As the summer approached with lockdowns in place, many cities, including D.C. and Alexandria, closed some streets to drivers and expanded walking and biking options.
Arlington did not, although many residents supported the idea, according to an ARLnow poll from April that found support for closing streets among 80% of respondents.
The county did not close roads primarily because it lacked materials and manpower, Director of Transportation Dennis Leach told the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee during its meeting on Monday. The explanations angered members.
Gillian Burgess, the former chair of the committee, told ARLnow that the meeting was “frustrating.” Members were told to advocate for increased funding to close streets and to attend other meetings, which she said deflected the responsibility away from the department.
“No one is willing to say ‘Yes, how do we do it?'” she said.
Burgess started championing the cause in March, when she rallied together people from various organizations to ask the County Manager for more space for non-drivers. Their efforts were unsuccessful.
Transportation and Operations Bureau Chief Hui Wang told ARLnow that the department looked at the roads people suggested for closures, considering safety, feasibility, resources and the opinions of neighboring businesses and residents.
“We had a hard time to find a good piece of road that was suitable for the treatment that was suggested,” she said.
Obstacles included frequent bus stops and curb cuts, pick-up and drop-off zones next to businesses and access for emergency responders, Wang said. Closing streets, she said, is not as easy as just putting up a few signs.
Signs must meet national standards, for instance, while getting placed in safe spots, checked for damage and replaced when necessary, she said. Safety requirements like these make the task difficult.
Wang said the pandemic revealed what her bureau lacked in order to respond. Her team did manage to procure temporary outdoor seating areas within sidewalks, and closed some parking lanes to allow people to walk around the new outdoor dining areas, but does not have the resources for large-scale temporary pedestrian-only zones, she said.
Another factor in the action: questions of equity and whether closing streets in certain areas would benefit those hardest-hit by the pandemic.
Arlington successfully closed 0 streets, added 0 bike lanes (except those already planned in the before times), and widened 0 sidewalks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yes, we added some TOSAs, but those are incredibly limited. Yet, we're asking if transit we provide is equitable. https://t.co/8DSadBitDv
— Stephen Repetski (@srepetsk) October 5, 2020
Burgess said she understood these reasons at the beginning of the pandemic. Eight months later, it is “super disappointing that Arlington can’t be creative, nimble or quick and can’t try something that would serve residents,” she said.
Arlington transportation officials have now turned their attention to Arlington Public Schools an an anticipated return to school for students. They are working to identify the best routes for walking and changing the timing of lights to make crossing the street safer.
Buses will operate at a lower capacity, meaning more parents may drive their kids when they could walk or bike instead, Burgess said. She said a silver lining of decreased busing may be a growing realization that Arlington should prioritize making streets more biking- and walking-friendly.
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3 Car Detached Garages
Last week, the Arlington County Board voted unanimously to allow homeowners, builders and developers to convert or build new 2-6 unit homes throughout the county.
Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve