(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Arlington County has asked JBG Smith to go back to the drawing board after reviewing its plans to upgrade the Crystal City Water Park.
The privately-owned park at 1601 Crystal Drive currently includes water features, trees, and a food stand. It has frequently been used for local events and gatherings.
The project to upgrade it will be deferred two months so that JBG Smith can address pedestrian and cyclist safety concerns raised by Arlington County Board members and community members during the Board’s Tuesday night meeting.
“This is not a fully baked plan yet,” Board member Christian Dorsey said.
The Bethesda-based real estate company is proposing a new performance area, more outdoor seating, preserving and updating the existing water fountain, and incorporating a new water feature in the center of the site. The proposal also includes a number of retail structures: small kiosks, a bar, and a trailhead restroom facility.
Most of the discussion was devoted to two paths — one ADA-accessible — that JBG Smith proposed to build to connect people to the nearby VRE station and the Mount Vernon Trail. A small pathway linked the two connections.
Community members and County Board members said these paths, as proposed, would create conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists. People would have to cross the Mount Vernon Trail connector to get to the rest of the park and cyclists would be battling a grade change while avoiding pedestrians.
“We thought we were being helpful, but we’re hearing loudly and clearly that this is scaring people, and we should reconsider it,” said Robin Mosle, a consultant on the project.
The Bethesda-based real estate company opted out of a public design process — something that drew the frustration of some Board members, including Takis Karantonis.
“This would be a conversation that we would have had in the Park and Recreation Commission in advance of the meeting,” Karantonis said.
The County Board is now expected to see the project again when it meets in March.
News of a plan to invigorate the park with new retail dates back at least to 2017, when ARLnow reported that the concession stand in the park had closed. A few months later, The Stand opened in its place, hosting many pop-up eateries. In April, D.C. food truck Peruvian Brothers took it over.
Photos via Arlington County
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A former ABC News producer whose Columbia Pike apartment was raided by the FBI last year has been sentenced. James Gordon Meek, 53, pleaded guilty in July to transportation and…
Metrorail service was suspended on the Blue and Yellow lines today after a train derailed.
4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage 1/4 acre Jamestown Williamsburg Yorktown pyramid
At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting an online workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” Wednesday, October 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Every great endeavor begins with a great plan. This workshop will give you the tools