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Rosslyn Electronic Tourism Kiosk to Be Removed

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2012 at 9:45 am 4,093 36 Comments


An electronic tourism kiosk, located at 1919 N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn, is set to be removed.

The Arlington County Board must ultimately approve the removal, but the kiosk already has a sign indicating that it’s out of service. In a report to the Board, county staff say the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service kiosk “requires replacement, due to aging, at significant cost.” Staff recommends removing the kiosk and not replacing it.

“With the increased use of smart phone technology and the mobile-optimized version of the Stay Arlington website, the need for the kiosk is substantially reduced,” staff wrote. “ACVS wishes to remove the kiosk and repair the property to its original condition.”

The kiosk was first installed in August 2008. It was paid for by the developer of the adjacent Waterview complex, at a cost of $50,000. In 2010, the county touted the kiosk as one of an “array of innovative new visitor service options” in Arlington, though one local blogger who used it questioned its ultimate utility.

“Unfortunately, the visitor information kiosk in Rosslyn isn’t innovative or particularly useful,” the Ode Street Tribune blog said in early 2010. “It provides information and directions to Rosslyn-area dining, shopping, attractions (Iwo Jima, etc.), accommodations, services (parking, etc.), and events. That might be useful, but now many persons can get better information and directions through their smart phones.”

Since the kiosk was a County Board-mandated site plan requirement, the Board must first advertise and then the county must hold a public hearing on the site plan change before the kiosk can be removed.

  • Plorch

    Sad, this is truly the end of an era.

    • benballston

      what would the founding fathers say?

      • Ben

        “Give back the added density we gave you for this worthless robot”

      • Libby

        They would probably say something along the lines of, “Gadzooks! What manner of witchcraft be this?!”

        • Monty Python

          … or, “Burn it! It’s a WITCH!”

        • Catweazle

          Buzz quoth the blue fly, hum quoth the bee. Buzz and hum they cry, and so do we!

          • Ralph Wiggum

            But I thought bees buzzed…

          • YTK

            Here’s the straight buzz/skinny from circa 1957:
            “Buzz buzz buzz goes the honey bee
            And tweedily tweedily twee goes the bird
            But the sound of your little voice darling
            That’s the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard”
            “Buzz Buzz Buzz” as written by John G./byrd
            performed by Frankie Lyman, the Holywood Flames and possibly Huey Lewis.

  • MrMeow

    I say we start a campaign to have the kiosk, and even put the kiosk on the arlington flag.


    • Ballston

      There’s an arlington flag?

      • CrystalMikey

        Yup. Check the Courthouse

      • MrMeow


        Yes. It’s outside of arlington county buildings, at least some of them. It needs the Kiosk on it.

        • Ballston

          That is a horrible flag. It’s so dull. I’m not saying it needs brown flip flops on it, but there’s got to be someone in the county who could design something better than that

          • Mrmeow

            How about flip flops dispensing Fro Yo with the kiosk as the counter?

          • Buckingham Beauty

            We need something more VIBRANT.

      • drax

        First commenter to post a funny pledge of allegiance to the flag of Arlington will be awarded one full FREDTERP.

        • MrMeow

          I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the People’s Republic of Arlington
          And to the Flip flops, for which it stands, One county, under one political party, with high taxes, vibrancy and street cars for all.

          • drax

            Credit where credit is due!

            You are hereby awarded one full FREDTERP. Wear it with pride.

          • MrMeow

            Crap, I left out car tax sticker fees.

  • Ben Franklin

    I’d say “Awesome! Can I have it when you get rid of it?”

  • a real quote!

    “When the populace learns that it can vote itself tourism kiosks in exchange for greater building density, our democracy is doomed.”

    -Thomas Jefferson

  • John Fontain

    They should move that thing to the inside of the Artisphere so even less people will use it.

  • NIMBY The Chicken

    I wonder how much the process will cost to remove the computer. If someone were to abscond with the terminal would they be obligated to replace it, then hold a meeting to discuss taking it down?

    • MrMeow

      They can just paint it to make it look like it’s wheels on a car and it will take care of itself.

  • Gravy

    So far this week we’ve heard of $50 grand for a glorified newspaper machine with a touchscreen on top (that no one apparently used), and $450 grand to re-landscape a park the size of someone’s back yard. What a place we live in… How about we put the burden on tourists to do some research before they show up, get some volunteers to spend a few weekends fixing up the park, and spend that $500K fixing some potholes around here, or hiring a couple more cops to help catch wheel thieves…

    • Just the Facts

      “Tourists: Find your own damn way!”

      -new motto of the Arlington Visitors Bureau

      • yelp reviewer

        We visited Arlington and…

        Con: It stinks they didn’t have robots to tell us where to go; we had to buy a stupid Fodor’s guide just like anywhere else we’ve been to.

        Pro: Man, they sure have some nice roads there; not a pothole in sight!

    • LumpyGravy

      “It was paid for by the developer of the adjacent Waterview complex, at a cost of $50,000.” ArlCo didn’t pay for it – what are you complaining about?

      • John Fontain

        The developer likely didn’t do it out of the kindness of its heart. They did it because it was requested and because they probably got something in return.

      • Gravy

        Exactly – this was a concession. If the point was for the developer to spend $50K to provide something useful to the county then, uh, this won’t likely be going down in the annals of history for money well spent. Hey, for what Avon Corporation is charging to fix up Ft. Myer Heights Park, that would probably at least buy a trashcan and maybe a couple of bags of mulch.

  • YTK

    WHY does Rosslyn even NEED a Tourist kiosk? Rosslyn is the most vapid, godforsaken place on this planet IMHO. Unless you want to discuss its former glory, before the motley crew of skyscrapers started putting out roots there.

  • mick Way

    Dave stop …. stop … dave please stop… i have the greatest enthusiasm for this mission … Dave … stop… I’m afraid … stop …. my mind is going

  • fedworker

    Let me guess. The plan was to place these out of service kiosks in front of every out of servvice Metro escalator. Brilliant.

    • avant gourd

      Hey, I think you just might have an idea for an exhibit at Artisphere. Could call it something like “wasted potential” (lower case, b/c it could have been caps but it’s not). Which kind of makes Artisphere part of the exhibit itself. Whoa…

      • Arlingtonian

        I hope that the County sells the kiosk to somebody who can use it (maybe the North Korea govement). If the County can’t do that, perhaps some historical society would accept a donation. If not, the kiosk would make a nice object to drop in the ocean so that it can create a new habitat for underwater creatures that nobody will ever see.

  • Laura

    Wait, whaaat? Did I read that correctly? That single, tiny machine cost $50K??? How is that even possible? That was a HUGE waste of money.


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