and infrastructure,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement. “Having objective data from the community on where we are doing well and where we need to improve is critical to our work.”

The survey was conducted in April by ETC Institute, and information was gathered via phone, internet and mail. More than 1,300 households participated. Full results are available online.

Taxi Customers Asked to Fill Out Online Survey

by Katie Pyzyk | April 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm | 2,350 views | 14 Comments

If you ride around Arlington in taxi cabs, the county wants to hear from you.

An online taxi survey has been set up to gather information about experiences with the cabs throughout Arlington. Residents, visitors and businesses are all encouraged to fill out the survey.

According to Richard Viola, the supervisor for the transportation planning section with Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services, the county is in the midst of re-evaluating how many taxi certificates to issue. It’s a process that takes place every other year, and cab drivers must have a certificate to operate in the county.

Viola says the survey will help to determine how well the current system is working, and whether the public is interested in expanding the number of taxis available throughout the county. It will also help to point out areas in need of more cabs, or certain times when more would be beneficial.

“We want to make sure the right number of cabs are on the street,” Viola said. “Putting too many on the street could be detrimental. You’ll see them waiting, circling and creating more traffic. It also hurts the cab drivers because they don’t have enough business and can’t make a living.”

There are currently 765 taxis throughout Arlington. So far, there has never been a decrease in the number of certificates issued; most years the number holds fairly steady.

The survey will be available through the middle of June. Soon after that, a summary with the results will be released.

Arlington County Asks: How Are We Doing?

by ARLnow.com | March 27, 2012 at 11:15 am | 2,649 views | 47 Comments

Check your mailboxes, because Arlington County is conducting its third countywide survey of residents.

The survey is an effort to “measure residents’ satisfaction with major County services and to gather input about issues facing the community,” according to a press release. The survey asks residents to weigh in on a number of topics, including public safety, parks and recreation, public works, transportation, and human services. The survey also asks residents about their perceptions of Arlington County, how safe they feel in their neighborhood, and how they get news and information about Arlington.

A market research firm out of Kansas City is conducting the survey on behalf of the county by mailing survey forms to 3,600 randomly selected Arlington residents. An online version of this year’s survey is also available. Results from the survey will be published this summer on the Arlington County website.

The last survey, in 2008, concluded that 87 percent of residents were satisfied with the quality of county services and overall quality of life in Arlington. (See chart of specific satisfaction responses, above.)

“This important research will help us find out how we’re doing across many different service areas — and also pinpoint where we need to improve,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement. “The survey will provide information to guide future decision-making, long-range priorities, and strategic planning.”

Super NoVa Study to Address Traffic Issues

by Katie Pyzyk | February 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm | 1,591 views | 60 Comments

Traffic headaches consistently top the list of complaints by local residents. The state recognizes the trouble and is gathering public input in an effort to come up with viable transit solutions.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation has launched a study, called the Super NoVA Transit/Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Vision Plan, examining transit in Northern Virginia. It evaluates issues such as commuting patterns and projected travel demand for what is considered one of the most congested areas in the entire state.

The study will look at possible enhancements for transit and provide a vision for improving mobility throughout the region without increasing the number of vehicles occupied by only one person. When completed in the fall, the study will lay out short-term strategies along with long-term solutions through 2040.

Meetings are being held throughout Northern Virginia to explain the study and collect public input. DRPT will hold an open house on Tuesday at the Crystal City Shops from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in front of the Rite Aid Pharmacy (1671 Crystal Square Arcade).

An online survey is also available until March 1 for those who cannot attend the open house but would like to give feedback.

Walking Survey Results Released

by Katie Pyzyk | January 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm | 2,194 views | 31 Comments

Clarendon is the area of Arlington that people most often target for walking, according to results from the recent Arlington County Commuter Services survey.

The 2011 ACCS WalkArlington Study gathered input from 985 respondents, and found that more than half walk daily throughout the community. 86% report making a trip entirely by walking at least twice a week.

The top reasons for walking include running errands and getting exercise. Commuting is another reason, with 56% of people saying they walk for at least part of their commute at least once a week.

In regards to safety, the county’s walkers aren’t overly concerned about crime, but worry about sharing the roads with vehicles. 54% say aggressive or inattentive drivers pose a safety threat to walkers.

WalkArlington is a county initiative aimed at getting people walking more for health, environmental and commuting benefits. 44% of survey respondents had heard of the initiative, but only 21% have used the organization’s services.

The survey found that two-thirds of respondents participated after seeing the request on ARLnow.com. Full survey results are available here.

County Concludes Vacuum Leaf Collection

by ARLnow.com | December 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm | 1,393 views | 9 Comments

Arlington County has concluded its annual vacuum leaf collection service.

Though the vacuum trucks have stopped running, Arlington will continue its biodegradable leaf bag collection service — which takes place on the next business day after your normal trash collection day — through Jan. 13.

The county is asking residents to fill out a survey to provide feedback about this year’s vacuum leaf collection.

Study Reveals Habits, Motivations of Local Bicyclists

by ARLnow.com | December 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm | 3,853 views | 78 Comments

The typical bicyclist in Arlington is a wealthy Caucasian male who uses his bike for exercise, recreation and commuting, according to the findings of a recently-released survey.

