Press Club

County Receives $600,000 for Safety Improvements in North Arlington

APS Walk and Bike to School DayAshlawn and Discovery Elementary Schools and Williamsburg Middle School will soon be easier for students to walk to.

Arlington received $400,000 — and will pledge an additional $100,000 — in federal grant money to improve the walking and biking routes to the three schools in North Arlington.

The funds will go toward building new trails and sidewalks in Bluemont for Ashlawn students and will fund sidewalk improvements at the intersection of N. Kensington and 36th Streets around Discovery and Williamsburg, which are on the same property. Discovery is still under construction, but is expected to open for the 2015-2016 school year.

From the same federal program, the MAP-21 grant, Arlington will also receive $200,000 to bring sidewalks and streets in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor up to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to a county press release, a county study from 2012 identified more than 1,000 locations in the corridor that were “inaccessible to persons with disabilities.”

The county will chip in $50,000 in pay-as-you-go WalkArlington funding to help fund improvements to these areas, which will be handled in order of severity.

“We’re delighted that we can use local funding to leverage federal dollars to help two key groups of Arlingtonians move more safely and easily: Arlington students who walk or bike to Ashlawn, Discovery and Williamsburg, and persons with disabilities in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “We welcome the federal government’s funding of these very important projects to improve safety and accessibility for all.”

Both improvement programs will continue identifying other sites around the county where safety and accessibility need to be addressed.

File photo

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