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Pair of projects to improve pedestrian accessibility in parts of Arlington

Portion of S. Irving Street set for sidewalk improvements (via Google Maps)

The pedestrian experience is set to improve in nearly a dozen spots across the county.

The Arlington County Board this weekend is expected to approve two projects for accessibility improvements, along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and in three residential neighborhoods.

The Metro corridor contract, for up to nearly $1.4 million, is the second phase of an existing effort to bring the streetscape up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The planned improvements include “new sidewalks, curb and gutter, curb extensions, handicap accessible ramps, storm sewer pipes and inlets, paving, pavement markings and signage.”

From a county staff report:

The Rosslyn – Ballston Corridor ADA Improvements Project – Phase 2 sites are located along the Rosslyn – Ballston Corridor. This project reconstructs multiple intersections within the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor where existing sidewalks, curb ramps or street intersections do not comply with standards of the ADA.

The project undertakes redesign and construction in batches with the highest priority problem areas reconstructed to achieve ADA compliance. The project incorporates a “second set” of improvements previously designated under P14D. It spans multiple neighborhoods, including Buckingham, Ballston-Virginia Square, Clarendon, Courthouse, Rosslyn.

The other project is part of another ongoing effort, the county’s Neighborhood Complete Streets (NCS) program.

It would bring improvements to three residential neighborhoods, including curb extensions to resolve several blocks of sidewalk obstructed by decorative streetlights.

From a staff report, the project would:

Construct one block of missing sidewalk on 14th Street North from North McKinley Road to North Ohio Street, in the Highland Park Overlee Knolls neighborhood;

Construct two improved intersections, with updated curb ramps and reduction of pedestrian crossing distances, on 8th Road South in the Arlington Mill neighborhood;

Construct eight curb extensions to relocate existing Carlyle Streetlights currently obstructing the sidewalk and provide an accessible path along three blocks of existing sidewalk on South Irving Street, in the Arlington Heights neighborhood

“The Neighborhood Complete Streets program was approved by the Arlington County Board at its January 2016 meeting,” says the report. “The program was intended as a replacement to and evolution of the prior Neighborhood Traffic Calming (NTC) program, which built approximately 175 projects designed to slow vehicle speed. The NCS program was designed to holistically address inadequacies in the complete streets paradigm, outlined in the Master Transportation Plan.”

“A complete street is one that provides facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and motorists to each move comfortably and safely through the community,” the report notes. “Project requests were to be solicited from community members, prioritized based on objective data, and selected with consultation and oversight from the [Neighborhood Complete Streets Commission], following a public engagement period.”

Photo via Google Maps

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