Submit Content

Alcova Heights Residents Petition to Save Pedestrian Path

More than 130 people who live in and around Alcova Heights have signed a petition to save a walking trail from the proposed expansion of a nearby federal training facility.

The State Department’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center, which trains members of the nation’s foreign service, is seeking to expand its campus in Arlington to include a new training and classroom facility, childcare center and other buildings.

As planned, the expansion would extend the perimeter fence farther south, and, in the process, swallow up a pedestrian path that connects George Mason Drive and S. Quincy Street.

According to an assessment from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the agency in charge of managing federal buildings and facilities, the effects on walkability in the neighborhood would not be significant.

“While input from the public scoping process showed a concern to keep the pedestrian trail open to the public, the [expansion’s] impact on neighborhood connectivity would be minor,” the GSA wrote. “This determination is based on the limited number of individuals using the NFATC pedestrian trail, as well as the extensive walking network of sidewalks adjacent to campus that offer an alternative to the pedestrian trail.”

But neighbors and other locals who use the path disagree with the government’s view.

Alcova Heights resident Danielle Arigoni, who yesterday launched a petition urging the government to reconsider eliminating the path, said the assessment is “outrageous.”

“The fact that the existing path is being eliminated is insulting,” Arigoni told ARLnow.com.

Eliminating the path would deprive pedestrians of a safe and easy way to walk from one part of the neighborhood to the other, Arigoni said.

“The NFATC site is so enormous… that it bifurcates Alcova Heights,” she said. Other than the pedestrian path “there are no east-west pathways that are viable alternatives.”

Others, like local resident Beth Smith, called the path a “great asset” for the surrounding neighborhood.

“I walk that way every day to pick my boys up and we walk back from school,” she said. “If they take this away and they don’t offer us an alternative, we’re either going to walk along Route 50, which is really frightening, or have to go down to 8th Street, which is really not convenient.”

One possible solution, said neighbor Rodrigo Abela, is limit the perimeter expansion to 10-15 feet instead of the planned 20 feet.

“Connectivity does not require more than 10-15 feet to allow people that move along the fence line, and looking at the site plan, it is easily achievable without compromising the safety of the compound,” he said.

Arigoni’s petition urges the GSA to, among other requests, “build a perimeter trail connecting 3rd St. S to the existing trail at Quincy at 6th St. S,” a suggestion that would require a permanent public access easement. In theory, Arigoni writes, Arlington County could then build a perimeter trail connecting 3rd St. S to the existing trail at Quincy at 6th St. S.

Regardless of the solution, she said she simply wants to the GSA to take stock of the community’s needs.

“I think the point is that we want to be good neighbors with GSA and with the feds,” she said. “I understand the need for these kind of facilities, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of safe bike and pedestrian access in our neighborhood.”

Alcova Heights residents interested in submitting public comments can do so on the GSA website through Jan. 15.

Recent Stories

The four people reported to be seriously injured when a car plowed into Ireland’s Four Courts last night may not have survived but for the quick actions of fellow pub-goers…

(Updated at 7:55 a.m.) Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse caught fire after a car barreled into it at the height of dinnertime Friday. The fire is now out after a…

After a steamy stretch, Mother Nature is rewarding us with a pair of new-perfect days. We hope you are able to get out there and enjoy the weather tonight and…

Adoptable Pet of the Week: Kimchi

The adorable Kimchi, a black and white Guinea Pig is the newest Adoptable Pet of the Week.

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are
you ready to make a change?

Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new
clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating
mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For
more information visit
peacefulmindsolutions.com.

Submit your own Community Post here.

(This Community Post was written by Signature Theatre and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts.)

Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

MEGA Wine Tasting

Join us Sunday, Aug 28 from 12-3pm for our MEGA Wine Tasting

How it Works:

We’ve invited all our wine vendors that we work with to bring 6-10 wines in their portfolio (wines that are usually not carried at Osteria

Running & Strength Training Group Workout #1

Join our first workout of Coach Kate’s fall Running & Strength Training Program on Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 a.m. at Oak Grove Park.

First/trial session is Free Of Charge. If you would like to join the program — which

×

Subscribe to our mailing list