The survey — conducted by a Richmond-based research firm under contract from Arlington County Commuter Services — probed the demographics, motivations and habits of local bicyclists using a combination of online surveys and in-person surveys conducted on Arlington bike trails.

Among the study’s findings:

  • Mean age of respondents is 43
  • Median income is $108,000
  • 80% are Caucasian
  • 64% are male
  • 88% are employed full-time
  • 35% work in Arlington
  • 50% live seven or more miles from work
  • 83% bike to work at least a couple of times per week
  • 63% commute to work exclusively via bicycle
  • 74% have employers that offer assistance, information or facilities that encourage biking to work
  • 45% use a bike as their primary mode of transportation
  • 89% say exercise and recreation is among the reasons why they choose to bike
  • 81% are “satisfied” with local multi-use trails
  • 47% of those who started using the county’s BikeArlington services now bicycle more frequently

For more information, see a summary of the findings or a complete presentation of survey results.

Disclosure: Arlington County Commuter Services placed ads for the online survey on ARLnow.com over the summer.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | November 28, 2011 at 9:03 am | 1,720 views | 9 Comments

Older Arlington Residents Give County High Marks — Arlington scored well above the state average in a recent survey of older Virginians. “People over 50 years of age in Arlington say they have a high quality of life, feel safe and secure, and are happy with their access to healthcare services, educational opportunities and recreational activities,” according to a county press release. [Arlington County]

‘Hairspray’ Actor Is Local TV/Radio Personality — Local WETA on-air personality Robery Aubry Davis is playing the role of Edna Turnblad in the Signature Theatre production of ‘Hairspray,’ which opened in Shirlington last week. [Sun Gazette]

Fighting Deer Cause Ruckus — According to an Arlington animal control blotter item, a pair of fighting bucks crashed through a glass patio window in the 3600 block of N. Monroe Street earlier this month. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99

Help Name Stations Along Upcoming Transitway

by Katie Pyzyk | November 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm | 1,410 views | 12 Comments

As the county finalizes its design for the Crystal City Potomac Yard transitway, it’s looking for public input on station names.

The project will enhance bus service to accommodate recent and upcoming developments in the area. Dedicated bus lanes are planned along Crystal Drive, S. Clark Street and S. Bell Street. During the first phase, seven new stops will be added along the route, in addition to the existing one at the Crystal City Metro station. Eventually, the plan is for the project to expand to the Pentagon City Metro station and south to the Braddock Road Metro station in Alexandria.

The locations of the new stations are already set, but you can help name them. The survey allows you to vote for suggested names or fill in your own ideas. To participate in the survey, click here. It will be available until November 10.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | October 31, 2011 at 7:00 am | 1,559 views | 72 Comments

Army Reservist Finishes First at MCM — Army Reserve 1st Lt. Charles Ware was the fastest finisher at Sunday’s Marine Corps Marathon. With an unofficial time of 2:19:16, Ware handily bested second-place runner and Arlington resident Michael Wardian, who finished at 2:23:46. Coast Guard Lt. Patrick Fernandez placed third. [Marine Corps Times]

VDOT Surveys Residents About I-66 — The Virginia Department of Transportation has sent mailers to Arlington residents who live near I-66, asking them to take an online survey. The survey is part of a multimodal study designed to find ways to reduce traffic congestion on I-66 inside the Beltway. [Washington Examiner]

School Board Wants More Autonomy — The Arlington County School Board is expected to ask the Virginia General Assembly for a degree of freedom from various state mandates. Among other items on its legislative wish list, the school board would like to have the option to start the school year before Labor Day — something that state law forbids in most cases. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil

Library Looks to Future at Upcoming Public Sessions

by Katie Pyzyk | October 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | 1,157 views | 6 Comments

Arlington Public Library is looking to the future, and wants the public to speak up with ideas and suggestions. A series of public gatherings called “Invent the Future of the Library” is being held to examine where the library is headed, and what steps need to be taken to get there.

The first session is tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th St. S.). The second is next Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford St.), and the last is Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N Stafford St.).

Tonight’s session will have a significant focus on technology and which trends are shaping, or will shape, the library. The results from the recent Library User Satisfaction Survey will also be discussed. You can take part in the new, very short, online survey regarding services and programming by clicking here.

Walkers Wanted for Survey

by Katie Pyzyk | July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm | 1,786 views | 36 Comments

Efforts are underway to make Arlington more friendly to walkers, and your input could help influence future improvements.

The national survey is aimed at finding out what motivates avid walkers and what prevents others from walking more. WalkArlington and Arlington County Commuter Services have teamed up to conduct the survey locally.

To take the online survey, click here. It takes about fifteen minutes and results are anonymous. The deadline has been extended to this Friday. Everyone who participates is entered into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card.

Ballston Common Mall Asks: How Are We Doing?

by ARLnow.com | March 14, 2011 at 10:10 am | 3,622 views | 157 Comments

The owners of Ballston Common Mall are asking customers what they think about the 25-year-old shopping center.

We reported in October that Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises was in the early planning stages of major renovations at the mall. Now, the company is conducting an online survey about operations there.

The survey asks questions about mall security, the mall’s parking lot and overall customer satisfaction. It also asks respondents to list any stores they would like to see added to the mall.

For their trouble, respondents are entered into a drawing for a $250 gift card.

Flickr pool photo by Tim Kelley

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