Arlington, VA

(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The county’s plans for renovating the Rosslyn Metro station are getting some flak from a nearby neighborhood association.

The North Rosslyn Civic Association (NRCA) opposes the decision to replace the existing escalators to the plaza level with a granite staircase. The county says the change is necessary to accommodate a Commuter Store that will be built on the ticketing level. The store essentially will be built under the current escalator area, which will not provide adequate access for performing maintenance on the escalators.

According to Lisa Maher, Development Plan Review Supervisor in the county’s Department of Environmental Services, staff pored over the plans for months trying to find a different place to put the store, but couldn’t locate an area that had the necessary amount of space.

In a letter to the county, NRCA said the two escalators — one up and one down — are “the only assistance provided to residents in negotiating the tremendous change in elevation between the center of Rosslyn and the adjacent community to the West.” The escalators are especially useful for Metro riders who have already made the excruciating climb up from the underground station and need a bit of a breather, residents said.

Maher says there’s been an ongoing conversation with residents in the area and attempts have been made to address concerns. However, the Commuter Store is still slated to go in, and the escalators are still slated be removed.

“The community said, let’s put it somewhere else in neighborhood,” Maher said. “But there’s just nowhere else to put it, and it’s most valuable when near the station.”

The Commuter Store is just one of the improvements that will be coming to the Rosslyn station. Since 2007, the county has been working with the developer constructing an office building adjacent to the Metro. As part of the permit approval, the developer agreed to provide renovations to the Metro entrance.

Some of the other improvements include providing an ADA accessible entrance on Ft. Myer Drive, adding more lighting to the station mezzanine, installing new tile flooring and renovating the existing skybridge.

On Saturday, portions of the agreement will come up for approval at the County Board meeting. The Board is expected to approve the measures, allowing the county manager to alter the number of public improvements the developer must provide.

Staff also recommends the Board approve the provision permitting the county to pay for a portion of the improvements if the cost exceeds the developer’s budget. The cost would be determined after the list of improvements is negotiated and finalized.

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